Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 57:21

“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Culturally, we are often taught to think about peace in terms of an absence of conflict.  In the Scriptures, peace is a much more robust concept than that.  It contains the idea of an absence of conflict, yes, but more than just physical conflict, peace in the Bible is concerned with an absence of conflict with God.  It is concerned with a sense of wholeness and completeness to life.  When we have peace, all is right inside of us, whether or not it is right around us. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Jeremiah 2:13

“…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the foundation of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When we reject the One True God, we make two mistakes.  We turn from the one source of life in this world.  And, we turn toward something that is by definition not a source of life.  More directly, it is a source of death.  When we turn from God toward something else, we are necessarily turning toward nothing.  We are rejecting what is in favor of what isn’t.  This is never a good trade.  So why do we make it? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 44:18-20

“They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.  No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ‘Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten.  And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?  Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’  He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, ‘Is there not a lie in my right hand?'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This and the few verses on either side of it is one of my favorite passages in the whole Old Testament.  It ranks up there for me as one of the best in the Bible.  That may not be a very spiritual answer to the question of what this preacher’s favorite verse is, but read it again for yourself.  It’s hilarious.  No other passage in the Bible captures the sheer idiocy of idolatry quite so well as this one does.  And it does it with a sarcastic sense of humor that resonates really well with my own. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Jeremiah 2:5

“Thus says the Lord: ‘What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When someone rejects God, there’s a reason for it.  That seems like it should be obvious, but perhaps it’s not so obvious as it should be.  If someone has been exposed to the Gospel and then left it for something else, there’s a reason for it. Read the rest…

Love Amid the Mess

In part two of our series, The Big Story, we dug into the tragedy of the Fall.  While creation was originally adorned with not just beauty and splendor, but holiness and righteousness, it didn’t stay that way.  We broke it.  And yet, God refused to let sin have the last word.  Even in the midst of the mess of the Fall there was one thing God kept doing.  Keep reading to find out what this was…

Love Amid the Mess

Have you ever totally blown it?  I’m not talking a little explosion.  I’m talking, you rolled out the big guns, pointed them right at the stockpile of ammunition, and blew the whole fort to pieces.  If you’ve lived very long we’ve all done that at least once.  You may still be trying to recover from it.  Usually explosions that large leave a crater that even when once the ground has recovered from the blast still leaves a mark that everyone can see years later.  Where we came from near Petersburg, VA, there is the Petersburg National Battlefield Park.  The highlight of the drive through the Civil War battlefield is known as “the Crater.”  It’s this giant hole in the ground where the attacking Union soldiers exploded a mine up next to the defenses of the Confederates stationed there in order to breech the lines and win the battle.  The hole is still there.  They even named a road after it: Crater Road. Read the rest…