Well, here we are, day 74 of the Bible in 90 Days. We are almost done folks! I know I haven't done the best job keeping up with my posts. I am sorry about that. But today, my goal is to catch up! Since the last time I posted, we have read all the Prophets and most of the Synoptic Gospels. What amazing stories and theology are found in these book. Let's be honest here. how much time do we really spend reading in the minor prophets? Not very much. At least I didn't before now. If you have, more power to you! In this blog, my goal is to give you my highlights from this section of Scripture.
Holy, holy, holy. Clearly a passage that proclaims how holy our God is. Holy: "set apart one." Set apart from what though? The most common answer is set apart from sin. While it is true that God cannot sin, does God have to be completely set apart from sin? Isaiah 6 is an amazing story of the holy God coming to a sinful man, cleansing his sin and calling him to be on mission for Him! Has God come to you, cleansed you of sin and called you to be on mission for Him? What was your response? Were you excited about being with God and experiencing forgiveness? Most are stoked about these aspects of salvation. However, were you exctied to be on mission for Him? Many are initially excited, but does it last? For most Christians the answer is a resounding no! We must make a point of restoring the excitement of our mission. We weren't just saved from sin we were saved for a mission!
What would you do if you were told you must lay on your side for over a year, lay on your other side for over a month, and cook your food with dung. The point of this ridiculous exercise? To show the people how they will suffer at the hands of their enemies. The kicker? The people will not listen to you! All of this, and the people will not listen. I think it is hard to serve God when you can see a tangible result. Ezekiel not only did not have a promise of success but it was a promise of failure! Serving God can be an amazing calling, it can also hurt like heck and leave you burned out and broken. And yet, God will ultimately be glorified! We do win in the end...we just may not see it in our lifetime!
21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
I wonder sometimes what God would think of our worship services today. We in the Americanized Evangelical church have convinced ourselves that we are doing it right. "We are Biblical" we say. "We are relevant" we say. "We are making a difference" we say. But, I have to admit. The more I read Scripture the more I am uneasy with where we are at. Is there a chance that God looks at our church and says what He said above to the nation of Israel. Are we "Biblical" and "relevant" and "making a difference" and still missing the boat? Is that possible?
Let's take my last section and move it into a New Testament context? After reading so much about Jesus, what do you think Jesus think about Evangelicalism today? Would Jesus have hung out in our church services? Would Jesus have liked what He would see going on in our buildings? Would Jesus have had time to "go to church"? Would Jesus approve of our worship? Would He appreciate our sermons? What would He think of what we place in the offering plate (or have taken out of our checking account with our online giving option)? Would He like what we do with kids? What we do with teens? What would He think? Often, we don't think about what Jesus would think. I have a feeling that we would be shocked by what Jesus would say.
I want to close this post by a quote from the last book of the Old Testament. This comes from Micah 6:6-8.
6 With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Blogging through the Bible...from Old to New