Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Remember their sin no more

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

- Jeremiah 31.31 (ESV)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Thinking about words: pravo

Pravo: straight ahead

As I study a language (Bosnian in this case) and learn vocabulary, I look for patterns to help in the memorization. This reveals some interesting coorelations. I try not to read too much into these coorelations, but this makes me start to think.

While talking about directions (you know, for driving, walking, getting around), the word pravo came up. It means to continue in the same direction, often straight or following the road.  As I look at my vocabulary list, words that may have a similar root or concepts include:

  • ispravno: correct, lawfully
  • pravnik: lawyer
  • Pravoslavlje:  Orthodoxy ("right glory" or "right worship")
These may also be related (I'm less certain of this):
  • praviti: to make
  • nepravilnih: irregular
  • popraviti: to fix, to repair
So what do I conclude from all this?

pravo, to continue in the same direction when traveling down a road, shares the idea of doing something correctly, lawfully, or in the right way or manner.  It may also have or be used in the idea of making something right, or correcting it when it is irregular or needs repair.

Fascinating. All from a word we discussed in explaining driving directions!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Beware of idolatry of wealth

“Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 

He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 
So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.
- Luke 12.15-21 (NET) The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2005.

This was part of my reading today. How easily seductive is the allure of wealth; we can care for ourselves; who needs God, right? We are sucked into the idolatry of wealth. We go on our merry way, building or buying bigger house and storage units and cars and vacations and toys and ... Yet it is the Lord Who gives us breath, who sustains us. And when He demands our lives back from us, what will be left?

My desire is to be rich toward God, not earthly "stuff"!  May you share this desire.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Suffering, the way of Jesus

I'm reading Mark 10 today. Jesus speaks to James and John, saying"The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized..." (v39).

James Edwards (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) has written:
Verse 39 seems best read as a reminder and renewed call to discipleship, which ineluctably entails sacrifice and suffering. Disciples of Jesus do not decide to accept or reject hardships on the basis of the future rewards accruing from them. They accept suffering on the sole basis that it is the way of Jesus. “The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.”
Edwards is correct, and is quite bold for a commentary! Disciples, followers of Jesus, including followers today (that is you and I), accept suffering on the sole basis that it is the way of Jesus. If you follow Jesus, this is the way, the path, ("put" in Bosnian) that is ours.

May this hard truth impact our lives, our choices, our goals, our interactions with and service to others, and ultimately our relationship with God and Christ in 2020.


As I reflect back on 2019, and the entire decade (which really does not end this year, but that's another issue!), I am reminded of the failures of leaders ... and of us all.  This video clip is a good approach to reconciling how we live in light of God's Gospel.

How John Piper Processes the Moral Failures of His Historical Heroes from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.