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Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

It Doesn’t Take Long…

January 4, 2012

John Allan

It doesn’t take long to learn a lot. If you are following our Bible reading schedule you are already 12 chapters into the book of Genesis and have covered a lot of ground.

Consider a sampling of what you have already read:

Sunday (Genesis 1-3): You read about Creation, Adam and Eve and the ugliness of sin. When Eve and Adam sinned they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Sin separates man from God. In Genesis 3:15 you read the first Bible prophecy about Jesus Christ: Jesus is the seed of woman that crushed the head of Satan.

Monday (Genesis 4-6): You read about Cain killing Abel and could observe God’s care for life. God said Abel’s blood “cries out to Me from the ground.” Cain was punished for his sin. You also read the genealogy of Adam down through Noah and were introduced to Noah. In a time of worldwide wickedness Noah was a just man. God instructed Noah to build an ark so he could be saved from the coming flood that would destroy the wicked.

Tuesday (Genesis 7-9): You read about the flood and how Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives (eight people in all) went on the ark along with the animals. You also read about their coming off the ark and receiving the promise from God that He would never again destroy all flesh by flood waters. The rainbow was placed in the sky as a visible reminder of God’s promise.

Wednesday (Genesis 9-12): You read about Babel and the Tower of Babel. God had commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. At Babel people attempted to bunch together and “make a name” for themselves instead of bringing glory to God. By confusing their language God thwarted their rebellion (see Genesis 11:9) and kept man from committing even greater sin. Additionally, you were introduced to Abram (later known as Abraham), a key Bible character. In Genesis 12:3 a tremendously important promise was made to Abram and one that will develop through the Bible.

That’s just four days and we have not even touched on everything from those 12 chapters that could be mentioned. What will you learn tomorrow? Keep reading and find out!

If you haven’t started reading yet it is not too late to start! In the course of 12 months the 12 chapters you are behind can easily be made up. You can still do it!

Posted in Bible

Read the Bible in 2012

December 15, 2011

John Allan

As previously announced on this web site, the Clinton Church of Christ encourages everybody to make the commitment to read the Bible in its entirety by the end of 2012.

The Bible is the inspired word of God and therefore must be our guide for all that we say and do in life if we are to be pleasing to God the Father. Whether you read the Bible regularly or this will be your first time through we encourage you to search the pages of God’s word.

There are different methods people have used to read the Bible in a year. Some choose to read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation. Some read a little bit of the Old Testament and New Testament each day. Other methods exist, also.

Whichever method you choose we simply encourage you to read! In approximately 15 minutes per day you can read through the entire Bible in one year. You can do it, and you will benefit greatly from it!

We have a limited number of free Bible reading calendar bookmarks available by request. Additionally, various reading plans exist for free on various web sites including this one.

Throughout 2012 we will feature articles on our web site to assist readers in gleaning information and insight from God’s word as we read through the Bible. It is our sincere hope that you will join us in searching the riches of God’s wonderful word.

If you have any questions, would like to inform us of your intent to read the Bible or would like to request a free Bible Reading Calendar bookmark (supplies are limited) please contact us.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 109:105; NKJV)

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17; NKJV)

Posted in Announcements, Bible

Calling Clinton Back to the Bible!

November 8, 2011

John Allan

The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is through the Bible that God communicates the gospel to mankind today. That makes the Bible no ordinary book, but an extraordinary book. There is simply no book that can match the value and significance of the Bible.

Unfortunately, there is a great lack of Bible knowledge in our nation and even in our state today. In hopes of re-kindling interest in the word of God within the city of Clinton we invite you to commit to reading the entire Bible by the end of 2012.

If you are planning to do this and would like to let us know you can do so via the methods presented on our “Contact Us” page.

Posted in Bible

External Evidence of Inspiration

May 16, 2011

John Allan

One week ago we noted that there is evidence within the Bible that points to the fact that the Bible is from God. These proofs in the Bible attesting to the inspiration of the Bible can be called internal evidence. In the following paragraphs we will briefly consider a few discoveries from outside of the Bible that point to the Bible’s inspiration. These can be included in a category called external evidence.

In Psalms 8:8 we read about “the paths of the seas.” Today we know plenty about ocean currents, and it might be easy to think that this has always been the case. A man named Matthew Fontaine Maury is often referred to as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for his contributions to the field of oceanography. Maury’s hard work resulted in finding ways to drastically reduce the time it took for ships to travel on the ocean. Maury did this monumental work in the 1800s, literally thousands of years after Psalms 8:8 was penned.

How did the psalmist know something that took the rest of the world thousands of years to figure out? His message did not come from himself, but from God.

Perhaps you remember in Genesis 17:12 that God commanded circumcision to occur on the eighth day. Unbeknownst to man’s mind until more recent years was the fact that vitamin K and prothrombin levels were at their peak the eighth day. In other words: while circumcision in the first few days of a newborn’s life could have caused hemorrhaging, the eighth day was the safest time to perform the procedure.

How could Moses have known that the eighth day was the best day to circumcise? Moses did not, but God did. Israel circumcised on the eighth day not because they had any concern or knowledge about vitamin K but because God commanded them to. The fact that this is the safest time to do it demonstrates that the command came not from the mind of man but from God Himself.

These are only two examples. Many other examples of external evidence (geographic and historical accuracy, etc.) can be studied and appreciated as they also demonstrate that the Bible is the inspired word of God.

-John Allan
Minister, Clinton Church of Christ

Posted in Bible

Does Inspiration Matter?

May 9, 2011

John Allan

Popular opinion about the Bible is not as high in some places as it used to be. There are communities that once stood firmly in the belief that the Bible is the word of God that no longer have such widespread conviction. In places where the Bible was once respected and read it now sits collecting dust and neglected.

Distractions are one reason that folks have gotten away from the regular study of the Bible. There are so many things that can be done that we can easily get occupied in good things and neglect the best thing. However, another reason the Bible is ignored is because the notion that it is the inspired word of God is not as widely embraced as it has been in the past.

Does it matter if the Bible is inspired by God or not? Absolutely! Strip the Bible of divine authorship and you have a book that is no better nor more meaningful than any other book to be found on this planet. If the Bible is just an ordinary book why would I build my life around it? Even if I chose to do so, what grounds would I have for urging others to do the same?

Do not be surprised if people who do not like the thought of being accountable to a higher power will do their best to discredit the Bible. They will do precisely that, because if they can convince themselves that the Bible is not from God they have convinced themselves that it is not binding on man.

There are evidences in the Bible (internal) and in the world (external) that show the Bible is inspired by God. Sunday (May 8, 2011) morning’s sermon featured internal evidence and next week’s bulletin article (Lord willing) will highlight external evidence. The aim is to renew our confidence in the fact that the Bible is the inspired word of God.

There is no book greater than the Bible and we can do no greater service than to know and obey it!

-John Allan
Minister, Clinton Church of Christ

Posted in Bible

A Short Lesson

May 2, 2011

John Allan

In Luke 19:1-10 the Bible tells us about a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus as he entered and passed through Jericho but he encountered a problem. Zacchaeus was short and because a crowd had assembled he was not able to see who Jesus was.

Here is a man who wanted to see Jesus. An obstacle was in his way. How would Zacchaeus react?

He could have made excuses. After all, he made the effort to come and see Jesus and surely that was good enough. Certainly God would understand Zacchaeus’ personal situation and excuse him. Nobody would deny that Zacchaeus was short, and nobody would deny that Zacchaeus could not see over taller people. Who could blame him for just going home?

Thankfully, Zacchaeus did not take this route. His desire was to see Jesus and he would not let an obstacle stop him.

He could have taken somebody’s word for it. Since Zacchaeus was short, he could have asked a taller person in the crowd to tell him what Jesus looked like. This would have been better than nothing, I suppose, but it still would not be as good as seeing for himself.

Zacchaeus did not choose this option and neither should we. There is no short supply of people who would be happy to tell you what is pleasing to God without insisting that you study the Bible for yourself to be certain. Do not settle for a second-hand faith: go straight to the source and rely on God’s word.

He found a way to see the Lord. Zacchaeus did not let the obstacle stop him from his objective. He climbed up into a tree so that he could see Jesus for himself. Jesus saw him and said “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (Luke 19:5b. NKJV).

Today we do not see Jesus by crowding near a street or climbing up in a tree. We see Jesus by studying the Bible. Many do not come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ because they will not invest the time and energy to learn about Him. Others make excuses or take somebody else’s word for it. May we have the heart of Zacchaeus: a spirit that refuses to stop short of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!

Posted in Bible

You’ll Find it in the Bible

March 21, 2011

John Allan

Not long ago an advertising campaign for an area city focused on all the benefits the city had to offer.

The advertising included the slogan “You’ll find it in Flowood.” The idea behind the slogan was that the city had everything a person would want and need for a home or simply a place to spend time. While it is understood that the city does not have literally everything you could imagine it is a nice city and has plenty to do.

If that slogan and marketing campaign could get people to take a look at one of our neighboring cities, then maybe a similar slogan can get us to renew our appreciation for the greatest book ever written: the Bible.

Whatever story you are looking for, you’ll find it in the Bible. Don’t believe me? Let us consider.

-Are you looking for stories of military conquest? You’ll find it in the Bible.

-Do you want to read about a woman from humble background becoming queen of a nation? You’ll find it in the Bible.

-Do you like horror stories, complete with plagues? You’ll find it in the Bible.

-Maybe you prefer stories where a villain’s wicked plan is thwarted at the last moment and he is punished. You’ll find it in the Bible.

-Do you like stories of shipwrecks? You can find it in the Bible.

-Looking for stories with colorful, bold and heroic characters? You will definitely find it in the Bible.

-Perhaps you are more the poetic type. You’ll find plenty in the Bible for you, too.

The Bible has stories that can touch all kinds of people because the Bible was written for all kinds of people. God would not give us a book that He expected everybody to live by and then make it something nobody would want to read.

The most important story in the Bible is the story of Jesus Christ. He was in the beginning with God (John 1:1-2), He sacrificed His life for our sins (Matthew 26:28) and He overcame the grave (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Are you looking for the story of redemption? How man can be forgiven of sins and be pleasing to God?

You’ll find it in…you guessed it! The Bible.

Posted in Bible

Handling the Madness

March 14, 2011

John Allan

This is the time of year the college basketball world refers to as “March Madness.” A few things come to mind that might be relevant for Christians to think about.

1. Some people will spend more time in study to fill out their tournament brackets than they spend in their Bible.

2. March is a busy month for college basketball teams: lots of travel, lots of games and little rest. Yet, all that there is to do will not keep the teams from pursuing the prize. Christians are striving for an eternal reward; life gets busy but we must not let all of that keep us from pursuing our prize.

A few things to think about as you get another work week rolling.

-John Allan
Minister, Clinton Church of Christ

Posted in Bible, Miscellaneous

Swift to Hear

February 7, 2011

John Allan

James 1:19 gives us the ingredients for communicating with others: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (NKJV).

James’ recipe has just three parts. Consider them briefly:

Part #1: Be swift to hear.

How many problems are created because somebody failed to listen properly? I do not have any idea, but I am certain the number is astronomical. It takes training to listen carefully and even more determination to want to listen carefully.

Could you imagine if a boss ordered their employee to place an order for seventeen items but the employee did not listen closely and heard “seventy”! Is listening closely important? Absolutely!

If we do not listen carefully we might miss something important, and that could make all the difference. Many arguments would never start and much grief would be avoided if we made it a point to take the time to listen.

Part #2: Be slow to speak.

Sometimes our failure to be slow to speak is the same reason we are not swift to hear: we want so badly to say something that we do not pay attention to what is being said to us. We are just waiting for them to close their mouth so that we can open ours. This is a good way to start an argument but a bad way to communicate.

At other times we are not slow to speak because we do not take the time process what we have heard. Have you ever been pressured to make a decision quickly and later regretted the decision that you made? A little more time would have been helpful!

One danger of speaking too quickly is that by doing so you might speak before you have all the facts on the matter. It is better to be patient than to have to make a retraction later.

Over the years I have written on many topics and communicated with many people. I have made it a personal policy on some matters to force myself to wait 24 hours to comment. Particularly in heated issues we do well to breathe and give our mind time to make sense of what is going on.

It should also be noted that sometimes the best response to a particular matter might be to keep your mouth closed. Something that had your blood boiling and demanded a response one day might not be as infuriating once you have had time to consider it with a calm mind. Even if it does still demand a response you will be able to reply more sensibly.

It is worth the wait.

Part #3: Be slow to wrath.

If you cannot do the first two ingredients then you will probably wind up missing the third, too. If you do not pay attention to what somebody is saying to you and then throw out your remarks with haste then the odds are good that you will soon have a full-blown argument on your hands.

Some folks like to argue. They enjoy being angry and making others angry, too. This is not in keeping with James 1:19.

How are you at communicating? Do you listen well? Do you think before you speak? If you do both of those things you will spare yourself a lot of anger and frustration. While the three parts we have considered are helpful in any communication they are particularly helpful to keep in mind during intense and heated moments.

It has been said that he who keeps his tongue keeps his soul. The way we communicate is important to God. Strive to do so in a way that meets with His approval.

Posted in Bible, Morals

Moses and the Parting of the Red Sea.

September 27, 2010

John Allan

It was big news this past week: some researchers believe they have unearthed a natural explanation for the parting of the Red Sea recorded in Exodus 14. Through the use of computer models they found that an east wind blowing at 63 miles-per-hour for 12 hours straight could have created the conditions necessary for people to pass on dry land.

Sounds exciting, right? After all, the Bible even mentions God using “a strong east wind” (Exodus 14:22) in connection with the Red Sea parting. So, what are we to make of this? I suspect most will have one of three general responses:

 1.) Some will conclude that God used natural laws to part the Red Sea (non-miraculous providence instead of a miracle).

 2.) Some will conclude that the Red Sea crossing has a scientific explanation and there is no need to believe that a higher power was involved in any way.

 3.) Some will conclude that the researchers have not found the explanation.

Before you make your conclusion consider the following:

The Exodus account has the water parting when Moses lifted up his rod and stretched out his hand over the sea (Exodus 14:16, 21) and the water returning when Moses stretched his hand over the sea on the other side (Exodus 14:26-28). Does that sound like a natural occurrence to you? If the parting of the Red Sea is to be explained through purely scientific means then Moses had no impact at all, he was simply in the right place at the right time. This does not harmonize with the Bible.

Significantly, the computer model parted a portion of the Nile delta; not the Red Sea. Researchers ruled out the Red Sea because its north-to-south flow could not be parted by the east wind in their model. In other words, if this model were the explanation for Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry land they did not cross the Red Sea at all! Again, this is inconsistent with the Bible.

It is not new for scholars to try to debunk supernatural events in the Bible with natural explanations. If they can do so they discredit the Bible and therefore also discredit the God of the Bible. Our belief in the Bible as the inspired word of God must prompt us to reject explanations that do not harmonize with it.

Posted in Bible, Christian Evidences

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