Being a Productive Christian

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Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

There are many books, articles, and websites dedicated to the subject of productivity. People want to improve how they use their time and work more efficiently and effectively. While being productive is important in the realm of work and business, we should not limit it to those areas of our lives.

The Scriptures teach that we are to be productive in our spiritual lives. Though the word productivity is not used in the Bible, the concept is certainly discussed. In this article, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to be a productive Christian.Continue Reading

Daily Bible Reading Plan Plus Articles (Free PDF)

Daily Notes & Observations

As the new year approaches, many of you are planning to start (or continue) a regular practice of Bible reading. It is important that we have the word of God “treasured in [our] heart” (Psalm 119:11) and that we know how to “accurately [handle] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The only way we can do that is to know the Bible. To do that, we must have a regular habit of reading and studying the Scriptures.

To help you with this, I have put together a free PDF that contains two things:

  1. A chronological Bible reading plan that will take you through the whole Bible in a year.
  2. A short article for each day that corresponds with the daily Bible reading.

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Thoughts on the Bible-Minded Cities Report

2015 Bible-Minded Cities

The Barna Group released a report on “Bible-Minded” cities. The report ranked the “Bible-mindedness” of individuals in the 100 largest media markets in the United States. According to the criteria of the Barna Group, an individual is “Bible-minded” based on two qualifications:

  1. They “report reading the Bible in a typical week.”
  2. They “strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches.”

It is interesting to read reports like this one. Regardless of how “Bible-minded” the cities are in which we live, there are some points we should consider.
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Traditionalism and Illiteracy

Matthew recorded a discussion that Jesus had with the Pharisees and scribes on the subject of traditions. The Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus about His disciples breaking “the tradition of the elders” by not washing hands before eating bread (Matthew 15:1-2). Jesus responded by questioning them about another tradition in which they neglected to care for their parents in need, but justified themselves by claiming to have given the money that would have helped them to God (Matthew 15:4-5). Jesus said that keeping their tradition caused them to “transgress the commandment of God” (Matthew 15:3). They had “invalidated the word of God for the sake of [their] tradition” (Matthew 15:6).

The Pharisees and scribes were blinded by traditionalism. While there was nothing wrong with their tradition to wash hands before eating bread, their tradition blinded them to the fact that no sin was committed by one not washing his hands. The other tradition that Jesus cited led to a direct violation of God’s law. Yet their tradition blinded them to their sin of failing to honor their father and mother.

Jesus connected their traditionalism with the prophecy of Isaiah:

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Matthew 15:7-9).

If we look at the context of Isaiah’s prophecy, we can see that Jesus likened their traditionalism to illiteracy.
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Reading Denominational Authors

Reading

With the rise of social media in our modern age, it is easy to share information with others. The information we share often includes what books and articles we have read. I have observed that, in general, brethren read a lot that is written by denominational authors on spiritual topics – possibly more than they read the writings of other brethren.

It is not necessarily wrong for brethren to read the writings of denominational authors. In some cases it can even be helpful. However, we need to be careful. Let me offer the following considerations.
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Now Available: "Daily Notes & Observations"

In 2012, I followed a reading schedule that took me through the Bible in a year. As I went, I posted a brief article each day based upon a passage that was taken from the text of that day’s reading assignment. These articles have been compiled, edited, and published in a new book that is now available: Daily Notes & Observations. The following is a summary of the book:

Daily Notes & Observations (cover)Reading. Instruction. Meditation.

These three things are essential if we hope to grow in our understanding of the word of God. This book is designed to help you in each of these areas.

  • Reading — Three reading plans that will take you through the entire Bible in a year.
  • Instruction — Brief articles to correspond with each day’s reading from one of the plans.
  • Meditation — A place for you to write down your own notes and observations each day.

This book contains 365 Scripture-based articles on a wide range of topics, taken from every area of the word of God. These articles, as well as the Bible reading plans and spaces for your notes, are presented to you in order to encourage a regular habit of studying and meditating upon the Scriptures.

If you would like to read more about this book or purchase your copy, click here: Daily Notes & Observations.