Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On Bible reading: Why Are So Many Christians Bored with the Bible? by Marshall Segal
Unfortunately, many Christians love the idea of the Bible, but not really the Bible itself. We love having a Bible close by, even within reach, but don’t make time to open it on an average day. We talk about Bible reading like we talk about cutting calories or cleaning our house. We’re grateful for the results, but we don’t wake up dying to do it again. It sounds like a fine thing to do, until we have to choose what we won’t do in order to make time for it.
If that’s you, you probably also know a Christian who loves reading their Bible. They can’t get enough of it. As far as you know, they would just as likely go a whole day without food as without the Bible. Their happy discipline convicts and, if you’re honest, sometimes even annoys you. Who is it in your life who is most likely to pray like this? (click here to read more)
On marriage: 5 Things No One Tells You before You’re Married by Debra Fileta
Now that my husband and I have been together for over a decade, we look back at our time of preparing for marriage and realize that there is so much about the day-to-day aspects of marriage that no one really told us about.
From the practicalities of sharing a house to the practices of conflict management—a lot tends to be left unsaid. I’m thankful for the older and wiser mentors who helped us in our transition to marriage, and told us the truth we may have otherwise never heard.
Now, as a professional counselor specializing in marriage and relationships, I often work with couples who are struggling in their marriages. While I certainly believe that much of conflict in relationships stems from issues of the heart, often I do see that couples are struggling in marriage simply because of a lack of preparation. So, Here are five things we’ve learned—but no one ever told us—about marriage: (click here to read more)
On optimism and realism as a Christian: To Hope All Things in a World We Cannot Trust by Barnabas Piper
We are to have faith in God and love humanity, not have faith in humanity. Humanity will be a perpetual disappointment if we do that. It will lie, cheat, steal, and desert. It is capable of remarkable good, but aside from Christ is rooted in sin and will gravitate back to it – to selfish motives at others’ expense, including you.
Yet we are to hope all things and believe all things and love our neighbors as ourselves and treat others as we want to be treated. These realities seem incongruous. How can we believe and hope all things about someone or something that we cannot and should not trust? How can we assume the best about someone while also assuming they will disappoint? (click here to read more)
On God speaking: Why Doesn’t God Still Speak Audibly? by Patrick Schreiner
While the opening sonata and the closing allegro are different, there are also similar sounds woven through each. Questions about the revelation of God can sometimes be answered with heightened priority on personal time with an immaterial being. But the New Testament emphasizes meeting God through Christ in the performance of deeds with the body of Christ, the church. We become disciples by engaging in the communal practices of faith—repentance, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, preaching, prayer, and singing.
We do these physical acts because we worship a God who is seen in Christ’s face. Just as God was seen in the Old Testament, so too by the Spirit we “see” God in Jesus. When we meet with the people of God, we are gathering with the body of Christ. And as you participate in the Lord’s Supper, you are partaking of him spiritually.
While we may read the Old Testament and wonder why God isn’t showing himself like he once did, we can rejoice since our revelation is superior. Its greatness doesn’t just come in a spiritual sighting, but in a true experience of the new creation, through the Spirit, which is found in Jesus and his church. (click here to read more)