“And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are'” (Acts 15:36 ESV).
Peter at the Peter Pan replica statue in Queens Gardens, Perth
For some time we have wanted to visit Perth, Western Australia, where Vivien and I went to train for the ministry, became engaged in Kings Park, and pastored our first two churches. Perth is the most remote of any state or provincal capital city in the world, boasts the beautiful Swan River and the highest boat ownership in the world! It is also the administration center for the massive iron ore trade to Asian countries. We spent some nine years in Perth and left in 1965 with two children, just 50 years ago! We thought we would like to see what had changed (just about everything!) and had one contact in the metropolitan area and one in a country town. Both these men were teenagers in our second church when we left. When we booked the visit, to us it was just ticking off another item on our “bucket list” but God had other plans. Read More
To many people, the Bible is an old-fashioned book that’s fine for little old ladies and funerals but of limited or no value in their daily life. How wrong they are! The Bible can be an exciting book and more up-to-date than tomorrow’s newspaper.
I want to explore with you this verse from Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart“ (NKJV). So we can enjoy the Bible as a book that delights us, for if one person found God’s words enjoyable, then all people can.
E.W. Bullinger in the Introduction to his 1907 book How to Enjoy the Bible, wrote, “The root of all the evils which abound in the spiritual sphere at the present day lies in the fact that the Word and the words of God are not fed upon, digested, and assimilated, as they ought to be. If we ask the question, Why is this the case? the answer is, The Bible is not enjoyed because the Bible is not understood. The methods and rules by which alone such an understanding may be gained are not known or followed; hence the Bible is a neglected book.” Read More
One vital part of the teaching program of most churches is missing: that of teaching believers how to enjoy their Bible. Most seem content to have followers in the Sunday service as spectators to a show plus some points to help them in the coming week, and don’t forget to come next Sunday! I want to demonstrate how easy it is to get daily encouragement from reading your own Bible.
Possibly the most well-known and constantly used passage is Psalm 23, written by David. It is almost universally used at funerals, the hymn versions are also favorites, and I would guess a majority of church attendees could recite it from memory. It is really best discussed at Easter, as it follows Psalm 22, the psalm of the Cross. I even found my notes when I preached on verse 1 on Palm Sunday in 1965 and 1982 (yes, Pete and Repeat!). Let’s use it to show how to enjoy your Bible without a college degree! The first suggestion is this: simply read what is written! Read More