Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rightly Relating to Our Owner

Commenting on these words, "Behold, all souls are mine," from Ezekiel 18:4, Christopher Wright says, "The claim of this text is . . . that all human persons, all human lives, belong to Yahweh. That in itself is a staggeringly universal affirmation. It is comparable in its massive implications to the opening claim of Psalm 24:1: 'The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it.' . . . It means, then, that human beings, far from living in the grip of fatalistic and impersonal laws, actually live in relation to the personal God Yahweh. to whom all lives belong. Human life is relational. History is relational. Yahweh is not the quasi-personal name of some distant and impersonal divine force. He is the personal owner of every human person who has ever lived, lives or will live on this planet. Literally, all lives, they belong to me.' What an enriching and affirming anthropology! All human life is related to the personal ownership of Yahweh, not abandoned to impersonal forces.
"This is a foundational and reassuring truth for all those engaged in the struggles and ambiguities of evangelistic and pastoral ministry. The lives of all those to whom we minister already belong ultimately to Yahweh, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our task is to help them to find, or return to, or relate to, their rightful owner."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Daily Walk/Meditation: Blending in for Protection

Met this fellow on my walk today. What a remarkable quality he has to blend in for protection. Sadly, human beings also have that quality, but it is one Christians must resist. As Christians we are to unashamedly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and the only way to eternal life and a relationship with the heavenly Father. That confession causes us to stand out and not blend in, but the message of the gospel is too urgent a matter of spiritual life and death to do the cowardly and unloving thing of blending in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Fear of God

"As we know from the Proverbs, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the soul of godliness (Prov. 1:7; 9:10; compare Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10). The fear of the Lord is the essence of true piety. Godly people fear God. Over 150 times, the Bible tells us so. When it describes the essence of Job's godliness as he withstands massive onslaughts of pain, loss and suffering, it says that he was a man who feared God (Job 1:1; 2:3). Strange, then, that it is the one characteristic that is very often missing from contemporary Christianity.

"The fear of God consists in a right appreciation of, and response to, who God is. It is the response of a believer to the nature and character of God as he has revealed himself. Principally, it is a response to that quality in God which we identify as his "god-ness' --- that is to say, his greatness and his majesty." --Derek Thomas

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