Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chasing after God's heart

Normally I do not blog Bible studies much anymore, but this one is a gem, spiritual meat and wine. Enjoy.

1 Samuel 13:14
  • God seeks "a man after His own heart."
  • The judges turned evil (Samuel's sons), so God gave Israel a king.
  • Saul was physically imposing. However, this did not make him worthy to be king; God added a transformation and a new heart (1 Samuel 10:6, 9) before anointing him king.
  • Saul's reign fell because he turned after his own heart, not seeking God. God's Spirit vacated him because of lack of trust and unwillingness to wait on the LORD.
  • Why was David pre-anointed (a king-elect)? Preparation/apprenticeship. He increased trust (cf. dealing with Goliath), humility, and obedience to God (i.e. did not try to remove Saul himself).
Ezekiel 34:15-16. God will shepherd His flock = He chases us.
1 Corinthians 12:3. We cannot confess Christ except by the Spirit's indwelling = He chases us.
Ephesians 2:4-5. God resurrected us by grace = He chases us.

But. . .

Matthew 6:33. We are told to seek His kingdom and righteousness = we chase Him.
Matthew 11:28. We take up His yoke, coming to Him for rest = we chase Him.
Matthew 16:24. We take up our crosses in order to follow Christ = we chase Him.

Revelation 3:20. Christ knocks, entering when we open = BOTH chase each other. So He chases us, then inviting us to follow and serve Him. Tying it all together, we see that God always perfectly chases us while we imperfectly chase Him.

What is the chasing person like?

David
  • Before kingship, he waited patiently, was humble (we are not God!), trusted in God, and obeyed Him.
  • After kingship, his arrogance led to lying, adultery, and murder. Yet God works through these "warty," sinful humans. Just look at Hebrews 11!
  • Psalm 40: patient waiting, trust in the LORD, proclaiming the Gospel.
  • Psalm 51: God makes a clean heart, a steadfast spirit, an indwelling of the Spirit, joy of salvation. Passion to find out God's will for us.
Jesus
  • Matthew 8:23-26. Christ slept in the storm, fearlessly rebuking it. Complete trust.
  • Matthew 9:36; John 11:32-38. He had compassion for the crowd's need. Compassion (lit. "with emotion") means concern for someone else's welfare leading to action. Weeping for the friends of Lazarus evidenced love. He released emotions along with faith because both, going together, are a gift from God!
  • Matthew 18:2-4. With childlike humility, put your entire spiritual care in His hands.
  • Matthew 26:39. Grief, surrender, deep obedience. Thy will be done, O LORD.
  • Mark 10:45. Chasing = service, giving His life as our ransom.
  • John 19:25-27. Dying, Jesus Christ protected His mother. He had utter concern for others above Himself.
Us: trust, humility, surrender, compassion (emotion leading to action), serving others. How? Live in the Word (wherein are God's heart and His Spirit!); daily confession and joy's work; worship and service with other Christians; see Jesus in the eyes of the poor (Mother Teresa); Sacraments; prayer.

Soli Deo gloria.

Friday, March 11, 2011

On Lent

Patrick, of Wit and Whim, has an excellent post, quite eloquent, on a Lutheran rationale for fasting. Go read it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Of children: miscellany

Due mostly to class subject material, I have children on the brain. When they're healthy, let them play with toys that aren't really "toys." A fond memory of mine: making spaceships at 7 or 8 years old with a cardboard box, afghan, and markers - sometimes no markers. And when they're sick? Take all their signs and symptoms together, and don't worry particularly about breaking an isolated fever. Hot temperatures make bacteria die. Simple as that.