Ah! Jesus was busy!

I remember conversations with people where we decided that Jesus was not rushed off his feet and took time to relax and chill out. In those discussions Jesus’ slow reaction to the news of his friend Lazarus’s illness comes up quite a lot. He didn’t seem to feel under pressure but came in his Father’s timing to do his Father’s work, which in this case was raising his friend from the dead.

But I have just read something in my morning bible readings that I do not remember noticing before. The main reading was about Heb 4:15 where we are encouraged that Jesus was tempted in every way like us. One example was in the busyness of life.

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:31

Reading that was an ‘Ahah’ moment for me. Jesus and his disciples were, at times, very busy. They didn’t just float around with a relaxed pace of life and not breaking in to a sweat. They experienced and responded to the pressure of people’s needs. I often feel like the day moves on at such a pace that there is not even time to eat.

After Jesus heard that his cousin, John the Baptist has died, he tries to get away to a quiet place but the crowd followed him. Even in his grief and tiredness, his compassion for them energises him to teach them.

The real issue is not busyness, but who or what we are serving in our busyness. Is it success, or self-worth, or praise, or acceptance, or the good opinions of others? Or is it the kingdom of God as a loved and accepted son of God?

Also, just read Phil Moore’s Gagging Jesus. The first chapter is about stress. He says

“’I’m feeling stressed’ is just another way of saying ‘I’m trying to do God’s job for him and it’s not working out for me’. Jesus warns that stress and worry aren’t minor vices or personality flaws. They are the symptoms of our self-worship…the fourth century writer Hilary Poitiers described stress and worry as ‘a blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work for him’”

He finishes with these verse

29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29 (ESV)

And

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)

Yes there will be times when extending the kingdom, we are rushed off our feet. We should not expect to float around effortlessly without breaking in to a sweat. However, it’s good to know that at such times, Jesus will be calling us to come away and rest with him a while.

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Christmas presents (Learning a little Greek part 17)

I got some great books for Christmas. One was Phil Moore’s “Getting to the Heart of Genesis”. I have already read a few chapters and it’s as brilliant as the others he has done.

The biggest and best present however was “Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar” by William D. Mounce. I have enjoyed learning Greek freestyle up to this point but now I think I will stick very closely to his book. (I should be getting the workbook as a late Christmas present soon). His way of learning the language should result in me having to memorise significantly less stuff. Not only that but he explains things really clearly and has already answered many of my little niggling questions such as exactly how to pronounce the “a” in “alpha”. (It turns out there are two ways, one as a long vowel and the other as a short one but the difference is so slight that it’s not worth worrying about and the “father” version is all I need to know.) He has also clarified the diphthongs  for me (the seven I knew about with ευ and ηυ having identical sounds and counting as one, plus an eighth ωυ I didn’t know about that only occurs in the word Moses Μωυσης in the NT), and explained the original use of accents (how the tone of the sound changes).

I am currently learning nouns and trying to memories this table:

2nd Dec. 1st Dec. η 1st Dec. α 2nd Dec.
Male Female Female Neuter
Nom. s λόγος γρφή ὤρα τ ἔργον
Ac. s τν λογον τν γραφην τν ὤραν τ ἔργον
Nom. p ο λόγοι α γραφαι = α ὧραι τ ἔργα α
Ac. p τος λόγους τς γραφας = τς ὤρας τ ἔργα α

It’s hard work but should save time in the long run. I’m keeping a copy in my pocket. A little and often.

You can quote me on that (part 2)

Dr Evil finger quoting

Don’t you just love “quotes”! Here are some more I have collected:

Life on earth is just the first letter of the first sentence in the first chapter of the great story God is writing with your life. MaxLucado

Who I am in Christ is amazing. Who Christ is in me is the real story. It is beyond amazing. billjohnsonBJM

Sin is like a cat at the door – in before you know it. ” Sin shall have no dominion over you.” In Jesus Name. Reinhard Bonnke

Too often we are Christians by assumption, manipulation or instruction, rather than Christians by regeneration. A W Tozer

Other men pursue good and it flies from them… but goodness and mercy follow the people of God and they cannot avoid or escape it. Flavel

Power! That is the essence of the gospel. A powerless gospel preacher is like an unwashed soap salesman. Singing ‘There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb,’ and then having to fast and pray for a month to get power does not add up. Appropriate the power of the Gospel by faith. It works. REINHARD BONNKE

If everyone who believed in miracles but didn’t have them pursued God until they got them there would be no anti-healing movement. Bill Johnson

Media approval is better than being ignored. It’s a kind of love. Independent newspaper article about children of rock star dads

Matthew 13 is probably the Bible’s most comprehensive chapter on the Kingdom of God, where Jesus paints multiple pictures to teach us about how his kingdom advances – seed, yeast, treasure in a field, a fine pearl, and a fishing net. Many years ago I remember hearing David Devenish refer to this as a “depressingly encouraging” portion of Scripture, because, as you shall see, the good guys definitely win in the end, but sometimes victory is slower and more costly than we might anticipate. PJ Smyth.

Kingdom advance is often costly (he sold everything he had)
Kingdom advance often involves disappointment (some seed got taken away and some new plants got choked)
Kingdom advance often has small beginnings
PJ_Smyth (me in brackets)

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth tweets A friend of Phil Moore

Straight to the heart

I have just finished reading another chapter from Phil Moore’s ‘Straight to the Heart’ books. At the moment there are three (Mathew, Revelation and Acts) but I hope others will follow. Each one takes a book of the bible and breaks it up into 60 bite-sized portions.  I keep them in strategic places around the house so when I get a couple of minutes I can read one of his short chapters. It’s what attracted me to them in the first place. I sometimes get overwhelmed when I try to start reading a big book so I dive into it again and again at random until I get the gist or build up enough curiosity to start at the beginning. (That could be why I have stalled in my attempt to read “God’s Greater Glory” by Bruce Ware. I feel I must read it sequentially to get the most out of it but haven’t made it past the excellent intro.)

I stumbled upon this bite-sized approach to learning a few years ago and tried to shape some of our church training material in that form. For it to work well each bite should be as independent from the others as possible and readable in any order. (See Bill Hyble’s leadership book Axiom for another example of this short nugget style.) It’s why I like reading and writing blogs I guess as they fulfil both these requirements.

So much for the style, what about the content? The blurb on the back cover puts it very well:

“God inspired the Bible for a reason. He wants you to read it and let it change your life. If you’re willing to take this challenge seriously, then you will love Phil Moore’s devotional commentaries. Their bite-size chapters are punchy and relevant, yet crammed with fascinating scholarship. Welcome to a new way of reading the Bible. Welcome to the straight to the heart series.”

Each chapter is easy to read without being shallow. He doesn’t serve up “fast food” bible burgers, rather rich cordon bleu meals. I don’t know how well he knows his onions but he definitely knows his bible.  Ok, I know, I got carried away and overdid the metaphor a bit there. Been looking over my wife’s shoulder at one too many TV cookery competitions I think. Basically, they are good books to get. The illustrations are very engaging, drawing you into one gem after another of life changing truth. I keep thinking to myself “wow, I never knew that, thats so good”. The series title captures it well “Straight to the heart.”

Happy Blogday!

Birthdays are significant. I recently got to 40 and it changed my thinking quite a bit. I’ve had  a good warm up, now I want to make the next 40 years count. I decided to make it a “give away birthday” and really enjoyed giving away the gifts that came my way. It wasn’t really a hardship or as generous as it sounds since God has given me everything I want and the joy in being able to give to the things that He has put on my heart was just amazing.

I realised recently that I have another birthday to celebrate. Looking at the date of my first blog it turns out that today (2nd September)  is my BlogDay! That’s right, today I have been blogging for an entire year. Here is my first blog on Moving mountains http://marcustutt.blogspot.com/2009/09/moving-mountains.html By the look of my analogies I had just been to see the Transformers movie. I hope over the last year that  I have become less of a “ford focus” Christian and more of a devastating killer robot. God transform me please! There is a long way to go but things have changed this year. I have begun pressing forward in believing God for healing and have seen some pretty big molehills move. Now for the mountains!

More recently, I really enjoyed having the time to blog more on sabbatical and my resolve to continue was strengthened when I realised that a prophetic word I had been given talked about me journaling stuff and making it available in a database. Journaling + database = blogging (well almost!). I am finding that writing stuff down really helps me think about things a lot more. I currently have almost a dozen things I want to think and blog on but not enough time! I also want to press on with my bible blog (http://marcusbible.blogspot.com) but I have more pressing commitments and responsibilities right now (I’d better finish this blog soon so I can get on with them!).

To help celebrate and mark the day I have decided to move my blog over to wordpress. It’s still under construction but you can take a look if you like https://marcustutt.wordpress.com/. It’s much easier to organise blogs with key words and series and things (although some features of eblogger like BlogLists are missing and moving pictures about was easier in eblogger too) so I will eventually just blog there. I have also just given my bible blog a new domain name thebibleblog.co.uk. It’s not ideal but it will do for now and help me suss out how domain names and forwarding works. I will keep it on eblogger for now as it’s such a big job to move over and doesn’t need all the facilities of wordpress.

Looking ahead I’m posting my first set of videos this month as well as my Old Testament bible cards so stay tuned. Here’s to another 12 months of happy blogging!

Finally, on the subject of birthdays, just read another excellent blog form Phil Moore http://blog.philmoorebooks.com/ and watched a video that he talks about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=kWlMV-UmueM

Wow.  I’ve had 40 birthday celebrations so far but I there are many who haven’t even  had one. I wonder if we can find ways of extravagantly celebrating the birthdays of some of the guys we are getting to know through our kings care drop in.