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Here's a thought, a quote, and a resource I wanted to share with you this Thursday.

Sitting in a prison cell in Rome, about to die, Paul asked his friend Timothy for a care package. “Do your best to come to me soon … Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry … When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:9, 11, 13)

Paul was ready to die, but he knew what would bring him comfort:

  • friends
  • a cloak for warmth
  • books
Not a bad care package.

We’re called to suffer, but thank God that he sends us gifts to comfort us on the way. Our friends, warm clothes, and good books are blessings from God.

Praise God for his gifts like these in challenging times.

“He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! … Paul cries, ‘Bring the books’—join in the cry.” (C. H. Spurgeon)

I’ve enjoyed The Bible Speaks Today, a homiletical commentary series by Alec Motyer and John Stott. The series has three goals:

  • to expound the biblical text with accuracy
  • to relate it to contemporary life
  • to be readable
The only problem with the series is that, if you’re a preacher, you probably want to develop your own outline first, or you may be tempted to steal the one you read in this series.

I was excited to learn that InterVarsity has just released The NIV Bible Speaks Today study Bible with notes based on this commentary series. My copy just arrived, and it looks great. I plan to use it for my Bible reading next year. I like it.
Thanks for reading!

Darryl Dash
author of How to Grow