The Stones of Confirmation

February 1, 2013 at 11:01 am | Posted in Luke, Resurrection, The Stones that Don't Cry Out | 1 Comment
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It was the first day of the week, and a group of Jesus’s followers came to the tomb where He had been buried. Before Jesus’s death, He had predicted His own resurrection, but these followers weren’t going to see if Jesus had been resurrected.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:1

Who were these visitors to the tomb of Jesus?

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

Luke 24:10

They were all women, and it is almost as if this has turned out to be a prophecy of the modern church. Caring for Jesus’s body would have been a labor of love, but a very sad labor. There would be no steak dinner, no football game on a big-screen television, no exciting rock-concert-style music, no fiery emotional preaching, no motorcycle rally, no “boys’ night out” with a bunch of macho symbolism in the church fellowship hall. In other words, none of the things that are supposed to manipulate men into showing up for some of the mundane ministry tasks in the church, which usually wind up being done by women today. These women were going to be caring for the body of Christ and grieving – no fanfare, no accolades, no recognition. If you are reading this, and you are a man who belongs to a local church, are you guilty of being of being “all show and no substance?” Are you there for the “big men’s events” but not at the smaller Bible studies, the visitation times, the prayer meetings, the cleaning days? You might fool the congregation by showing up at the more “visible” events, but you are not fooling the Lord.

The women who undertook the task of visiting Jesus’s tomb to care for His body were rewarded when their grieving was turned to joy.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

Luke 24:2

An earthquake and the power of God had rolled the stone away, but the stone itself did not cry out. It was God’s plan that people would deliver the good news about the risen Christ.

And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

Luke 24:9

The stone that rolled away from the entrance to the tomb – although silent – still spoke very loudly. It was a stone that confirmed the truth of the Resurrection. It had been sealed at the entrance, so that only Roman soldiers could have broken the seal – and they never would have done so. The rolled-away stone is still silent today. It’s up to us to cry out the Good News.

Biblical Men

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 6 Comments
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Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost…

Acts 6:3-5

A while back I read a survey that said the typical U.S. church congregation is 61% female, and that women are also the force behind most lay organizations and volunteer activities, and that they make up the majority of church employees. This should be disturbing news for Christians. Women are certainly important to the work of the Church, but why are more men not stepping up? Of course, the modern-day church’s response to this has been (predictably) more pragmatic than Scriptural. Some people say that men don’t feel comfortable in church because there’s too much focus on the “love” of Christ, and not enough on the “Kingdom” of God. There’s too much emphasis, they say, on the “meekness” of Jesus, and not enough on the “military” symbols of advancing the Gospel. Too many floral arrangements and paisley carpet patterns; not enough mounted elks’ heads, swords, and battle hymns. One church I read about – in what has to be the lamest attempt I’ve ever heard of to attract men to church – decided to decorate the men’s room in NASCAR decor! Are these really the answers? It seems foolish to me to try to trick people with advertising gimmicks at the expense of preaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Acts Chapter 6 records for us a time when the Church was just getting up and running. Some of the Greek-speaking widows were thought to be getting better treatment than the Hebrew- (or Aramaic-) speaking widows. The Apostles were spending too much time “waiting tables,” and it was taking away from their time studying the Word, preaching, and praying. So, inspired by the Holy Ghost, they commanded that seven men be found. These were men, not women. They were looking for certain qualifications: men of honest report, men full of the Holy Ghost, and men of wisdom. The reason that more men are not serving in church is not that the church environment is too “feminine.” It’s because the men who call themselves Christians are not living honestly, are not Spirit-filled, and are not applying the Bible to their lives.

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