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Welcome to Into The Word!

From time to time I will attempt to answer some of the more frequently asked questions from Into The Word readers and listeners. If they are short I will post the responses on the Facebook page. If they are longer, as here, I will address them via a special post.  Question: Hi Pastor Paul! I was reading Acts 8 for RMM, and I'm a little confused about how the Samaritans had been baptized and "received the word of God", but hadn't received the Holy Spirit....Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 9, 2017

January 09, 2017 By: Paul Carter

Acts 9 The story of Saul’s conversion is told three times in The Acts of the Apostles.  It is told here in chapter 9, again in chapter 22 and a third time in chapter 26.  Obviously Luke thought the story was important for us to consider.  It is probably intended as a pattern of conversion.  Saul was a man of violence and hatred, he was stubborn and proud, he was not seeking Christ, rather he was bent on persecuting the church when all of the sudden - BAM! - God...Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 8, 2017

January 08, 2017 By: FBC Staff

Ezra 8 Chapter 8 provides an account of Ezra’s return to Jerusalem, along with a company of several others.  We are given a list of families that are to embark on this trip.  A lifetime ago these folks had been told:  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7) These folks have lived in Babylon for a very long time and, they have prospered and have larger...Continue Reading

What If I’ve Already Fallen Behind On My Readings?

January 07, 2017 By: Paul Carter

About 47% people who start a Bible reading plan on January 1st have already fallen behind by January 7th. I didn’t make that number up, that number comes from our own tracking information courtesy of Google Analytics. It also comes from talking to busy people and guilty congregants year after year after year.  If you’ve been struggling to stay on top of your Bible readings this year the good news is, you are not alone! You are not deficient or unusually depraved - you are a human being...Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 7, 2017

January 07, 2017 By: Paul Carter

Ezra 7 In chapter 7 we finally meet Ezra the character.  Up until this point in the narrative Ezra has not yet appeared in his story.  There were multiple waves of immigrants coming out from Babylon/Persia and resettling in the land of Israel and Ezra was not part of the first wave, though he obviously interviewed people who were.  I’ve always loved how Ezra is introduced: He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the LORD, the God of Israel, had given, and the king...Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 6, 2017

January 06, 2017 By: Paul Carter

Ezra 6 In chapter 6 we witness the completion of the temple.  The Scripture says: 14 They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia; 15 and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.16 And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. (Ezra...Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 4, 2017

January 04, 2017 By: Paul Carter

Ezra 4 Infiltration has often been the strategy of our enemy. Note the opening words of Ezra 4: 1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.” (Ezra 4:1–2...Continue Reading

Daily Reflections January 2, 2017

January 02, 2017 By: Paul Carter

Ezra 2 Modern day Scripture readers struggle to understand why there are so many genealogies in the Bible.  Some of us are story people, some of us are propositional people but very few of us are genealogy people. Why then are these lists in the Bible?  For one thing these lists remind us that God is personal. He doesn’t save “people generally”, he saves these people specifically.  Our brains get tired reading long lists but his doesn’t.  Thank God!  The Bible says...Continue Reading

Special Year End RMM RoundUp

December 31, 2016 By: Paul Carter

2 Chronicles 36  Today will be a day of endings. Each of the 4 chapters we read today brings a certain scene in God’s redemptive story to a close. The scene that is concluded in 2 Chronicles 36 might be titled “The Kingdom Lost”. As we have been talking about over the course of our series “After Darkness Light” the kingdom of Israel reached its high water mark under the reigns of David and Solomon. David defeated all the enemies of God’s people and Solomon built the temple and established...Continue Reading

On January 1st 2017 we will launch a new podcast called “Into The Word”. This podcast is designed to assist people in reading through the Bible using the 2 year version of the Robert Murray M’Cheyne (RMM) Scripture reading plan.  In 2012 we started encouraging our people to read through the Bible using the RMM plan. We tried to support that by following the plan in our preaching calendar and by releasing periodic blogs and reflections throughout the week. Each subsequent year we...Continue Reading