Showing posts from 2013

How to Pursue Joy in God

~adapted from John Piper on How to Fight for Joy in God

1. Meditate on the Word day and night (Psa. 19:8--The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; cf. Jer. 15:16; Psa. 1:3). Read particularly to see the greatness and goodness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 4:4; all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me Matt. 28:17).

As you read the gospels, identify with Jesus and rejoice in his sufficiency:.. E.g., make mental comments such as, "That's my Lord, that's my Christ, that's who thrills me, look at him go! Ooh! did you hear that?!! What an answer! What wisdom! What kindness!"
2. Don't ignore texts that motivate you to fear God (Neh. 1:11 -- delight to fear your name), passages that teach you to fear, to tremble at his power; Jer. 5:22)
3. Learn to preach the sufficiency of God’s promises to yourself daily (Psa. 42; Psa 23:6; no good thing will he withhold – Psa. 84:11; Phil. 4:19; 4:13; Rom. 8:28-29ff).
4. Pray earnestly and continually for…

Joy in God: Our Part & God’s Part

Biblical Data: We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord – so joy must be, in part, a matter of the will (Matt. 5:12; Phil. 3:1; 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16).We are told that joy is a fruit of the Spirit – so joy must be, in part, something we cannot produce on our own, but which is dependent upon the Spirit (Gal. 5:22; cf. Rom. 14:17; 1 Thess. 1:6).Paul prays that God would grant the Romans all joy and peace in believing (Rom. 15:13; 1 Pet. 1:8). So, joy is a gift of God that comes to us in the context of our believing.We are commanded to “count” things joy (Jas. 1:2) – so joy must be, in part, a matter of the mind.Paul testifies that he works together with the Corinthians for their joy (2 Cor. 1:24). Thus, joy is something we must labor for. 
Laboring for joy may take a variety of forms. Two things stand out to me from Scripture. The first is the labor of keeping the mind focused in faith on God’s sufficiency and the effort of the will to choose to give thanks and praise in anticipation of the r…

Joy in God: Mental State, Spontaneous Emotion, Both?

Experience inclines us to believe that joy is an emotion that is spontaneous in its appearance. Scripture teaches us otherwise. Psa. 90:14 David prays “O satisfy [שׂבע] us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Psa. 63:5 My soul is satisfied [שׂבע] as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. (cf. Psa 22:27; 107:8-9)
Both of these texts teach us that satisfaction in God is the root of joy in God. Thanksgiving is its flower; its fruit is praise. As Lewis says, “All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. … We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”[1]
Joy in God is the state of being satisfied in God. Such satisfaction in God produces the emotions associated with joy (gladness, happiness, delight[2]) as the mind focuses on how He and His promises are abundantly sufficient for all my needs.
To put it an…

A Pauline Theology of Pastoral Teaching of Believers: A Provisional Outline

The following provisional outline develops Paul's theology of pastoral teaching of believers. It intentionally does not address his use of teaching for evangelistic purposes. The goal is identify the grounds, motivations, qualifications, goals, contents, and methods of Paul's teaching ministry to saints so as to provide a pattern for pastors to follow and to use in evaluating their own teaching ministry.
I.       I.         Rationale & Motivation – Why do we teach? a.Grounds/Rationale (The logical or theological reasons) i.God commands elders to teach (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:2); command and teach these things (Παράγγελλε ταῦτα καὶ δίδασκε; 1 Tim. 4:11); teach and exhort these things (Ταῦτα δίδασκε καὶ παρακάλει; 1 Tim. 6:2) ii.God gifts men to teach to equip & mature the body (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12:28) b.Motivations (what provides motivation for teaching) i.Love for God – fulfilling God’s ordination (1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11), maintaining the fire of God’s gift (2 Tim. 1:6)…

A Theology of Yahweh in Jonah

In Jonah, Yahweh speaks to Jonah (Jon. 1:1; 3:1; 4:4, 9, 10), revealing Himself as a personal being who communicates directly to his prophet and through him to gentile sinners for their salvation. Yahweh speaks to the fish and it obeys (Jon. 2:10), revealing His ability to communicate to His non-human creation and its submission to Him.
Jonah seeks to flee from Yahweh’s presence (Jon. 1:3) and learns that Yahweh is no less present on the way to Tarshish, in a fish’s belly, or in Assyria than He is in Jonah’s homeland (Jon. 4:2a). What David describes (Psa. 139:7-12), Jonah experiences. Yahweh is omnipresent.
Yahweh’s sovereignty is evident in hurling a storm (Jon. 1:4) then quieting its raging (Jon. 1:15). He controls the lot to locate a sinner (Jon. 1:7; cf. Prov. 16:33) and guides His prophet to save pagan sailors (Jon. 1:12). He appoints a fish to swallow the fugitive (Jon. 1:17), a plant to grow for shade (Jon. 4:6), a worm to attack a gourd (Jon. 4:7), and a scorching east wind …

Exonerating Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite

Back in 2007 I wrote a blog on Caleb's concubines, in which I mistakenly identified the Caleb of 1 Chron. 2 as Caleb the son of Jephunneh who wholly followed God. More careful reading of the genealogies this year exposed my mistake. The Caleb of 1 Chron. 2:46 is not the same as the Caleb who wholly followed God (1 Chron. 4:15).

I have corrected my old post, and hereby "apologize" to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for getting him mixed up with the lecherous Caleb, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah.

I should have read the genealogies more carefully!

When God made a fool of the Egyptians (Exod. 10:2)

Exodus 10:2 and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell how I made fools of the Egyptians and about my signs that I displayed among them, so that you may know that I am the LORD."

The verb עלל (translated “make fools of” by the NET) occurs 7x in the hitpael (Exod. 10:2; Num. 22:29; Jdg. 19:25; 1 Sam. 6:6; 31:4; 1 Chr. 10:4; Jer. 38:19). The LXX translates it with ἐμπαίζω “mock” (6x) and καταμωκάομαι “mock” (1x; Jer. 38:19). It is translated by the NASB “deal harshly”  (Exod. 10:2), “make a mockery of” (Num. 22:29), “abuse” (Jdg 19:25; 1 Chron. 10:4; Jer. 38:19), “deal severely with” (1 Sam. 6:6), “make sport of” (1 Sam. 31:4). The ESV translates it “deal harshly with” (Exod. 10:2), “make a fool of” (Num. 22:29), “abuse” (Jdg 19:25), “deal severely with” (1 Sam. 6:6), “mistreat” (1 Sam. 31:4; 1 Chron. 10:4), “deal cruelly with” (Jer. 38:19).

Associative Field
Yahweh does this to the Egyptians through the plagues (Exod. 10:2; 1 Sam. 6:6), Balaam beli…