Daily Scripture readings for December, set #3:
I know I’ve mentioned war and pacifism before, but I will again point it out in 1 Chronicles 5: “For many fell, because the war was of God.” (vs 22). Perhaps one could make a case in the modern day that “God is a pacifist,” but clearly God was not ALWAYS a pacifist. Any discussion about war/pacifism should include that observation.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them'” (Ps 126:2). There’s a connection here, between the front and back halves of this verse. The nations acknowledge what the Lord has done for his people because his people shout with joy about it.
Jesus says outright that it is the FAITH of the sinful woman (mentioned at the end of Luke 7) that saves her. But faith isn’t the only thing she demonstrates in this text. “And standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment” (Lk 7:38).
“I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments” (Col 2:4). Paul knows that the danger of being deluded lies in the plausibility of the arguments. He doesn’t need to steer the Colossians away from ridiculous arguments. Implication: Arguments that are in fact false may still seem plausible.
Daily Scripture readings for December, set #4:
1 Chronicles continues it’s thrill ride through Israel’s lineage, although I was struck just now with how insignificant man is: “Mattithiah, one of the Levites, the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with making the flat cakes” (1Chron 9:31). This is Mattithiah’s only mention in Scripture: dude makes flat cakes. And there are precious few people in the history of the world that are specifically mentioned in Scripture. Sometimes I’m tempted to think that I’m a big deal. I’m not. Even Mattithiah and his flat cakes are a bigger deal than I am.
Psalm 127:1 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Stop and think about the implications of this truth.
I often relate to unbelievers as if they will either hear the Word and respond positively, or hear the Word and respond negatively. There are two categories there. Jesus, on the other hand, identifies FOUR categories of responses to hearing the word, with only one of the four being positive. “The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:12-15).
More direct and undiluted Gospel from Colossians: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (2:13-15).