Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 85/90: Ezra 1-5, Nahum 1-3, Habakkuk 1-3, 2&3 John, Jude

Today's reading highlights:
  • The beginning of the book of Ezra reminded me tonight that everything the Lord calls us to do will eventually face opposition from those who do not want us to succeed. This is extremely important to remember, because many times people believe that if the Lord leads them into something that they will not face any opposition. This then leads us to doubt God’s calling when we face any kind of obstacle in our way. Ezra’s narrative is a good reminder: we have to persevere in the face of opposition, not give up in order to please our Lord.
  • Nahum & Habakkuk continue the prophetic message that all the Minor Prophets are proclaiming. God is great and awesome and just, and He will most certainly judge the sins of His people unless they repent. Habakkuk asks an interesting question of the Lord, wanting to know how He could use such a pagan people as Babylon to judge His people. God’s response is twofold: one, I’m God and do whatever I decide to do, and two, just because I use a group of people to accomplish my will does not mean that I approve of what that group does; in fact, I will one day judge them for their own sin. I still am moved by the compassion of God to continue to send His prophets to the peoples of Judah and Israel over and over again. He really did (and does) desire for His people to repent and turn to Him.
  • Something different grabbed my eye in 2&3 John – John’s desire to see his correspondents face-to-face in order to talk with them about important theological ideas. I don’t know about you, but I wonder if we have lost the art of face-to-face communication in our digital age. Seems more people are open to emailing, texting, blogging, and networking than they are in actually spending time together in the same room.
  • Jude reminded me tonight of a great responsibility of spiritual leaders: to guard the flock from those who would want to lead them astray theologically. I see this coming from culture, so-called “Christian” media, and from within our congregations. Bad theology from those who are new to the faith is to be expected, but errant teaching from those who should know better needs to be corrected for the sake of the body. Good reminder to teach theologically and to teach theology to those in leadership.

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