walk light GodLight means life, joy, understanding, and purity. God is light. It’s his nature; light means discovery, while darkness means stumbling. In the light we meet one another, in the darkness we miss each other. We pass each other in the dark without seeing, without knowing.

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the LORD.
Isaiah 2:5 ESV

Isaiah’s call to walk in the light is an invitation to repentance, to restoring obedience among the people, to abandon the darkness of idolatry and of the arrogance of rebellion. Continue reading

shoot footTwo cliches: It’s worse to shoot yourself in the foot than let someone beat up on you. In the first case, the person himself does the harm. Whoever hurts himself must be sick, we think.

Just so, that’s what we do when we reject the will of God for our lives, when we create idols (which are nothing more than sculpted images of our own desires, whether metal or mental), when we give ourselves up to the immediate rather than waiting on the promise of God.

So now the LORD, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant?
Jeremiah 44:7 NET Continue reading

First some slightly technical stuff, then applications below the fold.

Using italics to indicate words not in the original text (not generally a good practice, to my mind), our deceased brother Harold Littrell shows a missing word in his translation of Luke 3:18, “Also with many other things he admonished while preaching to the people” (ESB). This verse gave me pause, because a Portuguese version (Edição Pastoral, for the curious) gave it another twist. My translation: “John announced the Good News to the people by many other means.”

The translation reminded me of 1 Cor. 9:22b, “I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some” (NET; emphasis mine). But there doesn’t appear to be much of a connection between the two texts. Most versions take Littrell’s “things” to be “words” (NIV, McCord) or join it to the idea of exhortations (NET, NASB, NRSV; “warnings,” NLT) also found in the verse. Most other Portuguese translations also go this route as well (CNBB, A21, ARA, NVI, TEB, BJ, BA).

So John was a wordy fellow. Continue reading

Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said that “cleanliness is next to godliness”? He meant the wash-behind-the-ears kind of cleanliness. The spiritual kind can make a case for being godliness. But after two months of my office being closed up and me using it for a couple weeks as the dust swirled before I could have it swished and swiped and spic and span, I’m close to going with the original intent.

• Last night, Micah taught the study in Ricardo and Marilia’s home in Taubate. He did a fine job, showing the gift of teaching. I pray he’ll use it more. He’s here for two weeks doing a field study for his degree, all he lacks before graduating in December. It’s good to have him here. Continue reading

“Lord, often have I thought to myself, I will sin but this one sin more, and then I will repent of it, and of all the rest of my sins together. So foolish was I, and ignorant. As if I should be more able to pay my debts when I owe more: or as if I should say, I will wound my friend once again, and then I will lovingly shake hands with him – but what if my friend will not shake hands with me?” –Thomas Fuller

Human nature remains the same. Sin is the piece of chocolate candy Continue reading