Skip to main content

July 29 2009

July 29 2009

Romans 8:26-39:

Romans 8:31 → If God is for us, who is against us? Is it possible that we ought not consider ourselves truly opposed by anyone? That the infinite God so outpaces whatever and whomever we face so badly that it is our shame to count it as opposition? Our own failure to obey is what causes us to stumble and struggle, not the strength of our enemy. It is that we count earthly struggles at a level worth comparing, when they don't belong there.

Romans 8:28-30 → Man, this is a passage that we use and abuse so much! 1.) All things work together for good. Not all things are good. And good is judged in light of eternity and God. He doesn't make all things good, He makes it work for good. I can't imagine how some of the tragedies people face could ever be made good, but I know they can be made to work for good. It may seem subtle, but it's important. I need to realize that while I proclaim the promises of God, not to make new ones on His behalf. 2.)Foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified. This passage on its own does not guarantee a doctrine of irresistible grace or exclude it. It tells us that God has known, and has always known, those who are His, and that He intends to justify and glorify those that are His. It's more in support of working all things together for good , as many of the readers would have been struggling with being ignored, abandoned, neglected, persecuted, and many other bad treatments. He's pointing them to the fact that, while Rome and the opponents of Christianity would not justify or glorify Christians, God would. So, v. 31, who do you want? God or Caesar? (need a hint which is better? All Caesar's got left is a chain of pizza franchises.)

Drop in mostly unrelated directly to today's Scripture: I've got iTunes running in the background, using a random of everything in the “Instrumental” genre. Currently, it's a recording of our National March, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by J.P. Sousa. Now, if you know band music, you know this has got an awesome piccolo solo the first time through the last strain, right after the break strain. If you don't know what that means, you now know how I feel in certain sports metaphors, and in practically all hunting discussions. Just watch a 4 th of July special and listen for the high pitched whistle-sounding part. Anyway, the part is written for the piccolo, the highest pitched mainstream instrument in a band. This recording is of the US Merchant Marine Academy Band, and repeats the solo twice. First time, piccolo as written. Second time? Tuba. Playing the same solo. The tuba, being the lowest pitched mainstream band instrument, covers the piccolo part. My point? The guy that hits that tuba solo rocks it. And it's what makes this an awesome version of the song. Here's somebody who has taken on a part that his instrument and his training (tuba players typically play bass clef, piccolo music is in treble) are not geared toward handling. But he does a phenomenal job. If I remember to, I'll come back and link it here. Sometimes, we have to take on jobs and responsibilities that aren't the perfect match for our training, tools, gifts, and talents. What do we do with those times? Do we tackle it and do the best we can? Do we create a memorable recording? The tuba is still obviously a tuba. You will still, obviously to everyone, not be the nursery worker who has been there 40 years and is wonderful, but you can love kids. You might not be the funnest youth worker, but can you love kids your own way? Can you share what God has done for you, even if you're not the most speaker? Can you still preach, knowing you're not as good as Billy Graham or Charles Spurgeon? When you're a tuba player with a piccolo solo, what do you do? (PS: Most of the rest of the music is Chris Rice's The Living Room Sessions vol. 1 . There were supposed to be more volumes, he did one Christmas one, but that's all. More piano, please!!)

I'm still reading DeYoung & Kluck's Why We Love the Church . I'm now wanting to plan my next vacation to hear DeYoung preach. I just read probably the most touching point in the book, where Kluck talks about that one of the things he loves about their church is the lack of happy endings. That there are people with struggles, with diseases that will kill them, and that the church loves, cares, and prays through those, but isn't addicted to the idea that the only things worth celebrating are the 'happy' stories where people are miraculously healed. He's not any more against the happy healings than I am, but just realizes that it doesn't happen very often, and in light of Romans 8:28-30 above, isn't guaranteed, and is thankful that his church isn't destroyed because life isn't perfect.

Proverbs 29:2 ->Again, wicked rulers, people groaning, but not rebelling? When does Proverbs tell us to lock, load, and march? What? Never?

Proverbs 29:4 → Wait a minute, a man “who demands contributions” (I'm in HCSB, but I can't get reftagger to pull HCSB. Here it is:

4  By justice a king brings stability to a land, but a man [who demands] “ contributions” demolishes it.

Prov 29:4 (HCSB))

Is this anything like earmarks, kickbacks, bribes, and ACORN? Please, find me that verse about overthrowing rulers! Quick, like David did with Saul, who went insane and was abandoned by God. What? He waited—for the country to lose a battle and have the king killed in the process? You mean that 1 Peter 2:17 thing about honoring the king still applies when I didn't vote for him? I have other things to worry about? Like focusing on fearing the Lord, loving the brotherhood, that stuff? Certainly I will exercise my authority as a citizen to speak out, ask my representative to do on my behalf, but at the end of the day, God has not commanded me to change the President of the United States (until election time). He has commanded me many other things to work on first.

Proverbs 29:7 → Are we showing our righteousness in our treatment of the poor? Or do we act unconcerned?

Proverbs 29:9 → Note that sometimes fools take wise men to court, and it's to the detriment of the whole system.

Proverbs 29:12 → Who does a ruler listen to? Who do you listen to? Who do I listen to? Does my commitment to truth extend to demanding it from those around us?

Proverbs 29:15 → Don't leave your teenagers to themselves. It's not just children here. If they be at home, you have to continue to impart wisdom. Even if by rod.

Proverbs 29:18 → Obedience to God-given revelation makes happy. Read: Do what the Bible says.

Proverbs 29:21 → Present your workers with the reality of the work to begin with, and hold high the standards.

1 Peter 2:21-25 → In verse 25, look at the contrast between “continually straying” and “have returned.” It's a beautiful picture, in my mind, of the settled reality of salvation. Beforehand, we can't help but stray. When we come home, it's a completed action. The Shepherd may occasionally have to bonk us with a stick to get us to stay home, but He doesn't let us leave.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…