Monday, August 18, 2014

Sermon Wrap-up for August 17

Good afternoon! Apparently, Vimeo's been running slowly and it took all night to get everything uploaded. I'm not sure why. Here are the sermons from Sunday, August 17, 2014, at Almyra Baptist Church.

Morning Sermon: Jeremiah 21



 
Jeremiah 21 August 17 AM



There comes a time when we must choose to walk away or die:

  1. Emotionally
  2. Physically
  3. Spiritually

Let go of our:
  1. Traditions
  2. Organizations
  3. Leadership structures


Are we committed to our habits or to our obedience?

What becomes of us when we are more concerned with our homes and land then we are with doing what is right before a Holy God?



Evening Sermon: Proverbs 17

 


Proverbs 17 August 17 PM

1. Wisdom and joy are inseparable

2. Joy strengthens life

3. Note:

  • A. 15: right judgment, not emotion or politicking
  • B. 14: avoiding trouble is wise
  • C. 4: Who do we listen to?
  • D. 3: Tests of the heart come, and they are not always easy
  • E. 1: Better simplicity without conflict



 
Concluding Notes:
1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.
2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the current equipment.
3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:
A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.
B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.
C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is here
D. For Vimeo Video, subscribe to this channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/almyrafbc
E. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/

4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hits on each blog, but in total it’s a decent reach. A social media expert might suggest changes, but this is free-to-cheap, where I have to live right now.

5. Each blog has a “Follow” button and a “Subscribe via Email” option

6. Follow on Facebook: Doug’s Page or the First Baptist Almyra Page

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book: 1 Samuel for You

LOOK! Another book!----->

Let us turn our attention to 1 Samuel. More precisely, let us turn to Tim Chester’s 1 Samuel for You, published by The Good Book Company. As with the other books in the “For You” series, we experience a durable hardcover, short sections, and a handy glossary at the end.

These standard features alone are almost enough to grab this volume. Let’s look at a few more, though, and move forward from there. First, Chester follows typical form and provides a hint of background information on 1 Samuel, but moves past that quickly. Remember, this is a practical/devotional commentary, not a technical/historical one. The focus here is on drawing application from the text, not on analyzing the last jot and tittle.

Second, I like Chester’s work at drawing connections within the body of 1 Samuel. For instance, I had not seen the parallels between Saul/Ahijah and Phinehas. These little connections pop up in the book, and highlight the major theme Chester sees: the divide between redemption in God’s plan and destruction in man’s plan.

Third, I’m a fan of the short sections for easy reading. I’m not a fan of very few citations in the text for reference, but that’s my preference for nerd-info slipping out. Layout-wise, I would like the map at the front and not the back, so you know for certain it’s there and to reference it easily.

In summary, Chester takes the text as it is, which is refreshing. Rather than hashing out textual variance issues in 1 Samuel or getting lost in editorial emendations, we just deal with what is already there.

If you want to look at the application issues of the historical books, 1 Samuel for You is a great place to start. It’s so much “for you” that Chester’s included extra “u”s in many words, like armour and colour, just to make the point. (OK, so he’s British and spells like it.)

I did receive a free copy of this from The GoodBook Company and Cross-Focused Reviews. No influence or money changed hands.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Look deeper: Deuteronomy 7

In Summary: Deuteronomy 7 seems a far cry from today’s headlines. Turn on the news and you’ll see religious warfare in Iraq, with minority religions being systematically attacked by those who wish them dead. You’ll see racial strife, mixed with class warfare and a dozen other social problems, exploding on the streets of Missouri. Yes, the one in the United States. You’ll see warfare in Israel and Gaza (or maybe it’s a cease fire, giving Hamas time to restructure and attack again). You’ll see kids heading back to school, or not, dealing with increasing security and rules.

In it all, God’s instructions for the possession of the land of Canaan in the fifteenth century BC seem a little out of touch. The most simplistic view of this passage, in fact, would be horrendous to apply in our modern era. One might read this and see the conquest as a template for our time, that people should take up arms and establish a “righteous nation” again on the Earth, eliminating those who disagree. Reading Deuteronomy through an historic lens, through a New Testament lens, tells us that this would be an abhorrent application of the text. Ephesians 6 directly refutes such thinking: our warfare is spiritual and we do not, we do NOT fight physical battles to establish the Kingdom of Christ.

What, then, do we do here? Deuteronomy 7 is quite definitely about conquest. It also reflects the need for religious unity among the people of God, and the need to keep YHWH alone as God, not worshiping idols. This is initiated by God’s faithfulness to His promise of grace, and is built on the covenant with God’s people and their ongoing faithfulness to Him.

In summary, then, we see examples for behavior within the religious context of life, but more importantly we see that God does not choose “worthy” people. He pours His grace out on the lesser, the weaker, the slave and the outcast. If you are one of God’s people, then it is not because you were amazing and God wanted you. It is because He is amazing and He wanted you. Applying this starts simply: realize that you’re not better than anyone else. We’re all people in need of God. We need to recognize the importance of every life, and stand for them all.

In Focus: The summary side is a little extended today, so I’ll give you a short focus point. Taking a look at Deuteronomy 7:3. This verse, along with others in this chapter and like it elsewhere, has been used to justify racism. It’s used to say that “you should stick with your own folks.”

Which is nonsense. The concept here is that the people of Israel, the worshipers of the One True God, should only make lifelong commitments and involvements with those who worship the same God. That matters, truly, and should affect our dating, deep friendships, and sometimes even business partnerships.

It does not mean that you pick a shade of skin tone and only treat them like God’s people, and hang the rest. That is looking at the outside, not the heart—and the heart is what matters.

In Practice:
I don’t know how to tell you to practice this but to say get out and do something, and do it with people that don’t look like you but worship Jesus, like you worship Jesus. Not in style or even language, but in heart. Go do it.

In Nerdiness: The promise of deliverance from all sickness in Deuteronomy 7:15? It’s reserved for perfect obedience, so we see it in eternity.