If you are like me, you have questions when “bad things happen to good people”. Certainly, this was the case for me in the ashes of the fire that destroyed the “holiday house” of our daughter Amelia and her husband Ed on the second day of 2012. The house in Rivermont is no longer
The Rechurching of Rural America was written in conjunction with the 1998 to 2001 restudy of about 500 rural and small town churches in 99 townships in Missouri. This is the third restudy of these churches. The foundational study was done in 1952.
This passage describes the condition of a unregenerate heart–it does it’s own thing. Here Moses is devising a method by which the Hebrews could be reminded of the commandments of God. Throughout the Bible there is a strong and continuing demand that we know and do what God commands.
At that time few of the Hebrews were literate. So, the fringe on the garments were to be a devise to help the citizens remember what God demanded of them. Further, they were about to journey into an area where the natives did not know the commandments of God. They would not be living by these commandments. Apparently, elements of their culture would be found to be attractive to the Hebrews.
For the next few months I will focus on passages for my Bible study blogs that use the word heart in them. My motivations include the fact that I recently had a pacemaker installed, the many passages that use this word, and my sense that the teachings related to the heart are very important to our understanding of the purpose of life. . My electronic concordance found nearly 1,000 usages of heart by the NKJV translators. I hope to identify many of the basic truths about the heart found in these passages as I prepare these blogs.
With this blog I will be concluding the series on the Sermon on the Mount as part of a series on Matthew’s Gospel. I will be generating a series of blogs related to the heart as discussed throughout the Bible. My motivation is that I have been enjoying a pacemaker for nearly two years. So, the health of the heart is a concern of mine. I found that there are hundreds of references to the heart in the Bible. I have read them and marked many for further study and reflection.
The concept here is that in addition to making a journey down the right, the narrow path, we need to be productive. Jesus returns to this theme in several of his parables. He draws upon it in his teaching to the disciples found in John 15. And Paul uses it in his letter to the Galatians where he teaches about fruit bearing. Further, the first Psalm draws upon this same image.
The Sermon on the Mount concludes with a set of examples regarding the activities of persons who are followers of Jesus–a trip, a productive tree, and a house builder. These capture three of the dimensions of the Christian life. The first two are repeated in other settings.