Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:43-47

“And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In 1986 a new term was coined to describe a certain class of radio disc-jockeys: Shock jock. Shock jocks were radio personalities who pushed the envelop of what was socially and morally acceptable (not to mentioned allowed by the FCC) as far as they possibly could in order to keep their audiences coming back for more. The idea of saying unexpected or potentially offensive things to get people to listen, though, has been around for a long time. While this kind of thing has often been a tool of comedians, its use goes further back than that. Using a bit of shock to get His audience to pay attention was actually something Jesus liked to do on occasion. Here is perhaps the most famous example of his doing this. Let’s talk about it.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:4

***Well, I said there weren’t going to be any posts this week, but after much thought and prayer, I decided to not go to the training course as planned. While it would have been a small gathering, the health of my family and my church family was more important. I’ll be able to take the course again in a few months when all of this nonsense has prayerfully passed. That being said, let’s dig back into Habakkuk this morning by taking a look at the verse for which it is most famous.

“Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is easily the most well-known verse in the whole of Habakkuk’s collection of prophecy. It is quoted in three different times in the New Testament; twice by Paul and once by the author of Hebrews. But what does it mean? And, if you read this same verse in different translations, you’ll find several different versions of it. Is this even the right translation? Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Revelation 6:1-2

“Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’  And I looked, and behold, a white horse!  And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Now we get into the meat of John’s revelation of the end of the world.  This is the part of the story that tends to start drawing the most varied and often creative interpretations.  This is also the part that tends to serve as the most inspirational for various occult and apocalyptic stories today. Read the rest…