Category: Guest Author

The Righteous One and the Wicked One

By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.

These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.

Luke 4:1-13

Introduction

The Righteous One and the wicked one had a meeting on earth as we read in our passage but it was not the first time they met.  We read in Luke 10:18, “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”  From Isaiah 14:12-15 we read, “How you are fallen from heaven, / O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, / You who weakened the nations!  For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven, / I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; / I will also sit on the mount of the congregation / On the farthest sides of the north; / I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, / I will be like the Most High.’  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, / To the lowest depths of the Pit.”

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The Gift

By Walker Moore

Walker Moore founded AweStar Ministries, a missions organization that has put thousands of teens on fields ‘white unto harvest’ around the world.

 

(Editor’s note: This is by far one of the best article I’ve ever read from the hand of my longtime friend, Walker Moore, president of AweStar Ministries. The same sensitivity one reads in this account is the same heart and commitment Walker has for the lost world, and for the students he takes around the globe to reach lost people.)


Last week, Cathy, my wife, began to have severe headaches. Soon, they became unbearable, so I took her to an urgent care center. The doctor who examined her told us she was suffering from sinusitis and an ear infection. He sent her home. When the headaches continued, accompanied with vomiting, we went to our family doctor. He immediately admitted her to the hospital. There, tests showed she was suffering from a bilateral subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain). We spent the next five days in the intensive care unit after doctors had drilled a hole into her skull to drain the fluids. She is now at home, recovering and getting a little stronger every day.

The day after we got home from the hospital, a large package addressed to Cathy was delivered to our front door. We opened it to find a shoebox, its lid secured by a massive amount of tape. The box came from our 6-year-old great-niece, Victoria, who lives in Wilson, N.Car. Taped on top was a note in a young child’s wobbly printing: “I wont ys syx … To AC” which we interpreted as, “I don’t want you sick … to Aunt Cathy.” We haven’t had to decipher a child’s handwriting for a while, but we’re going with this interpretation.

My wife began the daunting task of removing the tape. With some effort, she got the lid off, only to peer into a box that was empty except for one small piece of paper shrouded in plastic wrap. Opening it up, my wife found a beautiful crayoned picture of a rainbow with a bird colored in blue Magic Marker flying over it. Fluffy white clouds floated above the bird.

We could tell Victoria had colored and cut out the rainbow from a coloring book and pasted it onto a sheet of white copy paper. Next, my wife discovered another piece of paper in the same handwriting as the note on top of the box. This time, our great-niece had written, “I hopy you gft bebtr.” If my translation is correct, she was saying, “I hope you get better.” She signed her note, “love Victoria” but used a heart for the o in her name.

As we sat and stared at the empty box, Victoria’s mother, Pam, called and told us to expect a package from her little girl. She didn’t know what it contained, she said, because Victoria had already taped it shut before asking her mother to send it. “It feels like an empty box,” she told us. Pam also said her daughter kept insisting if she could only get the box to Aunt Cathy, it would make her feel better.

I don’t know how long it takes a 6-year-old to write more than one note, color a rainbow and draw both clouds and a blue bird, but I’m sure it was no easy task. The volume of tape she used to seal the box also showed a great deal of time and care. What my wife opened that day, although it may have seemed like an empty box, held much more. It contained all the love of a six-year-old child who was worried about her Aunt Cathy. And that box held more than just love. It was crammed with prayers, well-wishes and hopes for a better tomorrow.

Yes, my wife spent five days in intensive care and went through major surgery. What did we learn? Sometimes, the best medicine doesn’t come from doctors, nurses or pharmacists. It isn’t dispensed in a bottle, an IV bag or a syringe. Sometimes, it comes in an empty box.

I like empty things. Two thousand years ago, two women ran to the tomb of their friend and Savior. They were discussing how they could roll away the massive stone that covered the entry. Upon their arrival, they found it already moved to one side. An angel appeared and told them the person they were looking for wasn’t there; He had risen. And inside that empty tomb lay not a note but a pile of used burial clothes.

Through the years, I’ve heard sermon after sermon on the empty tomb. I can agree and disagree with each one. The tomb was empty of Jesus’ body. But I believe that empty tomb was also filled with the magnificent love of a Savior who gave His life to show His love, and rose again to give us hope.

The next time you receive a package that seems empty, take the time to look a little more closely. When you see through the eyes of a loving giver, you’ll see the same thing a 6-year-old saw when she sent her great-aunt … an empty box.

 

 

The Text and Context of John 10:26, part II

By Bob Hadley, Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Chancellor of Atlantic Coast Bible College and Seminary.


Chapter 10 is popular for Jesus’ reference to the sheep and their relationship to the shepherd especially in the area of why people believe in Jesus and why they do not. It is important to remember that this passage is related directly to Jesus’ dealing with spiritual blindness found in   chapter 9. This dialogue found in chapter 10 continues what Jesus began in chapter 9.

So, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”  6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them John 10:1-6 (NKJV).

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The Text and Context of John 10:26, part I

By Bob Hadley, Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Chancellor of Atlantic Coast Bible College and Seminary.


Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees in John 10:26 has garnered a lot of attention and debate concerning an individual’s ability to believe in Jesus. Some have argued that this statement is an obvious reference in support of unconditional election and effectual calling and even limited atonement because it is clear that, in Jesus’ own words an individual is not a Christian (one of Jesus’ sheep) because he does not believe; for Jesus clearly says one does not believe because he is not one of Jesus’ sheep. Since Jesus gave His life for His sheep, there is this idea that Jesus died exclusively for the elect (His sheep) and the elect are those who will believe and the non-elect do not or will not believe because they are not Jesus’ sheep and they never will be.

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Beware of Adultery!

By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.

These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.

 

(Proverbs 5:1-23; 6:20-35; and 7:1-27)


Introduction

Clara Null shares, “My Sunday school class of first graders was learning the Ten Commandments.  When we got to ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ I wondered if I would have to explain this to them.  Sure enough, suddenly a seven-year-old girl raised her hand and asked, ‘What does commit mean?’”[1]

Jonathan R. Mutchler recounts, “A third-grade Sunday school teacher was uneasy about the lesson ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’  By way of introduction she asked, ‘Would someone please explain what adultery means?’  A young sage answered matter-of-factly, ‘Adultery is when a kid lies about his age.’”[2]

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