Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vacation for the Heidel-Bible Blog

I am headed to South Carolina soon to take a class from Hughes Oliphant Old on the worship of the ancient church.  The next two weeks will be filled with reading and classes, and that means a break for the Heidel-Bible Blog.  Lord willing, you can expect some more posts in a couple weeks.  --Bill

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kingdom Values --- devotion and hymn based on Luke 16:19-31

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

-----------------------------------------

The story of the rich man and Lazarus illustrates the two beatitudes and two woes Jesus spoke to his disciples in chapter 6. First, the beatitudes Jesus gives to the poor and hungry:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.”
The poor are those who realize their poverty before a holy God. Their lack of resources --- of righteousness and love for God causes them to plead for his mercy and grace. Having entered God’s kingdom by faith, the believer begins to hunger for Christ’s kingdom more and more. To be close to Christ and walk with him is all that matters. This world with its apathy and enmity toward Jesus begins to lose its luster and attraction. Instead of seeking the world and all it offers, the kingdom is sought more and more, and those in the world become the object of our prayers.

Second, Jesus pronounces woe on the rich and the full:

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.”
Unlike the poor in spirit, the rich in spirit have no interest in God’s kingdom. They are satisfied with the things of the world. They are not troubled by the sinful nature of the world, which crucified the Lord and is characterized by the desires of the flesh, the eyes, the pride of life, and a lack of love for the Father and the Son. This world is all that interests the rich and the full and they invest everything in this life, not the life to come.

Once again we see that the kingdom of this age or the age to come is fundamental in shaping our heart, our life here on earth, and our eternal destiny. Verses 1 and 2 of the hymn below describe the poor and hungry and the rich and full. Verses 3 and 4 describe how believers live on earth feeding on Jesus Christ, the future bread---the bread of the kingdom. Once again the table fellowship theme is sounded in our passage. Through the Supper by faith, but also in our daily walk of faith with Jesus, our sustenance is supernatural because we feed on the risen Lord who has entered the new age. He is our daily bread, even as we invite others who might be poor and hungry in this world to join us at Jesus’ kingdom table.


Blessed Are Those Who Now Are Hungry

To the tune: UPP, MIN TUNGA. Based on Luke 16:19-31. Words: William Weber, 2012.

v. 1
Blessed are those who now are hungry,
seeking for the life to come.
Here they hunger for God’s kingdom,
for the Bread that is enough.
Joy complete and satisfaction,
will be theirs when Jesus comes.

v. 2
But the rich who seek not Jesus
live for things on earth below.
Seeking only earthly treasure,
they are poor, though they are full.
Those who live for this world only,
on them Christ pronounces woe.

v. 3
Come to Jesus if you hunger,
eat His bread and drink His cup.
He receives repentant sinners
to His kingdom in His love.
Spirit, raise us up to heaven,
there to feed on Christ above.

v. 4
Christ has suffered, entered glory,
just as Scripture prophesied.
Tell the world the wondrous story,
though He died, He is alive.
He has spread a feast in heaven,
eat and drink, be satisfied.


Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Holy Violence --- devotion and hymn based on Luke 16:13-18

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

(Luke 16:13-18 ESV)

---------------------------

Again we see in this passage how belonging to the kingdom of God, which is both future and present, changes the way we live. In verse 16, Jesus is speaking about the kingdom, which people rightly force their way into by repentance and faith. Once a person sees the beauty, value, and eternal nature of his kingdom, they feel they must enter it! This entrance comes through repentance and faith, which are gifts the Father gives through the Spirit.

Belonging to the kingdom brings changes. No longer will money (v. 13) or sex (v. 18) hold sway as idols in our hearts. No longer will we seek to justify ourselves before God by good works, seeking the approval of men. Instead, we long for the approval of God, and we freely confess that in and of ourselves there is nothing to commend us to a holy God. We are undone before him because of our sin and completely dependent on his grace and mercy to us in his Son.

To be freed from the idolatry that enslaves us (money, sex, self-righteousness) we need a new love that will expel the idols of our hearts. Our new love is Jesus Christ. Verse one of the hymn below echoes and interprets Christologically Psalm 27:4:

One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to meditate in his temple.
(Psalm 27:4 ESV)
This new love springs from a faith that unites us to Christ, who is our mercy seat. The mercy seat in the Old Testament temple covered the ark which contained the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. God’s law condemns us and brings his just wrath, but the sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat symbolizing how Jesus’ has propitiated the wrath that was due us because of the broken law. Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we now have God as our gracious Father, not as our condemning Judge. Verses two and three of the hymn speak of Christ’s work of propitiation and justification.

Verse four of the hymn speaks of repentance and faith, which ought to be a daily occurrence for believers. It also alludes to our union with Christ our bridegroom. One of the sins of the Pharisees was the ease at which they divorced their wives if someone prettier or younger or more pleasing came along. Jesus calls these unlawful divorces adultery. The Pharisees’ love of money and sex was part of their idolatry, which is equivalent of spiritual adultery. Only union with Jesus Christ, the true bridegroom, can bring about true worship in our lives, but the Pharisees rejected Jesus, and thus they continued in their spiritual adultery. The final verses acknowledges that this new life of spiritual fidelity is too high for us apart from the working of the Spirit, who unites us to our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.


We Ask You, Father, For One Thing

To the tune: ORTONVILLE. Based on Luke 16:13-18. Words: William Weber, 2012.

v. 1
We ask You, Father, for one thing:
one all consuming love---
to dwell in Jesus Christ our King,
to love our Lord above,
to love our Lord above.

v. 2
O free us, Father, from those things
that for our love compete.
Engender faith by which we cling,
to Christ our mercy seat,
to Christ our mercy seat.

v. 3
Your just commands condemn us all,
no one with You is right.
For guilt is ours through Adam’s fall,
but Jesus justifies,
but Jesus justifies.

v. 4
A holy violence to us give,
to die to sin and self.
For to our Bridegroom we would live,
who is our life and health,
who is our life and health.

v. 5
O Lord, Your Word is very sure,
it is fulfilled in Christ.
Beyond this age it will endure,
it promises new life,
it promises new life.

v. 6
O Spirit, raise our hearts to Christ,
who lives no more to die.
In Him the kingdom has arrived,
in Him is grace and life,
in Him is grace and life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Eschatology and Ethics---devotion and hymn based on Luke 16:1-13

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

(Luke 16:1-13 ESV)

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In the New Testament, ethics are founded upon eschatology. In Jesus the age to come has entered into history. Through faith in Christ we belong to his kingdom, which will come, and has come. Since we belong to Christ’s end time kingdom, we should live in a way that befits his kingdom---the life of the age to come.

Thus, when Jesus contrasts “the sons of this world” with “the sons of light,” he is telling us that if we belong to him we belong to his kingdom of light. We have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness, where men live only for this world, into his kingdom of light, where we begin to live for the age to come. Jesus and his kingdom is our new center, and all things revolve around the Son, including our use of money.

In the hymn below, we begin with Christ as our center and our love. How wonderful and glorious is Jesus! From all eternity all of heaven has adored him, and yet, this glorious Lord has made himself poor so that we might be rich in him and the benefits he has earned for us. How can we be not filled with joy if we belong to such a Lord, who left heaven’s glory to lift poor sinners like us to Himself through his death and resurrection!

If we get hold of our new identity in Christ above, belonging as we do to his future kingdom that has already arrived in time, it will transform our attitude and the way we use the wealth the Lord gives us. We will desire to use earthly riches to bring true riches to the world. Verses 2-5 sing and speak of the transformation that comes when we desire to live for our crucified and risen King and his kingdom. Giving will become a privilege and a joy as we lay hold of the truth that we no longer belong to this passing age, but belong to the age to come.


Jesus, Son of God, our Lord

To the tune: MONKLAND. Based on Luke 16:1-13. Words: William Weber, 2012.

v. 1
Jesus, Son of God, our Lord,
He who all of heav’n adored.
He became for our sake poor,
makes us rich forevermore.

v. 2
To His kingdom we belong,
now we sing a diff’rent song.
Wealth we would not serve or love,
we would serve our King above.

v. 3
Use the wealth He’s giv’n to You,
you have riches that are true,
wealth in Christ that will not fail,
when we leave this earthly vale.

v. 4
Live not for the things of sight,
grace has made you sons of light.
Sons of this world live for things,
but we know the risen King!

v. 5
Give your worldly wealth away,
in this world you cannot stay.
All you have is not your own,
store up for your heav’nly home.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Prayer for a Heart that Loves Jesus Christ Above All Else---hymn based on Luke 16:13-18

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

(Luke 16:13-18 ESV)


We Ask You, Father, For One Thing

To the tune: ORTONVILLE. Based on Luke 16:13-18. Words: William Weber, 2012.

v. 1
We ask You, Father, for one thing:
one all consuming love---
to dwell in Jesus Christ our King,
to love our Lord above,
to love our Lord above.

v. 2
O free us, Father, from those things
that for our love compete.
Engender faith by which we cling,
to Christ our mercy seat,
to Christ our mercy seat.

v. 3
Your just commands condemn us all,
no one with You is right.
For guilt is ours through Adam’s fall,
but Jesus justifies,
but Jesus justifies.

v. 4
A holy violence to us give,
to die to sin and self.
For to our Bridegroom we would live,
who is our life and health,
who is our life and health.

v. 5
O Lord, Your Word is very sure,
it is fulfilled in Christ.
Beyond this age it will endure,
it promises new life,
it promises new life.

v. 6
O Spirit, raise our hearts to Christ,
who lives no more to die.
In Him the kingdom has arrived,
in Him is grace and life,
in Him is grace and life.

Is parenting a vanity too? | The Briefing#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466

Is parenting a vanity too? The Briefing#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466#more-16466

in all honesty: organising my day with the help of Jerry Seinfeld

in all honesty: organising my day with the help of Jerry Seinfeld: I don't usually like organisational tips. They bring out the worst in me. I find myself frantically trying to live up to them, falling in a ...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Believers must pray

Believers must pray

I like John Woodhouse. He says good things, and here he says some good things on prayer in three short paragraphs.

The Christ Idea Revealed?

Every morning I drive by a Christian Science building and they have a sign highlighting their teaching for the next few weeks.  I always find it instructive because of its error.  Yesterday's sign read, "The Christ Idea Revealed."  The problem with this, of course, is that Jesus Christ is not an idea but a person!  Jesus is the second person of the trinity, who took to himself our human nature without ceasing to be the eternal Son of God.  He came in our nature and perfectly revealed the Father to us, for he is the exact image of the Father.  As Jesus once said to his disciples, "He who has seen me has seen the Father."  Even more than revealing the Father, Jesus came to unite us to himself so that we might return to the Father and know his grace or favor.  John 1: 14-18 teaches us these truths about Jesus when it says:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Radio Program about Worship

Pastor Lee Johnson and I will be discussing worship today.  You can listen at 1:00 pm Central Standard Time at: http://www.kcro.com/

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