Amo Reading Room
Amo, Indiana, USA
It has often been noted that, in some key respects, the emphasis of the narrative of Acts is different from what we might suppose from reading Paul’s letters.
— Read on www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/did-paul-give-new-names-to-church-leaders-and-co-workers/
Bacote organized his message around four principles for churches to remind congregations. The first emphasized loyalty to God alone by resisting the temptation of trusting politics to fulfill desires. “The temptation is to hear the voice of the political carnival barkers,” Bacote said. “Idols are great at making promises and horrible at delivering on them… but idols feel nearer than a transcendent God. If you call yourself a Christian, that is out of bounds.”
This idolatry extends to politics. Rather than misplacing trust in all politicians to do the work of God, Bacote says to “Have your loyalty to God alone. This is Obligation Number One if you’re a Christian. If you love God with all you’ve got, there’s no room for anything else.”
Bacote connected this mandate with an exhortation to reject toxic Christian tribalism. If evangelicals are to be good news people, this must extend to all. Bacote used the example of evangelicals and those in the LGBTQ community. A “good news evangelical” will strive to be the first person to welcome a young adult who has been kicked out of their home. Bacote said he longed for the public reputation of evangelicals to be known as this type of person: one who loves regardless of differences.
All too often in the modern church, repentance is tucked away in the personal and private lives of people who want to obtain absolution without thought for the continuing effects of sin. We look for exoneration rather than justification and restoration. We prefer to concentrate on the compartmentalized sins of our lives at this controlled and controllable moment rather than to view the ugliness of our idolatry on the grand stage of life. It is not only the passing adulterous thought or murderous deeds of today or yesterday that the Bible addresses when it speaks of repentance; rather, it refers to the lifelong pattern of idolatry that needs confessing.
Bill T. Arnold, 1 & 2 Samuel, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), 135.
In Samuel’s time, in the face of the Philistine threat, in the face of Canaanite culture, in the presence of Canaanite religion, Israel began to notice other loyalties that seemed more promising. Israel began to mix its faith and its loyalty with other loyalties and alternatives seemingly more attractive, more compelling, and more productive. Israel is tempted, again and again, to change its central loyalty and, with it, to change its mode of ethics and its patterns of social relationships. Samuel is summoned by Yahweh to call Israel back to its primary loyalty, to its single reliance, and to shun other modes of life, security, and well-being. The demand of Samuel is that Israel belong only to Yahweh and not be permitted any other loyalty. The promise of Samuel is that Yahweh is completely adequate as a delivering God, who can work rescue in any circumstance, even with the Philistines. Samuel bears witness to the adequacy of Yahweh, even as he bears witness to the sovereignty of Yahweh.
Walter Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990), 49.
We need exactly the same summons.
Amo, Indiana, USA
Jesus is not speaking of resurrection in the future tense. Well, he is, but not as if it is somewhere over the rainbow. The resurrection is not a future event. Neither is it a present event. He is saying, “I am the resurrection.” The resurrection is not an event. It is a person. Jesus is the resurrection. Jesus is the life. Jesus is not asking Martha to believe in something that will happen in the future. He wants her to know by believing in him now, the future has already happened.
— Read on www.seedbed.com/why-the-resurrection-is-not-our-hope/
My pastor talked about this today. It was helpful to me. At the same time, I need to find a better way to witness to Jesus in this stage of my life.
Many are content to know Jesus as Savior. Fewer are willing to know him as Lord. Not many, however, will become his friends. Many are content to worship him like a loyal subject who bows low before a king. Fewer still are willing to approach him as the son or daughter of a loving Father. Not many will walk with him as friend.
— Read on www.seedbed.com/why-jesus-wants-loyal-friends-not-worshipful-fans/