Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 8:11-13

“For this is what the Lord said to me with great power, to keep me from going the way of this people: Do not call everything a conspiracy these people say is a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Armies as holy. Only he should be feared; only he should be held in awe.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been reading along in the Scriptures and suddenly something grabbed your attention and wouldn’t let go? This passage did that for me this week. I have been starting to get ready for the Christmas series I’ll preach in a few weeks and read these verses as I was reading the context of two of Isaiah’s major prophecies about the coming Messiah. As I did, the Spirit whispered that these verses are really important. Here’s why I think He did.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 15:1

“Lord, who can dwell in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain?”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What matters more in the end: What we believe or what we do? What is it that ultimately determines who gets to be with God and who doesn’t? The content of our thinking, or the outflow of our behaving? That’s a little like the chicken or egg question. How do you decide one from the other? You can’t really. But can I go out on a limb a bit and suggest that the Scriptures seem to give maybe a fraction more weight to one over the other? 

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Digging in Deeper: Psalm 95:7b-9

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.” (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you seen enough of God and His activity that rejecting Him is no longer a valid option for your life? That’s kind of an interesting question, isn’t it? We don’t often think about it like that. We usually think more in these terms: Have you seen enough of God to make receiving Him a reasonable thing to do? The thing is, if we look closely at the Scriptures, that first question is the one with which we are really confronted. 

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Morning Musings: John 4:11

“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep.  Where do you get that living water?'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Put yourself in the shoes of the woman at the well for a moment.  Jesus was offering her something which sounded way too good to be true.  Even thinking literally, this was the case.  She thought Jesus was talking about a literal kind of water that you could drink and never be thirsty again.  Spiritually, it sounds even better.  But, as good as it sounded–or rather, because it sounded so very good–she did not believe it was really something He could do.  How often have we been in the same kind of place? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: John 20:28

“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Thomas has been affixed for centuries with the rather unfortunate moniker, “Doubting Thomas,” because of his entirely justifiable disbelief of the other disciples when they reported to him that they had seen the risen Lord Jesus.  He is held out as a model of the kind of doubt-filled faith that believers should want to avoid.  Nobody wants to be like Thomas.  And yet, given the trajectory of his life and confession from that point forward, perhaps that is not such a fair assessment as he actually deserves. Read the rest…