Well, the good news is I now have a clear idea of how to finally finish my book. No one could possibly know how long and hard I’ve prayed for this moment!
The thing that got me to this desperately needed place (I’ve felt the weight of the world at times lately) was a rare in-person visit with the very dear old friend who’s maintained this website since its inception, coming up with all the headlines, pull-out quotes and graphics.
So, the working title is now “Lisa’s Guide to the Bible,” and my sincerest hope (I know I sound like the biggest broken record!) is to have a rough draft completed within six weeks.
I am leaving for Ohio in the morning for the holiday so can’t write much more today but I have a great pull-out passage from a recent study of Jordan’s on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians.
Here it is:
“Have you ever met some people you didn’t care if they ever came back and some people where you wish they wouldn’t? Paul was not just a guy who everybody loved to have around.
“When you read Paul’s epistles, it’s pretty obvious there are times when Paul can be kind of snotty. I know you’re not supposed to say that about the great Apostle Paul, but there were times when he could be less than congenial.
“I know everybody says over there in Acts 20 they wept over Paul but that’s more of the exception than the rule. It’s Paul in Philippians 1 who says, ‘I have to get God to bear record for God is my record how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.’
“Listen, if you got to call God as your witness that you love somebody, it might not be real obvious that you do! So this stuff about Paul being a warm huggy guy—there was something in his psyche that was a little standoffish.
“His desire to be with them wasn’t a personal thing alone. It was a ministry thing. He wanted to have that mutual faith both of them and him.
“ . . . What was it Satan did not want to happen (in the lives of Paul’s followers in Thessalonica)? Do you understand that Satan today doesn’t oppose people going to Great Commission churches? Can I call a church that?
“Churches preaching the Great Commission and churches going back in the Gospels and following Jesus back in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, or Hebrews through Revelations. . . Satan doesn’t oppose that today; he’d be happy for you to be in a church like that!
“There are churches all over this country like that! He’s happy! He’s not going to try and break an ankle to stop you from going there! It’s the churches that recognize where you get your instruction in the Bible is you look for books that start with the name Paul.”
On the same subject, here’s another passage from a similar study given a while back:
“There are at least 14 different things that Paul points out to that demonstrate his independent, distinctive, apostolic ministry. That Paul was not part of the 12 apostles and their program. And this is a critically important thing to recognize.
“If there are two whole chapters in your Bible about that one subject (that focus on that subject and bring evidences to bear), somebody needs to ask somewhere, ‘Why in the world is Paul in the Bible?’
“The one question Christendom just never seems to come around to ask is, ‘Why Paul?’ They’ll go through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and even the Book of Acts, and yet when you come to Romans, all of a sudden it just kind of goes away.
“Why is he there? There’s the old legend that he’s really one of the 12 apostles and that won’t work. He says he’s not. That’s one of the things he’s going to demonstrate here is that he was not a part of what went before him. He even says ‘I certify you brethren that I was not one of the 12’
“He says, ‘Here’s my ordination certificate. I’m giving you a notarized official document that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.’ It didn’t have its origin in human viewpoint.
“I’ve pointed out to you many times, when you appreciate the gospel of the grace of God, you know no human ever dreamed that thing up!”