Daily Scripture readings for December, set #15:
Once again I am struck by how often the phrase “for his steadfast love endures forever” appears in Scripture. It’s been all over the recent Chronicles readings (including chapter 7 today), and also in the Psalms. What is the significance of this? Is ANY phrase repeated throughout the Bible more often than this one?
The Psalmist’s confidence in God’s justice: “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy” (Ps 140:12).
I love it when Scripture lets the reader in on heart intent and internal monologue, which simply cannot be known without divine revelation. In Luke 10:29, the lawyer asking Jesus about salvation asks a follow-up question when Jesus’ answer is simpler than the lawyer expected. But the motive behind this follow-up question is not additional information, but rather an attempt to save face. “But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”
I memorized these incredibly clear and direct verses when I first read them last year, and I encourage any man who takes his purity seriously to do the same. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (1Thess 4:3-8)
Daily Scripture readings for December, set #16:
“And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind” (2Chron 9:23). How did Solomon’s great wisdom get into his mind? God put it there.
A prayer of repentance, a prayer asking for forgiveness… these are POST-sin prayers. King David, in Psalm 141, wisely lifts a PRE-sin prayer (meaning, an attempt to avoid sin). “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!” (vs 3-4).
Today’s reading in Luke 10 is familiar story to anyone with a Sunday school background. Martha, Martha… she is so off the mark. But what exactly is Martha’s mistake here? I’m not questioning whether she made a mistake… clearly Jesus prefers Mary’s actions to Martha’s. But what is it precisely that Martha did wrong? Is it that she is distracted (vs 40)? Is it her anxiety (vs 41)? Is it that she “chose” wrongly (vs 42)?
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1Thess 4:16). A classic “end times” passage of Scripture. Notice that the Lord is COMING in this text… to earth. He is not leaving. Christians meet the Lord in “the air.” But nobody actually goes away. Is “the air” here simply a metaphor for Heaven? That would have to be the case if this text were to be teaching that when Christ comes he will take Christians with him and they will together LEAVE earth. It really seems to me that such a teaching is NOT present in this text.