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A Stunning And Reassuring Word To A Young Prophet (via Jack Lundbom on Jeremiah)

Jack Lundbom’s magisterial commentary on Jeremiah is living up to its promise.
On God’s call and Jeremiah’s response in Chapter 1:

Yahweh begins the present dialogue in grand hyperbole. He says he knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the belly of his mother; that a consecration took place before he was born; and at this very early time — known only to himself — Jeremiah was designated a prophet to the nations. A stunning word to a young boy, who, when he makes his response, declares that he may be as far behind in the march of divine events as Yahweh is ahead.
Jeremiah’s demur is brief. He says only that he does not know how to speak He is but a boy. Very well, but Jeremiah cannot refuse the call for this or any other reason. He is to be Yahweh’s messenger, going on whatever errands Yahweh sends him and speaking whatever Yahweh commands him to speak. That should make things a bit easier. But will it? Something remains unexpressed. Jeremiah is afraid. Yahweh perceives this and tells him not to be afraid, giving him what may be at the original oracle’s end reassurance and the promise of rescue.

Jack Lundbom, Jeremiah 1-20, Anchor Yale Bible / Yale University Press, 1999/2009, pg 236.


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Community Created Through The Word (via Sinclair Ferguson)

The Bible is central to Christian worship, not simply as the source for information to be taught and the basis for our shared belief, but because it is the way God grows Christians as the body of Christ.
From Sinclair Ferguson.

I’m not a great fan of the expression “means of grace,” but I think we shouldn’t miss out from this the pattern of, for example, Ephesians 4 with its emphasis on the ministry of the word in what it actually produces in the life of the church—where it produces a community in which each part is doing its work properly and upbuilds itself in love.
We’re not just a teaching institution. The word of God creates a new kind of community. And so the preaching of the word without the creation of that new kind of community ordinarily does not make the same evangelistic impact on the world around. But the creation of that community helps people to see that the word that is preached has illustrations in the life of this new community that are beyond contradiction.
Often one finds that people who think little of the gospel find that they cannot contradict the reality they experience when they come among God’s people. And it’s that reality that begins to work in their hearts to open their ears to listen to what the word is actually saying.
When we speak about the means of grace and the importance of the preaching of the word, we’re not saying that all we need is more ministers, or even all we need is more preaching, but what is produced by that.

source.


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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.