Updates and Missed Past Events

Well,

I must apologize to all of you for the lack of content being made available on our website recently. I’ve been working hard and have completely forgotten to post anything here. It has almost been two months since and update and I am sorry. Currently there are a few projects on my plate. Firstly (of course) we have the Believe Something Better Commentary Series. I am currently working on the Commentary on First John and it hope to move onto Second John soon. This is taking a lot of work and I am having to put a lot of effort into it. It has taken most of my focus recently.

Second I am putting more feelers out for the ESB Project (if you don’t know what that is you can read about it on this post). We are still looking for anyone and everyone who would like to help with this project in any way. You can e-mail us at Contact@BelieveBetterMinistries.com. Even if you just have questions about the project you can e-mail us.

Third the book of poems, which was talked about here, is actually starting to look as though it will be ready for publish soon. We have been putting a lot of work into the book and are getting ready to launch it. We hope you will enjoy it.

Finally I’ve been continuing the prayer challenge for the year and took a picture which I forgot to post on Sunday. Sunday was the 290th day of 2016 so I wanted to post a picture with my checklist and prayer journal. Here it is: 20161016_154653
That is what I’ve been spending a lot of time focused on prayer and my Bible recently. I hope to have an update soon. Keep your eyes peeled!


RB

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A Few Finished Items

Well as we are working on new projects. I am have specifically moved onto working on 1 John and am working on the study notes and commentary of this epistle. With that happening we are looking back at a few of our projects which have already finished (at least as far as the extent of the project was concerned). The first was Jude. You can see our post about Jude here, but there is also a part of this project which you may not know about. The second is Obadiah. We have made a commentary and study notes of these two books. These study notes which were made available as part of the Commentary Project were also given to Breath of God Ministries which were added to the BOGV (and here Paraphrase) as part of the Breath of God Study Bible.  You can get a taste of this Study Bible in both Old and New Testaments (with Obadiah and Jude, respectively) in BOG Ministries’ most recent post.

We hope you enjoy.
RB

The Epistle of Jude – Believe Something Better Commentary Series

Well we are excited to announce the first commentary in the Believe Something Better Commentary Series has been finished. (It is important for you to understand this is not the first volume of the series but rather the first commentary of the series.) The commentary on the Epistle of Jude is finished.

We are posting three things on this blog here today for you to see. The first is the commentary which has recently been finished. We are always open to hearing feedback on anything we post here and you can give us your feedback through e-mail or comments here on the blog. The second thing we’re posting is a set of study notes and an outline for Jude (as you will see the outline is in the commentary as well). These notes are based on the commentary and a set very similar will be made available for each book of the Bible. They are meant to be supplementary to the commentary. These study notes would allow you to have notes available while you study the Bible. The third and final thing we are posting is a complimentary copy of the Epistle of Jude (from the Breath of God Version). This will allow you to refer to this version of the Epistle as you go through the commentary or notes.

These three things are the first in many posts you will see in the future (Lord willing) giving you similar announcements. We do not plan on posting the commentary every time we finish one, but rather just giving a general announcement. We also have the books lumped together to allow for publishing.

We hope you enjoy this and we look forward to seeing feedback from you. Please not this is not the final layout for the commentaries, just an easy layout for it to be presented here on our website for you.

Book 1 of “Psalms by RB”

Well we have some exciting news in the works. All the poems that have been being published on this website under the title “Psalms by RB” are going to be published and available for purchase on the Kindle soon! We have capped Book 1 at 40 Poems (all of which are finished and going through light editing). Over the next few days the last five Psalms will be published here and you can look forward to seeing them on the Kindle in the next few months.

This is the first publication to come out from Believe Better Ministries and we are excited and looking forward to it. Keep checking in here over the next few months to and we will announce when the book will be launched. The title of the book is Psalms by RB Book 1 and you can look forward to reading it on your kindle or smart device with a kindle app.

Epistle to the 21st Century Church

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Epistle to the 21st Century Church

A letter written to the Church sent from a servant of the LORD Jesus Christ; who is His Son.

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

First let me tell you that if any one of you, my Brethren, find any fault, error or wrong thing in this letter discard it immediately for it is not of the LORD. But if you find that my writings are good and in harmony with the Word of God than heed them.

Now, Brethren, we have fallen away from the things that are of Christ and turned to the things of men. If any of you cannot quote to me John 3:16 than you must be a new believer; and for the new believer I will quote it here:

“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.”

John 3:16 (KJV)

Brethren think clearly, there is no qualifier presented, not even in the verses following. Do you believe me? Look it up for yourself. The Apostle Paul knew this and wrote of it in his Epistle to the Church at Ephesus. In this letter Paul told them (and through this letter us) that they were saved by grace alone not by works of the Law (Eph 2:8–9).

Brethren, if in His Word God tells us that no works gain our salvation why have we placed ourselves under the Law again? Such things the Jews tried to do before, and the Apostles spoke very clearly about this. The leaders of the churches – the Priests, Pastors and Elders – are supposed to be knowledgeable of the Word of God, why do they then not lead you to understanding of how you have become saved?

Peter, the Apostle who led the other Apostles, spoke on this when it was brought before him. He rebuked them asking why they were placing a yoke upon the Gentiles that no Jew has ever been able to bear. He then reminded them that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved (Acts 15:7–11).

This rebuke was meant for all men who placed the Law on the believer – the Christian. Brethren if my salvation rested on my own shoulders and I died tomorrow I world go to Hell because I am not worthy. I am a decrepit servant who does not even deserve to work for his Master let alone be given grace by Him, but yet I am saved by the blood of Christ. I pray that my words will be heard by you that you will no longer carry a yoke on your shoulders.

Even Paul, who could count himself perfect, did not count his works as salvation, but counted them as loss for the sake of Christ. In his Epistles to the Philippians he said that if anyone has the ability to have confidence in their flesh Paul does. Then he lists his qualifications but follows this list saying that none of them can help him because these qualities are worthless when compared to knowing Christ Jesus (Phil 3:2–8). Paul’s qualifications are impressive, even amazing, he could count himself blameless before the Law. Again I say to you he still counted these qualities as worthless!

Paul was very clear on this in his exhortations to the churches and men that he had left behind him on his missionary journeys. He preached the gospel of grace and he wanted all men to know that anyone who tried to put the Law over them should not be listened to. He went so far as to curse anyone (including himself and angels) who preached a gospel contrary to what Paul preached (Gal 1:8). Because when it comes down to the end anyone who preaches contrary to Paul is saying God’s way is not good enough. So are you willing to say that God’s plan is not good enough?

God told Paul that His grace was sufficient enough (2Cor 12:9) and if His grace was sufficient enough for Paul who was the foremost (or greatest) of sinners (1Tim 1:15) than why is His grace insufficient for you? But I do exhort you as Paul did that we should not sin against God. For just as Jesus told the Adulterous Woman “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11) we must strive to do the same and bear fruit. For what is faith? Faith is not just sitting on your hands doing nothing but faith is believing in something, and belief is a word of action. Just as James said faith without action is dead (Jas 2:26). So in our faith must we have action that goes along with it.

What is this action? It is the love that we are commanded to perform. We are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:37-39). If you truly love other as yourself than how will you sin against God? This is the truth and heart of the Gospel: Not following the Law (for the Law itself places a curse on the person who does not complete all items in the Law – Deut 27:26; Gal 3:10), but rather following the love. Our example in this is our God, Himself. He gave Himself – all of Himself – so that we could be with Him; offering Himself as sacrifice so that He could give limitless grace to us. That is our example on how to love and how to live.

So do not forget that you are not under the Law, but also don’t forget that this does not allow you to be lawless. So I end this letter to the Body of Christ with Christ’s own words which He sent to Ephesus: “Return to your first love” (Rev 2:4-5).

Finally brothers do not forget to take care of one another in love, not just spiritually but if there is a physical need take care of this need as well. My prayers are with you always and may the Lord Jesus the Son of God and the Christ rain down his peace on your heads.

A New Year’s Thought – 2016

2016 is upon us. A lot has happened to me over this last year. I have changed some goals in my life and made some important new ones, but really my thoughts at the New Year always turn to the past. I said the same thing last year. “Is the year really over?” I think to myself. Yes it is and I should glorify God in that not complain how fast the time is starting to go. Time speeds up as you get older because so much more of it is already in the past, but the Lord knows this and takes us through it.

We should be looking forward to His glorious return! That is where our eyes should be fixed. Maybe this year, maybe this very month or maybe, even, today He will return. This is where our focus should be. Otherwise the Lord said that the day shall come as a thief in the night. To that end I want to keep my focus not only on the future but on God. I want every iota of my focus on God throughout the whole day, every day.

A friend of mine challenged me with something that is apparently going around the Christian Blogosphere: “The 365 Prayer Challenge”. (For 2016 that will have to be “The 366 Prayer Challenge”.) The challenge is one that no blogger would misunderstand write 365 (or 366 this year) prayers out. One for each day. At the end of the year post them in either a PDF or some other downloadable format, or straight to the blog. This challenge is to keep your focus on God throughout the whole year of 2016.

I want to do it. I want to keep my focus on God 24/7/366 for the year of 2016. I am also challenging you out there in the Blogosphere and Podosphere. Write down a prayer every day, there is no length requirements, just pray. I will be posting mine as a PDF attached to my New Year’s thought for 2017.

Let’s make 2016 the year of Prayer!

Daily Bible Reading Adventure

Well today I started an adventure, with my wife. We are reading The Daily Bible published by Harvest House. The layout was designed and a devotional commentary was written by F. Lagard Smith. I’ve my copy of it for a while and I read a good portion of it. The actual text of the Bible is NIV (1984 ed.) which I have read several times and had used (as it was the translation of my main Bible for a time before I started using the ESV more). So as far as the text of the Bible itself it is using a solid translation and I am not here to debate translation.

What I am here to write about is the journey of the way that this Bible is laid out. It is laid out without verse and chapter numbers in the text, as it is trying to encourage reading, and it is laid out in chronological order. This means that some books appear in different locations or the text of some books appears one after the other. This is most apparent in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles where we have many books being woven together. The Prophets are placed at the time at which their prophecies were given and many of the Psalms are placed at the time that they were written.

It is also very apparent in the Gospels and Acts. In the Gospels we have the four Gospels being woven together into a Harmony (for more on Gospel Harmony click here). A Gospel Harmony is something that the Church has been trying to put together since the early days (about the second century with the Diatessaron) and this Bible presents one version of a harmony. Acts is a very interesting versions with the Epistles of Paul being laid out in their place in Paul’s life.

All of that really is beyond the point that I’m trying to make. I enjoy reading. I read a lot! This Bible lends itself to that very much. In the margins of next to the text it gives the references of the text that you are reading so that you can easily reference any passage that you are reading. The commentary devotional doesn’t take you out of the passage but it helps to bring your focus to what you are reading. Personally I really like the layout. I’m really enjoy the experience of reading this Bible and the experience is different. The books aren’t laid out in the typical manner (for any tradition) and so it makes a very good way to make the text new and fresh again.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to make the Bible new again or to anyone who is just looking for a way to read the Bible and keep at it. As the title says the readings are broken up by day and it makes it easy to read through the Bible in a year. This is a great addition to anyone’s library and will reinvigorate anyone’s reading experience. I recommend it for anyone and everyone.

Quick Update for Newsletter – Prayer Requests

I just have a quick update for the Newsletter. This update is about prayer, more specifically prayer requests. We, at Believe Better Ministries, are always open to praying for you when ever you want us to. That being said we would also like to open it up to the rest of the Community that has started following our Blog and those who have already signed up for the Newsletter.

If you ever have a prayer request feel free to e-mail it to us at BelieveBetter[dot]Ministries[at]gmail[dot]com we will always pray for you! If it is a more of a confidential prayer request, feel free to tell us so. If it is even more confidential but you still would like prayer you can always e-mail me, RB, and I will pray for you. You can e-mail me at BelieveBetter[dot]89[at]gmail[dot]com.

But again we want to open this up to the community and spread the prayer. If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, you can do so by clicking the link on the right at the top of the sidebar. And over the next two months (because our first issue is coming out in January) we will be collecting prayer requests to go out to everyone who subscribes.

Thank You!

__
RB

Upcoming Plans

Hello everyone, from Believe Better Ministries!

As we come up on Thanksgiving (in the United States) and Christmas there are a lot of things that I am currently working on. The first thing that comes to mind is the Christmas Thought for this year. I am planning on making it a tradition that I post a Thought (more information on exactly what that means later) for New Years, Easter and Christmas – at least – any other Thoughts will be posted but those three days will get special thoughts. (Some years they may not be thoughts but full essays, we’ll see.)

I am continuing through my punch list of things that I am working on. This includes Ruth, Jude and all the others on my list. I’ve also got a few new things in the pipes for the upcoming year. The first of which is the Believe Something Better Newsletter. This is the premier newsletter from Believe Better Ministries and will be coming out monthly. It will either be at the end or beginning of the month (that is to be decided later) and it will feature articles that have already been posted or new articles Thoughts as well as poems and other nuggets. One thing that is on my heart is prayer and I am hoping to have a section in the newsletter where we can include prayer requests. I will be praying for them and I hope other readers will be as well. The first issue of this will be coming out in January but you can sign up now by clicking the link over on the right had side of the page.

This links to the second new thing coming down the pipes for 2016 and that is the Believe Something Better Podcast. This will be a monthly podcast that will feature similar content to the Newsletter but will be rolled out more like a radio show. I plan to have as much content being put into your hands as possible. I have ideas going into the recording for the first episode already.

Finally on the agenda for this post is that Believe Better Ministries is looking for volunteers. We are looking for editors for works that will be coming down the pipes in the future, as well as (possibly) producers for the podcast, and we would are looking for someone to take over the formatting and publishing the newsletter. If you feel called to any of these positions – remember that they are volunteer positions – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Believe Better Ministries through e-mail at BelieveBetter.Ministries@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you. (On a side note as I am connected with Breath of God Ministries I know that they are currently looking for volunteers as well you can e-mail them at TheBOGMinistries@gmail.com to find out more information.)

Finally: What is a Thought? A Thought is what I am calling a short writing (or micro essay) that I have made on any given subject. It could be something that I write a longer piece on later or it could be something that I’ve already written on but have a new idea. Really it is what I am calling my little ramblings and ideas that come to me as I study the word of the Lord.

Thanks!

––
RB May IV
Leader of Believe Better Ministries