Just playing with my phone audio recording device.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God."
1 Chronicles 22:19
|Silly and entirely unrelated photo of Joshua...|
So frequently is the command given to Christians to "seek God" or "seek the Lord" or "seek the kingdom of God" that it would not be far off to say that seeking the Lord is essentially an expression for what it means to live the Christian life.
But what struck me today, as I read this passage from Chronicles, was the words that follow immediately after David's counsel to his son. In verse 19 David tells Solomon to seek the Lord. Then, without so much as taking a breath it seems, David goes on in the second half of the verse to say "Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord your God..."
"Seek" he told him.
Then, as if to explain it, "arise and build."
There it is. Seeking is DOING. It is not naval gazing about spiritual things. It is not silent tingles about heaven and angels or deep doctrines. Seeking is not a feeling. Seeking is not even, primarily, thinking. Seeking is DOING. Arise and build.
Monday, September 10, 2012
"The Leech has 2 Daughters: Give & Give!"
I don't suppose I've ever heard a sermon on this verse. Maybe the brevity and obscurity of the saying causes it to be passed over for easier texts. Or possibly the meaning is too clear. Maybe the spirit of the leech clings so closely to all of our souls that the obvious implications are too painful.
I see the leech and her daughters. I see it in the lack of contentment with my circumstances that often rob me of all present joy. Man has that blessed capacity to imagine. But corrupted by sin, too often my imagination fashions ideas of circumstances and situations far better than I currently enjoy. Thus a lust for something more robs the joy from everything here right now. Wretched leeches of discontentment, sucking all the life out of the present day by wishing for a better tomorrow.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
"And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..."
Oh my soul. Consider Moses' dying words to his people. The Lord had told him he would die. He would not travel with them into the Promised Land. But he does not despair - if ONLY they will hold fast to the Word of God. He is not concerned whether or not they remember his personality, his stories or his possessions. But they must - if they want their souls to prosper - remember the Word of God. "Therefore you shall love the Lord your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always (Deut. 11:1)."
Parents - what shall your children remember of you when they are gone? As a parent myself I admit that I fear my legacy may be better remembered by my hobbies and habits...rather than a saturated commitment to the Scriptures.
Preachers - what shall your people remember of you when you are gone? Funny stories and silly antics? Or shall your people always remember you as the preacher that lived and breathed the very Word of God in your sermons and your life?
Drawing closer to the text at the top of the page I note in this passage a 3-fold progression of God's Word in the lives of His children.
1) God's Word in the Heart - "you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul (Deut 11:18)."
Christians - are we storing up God's Word, His commands, in the chambers of our hearts and minds? Are we keeping His Word close by frequently bringing it into remembrance throughout the day?
2) God's Word in the Home - "you shall teach them to your children... (Deut 11:19)."
Christian - What is the mark of our presence in our homes? Is the fragrance of Christ throughout our house? Do I ever speak openly and honestly with my family about what the Lord is doing today in my life - so as to be an encouragement to the lives of those nearest to me?
3) God's Word to the World - "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates...(Deuteronomy 11:20)."
Here is the part that really got me thinking. The "doorposts" and "gates" would be the FIRST thing that a total stranger would encounter when coming to meet someone. I take this to mean that it is NOT enough for God's Word to fill my heart and home...but must also extend beyond my immediate family and profess to the world that I belong to Jesus Christ.
How do we do that today? Here I think every Christian needs to look at his/her own circumstances and consider the opportunities God gives us. But if I am content to keep my faith in the smallest possible circle...what does that say about the state of my soul? How can I say I love my neighbor and never speak to him about the things that matter most?
Interesting - According to Ezekiel 45:19 the priest was to put the blood of the sacrifice for sin on the doorposts and gates of the temple: "The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gateposts of the gate of the inner court."
We are, Christian, the temple of God. Christ, therefore, our great and only sacrifice for sin, must always be on the doorposts and gates of our lives. Let the world look on. Do they see the blood? Do they see a soul living joyful in obedience to the words of my Savior?
Oh for more sanctified doorposts and gates!