Tag Archives: intervention

Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 10

In our next section, we learn a lot from the metrics of the situation. Let’s look at our passage . . .

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

We learn that Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. So distance was not a problem. Jesus was not geographically prevented from walking to His friend’s bed of sickness and intervening. Walking two miles would take less than half an hour.  Rushing or running to the scene would have taken much less!

We also learn about time. When He arrived, Jesus learned that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days! Four days. Four days of mourning. Four days of thinking, “If only the Lord had come . . .”

The sisters loved their brother and don’t understand why Jesus did not rush to their aid. Martha goes out to meet the Lord and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (v. 21).

She was certain that Jesus’ physical presence would have averted this tragedy, this ultimate disaster humans experience — death. She was right — and she was wrong. (to be continued)




Leave a comment

Posted by on November 17, 2017 in death


Tags: , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 79)

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-5-27-51-am

O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple,
    they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
They have left the dead bodies of your servants
    as food for the birds of the sky,
    the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
They have poured out blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there is no one to bury the dead.
We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
    of scorn and derision to those around us.

How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
    How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name;
for they have devoured Jacob
    and devastated his homeland.

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
    may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
    for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Savior,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
    for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”

Before our eyes, make known among the nations
    that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
    the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
    we will proclaim your praise.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 15, 2016 in judgment


Tags: , , , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 74)

Psalm 74

A maskil of Asaph.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-16-33-am

O God, why have you rejected us forever?
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
    the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
    Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2016 in desperation


Tags: , , , , ,

A Story of a Thistle . . .

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is what we do to ourselves.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.33.34 AM

Scrabble as a puppy

Our dog Scrabble is a ten-year-old Shih Tzu (yes, the breed is pronounced like the curse word).  He is a wonderful dog who gets himself into a lot of trouble.  After Scrabble had his morning constitutional in our yard, I brought him back into the house, and reached to pat him on his face.  His beard had about five of the nasty objects you see pictured below.

I reached down to pull out the thistles from Scrabble’s beard.  Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.08.14 AMHe wanted no part of it!  No amount of assurance convinced him I was trying to help him.  He began to lick me and even bite at me (after all, I was pulling at his facial hair!).  He did not understand that he needed me to remove those thistles immediately.  I was unsuccessful in pulling the thistles out by myself.  In fact, I was the one getting hurt as Scrabble jerked his head away from my trying to get the thistles out.  And I got stabbed numerous times.

It wasn’t until my wife Linda helped me that I understood what had really happened.  As she held Scrabble down, I was able to cut out the thistles without having to pull them out.  I had assumed that Scrabble had picked up the thistles from the bushes in our front yard as he was exploring.

My wife told me that those five thistles were the ones she had plucked off the laces of her sneakers the other day.  She had put them on the end table in our family room, intending to throw them away later.  Scrabble had jumped up on the couch and picked them up as he looScreen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.07.23 AMked for something to eat (leftover ice cream in a cup, a piece of chocolate, anything).  He had inflicted himself with the thistles.  His doing what he should not have done brought him pain — and brought me pain.

The Moral:  For me, this episode with Scrabble reminded me that much of the damage done to me I’ve done to myself.  And the Lord, wanting to pull out the thistles of my life, patiently allows me to jerk and shake my head, inflicting pain on Him in the process.  May I ask you, have you got any thistles?

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 10, 2014 in pain


Tags: , , ,

Friends Don’t Let Friends . . .

FirefoxScreenSnapz191I saw this poster recently.

It raises some important questions:

1.  Sure, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is good, but do they think they are as good as STARBUCKS?!

2.  So this is the litmus test of true friendship — You don’t let your friends drink another brand of coffee?!

3.  Where should we intervene in a friend’s life?

Your thoughts?


Posted by on July 16, 2013 in intervention, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,