How to Claim Truth from Sarcasm

The inscription of the charge written against Him was: The King of the Jews.

Mark 15:26

 

Today I was turning to a passage in my new Bible when something caught my eye. In Mark 15, the words “The King of the Jews” are pulled out, put in all caps, and bolded, like this:

 

THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

I was right in the middle of another train of thought, but these words leapt out at me and stopped me with these thoughts:

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Living in the Pocket

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I Peter 4:10

 

I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert this summer, and I had many thoughts while I was there. Since the band tends to go on long instrumental riffs, there was a lot of time to think…

I thought about how I’m getting older. When I went to my first Dave concert in college, “Ants Marching” was big. This time, there was a teenage girl sitting next to me who said, “Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Matthews Band, but my dad says I’ll like it.” Wow.

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Leaning on Spiderwebs

What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.

They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.

Job 8:14-15

 

After reading Job 8, I decided to do an object lesson with my kids. (Fellow moms, grandmas, Sunday School teachers, try this one out this Halloween! You can make every holiday—even  Halloween—about Jesus!)

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Don’t Underestimate Your Phone Alarm

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.

It is close at hand…

Joel 2:1

This summer, my teen son wanted to pursue a goal. He made a great plan and decided to work on it for 15 minutes each day.

I wanted to encourage him, so I offered to help him set up some reminders. “Do you want me to print out a calendar so you can mark off each day?” I asked hopefully. “Or would you like me to buy you a little planner so you can keep track of what you’ve done? Do you want to start the process today?”

“Mom, it’s done,” he said.

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I Will Sing.

 

Read it! Psalm 108

My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

(vs. 1)

Think it through

This is the last installment of the “I Will” Bible study series in Psalms, and I cannot leave you without talking about the most often repeated “I will”:

I will sing.

If you add in “I will praise” and “I will sing praise,” the promise to sing makes up a really large percentage of the Psalm “I wills”!

Perhaps this isn’t surprising (we are studying Psalms after all, which were written to be sung)—but it’s still significant. And it’s very literal.

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I Will Not Fear.

 

Read it! Psalm 3

I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.

(vs. 6)

Think it through

So you know I’ve struggled with anxiety, right? The regular kind, and the clinical kind?

That was meant as a joke. If you’ve read any of my stuff, then you’ve figured that one out. And during the course of each of my talks, I share that I’ve suffered with clinical anxiety and that it was the catalyst for this ministry and the whole idea of spiritual clutter. I generally only talk about it for five minutes or so—and I do it in a way that ties in directly with the specific talk topic, so it’s a little different each time—but I always share.

Recently, a MOPS group coordinator who was in the process of booking me as a speaker for the fourth year in a row (bless her heart!), asked me,

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Then I Will.

Read it! Psalm 61

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

Two weeks ago we decided to love the law. Last week we decided to obey it. Now let’s acknowledge that we can’t do either on our own.

True confession: I am bad at group projects. In school, I always wanted to be the group leader so I could do the work as it should be done (ahem, perfectionist), and get the A.

You know the old saying about how there is no “I” in “team”?  

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I Will Obey.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

So now that we’re reading and loving the law, it’s time to actually do what it says.

I’ve written posts on obeying God’s laws before (this one springs to mind), and I mean what I write! So why, like Paul, do I clutter my own spirit with disobedience?  Why do I do what I don’t want to do?

There are many answers to that question, but the one I want to focus on today is this: sometimes I’m not set up for it. I haven’t made decisions before go-time is upon me, and I’m making a (bad) decision in the moment.

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I Will Love the Law.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

(vs. 93)

Think it through

It took me an embarrassingly long time to read every word of the Bible. I started in elementary school with Genesis 1:1, gung-ho and ready to go, only to lose it in Numbers. In middle school, I started again and was out by Judges; in High School, by II Chronicles. In college I started a “Read the Bible in One Year” plan and fell hopelessly behind by the end of March.

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