July 28, 2019

The Words I admire - Bruce Atchison

I know that envy is a sin but there are times when I wish I could write with more exactness. When I read Holy Scripture, I marvel at the turns of phrase which each of its authors use.

The shortest verse in the Bible is, in my view, the most powerful. John 11:35 (KJV) says, "Jesus wept." The power of that statement shows just how our Lord grieved, even though he knew he'd raise Lazarus from the dead  in the next moment.

I notice that answering a question with a question can be more powerful than a straight answer. Paul convicted one congregation with a question in 1 Corinthians 6:15 (BBE). "Do you not see that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? how then may I take what is a part of the body of Christ and make it a part of the body of a loose woman? such a thing may not be."

Nathan, the prophet, sure slammed David's conscience into the dirt with four little words. He didn't dodge and weave but said in 2 Samuel 12:7 (BBE), "And Nathan said to David, 'You are that man. The Lord God of Israel says, "I made you king over Israel, putting holy oil on you, and I kept you safe from the hands of Saul;"'"

The Psalms are filled with beautiful and evocative imagery. As David wrote in Psalms 42:1 (BBE) regarding his devotion to the Lord, " Like the desire of the roe for the water-streams, so is my soul's desire for you, O God."

Jesus' words of commendation for faithful saints are beautiful enough to make us weep for joy. As he said in Matthew 25:21 (BBE),regarding the parable of the returning master whose servants received talents, "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and true servant: you have been true in a small thing, I will give you control over great things: take your part in the joy of your lord.'"

And we all feel the yearning in the words of the second-last verse of the Bible. Revelation 22:20 (BBE) expresses all of our longings. "He who gives witness to these things says, 'Truly, I come quickly.' Even so come, Lord Jesus."

My hope is that my puny contribution to the work of our glorious Master will be greatly used by him to bring and keep people from error.


  1. Bruce, I sure enjoyed your post. What a great glimpse of how the authors in the Bible used their own styles -- as you say, they knew how to turn a phrase to make their point. I liked the examples you shared from each one.

  2. I love the style of the Psalms too. Good thoughts, Bruce.
    Pam M

  3. I know what you mean when you feel envy or the strong desire to write with more exactness. And your closing prayer, Bruce, also speaks to me. Thank you.


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