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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (chapter 11) Holy Anger!

This has got to be a difficult text for my Mennonite (= pacifist) friends! The Ammonites want to gouge out the right eyes of all the Gileadites. That is their condition for making a treaty with them.

The Israelites weep outloud when they hear of this impending disaster. Saul, returning from the fields, asks what’s wrong and is overcome with the Spirit of God and “he burned with anger” (v. 6). Against whom does Saul vent his anger? Against the people of God!

“I wonder how Saul will use us today?”

He cuts up the oxen and sends the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, threatening, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel” (v. 7). We read that the terror of the Lord falls on the people and “they came out together as one.”

As a result Saul mustered 300,000 men of Israel and 30,000 men of Judah. News of impending rescue is sent to the men of Jabesh Gilead who promise to surrender to the Ammonites the next day (v. 10).

Saul’s army breaks into the Ammonite camp late at night and slaughters them “until the heat of the day.” We read that “those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together” (v. 11).

But some of the people then want to execute those who had rejected Saul’s rulership. Saul, in a great act of mercy, intercedes for them and says, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel” (v. 13).

Saul is made king in the presence of the Lord and there is a great celebration!

The takeaways from this chapter?

(1) There are real threats to the people of God. And there is a time for real leaders to step up and fight!

(2) God’s Word does not sugarcoat man’s inhumanity to man or the necessity (at times) to execute those who do evil.

(3) A holy anger can unite the people of God to do what is right!

(4) There is always room for mercy to be shown to others (those who opposed Saul’s kingship).

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2018 in I Samuel 11

 

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Time for a Great Commercial: Identification!

Identifying with other members of the family of God might be challenging at times!  Your comments?

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in identification

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 21)

We have been studying Jesus’ use of the word WORLD in His high priestly prayer in John 17. He uses that word seventeen times, a word which can refer to the PLANET, to the PEOPLE of the planet, or to the PAGAN SYSTEM opposing God and the things of God.

So, decisions need to be made each time that word WORLD appears. Let me give my translation of the verses in which that word is used and then draw several applications from our study.

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the planet began.” (v. 5). … I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the pagan system. (v. 6). … I pray for them, I am not praying for the people of the planet, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (v. 9). … I will remain in the planet no longer, but they are still in the planet, and I am coming to you. (vv. 10-11). … I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the planet, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (v. 13). … I have given them your word and the pagan system has hated them, for they are not of the pagan system any more than I am of the pagan system. (v. 14). … My prayer is not that you take them out of the planet but that you protect them from the evil one.” (v. 15). … They are not of the pagan system, even as I as not of it. (v. 16). … As you sent me into the people of the planet, I have sent them into the people of the planet. (v. 18). … My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the people of the planet may believe the you have sent me. (vv. 20-21). … I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the people of the planet will know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (v. 23). … Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the planet. (v. 24). … Righteous Father, though the people of the planet do not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” (v. 25).

Ten Tentative Conclusions from Our Study:
1. The full deity of the Lord Jesus is foundational. He had the Father’s glory before creation (v. 5) and was loved by the Father before the creation came into existence (v. 24).
2. We all are in the pagan system opposing God until He saves us. No one is spiritually neutral. We are all enemies of God before conversion (v. 6).
3. Jesus personally prays for each of us (v. 9).
4. He is leaving the planet, but we are staying here (vv. 10-11).
5. He says these things while here on the planet so that we might have the full measure of His joy. Now. Here. (v. 13).
6. We should not be surprised that the pagan system hates us, for it hated Him! (v. 14).
7. Jesus prays for our protection not our escape from this planet (v. 15).
8. We have been sent/commissioned by the Lord Jesus to the people of this planet (v. 18).
9. The unity of Jesus-followers can lead the people of the planet to belief in Him (vv. 20-23).
10. The people of the planet do not know the Father, but Jesus does (v. 25).

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in the world

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 18)

Seventeen times Jesus uses the word “WORLD” in His high priestly prayer here in John 17.  Let’s notice what He means by His fifteenth use of that word (which can refer to the PEOPLE of the planet, the PLANET itself, or the PAGAN SYSTEM opposing God and the things of God).  But it won’t hurt us a bit to read through His prayer again!

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before 1the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of 2the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for 3the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in 4the world no longer, but they are still in 5the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in 6the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and 7the world has hated them, for they are not of 8the world any more than I am of 9the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of 10the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of 11the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into 12the world, I have sent them into 13the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that 14the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then 15the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of 16the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though 17the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

My article on preaching has just been posted on: http://biblicaleldership.com/2017/10/25/10-steps-better-preaching/

 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in unity

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 17)

During these posts we are looking at the Lord Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17.  Jesus says much about THE WORLD and the believer’s “place” in the WORLD.  Sometimes that word cosmos means the physical planet, sometimes the people of the planet, and sometimes the pagan system opposing God and the things of God.

We’ve looked at thirteen of the seventeen uses of that word.  Let’s continue our study by looking at #14 found in verse 21 ….

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before 1the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of 2the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for 3the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in 4the world no longer, but they are still in 5the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in 6the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and 7the world has hated them, for they are not of 8the world any more than I am of 9the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of 10the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of 11the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into 12the world, I have sent them into 13the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that 14the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then 15the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of 16the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though 17the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2017 in unity

 

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Time for a Short Video: Protesters Join Forces!

What a refreshing video! I’m so glad these protesters crossed the street and joined forces.

Fascinating that religious language is heard as they embrace one another, don’t you think? Although religion often separates people, here it unites people as they listen to one another.

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Posted by on July 20, 2016 in protesters

 

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What Did JESUS Believe? (Twenty Non-Negotiables Our World Needs): Critical Issue #2

Jesus had a system of BELIEFS.  By “beliefs,” we do not mean opinions or thoughts or suggestions.  “Beliefs” for Jesus meant declarations of reality.  As God the Son, Jesus had no need for people to tell Him what to think.  As the Creator of the universe, He not only knew what was true but declared truth every time He spoke.

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The first critical issue we noticed was His BELIEF about Himself.  How did He view Himself?  He saw Himself as One on mission, as One who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give Himself as a ransom for sinners (Mk. 10:45).

The second critical issue about which Jesus expressed a very strong belief concerns the world.  He says much about the world in His high priestly prayer in John 17.  There we learn —

  1.  He shared the Father’s glory “before the world began” (v. 5).
  2.  He revealed the Father to those the Father gave Him “out of the world” (v. 6).
  3. He specifically prays for these believers and is “not praying for the world” (v. 9).
  4. He will “remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world . . .” (v. 11).
  5. He is saying these things “while [He is] still in the world” (v. 13).
  6. The world hates His followers, for “they are not of the world any more than I am of the world” (v. 14).
  7. His prayer is specifically not that the Father take “them out of the world but . . . protect them from the evil one” (v. 15).
  8.  A second time He says “they are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (v. 16).
  9.  As the Father sent the Son into the world, “I have sent them into the world” (v. 18).
  10.  The oneness of believers will help the world “believe that you sent me” (v. 21).
  11.  The unity of believers will lead to the world knowing that the Father sent the Son and has loved the followers of Jesus even as He loved Jesus (v. 23).
  12.  Jesus wants His disciples to see the glory the Father gave the Son “because you loved me before the creation of the world” (v. 24).
  13. The world does not know the Father, Jesus knows the Father and His followers know that the Father sent Him (v. 25).

Fifteen times Jesus uses the word “world.”  We learn that He shared the Father’s Screenshot 2015-11-29 08.21.41glory before the world began (v. 5) and that He was loved by the Father before the creation of the world (v. 24).  He has come into the world and is leaving the world (vv. 4-5).  He is not of the world, nor are His disciples (vv. 14, 16).  The disciples are those whom the Father gave the Son out of the world (v. 6) and are sent into the world (v. 18).  Jesus doesn’t pray that His followers would be taken out of the world, but that they would be kept from the evil one (v. 15).  Jesus doesn’t pray for the world, (for the world doesn’t know the Father, v. 25), but for His followers (v. 9).  How the followers of Jesus relate to one another will help the world believe the Father sent the Son (v. 21).  Their unity will lead the world to know the Father sent the Son and loves those who follow His Son (v. 23).

The term “cosmos” (“world”) can mean three things: (1) the physical planet; (2) the people of the planet; (3) the pagan system opposed to God and the things of God. An interesting study would be to ask:  What specific meaning does the word “world” have in each of the fifteen uses of that word here in John 17?

Questions:

  1.  How do you relate to the world as a follower of Jesus?
  2.  How can you be “in the world” but not have the world “in” you?
 
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Posted by on December 4, 2015 in beliefs

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 133)

Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 7.15.27 AM

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 7.21.41 AM

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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