Monthly Archives: April 2023

The Mystery In-Between

1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 

Romans 4 contains a timeless truth about righteousness.  I’ve removed Romans 4-12 from this post on purpose to stir up your interest in the mysterious truth that lies in-between those first three verses and verse 24.  I want you to read and ponder those verses for yourself because they are thought-provoking reminders of the visceral [felt in or as if in the internal organs of the body] reality of God’s intent to interact physically with His people not just instruct them.

Romans 4:4-12 is the reality of a physical interaction between God and Abraham that’s now uniquely part of our heritage as his descendants.  True to His word God has given all Abraham’s descendants a new seal  to verify what He has already done; the precise surgical procedurea  that purposely removed the barrier left in-between the heart and the righteousness He counts as His own.

Romans 4:24…It [Righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

a Deuteronomy 30:6

The Parable of Salt

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?  I’m guessing anyone of “an age” learned those are questions to ask if you want to learn more.  I want to find the “moral” behind the simplicity of Jesus’s Words.

Who? You!
What? Salt
Where? Earth
When? Saltiness is lost
Why? To make it salty again.
How? Have salt in yourself

The Words Jesus spoke are clear and simple but there is that warning about salt losing its saltiness that’s curious.  Salt was more than a seasoning for food.  It was rubbed on newborns to cleanse them after birth. It was a means of cleansing and preserving all things.  Salt was required as part of every offering made to God.  It was included in the recipe of the Temple incense that was thrown onto the burnt offerings.  To share the “covenant of salt” in the Bible created a lasting obligation of a shared relationship.  All good, right?  

BUT there’s that warning about salt losing its saltiness.  The same salt that preserves and cleanses can lose its effectiveness when contaminated and actually become destructive.  Salt was sometimes sowed in the earth of a defeated city to contaminate it and insure it would always remain a barren place.  It seems like the moral of Jesus story is this: The external application of salt can lose its ability to preserve if contamination occurs.  You wouldn’t expect contaminated salt to preserve your food or make it taste better, or use it to cleanse a newborn or become a gift for God.  Jesus has an answer for the question about that tasteless salt — “how will you make it salty again?”  This time it’s His internal application of the “covenant of salt” that becomes the lasting obligation of His shared relationship with “you” to season and preserve your life: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”


Propitiation: appeasement of God’s just wrath
God is love √
Love is from God √
Jesus is from God √
God has created the human heart with a natural
“pacemaker” that sets the rhythm of a person’s heartbeats.
When we begin to recognize it was God’s Love that sent Jesus
as His provision to turn away His just wrath against our sin,
and to make amends for our guilt or wrongdoing, our hearts begin
to experience the rhythm of love from God’s own heart abiding in us.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another
knowing with every beat His love is being perfected in us.

Treasure Hunt

Two little verses in 1 Peter have become the treasure map
to a gold mine. I feel like a prospector from bygone days having
to dig and sift to find treasure. And now I’m asking you to do the same. Here are my special tips for finding gold for yourself today. First read
1 Peter noting the [lettered] WORDS that are about to become your map.  Now comes the mining part: Follow the map, reading just the Scriptures associated with those RED WORDS — in sequence. I promise you there is no “fools” gold here but nuggets you might have missed without following the MAP OF WORDS from the New Testament that turns them into the guide that walks you through the gold mine of the Old Testament.  It will take some time
but they promise to become the gold of your personal treasure.

Discovering Treasure in the Old Testament
CHOSEN [A] Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Deuteronomy 10:15
ROYAL [B]…and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak…Exodus 19:6
PRIESTHOOD [C]…you shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; Isaiah 61:6
HOLY [D] For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6
PEOPLE [E] Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; Exodus 19:5
OUT OF DARKNESS [F] And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
INTO MARVELOUS LIGHT [G] For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Psalm 36:9
HAVE RECEIVED MERCY [H]…the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” Hosea 1:10


Confession is so much more than saying words. It’s our promise to God that we will not pretend to ourself or to Him that we’ve cleared sin from our life.  Our confession is His evidence of our trust that his faithful desire is to be true to Himself.  He will hear our promises and forgive and cleanse us from the unrighteousness of our human attempts to be committed to Him…if we walk in His Light and continue to confess our desire is to claim our shared life with him.

Compete Glory

Around the Truth of God spoken in the Old Testament
— Exodus 32:9 
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” 11 But Moses implored the Lord his God 

Premise: The weight and heaviness of God’s Sovereignty and Glory were captured within the Words he wrote on those stone tablets of His testimony so they would last.  How would you describe Glory?  I’d go for words like majestic and powerful.  Paul has given us a vivid word picture of God’s complete glory that includes four unusual aspects to think about.  These  10 Words were God’s own Testimony of the purpose of His Glory — to reveal what He required for the people to live in relation to Him and to make sin so obvious, the reality of it could not be denied. That Testimony was to be administered not just through the power of the Words themselves but because they were infused with evidence that the completeness of  God’s Glory was designed to overcome the corruption of sin, death and condemnation with the ministry of the Spirit and righteousness for His people.


Acts 13:32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ 34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 

“Wherever we bury Jesus, he comes back to life. We can bury him in the Bible or in stained glass windows. We can bury him in creeds and formulas and the heritage of our own tradition. We can bury him in movies and plays and music. We can bury him in our past. We can even bury him in bread and wine. And each time from each place he rises from the dead. He sheds the words and images and walks right on out into the world.a

a Br. Curtis Almquist, Society of St. John the Evangelist, a monastic community of The Episcopal Church.


To the Truth of God fulfilled in the Old Testament
Genesis 17:6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
Genesis 49:10 [KJV] “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
Judges 1:1 “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2 The Lord said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.”

God is establishing His family tree based on the new Blood Covenant given to Abraham in Genesis 17 not on the law of blood lines and first-borns. God chooses Isaac over Ishmael, his first son. Then history repeats itself and from Isaac’s sons God chooses Jacob,  his second born twin.  The line is shifted even further when Jacob gives his fourth son a prophetic blessing of authority in Genesis 49. FYI: Shiloh is a name of Hebrew origin, meaning “tranquil,” “abundance,” and “His gift — and it’s “unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Luke 1:33
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce she had been chosen by God to give birth to the Messiah, these were the words used to describe what he (the Gift) would accomplish:
“And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever”



It was kind of you to share my trouble. I’m thankful for your gift because it confirms our partnership in the beginning of the gospel.  I received your sacrifice as full payment and more because it came with the sweet aroma of the fruit of God to your credit and my benefit.  God was pleased, along with me, to accept your gift.  You are His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, and according to that He will supply every need of yours.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with your spirit.