The Acts of God, Repeated

I think it was called Encounter, a 4 inch tall devotional magazine for teens. It has a short passage of Scripture to read everyday and a small devotional thought written by someone in the SBC.

This is how I read the Bible growing up. Today I don’t recommend that people read the Bible this way.

  • It chops up the Bible too much
  • Which makes it hard to see the overall story
  • Which makes it hard to stay away from moralism
  • Which is not good, precious.

Today I would encourage people to read consecutively. Read through books of the Bible. Read through sections of books, read through a Testament. Read Both Testaments together. Just don’t chop it up.

One good reason?

Let me quote from Francis Foulkes:

…we find in the Old Testament the hope and the conviction, not only that the past acts of God will be repeated, but that in the future they will be repeated on a scale greater and more wonderful than that of the past.

Foulkes was lecturing on the nature of God’s Acts in the Old Testament, setting up an argument for the use of typology for interpretation. (those of you that I just lost, just keep reading. It will be fine. I promise it won’t hurt too much.)

Just read his quote again:

Not only that the past acts of God will be repeated.

God has acted similarly in every generation. For example:

  • He rescued Adam and Eve from certain death because God himself provided a sacrifice to cover their sin.
  • He rescued Noah and his family, from certain death by providing both a safe haven and a sacrifice of the wicked people of the earth.
  • He rescued Isaac from certain death because God himself provided a sacrifice fit to take Isaac’s place.
  • He rescued Israel from bondage to Egypt as he himself provided the blood sacrifice through the lives of the Egyptians.
  • He rescued Israel from sure destruction, as God by his anointed king, takes the head of Goliath, the enemy of God’s people.
  • He rescued Hezekiah and Israel as God himself offers a blood sacrifice of the Assyrians and sets his people free.
  • And in Christ Jesus, God rescued his people by himself, providing the perfect sacrifice for the sin of his people, so that they might be set free. While Jesus destroyed both the work of the devil and the wisdom of men.

God’s acts will be repeated. But it is that last half of that quote that is most significant.

in the future they will be repeated on a scale greater and more wonderful than that of the past.

Christ is the fulfillment of the acts of God, so to understand any act in the Old Testament I need to look through the lens of Christ, the gospel and the massive rescue God has secured for us in Christ.

So that means we should not read the Bible chopped up. But read it consecutively. I am sure that is more to that, but at least this we should do.

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Scripture as Fuel for change

So the more I have the Word in my life, the more tender the Spirit has to heat up the crucible of change in my heart.

I finished writing my sermon this morning, and I am struck by this thought:

We often do what we do because we think the way we think.

Ephesians 4:22-24 is clear. To Put on involves the renewing of the spirit of your mind. Without the renewing of the mind, there is no putting on the new man. These things run together.

I take renewing of the mind to be something God the Spirit does in us through the Word he has inspired.

So the more I have the Word in my life, the more tender the Spirit has to heat up the crucible of change in my heart.

If I am to change, if I am to be rid of some sin, if I am to repent of my sins, if I am to struggle against it, instead of yielding to it, then I must have the Word of God in my life through prayerfully reading, listening, hearing, memorizing, devouring, even osmosis if I can.

So get the Bible into your life and maybe these links might be of help.