The Study: Update

Over the past many months I’ve been reading and posting on the introduction to Genesis 1-11, based on the New American Commentary, volume 1A. There are over 100 pages of information on various academic fields on the background of Genesis and how we got the version we have now.

This coming month this study will be looking at the various types of context that we looked at last summer. The format of “In God’s Holy Word: The Study” will look different than what it has been so far. Questions will be posted with the idea being that anyone should be able to use any commentary series and/or and study Bible to find the contextual answers. Applying the Scriptures to a personal level will be based on the contexts and personal conviction.

 

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Prayer Challenge Eighty

DEVOTIONAL: “…that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” Psalm 78:6-7, ESV.

CHALLENGE: Family members are a big part of our prayer lives, at least they should be: spouses, children, parents, extended family, friends who are like family, etc. We pray for them all, but what are we praying for on their behalf? Kendrick says, “Surely by now, you’re way past the kind of praying that’s content with only asking God to ‘bless’ and ‘be with’ your” family. “Shouldn’t you know what you’re really asking Him for?”

Kendrick gives several pointers in respect to praying for spouses and children. For husbands or wives: “You should pray that both of you would maintain a sense of protective passion for [the] primary function of your marriage. That Christ would be where you run for love, joy and peace, not your spouse. And that you bring” all this back to your spouse. Related to this you pray that your husband or wife “be devoted to Christ” even above their devotion to you.

If we love “the Lord our God” with everything we have then we will love one another “as Christ first loved us”.

Praying for children can be easy and difficult. Whether they are young or grown-up we should pray “that they remain faithful to God in their generation.” How can we be living prayers for the next generations? We need to remain faithful to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. Be examples of faithfulness in the workforce, at church, to our spouses, and to them, the children.

Let our general prayers, which “can get general answers”, become specific prayers, then “we will praise God more and recognize His handiwork when we pray specifically.”

February Bible Reading

Reading the Holy Scriptures is an adventure, we never know what the Holy Spirit will show us today. Being convicted to change our behaviour or attitude is perhaps a reason many people, including Christians, do not want to read their Bibles regularly. Since I made my 2017 resolution to read through the Bible I have fallen behind, way behind.

As I was reading last night, a question came to mind, one that many have asked in the past: am I ready for the sake of reading the Bible? Or am I reading for the sake of desiring to get closer to God? The latter was my ultimate new year’s resolution, and one that I continue to want to strive towards. This time round I will not give up. This year I will catch up and continue. I may fall behind again and again, but I shouldn’t allow that to discourage me. God doesn’t give up on His children, why should we ever give up getting to know Him on a personal level?

For those of you who are joining me in my reading in God’s Holy Word, here is February’s reading schedule.

 

Part 5a: Intro to Genesis

Interpreting Genesis

(The New American Commentary, vol. 1a, Genesis 1:1-11:26, pages 63-68)

There are many ways we can read the book of Genesis. Whether as fables, myths or stories of morality, we all see the tales differently if we approach Genesis with our preconceived notions. Genesis is a story of people interacting with the created world and its Creator. Interpreting any ancient text has its difficulty and the Old Testament is not exempt from this. Today we will look at several methods of interpretation. This includes how Jews and Christians have looked at it in the past and how scholars look at it today.

Many times we hear a story and we take its perceived understanding for granted, or we tend to disagree with it. Looking at Genesis 1-11 (creation to the flood and to Abraham’s father, Terah) we may not all agree on the deeper meaning of the text. Let this not hinder us from going In God’s Holy Word together. Let the Holy Spirit open our eyes and minds as we study “Interpreting Genesis”.

Next time we will be looking at the “Pentateuchal Criticism”.

Questions on the readings are coming soon.

Back to the Study

These past months have been busy with Christmas, New Year’s Day and work. With so much going on I have fallen behind in writing the study questions for “In God’s Holy Word” based on Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1a of the New American Commentary series. But that is all about to change.

As of this weekend (January 20-23) the plan is to get back into reading the commentary and taking notes. Where did we leave off? November 2, 2016 (click here for post) part 4a of the Intro to Genesis (click here for the study questions) was completed. Part 4b will be posted before the end of this month, which means most of my free time, as in days not working, will be spent on this endeavour and my other writing projects.

Thanks for checking out my blog. If you want to stay tuned please follow me on Facebook, Twitter or via email (all links are on the side).

 

Prayer Challenge Seventy-Five

DEVOTIONAL: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11, ESV.

CHALLENGE: On the defensive… When the enemy attacks we need to be ready. Kendrick tells us “Christians are equipped with everything needed for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), but many are not ready when the enemy attacks.” When we go into battle unprepared we will be defeated. “God’s Word says spiritual war is taking place around you.” But God does not send us into the fighting to fend for ourselves, we are given the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace (as shoes), the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), and prayer (Eph. 6:13-18). All Christians as saints have been given these by God, yet we do not use them in our daily lives. Whether defensively, preemptively, or offensively let us “put on the whole armor of God”.

We all go through good times and hard times. The armor is a gift from God to fight this battle as individual soldiers and as an army. Which part of God’s armor do you struggle with the most? Which one is your strength and can be used to lend aid to others?

Prayer Challenge Seventy-Four

DEVOTIONAL: “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11, ESV.

CHALLENGE: For almost a year we have been going through Stephen and Alex Kendrick’s book The Battle Plan for Prayer. So far we have seen what prayer is and isn’t (chap. 4-7), preparing ourselves to pray (chap. 8-12), conditioning our hearts to pray (chap. 13-19), and prayer strategies (chap. 20-29). Chapter 27 is titled “Praying Preemptively”, praying before something happens. Here we encounter the first real military metaphor for what a prayer life should look like and what it did look like for Jesus Christ.

“If you were the leader of a country and discovered you would soon be attacked by a brutal, invading army, what would you do?” This may seem like a rhetorical question, but we still need to consider its spiritual implications. Jesus considered it for His church and the apostle John wrote, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).

We know the enemy, and we know his plans for us. The Kendrick brothers list four major areas Satan uses to attack the saints: distraction, deception, derision, and division.

Looking back at the early church, the Reformation or even at the twenty-first century church we can see all of these attacks. We know what to expect, but why are we so easily swayed from praying in good times against such evils in the world by praying for their exact opposites?

Against distracting we should be praying for focus. Against deception pray for God’s truth. Against derision let us pray for wisdom and discernment and keep in the Word. And finally against division remember unity in Christ is the greatest weapon we can wield. Let us always pray for the positives of God’s promises instead of allowing the negatives of Satan’s lies to manifest in us.