Bible Note #38: God’s Redemptive Havoc

“All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord. I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree. I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”   Ezekiel 17:24 [NET] What an odd verse … Continue reading Bible Note #38: God’s Redemptive Havoc

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Bible Note #34: Evil Will Slay the Wicked — Psalm 34:21

There is an essential irony in this verse.  It is essential in that it touches the very essence and fabric of reality.  It is a state of affairs that is woven into the very fibers of existence.  "Evil will slay the wicked."  (Psalm 34:21 NIV) Evil is self-consuming.  The evilness of that which is evil … Continue reading Bible Note #34: Evil Will Slay the Wicked — Psalm 34:21

Quote of Note #39: The Guilt of Sin, the Power of Sin, and the Presence of Sin

"When cleansing is mentioned in the Bible in connection with the blood, it is always cleansing from guilt.  Cleansing from the power of sin and the presence of sin is by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the living, in-dwelling Christ.  Christ on the cross saves from the guilt of sin; Christ on … Continue reading Quote of Note #39: The Guilt of Sin, the Power of Sin, and the Presence of Sin

Quote of Note #38: Power to Set Us Free

"God has provided a way of escape by the Holy Spirit's power.  When we give up the hopeless struggle of trying to overcome 'the law of sin and death' [Romans 7] with our own strength and in utter helplessness surrender to the Holy Spirit to do everything for us -- when we walk in his … Continue reading Quote of Note #38: Power to Set Us Free

Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

  After the experience of having Jesus walk up to them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they were struggling to row their boat across to the other side, Mark says this about the disciples, “They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” … Continue reading Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Facing the Evil The year 1944.  The place, Nazi-occupied Poland.  The narrator, Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Jewish psychiatrist from Austria. Fifteen hundred people had been traveling by train for several days and nights:  there were eighty people in each coach.  All had to lie on top of their luggage, the few remnants of their personal … Continue reading Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Prayer Note #58–Burnishing my Clay

Father of my hope:  in life and in death I belong to you; in righteousness and sin, in the light and in the darkness, in all times and in all places, I am yours. I want the fullness of your Spirit.  I want to be filled to overflowing.  I want to know you, not as … Continue reading Prayer Note #58–Burnishing my Clay

Quotes of Note #15 — Forgiveness and Freedom

"Regardless of all the reasons why we might not want to forgive, the bottom line is that forgiveness is the best way to bring you into freedom. . . ." "The devil blinds us with the lie: I'm punishing my offender by not forgiving them.  It is as if we think by our refusal to … Continue reading Quotes of Note #15 — Forgiveness and Freedom

Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer

I am utterly and in every way dependent on your mercy and grace.  My life my salvation, my well-being all of it hangs by the thread of your merciful, kind, gracious disposition toward me.  Your love and desire for my well-being is the only bulwark for me against catastrophe of every sort in my life.  … Continue reading Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer