Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Here is my basic argument:
1. There are a number of different endings to Mark
- Shorter Ending: includes additional words of Jesus to his disciples. concluding with "the sacred and imperishable message of eternal salvation."
- Freer Logion: this includes 89 additional words inbetween 16:14-15. The translation reads, "And they excused themselves, saying, ‘This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits. Therefore reveal your righteousness now’ - thus they spoke to Christ. And Christ replied to them, ‘The term of years of Satan’s power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, in order that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness that is in heaven,’"
- Traditional Ending - these include 16:9-20 as it is found in the King James Version and most other versions. Most modern versions footnote, bracket, italicize, or make some other markings noting the textual issue.
- Short Ending - Mark ends at 16:8
Each of these have their problems:
- Shorter Ending - this doesn't sound like Mark and very few ancient manuscripts include this ending.
- Freer Logion - very few reliable, major manuscripts include this text. Furthermore, like the Shorter Ending, it does not sound like Mark
- Traditional Ending - I do not believe that this is original. First, these verses are ending in the best manuscripts. Although many reliable manuscripts include them, the best do not. Secondly, internal evidence speaks against it. For example, within these 12 verses, Mark introduces 14 new words that he had not used before. Likewise, the transition from vs. 8 and 9 is awkward; note the change in main character from Mary Magdalene to Jesus. Finally, these verses seem more like a summary of the other 3 Gospels than authentic Marcian.
- Short Ending - I believe that this was the actual ending, although it creates some problems. For example, no work in ancient Greek writings ends with the word "gar" meaning "for." Furthermore, vs. 8 ends with the women fleeing in fear, rather than rejoicing or a commission as in the other Gospels.
I hope this helps as we think about this text.
Friday, March 27, 2009
- Mark 16:9-20
- John 7:53-8:11
At this point, I have to admit that I don't know if I would be so bold, so . . . godly. Could I ever forgive and even pray for the one who killed my spouse? I have a lot to learn here.
But as we continue to march through the final week in the life of Jesus, this story reminds me of one of Jesus' seven statements on the cross, "forgive them for they know not what they do." Imagine, praying for forgiveness of your own executionors. It really puts things into perspective doesn't it? If Christ, and this wife, can forgive so much, how could I not forgive so little?
Who do you need to forgive today?
In other news, Louisville plays tonight in the Sweet 16 against the Arizona Wildcats (remember 1998 UK fans?). And since UK fans don't have anything to do, you can watch your former coach.
I just had too! :o)
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Look on the bright side UK fans, U of L was in the NIT just a few years ago. Now look at them: Big East Champs and the number 1 team in the nation. And we didn't fire our coach. There is hope for you yet! :o)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
:-- Troy and Jamae Smith of Portland, Ore., who work with people lost in a lifestyle of alcohol, drugs and other addictions through SAFE (Setting Addicts Free Eternally) Ministries, a Christ-centered recovery program.
-- Grace and John McGraw of Birmingham, Ala., who direct an after-school tutoring and GED program to inner-city children through M-Power Ministries.
-- Carlos and Cristina De La Barra of Louisville, Ky., who help start churches among the Hispanic population in Kentucky, many of whom are migrant workers.
-- Dwight and Judy Huffman of Cochrane, Canada, who assist in the church-planting work of 123 Southern Baptist churches located in an area of Canada equivalent in size to the lower 48 states.
-- Derek and Kimberly Spain of Lake Placid, N.Y. The site of the 1980 Winter Olympics is the backdrop for the Spains who do resort missions among tourists, workers and athletes residing in the area.
-- Mitch and Sandra Bryant of Fallon, Nev., associational missionaries in the non-church culture of west-central Nevada. The Lahontan Baptist Association covers 27,000 square miles through five counties and includes 16 churches and five missions.
-- Terrell and Vickie O’Brien of Lander, Wyo., Mission Service Corps missionaries serving Warm Valley Baptist Church in Pavillion. More churches are needed to reach people who live in isolated areas of Wyoming, the least populated state in the nation.
-- Jonathan Pettigrew of Beech Grove, Ind., who works with students attending Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis through a new Baptist Campus Ministry organization. He is the only campus minister at a college of more than 20,000 students.
Friday, March 6, 2009
You’ve probably experienced it. The storm rolled in without warning. You made a dash for inside. Maybe you were too late and got soaked. Maybe you made it with seconds to spare. Either way, you moved with urgency, knowing what would happen if you didn’t!
Try to imagine the consequences that face more than 251 million people in North America who are lost. Very few would debate that North America is a mission field. Open today's newspaper or your Web browser to a news page, and you'll see evidence of lives in sin and sorrow.
People need Jesus Christ! Jesus died on the cross for each person living in this land, but so many have never heard or responded to the good news of Jesus Christ. Many are putting their trust in money and in man, and are learning the disappointment of doing so. They are truly caught in a great storm—hopeless—unless we tell them about Jesus and they decide to run into His loving arms. Christians know our trust and hope is in Jesus alone. We must sow down the gospel together to ensure that there is a harvest of souls won for Christ.
The task before us requires urgency. No procrastination. No excuses. Just bold and determined dedication in word and deed. This is a spiritual battle that we cannot lose!
Jesus gives us the mandate to go, but He also says we need to do it together. We must sow together for harvest, sharing the gospel with everyone, everywhere, and by every means possible. More than 5,600 North American missionaries are working alongside your church in the field, sowing with a passion and commitment to serve Christ in all they do. They are reaping a great harvest; however, more missionaries are needed if we are to fulfill the Great Commission.
Your generous gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® allow us to saturate the fields with seeds of the gospel for God’s glory. Our goal this year is $65 million—a truly God-size goal, but one that can be reached as Southern Baptists see the mission field that is North America and join us in living with urgency, sowing together for harvest.
As you participate in this North American Missions Emphasis, I urge you to do more than just watch and listen. Please pray fervently for North American missionaries. Please give generously to North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Please join us this urgent mission of sowing together for harvest!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The most famous of these Great Commission passages is Matthew 28:19-20: Go, therefore, and preach the gospel, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age."
So we got the message, right? Go, baptize the converted, and train disciples (so that they might go, baptize the converted, and train disciples, and so forth). But, where do I begin?
Luke wrote both the Gospel that bears his name and Acts. Both books describe the final words and ascension of Christ. One of the last things he said was, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Here, too, is a Great Commission passage, but this one is different. The previous Commissions tells us what to do, Acts tells what how to do it. Acts 1:8 serves as both an outline of the book of Acts and as a model for missions today.
Most of us whenever we think of missions, we think of foreign missionaries. I think of the missionaries and evangelists I have met overseas in Niger, Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. Here were men, women, and families, dedicated to the spreading the gospel to unreached people groups. I had the pleasure of evangelizing in a village in Africa that had never heard the gospel. The International Mission Board had just gained accessed to that village a few weeks prior to our arrival and by God's grace, people continue to come to faith there!
But missions includes more than foreign missionaries. We oftentimes think of evangelists. There is no better known evangelist in the world than Billy Graham who has preached the gospel virtually to the whole world. He is more than just the "Nation's Pastor," but primarily God's ambassador to the nations. None of us are Billy Graham and few of us are called and dedicated to vocational evangelism.
But we are all missionaries and evangelists in some way. Knowing that God is both Sovereign and Provident reminds us that it is not by accident we are where we are right now. It is not by accident that you are reading these words, have the job you have, have the family you have, and have experienced the things you have. God has been with you all along, even if you are new to the faith.
If your like me, I look at Billy Graham and foreign missionaries and think, "I'll never be like that. That's not me. God will never use me." But that is in effect saying to God, "you made a mistake. You overlooked me." That is not true. God has placed you where you are right now for a purpose. Think for a moment the numerous opportunities we have everyday to fulfill the Great Commission.
When I was a youth pastor, I present the youth a way to reach 50 people a day with the gospel for an entire semester. All they had to do was sit in a certain seat in each class room in which they surround themselves with someone who is unconverted and unchurched. Imagine, 50 people a day. And those are youth! How many does God place in your lifetime?
Maybe you should begin in Jerusalem and stop thinking about Samaria. God may not have called you to foreign missions. He has rather, perhaps, called you to local missions: evangelism to your family, friends, coworkers, boss, and wherever else He has you.
Imagine, God has entrusted the gospel with you. Are you going? Or are you sitting?