Piper sermon

[I started this post over a week ago, but haven’t had time finish it off until now…]

Recently I read and then listened to this sermon by John Piper. If you have the time, listen to the message as well – things come across in the audio that aren’t there in the written sermon. (And only the audio mentions Calvinism, Ben 🙂 )

Here’s the text:

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 2:1-3

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Thoughts on Ex 23:4-5 – Grace in the Old Testament

I came across the following verses this morning as I was doing my RttBiaY reading:

Ex 23:4(D) “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

This struck me as very interesting – an example of extending grace towards one’s enemy in the middle of the Law! The law is not all “an eye for an eye”, etc. The OT does foretell the grace of the cross, obviously – and there’s a lot of mercy and grace extended to the people of Israel by God. Furthermore, even in the OT, God sought “circumcision of the heart”, and obedience over sacrifice, etc. But I don’t recall seeing the law address grace formally. It may well be that there are other examples which I’m either forgetting or haven’t ever come across – we’ll see!

Of course, the OT economy didn’t provide, generally speaking, for the infusion of the Holy Spirit into one’s life – and even those instances where the Spirit of God was upon someone, those instances were short-lived. All this to say that it was more difficult to extend grace in the OT economy… not that it is always easy to do so now. My sinful heart often gets in the way of that!

Exodus 4:24-26 – a difficult passage

I was doing my “read through the Bible in a year” reading in the Dr’s office earlier today (turns out I have bronchitis and not the flu). I ended up reading two days’ worth of chapters, which included God calling Moses going to great lengths to persuade Moses that He would enable him to do the job He was calling him to do (chapters 3 and 4). Immediately after the narrative finally has Moses starting off in the direction of Egypt, we encounter these verses:

Ex 4:24 At a lodging place on the way(Y) the LORD met him and(Z) sought to put him to death. 25 Then(AA) Zipporah took a(AB) flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’[c] feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. (ESV)

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A couple of C.S. Lewis quotes…

Looking for another quote, I came across this:

The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the law of diminishing returns. And continued novelty costs money, so that the desire for it spells avarice or unhappiness or both. And again, the more rapacious this desire, the sooner it must eat up all the innocent sources of pleasure. – The Screwtape Letters

Just one of many profoundly insightful quotes to be found in that incredible book!
And this:

Obedience is the key to all doors; feelings come (or don’t come) and go as God pleases. We can’t produce them at will, and mustn’t try. – Letters of C.S. Lewis

Easy in concept – difficult in practice…