Category Archives: Faith

On the Public Reading of Scripture

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

(1 Timothy 4:6-16 ESV)

 

In the highlighted phrase above it is clear that Paul is talking about reading Scripture allowed publicly in the congregation. Something all churches should do, and something that seems to be rare now-a-days.

I want to take a different approach to the idea above though, on the individual Christian reading Scripture publicly. As I haven’t been working for the last four months, and even before I lost my job, I would go to a restaurant to eat and read the Bible. While I hadn’t done so in an attempt to evangelize, but only because it is comfortable and convenient, I have found it does have some interesting results.

I am approached by believers who tell me how good it is that I am reading the Bible, and in public, as if that was a challenge in America? And, more so, I am approached by people who aren’t Christians, who seem to show an interest in hearing what I have to say. And, on occasion, I see people who are offended by me reading the Bible silently to myself. Those are the fun ones!

It has brought about interesting conversations, with some hearing the Gospel, some being convicted that they aren’t reading the Bible, and some asking for a recommendation to a good church. It clearly isn’t a substitute for one-on-one evangelism, but it does open the door for conversations where the Gospel can be shared, it is convenient (we are all reading the Bible daily anyway, right?), and it gives an excuse to sit in a restaurant and sip a glass of tea.

Do you read the Bible in public? Have you had any interesting conversations because of it?

The Perfection of Beauty

Beauty is sold in exchange for a “dime”
Nothing to attract us to You, yet we worship Your creation as fine
Captivated by it’s forbidden fruit

Pleasing our senses, so we suppress the truth
And eat the lie
Media’s fig leaf deadening our soul and mind
Sin blinding us to You
The only objective Beauty that’s truly absolute
Hidden in the symmetry of Your goodness, glory and truth
Each attribute working harmoniously
Justice with patience, wrath with graciousness
Omnipotence with humility, long-suffering with faithfulness
Each a note to a sweet melody
The ultimate hymn entitled “God’s Beauty”
Immutable, no change

Because “dimes” get lost daydreaming in dark gutters
Unable to hear the call to wake up
They, the noose, dripping honeysuckle
Lips pasted on with Mac makeup
If they truly beheld Your beauty
You’d make magazines and Mattel go bankrupt
You sent Your Beloved to be lifted up
On a beautiful, seemingly ugly cross
The visible image of Your hiddenness
Only You are beautiful and yet invisible
True beauty is spiritual

Therefore, sanctify our worldly minds
Your complexion is unappealing to lustful eyes
Besides, apart from new birth in Christ
Sinners beholding Your Holy beauty would die
Therefore, beauty residing in the eye of the beholder is a lie
It is found in the Beautiful One- The Most High
– Shai Linne – The Perfection of Beauty

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. – Exodus 34:6-8 ESV