open bible

#TheoThursday is an “almost-weekly” post that examines how the Bible shapes all aspects of life, including leadership. I will share my personal applications from the week’s readings, and maybe make a few comedic musings (THAT is in the Bible!?). I hope some will join me in this pursuit. To learn more, download the CCC Life app and click the “Bible Savvy” tab at the bottom of the homepage.

This week’s reading: Jeremiah chapters 22-25 , Matthew chapters 14-16:12, Psalm 119:1-156

My top application as a leader: The story of John the Baptist’s beheading (Matthew 14) is followed by one of Jesus’ most known miracles (the feeding of the 5,000). What is striking, however, is that after learning about John’s death, Jesus withdrew to solitude. In fact, I noticed a pattern in Matthew 14 of solitude (v13), healing (v14), miracle (v18-21), more solitude and prayer (v23-24), and finally more miracles –with Peter walking on water (v25-36). While much can, and should, be made of the disciples lack of faith –can’t you relate, the man was walking on water!–what struck me this week was the discipline of solitude Jesus kept. He did hard, even miraculous, work. But, this was buffeted around two times of solitude and prayer. I would do well to do likewise.

My top application as a husband/father: Will, Ben, and I talked Monday night about Matthew 15:18: “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and those defile them.” The example I used to explain this was the cynical words that came out my mouth last Sunday watching the Bears game. I was frustrated by how the offense was playing, and as I watched the game made cynical comments. I asked the boys if this was right. They correctly answered that it was not. I told them that I asked Jesus to forgive my cynical judgment of people that I don’t truly know. I also asked God to heal my judgmentalism towards others. We then talked about some of the words they had used recently and whether they were right. Both could see that words really matter. My takeaway here is that I have to remember that I have little eyes watching my actions all the time as a dad. I should act accordingly, especially while watching football.

Who should read these chapters? Matthew 14-15 are for those needing some hope in a bitter, dark, world. Hope has come.

What was funny or surprising about what you read? God gets a bad wrap in the Old Testament for being strict. People thinking that should read Jeremiah 25:3: “For twenty-three years -from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day -the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.” 23 years of warning is hardly strict. God is rather “long-suffering.”

*Editor’s note: There won’t be a #theothursday next week. Stay tuned till October 24. Also, I’d love feedback. Is this post interesting, helpful? Or, should I scrap it?

Do you find reading the Bible intimidating? Or, do you have no idea where to even begin? If so, I would encourage you to check-out the The Bible Project, which utilizes cartoons (CARTOONS!) to explain the contents of the Bible.