I am truly enjoying getting to know this translation. Check it out if you get the chance.
Praying your Sunday was blessed.
I am truly enjoying getting to know this translation. Check it out if you get the chance.
Praying your Sunday was blessed.
Back at the end of February, I received my copy of “The Complete Jewish Bible”. I am truly enjoying this translation of God’s Word. There are many nuances covered in the Introduction of the book, but one of the things that has truly moved me is David Stern’s writing about the Bible [Section III – Introduction]. In the section titled “The Messianic Community” [Introduction xix], he states:
The B’rit Hadashah [New Covenant] also describes formative events among the early Jewish and Gentile followers of Yeshua [Jesus] and explains how this new Messianic Community or “Church” is related to the Jewish people. Unlike much Christian theology, the B’rit Hadashah does not say that the Messianic Community replaces the Jews as God’s people. Nor does it say that the Messianic Community stands alongside the Jews as a second eternal people of God with a separate destiny and separate promises. Rather, the relationship is more complex: Gentiles are grafted as “wild olive branches” into a Jewish “cultivated olive tree” some of whose branches “fell off” but will one day be “grafted back into their own olive tree”, so that in the end, “all Israel will be saved.” [Rom 11:16-26] Thus the Jews are not, as many Christians think, and as many Jews fear, annihilated as a people by being “absorbed into the Church.” On the contrary, as Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah] states — in the same passage as where he announces that God will make a New Covenant with the house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah [Judah] — the Jews remain God’s people forever, for as long as the sun, moon and stars give light to the earth. [Jer 31:31-37] But the Jews will become a people who honor the Messiah for whom they have hoped and waited so long: Yeshua. It is on this basis that unity will be restored between the Messianic Community and the Jewish people and the great schism finally healed.
He states elsewhere in the Introduction [xxxv – xxxvi ]:
The New Testament [Covenant] is a Jewish book. …For the Central figure of the new Testament, Yeshua the Messiah, was a Jew who was born into a Jewish family in Beit-Lechem, grew up among Jews in Natzeret, ministered to Jews in the Galil, and died and rose from the grave in the Jewish capital, Yerusalayim — all in Eretz-Yisra’el, the land God gave the Jewish people. …The New Testament was written entirely by Jews [Luke being, in all likelihood, a proselyte to Judaism]; and its message is directed “to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile.” [Rom. 1:16] …Indeed the main issue in the early Messianic Community — that is the “Church” – was not whether a Jew could believe in Yeshua, but whether a Gentile could become a Christian without converting to Judaism! [Act 15:1-29, Galatians in its entirety] …The Messiah’s vicarious atonement is rooted in the Jewish sacrificial system. [see especially Lev 17:11] …The Lord’s Supper is rooted in the Passover. Immersion is a Jewish practice. …The very concept of a Messiah is exclusively Jewish, and that Jewish Messiah taught that “salvation is from the Jews.: [John 4:22]
Mr. Stern’s point is that the Messianic Jew and the Gentile are at the same place — that Christianity is not an alien religion that must be “converted” to. His hope is to heal the split between those who see Christianity as a means to the end of Jewishness [non-Messianic Jews] and those who do not recognize that they have joined Israel, not replaced it, as God’s people.
I wish I could reproduce the entire Introduction for you to read! It is so interesting. I am currently CRAMming the book of Romans using this translation. I hope to be able to share through my postings as I learn.
Today I’d like to give you typical steps to CRAM a book of the Bible. As I said in detail in part II, CRAM is an acronym for Character and Truth of God, Responsibility of the Believer, Attitudes and Actions, and Meditation.
Here’s what a day of CRAMming might look like for you:
1. Pray, asking God to help you gain understanding from your reading and to apply it to your heart.
2. Read the first (or next) chapter of the book being CRAMmed. Apply the CRAM principles to the verses you have selected from your reading. (I tend to take those verses that flow together. Unless it is a small chapter, I don’t attempt to CRAM it in its entirety!)
3. Taking each of the selected verses, look for the C contained in them. Be sure to list those things you see that pertain to the character of God, or that pertain to the truth of God.
4. Next, go through the selected verses again, this time looking for the R contained in them. You are looking for those examples of the actions and attitudes of a believer. Scripture is chocked full of examples of the godly path a believer should follow.
5. Now, repeat this process for A. Remember, this time you are looking at yourself specifically. While looking at those things listed in both C and R, what attitudes do you need to change? What actions must you take for your life to be on the godly path exampled in Scripture? It is important that you be specific. Changes should be tangible, sensible and specific. Grand visions are not often completed but step by step actions can be accomplished by God’s grace. We want our changes to be God glorifying. In order to do this, we must fill any changes made to negative behaviors with positive behaviors. If you give up watching television during a specific time, you need to fnd something God glorifying to fill that time. You will easily gravitate back to the bad habit if you leave a void that will cause boredom.
6. Now it is time for M – Meditation. While memory of scripture is not the goal of this portion, it is important to our walk as believers. As you meditate on the scripture you have selected – as you read and re-read the chapters in the book you are studying – you may just find that God has freed your mind up and that you are memorizing verses! Write down 1 – 3 verses from the section studied and place them where you will see the verses throughout the day. If you have identified an attitude during study that you wish to have “set before you” for correction, you may want to select verses from other areas of the Bible that pertain to that attitude. Writing these verses on 3×5 cards will give you a collection of God’s word that you can review over and over. I have several spiral bound sets of 3×5 cards that I use somewhat like a perpetual calendar. I am lousy at memorization, but I have found this tool has really helped me in that area.
7. Pray, thanking God for His Word and for His grace and help to put off sin and to put on godly choices.
I pray I have given you some useful information that will help you in your study. If this is too vague, or if you have any questions, feel free to comment or e-mail me and I will help you however I can. A day of my personal study of Psalm 119, using CRAM follows the continuation of this post.
As I said in part I , this is a tool to study the Bible created by Associate Pastor Chris Peterson of Omaha Bible Church. He based this tool on a study of Colossians.
Today, I would like to go over what each portion of the acronym CRAM stands for, and what to do for it.
C-Character and Truth of God
While CRAMming verses, you look for those things stating the character of God, or one of His truths. This could be something such as -Omniscient- for a character, or Arrogance/pride breeds boastful speech as a stated truth of God through His word. Remember, there is no right or wrong. Entering this with a prayerful attitude will help you see what God wants you to see.
R-Responsibility of the Believer
Look at any demonstrated path the text shows for the believer in God, including specific heart values, attitudes and actions. Note these choices and actions. This part of the CRAM is not about us specifically yet – it is to give a Scriptural example to us.
This might look like:
1. Cheerfully bow the heart, mind and will before the Creator
2. Be encouraged that the proud do not triumph against God
3. Praise Him that he is not A god, but THE God who rules the universe
Now you may already be thinking ahead and realizing that we will be using this information for our next step, which IS about us specifically.
A – Attitudes and Actions
Based on the character/truths, as well as the godly path demonstrated in the text being studied, what must I repent of/change to be on that godly path? Changes should be tangible, sensible and specific. Grand visions are not often completed, but step by step actions can be accomplished through God’s grace.
If you are “putting off” something – removing something that is harming your walk on the path, be sure you are “putting on” something helpful in your walk in its place. If you remove a habit, you will quickly become bored and return to that habit if you are not filling that space with something else. So, if you stop watching television from 6 – 8 pm, what can you do in that time frame that will help you on your godly walk? Note these things specifically so you have a concrete idea of what you are striving for.
Meditation is the deep continued thought coming from a desire to press down and work out the truths being studied into every area of your life. Memorization will more than likely spring from our thinking about the verse or verses so much and so often.
Write down 1-3 verses from the section studied. Or, if you have seen an attitude in your studying that you strongly desire to keep in front of you for correction, select Scripture that will help you reach the goal of changing that attitude. I like to do a bit of both in my personal study. Write these verses down on 3×5 cards, or on sticky notes and place them in areas where you will see them during the day. One instructor suggested moving them around during the day – so their appearance does not become so common place that you take the words for granted. (Sort of like walking around that pile of clothes at the laundry room door thinking you’ll pick them up later … you eventually stop seeing the clothes altogether!)
Next post I will give the steps for CRAMming, and some examples from my personal CRAMming of Psalm 119, I am currently working through.
This is how it was explained to me when I asked about its origin: The foundation of the CRAM method is S.S.D.O.P. = Supremacy, Sufficiency, Dependency, Obedience and Praise. Chris developed it based on the book of Colossians. Colossians can basically be broken out like this: Col 1 is Sovereignty (Supremacy specifically v13) Col. 1-2 Sufficiency, Col 3.1-4 Dependence, Col 3:5-14 Obedience, Col 3.15-17 is Praise. A car analogy was used as an example. When we have a car and think it is Supreme then it will be Sufficient and thus we will not look for another car. We will Depend on the car: we will drive it and not bum rides or take a bus. We will then Obey the car by taking care of its maintenance and wash it. If we think it is sufficient and supreme, we depend on it and obey its needs…then we will Praise our car, “This van is great! It gets great gas millage, I’ve never had to repair it, it rides so smooth, etc…”
CRAM is an acronym for Character and Truth of God, Responsibility of the Believer, Attitudes and Actions [needed by me], Meditation. It is a very flexible devotional tool. The key is to study an entire book all the way through to keep from misinterpreting the writer’s meaning and to preserve context.
The CRAM works for the entire Bible, but some books are easier for those beginning with this method. These books were suggested as a “launching point”: James, Colossians, I Peter, I John, Titus, Ephesians, Philippians, Galatians, I & II Timothy and Romans.
In the next few posts, I will be covering how CRAM works. I hope you will check back in the next several days. I pray you will be blessed by this study tool, as I know I have.
My Complete Jewish Bible, that is. It arrived on Tuesday of this week. I am adjusting myself to the nuances of it. I will share more later on how this translation came to be. For now, let me just tell you that it is an incredible read! What an interesting perspective.
I am studying my Bible using a new “tool” – can’t go into detail here, but I hope to be able to tell you more on it later. Let me just say I am studying Psalm 119 from a different angle and the bottom line is this…..
How much am I willing to “give up” in the world to make God’s ordinances, His word, the total focal point of my life? I am finding I am willing to give up anything!
Question of the day……. How much time are you wasting on the internet looking at things you should not be looking at? It doesn’t have to be porn – it can be a blog you need to avoid, HSN, QVC, ebay….. even Google can eat up time that would be better spent with the LORD.
I’m just saying…..
~~Barry and I are studying an abridged version of John Owen’s ‘Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It’. It is called ‘Temptation: Resisted and Repulsed’. We are studying it with our Adult Bible Study (ABS) group.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for the believer to understand that we are not immune to sin IN THE FLESH. We can be tempted by, AND can fall into, sin. Owen wrote three works that cover this topic thoroughly. They are available – unabridged (which, IMHO is best)- in an edition entitled ‘Overcoming Sin and Temptation’. This book has been edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor. They have edited the content without changing it. While updating archaic spellings and words, they have kept Owen’s word true. You should really check this out!
Our ABS class is going to study ‘On the Mortification of Sin in Believers’, another of Owen’s series, next. I am looking forward to re-studying this. I am close to wrapping up this study with Reading Through the Classics, facilitated by Tim Challis at Challis Dot Com. I am hoping our class will continue on to the third in the series, ‘Indwelling Sin’.
~~Special thanks to Travis Carden, who is in our ABS class. We had an assignment to come up with a memory aid to help us remember 4 steps John Owen covers for the believer who finds himself in sin (past the point of temptation). He came up with a wonderful acronym – BALM! Now balm is a noun. It is a soothing, healing, or comforting agent. (Sounds like our wonderful Savior, yes?) Here is what BALM stands for:
Beg God to remove it. (sin)
Ask Christ for help against it.
Look to Him for deliverance.
Mend the breach.
This is a wonderful reminder of how we should rely on the Lord for our deliverance from sin!
~~In class, we were discussing how the heart is deceitful. During that conversation, we looked at Psalm 36:1-2. I was looking at several different translations of this Scripture – and several of them referred to ‘oracle’. Okay, long story short….. while checking on crosswalk.com (one of my favorite online resources), I saw ‘The Complete Jewish Bible’ for the first time. So, now I’m on a mission – I have to find out about this bible. So, I did some online checking and found this. I found it so intriguing, I went to Amazon.com and ordered it. Shh – I haven’t had a chance to tell hubby yet; so keep it to yourself, okay?
Update: ‘The Complete Jewish Bible’ is scheduled to ship to my home on 2/19. I can’t wait – in the mean time, it is one of the translations available at crosswalk.com on their online bible! Oh, and I told Barry about it and showed him the website. He’s good with it and wants to look it over when it gets here too.
I pray you had a wonderful weekend. Hopefully, you spent time with like-minded, fellow believers and heard a good preaching of God’s word that pricked your conscience WITHOUT just tickling your ear.
Yes, even in December I celebrate “Fools Day” (see June 1 post!). We are on day three of exercise (abs are starting to understand they are being worked on every day – and are behaving accordingly ….. sore, sore, sore!), with today being aerobics again. (We do aerobics M-W-F and weight training T-T-S)
Tonite is small group fellowship. That is always a good time. We are studying Genesis – and it has been a good study. Today we are looking at Abraham and the promise given to him by God. Ah yes, Abraham and Sarah – they certainly were an interesting couple. I don’t know what I would do if God were to tell me late in life that I would bear a child. Sarah laughed, but was willing. I don’t know what I’d do after I laughed!!! (Perhaps cry?) I am in the midst of making a cheesecake to take tonite. Hope to have it done and cooled in time. I decided at the last minute to make one. I love to bake – and this is a great time of year for baking.
Well, I need to pull my cheesecake out of the oven and rest it for 15 minutes so I can top it and finish baking it. I hope you are having a wonderful day. May you weekend be blessed!
It’s been more than a few days, but here are the manifestations of humility listed in “From Pride to Humility”, by Stuart Scott. (See April 03 post if you do not understand…..)
1. Recognizing and trusting God’s character. (Ps. 119:66)
2. Seeing yourself as having no right to question or judge an Almighty and Perfect God.
(Ps. 145:17; Rom. 9:19-23)
3. Focusing on Christ. (Phil. 1:21; Heb 12:1-2)
4. Biblical praying and a great deal of it! (1Thess. 5:17; 1Tim. 2:1-2)
5. Being overwhelmed with God’s undeserved grace and goodness. (Ps. 116:12-19)
6. Being thankful and grateful in general towards others. (1Thess. 5:18 )
7. Being gentle and patient. (Col. 3:12-14)
8. Seeing yourself as no better than others. (Rom. 12:16; Eph. 3:8 )
9. Having an accurate view of your gifts and abilities. (Rom 12:3)
10. Being a good listener. (Jam. 1:19; Phil. 2:3-4)
11. Talking about others only if it is good or for their good. (Prov. 11:13)
12. Being gladly submissive and obedient to those in authority. (Rom. 12:1-2; 13:1-2)
13. Preferring others over yourself. (Rom. 12:10)
14. Being thankful for criticism or reproof. (Prov. 9:8; 27:5-6)
15. Having a teachable spirit. (1Cor. 4:7)
16. Seeking always to build up others. (Eph. 4:29)
17. Serving. (Gal. 5:13)
18. A quickness in admitting when you are wrong. (Prov. 29:23)
19. A quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness. (Col. 3:12-14)
20. Repenting of sin as a way of life. (1Jn. 1:9; 1 Tim. 4:7-9)
21. Minimizing others’ sins or shortcomings in comparison to your own. (Matt. 7:3-4)
22. Being genuinely glad for others. (Rom. 12:15)
23. Being honest and open about who they are and the areas in which they need growth.
(Phil. 3:12-14; Gal. 6:2)
24. Possessing close relationships. (Acts 20:31-38 )
It looks like the rewards to being humble far outweigh the “perks” to pride…. I know what I’m praying for.
Father, thank You that You never give up on me. Thank You that You know what I can be – and that it is Your desire to refine me to that point of perfection. Take my pride from me, please Father. Remove the self-serving nature that grows inside me and replace it with lovingkindness and the desire to serve others through You to Your glory. Amen.
Living in His love…. striving for His glory.
That’s the name of the 27 page excerpt from “The Exemplary Husband”, by Stuart Scott, I have been reading. Such a small book, but such a powerful impact on me.
Mr. Scott talks about humility – what we cannot do without having it, and pride – how we cannot have it AND have humility on the same issue. Among his writing are manifestations of both pride and humility. It made me sad to see how prideful I really am.
Okay, so here are the 30 manifestations of pride he speaks of. I have included the explanations for the ones that aren’t (subjectively) self-explanatory. Scripture shown is what he uses to support his list. Some look to be repetitive until you look at the scripture supporting it.1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God. (Num 14:1-4, 9, 11; Rom 9:20)
2. A lack of gratitude in general. (2Chron 32:25)
3. Anger. (Matt 20:1-16)
4. Seeing yourself as better than others. (Luke 7:36-50)
5. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts, and abilities. (1Cor 4:7)
6. Being focused on the lack of your gifts or abilities. (1Cor 12:14-25)
7. Perfectionism. (Matt 23:24-28 )
8. Talking too much. (He explains that this is often because the speaker feels what they thing/say has more importance than what others have to say.) (Prov 10:19)
9. Talking too much about yourself. (Prov 27:2; Gal 6:3)
10. Seeking independence or control. (Some find it extremely difficult to work under someone else’s authority. “My way or highway”, “I don’t need accountability”, “I don’t need other’s help” are common sayings of these people.) (1 Cor 1:10-13; Eph 5:21)
11. Being consumed with what others think. (Continual persuit of gaining approval, trying to impress, basing decisions on what others might think… man-pleaser instead of God-pleaser) (Gal 1:10)
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism. (Prov 13:1)
13. Being unteachable. (Knowing all there is to know about something, anything.) (Prov 19:20; Jn 9:13-34)
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading. (Quite often “cleverly done through jesting”) (Prov 12:18, 23)
15. A lack of service. (Quite often because they wait to be coaxed or serve until they no longer feel praised enough and then leave service.) (Gal 5:13; Eph 2:10)
16. A lack of compassion. (Rarely concerned for others or their concerns.) (Matt 5:7; 18:23-35)
17. Being defensive or blame-shifting. (They make light of their shortcomings by pointing out others. Always try to explain away their sin.) (Gen 3:12-13; Prov 12:1)
18. A lack of admitting when you are wrong. (A proud person will make a great many excuses such as, “I was tired,” or “I was/am having a bad day.”) (Prov 10:17)
19. A lack of asking forgiveness. (Proud people rarely admit their sin; nor can they bring themselves to be humble enough to ask forgiveness for things they have done.) ( Matt 5:23-24)
20. A lack of biblical prayer. (Proud people pray little, if at all. Prayers usually center around themselves and their desires, those things beneficial to them.) ((Luke 18:10-14)
21. Resisting authority or being disrespectful. (1Pet 2:13-17)
22. Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked. (Who wouldn’t want to know what THEY think about it?) (Phil 2:1-4)
23. Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings. (Matt 7:3-5)
24. Maximizing others’ sins and shortcomings. (Luke 18:9-14)
25. Being impatient or irritable with others. (A proud person might be angry with others because they are concerned their own schedule or plans are being ruined.) (Eph 4:31-32)
26. Being jealous or envious. (Often have a hard time being glad for other’s successes or blessings; especially if they do not enjoy the same benefit.) (1Cor 13:4)
27. Using others. (Views others in terms of what people can do for them or their interests.) (Matt 7:12; Phil 2:3-4)
28. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes. (Will do just about anything to keep others from finding out negative things about them.) (Prov 11:3; 28:13)
29. Using attention-getting tactics. (Draws attention to themselves through dress, bizarre behavior, rebellion, always focusing on their issues.) (1Pet 3:3-4)
30. Not having close relationships. (Often have no use for close relationships, as the trouble outweighs the benefits. Many shallow relationships.) (Prov 18:1-2; Heb 10:24-25)
Tomorrow I’ll share his manifestations of humility. The good news is that you may see yourself in some of these, too!
Awed at God’s patience for me….
That was the question in the day’s Bible study. As one of God’s children, covered in the Lamb’s blood, I have the ability to thwart satan and his tricks. It’s enough to frustrate the living “you-know-what” out of him!! So, what’s he gonna do?
The answer, according to Beth Moore (and I do concur!), is he is going to do anything he can to shake my testimony, and anything he can to make me forget that he can’t touch me when my focus is where it should be! So, my goal is to maintain my focus, and keep my testimony clean.
I am looking forward to doing this study (When Godly People Do Ungodly Things) – I know I will get useful information on how to keep my focus on Christ. Of course, even without the study I know the best way to turn my eyes upon Jesus is to stay in God’s word.
Well, I think I’ll go upstairs and look at my study some more. I’m praying everyone has a good weekend.
Focusing on my LORD……