Ever notice how many products that claim to do miraculous things for consumers usually come with the disclaimer “results may vary”? They promise the world on the front end, but somewhere near the last line of the fine print it always says “results may vary.” For example…
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In Revelation 22:18-19, the Apostle John gives a stern warning about changing his writings; it’s the “go-to” passage about altering God’s Word. Though preaching professor Dr. Fred Craddock was familiar with this passage, it still didn’t stop him from “tweaking” one of Jesus’ stories to make a point.
It proved to be a memorable experience….
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Phil LaBoon, a native of Pittsburgh, wanted to get married so he reserved a reception hall, hired a caterer, and sent out invitations. The one thing the handsome young man didn’t secure was a stable fiancé; she backed out at the last moment.
But that didn’t stop LaBoon from having a life-changing celebration.
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Dr. Fred Craddock had no qualms about calling his childhood neighbor, Mr. Cook, a “hateful man”; after all, when Fred was just a young boy, Mr. Cook killed his dog. Fred’s sentiment toward Mr. Cook is easy to understand because many people have had a neighbor like Mr. Cook.
But few people have had a father like Fred’s.
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Till death do us part. That’s the vow most men and women take at their marriage…and the vow that too many break in divorce. Paul Rampell, a real estate lawyer in South Florida, has a “solution” for the problem of high divorce rates in America.
He suggests a “wedlease” instead of wedlock.
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Slaves have always had it tough. In early America, they had no property and no rights. It was worse in ancient societies; there, they literally didn’t have an identity. The law of non habens personam meant that they “did not have a person” or “did not have a face.”
But Jesus’s example would change all of that.
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From their quiet kitchen nook, Mr. and Mrs. Caplin spent several consecutive days watching a young family move into the house behind their own. The elderly couple liked what they saw in their new neighbors; Mr. Caplin admired the younger family’s work ethic while Mrs. Caplin approved of their frugality represented by the clothesline they’d strung between two trees.
But it wasn’t long before that same clothesline became a source of serious discontentment.
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Is Hell a literal place, and if so, what’s it like? Is it dark? Is it a place of torment? Does it last forever? Everyone from theologians to thespians to thugs has a theory on Hell. But if we want to move from assumptions to answers, maybe we should turn to the One who is responsible for it.
And famed writer Dorothy Sayers knows exactly who that is.
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It didn’t seem like an unreasonable request: I’ll follow you, Jesus, but first, let me go bury my father. Yet Jesus rejects the idea. Was He being rude? Mean? Unnecessarily harsh?
Quite the opposite. In fact, Jesus was trying to help the man understand a few important truths.
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“The commands of Christ are not upon the legal tenor of ‘this do and live,’ but upon the gospel system of ‘live and do this.’ We are not to be attentive to the precepts in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Our master motive is to be grateful to Him who has saved us with a great salvation.”