Blow the Shophar! It’s a New Year!

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screenshot-2016-12-27-11-29-09Are you thinking about making any New Year’s resolutions? You know what folk wisdom says about that: “New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out the other.” We all know that most of the leaves we turn over in January have already started to fall by the end of the month. Therefore, let’s turn to the Word of God for instruction. Let’s see what Scripture declares about the concept of New Year. Does God’s written revelation provide any basis for Christians to celebrate the arrival of a New Year? According to Leviticus 23:23–25 and Numbers 29:1–6, the Lord commanded Israel to observe the Feast of Trumpets—also known as the New Year.… Continue reading

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“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

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slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

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A Meditation on Lamentations

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bible-3Too often we open the Old Testament to read and immediately default to the “this-is-for-Israel” mindset. While it is very true that God superintended the writing of the Old Testament books as revelation He gave to Israel through the prophets, we must remember that

All Scripture is inspired [breathed out] by God and profitable for teaching [doctrine], for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16–17 NASU with my explanatory notes in square brackets)

In other words, as Christians (not Israel) we also must have a mindset to learn doctrine through, to be reproved by, to be corrected by, and to be trained in righteousness by the Old Testament, so that we might be equipped for “every good work.”

The little book of Lamentations, with the possible exception of 3:21–27, resides outside the Christian’s established routine for personal sanctification.… Continue reading

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Repentance – Nineveh Style

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In the book of Jonah, everything is upside-down. Hard-nosed sailors are soft and pliable. Wicked people are repentant. A violent and brutal king leads his city of 500,000 people in humble worship of God. And God’s prophet is a hateful, spiteful, self-absorbed, pitiless, griping, sulking, do-the-least-I-have-to-do-to-get-God-off-my-back man. But this is to be expected because the genre picked for this book is satire (the use of humor, irony,

exaggeration, and ridicule to expose & criticize people’s stupidity or vices). For a modern day use of satire that is constructive (and hilarious!), check out Babylon Bee.

Image from www.jointhebibleproject.com

Today I want to point out one of these upside-down actions: the humble repentance of the Ninevites.… Continue reading

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Jesus’ Message in Sum

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In high school, I remember many occasions in which I was given the assignment to read a book, a piece of poetry, or a short story and then summarize its contents. The teacher then would helpfully remind the class that a good place to start would be, “The main message of _________ is …” I still remember having to read “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Admittedly, I didn’t like the book at the time, even though I was told it was it was a “classic” Summerizeand I would like it when I was an adult (for the record, I have not read it since I was 15, so I cannot say if this latter statement is true).… Continue reading

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