Blogging Proverbs (www.bloggingproverbs.wordpress.com) is completed! I know pride is a sin, but I am “chuffed” (really pleased!) to have completed this passion project.
My only regret is that it hasn’t been more widely received, although to be honest I haven’t promoted it very well!
Now my task is to turn it into a book! Next stop is to blog about the Psalms.
To those who did read, like and/or comment, especially Ryan Callahan and Jeff, many thanks- your interaction encouraged me that it wasn’t just me being blessed!
And if you’re new to Blogging Proverbs, don’t worry, I’m going to keep it out there for posterity!
I’ll do another post introducing my Psalms blog, but for now, why not pop over to Blogging Proverbs and have a browse? 🙂
Goodbye for now, and God bless,
Here’s my latest post on the Psalms…
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Psalms 119:35-36 ESV
God’s commandments form a path by which we follow on the Way of Christ to our heavenly Father. They call us to love Him and to love the others that we meet along the way. We need God to lead us in that path we need to tread.
What do we delight in? Family, friends, hobbies, food? David delighted in God’s commandments! It seems counterintuitive to delight in rules, but when they are in summary to live a life defined by love, we can start to see how delightful that life is.
David knew his own heart. He may have been a man after God’s own heart, but his heart easily went astray. So he knew he needed God to incline his heart to His testimonies.
By default, our hearts are inclined to seek after selfish gain. We’re naturally self-absorbed. We want what’s best for us, not necessarily for God’s glory or the blessing of others. It shouldn’t be like this.
“Yahweh, God, please help us delight in Your Word. May we follow Your Way of life, until You call us home, in Christ’s name, amen”
This is my vlog equivalent of my recent blog post 🙂 …
I’ve blogged about two psalms so far today, here’s the link for the latest…
Okay so I came off social media because it’s a big time wasting exercise!
But I’m back on now to advertise Watching Daily At Wisdom’s Gates. The image of my blog title is of someone looking to get wise in the midst of a busy life.
If social media cutters people’s lives, then I want to be there to help people on Facebook to get their faces in the Book, for people on twitter to see tweets about Jesus, and for people on instagram to get an instant fix of God’s Word!
So if you’re on any of those platforms, I am too!
On Facebook search for Watching Daily At Wisdom’s Gates (@bloggingproverbsetc).
On twitter, find me at @RobertC19966456 (maybe copy and paste- twitter gave me that unmemorable identifier!).
On instagram I post at @rjchamb_
And I’m occasionally on YouTube – “Robert Chamberlain” if you want to look for me amongst my namesakes!
Maybe see you around some of these places! 🙂
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
Why can’t people see the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, the image of God? It’s because the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers. We whose eyes have been opened to the beauty of Jesus might easily forget that.
But once we too were blind. Now we see, through a miracle of mercy. We either follow the Lord or the devil, whether we realise it or not. If someone’s blind, they wouldn’t realise if they were being lead off a cliff top. But once God opens our eyes, we see the Way to go.
Unbelievers might respect Christ as a good teacher. They might even acknowledge Him to be a prophet. But unless they come to believe His teachings and prophecies, they cannot see in Him the image of God.
For us whose eyes have been opened by the Lord, we see His beauty. If we were born blind and a surgeon could give us our sight, when we open our eyes, he would be the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. On a spiritual level Christ is so much more glorious than anything we could fathom, but we rejoice in Him.
“Father God, thank You so much for unveiling our eyes from the devil’s blinding, to see the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His wonderful name, amen”
It’s a classic Christmas slogan, emblazoned across Christmas cards and Christmas song lyrics.
But is it really an appropriate saying? After all, the last 2000 years since the birth of Christ have been no more peaceful than the previous thousands of years since mankind first rebelled against the Lordship of God.
That is the crux of the world’s conflicts- we’re enemies of God and at enmity with one another. If “shalom”, holistic peace looks like the love of God and of other people, then the opposite of peace on earth is the hatred of God and of other people that so often defines our sad world.
In context, the angels declared to the shepherds “peace on earth to those on whom God’s favour rests”. So Jesus’ birthday didn’t usher in an unconditional global peace (evidently), but began a process that would lead to the reconciliation of favoured sinners with a holy God.
The peace the angels declared wasn’t a political truce between God and mankind, but the ushering in of God’s Kingdom in the hearts of all who acknowledge that “Jesus is King”.
The peace that Jesus brings to His favoured ones doesn’t fast track us to paradise. As Jesus Himself said, “don’t think I’ve come to bring peace on earth, but a sword”- speaking of the divisiveness of His message and the persecution that plagues His people to this day.
When Jesus came first time, it was as the Prince of Peace who saves His people. Sadly, the prince of this world continues to war against the people of God, until the return of the King to judge the world and usher in everlasting peace. If Christ’s first advent was like D day, the beginning of the end for the devil; His second advent will be victory day when peace is established on earth forever whilst all that is unrepentantly hateful.
So, are you at peace with the Bethlehem born King of kings? If so, rejoice! If not, make your peace with Him before the return of the King! Cry out to Him to favour you with His peace, that transcends all that life can throw at you.
This article will hopefully soon feature on my friend’s website: http://www.foundedingrace.org – check it out! 🙂
My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.
Psalms 119:20-21 ESV
What are we consumed with longing for? Our next meal? A cup of coffee? Someone we love very much? David was consumed with longing… for God’s rules!
When we think of rules we think no offside in football, no speeding in the car, no littering. Necessary maybe, but not something to long for. Even more major rules like no murder or no adultery don’t seem necessarily something to long for. But we should long to love God and others- the summary of God’s law.
There’s only two kinds of people in the world: those who long to love God and others, and in David’s words the “insolent, accursed ones” who wander from God’s commandments. If a boy is insolent we might be tempted to say “boys will be boys”, but Biblically, insolence is accursed.
David and his contemporaries will have been brought up taught to love God and others. But our default setting is to be insolent and selfish, not generous and outward-looking. So the danger is always that we wander from God’s commandments. We always need to realign ourselves to God’s call to love Him and others.
“God of the Law, please help us to long to love You and others, and empower us to do so we pray, in the name of Jesus, amen”
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV
A popular worship song at the moment is “I am who You say I am”. The emphasis in the Bible is “I am who I am”- Yahweh, the Lord. But there is room for a bit of self reflection from time to time, as Paul does here.
In the previous verse he says he’s not worthy to be an apostle, because he persecuted the church. But here he attributed all that he is, anything good in him, to the grace of God. Ultimately, that’s true of all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Sadly, God’s grace to many is seemingly in vain. They might be nice people, fine, upstanding members of the community. But if they don’t give God the glory for any goodness in them, His grace to them is seemingly in vain.
Thankfully, this wasn’t the case with Paul. We often assume that grace and works are opposed or contradictory. But when grace drives us to work graciously for the glory of God and the blessing of people, the two are in harmony, as they were in Paul’s life and ministry.
“Dear Lord, please give us a gracious passion to work for Your glory and the blessing of others. For Your honour and praise we pray, amen”