Repent

Daily Scripture readings for September, set #1:

– Joshua, chapters 1-2
Psalm 72
Mark 1:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:1-17

Ok. Joshua chapter 2, and ethics 101. Is it ok to lie in order to protect what you want to see protected? If I remember my college philosophy class correctly, Immanuel Kant would say no. We should ALWAYS be truthful. I’m commenting on this because of Rahab’s blatant lie to the Jericho guards about the two spies hiding in her house. “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them” (Josh 2:4-5). Now, being a prostitute, Rahab was clearly not the picture of purity and sinlessness. But, it seems like we as Christians must wrestle with this notion of truth-telling. Is it ok that Rahab lied simply because she was protecting the good guys? What other sins would be ok if protecting the good guys was on the line? Who are the “good guys” anyway?

Solomon’s prayer for “the king” in Psalm 72 sure seems self-centered if he was the king while he wrote this. Anyway, his requests that God would grant him justice and righteousness are a good reminder that I should pray the same for my leaders, especially if I really believer Romans 13.

Mark 1, verse 4: “John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Forgiveness comes through REPENTANCE.

1 Corinthians 1:17 is a pretty heavy verse, and I don’t think I totally get it. “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” What does it mean that eloquence would empty Christ’s cross of it’s power? I think the next verse is an important link in the logic…

Daily Scripture readings for September, set #2:

Joshua, chapters 3-5
Psalm 73
Mark 1:9-20
1 Corinthians 1:18-31

At the end of Joshua chapter 5, Joshua encounters an angel and asks him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” (vs 13). The angel’s answer: “No.”

The Psalmist, in chapter 73, wrestles with the prosperity of the wicked. He comes to a conclusion in the second half of the chapter, but not before letting his readers know HOW he arrived at his conclusion: “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end” (vs 16-17). Does this vers not apply to us today? My take-away from this Psalm: go to the sanctuary of God for understanding and discernment.

Jesus speaks of the Kingdom in Mark 1:15. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” It really cannot be understated how important the concept of “the Kingdom” was to Jesus’ teachings throughout the Gospels. Note his instruction regarding the arrival of the Kingdom: REPENT… the same message as John the Baptist.

My question on the previous 1 Corinthians reading was this: how does speaking eloquently empty the cross of its power? Paul’s answer, in the second half of chapter 1, is that God’s plan (wisdom) was to save his people through “foolishness” according to the world. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (vs 21). “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (vs 25).

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