I'm writing now from my iPad, and haven't a clue as to how to format my entries with color or cool fonts. Sorry if the layout is boring...hopefully the content won't be. :0)
I'm so excited that some of you want to join me and journey together through the New Testament over the next several months!
As you know if you've read much of this blog, or even the mission statement for it, I love studying the Bible inductively, and deeply desire for you to learn to do so as well.
However, I've found that I can be working through an inductive study and still have 10-15 minutes a day to simply read and soak in more of the Word.
Thus, as we walk this road through the New Testament together, I won't be treating it as an inductive study, per se, but without a doubt much of my training in studying that way will come out.
I find that after using the method of inductive study that I've learned through Precept Ministries International for these past 13 years, even when I'm reading I'm thinking inductively...which makes for an even richer reading experience.
Today was my start in reading the New Testament through for the second time, and I so enjoyed doing it with my children.
I'm just going to highlight some of the verses that jumped out at us this time through, but I want to encourage YOU to please post your "ah-ha" moments, as yours will likely be different than ours. This is where doing this study together will be fun and interactive.
My precious friend and spiritual mother, "Momma-Nan" as she's so lovingly called here, shared with me that when she first became a Believer she read through the entire Bible, and as she did so she underlined in red anything that really stood out to her.
That might be a neat thing to do to help you...I love that idea!
A word about Matthew chapter 1. It's IMPORTANT! Please don't skip it just because it has a bunch of names in it. Each one of them is important, and tells a part of the redemptive story of who our Lord is. Perhaps you'll even see a name that jumps out at you as one that you're familiar with.
OK...these are the verses that stood out for us today:
Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. (Matthew 1:5, 6 NASB)
I want to take a second here because these verses are so HUGE!!!
Salmon was married to Rahab...remember her? She was the prostitue who protected the spies when they went in to spy out the Promised Land before taking Jericho. The fact that she is in the geneaology of Jesus is so AWESOME to me. You see, Rahab forsook her life of sin and allied herself with the One true God of Israel, and God in His grace provided a Godly husband for her and blessed her with a son.
Instead of her story being all about her sin, through Jesus it became about her redeption...and then the redemption of of any sinner who puts their faith in Jesus Christ.
Ruth is a very similar story. She was a Moabite...born and rasied under hideous pagan worship. During a famine in Israel, her soon-to-be-father-in-law took his family into Moab where he and his two sons (who took Moabite wives even though they were told by God not to) lived long enough for Ruth to marry one of his sons.
Both sons and her father-in-law ended up dying in Moab, but God spared her mother-in-law Naomi, and Ruth made a decision to forsake her family and the pagan worship that she'd been raised under to make the same decision that her soon-to-be new husband's mother had made...to enter into covenant with the One true God...the God of Israel.
The Lord went on to bless her with a Godly husband and with a son who was the grandfather of King David.
I love this story so much, because it gives me such personal grace.
I too was like Rahab in many ways. I too was raised under false teaching and had to make a decision to turn from it completely. I too have seen the unmerited favor of God in my life through a husband who loves Him and cares for me as Boaz did for Ruth.
And I too have been given a mighty son in Christ...a young man who loves the Lord and is so hungry for His Word.
I just think it's AWESOME that Boaz was raised by a former prostitute turned redeemed daughter of the LORD, and that he didn't hesitate to take Ruth (a former pagan) as his wife when he saw her heart for the LORD GOD...and that together they raised a son (Obed) who raised a son (Jesse) who raised a son (David) who raised a son (Solomon)to know and love the LORD.
Not that any of those men were perfect...and certainly Solomon found himself in the very cesspools of pagan worship from which his great grandmother and great-great grandmothers had been saved...yet he had been given TRUTH...what he chose to do with it was up to him.
Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. (Matthew 1:11NASB)
I love that because of Josiah's obedience to God, by tearing down all of the high places in Judah, God protected his time in the land and he didn't have to live through the deportation. Again, God's grace...
But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:20 NASB)
Not sure where I've been...but this was the first time that I "saw" that God called Joseph "son of David." WOW! Super cool!!
but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1:25 NASB)
This verse makes it clear that Mary was not a virgin forever. That, along with the verses that we'll see as we go along that show us who Jesus' brothers were.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Matthew 2:3 NASB)
We all found this interesting...why was all Jerusalem troubled? Hmmm...
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NASB)
Their first reaction to seeing the King of Kings...do you see it?
Can you even being to imagine what yours will be?
Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. (Matthew 2:16 NASB)
According to the time determined from the magi...this seems to clear up the question about how old Jesus likely was when the magi found Him. He likely was about two years old, not the baby in the manger that we think of.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7 NASB)
A viper is a snake found in that area of the world that looks like a stick. Yet they are incredibly deadly. One may pick the "stick" up and be immediately struck to their death. John calls the Pharisees and Sadducees a BROOD of vipers...deadly, deceptive, looking one way while being something completely different.
"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11 NASB)
This verse, and the ones that follow it are SO IMPORTANT to read in context. When you slow down and study them in this way, you'll see that John is making several contrasts...being baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire are two different baptisms, not one.
One of them is a blessing, the other a curse...read these verses slowly, and ask the Lord for discernment.
You do NOT want to be baptised with fire!
I wrote about this in detail some years ago. If you do a search in the box above, you can read that post in it's complete form.
Next and final:
and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:17 NASB)
Jesus had just told John that they had to baptize Jesus in order to fulfill all righteousness, and immediately upon doing so, God the Father lets everyone know that Jesus is His Son, and that He is well pleased with Him.
Throughout the gospels we will see that Jesus came to fulfill every prophesy God the Father ever made about Him, and that Jesus obeyed every command the Father gave Him.
One thing you might want to do as you read through the gospels, is highlight every time that you see a prophesy fulfilled. You'll be blown away!
In closing...when you're reading the New Testament and see words in ALL CAPS, those are words that have been quoted from the Old Testament. Your Bible may have the cross-references in the margins. If so, I encourage you to read them in context of the chapter from which they come.
If that's too much this first time through...don't sweat it.
OK...time to share your insights...as little or as much as you like.
My posts won't always be this long, as I won't have this much time...just wanted to share today, I suppose. :0)
When you do post, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let it be what YOU are seeing from your own personal reading time. Please don't quote what your commentary tells you; what your Momma told you; or what you heard on the radio.
This whole adventure is so that you and I will read and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In closing...if the same person who sent me anonymous comments when I was blogging before chooses to do it again, I will no longer refrain from letting others know who you are. This blog is for God's glory, and not to be used to propogate your false teaching. I DO NOT want comments from you, and I expect you to respect my wishes!
I know EVERY SINGLE TIME that you visit my blog, and I see EVERY SINGLE PAGE that you visit...you may read all you like, but do NOT download another picture of my family and do NOT comment.
To everyone else...sorry you had to read that little digression above...but it had to be said.
I'm not proofing - sorry for any misspellings today.
Much love in Jesus,