Properly Observing

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What an important chapter Mark 15 is! We need often to read it and the parallels. We need often to go to the cross. It will help us to be better people. Below we are placing an outline of the chapter which also gives the parallels from the other three accounts of the life of Christ (taken from NKJV headings)…

  1. Pilate Tries Jesus (Mark 15.1-14; Matthew 27.1-2; Matthew 27.11-23; Luke 23.1-5; Luke 23.13-23; John 18.28—19.15).
  2. Jesus is Beaten (Mark 15.15-23; Matthew 27.26-34; Luke 23.24-32; John 19.16-22).
  3. Jesus is Crucified (Mark 15.24-41; Matthew 27. 35-56; Luke 23.33-39; John 19.18; John 19.23-30).
  4. Jesus is Buried (Mark 15.42-47; Matthew 27.57-61; Luke 23.50-55; John 19.38-42).

I have pasted in my Bible a clipping from some bulletin somewhere. I have seen it many places over the years. I do not know who originated it. I first remember seeing it back in the early 1980s. It is designed as a HELP IN PROPERLY OBSERVING THE LORD’s SUPPER. It focuses on numbers related to the cross, thus it is related to the material recorded in Mark 15 and the parallel renderings listed above. I hope it may be of help in some way to focusing the mind in the proper direction to observe properly the simple memorial Jesus has included in the worship of the church.

THE LORD’S SUPPER…

  1. There is ONE Lord (John 14.6). Who is the Lord of YOUR life?
  2. There were TWO thieves (Luke 23.39-43). Which might you have been?
  3. There were THREE crosses. One thief a REBELLER (Luke 23.39). One thief a REPENTER (Luke 23.40). And there was Christ, the REDEEMER (1 Peter 1.18-19).
  4. There were FOUR parts of Jesus’ garment, and a prophecy  (John 19.23-24).
  5. There were FIVE wounds (John 19.34). Remember the pain.
  6. There were SIX hours (our time) of crucifixion (Mark 15.25-37). Remember the suffering.
  7. There were SEVEN sayings on the cross
    1. Luke 23.34… Forgiveness
    2. Luke 23.43… Salvation
    3. John 19.26-27… Compassion
    4. John 19.28… Suffering
    5. Matthew 27.46… Loneliness
    6. John 19.30… Victory
    7. Luke 23.46… Tremendous Trust

e-Tract Rack Plus

TFTWappA little over five years ago I downloaded a new APP for my iPod—it is now on my iPhone. The source is Truth for the World. You can easily download it for yourself by clicking HERE. My iPhone is now officially, an e-Tract Rack PLUS!!! It could be a personal worker’s great friend. It has many ways to be helpful to someone who would like to teach the LOST God’s truth. Would you like to have an enormous tract rack in your pocket or purse? If so, I think I have found something to bless your life!

From this APP it is possible to stream audio or video from the TFTW site. The audio and video is streamed, but there are parts of the APP that are available for use offline. The APP is divided into six parts: (1) Listen; (2) Watch; (3) Read; (4) Courses; (5) Study; and (6) About Us. If I have it counted correctly, there are these wonderfully helpful resources…

  • 73 Tracts
  • 95 other articles
  • A 12-lesson Study Guide for Teaching the Lost from John Grubb
  • A 1-Lesson BCC about Salvation.
  • Link to Online BCCs
  • Link to the TFTW podcast

I recommend this beautiful APP. If you will simply read the things available to read on it YOURSELF, you will be so much more prepared to be helpful to the 7 billion people on planet earth, the bulk of whom are lost and headed to torment.

New Testament Verses

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I may be the only one who will be helped by this post, but I have found myself any number of times wishing that I had a listing of how many verses are in a particular chapter of the Bible. I decided that I would quit wishing and just do it. With the help of a Bible App on my iPod, I have gone through the 260 chapters of the New Testament and listed how many verses are in each of those chapters. Maybe someone else will get some use out of this venture as well.

  • Matthew: 01–25… 02–23… 03–17… 04–25… 05–48… 06–34… 07–29… 08–34… 09–38… 10–42… 11–30… 12–50… 13–58… 14–36… 15–39… 16–28… 17–27… 18–35… 19–30… 20–34… 21–46… 22–46… 23–39… 24–51… 25–46… 26–75… 27–66… 28–20
  • Mark: 01–45… 02–28… 03–35… 04–41… 05–43… 06–56… 07–37… 08–38… 09–50… 10–52… 11–33… 12–44… 13–37… 14–72… 15–47… 16–20
  • Luke: 01–80… 02–52… 03–38… 04–44… 05–39… 06–49… 07–50… 08–56… 09–62… 10–42… 11–54… 12–59… 13–35… 14–35… 15–32… 16–31… 17–37… 18–43… 19–48… 20–47… 21–38… 22–71… 23–56… 24–53
  • John: 01–51… 02–25… 03–36… 04–54… 05–47… 06–71… 07–53… 08–59… 09–41… 10–42… 11–57… 12–50… 13–38… 14–31… 15–27… 16–33… 17–26… 18–40… 19–42… 20–31… 21–25
  • Acts: 01–26… 02–47… 03–26… 04–37… 05–42… 06–15… 07–60… 08–40… 09–43… 10–48… 11–30… 12–25… 13–52… 14–28… 15–41… 16–40… 17–34… 18–28… 19–41… 20–38… 21–40… 22–30… 23–35… 24–27… 25–27… 26–32… 27–44… 28–31
  • Romans: 01–32… 02–29… 03–31… 04–25… 05–21… 06–23… 07–25… 08–39… 09–33… 10–21… 11–36… 12–21… 13–14… 14–23… 15–33… 16–27
  • 1 Corinthians: 01–31… 02–16… 03–23… 04–21… 05–13… 06–20… 07–40… 08–13… 09–27… 10–33… 11–34… 12–31… 13–13… 14–40… 15–58… 16–24
  • 2 Corinthians: 01–24… 02–17… 03–18… 04–18… 05–21… 06–18… 07–16… 08–24… 09–15… 10–18… 11–33… 12–21… 13–14
  • Galatians: 01–24… 02–21… 03–29… 04–31… 05–26… 06–18
  • Ephesians: 01–23… 02–22… 03–21… 04–32… 05–33… 06–24
  • Philippians: 01–30… 02–30… 03–21… 04–23
  • Colossians: 01–29… 02–23… 03–25… 04–18
  • 1 Thessalonians: 01–10… 02–20… 03–13… 04–18… 05–28
  • 2 Thessalonians: 01–12… 02–17… 03–18
  • 1 Timothy: 01–20… 02–15… 03–16… 04–16… 05–25… 06–21
  • 2 Timothy: 01–18… 02–26… 03–17… 04–22
  • Titus: 01–16… 02–15… 03–15
  • Philemon: 01–25
  • Hebrews: 01–14… 02–18… 03–19… 04–16… 05–14… 06–20… 07–28… 08–13… 09–28… 10–39… 11–40… 12–29… 13–25
  • James: 01–27… 02–26… 03–18… 04–17… 05–20
  • 1 Peter: 01–25… 02–25… 03–22… 04–19… 05..14
  • 2 Peter: 01–21… 02–22… 03–18
  • 1 John: 01–10… 02–29… 03–24… 04–21… 05–21
  • 2 John: 01–13
  • 3 John: 01–14
  • Jude: 01–25
  • Revelation: 01–20… 02–29… 03–22… 04–11… 05–14… 06–17… 07–17… 08–13… 09–21… 10–11… 11–19… 12–17… 13–18… 14–20… 15–8… 16–21… 17–18… 18–24… 19–21… 20–15… 21–27… 22–21

Am I Being Used by the Devil?

I’ve just viewed a YouTube Video from the 2018 Power Lectures of the Southaven Church of Christ in Southaven, MS. The speaker was Cliff Goodwin. Cliff taught from Scripture that you and I CAN BE, but ought not to be used by Satan by: (1) Resisting God’s Pattern; (2) Refusing Forgiveness; and (3) Retaining Overconfidence. I would highly recommend this study to you. Please take the time to view it. It lasts 45:32 minutes.

Treasure in the Heart

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In a previous post we used the words PONDER and PONDERING, in trying to emphasize the need to slow down and think about Proverbs 11.30. As we read Luke 2.19, we find a form of that same word—But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Let’s think about the context of this verse and discover what the use of this word might reveal to us about the character of Mary and see how we might benefit from knowing this word.

In the context of Luke 2, some shepherds, out in the fields, have just received good tidings of great joy (2.10), that a Savior had been born: CHRIST THE LORD. The heavenly host of angels had begun praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2.14). The shepherds made a visit to see the child, using the description given by the angel to find Him. Having done this, they began to tell about these wondrous signs that they had seen with their own eyes (Luke 2.17). Mary was very attentive to hear what these shepherds had to say (Luke 2.19).

One of the words used by Luke to describe Mary’s reaction to the testimony of the shepherds is found only here in the New Testament. That word is a form of the Greek word: SUMBALLO, in the KJV translated: pondered. Likely you are familiar with PARABALLO, “I throw beside,” from which we get our English word parable. A good definition of this word, SUMBALLO, as used here, would be: to give careful consideration to various implications of an issue—to reflect on, to think about seriously, to think deeply about [Louw-Nida].

We are not authorized to worship Mary or to think of her as a mediatrix, though some people do that. However, with her being the only one about whom it is said in the entire New Testament that she pondered, we might benefit from taking note of that which she did.

Think about Mary pondering the recent events in her life. In addition, consider the other word that is used in Luke 2.19—KEPT. This word has been defined as: to exert mental effort in storing information so as to have continual access and use of it—to cause oneself to be fully aware of, to keep in mind, to remember [Louw-Nida].

Certainly the mother instinct of Mary would be a part of the reason these two powerful words would be chosen by the Holy Spirit to describe her thought processes. Angelic messages to Zacharias, to herself, and to the shepherds were about the child she had borne. Obviously she would think a lot about these matters and treasure up the information about the unique circumstances of His birth and consider what the future might hold in store for Him. Any mother would!

I am convinced, as well, that Mary was pondering and treasuring the relationship that this very special birth would have in the development of God’s plan for saving man. After all, Joseph had been instructed to give the name JESUS (GOD SAVES), to the child (Matthew 1.21). Mary is unsure at this time about future developments. She is well aware that this is to be an experience unlike any other mother has had or would experience. She is taking seriously her role in the Divine plan. She takes time to think and give careful consideration to and to reflect upon all of these developments as they pass before her.

As I think about the two words describing Mary’s thought processes in Luke 2.19 and the definitions of these two  terms, the word SOBER seems to me an appropriate adjective for describing Mary. She understood the seriousness of the birth of this child. She knew she needed to be thinking about this very special situation she had been selected to occupy. She is to be respected and appreciated for her quality of soberness.

The word SOBER is recommended to you and me often in the New Testament. There are a dozen references to it (2 Cor 5.13; 1 Th 5.6, 8; 1 Tim 3.2, 11; Titus 1.8; 2.2, 4, 6; 1 Peter 1.13; 4.7; 5.8). Paul and Peter are telling us in these passages that SOBER is something that we need to be. We need to be serious-minded. Especially is that the case with regard to God’s plan for saving man.

Let’s let Mary teach us that Jesus Christ and the things the New Testament reveals to us about Him are matters of utmost importance to treasure in the heart!

Children in Worship

singingby Lester Kamp

My Source: GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS, Volume 4, August 6, 1998

One of our main goals in life is to help our children and other young people to become Christians who are faithful to God’s Word and active in His kingdom, the church. We want to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). We want them to know the joy of knowing, serving, and worshipping the Lord. Our children should be taught why we worship, how we worship, and how to make our worship most effective. Parents, grandparents, and friends will be the most important influences on our young people in their worship. Here are a few ideas that will help us train our children to be good worshippers.

ONE—–SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
Children need to see your worship and the joy it brings to your life. You need to come to the worship assemblies regularly with an attitude of joy and anticipation–not with a sense of drudgery or obligation. You need to sing, bow in prayer, listen intently to the sermon, give joyfully, and partake of the Lord’s Supper meditatively. Children will follow your example, so set the right kind.

TWO—–PREPARE THE CHILD
Before Sunday, talk to your child about how to act in the assembly. Tell the child why we pray, sing, give, partake of the Lord’s Supper weekly, and listen to a sermon. As you would in preparing him for school, make sure the child gets enough rest the night before to be awake and alert Sunday.

THREE—–INVOLVE THE CHILD
When singing, help him locate the page of the song. With your finger on his book, point to the words as we sing. Encourage your child to sing even though he may not always sing the right words. When the sermon is delivered, help the child locate the Scriptures cited and/or encourage him to write them down. This impresses upon the child the importance of paying attention. It also stresses that worship is active and not passive.

FOUR—–AVOID DISTURBANCES
Make sure that your child has gone to the restroom and for a drink of water before the worship service begins. Traffic in and out of the auditorium during worship is both unnecessary (with but a few exceptions) and disruptive to the worship of many.

FIVE—–SIT UP TOWARD THE FRONT
Don’t follow the natural tendency to sit in the back so that the child does not disturb others. Think positively. Sit close to the front so that your child can see and hear what is happening. You’ll be amazed at how much better he will behave when you sit toward the front, and how much more meaningful worship will be to you, too.

SIX—–FOLLOW THROUGH
Reinforce your child’s learning by discussing various aspects of the worship period afterwards.

SEVEN—–BE PATIENT
Children will not act like adults, but with patience and love, they can be taught to love God and worship Him from the heart.

This process will take time, but it will be time well spent. The time to begin is now, regardless of how young your child is.

A Dish Upside Down

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Word pictures used by the prophets of the Old Testament are certainly interesting and instructive. What a blessing it is to read their words and see the pictures those words form in the mind!

In 2 Kings 21.10-13 we learn that some unnamed prophets were called upon to deliver a message to one of the most wicked of all of the kings of Judah, King Manasseh. For fifty-five years this ungodly man did his damage from his lofty throne, but there came a time for judgment eventually. The longsuffering of the Lord came to an end with him. The prophets were especially generous with the word pictures for Manasseh, using four of them together. Perhaps they felt a particular challenge in penetrating his seriously polluted mind.

  1. 2 Kings 21.12 speaks of TINGLING EARS.
  2. 2 Kings 21.13 speaks of THE LINE OF SAMARIA.
  3. 2 Kings 21.13 also speaks of THE PLUMMET OF THE HOUSE OF AHAB.
  4. 2 Kings 21.13 then speaks of WIPING A DISH AND TURNING IT UPSIDE DOWN.

The “tingling ears” would seem to emphasize that this judgment that is about to come upon Judah would be so severe it was unlike anything anyone ever heard of before (cf., 1 Samuel 3.11; Jeremiah 19.3). The “line of Samaria” must have reference to the old plumbline concept of measuring the straightness of a wall, or figuratively of the wickedness of a nation, as was true of the Northern Kingdom headquartered in Samaria. The “plummet of the House of Ahab,” also measured that most wicked of kings of the northern ten tribes.

There are a couple of possibilities for the figure of wiping the dish and turning it upside down. In the English translation of the Vulgate for this verse (2 Kings 21.13), the text has it: “I will blot out Jerusalem as tablets are wont to be blotted out.” The stylus used by ancient scribes to write on the board of wax had two ends: (1) one sharp point for writing; (2) one blunt one for smoothing away the words in the wax (erasing or blotting out).

Adam Clarke points out that the idea of emptying the dish, wiping it out, and turning it upside down expresses the same idea. There would be such a judgment upon Jerusalem and her people that there would simply be nothing left. This figure perhaps also signifies the period of the restoration which followed the seventy years of Babylonian Captivity. Russell Dilday writes, in The Preacher’s Commentary: “This could indicate that, once cleansed by His judgment, Jerusalem would be ready for His use again. Or the symbol may mean that God was turning the dish upside down to show that not a drop remained in it, indicating that Jerusalem would be completely depopulated.”

One of the most prominent sermon topics used by the apostles and prophets of the first century was Judgment Day. Paul reasoned with Governor Felix along those lines (Acts 24.25). In 21st Century America, there is a great need to consider Judgment Day. Paul warns the church at Thessalonica—2 Thessalonians 1.7-9… And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. The basis of the judgment will be the word of Christ (John 12.48). Let us be sure that we hear the warning Paul gives and make the adequate preparation (cf., John 8.24; Luke 13.3; Matthew 10.32; Acts 2.38).