Monday: When Righteousness and Peace Meet

Theme: A Psalm for the Discouraged

In this week’s lessons we find encouragement from the knowledge of God’s past faithfulness, and the hope of future blessings because of who he is.

Scripture: Psalm 85:1-13

Have you ever been discouraged? Not just about life—perhaps because things have not gone very well for you recently, which is the case time and again for many of us—but about your spiritual life? Or perhaps I could be even more specific: Have you ever been discouraged because the life you are living now does not seem to be as real or as joyful as your life was after you first became a Christian?

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Friday: The Psalm of the Janitors

Theme: Living by Faith

In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the need to long after God, who delights in his people as they trust in him.

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

We cannot associate the worship of God with our particular church structure, as they seem to have done. But we misunderstand these writers if we suppose that all they were thinking about was the building. Actually, their true delight was in God, which is why, in spite of the earlier open passionate pining for God’s house, the psalm ends with blessing for the person who simply trusts God. It is a way of saying that in the final analysis this is what truly matters and what life is about.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: The Psalm of the Janitors

Theme: Blessings from God’s House

In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the need to long after God, who delights in his people as they trust in him.

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

However, at this point there is a three-part outline that can move us forward. It is the three blessings or beatitudes found in verses 4, 5 and 12. They make a progression. The first is for those who live and work in the temple. The second is for those who are on their way to it, for pilgrims. The third, which we will look at in tomorrow's study, is for those who cannot get to the temple but who place their faith in God.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Wednesday: The Psalm of the Janitors

Theme: Of Sparrows and Swallows

In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the need to long after God, who delights in his people as they trust in him.

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

There are probably some poetic overtones to the mention of the sparrows and swallows in this psalm, and they are not inappropriate to the writer’s message. This is only to say that the imagery supports the writer’s message, as it should.

Have you found rest in God, or are you still wandering and restless, as so many persons are? God offers you peace. Even the swallow found “a nest for herself where she may have her young—a place near your altar.”

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Tuesday: The Psalm of the Janitors

Theme: Security in the Lord

In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the need to long after God, who delights in his people as they trust in him.

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

As I have read over the various commentaries on this psalm, I sense that the understanding of it that I shared yesterday eliminates a lot of the scholarly barnacles that surround it and opens it up to us in fresh ways.

It is a psalm of people who were present in the temple, who served in God’s house, and who are expressing here how intensely their very souls yearned and even fainted for God. They are saying that their souls yearn for God’s house not because they are separated from it, but because that is where they are and want to be. It is why they are serving.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

The Whole Gospel in the Songs of Christmas

When artists record popular versions of carols or when publishers add Christmas sons to hymnals and songbooks, too often they excise the core gospel message in exchange for sentimentalism. As the radio plays Christmas music 24 hours a day, it is not unusual for us to hear altered lyrics or simply the first verse of a carol repeated two or three times instead of the original verses.

The season leading to Christmas is a wonderful time to draw attention some of the all-too-familiar lyrics of some Christmas carols. Some of the best Christmas carols not only speak of Jesus as the child in the manger, but also the gospel reason for why the Christ had to come—the presence of sin that cannot be satisfied but through the peace that comes from the blood of the cross. Jesus did not come to be a sweet child but as the Word made flesh, the bruised and broken sacrifice, the conqueror of death by death, and the ascended Lord at the right hand of the Father.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Monday: The Psalm of the Janitors

Theme: Longing for God’s House

In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the need to long after God, who delights in his people as they trust in him.

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

All of the Psalter’s psalms are beautiful, profound and poignant, but some stand out above the rest, and Psalm 84 is one of them. For its high and uplifting sentiment, the simplicity and exquisite beauty of its images and its moving aspirations, it may be unequaled anywhere.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Friday: The Encircling Foe

Theme: Praying for Grace

From this week’s lessons, we see that when we are wrongly attacked, we are not to seek vengeance, but instead are to entrust ourselves and the situation to God.

Scripture: Psalm 83:1-18

The second thing we should notice about the way the psalm handles its desire for judgment on the Jews’ enemies is that it does not speak of them as the Jews’ enemies so much as the enemies of God...This perspective makes a tremendous difference in how one thinks of judgment. If the evil is thought of as being against one’s self, then the call is for revenge. But if it is thought of as being against God, then our response is to leave justice in God’s hands and trust him for whatever he sees fit to do. And we can trust him! God is not indifferent!

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

A Spiritual Aesthetic

A spiritual aesthetic must be fundamentally theological. This is true not only in the broad sense of the term, where theology means the whole discipline of study concerning religious truth, but particularly in the narrow sense of the term: theology proper, the study of God. God is the supremely beautiful and the fountainhead of all beauty, so Spiritual aesthetics begins with Him.

In this age, the Church is perennially confronted with the challenge of maintaining a kingdom identity in the midst of a fallen world. How do we live as “foreigners and exiles” (1 Pet. 2:11) while remaining in our culture so that we can bear witness to the gospel? How do we “shine among them like stars in the sky” (Php. 2:15) without being corrupted by a pagan society? The fundamental answer of Scripture, seen in these passages and elsewhere, is a firm call to Christian ethics. We must live by the Holy Ghost, not the zeitgeist.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: The Encircling Foe

Theme: Appealing for God’s Judgment

From this week’s lessons, we see that when we are wrongly attacked, we are not to seek vengeance, but instead are to entrust ourselves and the situation to God.

Scripture: Psalm 83:1-18

We are sometimes bothered by the second part of Psalm 83, which is an appeal to God to overthrow and destroy the people's enemies. What are we to say about this? The first thing is an observation on the psalm itself, and it is that God had destroyed Israel's enemies in this way from time to time in the past. Thus, whatever else the psalmist may be doing, he is at least appealing to an historical precedent. Two of these judgments are referred to in verses 9-12.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

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