Bumper Sticker: JESUS IS NOT FOR PEACE

Daily Scripture readings for July, set #1:

– Exodus, chapters 1-3
– Psalm, chapter 24
– Matthew 10:21-42
– Acts 15:22-41

The book of Exodus contains the over-arching storyline of the whole of Scripture, deliverance from Egypt. This account weaves its way through the entire Old Testament, and is paralleled throughout the New Testament. My point is, there are TONS of noteworthy things happening in Exodus, and especially in the first half. What stands out to me most in today’s chapters is verse 25 of chapter 2: “God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” That sentence is just so OMINOUS! Clearly it’s intended to show God’s presence and plan in a situation that was looking pretty grim. I just love the way it’s worded, like it should be followed by the suspense music in a movie… dun dun DUUUHHHHH!

Psalm 24:5 describes what will happen to the man who has “clean hands and a pure heart” (vs 4)… “He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” I think it’s worth noting that righteousness, something that one EARNS, is here something that is instead GIVEN.

Reading the Gospel of Matthew cover to cover is so helpful, because a context and meaning can be found for verses that have always been familiar. However, a full reading is also helpful in revealing unfamiliar verses, like Matthew 10:34-39. I admit I don’t fully understand this teaching from Jesus, but I think I understand it enough to know that we’re probably not going to see any bumper stickers with these verses on them.

The revealing of the new covenant of grace and the terminating of the old covenant of law continues to unfold in Acts 15, as the apostles decide how to deal with those who think that non-Jewish Christians should be made to still follow the Jewish law. In verses 10-11 Peter again makes clear the inability of the law to provide salvation: “Why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

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