The Idol of Self

1 Thessalonians 1:9

selfModern man often laughs at the folly of people who fashion images of worship that represent some element of the natural world. The images may be of some animal with desirous characteristics or of items related to earth or space. Think trees or stars for the latter category. These images become idols when worshipped.

Grace to Blush

Blush, sinner, blush! Oh, that thou hadst grace to blush!

–John Bunyan

John Bunyan’s exclamation in the 17th century is extremely applicable now in the 21st century. It has been said that we have even forgotten how to blush. We tend to live life in a manner that knows no shame. In fact, we fulfill the Scriptures by glorying in our shame.

The Finger of God

But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

–Luke 11:20

Luke 11.20After these words, Jesus spoke of the strong man who is overcome by one who is stronger. That strong man is described as fully armed and is safe so long as one stronger does not attack.

In this context, we should understand this strong man as the evil one himself. The devil is powerful. But God is all powerful or omnipotent. Even with his full array of armor, he cannot withstand the power of God.

6 Lessons from the Levitical Sacrifices

This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering.

–Leviticus 7:37

I don’t think that I am going very far out on a limb to say that the Bible reading plans of many derail somewhere in Leviticus. It all seems so foreign to us. And in some ways, it is. We do not live by this law, but live in light of the fulfillment of the law in the Lord Jesus. Yet we still are able to learn much from this earlier period of God’s covenantal relationship with his people.

I Slapped My Thigh

For after I had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.

–Jeremiah 31:19 ESV

slap thighThe Bible often employs picturesque language to communicate its message. Such is the case in this verse from Jeremiah. God’s people found themselves in exile after repeatedly offending God. Yet God would not forget his people. Hope in a future restoration was promised.

The exile was the chastening and disciplining from the Lord. Finding themselves in a strange land and subjected to a godless leader, the people would turn back to the Lord. As they realized how foolish they had behaved toward God, they responded with what the New Testament calls a godly sorrow.