Digging in Deeper: Matthew 22:36-40

“‘Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love two for one deals, don’t you? Stores don’t do it all that often, but when they do, they are almost guaranteed to sell me on whatever it is. This is especially true at a grocery store. When I’m walking down one aisle or another and see some product is on sale, two for the price of one, all of a sudden, I’m hungry for whatever it is. Even if I don’t like it, I’m starting to think that maybe it’s time to expand my nutritional horizons so I can capitalize on this great deal. One day, Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in the Law of Moses. In response He offered the most important two for one deal ever. As we continue in our Advent journey this morning, let’s talk about what this means for our lives.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 John 4:9-10

“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

All throughout this season of Advent we have been talking about its virtues. We started out with hope. Advent is nothing if not an injection of hope into our lives. From there came peace. When hope comes into our heart, peace is going to be the result. Then followed joy. Hope and peace together will give us the confidence in our God to lay hold of that incorrigible contentment that makes up the foundation of real joy. But right at the heart of the season is another virtue. This one Paul identified as the greatest of them all. What is it? Love. This week, as we prepare to land with both feet on the day itself, we are going to be talking about love.

Read the rest…

What I’ve Learned…

A little something different for you this morning. Yesterday’s post was the final post from one of the Minor Prophets for a little while. I have finally made it through all twelve of them. When I first started this journey last August with this post, I knew that I want to spend some time reading them closely because I hadn’t before. I figured it would take a few weeks at best. Here we are almost exactly a year later. For me it has been an enriching one and I hope that’s the case for you too. This morning I wanted to reflect with you for just a couple of minutes on what I have learned from it all.

Continue reading “What I’ve Learned…”

Digging in Deeper: Malachi 1:2-3

“‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord. Yet you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ ‘Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a wasteland, and gave his inheritance to the desert jackals.’”
— ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭1:2-3‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes we just don’t understand God’s love. It might be that our lack of understanding comes because of ignorance. It could come from pride and an accompanying unwillingness to see beyond what we already have our minds wrapped around. Our struggle could also arise out of a lack of perspective. Sometimes it comes from being broken by life. Israel was struggling to understand God’s love—that much we do understand. His defense, however, is another matter.

Continue reading “Digging in Deeper: Malachi 1:2-3”

Morning Musing: Nahum 1:7-8

Sorry for the late post this morning. We had a snow day and spent the morning out playing in it. First things first.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; he cares for those who take refuge in him. But he will completely destroy Nineveh with an overwhelming flood, and he will chase his enemies into darkness.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

As I drive around town, on occasion I’ll see a sticker on the back window of the car in front of me. One sticker in particular (which is, incidentally, most often found on big SUV’s) reads “Mama Bear.” The woman driving that vehicle is claiming two things about herself. Number one: She loves her kids fiercely. She is absolutely committed to them. Number two: If you try and get in between her and her kids, she’s going to rip you to pieces. If God drove around a big SUV, He’d have a Mama Bear sticker on His back window too.

Read the rest…