Archives for : January2010

Whedon's Commentary on the four Gospels

Do you own or have you used Whedon’s comentary on the Gospels or any of his other commentaries?  I just received the “Whedon’s Commentary Revised” on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and my first impression of it is WOW!  His though process seems to be a bit like John A. Bengel (see “Bengel’s New Testament Commmentary”).

Take my “survey on Bible commentaries” to help others who are interested in knowing more about the Bible:

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Bible commentary survey for Whedeon’s commentaries:

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Bible reading survey

Have you ever wondered how many people read the Bible and how often people read it? Take a moment to participate in my “Bible reading survey” – let others know how often you read the word of God.

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Bad check restitution program

Are bad checks hurting your business?  Do you need a way to recovery NSF checks?  Have you tried a check guarantee service and been disappointed?  There are multiple ways to deal with bad checks.  Some businesses no longer accept checks.  Other businesses try to prevent bad checks by using a “check guarantee” service.”  Other businesses use a check verification service.  There are also services that offer businesses a “check recovery service” or a “NSF check recovery service.”  Some bad check collection services will even accept stop payment and closed account checks for collection.  Check recovery services may not have any monthly or annual fee, but there may be an initial sign up fee.

Another option used by some businesses to collect bounced checks is a “bad check restitution program.”  These bad check programs may also be designated as a “worthless check unit,” a “bad check unit,” a “bad check unit,” or similar terminology.  There are actually some District Attorney Offices in the United States that help businesses collect on bounced checks.

Visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com/listofdistrictattorneyoffices to see if there is a listed “bad check restitution” program or a “worthless check unit” listed for your prosecuting attorney office.  Feel free to also check out the resources from http://www.abiblecommentary.com too.  Best wishes in your efforts to collect your bounced checks!

Help fellow business owners by taking the “how to deal with these “bounced check surveys”:

How many bounced checks do you get in an average year – take the “survey on bounced checks”:

[polldaddy poll=2611941]What is the average dollar amount of your bounced checks – take the “average amount of NSF check survey”:

[polldaddy poll=2611947]Will debit cards replace paper checks?  Take this “debit card survey”:

[polldaddy poll=2611961]Survey on bank fees – how much does your bank charge for a bounced check?

[polldaddy poll=2611968]Collection agency survey question: Have you ever been contacted by a collection agency?

[polldaddy poll=2611985]Key words:  bounced check collection service, check recovery service, closed account check, collect bounced checks, nsf check, nsf check recovery, nsf check recovery service, nsf checks, refer to maker check, stop payment check, worthless check, worthless check unit, worthless checks

defamation of character

APPRECIATING VALUABLE THINGS

     The story is told of a man who was sued by a woman for defamation of character.  She charged that he had called her a pig.  The man was found guilty and fined.

     After the trial he asked the judge, “Does this mean that I cannot call Mrs. Johnson a pig?”  The judge said that was true.

     “Does this mean I cannot call a pig Mrs. Johnson?” the man asked.  The judge replied that he could indeed call a pig Mrs. Johnson with no fear of legal action.

     The man looked directly at Mrs. Johnson and said, “Good afternoon, Mrs. Johnson.”

     Such name-calling is obviously wrong, but Jesus told us there are some people who are “pigs” (and not in the sense of eating too much).  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

     “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6Matthew 7:6
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6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you.

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     There are some people who are “dogs” and “pigs” in the sense that they have no appreciation for things of a spiritual nature.  Just as a pig has no appreciation for precious jewelry, so it is that some people have no appreciation for the precious truths of God’s Word.

     John MacArthur has written, “There will be times when the gospel we present is absolutely rejected and ridiculed and we will make the judgment to turn away and speak no more, deciding that we should ‘shake off the dust of [our] feet’ (Matt. 10:14Matt. 10:14
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14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go forth out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet.

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) and begin ministering somewhere else.” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 1-7)

     I agree.  There are times when those I speak to show such a lack of appreciation for God’s Word.  My greater concern, though, is making sure that I don’t have that same attitude.

     “Father, I pray that my heart may always be tender and open to the valuable lessons you want to teach me.  May I never ‘trample underfoot’ those things which are truly important.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”  Alan Smith

Lawsuit survey – take a moment to participate in my “lawsuit poll”:

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Reasons to sue someone – take my “why sue someone” poll:

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The Value Of Locked Fire Hydrants


Eric Aderholt can speak as an expert about the ramifications of a locked fire hydrant.  His suburban Fort Worth, Texas, house burned down this past August, not because fire fighters took so long to arrive but because they did not have the key to unlock the hydrant.  In response to Homeland Security measures in the wake of 9/11, many rural neighborhoods’ hydrants were outfitted with a locking device meant to prevent vandalism and especially terrorism.  When there was no fire, that hydrant in Aderholt’s Alexander Ranch community may have provided some sense of security and confidence just by being there.  But when the need existed, the very substance that could make the difference was not even introduced.  There was no water when water was most needed. 

 

A great fire will come at a time no one expects (2 Th. 1;7-9).  God has provided a means to keep us from suffering total loss when this occurs.  The “key” to proper preparation rests in one of the most neglected “tools” of all time-the Bible.  How do we know about the fire?  How do we know about eternal loss prevention?  How do we know about the only true and living water (cf. John 4:10-11John 4:10-11
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10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: whence then hast thou that living water?

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)?  How do we know Who the fire escape is?  Yet, so many who think everything is OK are unprepared.  Even more tragic are those who should know better, who have even been shown the “key.”  They throw it away or refuse to take it.  They chose not to be protected.  The fact of Jesus’ sacrifice and grace is wonderful, but that fact will not save. 
 
We must unlock the benefit of God’s grace by faith-filled obedience (cf. Heb. 5:9Heb. 5:9
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9 and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation;

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).  Simply acknowledging His existence or even His identity is insufficient.  There is a “key of knowledge” (Luke 11:52Luke 11:52
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52 Woe unto you lawyers! for ye took away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

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).  Let us use it and show others how to use it, too! –Neal Pollard
Speaking of fire hydrants, does your home have a smoke alarm? Take a moment to participate in the “smoke alarm poll.”
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Totally Immobilized

Mrs. Billie Cannon-a Knoxville, Tennessee homemaker-was preparing to paint her back porch. In order to protect the floor, she very carefully placed around the edges a strip of Scotch tape-the kind with adhesive on both sides. It was her plan to place a drop cloth over the floor and secure it with the tape. Having succeeded in placing the tape around the entire surface, she went back inside the house to get a drop cloth.
 
Returning to the porch sometime later, she found that all of her carefully placed tape was gone. She was completely mystified. Where could it be? Who would possibly have taken the time to pull up that tape and why? As she was surveying the situation and mulling over her puzzling predicament, she noticed something moving in her back yard. Looking closer she discovered that it was a snake. It was a rather large creature of its species, but it was no threat to her. It was hopelessly immobilized by being totally enmeshed in a large ball of Scotch tape.
 
Evidently while Mrs. Cannon was in the house the snake had crawled up on the back porch and had eased itself onto that tape with the adhesive on both sides. Sensing that the tape was sticking to its skin, the snake obviously put up a terrible struggle. In doing so it pulled every bit of tape from the floor. The harder it fought, however, the more hopelessly it became entangled in its cellophane prison until now it was totally captive.

That poor snake reminds me of many people I have known. Somewhere along the way they have made a serious mistake. Then, rather than calmly
analyzing their situation and correcting their course, they have reacted impulsively. Soon their lives are like that snake. The more they struggle, the more entangled they have become until eventually they are totally immobilized psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

Take a moment to vote in my “snake poll”
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The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage

IN HIS BOOK “The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage,” Myles Munroe says:
 
.  When a male demands, a female reacts; she doesn’t respond.
 
.  When a male gives, a female responds.
 
.  When a male commits, a female submits.  Nothing is more precious to a female than a committed male.  Nothing is more depressing to a female than an uncommitted male.
 
.  When a male abuses, a female refuses.  Whenever a man abuses a woman, she refuses to respond.
 
.  When a male shares, a female cares.  If you find a man who is willing to share with the woman in his life, you will find a woman who is willing to care for her man.
 
.  When a male leads, a female follows.  When a man carries out his God-given responsibility for leadership, a woman responds by following his lead.  Leadership does not mean being bossy, always telling others what to do.  Good leaders lead by example, not by decree.  Jesus led by example, and so did Moses, Peter, Paul, and all the other great leaders in the Bible.  Leading by example means doing ourselves the things we wish others to do.
 
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”   This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Ephesians 5:22Ephesians 5:22
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22 Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

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– 33
 
Mike Benson

A random act of kindness

 

NO, AN R.A.K. is not a rifle…
  
In fact, it is not a even a weapon—not a physical weapon, anyway. I experienced the power of an R.A.K. this past week during a routine part of my day. I believe the combination of many of them would have an awesome impact on our world. Let me show you what I mean . . . .
 
I was driving to my office on a Monday morning and just happened to have my radio tuned to a station in Clarksville, TN. It is normal for the hosts to run a trivia contest at about that time of morning. On that particular morning, the contest was between a man and a woman. I cannot remember the man’s name, but I will call him “Roger.” The woman’s name was Melissa. Melissa just happened to mention during the segment that she had a two-week-old baby.
 
The contest began with, of all things, a question about the average weight of a newborn baby. Of course, Melissa answered that  question well  and received several points because of it. Roger laughingly commented on how that question “just happened to come up.” The next question was given and it was about the average cost of a fast food meal. Roger was more attuned to this type of question and quickly suggested “$5.00.” That was the number one answer and pushed Roger well ahead of Melissa.
 
Then Roger did a completely unexpected thing. He passed and told the hosts that he was going to do something probably no one else had ever done: He was going to forfeit the game to Melissa because he thought she, as a new mother, could use the prize (a free massage from a local spa). The hosts (a man and a woman), were stunned. They went on and on about how nice Roger was and about how his kind act was such a good thing. They decided, on the spur of the moment, to give “Roger” a gift certificate to a local restaurant. A positive atmosphere prevailed on the set following the contest. That act of kindness stayed with me all day—and I was seventy miles away.
 
You have probably guessed the meaning of R.A.K. by now: a “random act of kindness.” You probably also heard that terminology a few years ago when people were trying to counter the random acts of violence (road rage, for example) in our world. I think, however, it is time to begin weaving “R.A.K.’s” into the fabric of our lives. Those acts will enrich our lives as well as the lives of others around us.  (Lance Cordle)
 
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (Prov. 21:21Prov. 21:21
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21 He that followeth after righteousness and kindness Findeth life, righteousness, and honor.

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, ESV).

Take my “poll on kindness”: 
 
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–Mike Benson
 

An overview of the New Testament

 

 a)      Matthew’s gospel is unusual because it begins with a genealogy.

b)      These names introduce us to the fact that we are dealing with a King.  This is a royal lineage.

c)      This king has a kingdom and if we want to be part of it, we must be obedient subjects.

2)      The book of Mark is next is and is quite brief compared to the other Gospels.

3)      The book of Mark was written to Romans.  It emphasizes the supernatural aspect of Jesus.

4)      Jesus is presented as a man of achievements.  Jesus conquers nature, disease, and demons.

5)      After Matthew and Mark we come to Luke, the “beloved physician.”

a)      Luke provides us with a fairly comprehensive view of the Lord.

b)      Luke’s gospel reminds us that the king is not only powerful, He is compassionate.

6)      The Lord is a good king.  This indicates that He has given us a good law.  Next is John.

7)      In John’s explanation of Jesus’ life he wastes no time in declaring who Jesus is.

8)      Jesus is not only a king (Matthew), He is deity.  He was God in the flesh.  Jn. 1:1Jn. 1:1
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The Gospel According to St. John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

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.

9)      After the four accounts of Jesus’ life we come to the book of Acts.

a)      The king has created a kingdom (church) and people are becoming subjects in this kingdom.

b)      This is why Acts 2:42Acts 2:42
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42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.

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says people “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.”

10)  After Acts we come to the book of Romans.  Romans is a book that is all about faith.

11)  The “righteous shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17Rom. 1:17
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17 For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.

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).  This verse also refers to “faith unto faith.”     

12)  Everything about the kingdom Christ has created is related to faith—every single thing.

13)  Moving past the book of Romans we find the book of first Corinthians.

14)  This book is a very useful book because it shows what members of Christ’s kingdom should expect.

15)  The First Corinthian letter is a document that describes a congregation riddled with problems.

16)  This letter reminds us that no congregation is going to be perfect.

17)  Second Corinthians reminds us about the importance of listening to God’s law.

18)  The Second Corinthians letter reminds us that we need to listen to and heed gospel teaching.

19)  There were false teachers who were trying to turn Christians back to the Old Testament system of Judaism.

20)  King Jesus has a much better way and this new and better way is explored in the book of Ephesians.

21)  Eph. 1:3Eph. 1:3
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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:

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says “all spiritual blessings” are in Christ.

22)  If we live in this manner we will have the “joy” described in the book of Philippians.

a)      The book of Colossians deals with people who had a different system of religion.

b)      Christ is the king and we need to listen to His rules and only His rules.

23)  People may do this for a time but then they become complacent.

24)  This is what we find in the next Bible book – First Thessalonians.

25)  In this book we have a lot of instructions; there are many simple truths that serve as simply reminders.

a)      The King used 2 Thess. to warn us about those who do not want to work.

26)  First Timothy, the next book, has a lot to say to and about preachers/elders/deacons/widows, etc.

27)  Then in Second Timothy we find some additional material plus this important statement in 3:16-17.

28)  Titus emphasizes good works and doing things in the way God has described.

29)  After Titus we have Philemon, a book we might call a “personal letter.”

30)  This letter reminds us that some problems in the kingdom are congregational like we see in 1 Cor.

31)  One problem that we may face is personal hardship or persecution – Hebrews.

32)  James– we must have faith, and our faith must “work” (be active).

33)  Encouragement – First Peter ,even when people mock our faith (2 Peter).

34)  Walk in the light (1 Jn.) with brother love (2 Jn.) and avoid false teachers (3 Jn).

35)  Not living in this way leads to punishment (Jude); making this choice equals victory (Revelation).

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South American flowers

There’s a flower that grows in South America and it’s called the touching flower. You can touch the petals and it will immediately close, and after little while it will slowly open back up. You can touch it again and it will close just a little slower, and then after a while it will open back up. You can touch it again and the more you touch it the slower it closes, and the slower it opens. You can touch it to death. In just a matter of minutes that flower will wilt on the stem and die because you touched it to death.

The touching flower is like sin: Touch in long enough and “you will die” (“the wages of sin is death,” Rom. 6:23Rom. 6:23
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23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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).

Get a wide variety of Bible commentary and Bible study materials at http://www.abiblecommentary.com today. There are even FREE text sermons – http://www.abiblecommentary.com/freesermons, FREE audio sermons – http://www.abiblecommentary.com/audiosermon, and a FREE on-line commentary on the book of Romans: http://bit.ly/3MRU5I

UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT

A man recently described his visit to a Charity auto auction in this way.
“The Vehicles were classified as either “Running” or “No Start. I watched
the auction as it made its way through the many cars in the parking lot.
Then a particular vehicle was reached on the parking lot on the block was a
No Starter. It had a shattered windshield, two missing tires, a sagging
front bumper, and a cockeyed grille, a hood that was sprung up at an angle,
and dings and dents all over the body.

Before he started the bidding, the auctioneer announced the car’s year,
make, and model, and then read the previous owner’s comments: ‘Please note –
the radio does not work.'”

Humm, I don’t think I would have listed the “radio” as the most important
non working part on that car, but perhaps it had belonged to a teenager!

I realize, as I hope you do, someone’s priorities were out of balance. But
we tend to look at things in a pretty out of balance way concerning our
lives also, don’t we? The things that should be of real importance get
shoved to the back of our lives by the next urgent thing that falls in our
lap.

I was asked recently, “How do you know that you are really putting God first
in your life?” I guess I would say it was when you stop letting him be
pushed to the back of your life by the urgent as a matter of course.

We tend to get into the habit of dealing with the urgent and not the
important. We need to get a handle on prioritizing our life and making sure
that God is at the top of the list in everything we do. You are more than
likely familiar with the saying “What would Jesus do?”, this asked the
question of us concerning how we will respond to everyday events in our
lives. Perhaps we also need to ask ourselves, “If God is first in my life,
where will this thing, event or action fit into my life as a priority?”

It’s like this: What’s more important to your car, a working engine or a
working radio? Or perhaps like this, “What is more important in your life,
whatever you are doing or what you should be doing for God?” A couple of
scriptures come to mind regarding this. In Matthew 6:21Matthew 6:21
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21 for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.

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Jesus said, “For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And James adds this
thought, “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your
faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do,” (James
2:18).

So the bottom line just may be this: Your actions speak just as loudly as
your words regarding what is really your top priority. Jesus said it this
way in Matthew 5:15-16Matthew 5:15-16
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15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. 16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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, “Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put
it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds
shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly
Father.”

Your life may have, “a shattered windshield, two missing tires, a sagging
front bumper, a cockeyed grille, a hood that is sprung up at an angle, and
dings and dents all over your body and your radio may not work, but if your
engine still runs (if you have a heart that serves God) that’s all that
really matters. You can tell your priorities by your actions. So, what is
most important to you? Hopefully it is your relationship with our God!

–Russ Lawson

When the Great Physician Lost a Patient

Jesus loved them. John says so. He loved all three of
them — Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (John 11:3, 5John 11:3, 5
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3 The sisters therefore sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

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And that’s why he waited.

The sisters sent urgent news to the Lord. It was a sort
of first-century 911 call for medical assistance. And
they didn’t say, “Lazarus is sick,” but “he whom You
love is sick.” Jesus not only knew the identity of the
one who was ailing, but he recognized him as his dear
friend.

Jesus wasn’t that far away, either. He could rush to to
Lazarus’ side and heal him. All would be well, the
sickness would be over, and their lives would continue
as normal.

But oddly enough, Jesus didn’t make the trip. He didn’t
hasten to Bethany and “treat” Lazarus’ condition. There
was no hurried journey to see his beloved companion. In
fact, just the opposite. Not only did Jesus not go to
Lazarus (not that he needed to “go” at all — cf. Luke
7:1-10) as the sister’s anticipated, but he waited two
more days!

In a sense, the Great Physician failed to make a house-
call and, in-so-doing, lost his first and only patient.

Think about it. He waited. Hours. Days. Yes, knowing
Lazarus’ precarious condition, Jesus waited.

For a long time, I didn’t understand that. Evidently
Mary and Martha didn’t make sense of it either. They
both rebuked the Lord for His slow response (vv. 21,
32). “If You had only been here earlier…”

It was Jesus’ fault. He shouldn’t have waited; He
should have come immediately. He had wasted precious
time. If he really loved the family as they believed,
he would have virtually run to see about Lazarus’
welfare. Maybe he didn’t love them as they thought.

So, why did Jesus wait?

It wasn’t a matter of lethargy, lack of love, or
apathy, dear reader, it was a matter of faith. You see,
Jesus could have made his way to Bethany and healed
Lazarus, and Mary and Martha’s faith would have been
enhanced. Instead, Christ chose to wait until Lazarus
was dead, buried, and in the tomb (a total of four
days) and THEN raise him up.

Because he loved them, and because he was concerned
with the sister’s spiritual maturation, Jesus waited
until after Lazarus was dead and buried to show that
not even a crypt and a corpse could impede his wonder-
working power!

Rush to Lazarus’ bedside and effect a cure, or wait
until after he was dead and buried and then call him
forth? Jesus chose the latter because he really did
love (Greek — agapao) Mary and Martha and he wanted to
see their faith grow to an even higher degree (John
11:23-27).

I don’t want the doctor to wait when I’m in the
emergency room. I’m the emergency! I want the physician
at my bedside, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, with prompt and
accurate therapeutic care.

I’m the same way when hurting emotionally or
spiritually. “Lord, I need youNOW…!” “Come to
Bethany!” “I’m very sick!” And sometimes…because he
loves me…he waits.

Give it some thought.

–Mike Benson

How truthful is your preacher?

DOES MY PREACHER preach some of God’s Word of the Sum of God’s Word…?

When preachers preach on first principles but fail to preach on moral issues, they are preaching some, but not the sum of God’s Word. When preachers preach on the love, grace, and mercy of God, while never bothering to mention His holiness and severity (Rom. 11:22Rom. 11:22
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22 Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God's goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

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), they are preaching some of God’s Word but not the sum of God’s Word. Likewise, when preacher’s focus exclusively on “doctrinal” preaching while failing to address the subjects of brotherly love, grief, overcoming discouragement, joy in Christ, security in Christ and forgiveness, etc., they are preachers of some of God’s Word, but not the sum of God’s Word. And finally, when Church leaders muzzle the preacher from preaching on certain controversial issues they are showing respect for some of God’s Word, but not the sum of God’s Word.

Paul did not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27Acts 20:27
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27 For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God.

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; 2 Tim. 4:2-42 Tim. 4:2-4
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2 preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.

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). We are to do no less! Are you embracing just some of the Word, or the sum of God’s Word? (BJ Clarke)

“The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psm. 119:160 ESV).

–Mike Benson

A survey on ministers

What do you think of the preacher for the place where you attend worship? Do you like your minister? Do you dislike your minister? Take the “preacher survey poll” below!

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