Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Three Sixteen Thoughts

I painstakingly wrote the ten commandments in Hebrew within the Toral scroll of this watercolor;
 the background is my impression of God's shekinah glory.
        I first got the idea to write on this subject several years ago during a church service.  The pastor told us to open our Bibles to the third chapter of Malachi.  He then read verses sixteen and seventeen:   "Then they that feared the LORD spake often to one another; and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I take up my jewels, and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." (KJV)  After reading those verses and hearing Pastor Donnie's inspiring sermon, I realized (as I hope you will) that God treaures each of us.  It amazes me that God would consider ME a treasure!
      Later in that same sermon, we turned to I John 3:16, as follows:  "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (KJV)
     And, then it hit me.  Not only had I received the intended lesson, I also experienced an additional message that morning in church.  I started thinking about the oft-quoted scripture, John 3:16:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (KJV)
     At home that afternoon I wondered, "What if I look up all the 3:16 passages in the BIble? Would they all teach as profound a lesson?"  I didn't have time that afternoon to search my Bible.  But, as if in answer, the first scripture reference in the evening Bible study was II Timothy 3:16, which reads: "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 
     So, I began my search.  The writings on this blog are the result. I will try to remember to include which Bible translation my quotes come from, as I will be using various translations from time to time.  My favorite translations are the King James and  David Stern's translation, The Complete Jewish Bible.  Regardless of the translation I'm reading,  I like to look up the original words in Hebrew or Greek and find the deepest, truest meaning I can possibly discover.  I really don't want this blog to be overly studious.  I'm hoping it will be an enjoyable read for the learned and the unlearned, the saved and the lost,  young and old... anyone who is trying to better understand The Word.
     Each post on this blog will be about one 3:16.  Hmmmm... maybe I should start with Genesis?

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