Some time ago, I subscribed to receive every 6 week shipments of a commentary set made up of various writers from the early church. It's actually a good set, and it's interesting to see how far back some of the mysteries of Biblical Interpretation goes. For example, even Irenaeus, who lived in the second century A.D., refused to give a hard answer about the identity of the beast or the false prophet, and only speculated as to the meaning of 666 in Revelation 13:18. So, now, 1900 years after it's written, we have people trying to definitely call these meanings, when a man who lived a mere 100 years afterwords thought it was meant to be vague. Oh, and Irenaeus is thought to have studied from Polycarp, who studied with John, the author of Revelation.
However, that's not the point right now. My 'free gift' for signing up for the subscription was a devotional book that includes thoughts on various passages each week, and uses the liturgical calendar to schedule Bible readings and share those passages. (All the Baptist readers just said "What's a liturgical calendar?" A liturgical calendar goes through the various major celebrations of the church and follows a pattern of Bible reading. When used in churches, it is a template for teaching and worship. It allows for you to attend any church that uses the same calendar and not miss out on the main points of the day. We Baptists have a small liturgical calendar: Christmas, Easter, First Day of Deer Season, Superbowl.)
Devotional book actually has several sections for each week, so I'm doing one section from each week every day. Yesterday I read the Psalm. It was Psalm 86:11-17. Here's verse 11:
11Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
B)">Unite my heart to fear Your name.
This stuck out to me. Especially the phrase Unite my heart to fear Your name. How many times do we cry out to God to ask Him to help us fear Him better? Not very many, I suppose. Then I began to process the thought. Part of me fears one thing, part another. Part of my heart longs for certain fulfillments, and part of it hopes certain things never happen. I want this, and that, and they're mutually difficult, if not exclusive. So, what should I do?
Ask God for a unity of heart, and to focus it in the right direction. The right direction is a healthy respect of God.
And the response of the unified heart? A cry to be taught. Do we cry out to be taught?
And when we're taught, to we commit to walk in His ways? Or do we hunker down to do our ways?
What's most important to us?
The occasional thoughts of an ordinary man serving an extraordinary God. Come with me as we learn, teach, and laugh along the way.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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