My mercy and justice are coming soon; your salvation is on the way. I will rule the nations; they shall wait for me and long for me to come. Look high in the skies and watch the earth beneath, for the skies shall disappear like smoke, the earth shall wear out like a garment, and the people of the earth shall die like flies. But my salvation lasts forever; my righteous rule will never die nor end. Isaiah 51:5-6 TLB
If you knew Jesus was returning tomorrow what would you do differently today?
We are fixated on victory, on winning against this or that sin, etc. God is fixated on obedience.
In the Judeo-Christian belief, the fourth commandment (in the original telling at Exodus 20:8) reads:
Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. (NRSV)
Or in the retelling at Deutronomy 5:12-14:
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. Deutronomy 5:12-14 NLT
And then there is this version from the Toddler’s Bible:
Save one day a week to praise God.
You get the idea. We do not rest on the Sabbath so we can work during the week, (rather) we work during the week so we can rest and refresh our souls on the Sabbath. And by not working on the Seventh Day, we are affirming that God created the world, and, just as He ceased from work on the Seventh Day, so do we.
Celebrating the Sabbath is not only an act of obedience, it is an act of faith. It is trusting that God will empower us to accomplish all that he has called us to do in six days a week. Moreover, it is a witness to an increasingly godless world. We can have no idea the impact of this act of faith and obedience in the Providence of God.
So, whether you are a Jew or a Christ-follower, pick one of the next two days and celebrate the Sabbath.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16- 17 NLT
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG
Much is said in God’s Word about wisdom. It is clear that is an important virtue, but that wisdom should not be confused with knowledge or ‘book learning’.
The Bible often uses the tool of personification to explicate truth. Personification allows us to come to know the virtue of wisdom in the same way we come to know a person we meet. One example of this is Solomon’s personification of wisdom in Proverbs 8:12-21 (“Lady Wisdom”). As part of Her personification, the Message paraphrase even tells us the streets in her neighborhood and the names of some of her neighbors:
I Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
whose ways I hate with a passion –
pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.
With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me;
those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me –
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.
My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road – that’s where I walk –
at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
filling their arms with life – armloads of life!
The Bible describes three kinds of people, the wise, the foolish, and the evil. We pray wisdom for you today; that you live the abundant life God wishes for all of us (“armloads of life”).
The book of Proverbs is a compendium of wisdom. Of things that conform to the created order, and of things that do not. Put simply, the way things work, and the way they do not.
So what does Proverbs say about (the virtue of) humility and its opposite, pride? Hear from Proverbs 18:12: “Before destruction one’s heart is haughty, but humility goes before honor” (NRSV). Or as The Living Bible (TLB) puts it: “Pride ends in destruction; humility ends in honor.”
You get the idea. The only difference between humility and humiliation is that one chose to bow low, while the other tripped and fell there.
So here is the thing: anything that infuses us with humility is to be valued. Humility isn’t a place of weakness, but rather a position that precedes honor. Even if it feels a bit like humiliation in the moment, the inner workings of humility are a gift.
Jesus doesn’t condemn us. He doesn’t use our situations against us. He simply brings truth to light and asks us to align with it.
Posted in Uncategorized
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b (NKJV)
Posted in Uncategorized
In a free society, including the Constitutional Republic that is the USA, one must accept the judgement of the majority of their fellow citizens. That fact is not changed by saying that the majority was only 50% +1.
But electoral politics do not hold the cure for the virus that infects the USA (and the rest of the free world). For their own reasons, 50% of Georgians voted for Democrat Party control in Washington. Let’s see how that works out for them, and for the country. For the record, our expectation is “spectacular error” (If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006)), to which the left’s response will be we just need a slightly increased dose of the same medicine or a tweak to the drug cocktail. But they have the ball. Let them run with it.
But here is the thing. The real game is not being played out in Washington (or Brussels, or London, or Ottawa, or Berlin). The real game is being played under the stadium lights on God’s field. This is a time for the Church to be a witness for Christ. To shine the light of Truth into the dark places. There is likely to be ample pain looking for relief. There may never have been quite as exciting a time to be living as a Christian.
Thank you God for forgiveness, for the Man on the middle cross, and for the rolled back stone.