Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 4:14-16

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens – Jesus the Son of God – let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Confession time. Okay, we’ll just make it introspection time. That’s a little easier to do while you’re reading a blog by yourself. Have you ever struggled with a pattern of sin? I’m not talking about a sin you committed once and moved on. I’m talking about something you did once, then a second time, then a third time, and suddenly found yourself locked in a pattern where you kept coming back to it in spite of your best efforts and desires to quit it entirely. I suspect you have. That is, unfortunately, a trait humans of all shapes and sizes share. Even if you don’t accept a generically Christian definition of sin, you have some standard of right and wrong to which you’ve subscribed and which you violate on a consistent basis. How do you manage to break out of that? With grit, grace, no small amount of determination, and the reminder that you’re not alone in your efforts. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 4:21-23

“He also said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus famously describes His followers as the light of the world. In that context, He says that we are not to live such that our light is obscured, but rather to shine for all the world to see. That is, indeed, the purpose of light: to be seen. When we come to these couple of verses in Mark and see Him talking about not putting light under a basket as He did in Matthew, we’re tempted to think He’s talking about the same thing and move on. I’ve thought that before. Taking a closer look, though, reveals something else is in view. Let’s talk this morning about what that is.

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday morning we encountered the uncomfortable truth that there just may be a connection between sin and sickness. This came on the back of James’ instructions to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. This is uncomfortable stuff. As we asked then, what are we supposed to do with this?

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Morning Musing: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do people get sick? Most folks today are going to turn toward a medical answer and stop there because it’s easier. People get sick because of a bacteria or a virus or a genetic flaw. Sometimes it’s simply bodily wear and tear. That settles most of the reasons, right? Well, that depends on the kind of answer you’re looking for. James here says there’s at least one more we need to consider. It’s really uncomfortable by itself, but its immediate context makes it even worse. 

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 11:26-27

“When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

If the story of David and Bathsheba were a horror film, this would be the part of the movie when the main character thinks he has defeated the monster and breathes a big sigh of relief. Just when we think the climax has passed and we’re on to the denouement, though, the ominous music swells and we see the monster’s hand burst through the pile of stuff under which it was buried. Read the rest…