Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?Romans 8:29-31

DSC_0493I talk about the Bible a lot here at this blog.

However you view scripture, as a believer or as a skeptic (maybe both at the same time), there is no getting around the fact that the collected books of the Old and New Testaments comprise one amazing document. Genesis through Revelation, the stories offer amazing insight into the ongoing relationship between God and humankind; between Creator and creation; spiritual and physical; time and eternity; seen and unseen; known and unknown.

300-PLUS PREACHERS: When we lived in Florida, I interviewed more than 300 Christian preachers for “In-depth profile” articles featured in the Tampa Tribune.

The preachers (minister, pastor, priest, bishop, clergy, Monseigneur, padre, apostle, rector, reverend…) were Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist (Southern, Cooperative, Independent, Freewill, Primitive etc…), Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Church of God, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, United Church of Christ, Disciples Of Christ, Christian Church, African Methodist Episcopal, Metropolitan Community Church, Salvation Army, Unitarian, Foursquare… and many more.

I interviewed preachers who led mega-churches with more than 5,000 congregants, and I did stories on pastors shepherding flocks of less than 25.

I asked many different questions, and we talked about everything – from deep personal issues, to challenges in ministry, to their favorite local restaurant. Sometimes we’d end up chatting for a couple of hours or more. Later, they always told me that the stories I wrote captured the substance of their ministry and the essence of who they were.

bibleSCRIPTURE: One item that always made it into my “Preacher-Feature” piece would be a “favorite” scripture; I saw it as an opportunity to share God’s word with tens of thousands of people.

My question was this, “What scripture is on your heart today, a passage you’d like to share with the community?”

I was surprised at how many responded with a cliché, some variance of, “The Lord gave me my life-verse when I was ______,” followed by John 3:16, or another popular memory-verse.

So I’d say, “That’s cool… but what has God been challenging you with recently, maybe this week, even today?”

You see, I think that if the scripture that’s in the front of your consciousness is more than a week old, then you really haven’t been getting into the word enough.

speaking at Bethany College

speaking at Bethany College

GOD USES SCRIPTURE: Personally, I’m not sure that I could write or speak with any authority if I wasn’t challenged, guided, and inspired by God’s word on a daily basis. This morning, for example, I returned to Romans chapter 8 (referenced in a meditation I read yesterday), and God reached in through time and space to rest the passage on my heart.

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? – 29-31

God knew me, and then chose me; having chosen me, God called me; and having called me, God gave me right standing with himself…. I love the sequencing in this text. Then I appreciate the way Eugene Peterson interprets verse 30: “And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun!”

God, Paul then declares, is on our side! God is alongside me! God has my back!

RAMBLE CONCLUDED: I know I’ve rambled a lot in today’s post, but I believe it is hugely important that we understand the essential thrust of The Good News. The good news is that God knows us, choses, us, calls us, restores us in relationship, and then stands alongside us.

DSC_0018The Bible is the good story of humankind’s struggle to understand and to receive The Good News. We don’t worship the Bible, we worship the God whose story is told in the Bible. The essential thrust of the story is reconciliation, between the Creator and the creation. This is why Jesus came!

It is a story that is new every day!

– DEREK

7 thoughts on “if it’s not good news, then it’s probably not God…

  1. Hello!
    I am a 20 year old female and I have a passion for being a voice for those who don’t have one. Mainly for the generation of girls that are having to grow up in this corrupt, sexually immoral world. My recent blog called “Where Do YOU Draw the Line” based off of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been getting tons of attention/ high stats! Over 5,000 views! All praises to Him. I would love for you to read it. I want girls to know how pure and beautiful they are in our heavenly Father’s eyes. I want them to know how much they are worth to Him. So help me spread the word! I would love for you to share my blog. It would mean so much to me.
    Thank you & thank you for being a positive voice in this crazy world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. derekmaul says:

      Those are some impressive stats! And you have a positive, important message.
      Many blessings as you share the Good News.
      Peace – DEREK

      Like

  2. ronglogy says:

    thank you so much! this really spoke to me.

    Like

  3. ronglogy says:

    Reblogged this on 恵み.

    Like

  4. jaypeeveetee says:

    ThE bible is all about JESUS!AMEN TO THAT!

    Like

  5. The more I study the Bible and read blogs, books and articles about the Bible, the more I realize the entire Bible is about Jesus Christ. Beginning to end. It is so unbelievable that Christ came in the flesh, and was BOTH God and man. He was divine and human. Yet he did not succumb to the temptation of sin. His birth, death and resurrection was prophesied a thousand years before it happened. The Bible was written over approximately 1,500 years, is comprised of 66 books, was translated in to various languages, and has dozens and dozens of authors, and yet it does not contradict itself or fail to get the prophesies right. Amazing. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. I am reading a really good book about apologetics called The Trial of Jesus Christ. It’s written by an attorney who was somewhat agnostic, but became a true believer after he applied “legal argument” and logic to the Bible. He concluded that every word is true.

    Like

    1. derekmaul says:

      great comment! Thanks. I’ll have to check out that book…

      Like

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