Morning Musing: Psalm 119:9

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What’s the secret to the good life? That’s something we all wonder about from time to time. We may not ask it out loud, but it’s rumbling around in our heart and mind. We do the things we do because we believe those actions will lead us to life and flourishing. But inside we wonder: Are these the things that will get us there? Well, while the Scriptures were not written specifically to answer that question, if we pay close attention, sometimes—like right here—they give us a pretty good clue to the answer.

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Full Contentment

Having a life of meaning available to us is one thing. Living a life of meaning is something else. One can lead to the other, but the connection is not automatic. In this final installment in our series, Finding Meaning, we talk about the secret of not just having, but living a life filled with meaning and purpose. Keep reading to find out as we wrap up this thought-provoking journey.

Full Contentment

One of the things I have actively encouraged you guys to be doing is spending daily time in the Scriptures.  This is something I’ll keep encouraging and keep encouraging and keep encouraging because of how utterly transformational this practice is to the life of faith.  You simply cannot be a consistent, faithful follower of Jesus without regularly engaging with the Word of God.  It’s just not how it was designed to work.  And so you know that I’m not just saying you should be doing this without actually doing it myself, this past week I was working my way through Genesis 2-3 and I read something there that when I sat down to start working on this message came rushing to the front of my brain.  It was one of those cool times when God makes a connection between two different ideas in the Scriptures written by different authors living in different cultures separated by centuries of time that you just wouldn’t have made without Him.  The original thought struck me enough that you may have seen it on my blog this past week if you follow me there.  All of those entries, by the way, come out of my own quiet time.  If you ever want to know what I’m reading at the moment, it’s all right there for you.  I just want you to know that I’m in this with you. 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 6:3-4

“And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.” (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

When God gave Moses instructions for building the ark as recorded in Exodus, He was really specific about it. Every single detail of how it was to be made and what it was to look like was spelled out exactly as God wanted it. He even gave them instructions for how to make the materials (gold-covered poles) with which the ark was to be transported. These poles were the only things that were to be used to move the ark. And nobody was to touch it. Ever. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:22-23

“And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Saul’s excuse for disobeying the Lord’s clear command to destroy everything related to the Amalekites especially including all the spoils of war, was that he was going to offer a celebratory sacrifice to God. Now, this was probably mostly a lie because he’d gotten caught, but at least it sounded good right? I didn’t obey you, Lord, because I was going to give you a gift. What Saul reflects in this excuse is a fundamental misunderstanding of the character and identity of the Lord. It’s a misunderstanding that Samuel moves immediately to correct. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:9, 13

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction. . . .And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What were God’s instructions to Saul? He was to destroy everything when he attacked the Amalekites. Everything is a hard word to misinterpret. In pretty much every occasion it means…everything. It doesn’t leave anything out. Now, perhaps it can be used hyperbolically, but that wasn’t how God used it in His instructions to Saul. He meant everything. And Saul didn’t obey. Read the rest…