Parables

Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

The most significant chapters of John MacArthur’s book on Parables are the first two—plus the introduction. These explain why Jesus taught in parables—or rather, why He switched from direct discourse to parables. The controversies in Matthew chapters 12-13 show the Pharisees attributing Jesus’ miracles to Satan rather than to the Holy Spirit. Jesus, understanding that the nation of Israel would eventually reject Him, changed His method of teaching to parables. One quote from MacArthur summarizes well the purpose of the parables:

In short, Jesus’ parables had a clear twofold purpose: They hid the truth from self-righteous or self-satisfied people who fancy themselves too sophisticated to learn from him, while the same parables revealed truth to eager souls with childlike faith—those who were hungering and thirsting for righteousness. (p. xxi)

The rest of MacArthur’s volume, Parables—accurate, expositional, occasionally abrasive, and bookish—simply explains lessons about Jesus’ various parables — lessons involving justice and grace, neighborly love, justification by faith, faithfulness, wisdom, heaven and hell, and prayer.

My New Audiobook—Going Places With God

I am celebrating the release of my new unabridged audiobook, Going Places with God. Give it a click for more information on how you can get a copy!

Going Places with God Audiobook

Each of these 90 audio devotionals (read by me) will help you enjoy:

  • A daily devotional on a biblical site
  • An inspirational quote from well-known authors
  • A personal prayer to jump-start your day

This complete 90-day unabridged audiobook also allows you to experience a 45-minute devotional travelogue with applications from firsthand travel in the Holy Land.

These devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, invite you to embark on your own spiritual journey with God. Through visiting these exciting places in this audiobook, you will grow to understand how God is leading you to the places of His choosing.

After going places with God, you’ll never be the same . . .

GET YOUR COPY NOW!

 

 

 

 

Why Being Around Smarter People is a Good Thing

4 Reasons It’s Good to Put All the Eggheads in One Basket

We live in a world of image, ego, and selfie sticks. Social media allows us to hide the truth that we don’t have it all together. The worst place for this feeling (other than church)? Conferences.

4 Reasons It’s Good to Put All the Eggheads in One Basket

(Photo by Photodune)

Whether I go to a conference on writing, theology, broadcasting, or blogging, I fight the selfie stick syndrome. You probably do too. Smarter people are everywhere.

Here’s why it’s good for us to struggle with being around smarter people.

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Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

You can express love for God with anything you choose to offer Him.

Lydia made her way outside the city gate. A short stroll led her and a group of women to a familiar spot beside the Krenides River. For a synagogue to be established, ten Jewish men had to be in regular attendance. But there weren’t ten to be found in Philippi.

Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

(Painting of Lydia at St Lydia chapel in Philippi. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

That didn’t keep these women from worshipping together, though. They gathered every Saturday at the river for prayer. But this Sabbath was different. It would change Lydia’s life forever.

And her change can affect our lives as well.

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What We Believe

What We Believe: Understanding and Confessing the Apostles’ Creed (Baker, 2015)

R. C. Sproul’s new book, What We Believe, is a reprint of his 1998 volume, Renewing Your Mind. But its subject remains as fresh as the day Sproul wrote it. Indeed, its theme is timeless. The book does what its subtitle promises it offers: Understanding and Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. Systematically going through each phrase of the creed, Sproul explains its meaning, offering in essence a general theology of the Christian faith.

To anyone interested in the meaning of the apostles Creed—or of Christianity in general—What We Believe would do a great job providing that introduction.

Nebi Samwil—A Site with Wisdom Ignored

Solomon's defining moment can also become ours.

Most travelers to Jerusalem never think to come to Nebi Samwil. The minaret towering above the hill looks like a misplaced lighthouse searching for the sea. On a clear day, a visitor can spy the Mediterranean to the west.

Nebi Samwil

(Photo: Nebi Samwil. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Although few come here today, there were few more important places in David’s and Solomon’s time—if any. In fact, it signified Solomon’s most defining moment.

What’s more, it represents the potential for ours as well.

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More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Baker, 2015)

I initially took interest in William Hendriksen’s volume, More Than Conquerors, because this 75th Anniversary Edition attested to its longstanding popularity as a commentary on the book of Revelation. One advantage this review has was my unfamiliarity with Hendriksen’s view of prophecy. Although his love and appreciation for Scripture is clear at the outset, it is also evident that he interprets areas of prophecy inconsistently—sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. I don’t mean one should not recognize Revelation’s figurative language—it’s everywhere! I mean one should interpret the figures of speech literally—otherwise these can mean anything. Some phrases also needn’t be taken figuratively at all. For example, his reasons for spiritualizing the “1000 years” of Revelation 20—referred to 6 times—as not a literal 1000 years is unnecessary. For amillennialists, this is likely a volume much appreciated, but for Bible students who prefer a literal interpretation of Scripture, another volume is advisable.

How to Capture and Save Great Quotes

Whether in a Book, an E-Book, an Audiobook, or Wherever

Great quotes seem unforgettable—until they slip our minds. We get great quotes everywhere from magazines to sermons to blogs to books. The challenge comes with trying to capture them.

How to Capture and Save Great Quotes

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

When you come across a great quote, how often have you thought, Oh, I need to write that down later. But later never comes.

How can you capture great quotes so they don’t vanish after you read or hear them? I’ll sidestep the obvious ways to capture quotes you hear in a sermon or during a lecture. (Just take notes.)

Instead, here are some not-so-obvious ways to keep great quotes.

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