In recent years I’ve been reading a lot of the Old Testament. I enjoy seeing God’s grace at work there, even though I was always taught that the OT was law and NT was grace. That’s a big oversimplification. You can read it for yourself.
One thing I have noticed is that God was known for “hiding” from Israel. The psalmists are continually crying out for his attention, and the prophets, too. When Israel strays, God leaves them on their own for a while. He hides, and lets them see what life is like without him. It’s a form of his wrath.
I believe that we can sometimes experience the same hiding on a personal level. At least, I think I’ve been there.
I’ve been wondering this morning if this is why the church today is ineffective. Some church bodies are so far from biblical I don’t think they deserve to be called churches. They truly mock God and his word.
Many evangelical churches, with mostly correct doctrine, are engaged in the rat race of competition for declining numbers of people, and they have forgotten the main thing. The only thing they are good at is bringing in new people. Spiritual growth of those people is not even an afterthought.
It makes sense to me that God might just hide for a bit and let us see how we do on our own. What would that look like? What would it feel like?
Just a thought.
I’m reading 1 Peter in my morning devotional time. I suppose I always read a little deeper than merely devotionally, but my focus is on what the scripture is saying to us and how we should respond. I guess you would call it a kind of theological reading.
This morning I was reading chapter 1 verses 13-16. Like every part of this little letter, it is packed with more than you expect. Chock full o nuts.
13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), 1 Pe 1:13–16.
Some of my thoughts:
- These are marching orders. Nothing theoretical here. God has given his grace freely, but grace brings with it obligations. God is building a new world and he wants our help. We are not to be bystanders, but active participants, partners even.
- We are to be ready for action. Not sitting on our hands, waiting. Pull your skirts up and be ready to go at any time.
- We are to be disciplined. Sober minded. We need to be more serious about this stuff. Serving Jesus is not a sideline. It’s the main thing. Not even church obligations can get in the way of it. We have a serious job to do.
- Our hope is in Christ. There is no hope in politics, only a mud puddle. There is no hope in humanity without God. “Set all your hope on the grace that Jesus will bring you when he is revealed.”
- We are to be obedient like good children. Our Father knows what he is doing. Our Elder Brother is our great example. Those who follow Jesus do what he says.
- Don’t conform to your prechristian comfort zone. Be what you are. You are a servant of Jesus. Stick with it, no matter what. There are no vacation days, no sick days.
- We are to be holy in our conduct. When God says, “Be holy, for I am holy” I get plenty scared and think I can’t do that. But I think that what God means is that I should live the way he wants me to live. He knows my weakness and my limits. He ought to; he’s been carrying them for many years. But he has a rather strict code of conduct. I am on duty all the time. I am to be holy when I’m working, when I’m spending time with my family, when I’m in church, when I’m in the grocery store. Be holy; live in a godly way. All the time. All. The. Time.
It’s all about our status with God. We are in a covenant with him. Pretty exciting, huh?
The software for the Fujitsu S1500 scanners is 32 bit stuff and won’t work any longer with Catalina. But don’t throw your scanner away.
Instead get or update VueScan by Hamrick Software.
It works perfectly in either single sided or duplex mode.
I’m thankful for VueScan, which I’ve had for years to do better scanning with flatbed scanners. I’m thankful they saw fit to save our S1500 scanners from extinction.
I had set up a VM running Mojave in Parallels just so I could run that scanner. But I might as well keep the VM. You never know what other 32 bit apps I might run into.
I have had a couple days of feeling better. Not great, just better. I’m alive again, at least for now.
When I’m having a bad day I can barely remember what it’s like to feel better. It’s wonderful to get reminded occasionally.
I have a little more zest for work and I’m listening to a lot of blues rock guitar music. When I don’t feel good, all I want is chill downtempo stuff.
But this is just the short-term picture. Doc told me yesterday this could go on for a while, but it’s still short-term.
I look forward to a time when I will live in God’s glorious presence in a world without cancer and the tears it brings. As far as I’m concerned, marana tha.