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001 - Introduction - Who are these people?

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2020 2:00 pm

001 - Introduction - Who are these people?

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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August 1, 2020 2:00 pm

Episode 001 - Introduction - Who are these people?

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye? Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper. Right. Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink.

Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own. As we ask God to meet us there in its pages. Welcome to more than.

What, more than white? More than eight minutes. What does it mean? I don't know what that means. It's kind of odd. Who are these people anyway? And if going to explain them. I hope so. I've never heard them on the radio before. Well, let's find out. OK, here we go.

Hey, welcome. This is more than a week, and that's a new show, and we're glad that you're with us this morning, we're actually sitting around our dining room table in reality. So in a way, we're asking you to pull up your chair and sit with us and we'll just have a a really relaxed discussion. And our discussion is going to be about the Bible, some sections of the Bible. We're going to talk about, but also just in general, how you study the Bible. That's that's what we're really, really interested in. So from a pair of nonexperts to you, we want to bring you into the whole world of studying the Bible. No. The Bible was was pivotal in both of our conversions. It was a big deal both before and after we came to the Lord. So we thought a good way to start this would be to to showcase for you just exactly the role that God used the word for in our lives. When we first came to him and then and then thereafter. And maybe this has been your experience or maybe will be or experienced because you're just curious about what's going on. So. So I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. Well, tell us your story, OK?

Well, before I do that, let me just say to our listeners that we have been studying and reading this book for 50 years. Each of us individually. And we've been married for 44 of those 50 years. And so a lot of our understanding and the way we approach the word has developed in partnership with one another, as we have as very young believers wrestled for understanding. And then as we grew in maturity and as we grew into a marriage, became a pattern of discussing with one another. Hey, this is what I'm studying. Hey, what do you understand about this? Hey, let's open this and look at it together. We don't do it all the time and we don't do it every day. But since we both are constantly studying and teaching, it's very natural for it to be a regular part of our conversation. Right. Exactly. So I am one of those people that has a particular Bible verse that spoke to me that literally leaped off the page and became reality when I came to Christ. I was 15 and I was kind of lost in the world. I didn't know who I was. I couldn't make sense of the circumstances of the world in 1970. And I was raised in a Bible believing home, but I had never appropriated the gospel for myself and a friend at school. Actually, one day we were sitting in the grass presented to me Revelation 320, which says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him and he with me. And I suddenly realized that that all I had to do was open the door. I mean, that verse became a very personal invitation to me to enter a living, breathing relationship with Jesus Christ. So it it became an invitation, a very personal invitation to me to enter a relationship. All I had to do was open the door. I didn't even have to put food on the table. He said, I'll come in and eat with you. I'll come in and dine with you and you with me. But he would bring the dinner. It would be his word. Right. Jesus said anyone. I am the word. And anyone who feeds on me or I'm the bread of life. Anyone who feeds on me will never be hungry. And so from that day I began the process of of reading and later on more intensely studying the word.

Yeah. And it's just continued to this day.

Well, and I started attending a Bible study right away.

I actually it was that very night that I first attended Bible study in the Gospel of Mark in Barcus, full of action. It's it's almost breathless. And there was there's a miracle here. And then this happened. And then Jesus went here and this happened. And has this done wonderful, very active storytelling on the part of Mark's Gospel. So that was kind of my beginning. And that just drew me in.

Yeah. Yeah. And you get a very clear picture who Jesus is and really fast and Mark. And, you know, we'll talk a little later about the gospels and where you start reading and stuff like that. Mark's just a great place to start. It's just awesome. I had a similar experience and interestingly enough, the same year, 1970. So ask you sometime. But there's. There was a lot of stuff going on in 1970, a spiritual level. That was before we knew each other. All right. We both had come to Christ shortly before we met each other. Yeah. Yeah. So things were going on. But, yeah, I came to the Lord and. And I was instantly drawn to wanting to understand who this Jesus is. And I was also pointed toward the Gospels. I started reading the Gospels. I used a paraphrase of the Bible called the Living Bible. And we'll talk about that, too. What that's all about what to paraphrase and why should I use it and all that kind of stuff. But but a paraphrase it as a bottom line allows you to really just move fast. It doesn't have a lot of the a lot of the. Problems that you might anticipate in trying to Lee Reed, King James English, because it's got a lot of archaic words and stuff, so. But this paraphrase May I could just jump in and I could I could cruise through Matthew and Mark and Luke and John and go through all of them just in short order and in that process of of of shooting through the gospels really fast. I got this incredible view through this Jesus is and the more I read about him, the more curious I became and the more I fell in love with him. And that just awaited my appetite to continue doing that very thing. And as well, I took note at the time of all those places where Jesus said, basically, I'm going away and I'm coming back. And while I I know he's gone away. So now I'm thinking, well, he's coming back. So to a young believer like me, I was really I was really just enamored with the whole idea that Jesus was going to return. And that was about the same time that Hal Lindsey came out with his famous book, The Late, Great Planner, which we remember. Then, boy, I'll tell you, it was earth shaking because suddenly he was one of the first people to make a case for the fact that what you're seeing in geopolitical news of the day looks like it could actually fit what revelation is in all the circumstances around the second coming. So I was I was really man, I was really interested, man. And I was pretty convinced there in the middle of my high school years that Jesus is going to come back really fast. And we all were convinced of that. That is kind of the era we lived in. Yeah. So it made breeding the word even that much more electric in that sense, too. So but that just started me on a long course. Again, like you're saying, 50 years of continuing to read. And I still read these same four gospels and am surprised. And now how is that possible? And that's that's why we're getting back to the title of this show. It's more than ink is that these aren't just dead words on a page. There's there's something going on here that that, you know, there's not a parent. You know, the Bible itself says it's it's exceptional in that sense as well. But but in our experience, I mean, this has really, really been the case that you would think if you read, say, like a fictional novel for 50 years, you know, you're going to memorize run out of gas. It's like I'm not being surprised anymore, but I'm still being surprised by what's in the Bible while I read the same passages. And that's what that's just a clue to the fact that there's something more going on than than meets the eye.

But the word itself, Paul, even tells us that there's there's more than meets the eye. Right. He I mean, when he wrote Timothy in what we call the the pastoral letters where he's teaching Timothy how to be a pastor, in that sense, he's a he says, look, in second Timothy 316, all scriptures breathed out by God, it's breathed out by God, like God's dictating it. And it's profitable for teaching and for proof and for correction, for training and righteousness that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work. And we could go into the depth about what all those things mean. But the most striking thing about it is that Paul, as he references the Old Testament, says all scripture is breathed out by God. And so it has a special connection to our creator himself. And it's not just a fictional novel. These are these are the words of God himself to us.

And there's other places that say and the writer Hebrews says that the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. That certainly becomes a reality. The more you fix your attention, erm the word becomes very clear that it can pierce, you can penetrate clear to the depth of Einer. And when you least expect it. Yeah. The motivations are Expo's is our sin. Exactly. Sometimes voices words better than we would voice them ourselves. Yeah.

Yeah. And you know none of us at know and I know goes saying I'm going to read the Bible today so I can be convicted about. So hey, let anybody do that. So. So yeah. I like to call these sort of spiritual ambushes of a sort. It's you're as you're exploring through in your sterling, through the Bible and then and then God puts these words in front of your face and suddenly it does exactly what Hebrews four says. It does it it suddenly pierces you in places you didn't even realize you need to be pierced. And so those surprises and that that extreme relevance very, very relevant, but surprisingly relevant in ways we we can't even anticipate, you know. And I thought back to the fact that when when Jesus himself talked about his own words, he was talking about the fact that his words themselves say a lot about what kind of follow you are. He said in Johhny, 31, Jesus said to the Jews who believed him. He says, You know, if you abide in my word, you're truly my disciples. That is, you know, if you live in my word, you're my disciples. And I can I can resonate with that, because as soon as I became his disciple, I lived in his word. I mean, a death just. And we see that. A telltale sign of people when they come to Christ today is they suddenly say, I just want to I want to know what Jesus said. I want to know everything about what's written there. I just don't know. In fact, a lot of our friends have said when I came to the Lord, I decided I wasn't going to trust what men told me anymore. So I got myself a Bible, a red letter Bible, so that what I read on the page was just the words of Jesus and nothing else. And, you know, I said, well, good for you. That's exactly right. But that hunger is a real thing. It's a real thing. And they just wanted to abide in his word.

Well, and, you know, Jesus said my words, the word that I spoken to you, our spirit and our life. And later on in that same passage in John, 6:00, when he asks the disciples, what do you want to go away to? Because he had just said, I'm the bread of life.

You have to eat me freedom in order to live. Well, you know, and that was some of the more like, well, that's too weird for me. We're out of here. But he turned to the disciples and said, you know, well, do you want to go away, don't you?

And Peter said, Well, Lord, where shall we go? You have the words of a light. Exactly. And so these words that yes. Our ink on the page, but they are so much more than that are literally the words of life. And we can feed on them, feed our minds. The appeal of the New Testament is to the mind. Come and think.

Come and reason. And actually Isaiah one says that come let's reason together. Let's apply our minds to this. We don't just approach it superstitiously. Like we open a page and point to something and say, oh, there's God's warriors there for me today. Magic verse. Right, man Jeffers. But there is a way in which we can learn to apply our minds with careful thinking. And, you know, before you your eyes roll up in your head and you think, okay, I don't want to do that.

I'm not interested in this kind of study, really. We're just going to talk at the beginning about how do we read God's word? Do we read with intention to understand that God has something to say to us?

Yeah. And that's a good expectation. I mean, that that was my expectation. When I came to the Lord, I started reading us, said. There's something here for me and I've got to find what it is. And there's nothing wrong with that expectation. I don't know how that expectation is built, because most people would say, well, I just converted to a religion and now I'm going to read this gigantically old document.

Well, how many people do you know who said, oh, I'm going to read the Bible? Right. And they started Genesis and then they wipe out a frame. They might get into Exodus. Yeah, man. Then they get to Leviticus. I mean, it's just done. So, yeah. Which which raises a good Segway.

That raises a sticky issue because a large measure, what we want to do on this program is talk about how you study the Bible and how you get into it. And. And that can be that can be a grotesquely dry subject. It can be a very academic subject. But I want you to know that we're not going to go academic and dry. We're just going to tell you, you know, what has worked for us. And they're actually tried and true principles. These are we're not making a lot of this stuff up. But but but to paint the picture that you yourself can actually read the Bible and you can interpret what's there and you can have the rational expectation. God help me to understand what this is. You know, are you to understand what this is? You know, some 30, 32, he says, I know I don't want you to be like a dumb animal that don't go goes left and right when you pull the reins. I want you to understand. So understanding and using our minds is a gigantic part of what this is all about.

Well, and Jesus said in John, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, he was telling the disciples all the things they could expect when the Holy Spirit comes. Yeah, right. He said the spirit is going to give you understand or stands. Going to give you remember. It's he's gonna give you insight. He's going to disclose to you the things of mine, the things that are of me. And so that the Holy Spirit is very active in this process. You know, that's what saves us from just being ink on a page. Well, and you said something about it not being academic a minute ago. Well, that's because we are not academics. Neither one of us has a seminary degree.

I went to Bible College for one year and then we decided to get married. So I came home. Got a job. Yeah. So between us, that's our Bible training is what to do.

But over the years, we have developed our understanding of who God is, where God has developed this understanding in us through our diligent, diligent application diligence, seeking him out through his written word. And so that's why it's our conviction that you can learn to do that, too, by all means. So eat in the in the written word. That then becomes more than just ink on the page. It becomes relevant.

Reality is very, very accessible, very accessible. And a Bible teacher. I heard for some years used to always call the Bible God's love letter to us, because God's not just trying to educate us. He's trying to get. Yes, to understand what he's like and and to foster a relationship with him, that's a knowledgeable. It's a knowledge, in fact, a passage to go to a lot in JEREMI 31. And it looks way forward in time to the end of things worth. Where my relationship with God is, is is matured and it's full and stuff like that. It says right in there says people are not going to be going around saying no, the Lord, because they'll all know Lord. All right. Both the great and the small, not just the privileged academics or the rich. I mean, they'll all know me. So this is the point of this Bible. God, through his love, is communicating to us what he's like. And at face value, it seems like a complex way to do it. But it's really not. It's a remarkable intertwining of real human experience with a real God who interacts with real people. And so. So it's accessible to you and I. Because we're real people.

OK. And a real God who interacts with real people makes me think of the beginning of the gospel of John, where it says that, you know, the word became flesh and dwelt among talk among us. And we can't we can see him otherwise. But he came to fully explain God to us. So when we are approaching the written Bible, we also have to remember God has expressed himself already in the person of Jesus, his communication to humankind. He already took on by becoming flesh and speaking to us in the person of Jesus. And so that's why we say, start with the gospel. Start with the words of Jesus who was himself. The word in the flesh.

He's the word. He told his apostles, if you see me, you've seen the father.

Well, why? What? Yeah. So. So at any time we're always saying, well, you know, where does anything we read in the New Testament or even the Old Testament? Did Jesus say anything about that? And and very often you can draw a direct line from something Jesus said into what we now have written in the in the pages of this big fat book. Yeah.

Very self-consistent. But it takes a little experience to figure out how to tie those together so that that also Segway is a little bit into. You're probably wondering, you know, is this is this for me? Should I come back next time I'm you know. Are they aiming at someone who we're talking to who is an expert in the Bible or I mean, exactly who are we talking about here? So let's clarify that before we go too much further is, you know, who who is this program for who's pulling up a chair with their coffee mug?

And will they want to come back here? I mean, who we who we aiming at? And it can be I mean, do it from a starting level. Maybe you're not a believer. Maybe maybe you're just intrigued by all this. Maybe you're trying to figure out what this is all about. And. And you'd like to, in a very honest way, just find out who this Jesus is. And I mean, how do you do this? How do you start the whole process? I know it's somewhere in the Bible, but how do I do that? So so if you don't even know how to start at all this, this would be good for you because we're gonna start at beginner level, but cover others as well.

Well, and also for baby believers, people who have come to believe that Jesus is who he says he is and yet haven't yet gotten past that very basic beginning. He said, you know, if you abide in my word, then you'll be truly my disciple. You'll know the truth and the truth will set you free. So you know that learning to abide in the word to feed on it daily or consistently for baby believers and even for those of us who've been in the Lord a very long time. We still need to eat daily of the word.

Yeah. So. So what do you think about people who consider themselves well read in the Bible? I mean, is there anything here for them?

Oh, absolutely. Because one of the one of the things that people who've been in the Lord a long time do is talk to one of them back about what he wrote. They say, you know, I'm not sure do. What's your take on this passage? Do I understand that correctly?

And and let's wrestle together to get an understanding of that. And so even people who are very mature in the Lord have done a lot of study can benefit from talking about these things together.

Well, and they just enjoy it, too. I mean, we do, you know, like I say, you know, you read the same things for so long, for 50 years, and there's just no way you're going to find something new. But you do find something new. And so it's just a delight to go to someone, say, hey, have you ever noticed this before? And, you know, maybe one of these times in a future show, we'll talk about that. That experience I had and John, too, it just blew me away. I've been reading John for how long. I got to John to, you know, the way he turned to the water and went away. Hitch simple story, right? Well, that's what you think. So, I mean, these kinds of these kinds of discoveries, exactly what happens when you call yourself a Bible explorer, you're exploring your way through it and you find stuff out. Even if you've been reading it for 50 years, new stuff still comes out, OK?

And sometimes you've been reading it for 50 years. And so for me. Here, that you don't even see what's on the page. Right. So right over, we're talking also to people who are hungry for a new understanding, perhaps of relevance.

How do I approach this thing that's so very familiar to me and and find a freshness in it?

Yes. There's something really here, something here for me, something that's uniquely relevant for me. Yeah, exactly. And we and we do find that that happens to us all the time. And so so, you know, our expectation is God will meet you. There is we look in his word and that's that's what he wants to do. He wants to reveal himself to you. So even for those of you who may have been reading the Bible for years that that we call lovers of the word. This is this is the right place for you. Because we are also going to relate to you in these weeks that come up, how we, as lovers of the word, have been smitten by different things that we read and and we just delight to share in them. And you would think that. Well, I'm what's gonna say you might think that we've got it all figured out.

We don't have it figured out. Not by a lot. And that's why I did. That's one of the great intrigues about reading the Bible, is you just never really have figured out. And God has an endless list of things he wants to communicate to you through many times the same passages of scripture. How does that happen? That's just kind of crazy. But that's it.

That's been our experience. So if you're a lover of the word, this is a place for you. Well, as we sort of as you sort of rural toward the end here, we want to give you a preview, too, about what the contents of what we're going to be doing as a how how we're going to reach a broad of an audience. So. So let's just cover that for you and then we'll say goodbye. And then, like I mentioned before, we will we will actually reference back to our current present studies that we're both doing anyway and give you a little bit of a behind the scenes view on how it has personally impacted us.

The stuff that we're that we're reading right now. And in a way, it will also model for you how it is that you draw these kinds of relevant applications out in your life and how God surprises you. So we'll give you a view into that in both of our lives as we study different.

Until you know what we do because you don't know us. Jesus teaches the scriptures every Sunday at our church. He's our teaching pastor. And I teach our women's Bible studies. So, you know, I every week or twice a week, actually, and perhaps three times a week this fall, sit around a table with women and open the word of God.

And and. And we just go at it and dig for our understanding and application. Yeah.

Women of all all levels of maturity, all really all faith backgrounds in many different denominations. And so it's a very fruitful discussion, a discussion based Bible study. So I'm doing that all the time. Right. And I also lead worship. So I am constantly thinking about how to draw people in with the word, through with the word, through our singing, through and through reading through. Just hearing the scriptures read. Yeah. Yeah. So we're both doing that all the time.

Yeah. And so we'll give you a little sneak preview. No. Behind the scenes, you know how those things that we're engaged in already is just personally impacting us. And then another area which which will spend a fair amount of time in every show is just talking about different Bible study tips. I mean, how do I do this? You know, we only talked about where do I start and if I'm gonna be reading the Bible. But there's this there's just a whole spectrum of tips about what to do and how to interpret. And I mean, things as simple as the fact that we read we read for you second Timothy three, where he says that all scriptures inspired spread out by God. Well, if that's the case and we're talking about everything from Genesis to Revelation. Right. Well, then, you know, when you draw a conclusion from what you're reading, you can actually use the other part of the Bible to test the part you're reading right now, because it's coming from one author and that's God himself.

So you can use the Bible to interpret the Bible and we can give you insights into how we are currently doing that and the things that we're teaching. So that's what we hope to do anyway. That's our plan. And we'll see where the Lord takes us in the coming weeks. Yeah.

Then we can talk about other mechanical things, about how to interpret passages and stuff like that and the value of which kind of versions of the Bible to read. We get asked that an awful lot. And what's the best? That's not the right question to ask.

I don't even really like using the term tips for Bible study, because what we hope to do is give you a basic vocabulary as to how to begin to approach this word. If you are right, Stael added, or not practiced at it or haven't ever even tried it, but think you might be hungry for it. Now, I don't want to give you a list of 10 trivial tips. What we want to give you is some basic equipment, basic idea. You can begin to digest this amazing food.

Yeah. Yeah. So it's a little bit of an orientation, a little bit of tips. I'll still use that. But I mean, there's a lot of people there's a lot of people that just listen to preachers on the air and say they're the experts and I'm not. Well, you don't need to be an expert. And that's what we're going to try and hit on, is we. We're talking about we're not experts. No, but but there are some there are some commonsense things you can use and you can you can actually feed yourself with the word and and it works just fine.

So, well, look, it looks like times that our time is up and my coffee cup is getting empty. So we hope you join us next week and then we'll talk more about the wonders of studying God's word and what God has in store for you.

Your expectations can be high. You can ask God to speak to you and he will meet you in these pages. So I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And we hope you join us next week. By.

More than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content to contact us with your questions or comments. Just go to our Web site. More than Dettori.


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