Monday, January 22, 2018

day no. 14,336: crocodile tears

Exodus 9:27
Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong."

It is difficult to say whether Pharaoh believed himself sincere only later to come back to his former senses or whether he knew himself to be deceitful in this repentance, but either way, we understand that there exists a tendency in mankind to be compliant to God's commands only to the point that it benefits the man. True repentance is to the glory of God as the good of the man. False conversion assumes the good of man is the glory of God.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

day no. 14,335: dust by daybreak

Psalm 26
I would rather be a speck of dust permitted to float in the daybreak light of the Lord's house than be a worldly man who is swept away by the vengeance of the Lord. Those who cast their lots with God stand firm while those who bank on themselves are bankrupt. May all this devotion not be for naught. May all my sin not prove too much to overlook. May mercy and justice reign. Grace to the humble, Law to the proud.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

day no. 14,334: morning and evening

This morning in Spurgeon's Morning and Evening I read the following:

"And the evening and the morning were the first day." - Genesis 1:5

The evening was "darkness" and the morning was "light," and yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone! This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an exact analogy in spiritual experience. In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not to be named a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint because he possesses some degree of holiness.

I came across the same sentiment recently when listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon from the book of Colossians 1:1-2 where he established our identity as Christians is "Saint," because God said so. Sinner describes what we do sometimes, Saint describes who we are all the time. Our identity is not sinner or it would continue with us into eternity because our identity is static and unchanging. Who we are in Christ is saints. We may have darkness left in us, but we are called light. There may be still be nights, but we are called day. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

day no. 14,333: clarity, charity and authority in preaching

Three important areas of preaching ministry must be clarity, charity and authority.

The teaching component of preaching is most clearly articulated through careful, thoughtful, linear thinking. If you don't know how you got from A to B, odds are your hearers won't know either. The more work you can do in weaving a thread of continuity into your sermon, the better it will likely find its mark. Many great pearls fall to the floor without a thread to connect them. Our aim is a necklace, not a lot of loose gems.  Think it through. You owe it to those who hear you to know what you're going to say and why you're saying it in that order.

The pastoral component of preaching is communicated by charitable compassion. If you don't show that you care about the reception of truth, many ears will be inclined to tell their hearts to ignore your wisdom. Granted, that is not entirely your problem as the preacher, but you can show mercy on distracted, hard-hearted sinners by removing obstacles for them by putting on a charitable disposition that pleads with your people as one who cares about the outcome, not just the information.

Lastly, the sacramental component of preaching is demonstrated by authoritative distribution as a herald on behalf of the great King. Preachers must command their hearers to respond by proclaiming the indicative truth of what God has done and the imperative need to believe His Word. It is the preacher's mission to proclaim what God has done in the indicative tone and then demand that His deeds be believed in the imperative tone. Preachers do not have authority because they are well read or well spoken, although those are certainly desirable attributes. Authority comes from the Author. Do not rob from God's authoritative Word by apologizing for the message or by insisting on sentiments outside the scope of His message.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

day no. 14,332: set apart

Exodus 8:22-23
But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.

This is the theme of Exodus, "set apart." God is actively setting apart Israel from Egypt and he wants Egypt and Israel to know it. He doesn't want anyone mistaking this for coincidence or happenstance. This is intentional. There is a reason. Israel will not experience what Egypt will and He's telling everyone ahead of time so that when it happens anyone can explain what will clearly be seen. There will be division. There will be a difference. When it comes to God, "mine and yours" are categorically different with zero overlap. "Mine and yours" are distinct, separate, and set apart as though a great chasm has been fixed by one greater than the chasm itself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

day no. 14,331: counterfeit confidence

Exodus 8:18-19
The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

Jannes and Jambres finally met their match. Pharaoh, however, had not yet met his. Pharaoh liked that the magicians were able to match what they saw Moses doing, but that wasn't his confidence. Otherwise, he'd stood in awe and confessed along with his magi, "God is at work here!" Instead, he revealed here that the reason he for his hold out was not based on counterfeit miracles, but on genuine hubris.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

day no. 14,330: more like secret farts

Exodus 8:7
But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Jannes and Jambres are at it again, sticking it to Moses by sticking it to themselves. You don't need secret arts to do what is already happening, you just need to sit back and watch it happen. That's like me saying that I make the sun rise from the east each morning by my secret arts.