If You Love Me

Daily Scripture readings for May, set #2:

Hosea, chapters 4-6
Job 24
John 14:15-21
Revelation 1:9-20

“I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me” (Hos 5:15). This is a pretty loaded verse. The Lord desires to be sought. The the purpose of distress is to promote earnest seeking. The vehicle for seeking is the acknowledgement of guilt. And all of these things come from the Lord’s architecture. The first half of the next chapter in Hosea (vs 1-6) continue these themes.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what I’m calling “a posture of learning.” This is a headspace/mindset that engages each day as if I do not necessarily have everything figured out. I’m being somewhat tongue-in-cheek here because everybody knows that we don’t really have anything “all figured out,” and yet I find myself often behaving as if I do. So I’m trying to adopt a posture of learning instead of posture of knowledge. The last verse of Job 24 would be a good example of a posture of knowledge, not learning. Job is very confident that he’s got it all figured out. He’s not very open to the idea that he might be wrong on some things. “If it is not so, who will prove me a liar and show that there is nothing in what I say?” (vs 25).

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). If you call yourself a Christian you will keep my commandments. Wait, nope… that’s not it. If you want to go to heaven you will keep my commandments. Hmmm, that’s not what this verse says either. IF YOU LOVE ME…

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one.'” (Rev 1:17). I’m enjoying Bryan’s posts on Revelation so far, and I will probably defer to him for substantive commentary on the Revelation readings. But for today I want to zero in on the “fear not” in Jesus’ declaration. This is SO COMMON. Jesus, Paul, the OT writers… they give this command so often. And for good reason, because I find my heart is so likely to fear instead of trust. But Jesus’ message is to fear not.

Daily Scripture readings for May, set #3:

Hosea, chapters 7-8
Job, chapters 25-26
John 14:22-31
Revelation 2:1-17

“Ephraim is a cake not turned” (Hos 7:8). Charles Spurgeon has a very compelling “morning” devotional on this verse. Check it out.

“Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:14). Don’t spend too much time trying to fully understand God. To clarify: Seek him, and seek a knowledge of his ways, seek his face – and do those things with the intent to understand. But ultimately he is operating at a level far beyond our full comprehension.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (Jn 14:26). Is this as weighty and practical a proof text for the inerrancy of the New Testament as it seems?

“The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death” (Rev 2:11). “The second death.” What is that? Bryan has some insight.

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