Jesus Came to Reverse the Curse

John Bloom: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26) A few days ago we laid the body of my wife’s grandfather in the ground outside the little brick church in the cornfields where he attended all 97 years of his life. I was given the profound honor of preaching at his funeral. And the words of John 11:25–26 were my text. I chose them because Jesus said them to Martha when Lazarus lay dead in his tomb. And I was to stand behind the old pulpit in front of a full casket. A corpse is a fierce reality. It demands that we explain these claims of Jesus — perhaps the most incredible ever spoken by a credible human being in all of history. What does Jesus mean that he is “the resurrection and the life”?

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What You Teach Really, Really Matters

John Bloom: Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16) Do you have a communication gifting? Have others commented on how well you speak or write? Do you find yourself dreaming about using your gifts in ministry? Wonderful! We are praying for more herald-labors in the gospel harvest (Matthew 9:38). Consider it strongly. But as you consider, consider this: Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1) When it comes to people being saved, it all hangs on what they believe. So when it comes to teaching, heaven and hell are in the balance. What you teach people really, really matters. You will be judged by what comes out of your mouth and your keyboard. And you will be judged more strictly than others.

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Beware the Peril that Lurks in Success

By John Bloom: It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (2 Samuel 11:2) We are never more vulnerable to sin than when we are successful, admired by others, and prosperous, as King David tragically discovered. Imagine him reflecting on his adultery a year later. It was spring again. David once had loved warm, fragrant spring afternoons on the palace roof. But this year the scent of almond blossoms smelled like deep regret. David had no desire to look toward Uriah’s empty house. If only he had not looked that way a year ago. The memory throbbed with pain. His conscience had warned him to stop watching Bathsheba. But in his desire-induced inertia it had felt like he couldn’t pull himself away. What pathetic self-deception! Couldn’t pull himself away. He would never have tolerated

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