From Jim McGuiggan... Don't call us or we'll come!

Don't call us or we'll come!

The tiring truth is that we weaklings are demanding. If you go out, in the name of Christ, to call the weak and the needy, we’ll turn up—weak and in need! If you don’t want us, don’t call us!
We have no right to sulk, but we do; we wish we were finished with our sin, but we aren’t; we’d like to stand on God’s grace without having to lean continuously on you, but we can’t right now. We came because you called us in the name of God, and we believed the good news. Sometimes people act as though the invitation for us weak and needy people to come to Christ dissolves our needs—but it doesn’t! We come the way we are, weak and needy!

But many in the church want winners—self-motivated, go-getters who can run for miles on a glass of water and an occasional smile of appreciation—people who show no signs of fatigue, and if we do show fatigue, we will still refuse your help with a pained grin and plough on.

To bet only on winners or on those who give you reason to believe they soon will be winners is pagan! To choose only those who cannot burden you is unlike Christ. To choose only those who can help you is to be an exploiter, a taker...

Ministers and other leaders who are trying to "glorify God through the growth of a big church" [for the wrong reasons] especially feel the "burden" of the weak....and they’re the ones who get mad when we won’t get involved in their programmes...But the church isn’t the minister’s chariot on which he is to ride from glory to greater glory...It is a body of people to whom ministers are called to minister.

Paradoxically, as Bonhoeffer has taught us, this is true: it’s only when you feel people as "a burden" that you're getting a chance to know them as a brother or sister. It’s then that you realise they’re not something for you to "use". If you've never seen or experienced them as a burden you’re a "user".

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... Our Glorious High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-6)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                    Our Glorious High Priest (8:1-6)


1. With the beginning of chapter eight, we come to the close of the 
  first major section of "The Epistle To The Hebrews"...
   a. In which the key thought is "The Superiority of Christ"
   b. In which Jesus is shown to be superior to:
      1) To the prophets - He 1:1-3
      2) To angels - He 1:4-2:18
      3) To Moses - He 3:1-5
      4) To Aaron and his Levitical priesthood - He 5:1-10; 7:1-28

2. The next major section really begins in earnest with verse 7...
   a. In which the key thought will be "The Superiority of the New 
   b. In which this covenant is shown to be based upon:
      1) Better promises - He 8:7-13
      2) A better sanctuary - He 9:1-28
      3) A better sacrifice - He 10:1-18

3. In He 8:1-6, we find a transition...
   a. In which the main point of the first section is summarized
   b. In which the main points of the next section are introduced
   -- Indeed, these six verses truly summarize what the author seeks to
      establish in the first ten chapters of this epistle!

4. It can all be summarized in these words:  "We have such a High 
   a. In Jesus, we have a High Priest
   b. Not just any High Priest, but "such" a High Priest; i.e., a 
      glorious High Priest!

[In what ways is Jesus "Our Glorious High Priest"?  First, He is...]


      1. A Jewish circumlocution meaning "God" (Believers' Study Bible)
      2. I.e., a roundabout way of referring to God - cf. He 1:3

      1. David prophesied that the Messiah would sit at God's right 
         hand - Ps 110:1
      2. Jesus said that He would sit at the right hand of God - Mk 14:
      3. When He ascended to heaven, He then sat down at God's right 
         hand - Mk 16:19; He 12:2
      4. At God's right hand, He poured forth the Holy Spirit - Ac 2:33
      5. Peter preached Jesus as being exalted to be at God's right 
         hand as our Prince and Savior - Ac 5:30-31
      6. Paul taught that Jesus is at God's right hand, interceding for
         us - Ro 8:34
      7. He is at God's right hand, "waiting till His enemies are made
         His footstool" - He 10:12-13
      8. Yet while He sits and waits, He rules! - Ps 110:1-2,5; cf.
         1Co 15:24-26
      9. For at God's right hand, He is above all other authority 
         - Ep 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22
      -- In one place, we read of Jesus "standing at the right hand of
         God" (Ac 7:55-56); was Jesus showing His respect for Stephen,
         the first Christian martyr?
[Exalted to such a place of honor and authority, we truly have a 
"glorious" High Priest, one who is "the ruler over the kings of the 
earth" (Re 1:5)! As we look at the next verse in our text, we see
that He is also...]


      1. We are now introduced to a contrast between two "tabernacles"
         a. There had been the earthly sanctuary or tabernacle
            1) As ordained under the first covenant (i.e., the Law) 
               - cf. He 9:1ff
            2) It was built by man
         b. But now we read of one "which the Lord erected"; i.e., a
            heavenly tabernacle
      2. The heavenly tabernacle is none other than heaven itself! 
         - cf. He 9:11-12; 23-24

      1. As a High Priest, it is necessary for Him to have something to
         offer - He 8:3
         a. Every high priest is appointed for this purpose - He 5:1
         b. What Jesus has to offer is not mention here, but will be
            later - cf. He 9:12
      2. This service He renders in heaven, not on the earth - He 8:4
         a. If He were on earth, He couldn't be a priest!
         b. For the Law required priests from the tribe of Levi, and 
            Jesus was from Judah
      3. As for priests on the earth...
         a. They serve only the copy and shadow of the heavenly things 
            - He 8:5
         b. For Moses had been told by God to build the earthly 
            tabernacle according to pattern shown to him on the 
            mountain - cf. Exo 25:40

[As "Our Glorious High Priest", then, Jesus renders service in the 
true tabernacle, which is heaven itself.  This thought will be expanded
upon in chapters nine and ten.  But consider also how He is...]


      1. In contrast with the ministry of the Levitical priests
      2. Their ministry was simply a shadow and copy of His ministry 
         - cf. Col 2:16-17

      1. The word "mediator"...
         a. The Greek is "mesites" {mes-ee'-tace}
         b. It means "one who intervenes between two, either in order
            to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact,
            or for ratifying a covenant"
      2. By His death on the cross, Jesus has become the Mediator of 
         the new covenant  - cf. He 9:15; 12:24
      3. This new covenant is here referred to as "a better covenant"
         a. Better than what?  Better than the "first covenant" - cf. 
            He 8:7
         b. I.e., what had been established through Moses

      1. What makes the new covenant better than the old are its 
      2. Some of those promises are explained later - cf. He 8:10-12
      3. But Peter describes the promises we receive as "exceedingly
         great and precious promises" - cf. 2Pe 1:3-4


1. With this transition passage, then, we are introduced to things that
   will be expounded upon as we proceed through the epistle...
   a. The better covenant we have in Christ, based upon its better 
   b. The better ministry Christ renders as our High Priest in heaven,
      seated at God's right hand

2. When such things are properly understood, we can see how Jesus is 
   truly "Our Glorious High Priest"!
   a. One who stands ready to minister in our behalf
   b. He is "able to save to the uttermost those who come to God 
      through Him" - He 7:25
   c. He is "able to aid those who are tempted" - He 2:18

Have you accepted Jesus as your High Priest by obeying His gospel?  He
is truly...

   "...the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (He 5:9)

For those who have not obeyed His gospel, we find this awesome warning:

   "...and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord
   Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming
   fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those
   be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the
   Lord and from the glory of His power..." (2Th 1:7-9)

Please render obedience to the gospel today if you have not yet done 
so! - cf. Ac 2:36-39

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 12

Bible Reading   

March 12

The World English Bible

Mar. 12
Exodus 22

Exo 22:1 "If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it, or sells it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
Exo 22:2 If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him.
Exo 22:3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt of bloodshed for him; he shall make restitution. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Exo 22:4 If the stolen property is found in his hand alive, whether it is ox, donkey, or sheep, he shall pay double.
Exo 22:5 "If a man causes a field or vineyard to be eaten, and lets his animal loose, and it grazes in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field, and from the best of his own vineyard.
Exo 22:6 "If fire breaks out, and catches in thorns so that the shocks of grain, or the standing grain, or the field are consumed; he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
Exo 22:7 "If a man delivers to his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it is stolen out of the man's house; if the thief is found, he shall pay double.
Exo 22:8 If the thief isn't found, then the master of the house shall come near to God, to find out if he hasn't put his hand to his neighbor's goods.
Exo 22:9 For every matter of trespass, whether it be for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, about which one says, 'This is mine,' the cause of both parties shall come before God. He whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.
Exo 22:10 "If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies or is injured, or driven away, no man seeing it;
Exo 22:11 the oath of Yahweh shall be between them both, whether he hasn't put his hand to his neighbor's goods; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution.
Exo 22:12 But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.
Exo 22:13 If it is torn in pieces, let him bring it for evidence. He shall not make good that which was torn.
Exo 22:14 "If a man borrows anything of his neighbor's, and it is injured, or dies, its owner not being with it, he shall surely make restitution.
Exo 22:15 If its owner is with it, he shall not make it good. If it is a leased thing, it came for its lease.
Exo 22:16 "If a man entices a virgin who isn't pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
Exo 22:17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
Exo 22:18 "You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
Exo 22:19 "Whoever has sex with an animal shall surely be put to death.
Exo 22:20 "He who sacrifices to any god, except to Yahweh only, shall be utterly destroyed.
Exo 22:21 "You shall not wrong an alien, neither shall you oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Exo 22:22 "You shall not take advantage of any widow or fatherless child.
Exo 22:23 If you take advantage of them at all, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry;
Exo 22:24 and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Exo 22:25 "If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor; neither shall you charge him interest.
Exo 22:26 If you take your neighbor's garment as collateral, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down,
Exo 22:27 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What would he sleep in? It will happen, when he cries to me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.
Exo 22:28 "You shall not blaspheme God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Exo 22:29 "You shall not delay to offer from your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. "You shall give the firstborn of your sons to me.
Exo 22:30 You shall do likewise with your cattle and with your sheep. Seven days it shall be with its mother, then on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
Exo 22:31 "You shall be holy men to me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by animals in the field. You shall cast it to the dogs.

From Gary... Sometimes, a tail is a good thing!!!

This is one of eighteen pictures that my good friend Harry Shepherd sent me today. While any one of them could have been used for a post, I chose this one because it shows how caring and communicative an animal can be. Perhaps another word for this would be loving...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
  4  Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;  6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;  10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.  11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.  12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.  13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.
I wake each day and by the time my feet hit the floor, two little poodles are running in to see me; excited as can be, with their tails wagging faster than seems possible. I wonder, why do dogs care about us, anyway? I doubt I will ever know the answer, but some things just need to be experienced. Love is one of those things!!!  Today, tell someone how you feel about them, do something for them, embrace them affectionately!!! And just think- you can do all of this- WITHOUT EVEN HAVING A TAIL!!!!

PS. Thanks for sending me the pictures, Harry!!!