Psalms Session 13

The Zion Hymns - Psalm 47, 48 | We continue looking at a couple of Zion Hymns which express the hope of security and The LORD sits enthroned in His Holy City, on His Holy Hill - Mt Zion. Situated between Psalms 46 and 48, Psalm 47 provides the foundational theology for Psalms and life: “For the LORD YHWH, the Most High, is to be feared; A great King over all the earth!” (Psalm 47:2) Ultimately these great hymns look forward to the day when a Mt. Zion and New Jerusalem are the center of life on planet earth when all the nations will come to worship and serve the One True God (Hebrews 11:10, 11:16, 12:22, 13:14 and Revelation 21:1-10)

Psalms Session 12

The Zion Hymns - Psalm 46 | We begin with a brief review of the Psalms types, particularly the Hymns. Among the Hymns in the Psalms there is a sub-group called the Zion Hymns. Just as the Hymns extol the virtue and praiseworthiness of the Lord God, so the Zion Hymns focus on Mt. Zion and Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God. Writing during a time when the Lord literally took up His residence above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle and later the Temple, these Hymns remind us that ultimate security is found in the Lord’s presence among His people. These hymns also yearn for the future days of the New Jerusalem in which righteousness dwells permanently.

*If you don’t have the new set of notes, you can download them here.

Who Did Christ Come to Serve?

The Puzzle

Often profound questions come not from seminary professors or books, but regular folks who study the Bible faithfully. I received a call with the short question, "I heard that Christ came to serve God and not men, what would be a passage that proves this?" A simple question, but difficult to answer. There seemed to be three possible solutions, Christ came to serve God, Christ came to serve men, Christ came to serve both. But for each solution a Scripture popped into my mind which could be interpreted to oppose that solution.

The Worst Marketing Strategy:
Grace Based Ministry In a Business Savvy World

Before signing on with Truth Seekers Fellowship, I thoroughly researched the ministry. I discovered they had an amazing spiritual formation curriculum called Milk to Meat that has been used to strengthen, teach, and encourage followers of Jesus around the globe. When I asked how much they charged for this curriculum in my interview, they said “nothing” and my jaw nearly hit the floor. After pulling my jaw back up I asked more questions and learned that TSF gives away all their material online for FREE. I found out for a semester class the ministry does charge $40, enough to cover some printing costs, but not enough to cover the bills for an office, a website, or salary for a teacher. I also learned that TSF offers scholarships if the $40 is too much for someone.

Having been involved in the ministry world for quite some time I knew that ministries could, can, and do charge quite a bit for the things that TSF gives away for nothing or nearly nothing. Classes could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars a year. Curriculum could be sold for hundreds. Messages and online audio could be sold for $1-3 per message. Most ministries see these resources as excellent sources of revenue and utilize them as such. I was attracted to Truth Seekers Fellowship because they did not.

Happy Thanksgiving

GIVE THANKS to The LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.” ( Psalms 107:1 )

We have so many things to be thankful for and simply give thanks to our Heavenly Father who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ through His Spirit. We just posted our Thanksgiving Letter and update and you can click here to read it. We have also posted a couple of letters from some of our “long distance” students which were particularly encouraging to us this year. You can read those here.

We mainly want to let all of you who visit our site and use our resources know that we are so thankful for each of you. We are also very thankful for all our supporters who invest in this ministry and allow us to offer all of our online resources free of charge.

We hope all of you have a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving.

Psalms Session 11

The Hymns Psalm 33 | The Hymns praise the One True God - YHWH - for His excellence. His virtue - His goodness and grace - define reality. In Psalm 33, we hear a surprising statement: “the whole earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD!” When we see the power of the Lord in creation, His ability to frustrate the plans of the nations, and His ability to peer into our hearts we might despair. However, as the Lord is looking throughout the earth, He takes note of those who fear Him. What does it mean to “fear” the Lord? To stand in awe of Him and hope in His steadfast love - His grace and mercy that is unfailing!

*If you don’t have the new set of notes, you can download them here.

Psalms Session 10

The Hymns Psalm 29 | We finish up our discussion of Psalm 24 and move on to Psalm 29. One of the many themes that are emphasized in the Psalms in the Glory of the Lord. The Glory of YHWH is His AWESOMENESS - His profound significance as Creator and King. Those who dwell in Heaven are called to ascribe to YHWH glory and strength. He is the source of life and profound power. By His voice alone He shatters mighty cedars and makes the mountains skip. AND by His voice He creates and causes the deer to give birth. The only response to such awesome power is “GLORY!”

*If you don’t have the new set of notes, you can download them here.

Psalms Session 09

The Hymns | We take a look at the next major type of Psalm: The Hymns. In the Hymns the virtues of The LORD - His power, mercy, steadfast love - and His wisdom are held up and praised. These Psalms orient us to “life the way it should be” - life in which the Lord-God’s purposes and plans are worked out to their fullest extent. These Psalms are very important because they call us up and out of the worries and problems of everyday life into a higher view where the Lord’s will is done.

*The new notes are listed below:

Video Series The Story of the Bible in Two Gardens

In the first of a three part series, Seth presents the Genesis account of creation as the basis for understanding the “big picture” truths of Scripture.

Psalms Session 08

Hebrew Poetry Part 2 | We continue our discussion of Hebrew Poetry by considering how poetry engages an often ignored aspect of our mental makeup - our imaginations. The ability to form images in your “minds eye” is critical to reading and reading poetry in particular. We also consider how understanding poetic parallelism and the principles of sharpness (focus) and differentiation (contrast) can help us read and interact with the Psalms in a more fruitful way.

Psalms Session 07

Hebrew Poetry & Psalm 8 | In this session we begin to discuss the nature of Hebrew Poetry and how to handle it. We also begin our meditation on Psalm 8 the first of the Hymns in the Psalms. As Poetry, the Psalms engage our imaginations and our emotions - areas of the soul that have been largely neglected by "modern" Christianity. The Psalms call us to meditate on what we read and speak and hear and not merely process the words as information.

Psalms Session 06

Psalms 112 & 106 | We close out our discussion of the Wisdom Psalms by considering two Psalms in the significance of their context. Psalms 111 and 112 pair together to give us a complementary view of how the virtue of The Lord (Psalm 111) becomes the virtue of those who follow His way - those who fear Him (Psalm 112). In Psalm 106 we have a historical wisdom Psalm which confesses Israel’s sin in hopes of the Lord’s mercy and grace. Just as the Lord had delivered His people in the past, so now His people call out for deliverance from their current exile.