The Navigator: 5.20.2021

THIS SUNDAY, May 23rd

  • Missionaries, Alan Ivey and his family, occupy one of our guest houses.  They will be sharing briefly in both worship services.
  • Sonshiner Choir Musical @ 5pm

 

MEMORIAL DAY SUNDAY HEADS UP

We were recently notified by the City of Lubbock that, due to the city joining the ERCOT electrical grid, the city will potentially experience power outages – for up to half an hour – on Sunday morning, May 30th.

As you know, just as with the threat of inclement weather, it could be BHBC experiences no power outage.  But, we’re not going to risk it.  The following schedule changes have been implemented for May 30th:

  • No Small Groups
  • One combined worship service at 10:45am

 

414 Evangelistic Events

  • May 26th; 6-8pm – Block Party in the BHBC parking lot

 

The question is not, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but rather, “Was there strong Bible learning?”

Teaching/Learning Tip of the Week: The Power of Story

***If you’re message/lesson is driven by stories, that’s never a good thing.  Stories don’t precipitate life-change.  Only the Word of God can do that.

“Faith comes from hearing the message,” Paul wrote, “and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

That said (as one of my grad-professors wrote), when a story can “help give meaning to the data,” use itJust like Jesus often did with his many parables.

Here’s a powerful example…

Francis Collins, is a genetic physicist and was Chairman of the Human Genome Project.  In his book, The Language of God, where he gives evidence of God’s existence through DNA, he tells a story to help his readers better grasp Jesus’ love for us.  Enjoy, nw

Once upon a time there was an old woman who used to meditate on the bank of the Ganges. One morning, finishing her meditation, she saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the strong current. As the scorpion was pulled closer, it got caught in roots that branched out far into the river. The scorpion struggled frantically to free itself but got more and more entangled. She immediately reached out to the drowning scorpion, which, as soon as she touched it, stung her. The old woman withdrew her hand but, having regained her balance, once again tried to save the creature. Every time she tried, however, the scorpion’s tail stung her so badly that her hands became bloody and her face distorted with pain. A passerby who saw the old woman struggling with the scorpion shouted, “What’s wrong with you, fool! Do you want to kill yourself to save that ugly thing?” Looking into the stranger’s eyes, she answered, “Because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting, why should I deny my own nature to save it?”

 

THERE’S POWER IN THE BLOOD

We’ve sung the hymns on this doctrine so many times it’s easy to forget the powerful truthon which it stands.  Next time you sing about the blood of the Lamb, keep this in mind…

Through Isaiah, God said,

“No amount of soap or lye can make you clean.  I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Compare that to this beloved quote by Charles Spurgeon:

“The moment that you begin to live by faith in his dear Son, there is not a sin left in God’s book against you.”

John recorded in his first letter and in Revelation,

…and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

[The children of God] triumphed over [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

 

HUMILIATION vs. ENCOURAGEMENT

I thought this was very interesting…

“Studies show we encode humiliation faster than encouragement… Believing in God’s love also involves conscious reflection to internalize it.” – Psychiatrist, Dr. Curt Thompson

Thompson observes,

It takes less than 3 seconds to feel shame.  It takes 30 to 90 seconds to receive a compliment.


As I consider this principle, I reconsider God’s command to “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Stay with me…

Perhaps part of “being still” is giving our minds the ‘pause’ it needs to know, to focus on, and receive the boundless love (a.k.a. ‘compliment’) God so desperately wants us to know.

 

CHRIST & THE OLD TESTAMENT

Unfortunately, most Christians have no clue about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.  The riches of the New Testament are best viewed in light of the Old.  This is precisely why Jesus, Paul and the other New Testament writers often appealed to the Old Testament scriptures.

Spurgeon, in his tome, Christ in the Old Testament, wrote,

The Old Testament was Christ’s Bible, and it is a Bible full of Christ.

This was one reason Jesus scolded the religious leaders:

You study the Scriptures (Old Testament) diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me. (emphasis mine)

This is precisely why Philip Yancey wrote his outstanding book on this topic, The Bible Jesus Read.

All this said,  contemplate the following quote  from Paul F. M. Zahl’s Grace in Practice:

“This point is crucial: [the Old Testament] law tells us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about ourselves. It holds the ‘mirror up to nature’ (William Shakespeare). But the law fails to convey the power to correct the maladies it diagnoses. The law is painful, like iodine on a cut, but another agent is required for healing to occur. That agent is grace [through the work of Christ on the Cross].”

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

In light of this passage from Numbers, the quote below by 19th century preacher, J.C. Ryle, takes on even stronger meaning.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Why Atheism Failed Me – Pt 2 of 3

I’ve recently updated my story of my return to my faith in Christ, dividing it up into a trilogy.  Since Part 1 is more of a synopsis, I submit to you Part 2, a more detailed account of why atheism failed me.  (Part 3 has become a small book.  As such, I am still editing.)

Pain and suffering are a part of life and, frankly, help serve as the No. 1 argument for atheism.  And for good reason.

So, when our world caves in around us – and we must, as Michelle told us that nightmarish day, ‘Today, we decide what we believe,’ what do we do?  Is it ok to doubt God?  You bet it is.  Even John the Baptist doubted.  God welcomes our doubts. He’s not afraid to be questioned.  Why?  Because, if you’re honest in your doubt, all roads lead back home.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick