Below are a few articles that I found beneficial this past week.
We mean well and want to share about Jesus with our friends, but an invitation without relational investment is a sales pitch.
“I love Jesus but not the church” is like saying to a new groom, “I love you but not your bride.” The Bible describes the local church as the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2 Eph. 5:24-27, Rev. 19:7-9, 21:1-2). It is impossible to maintain a thriving relationship with Christ while at the same time avoiding fellowship with a gospel-believing local church. When we commit to loving the church, we commit to loving Christ.
Let’s be honest. Certain parts of the Old Testament can seem just plain weird, “recurringly odd and unaccommodating,” as Mark Coleridge puts it. And no part of the Old Testament seems more foreign than those sections that detail God’s laws for Israel. Whether we read that the Israelites were not to wear clothing with mixed fabrics, or eat shrimp, or make a bald spot on their heads on behalf of the dead, we struggle to see what this has to do with us. I simply haven’t ever been tempted to “boil a baby goat in it’s mother’s milk” (Exod. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21)! Have you?
So basically what you are doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God. By this means his words become the wings of your prayers.
As an “essentially literal” translation, the ESV most closely aligns with a formal equivalent translation philosophy in that is “seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer.”