Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2016

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…

Blessing at the End--Deuteronomy 33

In Summary:
Here we are, at the end of Moses’ life. We have seen him challenge the people to remember the law throughout their days, and now we see him proclaim a blessing on the people. Dueteronomy 33 records these words, and this is the last Moses will speak. The following chapter will be added to conclude the Pentateuch.
Each tribe is mentioned in the 28-verse poem, though some have more said of them than others. It is also important to note that much of the blessing is praise of YHWH, God of Israel. The idea is that one cannot bless the people of God without praising God Himself.
In Focus:
Rather than grabbing a particular tribe’s blessing to discuss, take a look at the Deuteronomy 33:29. From a “quotes” perspective, these are truly Moses’ last words. That is, except for telling Joshua, “I’m headed up the mountain. Later, dude.” Or whatever he says on the way out of camp in the next chapter.
He proclaims that the people of Israel are blessed. This is not because they have been amaz…

Politics: Matthew 14

In Summary:

Matthew 14 sees three important stories in the narrative of the life of Jesus. First, we see the death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod and Herodias. Then, we see the feeding of the 5,000. The chapter wraps with the story of Jesus walking on the water.

The first story recounts the execution of John the Baptist. The story is told in retrospect. Matthew explains to the reader that Herod the Tetrarch (son of bad guy Herod the Great from earlier,) heard of Jesus and thought that Jesus might be John the Baptist resurrected. The reader, though, does not realize that John is dead. Therefore, Mathew fills in the gaps.

John is killed at the request of Herodias and her daughter. His disciples buried him and then informed Jesus. This incites the next event, the feeding of the 5,000.

Jesus, on hearing of the death of John, withdraws to a secluded place. Matthew does not tell us why Jesus does this, but one can draw reasonable conclusions. Jesus has lost a kinsman, both in bir…

Sermon Recap for June 26

Good evening! Here are the sermons from June 26.Sunday Morning: 1 Samuel 15 (audio)Sunday Evening: 1 Samuel 16 (audio)

Parables and Travels: Matthew 13

In Summary:Matthew 13 carries the story of Jesus continuing to teach in parables. He starts off teaching by the sea as large crowds gather and listen. Chrysostom makes the observation that Jesus, by sitting by the sea, ensured that no one would be behind Him. Chrysostom sees this as compassionate, with the goal that no one could fail to see Jesus. It is a good example of a practical detail that we would do well to think about.From there, Matthew records the parables that Jesus taught. This chapter contains the parables of the sower, the tares among the wheat, the mustard seed, the treasure in the field, the pearl of great value, and the dragnet for fishing. Most of these are prefaced with the intro “The kingdom of heaven is like…” and then the parable examines the value of the kingdom. Another common facet of these parables emphasizes the response to hearing the news of the kingdom.The chapter ends with the return of Jesus to Nazareth. To be specific, the text simply reads as “hometow…

Sermon Recap for June 19

Good morning! After being out last week for the Southern Baptist Convention, I am glad to be back in my own bed. It was a good meeting of the Baptists. At least as well as can be expected.Here are the sermons for the past couple of weeks:June 12 AM Sermon (Audio)
June 12 PM Sermon
June 19 AM Sermon (Audio)

Who Repents? Matthew 12

In Summary:

Matthew 12 opens with an incident in a field. Jesus and the disciples are passing through a field and, in line with Deuteronomy 23:24-25, the disciples pluck a few heads of grain, roll them in their hands, and eat. It was not stealing, and it was not wrong. Except they did this on the Sabbath.

Which leads into a discussion about the Sabbath laws and how God designed the Sabbath for a purpose. Excessive legalism, Jesus points out, was not that purpose. The following events show Jesus healing on the Sabbath, which is another violation of the technical rules the Pharisees had added to the Fourth Commandment (see Exodus 20:8-11.) The first question here is whether or not Jesus knows what the Ten Commandments (and the rest of the Law) meant. The Pharisees have their doubts about that. Jesus was around when the Law was written, though, so I’d side with His understanding.

We then see Jesus heal a demon-possessed man, which would be cause for celebration for any reasonable people.…

Sermon Recap for June 5

Another Monday. Another batch of sermons. During June, we are going to take a look at Acts 2:42 and see how the principles of being committed to doctrine, fellowship, relationships, and prayer are shown in 1 Samuel 12, 13, 14, and 15. Then, we’re looking at how those apply forward into our lives. Why? Because all Scripture is inspired and useful. So let’s use it to understand what our lives of obedience are supposed to look like.Morning Sermon: 1 Samuel 12 (audio)Evening Sermon (audio)June 5 AM: 1 Samuel 12 "A History of Repentance" Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Connect: Honest accountability//apostle's teaching//historical faith A. Doctrine: knowing with response Sunday School Small groupsTogether     Bible Reading Devotional/spiritualindividually B. Acting on doctrine Lifelong! IntegrityC. Sharing Face to face Relational LivesD.O!  Help with VBS! Kid…