Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 19: Colossians 3:1-3

Colossians 3:1-3: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

  1. A standard if...then statement, positively crucial for a Christian.  If you have been raised with Christ--that is if your blood has been cleansed by the Perfect Lamb's blood and your once damned soul has been born again--then this is what you must do.  Or at least that's how I read this verse.  What must I do?  Seek the things that are above.
    • Why do we do this?  Because that's where Jesus is, seated at the right hand of God.  He's there, resurrected and alive, at the right hand of God the Creator.  And this God-Man, this being of such power and importance, loves us.  He loves us so much that He died for us so we could be born again with Him.  That's why we seek the things that are above, because our Savior is there.
      • It's interesting to note that the right hand seat symbolizes power.  Whoever sits near a king, especially at his right hand, represents power and influence.  Here, God the King and Sovereign Lord, orchestrates His power through His Son Jesus Christ.  How cool is that?  And oh how humbling.
    • How do we do this?  We set our minds on things that are above and not on things that are on earth.  I cannot help but think of 1 John 2:15 or Romans 12:2.  How vital it is that we have our minds renewed!  How absolutely crucial it is that we must not love the world but God!  This theme is so common throughout the bible that it's almost like we're daft and lack comprehension...  When something is repeated, that means it's important.  Well if this theme is repeated time and time again, then through the Spirit of God this is important!

      If we're looking for a handbook for Christian living, this is one of its key directions.  Set your minds on things that are above, because what's above?  Jesus.  And if we're focused on Him, we'll not be swayed by the world as easily or as much.
  2. You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Reiterating the fact that we're no longer doomed to hell, that part of us is forever changed.  The old soul is dead and buried, crucified and forsaken.  The new one has been washed in Jesus' blood, clearing away our sins, and giving us eternal life with Christ in God.  Wow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 18: Psalm 1: 5-6

Psalm 1: 5,6: Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
  1. What's the therefore there for?  Taking everything that's been said from verses 1-4, contrasting a blessed and righteous man with a wicked one, we come to the final verses of this psalm.  What does it mean that the wicked won't stand in the judgment?  Aren't the wicked supposed to be judged?  I don't believe that this psalm is saying that the wicked won't be judged, but that 1) they won't be standing in the same Judgment Line with the righteous, 2) they literally won't be standing (see Philippians 2:10) at all, and/or 3) their sentencing will render them wicked, doomed to hell and, poetically, not standing.

    To me, these three possibilities can work together and all be true, or any single one of them.  In light of the latter part of the verse, sinners [won't stand] in the congregation of the righteous, it seems likely that these two sentences support one another and that the wicked will be separated from the righteous.
  2. The LORD knows the way of the righteous.  This is another one of those verses that supports that God knows us and our every step, that He's there with us, and that His way does not lead to death, but to life.
    1. God knows the wicked man's steps, too, but He doesn't know him intimately as He does His children.  These are the poor men and women that will die and go to hell.  
    2. These types of verses serve as rallying calls to me.  Be vigilant and spread the Gospel.  May the love of Jesus Christ drive us to keep the numbers of the perishing down and the troops of the Kingdom high.
That concludes all of Psalm 1.  Sweet.  Pretty simple.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 17: Psalm 1:3-4

Psalm 1:3,4:  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
  1. The Blessed Man, the one that spends all day and night meditating on the Word, is solid and prosperous.  A tree by water grows strong and lives long, which is worth noting; in fact, fact its leaf doesn't wither indicates the tree lives eternally.  How does one live forever?  He follows Jesus Christ, washing in His blood and submitting his life solely to Him.
  2. Contrasting the Blessed Man is the Wicked Man.  Where the blessed have eternal life, the wicked are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Chaff is lightweight trash, discarded husks from corn or other crops.  This is not what we want to be, especially knowing that we can drink from the Spring of Life and live forever.  Even so, there are wicked--I'm thinking those that don't meditate on the Word and scoff at Christ--and they have a determined fate: eternity without God.
This has me thinking about how we even define a wicked person in modern times.  With David it was obvious.  He had enemies.  People that wanted to kill him and take his throne.  We, for the most part, don't have enemies, at least not people that want to harm us.  So who are our wicked?  Who are our enemies?  I suppose it's those that are not in Christ, even though we typically don't think this way.  And Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them.  Interesting stuff.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week 16: Psalm 1:1-2

Psalm 1:1,2: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD and on His law he meditates day and night.
  1. David opens the Psalms with a blessing.  It can be re-read as "If you don't walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand with the sinners or count yourself among the scoffers, and your joy is in the LORD and meditating on Him, then you'll be blessed."  It seems simple enough.  One can imagine that if one takes delight in Yahweh and spends his time meditating on the Law of the LORD then they won't be found among the wicked, sinners, or scoffers.
    1. This reminds me of 1 John 2:15-17.  We are to show the love of Jesus to the world--to the wicked, to the sinners, and to the scoffers--but we are not to count ourselves among their ranks.  We're to shine the light of the gospel to everyone, but warned against becoming ensnared by the world.
    2. The counsel of the wicked.  The only counsel we need is the Counsel of God, found in his Word.
    3. In the seats of scoffers.  A scoffer is someone who mocks or treats something/someone with contempt.  
  2. Having just finished John Piper's Desiring God, it's easy to apply the term "Christian Hedonism" here.  The Lord promises blessings to those that delight in the law of the LORD.  Like the snowball effect, if we delight in God's Law, then we'll desire Him more and therefore be more blessed.  We'll want to read our bibles more.  We'll want to pray more.  We'll want to point all of our actions to God's glory.  Whether this blessing is temporal or eternal is irrelevant.  It could be either or both.
    1. Blessed, if I am thinking correctly, can also be translated as "Happy."  In this case, that would make sense, but I'm not certain on this.
    2. he meditates day and night.  Can you imagine this lifestyle?  All day and all night pondering over the Word of God.  Couple this with a lifestyle of constant prayer (1 Thes. 5:17) and it's no wonder that one would be happy.