“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32 (NIV)
Please pray for me, that I may have both spiritual and physical strength to perform my duties;that I may not only speak the truth but become the truth; that I may not only be called a Christian, but also live like a Christian.
Yet I do not want people to look to me as an example, for at best I can only be a pale reflection of Christ Jesus; let people look away from the reflection and turn to the reality. Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas, but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ.
So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech, but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ himself. - Ignatius of Antioch, 35-108 A. D.
I don’t want to ever lie from the pulpit. Either knowingly or unknowingly. However, there have been times when a story sounds so good it just had to be shared. Only to find out later that maybe there were parts of it that didn’t quite line up. Or we share something about the Bible that may bring conviction to the hearer, but has no truth to it. Those kinds of exaggerations don’t glorify our Father at all.
On a blog I read pretty often, an article appeared on this very subject. The original is found here. Let me know what you think. Here it is:
Those of us who are entrusted with the task of expositing the Scriptures in a local church must take care to verify our sources, illustrations, and stories. No matter how helpful an illustration may be, it is dishonoring to God if it is untrue.
Here are a number of urban legends that get repeated in sermons. Some are more pervasive than others, even appearing in commentaries and scholarly works.
1. The “eye of the needle” refers to a gate outside Jerusalem.
We are into our last ten days of reading. Way to go! This has been a really great journey through the Bible. It doesn’t matter how many times I have read through it, I am always intrigued at something new. The story of Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit born out through humanity and planet earth is like no other.
Wow we are now 82% of the way through the entire Bible. Admirable of you to stick with it so faithfully. Good work.
If ‘promise’ is a key word for the entire Old Testament, ‘fulfillment’ is a key word for the New Testament. We read promise after promise by Father towards his people and the world. Promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, and others. Those promises are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the key figure in the New Testament.
Check out this video from today by a Pastor David MacGregor, the pastor of Grace Vineyard who has mobilized a crew working on earthquake response:
I just received a Facebook note on my personal page from our friends Noah and Kate Cremisino. Their house is sitting smack dab over the epicenter of the recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. We were so blessed to have been able to help them with an offering which far exceeded anything I could have imagined it could have been. They have been helped so much that they are using the funds to help out the community. Here is her FB note from just a few minutes ago:
Tell your church THANKS! We are starting to give out your church’s donation todays—buying food in bulk to give to a relief center in the hardest-hit area of “New Brighton”. This church opened a distribution center because this area has no operating stores and getting across a severely damaged town takes half the day. And with job losses due to damaged buildings and the city center closed, money is tight.