Bible in One Year

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December 19 Day 353

The King of the Universe

In 2010 Prince Charles came to visit HTB. It was a great honour to meet and host the heir to the throne, the future king of England.

December 18 Day 352

How to Honour the Name of the Lord

The times when good news dominates the media headlines are so rare that they stand out as beacons of hope. The rescue of the Chilean miners in 2010 is one such example. Thirty-three miners were trapped 2,300ft underground for sixty-nine days after the San Jose mine collapsed in northern Chile. It was originally thought that they had probably not survived the collapse, or that they would starve to death before they were found, if ever.

December 17 Day 351

How to Read and Understand the Bible

When reading and trying to understand the Bible, we have three helpers. First, we have the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:2–16). Second, we have the church. It would be arrogant to think that the Holy Spirit only speaks to us. He has spoken to others in history and he continues to speak to his people. Paul prays that we may have ‘power to comprehend with all the saints’ (Ephesians 3:18, NRSV). Third, we have the benefit of reason – our minds. Paul encourages each member of the church to be ‘fully convinced in their own minds’ (Romans 14:5).

December 16 Day 350

Jesus is Lord

Polycarp (AD 70–156) was a bishop during a time of bitter attack against the Christians. At the age of eighty-six, he was arrested for no other crime than being a Christian. All he had to do to avoid torture and death was to proclaim, ‘Caesar is Lord’.

December 15 Day 349

The God of History

In the West, many people assume history is aimless: ‘Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’  (as Shakespeare put it in Macbeth). Many Eastern religions tend to regard history as either circular or illusory , while Marxists understand history in terms of class struggle .   In contrast to all these views, the New Testament sees history as moving towards a climax. The struggle is not between the classes, but between good and evil –  ending with the ultimate triumph of good and God.   The kingdom of God does not fail. God is working his purposes out in history. Jesus is the centrepiece. All lines in history converge on him. As someone has said: ‘The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.’

December 14 Day 348

The Lion and the Lamb

Some people are lion-like. They are bold, steely and courageous. Others are like a lamb. They are gentle, meek and submissive. All of us are supposed to be a godly mixture of both, and know when to be like a lion and when to be like a lamb.

December 13 Day 347

Celebration

It will be a ‘joyous celebration’ – a time of ‘happiness and joy, gladness and honour’ (see Esther 8:16–17).

December 12 Day 346

The Benefits of Being Rebuked

I rarely enjoy being rebuked by someone else, but over time I have come to see the faithful rebuke of a friend as something of great value. The Scriptures tell us that a rebuke is an important way in which God cares for us, and in which we can care for each other.

December 11 Day 345

How You Can Make a Difference

In an interview in Time Magazine, the great Swiss theologian Karl Barth recalled that he advised young theologians to ‘take your Bible and take your newspaper and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.’

December 10 Day 344

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Martin Luther said, ‘Scripture is the manger in which the Christ lies.’ As a mother goes to a cradle to find her baby, so the Christian goes to the Bible to find Jesus. Don’t let us inspect the cradle and forget to worship the baby.