Digging in Deeper: 1 Thessalonians 4:13

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the ideas people like to throw around sometimes today is that dying is easy. Usually the corollary idea paired with that is that living is hard. That kind of notion can be made to sound philosophically sagacious. Someone with a loud pen (or keyboard as is more often the case these days) can fire it off and be guaranteed a near viral load of retweets and reposts. But the truth is that it is just a platitude. It doesn’t add anything really meaningful to a conversation that nearly everyone has at some point in our lives. Should our Lord tarry, death is coming for us all eventually. And while dying may be easy in the sense that it really doesn’t take any effort on our part, death is hard. I’m thinking about this today because a good man I know is facing his own death. These are some thoughts with him in mind.

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Morning Musing: James 1:12

“Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes life is hard. I’ll preach a funeral service today for a good and godly man. This will be the third funeral I’ve been a part of in the last two weeks. That’s three mourning families. Two were guys for whom you could have said, “It was their time,” (although that never makes the loss sting any less). One makes you want to rage against the injustice of a broken world. Sometimes life is hard. How do we handle it?

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Morning Musing: Romans 7:18

“For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, last night our air conditioner broke. We discovered this about bedtime. The night before our oldest had his first day of school. Joy. My lovely bride had observed the house felt warm earlier in the evening, and I, being the loving and considerate husband that I am, ignored her because I was comfortable. Now, in my defense, we couldn’t have done anything about it anyway, but it was definitely not one of my finer moments as a husband. That being said, the real issue was a lack of air. Fortunately, we have two units and so could just move everybody sleeping downstairs upstairs for the night. Do you know what wouldn’t have worked? Pretending everything was fine and sleeping like we normally do.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 13:1

“On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do you behave toward your kids and make the decisions you do when they have done something wrong? “Because they’ve done something wrong,” you might be tempted to answer quickly. Yes, but why? What is the goal of your actions and decisions? Is it punishment? Retribution? Revenge? Sometimes that seems to be the intended goal of God’s actions and declarations in response to sin in the prophets. But here, Zechariah points us to something even better in His crosshairs: restoration.

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Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:15-17

“Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath and even making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory. You also–drink, and expose your uncircumcision! The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will cover your glory. For your violence against Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of animals will terrify you because of your human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you value life? I’m fairly certain that you value your own life. I hope you do. You should. You likely value the lives of your kids if you have them. You probably value the life of your more extended family…with perhaps some occasional exceptions for the nuts. But do you value life generally? Perhaps better yet, what does it look like to value life generally? And why does that really matter anyway? Well, as we look at this fourth woe from Habakkuk, we’re going to see just why it matters.

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