Tag Archives: sovereignty

Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 1 Part 5)

We’re continuing our study of the book of Galatians which I get to teach to a group of Word of Life Korea students from June 7-16. We’re still in chapter one!

Let’s notice an additional theme in this first chapter.

A fifth major theme that comes up in chapter one is God’s interrupting grace!  As the Apostle Paul reflects on his life of persecuting Christians (vv. 13-24), he uses strong language like “my previous way of life in Judaism,” “how intensely I persecuted the church of God,” and “tried to destroy it.” (v. 13).  He had made great progress in Judaism, surpassing many of his age group.  His zeal for the traditions of his fathers knew no bounds (v. 14).

Then God interrupted his life with His grace!  Set apart from his mother’s womb, Saul responded to God’s call and God was pleased “to reveal his Son in me” (v. 16). How does God reveal His Son in you?  It’s a great question to think about!



Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Galatians


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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 15)

Don’t you hate it when you are only one who thinks your idea is a great one?  Jonah volunteers to be tossed overboard and is sure that the sea will calm down when it claims his life.  But Jonah did not count on the consciences of pagan sailors who stood with dropped jaws as they heard of Jonah’s heresy.  Words are cheap and Jonah’s orthodox declaration (“I am a Hebrew and I worship  the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land”) was clearly contradicted by his silly attempt to escape this God!

The sailors do not immediately grab Jonah and hurl him over the side.  They once more grab their oars and try to row back to land.  But in vain.  They needed to play their part in this drama of sacrifice and redemption.

Their failure to rescue themselves drives them to cry out to Jonah’s God!  And what an elegant prayer!  “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”  What a prayer!

Their prayer was much more orthodox than Jonah’s life!  Notice several aspects of their prayer:

(1)  They pray to Jonah’s God!

(2)  They recognize that He is a righteous Judge who will hold sinners accountable.

(3)  They acknowledge that He, Jonah’s God, had done as He pleased.

With a modicum of words, Jonah had unwittingly led these men to his God.  And all he wants to do is go drown.  Sad.  (to be continued)

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Jonah


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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 13)

Someone has said, “There is only one commandment for those who don’t believe in Jesus and it is this:  Watch those who do!”  The pagan sailors are not attracted to Jonah’s orthodoxy, but are outraged that he could be running away from such a God!  They put two and two together and conclude that Jonah’s God, the One who made the sea and the dry land, did not care to be disobeyed — and had done something about it!  HE had sent the storm.

As they had their theological discussion, the sea “was getting rougher and rougher.”  They ask Jonah, “What should we do TO YOU to make the sea calm down for us?”  These pagan sailors were no dummies.  And they realized that Jonah’s God was no impotent deity.  HE had pursued His servant and HE got his servant’s attention.  Yes, innocent sailors had gotten embroiled in the mix, but Jonah’s God was sovereign over that as well.

If one were to unit-read the book of Jonah (reading it straight through at one sitting), it seems apparent at several points that he wants to die!  He has these suicidal ideations a number of times.  Here he volunteers to be tossed over the side as a human bromide to calm an acidic sea!  Jonah is certain that throwing him overboard will placate his angry God.  And he is sorta right. (to be continued)



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Posted by on August 13, 2017 in Jonah


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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 93)

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-7-32-42-am
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in sovereignty


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Great Quote from J. Vernon McGee: “You Don’t Have a Universe!”

“This is God’s universe, and God does things His way.You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe!” screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-8-20-29-am


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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Creator


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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 2)

I’ve never been to S. Korea! But I’ve been invited Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.25.52 AMto teach a course othe book of Psalms at the Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island.
So, I want to think about a number of Psalms and begin thinking through what my course will look like. Today’s Psalm is Psalm 2 which reads:


1Why do the nations conspireScreen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.41.40 AM
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”

4The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in the book of Psalms


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The Joy of Unit-Reading #27 (the book of Ruth)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that unit-readingScreenshot 2016-01-26 06.31.05 is reading straight through a book of the Bible. I’ve been making some progress in doing just that, and today’s book is the Old Testament book of Ruth.

I’m very weak in the Old Testament, so I’m thankful that I could unit-read Ruth.  What strikes me here is the pain that Naomi experienced and how the Lord gives her the freedom to lament that pain without punishing her.

May I ask you — what pain are you going through?  Do you believe God is big enough to handle your hurts and despair?  He is!

Your thoughts?

Screenshot 2016-01-26 06.35.13

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in unit-reading


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