Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and they are to be the light on the hill. This sounds like Jesus is giving us very strong directives, but what does it mean to be salt and light? What do these commands imply about our Christian life? What does it look like for us to live out this ethic?
The goal of the Christian life is to make it to the end of the age without turning from the Lord. How can we do this, and what assurance do we have that our Sabbath rest is worthwhile?
The Apostle Paul exhorts us to live a life to the Lord without stirring up controversy. Why would Paul say such things and what does Paul by living a peaceful and quiet life?
The Lord has called us to honor Him and to live a life exclusively for our God. Christ makes this life a challenge when Christ is very explicit that the law is something that cuts to the heart rather than just being an outward superficial conforming. It is impossible for us to conform to the Lord from our heart, and so how do we conform to the Lord? How do we come before the Lord in light of such impossible exhortations?
Christ stands on the mountain and tells us that in order for us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven our righteousness has to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the pharisees. That is pretty serious because they really understood the Lord’s Word and seemed to take it seriously. So, how can one enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?
We have seen that Israel had a unique calling in the land of Canaan. They were to subdue the land, and they were to be engaged in holy war for the glory of God. The problem has been Israel remembering this goal and truly waging war against those who tempt them to be distracted from the Lord. We have seen examples where Israel has not conform to the Lord as Israel is called to conform to the Lord as we considered Samson, the levite, and even a little bit of Saul’s life. So, what happens to Israel when Israel looses sight of their goal? They are to go into exile and how are they to live in exile away from the promised land? What could their life away from the promised land teach us in our particular context?
Deuteronomy is Moses’ farewell address to Israel. This address is tragic as Moses is about to die. However, the day Moses delivers this speech is not just a day of mourning because this is a context where Moses is close to passing the baton to Joshua. Israel is about to finally enter into the promised land. Is this finally a time when the Sabbath will be fully realized? Is Moses optimistic about Israel’s performance? What does Moses have to say as he says goodbye to this exodus people?
There are times when it is easy for us as New Testament saints to see ourselves in a different place from the Old Testament saints. In other words their struggle was their struggle and we have a completely different sort of struggle. Is this a mindset that is consistent with Scripture? How are we exhorted in Hebrews as a people called to honor the Lord? What are we to learn from the Old Testament saints?
This is the first part of our consideration of Jacob blessing his grandsons. The family of God has not performed so well in terms of morality. There are a lot of discrepancies within this family in terms of their calling before the Lord. The rivalry between Cain and Abel is repeated, there is outright immorality, the Lord strikes dead some of the covenant children because of their wickedness, and Jacob fails to consistently lead the family in a Godly direction. What do we do with this? What are God’s people beginning to realize about the Lord’s Sabbath?