Today's Word for Pastors...

Psalm 34:4
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Today's Preaching Insight...

What God Wants More Than Anything Else

One of my college professors had a twisted sense of humor. On exam days after distributing test questions and giving us a moment to look them over, he would leave the room. Just before closing the door, with a twinkle in his eye he would quip, "When you're finished, you may pass out quietly."

I never liked tests as a student. Pursuing a career as a professor, I can't say I like them much better now. Contrary to what we believed as students, most teachers don't. Tests are two-way mirrors. They reflect how well the student learned and provide a window into how well the instructor taught. Test questions are like boomerangs. They come back to be dealt with by those who threw them out.

When we come to Mark 12, we find Jesus being tested. The class is trying to stick it to their Teacher. On edge because of a parable He recently shared (vv.1-12), they begin posing questions.

First, the Pharisees and Herodians, unlikely study partners otherwise, get together and raise a question about paying tribute to Caesar. The Pharisees liked Caesar about as much Cuban-Americans would like for Fidel Castro to be Governor of Florida. The Herodians felt just the opposite. As much as the two parties disagreed on politics, they agreed in their animosity toward Jesus.

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Today's Extra...

Why? Making Sense of God’s Will

Why? Making Sense of God's Will(Abingdon Press) reflects the way that pastor Adam Hamilton has wrestled with questions of suffering in his own preaching and teaching. He seeks to help readers make sense of God in the face of tragic events, and helps us to better understand God's plan for the world and for our own lives. The book emerged from a sermon series Hamilton preached in his own congregation]

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