Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:6b-8

“Woe to him who amasses what is not his–how much longer?–and loads himself with goods taken in pledge. Won’t your creditors suddenly arise, and those who disturb you wake up? Then you will become spoil for them. Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you–because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the principles that spans both testaments of the Bible and in fact can be found in some form across many different religions is that we will reap what we sow. The choices that we make now will eventually become the reality facing us when the future arrives. We cannot live however we please without experiencing the consequences of this. While this may be a bit of a disconcerting idea when we are the ones who are making the poor choices, in general, this should be a point of great comfort and encouragement. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When you get into the meat of the theology behind the Gospel, you eventually find yourself having to slog through some big words whose definitions are not at all clear to most people. The reason is simply that we don’t use words like that very often anymore; at least, not in the way they were understood in previous generations or by the various New Testament authors. At the same time, they’re really important words whose ideas are central to grasping the nature of the salvation made available in Christ. One of the most important of these is the word “righteousness.” Let’s talk for a minute about what it means and why it makes Christmas so important.

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Morning Musing: Amos 5:4-5

“For the Lord says to the house of Israel: Seek me and live! Do not seek Bethel or go to Gilgal or journey to Beer-sheba, for Gilgal will certainly go into exile, and Bethel will come to nothing.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been really angry with someone you loved deeply? Maybe that’s something you’ve experienced recently. I have three elementary-age boys. Sometimes it feels like that’s an almost daily exercise in our house. But when love is the foundation of a relationship, a little anger—or even a lot of anger—poses no existential threat to it. In fact, even when the anger and frustration are at their peak point, there is a gnawing desire to move past the anger and restore the joy of the relationship. In His own amazing love for us, God feels the same way.

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 9:16

“Ephraim is struck down; their roots are withered; they cannot bear fruit. Even if they bear children, I will kill the precious offspring of their wombs.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

On occasion, our kids misbehave. This is usually met first with a warning. If they keep at it, there will be a consequence of some kind. The longer they go down this path, the greater the consequence will be. Now, different situations call for different approaches from us. Sometimes, when they seem particularly stuck on a troublesome path, we will lay out for them what will be the results of staying on that path. Depending on the behavior, these results could be pretty uncomfortable. We don’t necessarily mean to scare them…well, actually we do. We want them more unnerved by the prospect of what the consequences facing them will be than they are motivated to continue pursuing the behavior that will lead to them. Ever been there as a parent? That’s where we find God here with the people of Israel.

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Morning Musing: Hosea 7:9

“Foreigners consume his strength, but he does not notice. Even his hair is streaked with gray, but he does not notice.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? That’s an old cliché to express the fact that it is easy to get lost in something enjoyable. When we are having fun, we don’t worry about time. We don’t want to. We give our attention to simply enjoying the experience. And it always feels shorter than we’d like it to feel. There’s a fine line, though, between enjoying something fun, and being controlled by some habit. The former is harmless, the latter can be deadly. Israel had crossed that line.

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