Ryan Bell is a former Adventist pastor. He is completing “a year without God.” Except that at year’s end, he will not return to believing in God. He will continue living his life without God or without believing in the existence of God.
The wildly popular Bible app, YouVersion, has released data on what Bible verses have been the most popular in 2014. Popularity was determined by some algorithm factoring bookmarks, highlights and shares. Check the link for a few infographics of their results – Our Year With The Bible Infographic 2014 | YouVersion.
For after I had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
–Jeremiah 31:19 ESV
The Bible often employs picturesque language to communicate its message. Such is the case in this verse from Jeremiah. God’s people found themselves in exile after repeatedly offending God. Yet God would not forget his people. Hope in a future restoration was promised.
The exile was the chastening and disciplining from the Lord. Finding themselves in a strange land and subjected to a godless leader, the people would turn back to the Lord. As they realized how foolish they had behaved toward God, they responded with what the New Testament calls a godly sorrow.
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
On occasion I read, watch or listen to something that God uses to deeply move me. God’s Spirit gets a hold of me and simply won’t let go.
Such was the occasion as I listened to Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) preach this sermon, Diagnosing the Need based on Mark 9:28-29.