Wednesday: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: Do Not Envy the Wicked

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

What Asaph observed was "the prosperity of the wicked" which defies our expectation that virtue should be rewarded and wickedness punished. But that is only one side of the problem and probably the least important. Asaph's real problem, as he acknowledges, was that he had become envious of the wicked, and it was as a result of this that he had "almost slipped." In other words, his problem was that he compared their health, wealth and prosperity with his lack of prosperity and was resentful that God would allow such a state to continue.

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.

Doctrinal Pride

There is one specific kind of undiscerned spiritual pride that I think is not often discussed and is especially hard to recognize—the danger of doctrinal righteousness.

Jonathan Edwards’ short essay on Undiscerned Spiritual Pride1 is something that should be read by all pastors or Christians in leadership positions. In that work Edwards writes, “The first and the worst cause of errors, that prevail in [our day], is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of religion.”2 There are few issues harder to talk about and more insidious than spiritual pride.

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

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Tuesday: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: A Confession of God’s Goodness

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

Psalm 73 is an example of faith honestly doubting what it does in fact believe. So it is not that kind of boastful doubting we so often hear in the conversation of proud people. Some people think it is clever to be able to raise questions the people of God have trouble answering, but that is not what the psalmist is doing. The proof of this is in the point from which he starts out in verse 1: “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.”

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: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: When the Wicked Prosper

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

There are lots of buzzwords in the English language today. In fact, “buzzword” is one of them. But there are others, words like “online,” “down time,” “market driven,” “politically correct,” and others. One of my favorites is “paradigm shift.” A paradigm is a fully worked out conjugation of a verb or declension of a noun, showing the word in all its forms. It is a complete framework. So a paradigm shift is a radical change from one system or way of looking at something to another. In other words, it is a change in a person's world or life view. Asaph had such a paradigm shift, and Psalm 73 is his record of it.

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: A Song of Solomon

Theme: True Prosperity

In this week’s lessons we see how this psalm ultimately points to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Psalm 72:1-20

Each of the preceding stanzas has contributed to the ideal blessing that this kingdom will experience. Because of its righteous character, prosperity will flow from the mountains and the afflicted will be rescued (stanza one). Because of its endless duration, the righteous will flourish and wealth will increase (stanza two). Because of its universal expanse, peace will prevail and treasure will flow to this realm's sovereign (stanza three). Because of its compassionate nature, all who are needy or afflicted or in danger will be helped (stanza four).

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.

By Some Means...

In recent years, a number of Reformed theologians have introduced the phrase ordinary means of grace to a forthcoming generation of ministers. The incorporation of this phase into the vocabulary of the church has been quite easily observable--especially in serious-minded Confessionally Reformed churches where it has become something of a Shibboleth of orthodox worship and missions. Nevetheless, few have set out, in summary form, the variations of its use in the history of the Church.

In recent years, a number of Reformed theologians have introduced the phrase ordinary means of grace to a forthcoming generation of ministers. The incorporation of this phase into the vocabulary of the church has been quite easily observable--especially in serious-minded Confessionally Reformed churches where it has become something of a Shibboleth of orthodox worship and missions. Nevetheless, few have set out, in summary form, the variations of its use in the history of the Church.

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

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: A Song of Solomon

Theme: The Universality of the Kingdom

In this week’s lessons we see how this psalm ultimately points to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Psalm 72:1-20

So the rule of Jesus extends not only over all times, that is, from age to age. It also embraces all places and all peoples. None can escape his righteous rule. 

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: A Song of Solomon

Theme: The Duration of the Kingdom

In this week’s lessons we see how this psalm ultimately points to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Psalm 72:1-20

The second stanza of Psalm 72 (vv. 5-7) describes the duration of Christ's kingdom, and the idea here is that it is eternal. It is a kingdom that will never end. David was a great king. He ruled in Israel for forty years. But at last David died, and the kingdom passed to his successor Solomon. Solomon reigned another forty years, but he died. So also with all the rulers of this world. No matter how powerful, how just, how good, how beneficial their reigns over their subjects may have been or how loudly their subjects may have cried out, “O King, live forever!" in the end all these earthly rulers die and their kingdoms pass to others. Not so with Jesus Christ! He is an ever-living king and his kingdom an everlasting kingdom.

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.

Learning from Example

The Corinthians were resting and relying on their progress in faith and thought they had made it. They had spiritual pride. As a result, they had slipped into sin of their own (idolatry and sexual immorality, among other things). Paul pointed to Israel as an example, reminding them that Israel had the same spiritual benefits as the Corinthians did, yet they fell into sin (1 Corinthians 10:1-5). That's why he wrote, "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (v. 12).

In my quiet time lately, I've been reading the book of Jeremiah. He was a prophet to the people of Judah, called to warn them of God's coming wrath for their sin. As I've read it, I've found myself wanting to do what my kids do while watching a game on TV: yell at the players, telling them what they should be doing.

When I read Jeremiah telling the King exactly what to do to keep Jerusalem from being destroyed by the Babylonians, I wanted to yell "Just do it already!"

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

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Tuesday: A Song of Solomon

Theme: The Character of the Kingdom

In this week’s lessons we see how this psalm ultimately points to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Psalm 72:1-20

The first four verses of the psalm lift up the essential character of the kingdom being described. It is righteousness, a word that occurs three times (in vv. 1, 2 and 3). Verse 1 asks that the king might be endowed with righteousness. Verse 2 predicts that, so endowed, the king will judge the people in righteousness. Verse 3 speaks of the fruit of righteous judgment which is prosperity, a theme to be developed more fully in stanza 5.

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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