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Several months ago my wife went shopping with a group of ladies in Ohio’s Amish country. I was pleasantly surprised when she presented me with a little book titled "Laughter Never Gets Old." The tiny work is loaded with jokes, cartoons and humorous writings compiled by Bob Phillips. The illustrations are by Jonny Hawkins. It was such a precious gift to one who is always looking for good, clean, humorous material for sermons, newspaper columns and Lions Club meetings.
One of my favorite sections of the book is the seven-page section titled “Daffy Dictionary.” While you may think that you know the true definitions of these words, open your mind to some new, improved ones.
Here are a few:
Acre: Someone with aches and pains
Administer: Increasing the clergy
Archive: Where Noah kept his bees
Barium: What doctors do when the treatment fails
Benign: What you be after you be eight
Burglarize: What some crooks see with
Dilate: To live long
Electrician: Someone who wires for more money
Milk Dud: A cow that won’t produce
Tax: A fine for doing fine
Have no fear, your good old Webster’s Dictionary definitions are still correct. However, here are a few definitions that we cannot afford to be confused about as taken from John 3: 16, the world’s second most quoted verse after Matthew 7:1.
“For God” — The only true One referred to in Genesis 1:1, the Creator of the universe
“So loved” — Agape, to give sacrificially to another no matter what the response, to seek another’s highest good
“The world” — All mankind, you and I
“That he gave” — Gave up, sacrificed, to die on a cruel cross
“His only begotten” — Unique, one and only, no one else like Him
“Son” — Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless, eternal (not created) Son of God; God in human flesh and blood who died and rose again from the dead
“That whoever” — One of God’s favorite words, anyone and everyone, even you
“Believes in Him” — Puts their faith, trust, reliance, confidence in Jesus Christ alone as the only way to have forgiveness of sins and reach heaven
“Shall not perish” — Be lost, ruined, doomed, separated eternally from God in hell, lake of fire (Revelation 20: 11-15)
“But” — Praise God we have a choice, a way out
“Have everlasting life” — A personal knowing relationship with God Himself here on earth that continues forever with Him in heaven (John 17:3; Matthew 7: 21-23)
In our world that asserts that everyone’s beliefs are correct and no one’s are ever wrong, we need to pay attention to the gracious invitation of Jesus as he calls out to each of us. Please take his words personally to heart and put your name in the verse for “the world” and “whoever.”
In humility and repentance call to him in prayer asserting that he is your only hope of forgiveness and eternal life. The promises given in John 3: 16 like all God’s promises are “Yes!” and Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1: 20). You will never, ever be sorry that you took Him up on this. You’ll want to spend the rest of your life now and in eternity thanking, praising and serving him for his grace and goodness. That’s no joke.
Bob Kulp is the pastor of Grace Brethren Church, 24775 C.R. 20 East (Mishawaka Road), Elkhart, 574-875-5271.
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