Old Testament Break

Just a short post to say that I am taking summer off from our study and reflections on the Old Testament.  Planning to resume them in the Fall.  I’ll continue to post other things as I have time…

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Passion Points

Here are some good posts for your weekend reading:

God’s Presence Is the Essence of Heaven – Randy Alcorn (EPM)
The best part of Heaven on the New Earth will be enjoying God’s presence. He’ll actually dwell among us (Revelation 21:3-4). Just as the Holy of Holies contained the dazzling presence of God in ancient Israel, so will the New Jerusalem contain his presence. The New Earth’s greatest miracle will be our continual, unimpeded access to the God of everlasting splendor and perpetual delight.

Ten Short Truths about the Shortest Psalm – Barry York (GR)
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! – Psalm 117

Psalms for Men Who Are Struggling – Scott Slayton (One Degree To Another)
When you read these Psalms and absorb their message, pray them as if they are your own words. Take these complaints, fears, and confessions before the Lord. Pray them, laying your sins, anxieties, and burdens before the Lord. Then, rest in the peace, assurance, strength, and forgiveness that only he can give.

Five Great Benefits from Preaching – Tim Challies
Preaching gives us a hunger for the Word, teaches us how to read, interpret, and apply the Word, and shows us the great benefits that come when we commit ourselves to it.

Hope you have a great Lord’s Day hearing the preaching of God’s Word!

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Reflections on Habakkuk 3

Habakkuk prays to God.

  • Salvation and Judgment – Habakkuk recognizes that God will save his people by judging their enemies (v13). Some people want God to be a Savior but not a Judge, to be loving but not holy.  Habakkuk realizes that God must be both.  In order to save his people, God must judge the wicked.
  • Joyful Trust – Habakkuk ends his book with a glorious statement of joyful trust (v17-19). Though all earthly means may fail, he will yet rejoice in the Lord who is his strength.  In what situations do you need to rejoice in the Lord as you lean on his strength?
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Reflections on Habakkuk 1-2

God tells Habakkuk that he will judge Judah thru Babylon, and then judge Babylon.

  • Trust – Throughout the first two chapters, Habakkuk struggles to understand God’s plan. God tells him that the righteous shall live by faith (2:4).  For what in your life do you need to trust God?
  • God’s Glory – Habakkuk is concerned about God’s honor (1:12). God is also concerned about his honor – he will fill the whole earth with the knowledge of his glory (2:14).  All should keep silent before him (2:20).  Are you concerned about God’s honor?  How might that show in your life?
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Habakkuk 1-3: Trust in the Lord

(1) What lament does Habakkuk bring to God (v2-4)?  When have you made a similar lament?

What answer does God give to his prayer (v5-11)?

Is this the answer Habakkuk was looking for (v12-17)?  What troubles him about God’s answer?  What troubles you about God’s answer?

(2) What is Habakkuk going to do (v1)?  How is this a good example for us?

God says that the righteous shall live by faith (v4).  In what ways does Habakkuk need faith in this situation?  What is the implied object of this faith?

How does the New Testament apply this faith in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11?

The faith of the righteous is contrasted with the pride of the unrighteous (v4).  Why are pride and faith mutually exclusive?

God declares five woes upon Babylon for their sin (v6-20).  How would this encourage Habakkuk to trust God?

How do v18-20 contrast a person who trusts in idols with our trust in God?

(3) From Habakkuk’s prayer, how would you describe his view of God (v1-16)?  How would this understanding encourage him to trust God?  Encourage you to trust God?

How does trust enable joy in tough times (v17-19)?

(1-3) How do trust and prayer each require the other, and how does Habakkuk illustrate this?

In what situation do you need to trust God today?  What have you learned from this book to help you trust God in that situation?

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Sermon Songs: Revelation 19:11-21


Behold the King now is coming; Faithful, True, righteous judging
White horse riding, just war making; With His army following
His eyes flaming, crowns He’s wearing; Behold the King is coming

Behold the King now is coming; With a secret name bearing
His robe wearing, Red blood shedding; Word of God w/ sword striking
Jesus reigning, winepress treading; Behold the King is coming

See the Beast come with his Liar; See the birds up in the skies
Both Beasts thrown into the fire; As all of their army dies
Heed the warning, gospel telling; Behold the King is coming

To the tune of “Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending”

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Reflections on Zephaniah 3

Zephaniah predicts the coming day of the Lord – a time of great blessing for God’s people.

  • Future Blessings – Zephaniah ends his book with a beautiful picture of what is to come. God’s people will humbly serve God and act in righteousness and justice.  They will dwell in safety with God in their midst.  They will rejoice in the Lord even as he will rejoice in them.  What a glorious day is coming!  Rejoice and sing!
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Reflections on Zephaniah 1-2

Zephaniah predicts the coming day of the Lord – a time of great judgment.

  • Judgment for Sin – Most of Zephaniah deals with God’s judgment. The reason for this judgment is clear – “because they have sinned against the Lord” (1:17).  This includes idolatry (1:4-6), boasting (2:8), and pride (2:10, 15). God hates sin and will judge.  Sin is serious.  Are you taking sin seriously in your life?
  • Seek! – Zephaniah calls God’s people to seek the Lord, to seek righteousness, and to seek humility. Are you seeking these things?  In what ways?
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Zephaniah 1-3: The Day of the Lord

(1) The Day of the Lord is coming when God will bring judgment against Judah (v4–13) and one day the whole world (v2-3, 17-18).  What brings God’s judgment (v4-6, 8-9, 12, 17)?

Why do you think we are instructed to be silent before the Lord (v7)?

(2) God will judge the nations around Judah.  What brings God’s judgment (v7-11, 15)?

(3) God will judge Judah.  What brings God’s judgment (v1-7)?

From these three chapters, how would you summarize what brings God’s judgment?

What application do you see for us today?

(3) The Day of the Lord brings judgment, but also blessing.  What promise does God make to the nations for future blessing (v9-10)?

Why is this promise important for us?  How is it brought about (see Ephesians 2:11-13)?

Who will God remove and leave (v11-13)?

What further promises does God make for future blessing (v15-20)?

How does v17 encourage you?

How should we respond (v14)?  Why don’t we do this more?

(2) In response to the coming Day of the Lord, Zephaniah calls God’s people to seek three things (v3).  What are they?

In the context of the book, why these three things?

What would it look like for us to seek these things?

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Reflections on Nahum 2-3

Nahum describes the fall of Nineveh.

  • Against Sinners – Twice God says he is against Nineveh (2:13, 3:5). In truth, God is against all people because of their sin (Romans 1:18).  But in Christ there is no longer any condemnation for us; in Christ God is no longer against us, but for us (Romans 8:1, 31).  Praise the Lord!
  • Trust – Nineveh plundered the nations and was full of wealth, but their wealth was about to be plundered (2:9). They trusted in the security of their city, but like Thebes (3:8-10), their city too would fail.  What are you living for?  What are you trusting in?
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