Life Under the Son

Our toil under the sun is not fleeting when done in the context of life above the sun, life in the Son of God, for the glory of God. 

The title of Ernest Hemingway’s first major literary success, The Sun Also Rises, draws off of the words of Ecclesiastes 1:5: “The Sun also rises and it goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose.” Hemingway cites Ecclesiastes 1:4-7 in the opening epigraph to the novel. With that, Hemingway set the stage on which the characters in the story act out their inevitable hopelessness and resignation to an aimless and meaningless existence.

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Wednesday: Let God Be Exalted

Theme: The Need to Pray Always

In this week’s lessons the psalmist teaches us to pray in desperate circumstances.

Scripture: Psalm 70:1-5

What do you do in such desperate times? The answer for those who know God is to pray, turning to God. For however desperate the situation seems to us, we can know that it is never desperate for God, but rather is under his control. This is why Paul told the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).

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: Let God Be Exalted

Theme: A Life of Trouble

In this week’s lessons the psalmist teaches us to pray in desperate circumstances.

Scripture: Psalm 70:1-5

What is immediately apparent about Psalm 70 is that the writer is in serious trouble and that he is calling on God to help him quickly before it is too late. We do not know what his trouble was, though it clearly had to do with enemies who were not only mocking him, saying, “Aha! Aha!” (v. 3), but were also seeking to take his life (v. 2). With the exception of the years in which David was hiding from King Saul and the time, much later, when he was forced to flee Jerusalem due to the rebellion of his son Absalom, we do not know what these specific dangers might have been. But we discern from this as well as from other psalms that David faced such dangers much of the time.

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: Let God Be Exalted

Theme: Repetition in the Psalms

In this week’s lessons the psalmist teaches us to pray in desperate circumstances.

Scripture: Psalm 70:1-5

For the second time in our study of the psalms we come to a psalm that is a virtual repetition of words found earlier. The first time this happened was more obvious, because it involved the almost exact duplication of an earlier psalm, namely, the duplication of Psalm 14 as Psalm 53. This psalm we are looking at repeats only a portion of an earlier psalm. It is a repetition of verses 13-17 from Psalm 40. Nevertheless, it is a repetition, which makes us ask about the relationship between the two psalms as well as question whether there is any reason for the several slight differences that exist.

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: Man of Sorrows, Part 2

Theme: Victory and Praise

In this week’s lessons we observe how David expresses himself honestly before God, and see how God hears and understands the great difficulties we go through.

Scripture: Psalm 69:19-36

There is a great deal of sorrow and tragedy in this life. A person would have to be blind not to see it. But for the Christian, tragedy is never the final word. The final word is always victory and praise. So this is the note on which the psalm ends, just as Psalm 22, which was also a psalm of pain and suffering, ended on a note of victory.1 In this case the psalmist first voices his praise to God, then calls on "heaven and earth... the seas and all that move in them" to praise God also.

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: Man of Sorrows, Part 2

Theme: When God’s Judgment Comes

In this week’s lessons we observe how David expresses himself honestly before God, and see how God hears and understands the great difficulties we go through.

Scripture: Psalm 69:19-36

Blessings can become curses, as we have seen with the first two examples of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Today we mention two more.

Blessings can become curses, as we have seen with the first two examples of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Today we mention two more.

  1. Material possessions. I do not need to elaborate on this. Money and other material goods are from God. But they are dangerous, particularly when we possess them in abundance. They should lead us to God in gratitude. More often they lead us from him.

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: Man of Sorrows, Part 2

Theme: Rightly Using God’s Blessings

In this week’s lessons we observe how David expresses himself honestly before God, and see how God hears and understands the great difficulties we go through.

Scripture: Psalm 69:19-36

Jesus' command to forgive our enemies and the Psalmist's imprecations may seem like a contradiction, yet that is not the whole story. It is true that we are not to take vengeance. Paul says this in Romans 12, writing, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord" (v. 19). But just because we are not to take judgment into our own hands does not mean that we should not want justice to be done or that God will not punish sin eventually. It is significant in this respect that Paul, the same author who says, "Do not take revenge... but leave room for God's wrath," also quotes verses 22 and 23 of Psalm 69 (in Romans 11:9, 10) as a prophecy of a judicial blinding of the majority of the people of Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ.

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: Man of Sorrows, Part 2

Theme: Another Plea for Help

In this week’s lessons we observe how David expresses himself honestly before God, and see how God hears and understands the great difficulties we go through.

Scripture: Psalm 69:19-36

The second renewal of the plea for help, in verses 22-28, also goes a step beyond the earlier prayers in that it is now no longer merely a plea for personal deliverance from trouble, but is also a request for God's swift and utter judgment on the psalmist's enemies. It is an imprecatory prayer that is equal in its fierce power to any of the explicitly imprecatory psalms and should be handled as they must be.

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.

Three Good Books -- and the Return of Another Old Friend

Thomas Weinandy, Petrus van Mastricht, and Melvin Tinker are all worth reading.  And Camille is back.

Three recent books are worth re

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

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Postcards from Palookaville
postcards-from-palookaville

Monday: Man of Sorrows, Part 2

Theme: A Friend in Jesus

In this week’s lessons we observe how David expresses himself honestly before God, and see how God hears and understands the great difficulties we go through.

Scripture: Psalm 69:19-36

If there was ever a messianic psalm, it is Psalm 69. Seven of its thirty-six verses are quoted in the New Testament, and there are themes that are developed in a general way in reference to Jesus Christ in the gospels. In exploring the application of this psalm to Jesus, we looked at points that are illustrated by Jesus' earthly experience, saw how he endured them for the sake of the Father and for us, and observed how we should also willingly endure such trials for Jesus. We also saw that we will be able to do this only through the power and grace he supplies.

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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