Thoughts and encouragement from David Guzik for pastors, preachers, Bible teachers, and all those who serve God, His people, and a needy world in Jesus’ name.

Waiting a Long Time

Waiting a Long Time

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Good Monday Morning to You! I pray this finds you receiving some rest and refreshment from the Lord after a busy weekend of serving God., His people, and a needy world.

Here’s a short thought from God’s word for you, dear servant of God.

Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian,
and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife,
after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.
(Genesis 16:3)

Waiting a Long Time

It had been more than ten years since God promised Abram and Sarai a son. By most accounts, ten years seems like a long time to wait for the promise of God.

Abram and Sarai were discouraged enough that they approached the problem of no children by leaving God out of the matter. It was as if they said, “With God out of the equation, how do we solve this?” This was wrong for many reasons.

– God is never out of the equation.
– Men and women of faith must walk in faith – not in unbelief.
– Men and women of faith must see things mindful of the realm of the spirit, not only mindful of the material world.

When we impatiently try to fulfill God’s promises in our own effort, it accomplishes nothing and may even prolong the time until the promise is fulfilled. It is much better to receive God’s help than to try and help Him with our own wisdom and acting out of unbelief.

If God has you in a waiting place right now, don’t lose heart and don’t despair. Step forward boldly in faith, refusing to take matters into your own hands. God will prove Himself worthy of all your trust.

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Pastor, Can You Help Us?

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Many of you have shared with me how much you’ve been helped by using the Enduring Word commentary in your preaching and teaching ministry, and I wanted to take a moment and share how grateful I am for your encouragement.

I am also excited to share with you that the Enduring Word team has now completed translations of my New Testament commentary in the Arabic and Chinese (Simplified) languages, and the entire Bible commentary in Spanish.

I recently read that 95% of the world’s Christian pastors have no formal Bible training. Our heart at Enduring Word is to provide these leaders with the Enduring Word Bible commentary for free wherever the Lord opens the doors, particularly with leaders of the underground church – and, we want to ask for your help.

Can you help us connect with your missionary and Christian leader friends who teach in these languages worldwide so we can share the commentaries with them in their native tongue?

We are open to file sharing in any format that will help get the commentaries out in these languages. Any contact with these pastors, Christian workers, and ministries will be with absolute discretion to protect their safety and well-being. Accordingly, please contact Deven Berryhill at Enduring Word per the contact information given below, who is overseeing the global implementation. 

Thank you once again for your fellow service in the Gospel. As the Apostle Paul said many years ago to his ministry friends and colleagues: 

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  2 Corinthians 9:12

With gratitude and appreciation,

David

 

Here is Deven’s Contact Information:

Email: deven@enduringword.com

Mobile: +1 949-244-4407

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deven.berryhill

Instagram: @devenberryhill

WhatsApp: 

Deven Contact Info

 

 

A Blessing There

A Blessing There?

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

And He blessed him there. (Genesis 32:29)

You know the great story of when the “Man” wrestled with Jacob, recorded in Genesis 32. It’s a wonderful preaching and teaching passage, full of deep truth and application.

I would like you to focus on one word in half a verse. The half verse is the second half of Genesis 32:29: And He blessed him there. The one word is there.

A Blessing There

We often want to tell God not only that He must bless us, but we also tell Him where He must bless us. “Lord, put me into a great place. A place of influence, prosperity, comfort, and success. Put me in that place and bless me there!”

Where did God bless Jacob? At Penuel, the place where God Himself wrestled with Jacob, defeated him, and put Jacob in his place.

When we read, and He blessed him there, surely, this was the blessing of being defeated by God. It was the blessing of the passing of the old life (the Jacob life), and the coming of a new life, (the Israel life).

At that place, notice that God blessed him there – at that particular place.

God blessed Jacob there, at the place of special trial and testing.
God blessed Jacob there, at the place of intense pleading to God.
God blessed Jacob there, at the place of seeing the face of God.
God blessed Jacob there, at the place of conscious weakness.

Does God have you in that kind of place right now? Don’t think for a moment that you have to go somewhere else to receive profound blessing from God. You may be in the place of blessing right now – you just thought it would look different.

Make it your prayer: “Lord, You blessed Jacob there – You can bless me here. I surrender to You just as Jacob surrendered to You and received Your best.”

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Compassion for Weak Faith

Compassion for Weak Faith

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

I pray that as this email reaches you on a Monday (or whenever), you are finding some rest and recovery after a weekend of serving God, His people, and a needy world.

Today I have a brief thought for you from a familiar passage, Matthew 9:20-22 which tells the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed. Here is the text:

And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

Compassion for Weak Faith

I wouldn’t be surprised if you have preached a pretty good sermon on this passage. After all, it is a great story, and it has a powerful application. I just want to point out one thing: the compassion of Jesus to the woman, despite her superstitions.

The woman of Matthew 9 had her own reasons for secrecy, but basically she wanted to “steal” or “sneak” a blessing from Jesus without attracting any attention to herself. She reached out to touch the fringe of Jesus’ outer garment and believed that touch would bring her healing.

The way I see it, there was a lot of superstition in this woman’s thinking. To the best of our knowledge, there was no promise or pattern that touching the garment of Jesus would bring healing.

Yet even though her faith had elements of error and superstition, she believed in the healing power of Jesus and His garment served as a point of contact for that faith. There are many things that we could find wrong with this woman’s faith. Yet her faith was in Jesus; and the object of faith is much more important than the quality or even quantity of faith.

We read the wonderful words: the woman was made well. Her faith, though imperfect, was enough to receive what Jesus wanted to give her. Her 12-year disease was immediately cured.

Friend, I am sure that you deal with many people with weak or superstitious faith. Maybe that is frustrating to you. If so, I understand! Yet, Jesus didn’t despise this woman, even with her weak and imperfect faith.

I’m praying that God gives to everyone who reads this an extra measure of patience and compassion for the weaker, superstitious ones that we deal with. When we serve others with the heart and strength of Jesus, we will find that extra measure.

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

Learning from Hypocrites

Learning from Hypocrites

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Happy Monday to you! Today I want to draw your attention to a familiar story, found in Matthew 9. What Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day caught my attention for what it says to us as those serving the Lord.

But go and learn what this means:
“I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”
For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
(Matthew 9:13)

Did you know that religious leaders can be hypocrites?

I don’t mean that in the way most people mean “hypocrite” today. If you hold standards that you don’t fully live up to, that doesn’t make you a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is pretending you keep a standard when you don’t or having one standard for yourself and a stricter standard for others.

Jesus had strong words for the hypocritical religious leaders of His day. As pastors, preachers, and Bible teachers I think we can learn something from these words of Jesus to the hypocritical Pharisees of Matthew 9.

Learning from Hypocrites

First, we learn God’s priorities: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. Here Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6. In Hosea’s day, God’s people were still good at bringing sacrifices (as in Hosea 5:6), but they had forsaken mercy, and they abandoned mercy because they gave up the knowledge of God and truth (as seen in Hosea 4:1). God would rather have right hearts, full of truth and mercy than religious acts such as sacrifice. Remember, they will know we are Christians by our love, more than by our “religious” acts and events.

Second, we learn God’s focus: I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. Jesus didn’t come for those who already consider themselves righteous and in no need of a savior. Jesus came to save those who recognize their need, and know they are sinners.

Finally, we learn shallowness of the religious leaders: But go and learn what this means. These words of Jesus show the shallowness of the leaders’ knowledge of God and His word. These were men who thought of themselves as experts with God’s word. When Jesus said, go and learn what this means these men were probably insulted and shocked that Jesus dared to say, “Go and learn what the Bible says.”

Friends, we don’t want to make the same mistakes these hypocrites made. We need to understand and do ministry in light of God’s priorities, aligned with His focus, and with a deep knowledge of God and His word. With God’s help and humble hearts, we can.

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

Orr - If Christ Had Not Risen

If Christ Had Not Risen

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Happy Monday to you! I know that this will be a busy week for you, and maybe stressful. I want you to know that I am praying for you this week, asking God to bring special wisdom, grace, strength, and spiritual power to every servant of His that reads this!

I am praying that Ephesians 1:17-20 will be real in your life and ministry this week:

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that you may know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,
according to the working of His mighty power
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead
and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places
,

Here is a special bonus. A few years ago a received a very special Bible. It was one of the preaching Bibles of a great man of God named J. Edwin Orr. Dr. Orr had this Bible specially bound with preaching notes in it. So, below are notes that he used to preach on the resurrection of Jesus from 1 Corinthians 15. Maybe it might stir your mind for a thought or two this week!

Orr - If Christ Had Not Risen

 

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

A Special Request

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
(Psalm 147:15)

It is wonderful to hear that the Enduring Word Bible commentary has been helpful to many of you in your preparation and Bible reading. We are honored to have any part of the process of helping fellow believers and the local church. 

As many of you know, Enduring Word gives a lot of attention and resources to the translation of my Bible commentary in many languages. To date, our most extensive work has been in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese.

We are pleased to tell you again that we have completed the translation of the New Testament commentary in both Arabic and Chinese.   These translated versions, including the Old and New Testament in Spanish,  are now available for free on their own “sub-domain” websites at:

In this regard, I would like to introduce you to my friend Deven Berryhill.  Over the past year, Deven has helped us share the Bible commentaries with many Arabic and Chinese language ministries like ArabicBible.com, the WeDevote Chinese Bible app, SAT7 Arabic TV, Ambassadors for Christ – Chinese Distributers, Digital Bible Society, and Trans World Radio among others. 

I know many of you have missionaries or other ministry contacts in the Arabic, Chinese and Spanish speaking worlds. Please consider connecting Deven with those friends.  We would love to get them commentary as a weblink, file sharing, PDF/Word.doc or XML formats.  We are also very interested in partnering with other ministries to distribute these resources freely and widely.

You can contact Deven at deven@enduringword.com or call him directly at 949-244-4407 (PDT).  We are excited to see how God will use these Bible commentary translations for His glory and to further Jesus’ kingdom.

In Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

Making It Personal

Making It Personal

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Happy Monday to you! I pray that today you can re-charge a bit after a weekend spent serving God, His people, and a needy world.

Peter’s sermon on the Temple Mount in Acts 3 gives a few thoughts this week:

But you denied the Holy One and the Just,
and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
and killed the Prince of life,
whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 
(Acts 3:14-15)

Making It Personal

What I want you to notice about Peter’s preaching in Acts 3:12-26 is how personal he made his message. In this sermon at the temple courts (Acts 3:12-26), Peter used the words you or your at least 11 times. Here are some examples of how directly Peter spoke to them.

– Why do you marvel at this?

– Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied.

You denied the Holy One and the Just.

– Whom you see and know.

– In the presence of you all.

You did it ignorance.

Your sins may be blotted out.

– His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you.

We need this kind of direct speaking! The preacher shouldn’t fill his sermon with vague speculations and meditations on distant theological concepts. We need to speak directly to our listeners, and never be afraid to say, “you.”

Our tone and our heart must communicate “you and me and all of us,” never acting as if we think we are so right with God and our listeners aren’t. But, at the same time, we can’t be afraid to bring the message home and make it personal.

Peter didn’t always have this boldness. Just a few weeks before this he denied even knowing who Jesus was! But filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter was bold enough to speak directly to the heart of those who heard him.

Let’s pray for the same boldness of the Holy Spirit to fill our heart and words as we preach God’s Word to the hungry sheep of God’s flock and a needy world.

In Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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What Jesus Didn't Forget

What Jesus Didn’t Forget

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

I hope your Monday morning finds you resting and restoring after a weekend of serving God, His people, and a needy world.

Here’s a verse from Matthew for you to think about today:

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
“Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
(Matthew 9:2)

What Jesus Didn't Forget

The man was obviously paralyzed, yet Jesus didn’t speak first to his leg problem. Jesus spoke first to the man’s sin problem. After telling the man to take courage (be of good cheer), Jesus pronounced his sins as forgiven.

Here is something worth remembering as we do our work and proclaim God’s word: don’t forget their sin problem.

Sometimes we would rather not talk about sin. It seems old-fashioned and unpopular. It often seems that always being positive and pleasant is better rewarded. People don’t like being reminded of their sin.

Yet, we are servants of our Master, Jesus Christ – and He knew the importance of dealing with the sin problem. Jesus addressed the man’s greater problem. As bad as it is to be paralyzed, it is infinitely worse to be bound and lost in your sin.

The old Puritan commentator Matthew Poole saw six reasons why Jesus dealt with the man’s sin first. To paraphrase Poole’s reasons why the sin was dealt with first:

  • Because sin is the root from which all our evils come.
  • Because forgiveness is more important than bodily healing.
  • Because the most important thing Jesus came to do was to deal with sin.
  • Because when a man’s sins are forgiven, he comes into relationship with God.
  • Because God forgives sin in response to faith.
  • Because it began an important conversation with the religious leaders.

Dear friend serving the Lord, as you speak to others in your work for Him, don’t forget to address the problem of sin – and more importantly, God’s solution to the problem in Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Born in Bethlehem

Born in Bethlehem

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Happy Monday! I don’t know what your weekend ministry was like, but I’m praying that today can be a day of refreshment and inspiration to you.

Here are a few thoughts leading up to Christmas from Micah 5:2:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

Born in Bethlehem

Bethlehem was well known as the hometown of David, Israel’s greatest king; yet it was never a great or influential city. It was truly little among the thousands of Israel. Yet God chose it as the birthplace of the Messiah, the Ruler in Israel.

This passage from Micah 5 was quoted by the chief priests and teachers of the law when Herod asked about the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:5-6).

Bethlehem means House of Bread. From eternity past (Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting), Jesus came to us as the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Micah’s prophetic voice declared that though Jesus came from Bethlehem, He did not begin there. His goings forth are from eternity past.

Knowing that Jesus’ goings forth are from of old, from everlasting shows us some important things:

– It shows us the glory of Jesus, that He is far more than merely a man.
– It shows us the love of Jesus, that He would leave the glory of heaven for us.
– It shows us the sympathy of Jesus, that He remains fully man and fully God.

– It shows us the nature of Jesus, that He would add humanity to His deity.

Dear servant of God, that glory, love, and sympathy bound up in the nature of Jesus are for you. It isn’t just for the people you serve in Jesus’ name! It’s for you, and you can’t give what you haven’t first received.

Let the glory of the eternal Jesus fill your soul – and then bless others from the overflow!

In Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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