2 Timothy 2:19-26
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”
Do you know how to get something to go “viral” on the internet? Make a foolish and stupid argument.
It's easy. I've had a few.
Romans 2:1-11 (The Message)
“Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.”
Do you ever read the Bible and think, “Well, that bit was written just for me!”?
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.”
There may be no more enduring meme than the angry old guy yelling, “Get off my lawn!” It seems that every generation feels like the “youth” are terrible and only getting worse. They look at the world and say, “These darn kids are hopeless.”
“I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Self-centeredness has been on my mind lately due to the readings that have I been meditating on this week. As I come to this little passage where God unveils the next development in God's covenantal relationship with God's people, I am struck by the communal aspect of it.
“Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”
Nehemiah is one of those books in the Bible that get used for “leadership” retreats and the like. It always amazes me how we can take these ancient texts and make them fit into whatever we want them to fit. Nevertheless, that's not the point.
“They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.”
This psalm is one that constantly grabs my attention. It does so on multiple levels. Today, as I sit here meditating on it verse 18 almost levitated off the page.
It wasn't the putting God to the test bit that jumps out. It is the “demanding the food they craved,” bit.
Psalm 78:1-8, The Message
“We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— GOD’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.“
This theme of passing things along to the next generation has been running through a lot of my reading lately. I wrote about it a bit on November 6 and the need to be intentional with relationships.
Today, I'm struck by this idea of passing along the stories of “the marvelous things he has done.”
“Let those on the hunt for you sing and celebrate.”
Throughout my life of faith the hardest thing for me has always been the reality that I can not experience God with my senses. You would think that this would create in me a lack of belief, yet it has not. Why? Because I think I see all around me the effects of God.
“Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands?”
I am sure that someone with religious authority would never, and I mean never, create rules to “play and fast loose with God's commands.”
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is happens all the time.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.
I don't like the word, “obedience.” It makes me feel like God is some sort of task master. I do like the word, “blessed.” I like the idea that God is doing something special for me.
These double feelings are ones that I'm guessing I'm not alone in having. If we are really honest with ourselves we prefer “blessed” over “obedience.”