Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:19

“He replied to them, ‘You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent, have you ever finally lost it with your kids? I’m not talking about a time when you fussed at them and they settled down from whatever tiff they were working out among them. I’m talking about a time when you finally blew your top. They had been at each other’s throats and argumentative with you over an extended period of time. You tried to be patient at first, but that ran out an hour ago. You upped the ante to sterner warnings and assurances of punishment if the chaos didn’t abate and that failed to take. At last you just erupted at them. Everybody got yelled at. Everybody’s feelings were hurt. Everybody was then sent to their rooms to sulk for the rest of the day and probably forever. My take is that if you haven’t hit that particular parenting milestone, one of three things is true: Your kids are too young and haven’t quite gotten to the age where that kind of thing starts happening; your kids are too perfect and you need to check to make sure they haven’t been replaced by body doubles; or you are Jesus. Actually, scratch that last one. As this passage reminds us, even Jesus hit His frustration max on occasion. Let’s talk about it.

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Brand-Spanking-New

We have talked so far in this series about God, people, and sin. Those are all good things to know, but we left things last week in a bit of a hard spot. I told you to come back this week and I’d finish the story. Well, here we go. Although you and I are sinners, God wasn’t content to leave us there. Let’s talk together today about just how He fixed that problem. It’s quite a story.

Brand-Spanking-New

When was the last time you got something unexpectedly good? That happens every now and then and it’s always fun. I remember an occasion like this several years ago when we were eating at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I happened to be wearing a KU shirt. In the next booth over were several young women from the military who were all stationed at Fort Lee. One of them noticed my shirt and immediately asked where we were from. We talked for a minute and figured out that her parents actually lived right around the corner from where my folks live. It was one of those occasional small world experiences that are hard to explain as anything other than a God wink. In any event, they finished their meal and left, but when we later went to pay for our meal, it had been covered in full. I can’t imagine it was anyone other than that soldier who got what was perhaps a welcome taste of home who paid for the meal. We never had even the slightest chance to do anything for her in return and almost certainly never will.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:6

“Because I, the Lord, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, we talked about the fact that when God comes, it will be for judgment. More than that, He will serve as both the judge and the star witness for the prosecution. We talked through the various injustices against which He will serve as a witness. It all ultimately directed us to three points, I said. The first point was that getting religion wrong invariably leads to getting issues of justice wrong. There is a direct connection from one to the other. The second point was that this whole trial scene in v. 5 was fundamentally unjust because there was no one to speak on behalf of the accused. That led us to a third point…which we are going to talk about this morning.

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Morning Musing: Zephaniah 2:11

“The Lord will be terrifying to them when he starves all the gods of the earth. Then all the distant coasts and islands of the nations will bow in worship to him, each in its own place.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever joined a club before? You probably have. There are clubs for pretty much every interest you could imagine. Some are open to everyone. Some are more exclusive. Some don’t have very stringent requirements for membership while others are much more personally invasive. If you join one of these clubs, you are expected to adhere to the membership standards whatever they happen to be. What if someone came and tried to penalize you for failing to uphold the rules of a club you never joined? Odds are, you wouldn’t like that very much. With that in mind, let’s talk about this section of Zephaniah.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 3:15

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things. When God designed the world and everything in it, to a certain extent it all reflected His image. It was all good. All of it. So good. As Moses describes God creating one thing after another, you can almost hear Him whistling while He worked He was so tickled at the goodness of it all. It’s like you felt when you were working on a big project and every single detail was falling exactly into place only on a much, much grander scale. It was all so good. And then it wasn’t. But brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things.

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