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THE LORD LOOKS DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO SEE IF ANY SEEK AFTER GOD (PSALM 14: PART 2)

MEN SUPPRESS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CREATOR,

THOUGH HIS INVISIBLE ATTRIBUTES CAN BE SEEN FROM

THE NEWBORN BABY

Ollar Photography
Ollar Photography

TO THE SWEEP OF THE GRAND CANYON

grandcanyonTim Keller says everyone believes initially, but then they suppress the truth so they can live as they wish. In time, they truly believe the lie, for their minds become darkened. Matthew Henry writes: The fool cannot satisfy himself that there is no God, but wishes there were no God. Pascal says men do not want to believe because they do not want to give up control. It has been illuminating to me to see the reason behind disbelief. While it is true that if you have been fed lies, you need evidence to refute them, it is important to see that our hearts do not want to believe, for that will help you not only with those whom you love who resist God, but with your own heart, whose tendency is also to resist in order to be in control. Tim Conway said:

Sin is about belittling God: not wanting Him, not trusting Him, and not making Him the center of our lives.

Lent is  a season of repentance, leading us to the cross and the resurrection, so we must indeed apply Psalm 14, not only to the outspoken fools of our world, but to our own hearts. When Paul quotes Psalm 14 in Romans, it is directed toward us.

May we consider how we have belittled God, how we have not wanted Him, how we have not trusted Him, and how we have not made Him the center of our lives.

repentancewatching-sunrise
May we die to self that His glorious life might rise in us.

Sunday Icebreakers

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Lent is a season of repentance. As you search your heart, how have you belittled God, not wanted Him, not trusted Him, not made Him the center of your life? Share just one repetitive pattern succinctly so that we might pray for one another.

3. Share something from your special Lenten reading from Bonhoeffer. Or, if you have watched the movie of his life, share from that. (Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace — available for free on you-tube or 2.99 for a week on Amazon)

 

Songs: This Lent we’ve been endeavoring to follow Bonhoeffer’s advice of preparing our hearts each morning with song, then going to the Word, and then praying the Word.

In the optional sermon on Psalm 14, Tim Keller says that fools in their arrogance do not know they are fools, but a child of God realizes he is a fool without God. He is desperate therefore for Him. This brought two songs to mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2sdeBWZ8bs

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study

Monday/Tuesday

5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal.” Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.

6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.

7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?

Wednesday

8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?

9. Read Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of verses 5-7:

Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true.

Is there anyone around to save Israel? Yes. God is around; God turns life around.

Turned-around Jacob skips rope, turned-around Israel sings laughter.

10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?

11. Praying the Psalm

A. Pray for your own heart, that you would not think like the fool. Pray for those you love.

B. Thank God that He is takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.

Thursday-Friday

Sermon

I’m excited to share a sermon of Dick Lucas with you this week. If you have listened to Tim Keller for long, you know he frequently mentions Dick Lucas as a mentor. Download and listen: LINK

12. Share your notes and observations.

Optional Sermon for 2.50 from Tim Keller: LINK

13. Share notes if you listened.

Saturday

14. What is your take-a-way and why?

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338 comments

  1. What I like about teaching online, since online classes came up earlier this week:  I can go in behind the scenes and see if students have opened the class, which links they have opened, when they attempt to post, etc.   Today I received an email that says “everyone is my group is so confused about the assignment.” Only two group members opened the link for the instructions, and no one opened the link for the example.  They were given info about where to find the instructions via email and on the course home page.  Other groups are finished with the assignment, and some have asked if it’s okay if they do MORE 🙂    I often cut too much slack to those who are “confused,” but I decided to dig deeper before responding this time.

    Related to discussion on video: When I took a pseudo-nap with my new smart phone, I found an app for the Gospel Coalition.   Watched a relevant video clip by Chandler, Horton, Keller on How to Disagree.  

    1. Renee….so it is true then, that teachers ‘have eyes in the back of their heads’.   I’ve always wondered.   😉 

      1. Only with work that is posted online and when students say more than they think they are saying 😉

  2. 5. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
    Nabal didn’t acknowledge David as king; Nabal didn’t practice common hospitality; Nabal was aloof and arrogant; Nabal acted as if he had the upper hand and was in control.
     
    6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
    justifying actions and thinking more generally of Jesus’ sacrifice (i.e., Jesus died for sinners) rather than personalizing it as I should (i.e., Jesus died for my sin).
    Oh Lord, where do I go from here?  I’m scared…I so easily fall into these pits…obedience cannot be in will-power alone or guilt…no, it must be in personalizing Your sacrifice, personalizing Your grace for me…my heart aches to think how my sin (many times not even thought of as sin on a conscious level) has pierced You…brutalized You…You suffered because of my sin…  Help me not to relinquish the power and gravity of Your sacrifice and to move to a place of desiring to please You because You are the one I love.  Amen, dear Lord.

  3. 7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
    Paul is talking about everyone.  No one understands.   When I don’t acknowledge my sin or when I attribute any understanding to my own abilities or work, I am suppressing the truth — the truth that Jesus died to take the punishment for my sin and to make it possible for me to understand.  He is my righteousness; my ONLY righteousness.   When I do seek him or obey him, it is by his grace.  I can’t do it by my own strength or ability.  This is encouraging in that I don’t have to stress out trying to be better or do more because I CAN’T do anything without him.   My “job” is to be open to his wooing, his love, to rest in him; he provides the grace and healing for me to respond and to see the truth rather than suppress it. He does it with patience and gentleness.  His methods of grace and healing and pace are based on a love so great that he was tortured and died so that I can be whole.  I can trust him.

    Thinking of Ps 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”

  4. Tuesday
    Nabal didn’t acknowledge what his servants said about David. He proceeded as if he had no idea who David was  so in his greed he could justify his not helping him. 
    I often hear people say “I don’t give money to homeless people because they’re just going to buy drugs”. IMO they suppress the truth that these people need help so that they can carry on without guilt. I’ve tried that justification myself sometimes, but it never sat right with me. I know that homeless people are going to be hungry it’s just a fact and I’m lying to myself if I walk right by and say they aren’t really hungry.  
     

    1. Great examples, Daish.H    (and welcome!  Sorry if I missed you earlier)

    2. In case I missed you too…Welcome Daish!

  5. 8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheist’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?People who denied God and God’s existence didn’t exactly live in peace, and they eventually died.

    Question:  Last week, when I read the first phrase in v. 4, I thought I saw compassion in “have they no knowledge” because it reminded me of Jesus on the cross when he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”    I still sort of see that when I think of this verse applying to everyone.   But when I insert names such as Stalin and Hitler, I read something that sounds like “Why don’t those madmen get it?”    Wondering what “have they no knowledge” means ???   When I read the verse, I think it applies to me, but I’m not sure if it’s compassion or “wake up, you dope”  — or both.

    1. Good question, Renee…in the NIV is says “Will evildoers never learn?” It seems an exasperation with the stubbornness of man. Like if you touch a hot stove, you quickly learn not to do it again…like who would keep doing it and getting burned over and over? When will we ever learn that when we want it our own way, it spells trouble?

      1. Reminds me of the israelites; all that wandering!

    2. For what it’s worth,  my old Wycliffe commentary states that those who ‘lack knowledge’ may refer to the corruption of priests who ate the showbread and should be calling upon God.   Instead, they are workers of iniquity with a  reference to Hosea 1:4-6.  Instead of leading God’s people, they are devouring them.  Hmm.  ??   That’s an interesting tie in to the bread metaphor.    What I’m also seeing in two different commentaries is the statement that this Psalm refers to the ‘practical atheist’ rather than the theoretical atheist.   That can include anyone who is acting like there is no God.

      1. Practical atheists makes sense — and that connects to priests (or church people), too.  This morning I was thinking that the atheism discussed in Ps 14 might include people who have misunderstandings or wrong knowledge about God, even momentarily, because that would explain the church in Hitler’s era, cults, and some behaviors in the church today.   I thought about how aspects of legalism impacted my understanding of God when I was growing up.  But mostly, I thought about how sheltered I was until I got to college and met someone who had been sexually abused by a respected elder — and for years, she lied about who had abused her, even in therapy.  Possibly because people get to know others better in churches (or because they are appalled at behavior and gossip spreads?), my exposure to “the world” has been in church: affairs, crimes, abuse, etc.  And it’s not because they were “made public” because of confession.  I know believers face temptation, but when a lot happens in a relatively short time, I do wonder if it might imply something about the attitude toward God and toward ourselves that might be promoted during a specific time frame.  
         
        Is there something that promotes so much fear of acknowledging temptation or confession before sins become jail- or prison-worthy?  Is it pride associated with self-righteousness that results in harm to other people? Or something else?   Granted, people can be hurt by suggestions that using the KJV (I wasn’t told that!!) and not drinking, dancing, smoking, etc. is what makes a Christian.   But for me, that was “small potatoes” compared to other stuff — maybe because I could ask “why?” about the overt legalistic behaviors, but some of the other stuff was supposed to be secret.  In contrast, it’s so refreshing to meet people who came to know Christ or develop intimacy with him while in or after being in prison.  When I acknowledge my weaknesses, it does build bridges to share the gospel — and I’ve been told that it’s also given others freedom to share in small group Bible Studies (Ha!  I had no choice because I was such a mess I wasn’t functioning! Didn’t have to SAY much).    We (church people) are not better in our own strength than those in prison, so I think that churches need at least some of the same content that prison ministries have!   
         
         I’m  wondering if rather than running away from Christians when my radar detector starts detecting, if being confident in who God is and who I am in him could have a sort of “pay it forward” effect of decreasing people’s need to lash out at those with whom they disagree.   I have no desire to be in a situation in which the majority of people are obnoxious, but usually it’s a smaller group of people who have a negative effect.   I used to attend a church in which a small group of people in a large liberal mainline church started praying for the pastor and the church, invited the pastor to Bible Study (he declined at first), and over time the church became evangelized.   When I got there, it was one of the two largest evangelical churches in the area.  As a result, I am able to see/hear about the remnants of believers in some mainline churches and do have hope.  Seems as if that could happen in “self-righteous” (or whatever is going on in crazy church) settings, too.   

  6. 5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal.” Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
     
    Nabal suppressed the truth when he denied knowing David or his men, and when he refused them hospitality, which I believe was part of the Jewish law to extend hospitality to the traveler.   He evidently didn’t  regard David or his men as important and was not willing to share with them.   He also suppressed the truth when he did not consider the consequences of his selfishness.   Thankfully one of Nabal’s servants did consider that fact and went to Abigail with his concerns.   The servant said that Nabal was so wicked no one could talk to him.  
     
     
    6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
     
    Sometimes I can be the grudging servant who grumbles “Why does it always have to be me who does such-and-such.”   I’m not sure how many forms of truth I am suppressing at these times.   For sure:  (1) the Lord is not pleased by grudging service, (2) Jesus died for me and I’m not willing to do what trivial thing?  Although I do try to serve the needy, I am often critical of them.   I think “They don’t manage their money well,”  “they are out to get as many freebies as they can get,”  or “a lot of their problems are due to their own fault.”   I am suppressing the truth that doing it for “the least of these” is doing it for the Lord.   In these cases, I do things out of duty, but there should be joy in my heart.  Sometimes I get it right, but I tend to fall off the wagon very easily!    
     
    Dear God,  when I behave badly, I am later sorry and regretful of what I have done, but it is too late to erase the ill-effects of my behavior.    Please forgive me when I am grudging, and please give me the strength and focus to keep the right perspective the next time I am invited the serve or to share.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.
    7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
     
    I think Paul is indicating that both Jews and Gentiles have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.    Humanity (all of it) in general is sinful and unacceptable before God.    
     
    I found this in my Life Application Study Bible’s commentary:
    Have you ever thought to yourself, Well, I’m not too bad.   I’m a pretty good person?   Look at these verses and see if any of them apply to you.  Have you ever lied? Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings by your words or tone of voice?   Are you bitter toward anyone?   Do  you become angry with those who strongly disagree with you?   In thought, word, and deed you, like everyone else in the world, stand guilty before God.   We must remember who we are in His sight–alienated sinners.   Don’t deny that you are a sinner.  Instead allow your desperate need to point you toward Christ.    

  7. 5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal.” Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
    ~He basically made an excuse for his greed.Verse 10: “Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days…” And proceeded to state he worked hard for all he had and why should he give it to strangers he did not know?
    6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
    ~I know God’s word and sometimes I can be so selfish and try to justify myself, my hurts or selfish ways. But I hear God saying to me this week “I did not give you a heart like that, do not conform to the ways of this world, even when evil is repaid towards you….pray for those that hurt or persecute you”. I know God does not want us to carry that hurt around, because then it can turn to bitterness or we act out in selfish pride thinking we are the victims. We may very well be, but to be selfish towards those that act out towards us is not how God’s Spirit operates. Nor is it what He wants us to do. Help me Lord when I want to stay in my selfish prideful mood, it’s so ugly and NOT who You are or who you have called me to be. Forgive me where I fail daily Lord. Help me to see past peoples evil ways or mean gestures and to know I should walk in humbleness, meekness and love, even to those that may wrong me. For I have a greater  joy, peace and love that lives in me, Jesus. That very well could be my biggest testimony when going through hard times, how I “react” instead of “acting out”…
    7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
    ~there are times I am very selfish, I dont seek God in all things or pride can get in the way. We are all sinners and fall short…thank God we serve a loving God who is faithful when I am not.

  8. 10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
    ~God wants us to know He delivers His people, even when it seems the enemy has won; when the lost world claims there is no God, when all seems lost.God is on the throne, he will let the enemy devour themselves all the while God will take care of His own people.
    11. Praying the Psalm
    A. Pray for your own heart, that you would not think like the fool. Pray for those you love.
    ~Lord I thank you that you are a sovereign God, you see all. You see the hearts of all men. I pray that my heart would not be selfish,prideful or look down on others. That you would give me eyes to see the hearts of your people, to show kindness and love towards them all. Take all selfishness out of me, help me to run the race and focus on You. To see things as you see them, not as my carnal, judgmental mind sees them
    B. Thank God that He is takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.
     
     

  9. 7.  Who is Paul talking about here?
    All fall short…no one is without sin.
     
    How does this speak to you?
    I know that I am a sinner…I can see sins of my past and sins of my present.  Thing is, sometimes in my mind, I am one among many..kind of like the kid who when caught doing something s/he shouldn’t, they respond, “but I’m not the only one”…as if that matters.  I was raised in a context of varying measures of sin (e.g., venial, mortal) and even though I say all sin is bad, it is too easy for me to minimize my sin because it isn’t rape or murder or assault, etc.  SO SILLY…SIN (regardless of the sin) caused my Lord His greatest pain and suffering…my sin caused Him His greatest pain and suffering.
     
     
    8.  If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
    Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini all believed the ideas presented in Lennon’s song (i.e., no heaven, no hell, live for the day/self) and they orchestrated some of the most violent, inhuman, brutality imaginable in the history of this world.  The result of the Imagine ideas was not peace, brotherhood, or the world living as one; the result was immense human suffering, brutality inflicted, war.  Psalm 14:4 questions if those perpetrating evil will ever come to their senses (learn)…I don’t think Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini ever regretted their action this side of heaven.  The metaphor of eating people like bread is apropos…this is what these men did; annihilated people with no care, as if eating a slice of bread when extremely hungry.  Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini didn’t acknowledge the Lord and His sovereignty…the Lord was not a reality to them.
     
    So, as I was answering this question, it came to mind how sad it is that I know many of the lyrics to Imagine.  Not that I’m a fan of Lennon or the song, but just listening to the radio and being my age, this song was played enough (heard by my ears enough) that I know some of the lyrics by heart…  So important to keep in mind the potential impact of things we are listening to and watching; how they can come into our consciousness without any real effort on our part.

    1. Thoughtful last paragraph, Nanci, about what we watch and listen to. It does slip in so easily, and amazing how I have to work at memorizing Scripture but I can easily memorize song lyrics and remember them even when they are no longer popular.

      1. OH me too Susan  “I have to work at memorizing Scripture but I can easily memorize song lyrics”. And Nanci–wise reminder ” So important to keep in mind the potential impact of things we are listening to and watching; how they can come into our consciousness without any real effort on our part.”

  10. 8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
    We cannot succeed as humans in becoming “better” on our own.  Our sin gets in the way, my sin gets in the way.  I need Jesus to continuously convict my heart, where I fall short of the glory of God.
    Micah 4:5 “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”  Even as a nation that called itself Christian for so long slips into a nation that doesn’t want to have a god, We as His own will walk in His name for ever and ever-Praise to Jesus for His sacrifice for us, He will make that possible for me today.

  11. 7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
    Paul is talking about Jews and Gentiles being alike-all are sinners. And this verse includes all of us. Me. A. Sinner. Any good I  think I have are as filthy rags. I know this and I know it is the truth. But I often have the tendency to forget this fact especially when I faced with people who I think are worse than me.
     

    Romans 3 was a little bit confounding at  first but then I realized  Paul maybe talking about our tendencies not to naturally understand and seek God. But rather, we tend to be self centered and inward looking rather than upward and outward. Herein is another lie-I go my merry way thinking God must me proud of me for figuring things out only realizing later that I am operating on my own knowledge and not really seeking God. I am glad God is merciful not to leave me to my own maneuverings. 🙂

    “There is no one righteous, not even one;

    11there is no one who understands;

    there is no one who seeks God.

     
     

    1. Ernema,   Me too 🙂
       

      I am glad God is merciful not to leave me to my own maneuverings. 🙂

  12. Just “happened” upon another example for #6-suppressing truth. Little things—like when my husband calls after dropping the kids at school on a 30 degree morning and tells me our 1st grader didn’t have his coat—my default reaction is to try to find someone to blame. I feel I failed as a mom, like I should have made sure he had it when they left. I slacked. So I want to find some way to justify myself. The truth is that my standing does not depend on perfect performance, or what the teacher thinks of a mom who could let her child forget a coat! I am fully justified—through Christ alone. When I finally processed to this point, I called my husband to apologize for trying to somehow make it his fault, and I decide I’ll just take the coat up to school! For those 3 minutes though, I was so blinded with shame and wanting to justify—suppressing the truth and buying the lie, that is ALL I could see–self-justification. When I grasp back the truth, some things are really not that big of a deal, just humbling to see how quickly I default to the idea of earning and justifying…but I must remind myself of the courtroom scene and know that it is finished!

    1. This is a good example, Elizabeth. There are so many of these “little things” that happen daily that we suppress the truth that we are fully justified by Him and not our performance!

    2. Elizabeth,   Move up here!  30 degrees almost becomes sun-bathing weather in the spring 😉   For sure, it can be coat-ditching weather during the day!!   

      1. Renee–that is painful just to read! We’ve “warmed up to 50 now, but this place should not be allowed to be called the South! I’m way too big a wimp to be where you are! (As I sit here with my 3rd hot cocoa and full blast space-heater while I type 😉 )

        1. I’m too big a wimp for cold (or worse yet, cloudy) now, but I used to be tougher.  When I think of the jacket I used to wear as a student to walk across a cold windy campus in the winter, I was CRAZY.

        2. It was 12 degrees here yesterday morning! 30 is “balmy” for me now 🙂 I am “willing” in spring now by wearing sandals;  no more “close toed” shoes for me! Don’t care how cold it is! I also think my new medicine has given me thicker blood of late……. 

  13. 5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal”. Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
     
    The first thing I see about Nabal is that he was very wealthy and had thousands of goats and sheep. He suppressed the truth in not acknowledging that everything he had was a gift from God who had blessed him with his wealth. Instead, he held onto his possessions with a closed fist that says, “Mine!” It says Nabal was “surly and mean” in his dealings with others. That is saying I can treat others any way I please. I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know who David was, but he suppressed the truth by saying David must be a runaway servant. He scorned the humility of David who called himself  “your son David”.
     
    6. Consider – how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
     
    I have suppressed the truth when I have failed to speak-up. There are times when a loving confrontation is required. But I have kept silent because of fear of another person’s reaction or fear of losing the love and approval of someone; fear of rejection. I have suppressed the truth when I have thought of myself as somehow being the solution to someone’s problem – that I can fix things in their life (I learned a lot from Ernema’s post on this) instead of pointing them to the only one who really can help them, and that is Jesus. In my family, I suppress the truth when I don’t want to deal with the relational difficulties or problems that are going on and I stick my head in the sand, so to speak; hoping they will somehow go away or get resolved, or telling myself things are not that bad, or I’ll deal with them later. I suppress the truth when I justify being unkind and withdrawn because I have been treated badly. I recently suppressed the truth in this situation: My husband doesn’t like having people over because he works all week and then he’s tired and he will say that I have all week when he’s gone to see people if I want to. But I hadn’t seen my niece since before Christmas, and she works full-time during the week. So I had invited her over for lunch on Saturday.  But I didn’t mention it to my husband until late Saturday morning that she was coming over because I didn’t want to deal with any negative reaction on his part. I justified not telling him until the last minute, but I know God would say I was being deceitful.
     
     

  14. 7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
     
    Paul is referring to every single person who has ever lived – all of mankind. I am included in this. I can never claim my own righteousness, or say that I woke-up one day and wanted to seek God on my own. I know that up until He began to work in my heart, I had no understanding of God and I had no desire to learn about Him.
     
    8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheist’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
     
    The song Imagine suggests that if there were no such things as heaven, hell, or religion, the world would be a beautiful, loving, peaceful place where we all shared with each other and no one would go hungry, etc… Utopia. But verse 4 says that when people do not call on the Lord – do not acknowledge Him or try to do away with Him, as did Hitler and Stalin, things don’t get better, they get even worse. Take God out of the picture and evil really takes over…people are “devoured” – used, abused, oppressed, silenced, and killed.

  15. 7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
    He is speaking of all of us. I am corrupt by nature, totally depraved. There is no avoiding and there is no “ranking”, all have sinned and fall short. Even when I think I do “good”, my pride is the mark of a sinful heart. I pray that more and more my sin will break my heart, and  more and more I will run to the gift of the Cross, the gift of His grace.
    8.  …how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
    This song used to just “bug” me, I never liked the tune, was never a Beatles fan either. But as I read the words now, it angers or more saddens me. It is such a revolt against God as Creator. Susan had a great answer here “Take God out of the picture and evil really takes over”. Without God, without His Creation, there is rampant evil—it becomes as “common” as eating bread with an insatiable appetite.

  16. I am loving the book on Psalms: the prayerbook of the Bible  by Bonhoeffer.  Since I recently read the biography and watched the movie (also a documentary) last year, this is a wonderful follow-up.  I’m going through it and writing out the things that I want to remember.  Writing….(paper and pen style) always helps me remember stuff.   Here’s what really touched me this morning.:
    “It is grace to know God’s commands.  They release us from self made plans and conflicts.”    I love how the God’s law is tied in with God’s grace. 
     

    1. Love that quote, too.   I’ll probably have to spring for a new version of the book.  Ever since I read the portion of one of his books on Ps 119, I knew I “needed” his book on Psalms.  You can look for that one for me at thrift store 😉  

      1. Might just order a couple, Renee.    I know someone else I’d like to give one to also.  There’s a quote about Psalm 119 in this chapter about the Law that I love as well.    In recognizing that Psalm 119 is long and monotonous, he writes:  “….we recognize that the apparent repetitions are always new variations on one theme, namely the love of God’s word.  As this love can never cease so also the words that confess it can never cease.  They want to accompany us through all of life, and they become in their simplicity, the prayer of the child, of the young man, and of the old man.”

    2. Wanda–good quote. I’m loving the Psalm book too. I like your thoughts on journaling little nuggets–and I’m with you on actually using pen & paper helping to help it “stick”!

  17. I just wanted to share with all of you that yesterday my husband and I went to the theater to see the movie Son of God.   By and large, I felt it was a very good movie.   I am aware of a few little things that were not in exact chronological order, and many things were left out — but that is because of time constraints.  It was about 2 1/2 hours long as it was.  Despite all of that,   I came home feeling greatly inspired!    But what I wanted to share most was that I found myself watching the movie from the perspective of our study here on the blog.  🙂    I kept noticing biblical characters who were suppressing the truth!     How did the 5,000 people Jesus fed with loaves and fishes walk away thinking “that was a good meal” and didn’t really get that Jesus was the Son of God?    Then there were those present when the paralytic man was let down through the roof to be healed by Jesus.   That should have changed all of their lives, not just the paralytic man.   He even raised Lazarus from the dead, and that didn’t make many believers — in fact it heated up the fuel against him, as it was later  explained to Pilate:   “supposedly He has raised someone from the dead.”     Supposedly????!!    The soldiers who came to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus weren’t deterred at all by the fact that Jesus healed the soldier’s ear that Peter had defensively sliced with his sword.    Wouldn’t that make you think twice about arresting this man?   Pilate didn’t listen to his wife when she said she had been warned by a dream .    God even gave them a chance there, and they didn’t take it.    Also while Jesus was being crucified, there came up a great storm and earthquake (and the temple curtain was torn).   Did everyone just say to themselves “what a coincidence that we are having this earthquake right at this moment”?      But the scariest suppression of truth (in my opinion) was that of Caiphas, the high priest, who ordered Jesus to be arrested and who carefully and persistently saw to it that Jesus was crucified.    He was aware of all the signs that Jesus was the Son of God, and he could only think of preserving his church the way it was.      He was pathetically in a state of total denial.   I think there is a lesson there for all of us “church people”!      

    1. Wow, Deanna.  Great application!  Thanks for recommendation.  (The “bad” things I heard about it were from people who hadn’t seen the movie)

    2. Excellent analysis, Deanna.  I’m impressed with how you worded all those scenes and made an application after coming home from the movie.  And you’ve inspired me to go see it!

    3. Thanks for sharing your take on the movie, Deanna…so glad that you and your hubby enjoyed it.  I was a bit disappointed that they decided to take Satan out of the movie and wondered how that part would be portrayed.  It is interesting, how things experienced can be put aside and/or simply forgotton.  Glad you made it back so quickly to the blog. 

  18. 8. The song Imagine communicates a lie that if we got rid of all authority and rules (government, God, etc.) that we would all be at peace. Psalm 14:4 “Will evildoers never learn…” It is not God’s desires or “rules” that cause us to toil and tangle but our hearts that cause rifts in relationships and situations. Imagine places the blame outside our own hearts, hence missing the very place that peace must start (and that, obviously, can only happen with Christ).

    1. jillwithaj,    I missed you! and I like your new pic — easier to see you!

    2. Ditto to Renee and Dee…nice to see you up close, Jill 🙂 

  19. 8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
     
    The song Imagine has the message that if everyone could be free from God (specifically heaven and hell), and if there were no governments to follow,  then the world would be just perfect — all problems solved — total peace, etc.    Psalm 14:4 says that evil doers will never learn.  In otherwords, they are fools!   They devour God’s people (that certainly isn’t a description of peace).   These people do not call upon the Lord.  So when God is totally out of the picture, and people are left to their own devices, things go from bad to worse.    
     
    10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
     
    My, this was a big revelation to me.   I thought I had read and studied Psalms before — and I never knew that Psalm 53 was almost identical to Psalm 14!     I know there is repetition in the Bible.   I notice it alot in Proverbs also.   But these two psalms are so much alike that it makes you wonder why both were included in the Old Testament canon.     Perhaps it is because God wanted the message to get across that when people try to live without Him they are going hell-bent for destruction.  They are fools!   It just won’t work!     God has always wanted there to be a relationship between Him and mankind.  There is no relationship when men are roaming the earth with total disregard of God.  

    1. Good morning, friends
      Psalm 53 compared to Psalm 14: Wow, almost identical except for verse 5.
      “There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. ”
      The evildoers never learn, those who devour my people… and who do not call on God?
      I have been doing a study on fear, comparing the fear of God to the need to cast all our cares upon God and not fear what the future holds.
      Dread seems to be the worst kind of fear. We need to trust that as we seek God , giving up our sins in confession to Him and know “there was nothing to dread,  God scattered the bones of those who attacked you,”  verse 6
      I so appreciate all the helps from the blog and each person’s thoughts.
      Yesterday I completed Bonhoeffer’s biography and am feeling that this has changed my life. I also watched the movie, Bonhoeffer, Agent of Grace. I want to seek to model this bold, yet gentle example  as I relate to non- Christians. He is exactly what salt should be, making others thirst for God. He brought a peacefulness and hope while in prison, and looked forward to his “life”  with God. 
      The whole picture of evilness was so sad and that whole time in history came alive for me. My father was drafted in 1943 (at the time of Bonhoeffer’s imprisonment). My father went on to glory in 1944, Bonhoeffer was taken to glory in 1945. It all felt so personal, that Hitler’s evil should impact people around the world forever. Even today there was a report of artwork found in Austria, stolen from Jews that were taken.
      However we need not fear evil, for “the Lord is our refuge.” And Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of God?…no neither trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
      The song I listened to this morning is Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Integrity, Hillsongs from Australia
      “Yes, I love You, I need You, Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go.” Praise be to God; Thanks each of you for sharing!
       
       

      1. Shirley,  Interesting comments about “dread” — and it being the worst kind of fear.  I haven’t thought about that before.  But I do know that when I dread something, it weighs me down.  Other types of fear hit hard, but I get over them quickly.  But when I something, the dread seems so chronic, always there.  

  20. 10. …. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
    This verse come to mind here–“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.”- Philippians 3:1
     
    Spurgeon says “All repetitions are not vain repetitions. We are slow to learn, and need line upon line.”
     
     
    It does strike me that God repeats these specific words, because they are so important to Him. I pulled these verses apart and a few things stuck out to me—I see the Gospel here.
     
    He looks down on us. To me, that gives us a picture of His heart—He does remember us, He cares what we do. He wants us to seek Him, He desires us—there is relationship.
     
    “ They have all fallen away”—this requires us to look at our own depravity, none of us are spared this judgment.
     
    “When God restores…” He reminds us of His mercy, and this leads us to repentance.

    1. “He wants us to seek him.”   That struck me, too, that he wanted people to seek him, even if it involved scaring them into it.I found it interesting that the poor weren’t mentioned in Psalm 53 but they were in Ps 14

  21. 5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal.” Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
    I guess Nabel knew who David was because he was the king but he acted as if he didn’t know him.
    6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
     
    Unfortunately I don’t know that I actually suppress the truth at times. My mouth is big and sometimes I stick my foot in it by telling people the truth, even when it hurts.  In fact I have a situation at school that I have to deal with tomorrow about this very issue, and all week every time I open up my mouth the wrong thing comes out. I need God to help me be loving in my words to a student tomorrow. Or maybe not talk to the student at all. Dear Lord please help me to not be foolish.  Thank you for giving me a strong personality. Thank you for allowing me to value the truth. I am sorry that I tend to stick my foot in my mouth and say the wrong thing at times. I’m sorry that I don’t know when just to be quiet. Please help me to think of others feelings when I tell them the truth. Help me to understand how other people feel. If I should just let the situation pass with the student Lord, would you help me to know that that’s the right thing to do? in your loving name. Amen
     
    It is foolish to lie or suppress the truth because it always comes back around to hurt not only the other person  but you as well. It’s always best to tell the truth.   If you suppress the truth then you could end up emotionally  unstable and stressed. It is not healthy for us emotionally.
     
     
     
     

    1. Laura, I’ll join you in praying for this situation with your student tomorrow. May He give you all the wisdom you need.

    2. Praying for you and the student issue, Laura dancer.

    3. Laura…praying for you with the student tomorrow!

  22. 10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
    As a teacher of high school seniors, I have used repetition as a way of showing my students that what I am saying is of utmost importance. Yet, they seem not to think it is important or often acted like they have not heard me. Some do, though. In so many ways, I am like my students in my communication with God. Sometimes I heard Him loud and clear the first time; other times, I don’t. So He repeats it through His word, other people and nudgings of the Holy Spirit.
    I think these thoughts are very important to Him because he does not want us to be living as fools. He is exposing the end results of evil and He is warning us of its consequences.
    11. Praying the Psalm
    A. Pray for your own heart, that you would not think like the fool. Pray for those you love.
    B. Thank God that He is takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.
    Lord, today you have shown me that there is a better way of handling the situation at school. Though there was a strong urge just to give in to a few seconds of showing my student who is in  control, your Spirit reminded me of how foolish it is to do so. You want us to be witnesses of grace and mercy. And I pray that this student would acknowledge her foolishness and change for the better. Orchestrate an opportunity for me, Lord to share what you have done in my life. She needs you in her life and to save her from her foolishness and its consequences.
    Praying for my sister, too that she will not be fooled by the enemy. Remind her of the truth that you love her and that her cancer diagnosis did not catch you by surprise. I know she must be doubting your goodness for allowing so many hardships to come to her life. Reinvigorate her love for you, Lord. Let your Word and the words of your people bring comfort to her and her family at this time. Be my lips as I talk to her and Mom tomorrow evening. Thank you Jesus that even when we don’t understand your ways, you have strengthened us to trust you.

    1. Beautiful prayer for your sister, Ernema. I will pray also for your conversation with her and your mom.

  23. “Put your hope in God. For I will yet praise Him! My Savior and my God! I put my hope , I put my trust in you… ”
    (some of the lyrics of a song in the CD that came with Dee’s study book on Worship)
    In a world of fools and foolishness, we have One who is Light and Truth and in whom we can put our trust and have hope.
     

  24. 8. Read Psalm 14:4……. how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
    On Sunday, I went to the Museum of Russian History in Minneapolis and saw the exhibit of art and artifacts surrounding the House of Romanov which gave me more understanding of the Bolshevik revolution, Lenin and Stalin etc.  In addition to the ‘devouring of God’s people as bread’  which indeed did happen as ruthless leaders gave no thought to human suffering and death….the world was not at all a better place.  I keep thinking of how much artwork was stolen, destroyed and/or used and abused with no regard for its value as part of the revolution.  “….live in peace, sharing all the world, living as one...” are some of the phrases in the song that supposedly describe a world without religion and without God.  Those phrases do not describe Lenin and Stalin’s Russia in either an emotional or an aesthetic sense.  The world that was forced into place was harsh, cold and stripped of beauty.

  25. B. Thank God that He is takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.
    The CBS evening news tonight, carried the story of a 74 year old woman who was just released from serving 32 years for a murder committed by her ‘boyfriend’.  She was forced at gunpoint to be his driver and fearing for her life, she drove him where he needed to go.  She served 11, 875 days and was not guilty.  A team of southern CA law students helped make her case and she was freed.  That is a real time reversal in our world today.  It broke my heart to think of the injustice of losing 32 years of  her life…..never holding her grandchildren….missing all that time with her family.  But the truly amazing thing was her response.  She was calm, patient, grateful.  And gave the thanks to God as she had hoped in Him.  She had been leading a Bible Study in prison and was loved by so many there.  In this one example of delayed justice in the here and now, there was just a glimpse of what it will be like when God restores those who have been victimized and oppressed in that GREAT reversal yet to come.  THANKS BE TO GOD!

  26. Yes Wanda…THANKS BE TO GOD!

    I want to ask for prayer here and the private page in Facebook…..my daughter and her husband will be driving very early in the morning  (27th) from San Diego to were her dad and step-mom live in Glenwood Springs, CO…..13 hours of driving straight through.  She has two sets of interviewing and tests all day Monday the 31st,  with the Federal in Denver.  They are going early to have 3 days to check out apartments and transportation near where she would work, in case she gets the job. They will spend the night again with her dad on the 31st and travel all the way home again on April 1st.  They want this as much as we do…so we can see each other more!  They would only be 5-6 hours from us in NE.   Please pray for traveling mercies and  the Lord’s will.  She has a very good chance, as they are hiring 4 out of 18 people, but we are all nervous!  It has to be God’s will tho, or it’s not meant to be…so I’m trying to prepare myself for disappointment too.   Thank you so much sisters!

    1. I will pray Joyce 🙂

    2. Praying for your daughter and her husband, Joyce.

    3. Oh Joyce,  I am definitely praying.   May it go smoothly and be successful, according to God’s will!    Praying persistently for safety, which is of the utmost.

    4. Also praying, Joyce.

  27. I watched the Bonhoffer movie a couple nights ago; it was a good documentary.  I was kind of confused about a few things. One what was his actual job in the government and two how did they actually get caught? How did they find the hidden file in the archives?
     
    I thought his girlfriend was a little too young for him and sad that they never got a chance to get married. His faith was amazing though. At the end it made me think of Jesus; how Jesus died on the cross for us for our sins. Bonhoffer was executed by hanging for helping others as well. He looked forward to the promised land. What Faith!

    1. Laura……That’s true.  His girlfriend was very young for him.  It was an interesting relationship.  When I watched the movie after reading the book, I remember thinking that it would be hard to understand a lot of the details unless you had had a background of them elsewhere.  You may want to read a quick bio sketch of his life.  In both of the books I have that are written by him, there is a short bio included.   You can also find a lot online.  Eric Metaxas also wrote 7 Men and the Secrets of Their Greatness which includes a biographical chapter on Bonhoeffer.  I gave it to my husband for Christmas because I knew he wouldn’t read through the giant biography and I wanted to be able to discuss Bonhoeffer with him 🙂 

      1. Thanks Wanda, for the info. I will check out his bio soon!

      1. ditto!

  28. 7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
     
    Paul is speaking to the Jewish people. He says that all are able to be saved. That includes me; regardless of my inner heart or sins.  The only thing that can save all of us is the grace of Jesus Christ.
     

  29. 8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
     
    The song Imagine premises that there is peace on earth because everyone gets along there’s no need for God or a need for heaven; we can find peace on earth because we can all work together. Unfortunately there are mean people in the world, including Hitler and Stalin, Lenin and others. They are never going to be peaceful. They are hardened hearts. Verse four states that these evildoers exist and will never call on the Lord. So, that means these people don’t believe in God. Although I feel like I remember Hitler actually did believe in God? I could be wrong. Nevertheless, he certainly didn’t call on God to help him. These people will always exist on earth and so the Imagine song idea can never happen. It’s a lie.
     

  30. 10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
     
    I think he wants us to know there is hope. Even we can be foolish at times. If we are foolish we may think that we have lost favor with God. By repeating himself, he reminds us that he is really on our side no matter what. He gives us grace. He died for our foolishness. He will take care of the evildoers and we just need to continue to have faith in Him.
     
    11. Praying the Psalm
    A. Pray for your own heart, that you would not think like the fool. Pray for those you love.
    Thank God that He is takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.
     
    Dear Lord thank you for bringing me to Dee’s Bible study blog. That’s the way to start not being foolish, by studying with the blog sisters! Help me continue to be a good student of your word Lord, so that I understand what you want me to understand. This will help me to not be foolish in day to day living and to not forget what’s really important which is knowing you, Jesus. Thank you for the blessings that you have given my family Lord. Thank you for John being so successful in school, for Sarah seeming to manage on her own with our support, for Wesley who struggles in school but trys so hard and is a nice person, for George who just graduated from college and is looking for a job; thank you for these blessings Jesus. Thank you for reminding my husband that you will always be with us financially no matter what. Thank you for getting me through the cancer treatments with lots of support. And thank you for the last few years with my mother. I know you are with me night and day. Lord help my family to want to get to know you better; to not be foolish. Thank you for being there for all of us and for “taking our side” as Dee says. We need you Jesus. There many evil people in the world. Remind us to be humble. In Your Holy Name I pray. Amen.

  31. 4. Conway: The thrust of his message really hit me to the core and I am so grateful for his passion-that is rare but so needed in the body. I needed to hear what he said about how we see other sins as greater than denying the glory of God-I am guilty of thinking others are more horrible even though both grieve me. When Cain killed Able it grieved God-but I wonder what grieved him more-I don’t know. 🙂  I do think we need to be sensitive to others who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  I also believe that denying the Glory of God is the sin underneath all sins. If we were able to see that as the worst sin of all how that would lead to an outpouring of love and mercy toward others. 
     
    I really liked Conway’s passion,  🙂 it reminded me of Paul’s passion when he went to Athens in Acts. In other places in scripture we see God’s passion- it is similar if not more passionate than Tim’s.  

  32. 12. Share your notes and observations.
    ~This morning I started with reading Derek Kinder’s commentary notes on Psalm 14…all’s I can say is WOW! I really took time and looked up the additional versus that parallel with Psalm 14.Im not going to touch on all my notes, just what really stood out to me was Psalm 14:4-5.
    Will evildoers never learn-those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord? They are overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
    I like Dick Lucas statement on the men who say there is no God: ” Moral corruption comes out of the hearts of men, not knowledge, but moral corruption.” Some examples of men he gave were Hitler, who ‘devoured’ the Jews. Other examples were Russian and China. Who suppress their people with persecution and killing for being a Christian.
    What really jumped out at me as I read Kinder’s commentary was the devouring of God’s people. This ties in with Lucas’s sermon. Kinder gave Proverbs 30:20 ~”This is the way of the adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘ I’ve done nothing wrong.’ “ .  Upon reading this scripture, I envisioned a really crazed looking woman wiping her mouth of blood, like she was thirsting for more…it really threw me. To me this represents how evil the atheist/lost world is and how much greed for power, money and dignity come out of men who deny God. In their eyes, they are smart, knowledgable, but in reality they are never satisfied; always wanting more, for they lack God. This reminds me of such evil men as Hitler. Also my Thompson Chain Reference bible gives many versus where Christians are persecuted, Hebrews 11 is one example. 11-39 all the persecutions and what they endured. They were devoured just like Hitler did to the Jews.  
    I really enjoyed Lucas sermon. I did not write all my notes, just what stood out to me the most. When I was reading and thinking on Kinder’s commentaries as well I began to pray for the leaders of our nations and churches.For God to send Godly men/women to counsel and lead our nations/church leaders, to lead the people back to true repentance of their hearts to God.
     
     

     

    1. Good cross-references from Kidner, Staci…especially the Proverbs one really does seem to tie-in with the devouring people.

  33. 5. When Psalm 14 talks about the fool, it uses the Hebrew word “nabal.” Abigail was married to a man who typified the kind of fool Psalm 14 addresses, and his name actually was Nabal. Read 1 Samuel 25:1-13 and find how Nabal suppressed the truth in order to do what he wanted to do.
     
    David’s men told Nabal who they were and how they were kind to his Shepherds. Nabal didn’t believe they were who they said they were and made it look like he was doing the ‘right thing’ by not attending to their needs but in reality he didn’t want to share anything of his and this was a good excuse not to.
     
    6. Consider — how do you tend to suppress the truth at times and why is this foolish? If God shows you, let this lead you into a prayer of repentance.
    Oh I can do this every day! Right off the bat it is easy to do this at work. 
    God I confess and you saw me even just yesterday at work-how I suppressed the truth with these temptations that so easily come all throughout the day. Help me today to love but to not suppress your Glory and hold anything higher than you. In your precious name, amen.
     
    7. Read Psalm 14:2-3 and then see how it is quoted in Romans 3:9-11. Who is Paul talking about here? How does this speak to you?
     
    All of us are under the power of sin. Oh this speaks loud and clear! This so helps me see that any righteousness in me is HIS and it is by nothing I have done and it helps me to see that regardless of someone elses sin issues I am no better than them for I struggle to and it is only by His blood I am covered and only by His righteousness wrapped around me that I can stand before God. 

  34. 12. Sermon Notes-Dick Lucas
     
    (love the reader’s voice on the Passage!)
    The Psalms—the Hymnbook of Israel. What makes a good hymn, a good “test” is that they must be a vehicle not only for our own praise but they must contain Bible teaching, theological meaning, “meat”. Hymn test—Does it teach me anything about God?
     
     
    Psalm 14’s theme is atheism. We hear God’s judgment on the atheist. We are told in verse 7 what our response should be to atheism, secularism.
     
    We are told atheists are characteristically marked by ignorance. They are called fools. They lack understanding, knowledge. Some say the fool in verse one is not the outspoken atheist, but an ordinary person, “decent”, who has no regard for God. He has no thought about His Creator or Judge.
     
    Reasons Lucas sees this differently:
    1. The atheist is ignorant in God’s sight.
    The word for fool here is “nabal”. Nabal, Abigail’s husband, was an incredibly perverse and aggressive man. So the fool David is referring to is likely a very mean and vengeful fool. This fool is making a settled conviction that there is no God. God delineates these men as ignorant men, fools.

    2. The atheist is characterized by intolerance.
    They devour God’s people—this is how they get their nourishment, how they build up their own esteem. Hitler sought to devour God’s people.

    3. The atheist is characterized by multiple allusions.
    They believe a new society, a new Jerusalem, can be built. In reality, they would lead us all the destruction. The greatest delusion is that Christianity is on its way out and the Church is dying. These attacks of atheists on the Church reveal their fear. God will restore the Church. There is no other answer. No government can save, only God can restore.

  35. 10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
     
    I was also surprised at how almost identical these two psalms are! I took a peek at Spurgeon’s commentary and he suggests that in Psalm 14, judgment is being contemplated, “There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.” and in Psalm 53, we see that God was with His people, “God scattered the bones of those who attacked you.” Spurgeon says Psalm 53 is more a psalm of the redemption of God. Also, the two psalms show two different time periods. Perhaps one was written in David’s youth and the other when he was older? Or, as in looking through time, this has been the continual problem of man since the days of Noah, right up to the present, and until the Lord returns. The Lord is always looking to see if there are any who have faith.
     
    I’m not sure why this theme is repeated twice in the Psalms. Perhaps because the corruption of mankind and our hearts is a continual problem that will never go away…God’s people will always live under the threats of evildoers, and these psalms both promise that God is going to do something about it. Spurgeon also notes that Psalm 14 uses the name Jehovah while Psalm 53 Elohim. I’ve never studied the different meanings of the names of God…anyone have any ideas?
     
     

  36. Notes from Dick Lucas’ sermon:      I really appreciate his definition of a good hymn and have carried a similar definition since I was a Bible school student decades ago, as we were taught this also.  This definition, he said, ‘is learned from the Psalms; the hymnbook of Israel.”  “A good hymn must be a vehicle, not only for our own wonder, love and praise but must be a vehicle also for what God has to say to us.”  It must contain Bible teaching, the theological food/meat.  As the sermon should reveal the truth of God to his people, so should the hymns.    (  My thoughts:  When I heard this as a college student, the differentiation was made, that there is a place for other kinds of music…..those that describe a personal journey or testimony, but in corporate worship, we should be singing theology.   The tendency that the evangelical church has, to move away from sound theological songs and hymns has been a huge source of concern for me.  It’s one of the reasons I struggle greatly with corporate worship at my church.   It’s not about ‘preference’, style or taste.  It’s about teaching.  There’s good and bad in all ‘styles’.  We need to be discerning.)  
    I really liked the observation he had, that in the 18th century when so many in England could not read and were unable to grasp all that was taught…..the hymns, easily learned and memorized, taught them theology.  Thus, for many….more may have been learned through Charles Wesley’s hymns than through John Wesley’s sermons. 
    Elizabeth had a nice, concise summary of the whole sermon.   I’ll highlight a couple things that stood out to me.
    I had just read commentary that said that most likely, the fool spoken of is the practical fool…one who doesn’t blatantly say there is no God, but goes about life with no thought to him.   Lucas sees it differently and had valid points to defend that position.   He made reference to the Hebrew belief that says the ‘the heart’ is where we do our thinking   (bowels are used to describe our passions, compassion)……So, he believes that this refers to an outspoken atheism that says there is no God.  One that includes the whole man.  One that is a conscious decision: articulate, dogmatic and a settled conviction.  That thought was a game changer for me.  He then went on to describe modern atheists and secularization.   He also made the point that we would hardly have to look at scripture to see examples of those who ‘devour God’s people’.  For anyone who has lived through or studied that 20th century, the evidence is plain in the examples of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mao.   (I was also thinking of ruthless tyrants in our day in several African nations, South American Countries and in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and other places…..I don’t know what each of them say about the living God…some believe in another god…but the fruit of their cruel dictatorships bear the marks of one who completely disregards God and devours his people.) 
    And in regard to the phrase ‘devours my people’…..he described that this is how the modern atheist gets his nourishment…..how he builds his own esteem.   That was a new insight on the bread metaphor to me….to nourish oneself at the expense of others.  It describes how one attacks God and the people of God as foolish to make themselves look more wise.  They are clever and intelligent, but indeed, God calls them fools. 
     

  37. Sermon notes from Dick Lucas:
     
    First of all, I have to say how much I enjoyed hearing Psalm 14 being read by the woman with the British accent.  She did such a good job of reading, and the accent made me hear the Scripture in a new way!
     
    Dick Lucas said one thing he has learned about the Psalms is “what makes a good hymn.”     Psalms/hymns  are first of all a vehicle for love and praise to God, but also there must be some theological meat.   Does it teach me anything about God?    Lucas says he wonders if many have learned more from Charles Wesley’s hymns that from his sermons.    However, he didn’t think there was a hymn for this Psalm.  
     
    This psalm gives God’s verdict, assessessment and judgment on the atheist.   At its close we are told what our response ought to be to the athetist and to secularism.      Characteristically the athetist is marked by ignorance (called fools).   They have no knowledge — will they never learn.   An atheist can be an ordinary person without regard for God.   Lucas used his brother as an example.  He said his brother John had been a good man, decent and generous.   However, he had no knowledge or regard at all of God.   He had some hope because his brother in his later  years had been influenced by his neighbors who had a charming way of witnessing to the truth.     He thought there are many who are like his brother was, in that as far as God is concernred, He is out on the margins, if at all.   
     
    However, the Hebrew word for “fool” is Nabal.   Nabal was a man in the Bible, husband of Abigail.  Nabal was a churlish, morally perverse, and agressive man.      
     
    We tend to follow the Greeks in that our thinking is with our brain.   The Hebrew’s passion comes from his bowels, and his thinking comes from his heart.        He talked about the famous atheists of our time like Dawkins, Starkley and others.   He said Starkley showed up at an architectural meeting, and in the course of events proclaimed that “he was an atheist.”   His being an atheist had nothing to do with the reason for the meeting at all.  
     
    The truth about modern atheism is addressed so well in Psalm 14 — there is nothing quite like it.    In the first verse, “He is a fool.”   Yet the modern atheists that he has been talking about , we know, are very intelligent men.   They would probably turn on us and say “Why waste your time on what doesn’t exist, myths, etc.”     
     
    In verse 2, there is delightful language.   God’s judgment is based on  athorough knowledge of what is going on on earth and in the lives of men.  The atheist does not understand God because they do not seek him.     Have they searched God’s word? — No!   They are full of misunderstanding and ignorance.  Fallen man means we are blind.  We can all look back to when we were blind.  
     
    Verse 5 — there they are in great terror.   In Psalm 53  that line is enlarged.      He told of a police chief who was speaking about some young men who had been convicted of crime.  He said “I wish you could see these fellows sobbing in their pillows when they realized they were going to be in prison for 14 years.   They say, “What a fool I was.”        There is a hint of the end of the age in verse 5.   Last pages of Jeremiah show such an encouragement of God’s plan for the future.   
     
    Secularization brings with it persecution of the people of God.    Lucas had visited the Holocaust museum, and at the end there was a video of an interview with one of the survivors, and she said “it was unforgiveable.”   
    An atheist is ignorant, is intolerant of God’s people, and has multiple delusions.       In verse 4 — “Have they no knowledge?  Will they never learn.”    “They devour the people of God.”    Atheists come to power and they have no restraints — tyrants can do what they want to do.   Hitler, for example, wanted to destroy the ancient people of God — the Jews.     At the beginning of the Holocaust museum, there was a sign “No one under 14 should be there without their parents.”    There were children there, however.   His impression was that the worst was not presented because it was too horrible (and they knew there would be children there.)     
     
    Atheistic tyrants believe a new society can be built now.   What they say and what they do are not divisible.    Secularism is evident in Europe and in our own government.  There is politics, corruption, crime, and fraud.    These are a monumental challenge to officials.   There is a delusion that is very common:   Christianity is on its way out — the church is dying.       The last verse of the psalm  tells of the restoration of the church.   Our only response is its program for restoration of the church.  The church is often tearing itself apart in its death-throws.   Restoration of the church is happening in so many parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa.   Every day sees 10,000 new converts to Christianity in China.   There is a back-to-Jerusalem movement.   The Chinese converts have the task of carrying the gospel back to Jerusalem through the Muslim world.    Don'[t be afraid, for God is restoring the church.    Thank God for it!

      1. LIKE   🙂

    1. Deanna, I always love your detailed and thorough notes!

  38. Thank you for praying for my daughter and husband…they made the 13 hour drive just fine!   Just pray her interview goes great Monday and their trip back home Tuesday. …Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks for update, Joyce.  Will pray!

    2. Glad they arrived safely, Joyce…will continue praying about the interview!

  39. Lucas sermon:  Good sermon, not really any new notes, so I won’t post them.   Lots of questions:)

    I loved the way he described how God is restoring the church now.  I was thinking that the end of Psalm 14 was the New Heavens, New Earth rather than restoration of the church on earth now.  It is exciting to see how the church is growing.

    I’m more confused about who the Psalm is written about.  Who are atheists?  At first, Lucas talked about “outspoken atheists.”  Then he talked about those such as Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao who were thorough “deep down” atheists.  The outspoken atheists I know are decent people (and one was kicked out of his religious group, so I know at least a few have minimal knowledge of God).   Then Lucas added secularists to the atheists.  I know a whole bunch of those, and those seem even more dangerous than the outspoken atheists I know.  At least, I know some of what atheists believe/don’t believe.   But some of those I would label secularists are against any version of serious Christianity and what they believe is “truth” changes every time they open their mouths; some are active in their churches; and because they aren’t outspoken atheists, they seem to get away with lying and manipulating in a way that really does devour people (but not in the same way that Lenin, Hitler, etc did).  

     Is it considered “devouring” when people write books, ridicule, and debate? (as in Dawkins & Hawking).  Lucas talked about intellectual and moral being indivisible.  To determine if someone is a “thorough atheist”  do we look at their moral behavior and if they are “decent,” can we assume they aren’t thoroughly atheist?  I know some of these questions don’t have answers!
    Lucas’ brother was a “nice guy” atheist, and I got the impression that this passage wasn’t addressing atheists who are decent people??

    I have faces attached to the word atheist, and I have so many questions because real people are involved.   I’ve been in groups and on committees with atheists.  Given the part of the country in which I live (definitely not NYC), atheists are more likely to be discriminated against than are Christians. Several years ago, I had an interesting discussion with someone who is atheist.  She was angry because of a bunch of publicity surrounding “Jesus week” on campus — and that they never could have gotten away with an “atheist week.”   I am the faculty advisor of an organization that likely was part of the Jesus week campaign, and I had to agree with her:  They wouldn’t have gotten away with an atheist week.      I knew this person because we were part of  a research ethics group together, and she has higher ethical standards (and more intelligence) than most humanist/semi-religious types that go to church but don’t believe much.  And the “outspoken” atheists I know of aren’t any more obnoxious than people that might be labeled “outspoken” Christians.  
     
    I still don’t get whether, according to Lucas, Psalm 14 would be about them if they aren’t like Hitler, Mao, Stalin…      It’s much easier for me to grasp that our righteousness is in Christ, and if it isn’t … watch out, than to understand who is the fool in this passage.  I was comforted by Lucas’ statement that “God’s judgments are based on a thorough knowledge about what is going on on earth and in the hearts and minds of men.     SO thankful that I don’t have to grasp everything and that God is the one who judges.

    1. Renee…..You ask such good questions.  I would love to hear Lucas’ answers to those things you just brought up!  Now, I think I am thoroughly confused as well.  I was ‘going with’ the practical atheist as I read in my commentary last night….and even the part about the priests being corrupt and eating the showbread was making some sense to me.  The today, the points Lucas made seemed to make sense, but looking at your comments, I indeed see the gaps and the questions.   And as every other issue…..when the person ‘has a name and face’, it’s very hard to categorize.   (I even wonder how my own loved ones fit into this.  They are very decent people who do lots of good things with love and compassion…..not outspoken atheists…..but not believers in the living God either.  But I guess that’s not the question?  Some are secularists…..some believe in other gods and/or spiritual practices.)  But this psalm seems so specific in regard to the ‘devouring’.  And we’re hearing two things.  One is the judgement of the guys who write books and debate etc. etc.  The other is the dictators and tyrants who literally and violently devour.  Is it both?  Is it that and more?    I know.  I’m going back to the line of the Michael Card song that I highlighted a couple days ago:   “Surrender the hunger to say you must know.   Have the courage to say, ‘I believe.’  For the power of paradox opens your eyes and blinds those who say they believe.”    Okay.  Maybe that’s not helping.  Because that’s about blinding those who say they believe!  But…..I guess we just may not know!

      1. Thanks, Wanda! I like having my confusion affirmed.  Plus,  I’m good at thoroughly confusing people 😉  
         
         Good quote from the Michael Card song.   My pattern seems to be to wrestle awhile to figure something out and then become okay with not knowing;   Or struggle awhile to try to understand, think I’m okay with not knowing, and then all of a sudden (maybe years later) I hear something and everything makes sense.
        Since I’m still a few bricks short of a load in understanding this Psalm, I’ll probably listen to Keller’s sermon (if I can get into the site — I could’t the last time I tried, but was on a different computer).  hehe — maybe I’ll see if Lucas is still around and has an email address 😉

        1. I have wondered about the Keller sermons too.  I only tried one…..but it looked like I had to have an account or something? to listen.  I haven’t tried again…..but will have to figure that out. 
          I think my pattern is…struggle awhile to understand….and then in a few days something else comes up to struggle with and I forget the first.  Sometimes, I think about heaven and how we’ll have all the time of eternity to read and get our questions answered……but I think, we really won’t have all these questions anymore!  And we really won’t need to read to find out.  I guess.  We could just ask!

    2.  Renee….and she had a hard time forgiving her mother for keeping them apart (she defied her orders and called him and wrote just before he was arrested….and wrote that she wished she had defied her earlier.)  In retrospect her mother regretted her action.  Maria was able to see him in prison several times.

      Ooops….I meant for this to land further down on the page…..sorry.

      1. Interesting about Maria and her mother!

    3. But some of those I would label secularists are against any version of serious Christianity and what they believe is “truth” changes every time they open their mouths; some are active in their churches; and because they aren’t outspoken atheists,

      Hi Renee, I read your comment at 1:30 AM my time. Wasnt sleeping well so read through everyones comments. The above is touched on by Keller’s sermon. Im listening to it today and it is really good. I think he really explains what a fool is more soundly and direct than Lucas perhaps? I think Lucas sermon was great, just a different take on what a fool is. Keller gave Proverbs 18:2 “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” Also given is Proverbs 15:5 “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds corrections shows prudence.” Both very fitting for the above quote. I like all your different points on atheist. I guess I never thought of how many varieties of atheist there are? 
      What I figure anyone that doesn’t follow or believe 100% the truth in the bible or God can be considered a fool, no matter if you’re an all out atheist or semi-atheist or even as evil as Stalin and Hitler. Because some people believe in parts of the bible, but not all of the bible. To me I will never understand that? That is calling God a liar?  Every man is born with some foolishness as Keller shares in his sermon. I guess once I really thought about this, I too can be a fool, thinking my ways are better or wiser than God’s ways at times, but really my ways are not. For God says His ways are higher than our ways.As Keller pointed out in his sermon, is it possible foolishness goes deeper, it’s not so much our ‘intellect’ but in our hearts? That really got me thinking back to your notes. I like your notes because it shows people can choose to not believe in God or his ways at all; some choose to believe in some of God’s ways and truth; and then lastly some believe but twist or pick and choose His truth to fit their own agendas, but it’s foolishness.

  40. Question for those who have read more about Bonhoeffer:   Did the “Agent of Grace” movie seem accurate?    (Did he really get engaged to someone he’d had in confirmation and only a few years after she had finished confirmation??)      Does anyone know if there is a biography of her available?

  41. Yes, Renee…..he did!  And it was a very ‘ambiguous’ engagement as I recall.   She was 20? years younger?  Not looking it up right now…..but I know there was a big difference.  Most of their engagement, he was in Tegel prison…..I think it was.  If I remember right, she was the granddaughter of a family friend.  Oh…..now, I’m going to have to look it up!  I don’t know of any biographies.

    1. Well, ages that I’ve seen/heard:  At one point in the movie, she was 17.  Was he 39 when he died?  So I’m guessing it would be 20-22 years difference.  I’m not even opposed to 20 year difference, but 17 would be considered VERY young in today’s world when there is that great an age difference (i.e., she’s a minor).  And the confirmation student part!!
       
      Sounded as if there was a family connection when he told her about deaths of her father/brother.  Was wondering if he was a friend of her father’s —   grandfather would make sense, too

  42. Yes, he was 39 when he died.  I skimmed the chapter called Bonhoeffer in Love and read a little.  She was the granddaughter of a family friend, and when he first started teaching confirmation lessons to her older brothers, she was only 12 and too young.  The grandmother was very much in favor of their marriage.  The mother (who also was friends of the family and very outspoken in their opposition to Hitler and devout in their faith) was hesitant because of the age and situation.  She intervened on some of their correspondence while grandma did all she could to get them together!  (A side note, is that Bonhoeffer’s best friend, Eberhard Bethge (age 33) proposed marriage to Bonhoeffer’s 16 year old niece at about the same time.) The parents of both girls requested a lengthy separation and even a moratorium on communicating.   So during the time, Bonhoeffer was officially engaged, he saw Maria very seldom.  It would be interesting to hear what happened to her.  She lost her dad and her brother in the war…..while Dietrich was still living.

    1. I thought she was interviewed on the documentary I watched — but that may have been someone else.  I was working at the same time I watched the documentary (so didn’t see the names of some people) and parts of the documentary were a little dull!  Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace definitely was more interesting.  In the movie, it looked as if he was the one who informed her of their death and that maybe contributed to their relationship??

  43. Dick Lucas Sermon:
     
    Enjoyed this sermon very much; will not post lots of notes as excellent ones already posted. What stood out to me: Finally, I have a “working definition” of so many of my family members (even though Lucas tended to disagree this was the specific type of fool referenced in Psalm 14)
    The “fool” – the person to whom God means nothing. They ignore God as their Creator and Judge. They will see to the formalities of life – births, deaths, marriages; yet it washes over them. He gave his late brother as an example. This is not really the aggressive, Christian-bashing fool; just the person who goes along in life without ever thinking about spiritual things. Like a sponge when you try talking to them – nothing goes in and nothing comes out. So many of my close family members are like this. I know it is because God is not drawing them to Himself. It causes me a lot of angst in praying for them…I wonder why God doesn’t open their hearts.
    I know this very well because this was the kind of fool I was for half of my life. I didn’t do anything to escape it myself. It was God who made me see.
     
    The fool in this psalm is “nabal” – aggressive, intolerant, morally perverse. Also: characterized by multiple delusions. Like we will build a new society. Impossible because what the fool thinks becomes the way he acts.
     
    The restored church is the answer.

  44. I listened to Keller’s sermon this morning. Before I even did,God had me thinking a lot on Renee’s question, what is a fool or how did Lucas depict what a fool was? I felt in my own heart we can be fools, when we doubt God, think our ways are better than His ways, when I defy God and what His word says and do things my way. After listening to Keller’s sermon I had a better understanding and clearer picture that I was seeing that I too can be a fool but thankful for God’s love, mercy and grace to guide me back to his ways. Here are my notes roughly from Keller: (I have to laugh, I took 3.5 pages of notebook size notes…I do love Keller’s sermons. :))
    Every man is born with some foolishness. Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.
    ~Foolishness keeps us from learning, keeps us proud. 
    ~Foolishness is not a function of your intelligence or mental furniture. (how smart or not you may be) Foolishness is a function of how you use your intelligence or mental furniture.
    ~Foolishness  destroys God’s sense of reality. 
    ~Foolishness goes much deeper than our intellect, it deals with the heart. The heart is where our thoughts get filtered. The “heart of matters” truly shows where our beliefs are, what we think or believe in.
     
    ~Proud willfulness keeps us from learning. Psalm 14:4 Will evildoers never learn-
      Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.
      Proverbs 15:5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds corrections shows prudence.
                Proverbs 12:15  The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
     
    ~Keller states Romans 1 has the psychology of foolishness laid out. 
     
    ~ through our heart, intellectual and emotional come forth. Whether we chose to believe the bible and what God says or our own ways( foolishness), the heart will show where our faith truly lies. If we go against what God says in His word, the truth, we have put our faith in something else, we should judge our thoughts and beliefs against God’s word always.
    ~You cant think without the heart, all thoughts and ideas go through the heart.
    ~doubts are based on faith in “something else”(our own ideas or reasoning) other than God~not wise.
     
    ~Foolishness can not understand Grace and the great God we serve. Jesus became that grace. Jesus became the temple (John 2) Through Jesus, God’s glory does not threaten us, because God sees us through the blood of Jesus,  our sins paid for once and for all. 
    ~The Cross is foolishness to the world. The world doesnt want to believe and does not want God’s ‘bleeding charity’. The world thinks they are a good enough person, they dont need God or Jesus.
    ~The Cross is the highest wisdom. The Cross is where in one event God honored the law of Justice (our sins) and Mercy (Saved by Jesus). Both honored Justice/Mercy by the blood of Jesus on the Cross. To me that is one of the most beautiful statements…and sadly  the most profound act/knowledge of wisdom the foolish do not understand.

    1. Thanks for the notes, Staci. I don’t know if I am going to get a chance to listen to Keller’s sermon and I, like you, do love his sermons. I, too, have been reading and thinking about Renee’s and others thoughts on who a fool is, as described in Psalm 14 and other Scriptures. I love these thoughts:

      ~The Cross is foolishness to the world. The world doesn’t want to believe and does not want God’s ‘bleeding charity’. The world thinks they are a good enough person, they don’t need God or Jesus. 
      ~The Cross is the highest wisdom. The Cross is where in one event God honored the law of Justice (our sins) and Mercy (Saved by Jesus). 

      Just this week, I was in a group situation where a “friend” shared an off-colour joke about Christ’s “resurrection”. He knew there were quite a few Christians in the group but, it seems, that the Cross and resurrection are such foolishness to him that he couldn’t help but ridicule it. It makes me very sad for him because I like him and he is a very intelligent man.

      1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

      1. It is sad the off color jokes people laugh at and don’t realize  the ugliness of it all or actually how it “dumbs them down”. In those times I’m lost to even know what to say…I don’t feel smart witted or wise enough  and maybe that’s Gods protection…
        i too loved the wisdom of the cross…the most profound wisdom of all…..in awe.

    2. Thanks, Staci!  I appreciate your notes.  I listened to Keller’s sermon on my cell phone after I had crawled into bed. Didn’t take notes so it’s good to read them 🙂

      1. Renee, I really enjoyed your thoughts on Lucas And your insight to atheist. Once I thought about it, I too have atheist friends from my past years in college. My fraternity brother ended up becoming part of the satanic church….eeek!  I asked him why years later, and he explained he is going to sin, might as well belong to something that promotes it…wow! I think there is more to his story, but I told him how I found Jesus and the whole talk. I also said I would pray for him and he laughed. That was back in my 20s. Of course when I was in college I wasn’t saved and many of my sorority sisters were into new age/ witch craft. Looking back we all were searching for something tangible and real, if we had only known the truth back then. 

    3. Staci-great notes..and I knew Keller would pull this out-help me to an even deeper layer of understanding. Love this..can’t wait to hear! I am going to the grocery store today..will listen as I am out and about. 🙂

  45. 8. Read Psalm 14:4. In the sermon you will hear from Dick Lucas, he lists those like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini who devoured God’s people. If you listened to the atheisit’s song, Imagine, last week, how does verse 4 and these historical examples refute the lie of Imagine?
    They are blind-they can’t see because they don’t know God and THEY are in charge of their life-so they think it is right to torture and afflict God’s people-this is evil abounding and in itself refutes the lie of Imagine. You can’t truly have peace, love and unity without God. 
     
     
    10. Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14. Read it. I have learned that God uses repetition when things are important. Why do you think these thoughts are so important to Him?
     
    Wonderful!! I haven’t seen that before!
     
    I am not sure if this is on track or not but I know God is deeply passionate for us-He is savior. He is Love-this is who He is-and this great evil perpetrated against His people will not stand for He will one day do the great reversal. 
     
    I can’t help but go back to Genesis before the fall-The intimacy-oh.. and I see the Gospel in these two Psalms. When I see the repetition of His passion the redemption, that He is this passionate for us, it melts me..
     
    So here is the conviction for me-while I haven’t ate up my brothers and sisters like Hitler or Stalin perhaps, I have harbored things in my heart toward a brother or sister, or turned away from one who is in need and I am sure that grieves God! SO when I see these passages I am grateful, for my heart needs more melting..May your passion become mine Lord so that I wouldn’t sin against you and hurt you by not deeply loving Your body.  
     
    11. Praying the Psalm
    A. Pray for your own heart, that you would not think like the fool. Pray for those you love.
    God when I think of myself and then of others who think like fools I can’t think of myself as not ever thinking like a fool-I confess that I do! I can’t think of myself more highly than them because You are my righteousness-nothing I have done..So I lift up my co-workers and ask that you would light a fire in their hearts for you.
     
    B. Thank God that He takes the side of victims and one day will do a great reversal.
    Oh God thank you that you are pure, You are Love, You are savior and you rose from the dead! Thank you that you will one day do a great reversal-thank you that your heart is with the poor not the evil-and that you will restore them in full. Thank you that the last will one day truly be first and the first last. Thank you that your Kingdom is upside down from worldly kingdoms where the poor in spirit-the humble reign with You. Your love-oh..it runs the depths of deepness I can’t fathom You are the Lover of our souls and one day we will see YOU our great redeemer face to face. 

    1. That is very cool what you saw on the gospel. I too am just as guilty to pull away because it’s not in my comfort zone when others may be in need.  God reminds myself a lot when others are rude or mean to not be the same back…that’s not who He is in us… Sometimse it’s a struggle when surrounded with a fallen world…I admit I am so week with my judgementsl ways at times. Forgive me God. 

      1. Staci and Susan-:)  I see how in love with Jesus you both are here-well  in all your posts actually.  For it is Him in you showing you this, and your yielding to Him letting Him chisel away is beautiful really. You both encourage me so much!! 

  46. Rebecca, I like what you pulled out in your answer to #10…how you saw the gospel in the two psalms-the repetition of His passion and the redemption…and your application to yourself you pulled out. That hits me too; when I turn away from one who is in need (when I am “fed up” or irritated or because of my own comfort being restricted) and harboring things in my heart against someone.
     
    Your care for your co-workers is an inspiration to me.

    1. Thanks, Dee.   I’m not worried about the cost of Keller’s sermons…..I’m just a little ‘techo-challenged’ so I hadn’t dug in and tried to figure out what to do to listen.  I’ll get it figured out.  Will be well worth it 🙂   I appreciate the links and all of your work in preparing the studies.

    2. The NASB renders vs. 6 of Psalm 14…..’You would put to shame the counsel of the afflicted, but the Lord is his refuge.’  
      I found that an interesting variance.  The NIV says,  ‘You evildoers  frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.’
      Poor  or  counsel of the afflicted.   One translation must be closer to the original.  Any thoughts?   
      Earlier, someone commented that ‘poor’ may have a broader meaning.  

      1. Strong’s lexicon for vs. 6 interprets poor as: (from BlueLetterBible.org)

        poor, afflicted, humble, wretched

        So there is a larger meaning than simply monetarily poor, I think.

        1. Thanks,  Diane.   Good idea to use a lexicon.

  47. I’ve been busy with my 92 year old mother for the last couple of weeks but I do check in. I appreciate everyone’s notes from Lucas and Keller but I’m wondering what Jesus had to say about fools.
     
    Any good concordance online that we can check and see how he dwelt with fools?  Also I’m wondering what the Paul the apostle taught about fools.
     
    Must go now but will check in when I have time. Thanks

  48. Praying for you and your mom, Cindy!

    1. I am grateful for your prayers Joyce.
       
      My mother’s mind is better than mine sometimes but she has post-polio syndrome so has to use a walker and wheel chair most of the time. My father died in 2012 and mother decided to go into a nursing home—  into a personal care unit. She loves it there but there  are some things she depends on me for. She knows 5 women there she graduated with who are residents,  so she adjusted to her new home rather quickly, which was an answer to prayer.
       
      Joyce, I had been praying for your daughter’s situation—  thanks for the update.

  49. I had to go back and listen to Tim Conway again…beings my son-in-law may be a atheist….and find the Ben Stein   “Expelled”   movie  that Tim kept referring to.  It was long and boring to me , except the last part (about a inch from the end on the red line).  If anything… all the scientist talking about evolution….made me feel like the evil one was trying to convince me too.   I don’t like feeding my mind of things… not of God.

    http://youtu.be/VqNPlwLwIP8

    Here it is if  you want to listen.  The last scientist, Professor Dalkins said that God is a “Primitive  Superstition” and   wonders why he hides himself so well!  That’s what faith is….we don’t have to see to believe! I’m anxious to listen to Tim Keller now and feel uplifted!!