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God’s Difference from Us — A Great Michael Horton Quote!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2019 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #19 God and SOCIAL JUSTICE! (Part 1)

We’ve been dealing with a weighty subject in our last few posts — God and the problem of evil.  I have just returned from a week in Palestine, sponsored by an organization that seeks to educate Westerners on some of the plight of that group of people.

The week was difficult.  We saw suffering and poverty everywhere.  We Christians often celebrate 1948 as Israel returning to its land as a fulfillment of God’s promises to His covenant people.  I believe that followers of Jesus should be pro-Israel.  But that is not to say that we should be anti-Arab.

Israel committed (and still commits) many atrocities in its goal of colonizing all of the land.  We saw refugee camps of Palestinians who were driven out of their homes by Zionist settlers, slums that rivaled the worst in American society.  We heard stories of illegal restrictions put on Palestinians by Israel (Palestinians can’t dig their own wells, have to buy electricity and water from Israel, must go through humiliating border checks, etc.).  I believe I am going through a bit of PTSD from seeing all the sadness, hopelessness, and oppression of the Palestinian people.

God puts a premium on caring for the persecuted, the poor, the marginalized.  Here are a few verses about God’s care for the oppressed:

Psalm 82:3
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Psalm 146:7
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free . . .
Isaiah 58:10
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
Ezekiel 22:7
In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.
Amos 2:7
They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.
Luke 4:18
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free . . .

Me at the Sea of Galilee

We read of the Lord in Jeremiah 22:

16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
    declares the Lord.

God is on the side of the oppressed, the persecuted, the humiliated.  I certainly don’t know the answer to “the Palestinian problem,” but I can’t believe that the Lord of creation is pleased with the conduct of Israel if half the stories we heard were true.   Let’s pray for Israel — and for the Palestinian people!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #18 God and THE PROBLEM OF EVIL! (Part 3)

We are thinking about the PROBLEM OF EVIL and the issue of theodicy (a defense of God’s justice in the face of evil’s reality).  There are religions that try to deal with the problem of evil by denying its existence (Christian Science comes to mind, for example).  Other religions compromise the character of God in this area.

Thankfully the Bible affirms both the reality of evil and the truth of God’s justice.  One text that merits our attention is Luke 13.  There we read —

We’ve seen in our previous post that this text deals with two major sources of evil in the world: vicious crimes and violent accidents.  We’ve looked briefly at Pilate’s vicious crime of executing some Galileans while they were worshiping God!

Jesus’ response to their unspoken question of “Why?” may seem odd to us, but He asks, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?”  He answers His own question by stating in effect, “No!  The issue wasn’t their sin or their comparative wickedness.  They serve as an example of the need to REPENT!”

The text then records JESUS bringing up a current event.  He says (my paraphrase): “You know about that tower in Siloam that fell on those eighteen people and killed them?  Were they more guilty that all the others living in Jerusalem?”  Here it is Jesus who brings up a current event — a violent accident.

Accidents happen.  But what do they mean?  They are not necessarily indications that God has gotten someone.  They are not necessarily barometers of a person’s comparative sinfulness.  Jesus again answers His own question and says, “I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

We read with horror of the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University that collapsed on March 15, 2018, killing several.  Were those innocent victims ready to meet the Lord?

Part of Jesus’ theodicy is simply:  “Be ready to meet the Lord!  Life is quite uncertain.  Vicious crimes and violent accidents happen every day.  Are you ready?”  (your comments?)

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #18 God and THE PROBLEM OF EVIL! (Part 2)

We must deal with the problem of evil in this ongoing discussion about God.  How can there be a good God and so much evil in the world?  Christians must respond to this question — and thankfully the Bible does!

One of the passages that has helped me is Luke 13:1-5.  There we receive what I call a bit of Jesus’ theodicy.  A theodicy is a defense of God’s justice in the face of evil’s reality.  Here’s what we read in Luke 13:

There is so much in this passage, but let me suggest that it deals with the problem of evil.  In fact, Jesus’ theodicy here covers two major sources of evil: vicious crimes and violent accidents.

Some people (perhaps Galileans) report to Jesus an awful event that has taken place.  Somehow some of Jesus’ countrymen had so angered the Roman governor Pontius Pilate that he had them massacred — while they were at a worship meeting!  Not only did he have them executed, he had their blood mixed with their sacrifices (desecration).  A vicious crime!

Jesus’ response to this report is quite astounding.  One perhaps expected Him to rail against Pilate, to call down God’s judgment on the evil governor.  But that’s not what Jesus does.  He asks a question of the reporters of this event:  “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” (v. 2).  He asks a question of comparison.  Perhaps He was asking, “Do you think God got these Galileans and punished them through Pilate?”

The Jews knew that God could use an evil nation to punish His own people.  But fortunately Jesus answers His own question:  “I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  Jesus doesn’t rail against Pilate.  He doesn’t pontificate on the problem of evil men doing despicable things.  He challenges His questioners on a very personal level.  And His response to this vicious crime is — the need to repent! (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #18 God and THE PROBLEM OF EVIL! (Part 1)

“If there is a good God, why is there so much EVIL in the world?”, my non-Christian friend asks.  And “why do the wicked prosper and the righteous take it on the chin?  If there is a good God,” he continues, “He wouldn’t want evil in His world.  And if He is a powerful God, He could put a stop to it.  Why doesn’t He?

These questions can’t be avoided, especially in light of the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (17 people killed and 17 wounded), or the October 1, 2017 massacre of 58 people (and 851 injured) on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada while they were at a music festival, or the April 17, 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA which left 33 people dead.

And that’s only one kind of evil.  How about so-called “natural” disasters? In 1931 the death toll from floods in China was estimated to be between one and four million. In 2004 an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Indian Ocean took the lives of over 280,000. In 1920 the Haiyuan earthquake killed over 270,000. The Bhola cyclone in 1970 left between 250,000 and 500,000 dead. A cyclone in 2008 made landfall in Myanmar (where I am going in August) and killed 84,500 people with 53,800 missing. In 2005 a Pakistan earthquake registered 7.6 on the Richter scale. The official death toll was 75,000 people along with 106,000 injured. Need we continue with additional examples?

But the problem of evil is not a new one.  The Bible does not sugarcoat the issue.  The people in the Bible knew suffering, perhaps much more than we do.

So, how are we to respond to the problem of evil?  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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A Great Vance Havner Quote — Holiness!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #17 The JOY of the Lord! (Part 3)

This is our final post on the delightful topic of God and JOY!  There are many verses that speak of God and JOY!  In our last post on this topic we looked through the text in Nehemiah 8:10 that says “The joy of the Lord is your strength!”  Let’s briefly summarize the other verses on JOY (the whole list is added to the end of this post):

Some further points on JOY:

1. It is the Lord who gives us great joy. Our hearts ought to leap for joy.
2. It is pleasing to God to make a whole day of feasting and joy!
3. He can turn our sorrow into joy and our mourning into a day of celebration. However, suffering can make us feel that our days are flying away without a glimpse of joy. The Lord wants to give us comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Paul says “In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
4. One key to joy is taking refuge in the Lord. We are to find our joy in the Lord.
5. God wants to fill us with joy in His presence, for there are eternal pleasures at His right hand. He wants us to be glad with the joy of His presence. He wants to fill us with joy in His presence. He wants to clothe us with joy. We are to dance and leap for joy.
6. God’s precepts give joy to the heart.
7. Sometimes we need to ask that the joy of our salvation be restored. Sometimes our joy can wither away.
8. God calls forth songs of joy from creation itself! We are invited to “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord!”
9. The prospect of the righteous is joy; there is joy when the wicked perish! Everlasting joy will crown their heads! Gladness and joy will overtake them!
10. God’s word ought to be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts.
11. It is possible to receive the word with joy — and then lose it.
12. The Lord Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit.
13. He wants His joy to be in us and for that joy to be complete. He wants us to have the full measure of His joy.
14. Such basics as rain and crops and food and joy are evidences of God’s existence and care for His creation.
15. We are to be joyful in hope, recognizing that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives joy in the midst of severe suffering.
16. Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit; we are to pray with joy; we are to seek the progress of other’s joy in the faith.
17. We should be able to say of other believers: you are our glory and joy.
18. Jesus was no reluctant Savior — for the joy set before Him He endured the cross . . .
19. Submitting to spiritual leaders helps make their work a joy, not a burden.
20. Walking in the truth brings great joy to Christian leaders.

Whew! What a lot about JOY! Someone has said that the Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful! Yes, we do. And it ought to be the normal, the default setting, of the believer!

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Deuteronomy 16:14
Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.

Deuteronomy 16:15
For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Deuteronomy 28:47
Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, HE GETS ANGRY WHEN WE DON’T SERVE HIM WITH JOY!

1 Kings 8:66
On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

1 Chronicles 12:40
Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

1 Chronicles 15:16
David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. GOD LIKES JOYFUL SOUNDS!

1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. THERE IS A SIGN OVER HIS HOUSE THAT READS “JOY!”

2 Chronicles 20:27
Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

Ezra 6:16
Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.

Ezra 6:22
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel. GOD DELIGHTS IN FILLING HIS PEOPLE WITH JOY!

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 12:43
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Esther 9:18
The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.

Esther 9:22
as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

Job 9:25
“My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.

Job 33:26
then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 21:6
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Psalm 33:1
[ Psalm 33 ] Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 51:8
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 65:8
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 66:1
[ Psalm 66 ] [ For the director of music. A song. A psalm. ] Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

Psalm 86:4
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 95:1
[ Psalm 95 ] Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 105:43
He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;

Psalm 126:3
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Psalm 126:6
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Psalm 145:7
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Proverbs 10:28
The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Proverbs 11:10
When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Isaiah 9:3
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

Isaiah 12:6
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 26:19
But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Isaiah 35:10
and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 44:23
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Isaiah 51:11
Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 58:14
then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 60:5
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. GOD LIKES SWELLING HEARTS!

Isaiah 61:7
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. EVERLASTING JOY!

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.

Jeremiah 31:13
Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Joel 1:12
The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree— all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the people’s joy is withered away. HAS YOUR JOY WITHERED AWAY?

Habakkuk 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Matthew 13:20
The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.

Matthew 28:8
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Luke 2:10
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Luke 6:23
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. THE LORD JESUS WAS FULL OF JOY THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Luke 24:41
And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”

Luke 24:52
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

John 15:11
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 16:22
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:24
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

John 17:13
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. JESUS PRAYS THAT WE WOULD HAVE THE FULL MEASURE OF HIS JOY!

Acts 2:28
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 14:17
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” JOY AS AN EVIDENCE OF GOD’S EXISTENCE & CARE FOR CREATION.

Acts 16:34
The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. AND WHEN TO SAY “WHOOPPEEEE!”

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

2 Corinthians 7:4
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

2 Corinthians 8:2
In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. WHAT CONTRASTS!

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, THE #2 FRUIT!

Philippians 1:4
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy

Philippians 1:25
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

Philippians 2:2
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Philippians 4:1
[ Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity ] Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

Colossians 1:12
and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

1 Thessalonians 1:6
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. ANOTHER CONNECTION OF JOY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT!

1 Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

1 Thessalonians 2:20
Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

2 Timothy 1:4
Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

Philemon 1:7
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Hebrews 1:9
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. HE WAS NO RELUCTANT SAVIOR!

Hebrews 13:17
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

James 1:2
[ Trials and Temptations ] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

1 John 1:4
We write this to make our joy complete.

2 John 1:4
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

3 John 1:3
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Jude 1:24
[ Doxology ] To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—

 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #17 The JOY of the Lord! (Part 2)

Here are a few points that jump out at me from this brief study of THE JOY OF THE LORD:
1. God likes parties! He’s wants us to have celebrations and festivals. Week-long ones! Involving a lot of food! And a variety of music! (Some of us will have to take dance lessons when we get to heaven).
2. He wants us to serve Him joyfully. If we aren’t, something is wrong and needs to be made right.
3. Our joy is to be in Him and all the good things the Lord has done for us.
4. God’s character is joy — strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
5. There are enemies — and God expects us to rejoice when we are victorious over our enemies. Who or what are your enemies?
6. We are told to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and not to grieve, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)

We’re going to have pick this up in a subsequent post. There are too many important truths about joy to include in this one. Someone has said that the mentally and emotionally healthy are those that have learned when to say Yes, when to say No, and when to say Whoopee! (Willard S. Krabill, M.D.)

Be joyful in the Lord today!

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Here again are the texts on JOY:

Deuteronomy 16:14
Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.

Deuteronomy 16:15
For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Deuteronomy 28:47
Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity,

1 Kings 8:66
On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

1 Chronicles 12:40
Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

1 Chronicles 15:16
David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

2 Chronicles 20:27
Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

Ezra 6:16
Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.

Ezra 6:22
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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The Name of God (A Great Quote from Frederick Buechner)

“Buechner is my name. It is pronounced Beek-ner. If somebody mispronounces it in some foolish way, I have the feeling that what’s foolish is me. If somebody forgets it, I feel that it’s I who am forgotten. There’s something about it that embarrasses me in just the same way that there’s something about me that embarrasses me. I can’t imagine myself with any other name Held, say, or Merrill, or Hlavacek. If my name were different, I would be different. When I tell you my name, I have given you a hold over me that you didn’t have before. If you call it out, I stop, look, and listen whether I want to or not. In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses that his name is Yahweh, and God hasn’t had a peaceful moment since.”

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #17 The JOY of the Lord! (Part 1)

My, how easy it is to focus only on one of God’s attributes. If He were only holy, we might fear drawing near to Him. If He were only wrathful, we would have every reason to hide from Him. But there are so many other characteristics of our God, such as His JOY!

JOY is a consistent theme in the Scriptures. The word JOY and its variations (JOYFUL, JOYFULLY, etc.) are used 280 times in the Word of God. Let’s notice a few selected verses (there’s a bunch of them!).  In our next post we will try to summarize some of the major points about JOY:

Deuteronomy 16:14
Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.

Deuteronomy 16:15
For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Deuteronomy 28:47
Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity,

1 Kings 8:66
On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

1 Chronicles 12:40
Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

1 Chronicles 15:16
David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

2 Chronicles 20:27
Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

Ezra 6:16
Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.

Ezra 6:22
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 12:43
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Esther 9:18
The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.

Esther 9:22
as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

Job 9:25
“My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.

Job 33:26
then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 21:6
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Psalm 33:1
[ Psalm 33 ] Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 51:8
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 65:8
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 66:1
[ Psalm 66 ] [ For the director of music. A song. A psalm. ] Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

Psalm 86:4
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 95:1
[ Psalm 95 ] Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 105:43
He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;

Psalm 126:3
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Psalm 126:6
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Psalm 145:7
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Proverbs 10:28
The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Proverbs 11:10
When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Isaiah 9:3
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

Isaiah 12:6
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 26:19
But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Isaiah 35:10
and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 44:23
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Isaiah 51:11
Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 58:14
then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 60:5
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. GOD LIKES SWELLING HEARTS!

Isaiah 61:7
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.

Jeremiah 31:13
Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Joel 1:12
The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree— all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the people’s joy is withered away. HAS YOUR JOY WITHERED AWAY?

Habakkuk 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Matthew 13:20
The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.

Matthew 28:8
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Luke 2:10
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Luke 6:23
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. THE LORD JESUS WAS FULL OF JOY THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Luke 24:41
And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”

Luke 24:52
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

John 15:11
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 16:22
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:24
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

John 17:13
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

Acts 2:28
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 14:17
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Acts 16:34
The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

2 Corinthians 7:4
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

2 Corinthians 8:2
In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, THE #2 FRUIT!

Philippians 1:4
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy

Philippians 1:25
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

Philippians 2:2
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Philippians 4:1
[ Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity ] Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

Colossians 1:12
and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

1 Thessalonians 1:6
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. !

1 Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

1 Thessalonians 2:20
Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

2 Timothy 1:4
Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

Philemon 1:7
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Hebrews 1:9
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. HE WAS NO RELUCTANT SAVIOR!

Hebrews 13:17
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

James 1:2
[ Trials and Temptations ] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

1 John 1:4
We write this to make our joy complete.

2 John 1:4
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

3 John 1:3
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Jude 1:24
[ Doxology ] To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—

Whew!   If you read through all these verses, would you make a brief comment below?  Thanks!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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