A Prayer Primer

Today’s reading is Psalm 25.

We don’t pick up on it in the English, but this psalm is an acrostic poem. Each verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Admittedly, the acrostic is not perfect. The letter for verse 2 is missing, two letters are skipped, and the last verse is not part of the acrostic at all. However, it is clear that this psalm is anchored in the Hebrew alphabet. It seems the author of this psalm wanted to make it memorable. He wanted it passed down from the priests to the populace, from father to son, and from mother to daughter to aid in worship and prayer for generations to come. In fact, this may explain that very last verse which seems to be tacked on out of left field. It may be true that some later editor of the psalms added that line about redeeming all of Israel out of troubles. However, it seems just as likely to me that the author broke from the acrostic to call attention to the desire for this psalm to not just be personal but to be passed around the nation so that everyone would learn about prayer and meditation from it. And now it is included in the book of Israel’s Psalms and has come to us. We too can learn to pray to God and meditate on God from it. Since it doesn’t match our alphabet, it may be harder for us to remember, but we can learn great things about prayer from it. Keep reading. Keep learning. We’ll talk more about prayer over the next couple of days.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 25.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post!

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If a Eunuch can be Baptized…

Today’s reading is Acts 8.

The Ethiopian Eunuch had traveled a thousand miles to get to Jerusalem, but not been allowed fully into the assembly of God’s people. He wasn’t allowed to fully participate in the Jerusalem temple worship. Deuteronomy 23:1 explained he was not allowed in that inner circle of participants. It is no wonder when Philip preached Jesus to him and explained water baptism for the remission of sins as entrance into the kingdom of Jesus he asked, “What prevents me from being baptized?” He had been prevented from so much of Judaism, would Christianity be the same? Nope. The only potential hindrance was himself. If he didn’t believe, he wouldn’t get baptized. But if he believed, he could have the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus Christ that came through baptism in His name. And that really gets to the point for us, doesn’t it. If this Eunuch could be baptized, forgiven, saved, who else can be? I can be. You can be. Anyone can be. If we believe, no matter our background, our family, our heritage, our lineage, our past lives, we can be baptized. Then we can go on our way rejoicing. So, let me ask you. Have you been baptized? If not, can we help? Let us know in the comments below.

Monday’s reading is Acts 9.

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Why Make Disciples?

Today’s reading is Matthew 28.

If you had asked me before today, “Why do we need to make disciples?” I would have said so people can be saved. And, certainly, that is true. However, it hit me in today’s reading that Jesus’s stated reason for us to make disciples is because “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Why do we make disciples of Jesus? Because Jesus is the King of heaven and earth. Why do we share the gospel? Because Jesus is King. Why can we be unashamed of the gospel? Because Jesus is King. I often say things like, “Will you make Jesus your King?” And while we all know what is meant by that statement, it isn’t actually the right question. Jesus is King. He is your King already. You need to be His disciple because He is King. The real questions are: Will you confess Jesus as King, and will you surrender to Him as such? How about today?

Tomorrow’s reading is Hebrews 1.

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Meet Jesus

Today’s reading is Colossians 1.

Have you ever wondered who Jesus is? Have you wanted to know the “elevator speech” to introduce Jesus to others? Here is an ancient confession. Penned by Paul (though some think he may have been quoting it). I recommend memorizing it.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Praise the Lord!!! What a Savior!

Monday’s reading is Colossians 2.

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