Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It serves as King David’s magnum opus as he eloquently describes the incredible refuge God’s Word is for him. It isn’t certain what occasion in David’s life inspired these words, but whatever it was it must have been a truly terrifying circumstance to galvanize the kind of resolve on display here to trust in God’s Word alone. But the ending of Psalm 119 is the most telling, the most intriguing part as this glorious psalm seemingly ends with a fizzle.
There’s a fascinating scene that appears at the end of Matthew 19, in which Peter, speaking on behalf of the rest of the apostles, makes the same self-righteous claim that the “rich young ruler” made to Jesus’s face only a few moments prior. It’s this erroneous assertion by Christ’s disciples that leads him to tell, perhaps, the most intriguing and unsettling parable of the kingdom in all of Scripture.
There are several portions of the Bible, for one reason or another, that stand out from among the rest. These passages are usually ones we would call “pillars of the faith.” Such is what the first ten verses are of Ephesians 2, in which the apostle Paul relays a gloriously grandiose picture of God’s colossal gospel.
Whenever I hear a speaker open with the words, “Turn to the Book of Revelation,” I tend to get a little uneasy. I get nervous because I never know how that speaker is going to handle the mysterious material in the book. Oftentimes, the comfort derived out of Revelation is from “knowing what’s going to happen.” But, very plainly, that’s not even close to the comfort Jesus gives.
Mooring refers to something permanent or fixed to which a ship is secured. It’s what keeps a vessel protected from the perilous waves that could otherwise leave it adrift. The mooring is absolutely essential to the life of any seafaring vessel. Similarly, unless we are moored and fastened to something (Someone) permanent, we, too, will be tossed about, to and fro, in this life.
Sermons from the Book of Revelation tend to make me nervous. I squirm in my pew when I hear the words, “Turn in your Bible to the Book of Revelation.” This is usually because the speaker is about to “impress” with their eschatological knowledge and expertise. However, such trepidation at Revelation is unfounded, and such eschatological dot-connecting superfluous when you consider the first five words of the entire book.
The apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the most important books in the entire Bible. It certainly contains, perhaps, the ten most significant verses in chapter 2. As Paul writes to encourage the church, he also writes to dismantle the false gospels that sneaked into the church. In Ephesians 2:1–10, Paul discloses God’s big picture of salvation by reveling in God’s cavernous grace.
In Acts 6 and 7, we are given the account of Stephen’s trial, sermon, and execution. What’s most intriguing about his sermon, however, is its utter lack of personal defense or excuse for his words and actions. In fact, Stephen doubles-down on his faith and makes an adamantine presentation for the gospel of the crucified and resurrected Christ in one of the most important discourses in all the Bible.
One of the pervasive diseases that continues to infect and affect the church is the fallacy of justification by doing. The notion that I can save myself by my works is a dangerous, deadly lie with which we deceive ourselves. But as is clearly seen in Philippians 2, this notion is not only false but a complete misreading of what Scripture actually says. Trying to save yourself by your works is like trying to push open a pull door.