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Ten Bible Passages For Severe Illness (via Kathryn Butler)

This article by Kathryn Butler at Desiring God features ten Bible verses/passages that speak of the presence of God’s love to those who are suffering.
It is helpful in encouraging Christians to remember these verses for their own encouragement, and also, of course, to share with others.
It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a helpful start.
Five are from Psalms and five are from the New Testament.

PSALM 46:1–3
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16–18
“Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Read the whole article here.


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On The Public Reading Of Scripture (via Stephen Presley)

In addition to reading the section of the Bible on which that week’s sermon is based, at MGPC we also sequentially read about one chapter a week from another book of the Bible.
We do this as an application of the exhortation for the Scriptures to be read publicly, and as a recognition that the Bible is not dependent on someone to explain it in order to be understood.
I’ve observed before about the way in which churches that pride themselves on being Bible believing can have less Bible read during their services than churches that seeming have departed from orthodox expressions of the Christian faith.
Stephen Presley writes about the way in which has followed the injunction to read the Bible when the church gathers.

The New Testament, though, gives clear apostolic directives to read Scripture publicly. The Apostle Paul, for example, charges his disciple Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV). He also commands the church at Colossae to read his letter and then pass it on to the church at Laodicea (Colossians 4:16). The Apostle John urges the public reading of his revelation when he writes, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear…” (Revelation 1:3, ESV).
Following these examples and exhortations, the early church has always prized the public reading of Scripture. They could not image a worship service without some one reading healthy portions of Scripture drawn from across the canon. The thought that a pastor might read only a few verses (or no verses at all!) and then entertain the congregation for forty minutes with funny stories and pop culture references would strike them as bizarre at best.
On the contrary, the early church believed that the regular encounter with the word of God through corporate Scripture reading was one of the most spiritually formative acts for the people of God.
In the early church, public Scripture reading was also not a mundane exercise done out of obligation, but a vital part of the church’s corporate worship and they thought carefully about (among other things) the passages that were read, the character of reader, and the style of reading.

Read the whole post here.


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Letting The Word Do Its Work – Again

At Ligonier, Steven Lawson recalls the well-known quote from Martin Luther about his belief that the event we know as the Reformation was primarily a ministry of God’s Word.
As Lawson goes on to add, tomorrow at MGPC we’ll be setting the Bible loose again confident that it will do its work.

As the Reformation began to break, Luther was approached: “Explain what is taking place here in Europe?” “Explain the Reformation?” Luther gave this famous answer: “I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word. Otherwise, I did nothing. And then I slept. And the Word so greatly weakened the Papacy that never a prince and never an emperor inflicted such damage upon it. I did nothing. The Word did it all.”

We’re not looking for gospel gimmicks in these days. We’re not looking trendy little techniques. We’re looking for men, and women, and churches, and seminaries, and ministries, and denominations who will stand up with the Word of God—teach it, preach it, write it, sing it, counsel it, lift it up, let it out, and let it fly. And let the Word do its work.

source


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The Bible In Australia

Saw this mentioned on a blog I read and thought it looked very interesting.

It certainly seems like a unique treatment.

So, it’s on the acquisitions shelf and reading will soon commence.


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Wisdom About Anger

Proverbs 14:29
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 19:11
Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


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Out Of Context: Philippians 4:13

This little video seeks to put in context one of the more badly contextualised Bible verses: Philippians 4:13.
In short, it’s a verse about contentment, not achievement.
That’s pretty helpful.

HT.


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The Main Event Of Corporate Worship (via Chris Castaldo)

Chris Castaldo explains the inclusion of Scripture reading in the corporate worship of the congregation to which he belongs. In doing so, while acknowledging that all the elements are equal and should not be set against each other, he maintains that the public reading of the Bible is central to gathered worship.
This stands in contrast to Bible believing churches including less actual Bible reading in their services.
From Castaldo:

Christian worship, by its very nature, is focused on Christ; therefore, our worship should have the Word at the center. Hence Paul’s admonition to remain devoted to the Bible’s public reading. Although in Timothy’s context, this reading aloud in worship would have consisted mainly of Old Testament readings (since the New Testament had not yet been completed), the imperative applies to the entire canon. Christian worship, to be Christian in the fullest sense, must prioritize Scripture reading.
And there is another reason. Preachers may be informed by theological study, wisdom, and experience, but their sermons are not inspired by the Holy Spirit. Scripture alone is inspired. Therefore, Scripture reading is in a class by itself among other elements of Sunday morning worship. Without pitting Scripture reading and sermon against one another, we want to recognize the preeminence of the text itself. Its reading, you might say, is the main event.

Read the whole post here.