Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:28-29

“After this I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions. I will even pour out my Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, yesterday we talked about the fact that much of the Old Testament does not apply to us as followers of Jesus. If you stuck with me for most of Monday’s full sermon I explained the concept there in a little more detail but with the Ten Commandments in view rather than the proclamations of the prophets. Context shift aside, the point is the same: Most of the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us. It details the old covenant God made with Israel which was fulfilled in Christ and replaced with the new covenant to which we are liable in Him. That’s the rule. This verse is one of the exceptions.

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Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:13

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent of two or more, you’ve been through this experience before I imagine: One of your kids does something ugly to another of your kids. What do you do? You make them apologize for what they did. And what do they do? If your kids are like mine, they look disgusted at this instruction, and quickly mumble a meager, “Sorry,” whose inflection makes clear they’re not really sorry at all. And that’s okay, because the exercise of apologizing when you’ve done something wrong is what’s really important in that moment. But relationally speaking, that kind of apology doesn’t accomplish very much. It doesn’t with God either.

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Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:12, 14

“Even now — this is the Lord’s declaration — turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning…Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him, so you can offer grain and wine to the Lord your God.”
— ‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:12, 14‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

On occasion our youngest will do something ornery. He’s only five and a pretty sweet kid, so it’s not like he ever does but so much to get into trouble. But every now and then he’ll get out of line. Often on these occasions, we are more amused by what he’s done than upset and so we really aren’t looking to punish him. When he knows this he’ll grin really big at us with a little light in his eyes. He does this because he knows what’s coming. We smile back at him and say, “It’s a good thing you’re cute.” That’s a little like what we see here.

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Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 44:9

“All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure benefits no one. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is one of my favorite passages in Isaiah. Take a minute, click the link above, and read from here all the way through v. 23. I can’t read this section without chuckling a bit to myself at the sarcasm dripping from the pages. Most often, when we encounter idolatry in the Scriptures it is being condemned. Here it is mocked. Isaiah is flat out making fun of idolaters. So, why is this on my mind this morning? Because we have recently been treated to an example of what Isaiah was saying.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:22

“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, last time, I offered up the beginning of my review of Marvel’s Luke Cage. It is a story that invites some theological reflection in part because it is consciously rooted in a theological framework. The main character is a preacher’s kid and the main villain quotes Scripture constantly and always carries a Bible well-worn from being read and marked up. I said I thought there are three lessons worth learning for followers of Jesus. Let’s talk about those now.

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