Sometimes the best preaching is the kind where all I jot down is quotes straight from scripture because there's not much "filler". That was the kind of message Paul Sr. preached Sunday morning. I've got about two whole pages of scripture and no fluffy stuff and nothing I don't know where to find in the Bible. But since the title of this post is quotes . . . .
Sunday night my brother from Brazil, Robson (pronounced Hobson) preached on Galatians 6:17.
"The marks — Scars always tell a story."
"What do you think about a person who would suffer so much for you?"
"The marks and scars we have will one day disappear. The only one left who will have marks on his body in eternity is Jesus."
"Jesus has the marks of love. It's a love that is eternal."
More from Jonathan:
"The Word became flesh . . . The world needs the word inside us to become flesh. They need to see the word lived out in our lives."
"We need to expand our vision and see this world as God sees it."
I think it was Rand who quoted this:
Some men die in battle;
Some die in flames;
But most die little by little
Playing silly games.
Phillip Pritchard had this to say:
"Some people think that missions began with the Great Commission, but it began with the fall of man."
"We must realize that, just as with Abraham, God blesses us so that we can be a blessing."
Today, the ladies’ class discussed one of the most fascinating single verses of scripture we’ve arrived at to date.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. John 12:27-30
I still remember the instant in December 1997 when I went from not believing there even was a God outside of anyone’s immagination to being so sure he was actually in my car with me and had just changed my radio station that my whole life took an INSTANT 180 degree turn that hasn’t changed direction since. My response to this God that day was, “Alright, you’re there. Now what?” (Real reverent, I know. LOL)
It has occurred to me more than once over the years that the biggest miracle that day was not my radio station changing, but rather that my heart was changed. Had I arrived at that day with the same heart that led me to disbelieve in God in the first place, I would have done just what the Jews in John 12 did – explained it away – looked for a natural explanation like the weather – dismissed it as too much pizza the night before or a good imagination. I doubt if I would have called the angels out, since they were just as much a figment of the imagination as God was.
This fascinates me. So many times I have heard people (even said it myself):
1) Why doesn’t God just speak from heaven? Then I’ll believe, or
2) People back then were really gullible and didn’t know all that we do today about science and things.
The problem with both of those is, they weren’t any more gullible than people today. They resorted to exactly the same explanations we do, and I/they/you most likely wouldn’t believe it if God spoke from heaven anyway. Jesus put it fairly strongly when he suggested that if someone wouldn’t believe the scriptures that had already been given, they wouldn’t believe if someone was even raised from the dead. Still just as true 2000 years later as it was the day he spoke those words.
I remember Khoa, an exchange student who stayed with one of the families at my church for the year. The country he was from is fairly atheistic, and so for that year he came to church with his American family kind of like an observer/scientist. Then one day in the spring, there was a day when something happened at church that was totally arranged and orchestrated by God. He was in the room, I was in the room. Everyone who had any concept of God knew that God had showed up that day and that his presence had filled the room in a way that even we knew was special. No one was unaffected — except Khoa. Another lady asked him if he had noticed anything different, and he just looked back with a blank stare. She said to him, “You just saw God.” Well, I beg to differ, but I don’t think he did. I think he saw someone talking to the air and a bunch of other people standing around with their eyes closed. Thankfully, God soon opened the door for some serious discussions, and he did go home believing in this God that people had been telling him about all year.
This afternoon listening to the radio, Ravi Zacharias told about a non-theistic Buddhist mathematics professor who in courtroom testimony gave the odds of evolution actually happening totally based on natural processes as in the 10:40,000 exponent neighborhood. In other words, though he didn’t attribute anything to any kind of invisible God, he certainly wasn’t willing to chalk up to chance and natural selection something that is clearly totally outside the realm of reasonable probability – our universe. Fascinating that when asked how he explained the existence of life on earth he said that this world must have been seeded by another extraterrestrial civilzation.
Who has the greater faith?
Ravi made an excellent point in conclusion. It’s not the believer in God who is demonstrating a will to believe against all evidence. The resurrectiton of Jesus from the dead is one of those things that happened in history and can be looked at historically and rationally. Someone who believes that he was raised from the dead, especially someone who once did not believe, is not doing so AGAINST rational evidence but in concert with it. On the other hand, sometimes it is the unbeliever who is demonstrating a will to disbelieve despite all evidence to the contrary. This is really crystal clear in the verse above. The Jews who attributed the voice of God to natural processes – the thunder – had just seen Jesus restore sight to a blind man (John 9), and raise another man from the dead who had been in the ground four days (John 11), and had just been welcomed into Jerusalem as the King and Messiah of Israel – the one who had been prophesied to come for hundreds of years – and when he spoke of his coming death on the cross, God the Father spoke audibly from heaven to demonstrate his approval, and they said it sounded like the thunder. They didn’t deny that these things had happened. They denied that they — and Jesus — were from God.
“380 million people still do not have the first verse of Scripture.” – (Wycliffe Bible Translators – WBT)
This week I had the priviledge with several others from my church of beginning to put a small dent in that number. Here are some pictures:by beakennedy