Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 24:24

“The king answered Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for twenty ounces of silver.”  (CSB – Read the chapter)‬‬

Sometimes a verse of Scripture means something obvious in its context, but at the same time points forward toward a broader, deeper truth that is foundational to a life of successfully following after Jesus. This is one of those verses. 

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:22-23

“And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Saul’s excuse for disobeying the Lord’s clear command to destroy everything related to the Amalekites especially including all the spoils of war, was that he was going to offer a celebratory sacrifice to God. Now, this was probably mostly a lie because he’d gotten caught, but at least it sounded good right? I didn’t obey you, Lord, because I was going to give you a gift. What Saul reflects in this excuse is a fundamental misunderstanding of the character and identity of the Lord. It’s a misunderstanding that Samuel moves immediately to correct. Read the rest…

Steep Rates

This past Sunday we began a new teaching series called Hard Sayings.  For the next few weeks we are going to be examining some of the hard things Jesus said to see if we can’t make some sense out of them.  We’ll see if perhaps even though they are hard, they’re also just as important for us to know as some of the easier things like, “For God so loved the world…”  Stay tuned in the weeks ahead as we journey together to see that everything Jesus said is important…even if we don’t like the way it sounds at first.


Steep Rates

What are some of your favorite sayings of Jesus?  Just shout them out as you think of them if you are willing.  As I was sitting writing this a few stood out to me: “I am the good shepherd;” “I will be with you always, even to the very end of the age;” “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest;” “Do not be anxious about your life;” “For God so loved the world…” “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do;” “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it;” and there are probably more, but these are what came to mind first.  Those are all really nice and encouraging sayings.  It would be great if the things Jesus said were pretty much limited to these kinds of things.  You know what I’m talking about: things such as, “I love you,” “I’ll take care of you,” “I’ll give you eternal life,” and the like. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Mark 10:28

“Peter began to say to him, ‘See, we have left everything and followed you.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What Peter says here is no small thing.  Have you left everything and followed Jesus?  Have you really left anything to follow Him?  What did you leave behind?  If you have indeed not left anything behind, there is a rather uncomfortable question you are going to need to answer: Are you really following Jesus? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

If Paul’s words to wives were tough here, his words to husbands are even more challenging.  Wives are called to submit to their husbands as a function of their prior and larger submission to Christ.  Husbands are called to love their wives after the pattern of Christ’s love for the church.  That, of course, prompts a question: How did Christ loved the church?  Answer: He died for her.  He committed Himself to the last breath to seeing her become fully who God created her to be.  Everything he did was for her benefit.  Every single decision He made was filtered through the lens of whether or not it was going to be to her advantage.  For husbands, this is our standard. Read the rest…