Tuesday: All "Gods" Judged by God

Theme: The Meaning of “Gods”

From this week’s lessons we learn that government is given by God for the good of its people, and those who rule are responsible to act justly.

Scripture: Psalm 82:1-8

What is the meaning of “gods” in this passage? Yesterday we considered the possibility that “gods” refers to human judges. Today we consider another possibility.

What is the meaning of “gods” in this passage? Yesterday we considered the possibility that “gods” refers to human judges. Today we consider another possibility.

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.

Monday: All "Gods" Judged by God

Theme: Judges Called to Account

From this week’s lessons we learn that government is given by God for the good of its people, and those who rule are responsible to act justly.

Scripture: Psalm 82:1-8

On one occasion Jesus’ enemies came to him with a trick question: “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not” (Matt. 22:17)? They thought that if he said it was right to pay taxes, they could discredit him in the eyes of those who hated Rome and for whom taxes were a much-resented burden. On the other hand, if he said that the Jews should resist Rome by refusing to pay their taxes, then they could denounce him to the Roman authorities as an insurrectionist who was trying to overthrow Caesar.

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.

When Our Idols Fail Us

As believers, we need to evaluate our heart for idols, for those things we turn to for hope outside of Christ. We need to pray for discernment to see them for what they really are: weak and powerless substitutes. We need to remember who God is and what he has done, meditating on his holiness, righteousness, and goodness. Then we need to turn away from our false gods in repentance and turn back to the One True God, seeking to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

One of my son’s favorite Bible stories is that of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to visit the site where that event took place. As we stood on Mount Carmel and looked across the Jezreel Valley, it was surreal to think of the great altar where God’s people tried over and over to get their false god to respond to their cries.

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

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Friday: "If My People..."

Theme: When We Listen and Obey

In this week’s lessons, Psalm 81 serves as a warning to take care that our worship is of the true God, and in the right way.

Scripture: Psalm 81:1-16

At the end of the fourth stanza of this psalm, God indicates the result of his people's refusing to hear his voice and worship and proclaim him only. He gives them up to their own devices, precisely as in Romans, where Paul indicates that he gives up the unbelieving world to its devices (see Rom. 1:24, 26, 28). In the case of the world, this abandonment by God is to moral perversion and to spiritual insanity. What is happening among the evangelicals? In our day evangelicals are being abandoned to materialism and secularism, the very things they rail against and deplore.

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: "If My People..."

Theme: Lacking a Knowledge of God by the People of God

In this week’s lessons, Psalm 81 serves as a warning to take care that our worship is of the true God, and in the right way.

Scripture: Psalm 81:1-16

The people of God should know the Bible and practice its commands within the context of the wider world. But often they do not, which is what the fourth stanza of Psalm 81 is about (vv. 11, 12). Looking to their actions in the past, God says that he heard them, delivered them, instructed them and warned them. "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me" (v. 11).

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: "If My People..."

Theme: No Other Gods

In this week’s lessons, Psalm 81 serves as a warning to take care that our worship is of the true God, and in the right way.

Scripture: Psalm 81:1-16

A short time ago I came across an article in the magazine First Things by Robert L. Wilken, a professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Virginia. It was titled "No Other Gods” and it was a moving attempt to apply the first commandment to our times.

A short time ago I came across an article in the magazine First Things by Robert L. Wilken, a professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Virginia. It was titled "No Other Gods” and it was a moving attempt to apply the first commandment to our times. Wilken began with an analysis of our current secular Western culture, which he accused of undermining the beliefs, attitudes and conventions that have nurtured our civilization for centuries. In fact, that is its explicit goal.

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.

Approaching the Throne of Grace

There are some who believe that God is more likely to hear and answer the prayers of mature Christians rather than immature Christians. This mentality appears in many different ways for many different people. For some, this becomes a source of pride because they feel that they have merited God’s ear in prayer. For others, this leads to cowering fear because they feel unworthy to approach the throne of grace through prayer. Although these are divergent responses, both groups of people see Christ primarily as their Judge and not as their High Priest and Intercessor.

As we think about the Protestant Reformation, one topic that I think about often is the intercession of Christ. Regarding this topic, the Westminster Larger Catechism states the following:

Q. 55: How doeth Christ make intercession?

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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.

Tuesday: "If My People..."

Theme: The Very Heart of This Psalm

In this week’s lessons, Psalm 81 serves as a warning to take care that our worship is of the true God, and in the right way.

Scripture: Psalm 81:1-16

There are two main parts to this psalm, the opening invocation or call to worship, and God's rebuke of the people in the words we have already begun to study. But pressed further, the second part can also be divided into sections along the lines of the New International Version's stanzas. By this arrangement there is: 1) the reminder of what God had done (vv. 6, 7); 2) a warning because of the people's idolatry (vv. 8-10); 3) a record of the people's disobedience, followed by a description of the sad result (vv. 11, 12); and 4) a jump to the present to indicate that the situation is still continuing because the hearts of the people were unchanged.

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.

Monday: "If My People..."

Theme: The Need to Worship God Rightly

In this week’s lessons, Psalm 81 serves as a warning to take care that our worship is of the true God, and in the right way.

Scripture: Psalm 81:1-16

What a strange anomaly: a happy, joyfully worshiping congregation and a neglected and offended God. Strange? Yes, but all too characteristic of religious people. Isaiah wrote, in words quoted approvingly by Jesus, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isa. 29:13; see Matt. 15:8).

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 Response to Anthony Esolen Regarding Women and Hysteria

My arms still haven't grown tired.

Anthony Esolen is an author whom I’ve enjoyed reading. I have respect for his work and his integrity to speak his convictions even when it costs him something. This is why I was so troubled to read his convictions in his latest article for the New English Review, Hysteria and the Need for Male Leadership. The title alone is disturbing. It reduces women to a term loaded with historical baggage.

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