Jottings – Labor in the Word and Doctrine

Commenting on 1 Timothy 5:17:


…the phrase ‘in the word’ suggests the ministry of preaching (see 2 Timothy 4:2), whether the gospel, e.g., Acts 15:7; Ephesians 1:13; cp. 2 Corinthians 5:19; or Scripture in general, e.g., ‘the word of truth,’ 2 Corinthians 6:7; ‘teaching’ suggests instruction from the Scriptures, the unfolding of the word of God. Faithful ministry in either respect is no light matter, it involves the spending of much time in prayerful and thoughtful meditation in the Scriptures, and thus ascertaining the mind of God revealed therein. The feet are to be shod with ‘the preparation’ of the gospel of peace. It involves the presentation of oneself to be ‘approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15). Anything of a merely mechanical or routine nature, or the handling of Scripture as mere theology, is utterly incompatible with the ‘labor’ here mentioned, and renders such ministry fruitless.


W. E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: 1 Timothy. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996).


Thanks Keith!


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Jottings – The Pastoral Necessity of Building Up and Tearing Down


Pastoral ministry is not merely a building up, but also a tearing down. As Paul would say elsewhere, it involves tearing down every speculation and lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). To fail to do this is ministerial malpractice and harmful to God’s people.


“How to identify False Teachers,” accessed on 5/4/2016 here:


Thanks Keith!


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Jottings – Messengers and Messages


Ultimately God is more interested in developing messengers than messages, and since the Holy Spirit confronts men primarily through the Bible, a preacher must learn to listen to God before he speaks for Him.


Haddon W. Robinson (2001). Biblical Preaching, 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. Pages 25-26.



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Jottings – The Secret to Effective Ministry


Commenting on Ezekiel 1:4-28:


The foundation for an effective ministry is understanding who God is. If we have a concept of the awesome holiness of God, we will see ourselves and others in a true light– as sinful people– and this will have a profound effect on our ministry.


Enns, Paul P. Ezekiel. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1998. 8. Print. Shepherd’s Notes.



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Jottings – Ministers While Employed in Watching Over Others Are So Solemnly Warned Against Neglecting Themselves


If we study Divine subjects merely as ministers, they will produce no salutary effect. We may converse with the most impressive truths, as soldiers and surgeons do with blood, till they cease to make any impression upon us. We must meditate on these things as Christians, first feeding our own souls upon them, and then imparting that which we have believed and felt to others; or, whatever good we may do to them, we shall receive none ourselves. Unless we mix faith with what we preach, as well as with what we hear, the word will not profit us. It may be on these accounts that ministers, while employed in watching over others, are so solemnly warned against neglecting themselves: ‘Take heed unto yourselves and to all the flock,’ &c.—‘Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.’”


Andrew Gunton Fuller, “Sermon LXIX: Preaching Christ,” in “Sermons & Sketches” in The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc., ed. Joseph Belcher, Vol. 1. (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1988), 501.


Thanks Keith!


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Jottings – How Jeremiah Accomplished God’s Will

Jottings Pencil Red

Jeremiah didn’t accomplish God’s will on earth by means of clever speeches, cunning diplomacy, or skillful psychology. He heard God’s Word, took it to heart, and then proclaimed it fearlessly to the people. God did the rest.


Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Decisive (p. 18). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.



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Online Collection of Sermon Videos

I recently ran across an excellent collection of sermon videos that is worth taking a look at. The collection features several excellent Bible teachers including Jabe Nicholson, Alan Gamble, Peter Brandon, and Joe Reese.

The videos were recorded during the Northfield Bible Weeks– a series of tent meetings held annually for two weeks in Newcastle Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

You can find the collection of sermon videos here: Northfield Bible Weeks Sermons.


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Using Technology to Minister to the Elderly

iPad 2

I just got off the phone with one of the most special women I know. She and her husband have been serving the Lord for over 50 years together and both are an inspiration to me. Unfortunately Joan has been having some trouble over the past several months with her health, and it has been over a month since she has been able to make it out to our chapel.  We have missed her and I know she has deeply missed us and the fellowship of the saints.  I could hear it in her voice today as she told me how tough it has been to be “out of the loop” and not see everyone.  Thankfully she is feeling a bit better and some progress has been made. We pray that the Lord will have her healthy enough to come out soon.

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How To Have An Effective Church Prayer Chain

Our good friends over at the mySonlight Blog have an excellent post today regarding the effective use of prayer chains. While technology has greatly impacted the way prayer requests are disseminated, we shouldn’t lose sight of the basic concepts that make a prayer chain effective.

In her post, Sherri Jason gives us six key principles of an effective Prayer Chain:

  1. Have one key contact person.
  2. Keep the chain for important and imminent requests.
  3. Try to keep it to items involving known people.
  4. If it’s something very serious make sure the message has a personal touch.
  5. Make sure to give timely updates.
  6. Be encouraging.

Sherri also reminds us that every church is unique, depending on the dynamics of those in fellowship. Therefore it is important to keep the system as simple and efficient as possible.

You can read the entire post here.


photo: Flickr/pratanti

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