Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!

Over the last few years October 31st has become one of my favorite holidays. It was the night that Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door and I will forever be grateful to him, and men like him, for their stand on the glory of God in salvation.

Below I've collected a few links of interest regarding the day:

The Pyromaniac take on Luther and this day

Desiring God has an interesting post on Luther's first thesis and his last words

Stand to Reason talk of the effect of that day

The Thinklings lay out their own 95 theses

And if that's not enough, Tim Challies has his roundup of reformation posts here.

Go watch Luther tonight and have a great Friday.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


I like going through my books on occasion. This happens to be one of those occasions (one of necessity not of mere jollity.)

You see, I have some exciting news. On Tuesday I won a free, yes that's right, FREE bed from Sealy. Not just some lame promotion bed either...any bed that I want from their entire line. (In case you don't know, my mother's furniture store where I work sells Sealy. I went to a Sealy event on Tuesday with my dad.)

So, because of the new bed, an upgrade from a twin size to a queen size, I have to do a bit of re-arranging in my room. I decided to bite the bullet and transfer the rest of my books from the house to the office.

Long story short: I had no idea that I had collected so much fiction over the years.

You might not think it much, but I think that 20 fiction books is a lot...considering how often I read one. I've just started reading The Sun Also Rises which I inherited from one of my parents recently. (They don't know to whom it belonged.)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

tuesday martyr (a day late)

I would have never thought that a modern day martyr would be found in a place like Mexico. I know that Mexico has quite a bit of corruption, but I did not think that Christians would be the point of some of that violence.

This is from Voice of the Martyrs:

On August 23, three Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, were brutally killed by their neighbor after he blamed them for his daughter’s stomach ailment. Antonio Gomez blamed his Christian neighbor, Pedro Gomez Diaz and his family, for his 11-year-old daughter's stomach ailment and accused the Christian family of practicing witchcraft, Compass Direct News reported.

Gomez and seven of his friends entered the Christian family’s home and attacked them with machetes. Pedro, his wife, Marcela, and their oldest son, Rene, were hacked to death. Six of the other Diaz children were seriously wounded. At last report, the eight men involved in the attack were being held in a jail, Compass Direct News added.

The Voice of the Martyrs actively supports persecuted Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, with literature and other resources following incidents of persecution. VOM encourages you to pray for their protection and courage during challenging times. Pray for the surviving Diaz family as they mourn their parents and oldest sibling. Ask God to give them comfort in knowing that Christ is victorious over death.

May God grant peace and courage to those who face persecution in Chiapas.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

the rule and reign of Jesus

"...there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." 1 Corinthians 8:6b

The ruling and reigning of Jesus should be constantly monitoring our thoughts and actions. We should be seeking to understand how "all things were created through him and for him." It is that last bit, "for him" that we seem to somehow forget.

Tonight, at senior high, I gave a rough outline of what this doctrine practically means in our lives.

One, it means that things that happen to us (or others) that are bad, such as: death, sickness, famine, disaster..., are ultimately for Jesus. There is nothing that happens that does not finally make him look amazing.

I talked about Job as the prime example and that Job asked those questions of God. The why questions...which are natural and not a sin to ask. It is, I believe, good to ask these questions of God. It is not good to assume things of God.

God's answer, in essence, to Job is "Why not? How do you know the finality of all things if you don't even know the beginning of all things?"

God is an infinite being and we are finite. We want to make this world about us (ourselves and other people) when in reality it is about God. Trouble brews when we turn the tables on God and count him as guilty for calamity. He is in control and sovereignly let it happen...but he is not guilty of a criminal act. All things are pointing towards him because all things were made to do just that.

Two, in this coming election (and all elections) we make a mistake to get riled up for what a particular candidate can do for us. The question must always be "Who do I think God can best use to call us to repentance and to make Him look awesome?"

(That doesn't mean you vote for a person who claims to be a christian all the time.)

Instead of focusing on the issues that affect us we should focus on those that dismay God. This world and its leaders are not here for our pleasure, they are here for God's glory. Vote accordingly.

Three, respect for those in authority rests on respect of God's authority. If God is ultimately in control and places people in places of authority...then we must respect them. A prime example would those folks in 1 Samuel 10 who despise Saul. They are called "worthless men" (which sounds nicer than it is) for despising a terrible king. We must never despise those in authority over us. Only if they deny us our right to proclaim the good news of Jesus do we have the right to usurp their authority.

There are more examples that come from a worldview that is founded on the truth that everything here is for Jesus and his glory. He is ruling and reigning in an active way by "holding the world together by the power of his word."

Let us live in light of it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

tuesday martyr (a day late)

I found this in a copy of Foxe's book of martyrs that I have and it took me awhile to find it elsewhere (it seems it is not in most modern editions of the book.)

I did find it in the Acts and Monuments of the Church. So, below is the story of Romanus. Within it is also the mention of a young boy and his mother. What courage for Christ is displayed. (It is a bit long...)

Pitiless Galerius, with his grand captain Asclepiades, violently invaded the city of Antioch, in tending by force of arms to drive all Christians to renounce utterly their pure religion. The Christians, as God would, were at that time ongregated together, to whom Romanus hastily ran, declaring that the wolves were at hand which would devour the Christian flock; but fear not, said he, neither let this imminent peril disturb you, my brethren. Brought was it to pass, by the great grace of God working in Romanus, that old men and matrons, fathers and mothers, young men and maidens, were all of one will and mind, most ready to shed their blood in defence of their Christian profession. Word was brought unto the captain, that the band of armed soldiers was not able to wrest the staff of faith out of the hand of the armed congregation, and all by reason that one Romanus so mightily did encourage them, that they stick not to offer their naked throats, wishing gloriously to die for the name of their Christ. Seek out that rebel, (quoth the captain,) and bring him to me, that he may answer for the whole sect. Apprehended he was, and, bound as a sheep appointed to the slaughterhouse, was presented to the emperor, who with wrathful countenance beholding him, said, What! art thou the author of this sedition? Art thou the cause why so many shall lose their lives? By the gods I swear thou shalt smart for it, and first in thy flesh shalt thou suffer the pains whereunto thou hast encouraged the hearts of thy fellows. Romanus answered, Thy sentence, O emperor, I joyfully embrace; I refuse not to be sacrificed for my brethren, and that by as cruel means as thou mayest invent; and whereas thy soldiers were repelled from the Christian congregation, that so happened, because it lay not in idolaters and worshippers of devils to enter into the holy house of God, and to pollute the place of true prayer. Then Asclepiades, wholly inflamed with this stout answer, commanded him to be trussed up, and his bowels drawn out. The executioners themselves, more pitiful in heart than the captain, said, Not so, sir; this man is of noble parentage, unlawful it is to put a nobleman to so unnoble a death. Scourge him then with whips (quoth the captain) with pieces of lead at the ends. Instead of tears, sighs, and groans, Romanus sung psalms all the time of his whipping, requiring them not to favour him for nobility's sake; Not the blood of my progenitors, (saith he,) but Christian profession, maketh me noble. Then with great power of spirit he inveighed against the captain, laughing to scorn the false gods of the heathen, with the idolatrous worshipping of them, affirming the God of the Christians to be the true God that created heaven and earth, before whose judicial seat all nations shall appear. But the wholesome words of the martyr were as oil to the fire of the captain's fury. The more the martyr spake, the madder was he, insomuch that he commanded the martyr's sides to be lanced with knives, until the bones appeared white again. Sorry am I, O captain, (quoth the martyr,) not for that my flesh shall be thus cut and mangled, but for thy cause am I sorrowful, who, being corrupted with damnable errors, seducest others. The second time he preached at large the living God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, his well-beloved Son, eternal life through faith in his blood, expressing therewith the abomination of idolatry, with a vehement exhortation to worship and adore the living God. At these words Asclepiades commanded the tormentors to strike Romanus on the mouth, that his teeth being stricken out, his pronunciation at leastwise might be impaired. The commandment was obeyed, his face buffeted, his eyelids torn with their nails, his cheeks scotched with knives, the skin of his beard was plucked by little and little from the flesh; finally, his seemly face was wholly defaced. The meek martyr said, I thank thee, O captain, that thou hast opened unto me many mouths, whereby I may preach my Lord and Saviour Christ. Look how many wounds I have, so many mouths I have lauding and praising God. The captain, astonished with this singular constancy, commanded them to cease from the tortures. He threateneth cruel fire, he revileth the noble martyr, he blasphemeth God, saying, Thy crucified Christ is but a yesterday's God, the gods of the Gentiles are of most antiquity.

Here again Romanus, taking good occasion, made a long oration of the eternity of Christ, of his human nature, of the death and satisfaction of Christ for all mankind. Which done, he said, Give me a child, O captain, but seven years of age, which age is free from malice and other vices, wherewith riper age is commonly infected, and thou shalt hear what he will say His request was granted. A boy was called out of the multitude, and set before him. Tell me, my babe, (quoth the martyr,) whether thou think it reason that we worship one Christ, and in Christ one Father, or else that we worship infinite gods? Unto whom the babe answered, That certainly, whatsoever it be that men affirm to be God, must needs be one, which
with one, is one and the same; and inasmuch as this one is Christ, of necessity Christ must be the true God; for that there be many gods, we children cannot believe. The captain, hereat clean amazed, said, Thou young villain and traitor, where and of whom learnedst thou this lesson? Of my mother, (quoth the child,) with whose milk I sucked in this lesson, that I must believe in Christ. The mother was called, and she gladly appeared. The captain commanded the child to be horsed up and scourged. The pitiful beholders of this pitiless act could not temper themselves from tears; the joyful and glad mother alone stood by with dry cheeks; yea, she rebuked her sweet babe for craving a draught of cold water; she charged him to thirst after the cup that the infants of Bethlehem once drank of, forgetting their mothers' milk and paps; she willed him to remember little Isaac, who, beholding the sword wherewith, and the altar whereon, he should be sacrificed, willingly proffered his tender neck to the dint of his father's sword. Whilst this counsel was in giving, the butcherly torturer plucked the skin from the crown of his head, hair and all. The mother cried, Suffer, my child, anon thou shalt pass to Him that will adorn thy naked head with a crown of eternal glory. The mother counselleth, the child is counselled; the mother encourageth, the babe is encouraged, and received the stripes with smiling countenance. The captain, perceiving the child invincible, and himself vanquished, committeth the silly soul, the blessed babe, the child uncherished, to the stinking prison, commanding the torments of Romanus to be renewed and increased, as chief author of this evil.

Thus was Romanus brought forth again to new stripes, the punishments to be renewed and received upon his old sores, insomuch as the bare bones appeared, the flesh all torn away.

Yea, no longer could the tyrant forbear, but needs he must draw nearer to the sentence of death. Is it painful to thee (saith he) to tarry so long alive? A flaming fire, doubt thou not, shall be prepared for thee by and by, wherein thou and that boy, thy fellow of rebellion, shall be consumed into ashes. Romanus and the babe were led to the place of execution. As they laid hands on Romanus, he looked back, saying, I appeal from this thy tyranny, O judge unjust, unto the righteous throne of Christ, that upright Judge, not because I fear thy cruel torments and merciless handlings, but that thy judgments may be known to be cruel and bloody. Now when they welcome to the place, the tormentor required the child of the mother, for she had taken it up in her arms; and she, only kissing it, delivered the babe; Farewell, she said, my sweet child. And as the hangman applied his sword to the babe's neck, she sang on this manner:

All laud and praise with heart and voice,
O Lord, we yield to thee,
To whom the death of all thy saints
We know most dear to be.

The innocent's head being cut off, the mother wrapped it up in her garment, and laid it to her breast. On the other side a mighty fire was made, whereinto Romanus was cast, who said that he should not burn; wherewith a great storm arose (if it be true) and quenched the fire. The captain gave in commandment that his tongue should be cut out. Out was it plucked by the hard roots and cut off: nevertheless he spake, saying, He that speaketh Christ shall never want a tongue; think not that the voice that uttereth Christ hath need of the tongue to be the minister. The captain at this, half out of his wits, bare in hand that the hangman deceived the sight of the people by some subtle sleight and crafty conveyance. Not so, (quoth the hangman,) if you suspect my deed, open his mouth, and diligently search the roots of his tongue. The captain at length, being confounded with the fortitude and courage of the martyr, straitly commandeth him to be brought back into the prison, and there to be strangled; where, his sorrowful life and pains being ended, he now enjoyeth quiet rest in the Lord, with perpetual hope of his miserable body to be restored
again with his soul into a better life, where no tyrant shall have any power.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

the ascension

Tonight at senior high youth I will speak about the ascension of Jesus Christ and what that means to us, as believers in Him.

I think there are several reasons why it is important for us to realize He ascended and for what purpose He went.

The first I think is fairly obvious, since Jesus tells us one of the main reasons He will be leaving the earth after His resurrection. He talks about in John 16:4-15. I'll summarize by saying that He left in order that the Holy Spirit would come to 1)convict the world of sin, 2)convict the world of righteousness, 3)convict the world of judgment, 4)guide us into all truth, 5)Glorify God through Jesus.

Hebrews 4:14 gives us another reason that He left and "went through the heavens." It was so that we could have hope and confidence and hold fast to our faith. This leads to the last two points.

He left to rule and reign as is spelled out in Ephesians 1:15-23. He went to act as our advocate and High Priest. We, therefore, place our hope and confidence in the great, powerful, mighty, resurrected Lord Jesus who rules with all authority and intercedes for us. That is why we get to have confidence (point number 2).

The final reason I believe Jesus left us was to give us a reminder and hope of his return. In Acts 1:11 the angels tell the apostles that Jesus will return in the manner they just saw him go. I think that gives us a great hope of his return (and goes back to point number 2).

I hope you will be encouraged that Jesus ascended through the heavens to be seated at the right hand of the Father and has sent us the Holy Spirit. What a merciful and awesome God.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

God works sovereignly

"God works sovereignly. In essence, Exodus challenges the common notion that God is passive." pg 88

"In Midian, Moses marries, settles down, and probably think retirement is upon him as he nears his eightieth much as Exodus is a story about Moses, when I read it again this week, I found that God is really the main character in this story. God appears to the aging Moses in the burning bush. God reveals his name to Moses--Moses was not out there looking for it. God commissions Moses to speak to Pharaoh and bring God's people out of Egypt. Moses was sitting around reading the Federalist Papers, determining that the Hebrews needed to take freedom into their won hands. No, Moses is an eighty-year-old shepherd. God is the actor in this story." pg 89-90

"This is the God presented in the book of Exodus. He is sovereign even over wheels getting stuck in the mud and coming off!" (ref. Ex. 14:23-28) pg 91

"Just as God raises up Moses to lead the people, he places Pharaoh in his position of power. God purposed to install a pharaoh, as it says in the book's opening verses, "who did not know about Joseph" (1:8). And a little later he explicitly tells Pharaoh, "I have raised you up" (9:16). Surely you realize that God was no less sovereign in raising up Pharaoh than in raising up Moses." pg 91

"Then comes the part of the story that troubles people the most, but is undeniably crucial to the great escape from Egypt. God works sovereignly in Pharaoh [by] hardening his heart...God warns Moses ahead of time that he will do this (Ex. 4:21)...I don't claim to understand everything about how God hardened Pharaoh's heart, or all of its implications. But the verse certainly says that God had a purpose in hardening Pharaoh's heart." pg 92

"But that is not all of what we are supposed to observe. We are also supposed to observe that God works sovereignly (now let's add a little bit to the sentence to make our second point to save a special people...Exodus challenges the common notion that God treats all people in the same way, or that God is a committed egalitarian. No, that is not the story in Exodus. God is certainly fair; he is the standard of justice. But God does mysteriously and graciously choose to extend mercy to some. And no one can require mercy from him. It is his mercy. From a foundation of utter fairness, God chooses to extend mercy." pg 93

"The nations will hear and tremble...(Ex. 15:14-16)
This, of course, is why the Lord sovereignly placed his people in Egypt...Because Egypt was a great power. Because Egypt provided the perfect stage on which God could display his glory." pg 102

from Mark Dever's The Message of the Old Testament


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the google

The google, also known as "the creeper."

Here's a google streetview pic...with my truck, in front of a place I used to live. Now, that's creepy.


Monday, October 13, 2008

tuesday martyr

This week I thought I'd give you a glimpse into what is going on in India. Below is a brief outline of the martyrdom of 3 Christian men in India several years ago. You can find a more detailed story here.
Graham Staines and his two sons traveled deep into a very remote part of India in January of 1999 to proclaim the Gospel and to help with medical and other physical needs of the village.

As they were sleeping in their vehicle one night a mob of about 100 gathered around their jeep and soaked it in gasoline. They lit it on fire and danced around the 3 men who were burnt alive. His sons were 9 and 7.

They then held off authorities for more than an hour to make sure of their death.

Graham's wife and daughter were not with them when the act occurred and later his wife plead for clemency for the main man incarcerated for the murders.
Here are some links to other stories of murder and violence against Christians in recent months:
The Christianity Today Blog
Persecuted Church Blog
Pyromaniacs Blog

May the God who keeps us let us live and die for His glory and for the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ.


Missions: Go or Send

Missions was the topic during yesterday's sermon. There are two extremely influential sermons and one book that have shaped my view of missions over the last two years. I reference all three in the sermon. I encourage you to listen to them or read them:

Paris Reidhead's sermon "10 Shekels and a Shirt"
John Piper's book Let the Nations Be Glad
(I am working on finding out the name and hopefully audio link from the sermon on Revelation 5 that was preached at College Park Church in early 2006)

My sermon outlines two ideas: What is the point of missions and evangelism? and What should we do because of that?

The answers: God is the point of missions and evangelism. He is worthy of all praise and adoration and glory because He was slain for our sins. He deserves the reward of his suffering.

We should go and send missionaries because of this glorious truth. We all have the duty as Christians to be sending and going for the cause of Christ because He is worthy. Jesus said "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." We must go, because we are commanded.

Here is the audio from the sermon:

You may also download it here.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

the sun

I have no idea where I found this...I tried digging through my Google Reader, but I caught no signs of it.

It is a series of pictures of a solar flare on the sun's surface. You should definitely check out the other 20 photos and be amazed at the great magnificence of God's creation.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

picture day

I saw this photo in the most recent (I think) issue of National Geographic. It was an article on Right Whales. You should go check out the article and read about their warts.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

lyrical thursday

I recently ordered four of the five Indelible Grace cds. I have enjoyed it immensely. There are some that I don't like, and some I'll never use, but there are several that will definitely be making their way into Sunday morning over the next year or so.

Here is the first one that I used. I actually heard it about 2 years ago at a Presbyterian church I attended for awhile. I didn't even know it was on the cds but when I heard it I immediately used it the very next Sunday.

Father Long Before Creation

Father, long before creation
Thou hadst chosen us in love,
And that love so deep, so moving,
Draws us close to Christ above.
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us.
Firmly fixed in Christ alone.

Though the world may change its fashion,
Yet our God is e'er the same;
His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain.
God's own children, God's own children
Must forever praise His name.

God's compassion is my story,
Is my boasting all the day;
Mercy free and never failing
Moves my will, directs my way.
God so loved us, God so loved us
That His only Son He gave.

Loving Father now before Thee
We will ever praise Thy love,
And our songs will sound unceasing
'Til we reach our home above,
Giving glory, giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb


wednesday from the books

I have begun reading Jonathan Edwards book Religious Affections this week. I decided to read it in October because I read the preface when I first received it and Alexander Smellie said that the "prevailing atmosphere [of the book] is that of October rather than May." So, here it is...and I've picked it up to read.

Consider this:

It is no sign that religious affections are truly holy and spiritual, or that they are not, that they come with texts of Scripture, remarkably brought to the mind

I think that this idea is particularly important when evaluating the teachings of a teacher in the church. It is easy to assume that, because they use Scripture and quote it often, they are good to go and we can listen to them without a defense.

I encourage you to meditate on the Word and do not be too eager and quick to assume that the use of Scripture validates a person's teachings. And, although it is overused, be like the Bereans who test everything with Scripture and reason.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

tuesday martyr

From now on, Tuesdays will be dedicated to the story of a martyr for Christ. Below is the short synopsis of Ignatius found in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

In this persecution suffered the blessed martyr, Ignatius, who is held in famous reverence among very many. This Ignatius was appointed to the bishopric of Antioch next after Peter in succession. Some do say, that he, being sent from Syria to Rome, because he professed Christ, was given to the wild beasts to be devoured. It is also said of him, that when he passed through Asia, being under the most strict custody of his keepers, he strengthened and confirmed the churches through all the cities as he went, both with his exhortations and preaching of the Word of God. Accordingly, having come to Smyrna, he wrote to the Church at Rome, exhorting them not to use means for his deliverance from martyrdom, lest they should deprive him of that which he most longed and hoped for. "Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!" And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the beasts, such as the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake, what time he heard the lions roaring, saying: "I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread."

For a more in-depth look at Ignatius try looking here, although I'd beware of the idea that he appeared in a vision (it could've happened, but still...a little leery.)


Monday, October 6, 2008

the resurrection

1 Corinthians 15 is an awesome chapter; you should read it...more than once.

Last night at senior high I talked about the glorious truth of the resurrection of Christ and what it means for us, as Christians and non-Christians.

I grouped Paul's list in the first few verses like this:

If the Resurrection is NOT true:
1) My preaching and the apostolic witness is false
2) Your faith is worthless
3) The wrath of God is still on you, because you're still dead in sins
4) Those who have died for the sake of Christ are in Hell
5) We should be pitied because we're idiots

But because Christ has been raised the following are true:
1) We have hope because we are forgiven
2) Our faith is true and well-founded and we can have confidence in it
3) The witness of the apostles and pastors is true (there is absolute truth)
4) We are to be envied (the Christian life has worth)
5) Those who have died are resurrected to joy forever

And the main point of the evening:
6) We gain the resurrection!

This last point is the driving point behind the Christian life. It is what we live for and why we should strive to live for the glory of God with every ounce of our being. This is what drives Paul's statement "to live is Christ and to die is gain."

We gain the resurrection!

I used this analogy: I'm a fat kid. (Seriously, 245 lbs and 5'7") I run because I have a goal in mind: to lose weight and not be fat. I have a goal and I work hard at that goal because I want to accomplish it.

Paul says this "run the race in a way so that you receive the crown." Run so you win. Run so hard that when death peers at you have no hesitation but to continue to run because you know that after death is gain. Because you have a goal: the resurrection. It is gain!

Scream with the apostle, "O death, where is your sting?!!"

We gain the resurrection if we believe in Christ's resurrection. Live like it.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

carson on prayer

D.A. Carson's book A Call to Spiritual Reformation affected my prayer-life in profound ways when I first read it. I recently picked it up again and was refreshed by his practicality and faithfulness in prayer.

One of the most beneficial things I picked up from the book (I know, it seems like I've trivialized it the rest of the book...but, really, this has helped me a ton) was to either speak out loud or at least mouth the words as I pray.

It helps me to concentrate while praying (keeping me from getting distracted from any number of things that swim through my head) and it helps keep me interested while someone else is praying aloud.

I encourage you to try it. You will be amazed at the benefits...and you'll no longer wonder why so many of the prayers of people (including Jesus) are recorded, it was probably because those folks realized the power of speaking prayer.


p.s. get the book

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

seeing much in very little

John Piper is one of my favorite pastors, and not simply because he is an excellent speaker, but because it is evident from what he teaches that he meditates on the Scriptures.

Here is something of encouragement to those of us who have, in our own minds, a small amount of 'scriptural knowledge'; that is, we feel as though our lack of "memory verses" either disqualifies us from teaching or limits our own understanding of what God says in his book.

Be encouraged as John writes in a sermon:

But there are several strong forces which oppose our relentless and systematic interrogating of biblical texts. One is that it consumes a great deal of time and energy on one small portion of Scripture. We have been schooled [quite erroneously] that there is a direct correlation between reading a lot and gaining insight. But in fact there is no positive correlation at all been quantity of pages read and quality of insight gained. Just the reverse. Except for a few geniuses, insight diminishes as we try to read more and more. Insight or understanding is the product of intensive, headache-producing meditation on two or three verses and how they fit together. This kind of reflection and rumination is provoked by asking questions of the text. And you cannot do it if you hurry. Therefore, we must resist the deceptive urge to carve notches in our bibliographic gun. Take two hours to ask ten questions of Galatians 2:20 and you will gain one hundred times the insight you would have attained by reading 30 pages of the New Testament or any other book. Slow down. Query. Ponder. Chew.

So, instead of worrying that you don't know enough...sit and study a verse or two for awhile and see how much the Spirit can teach you if you simply let Him.