Sometimes It’s Missing, But It’s There


Every once in a while Bible study uncovers an unexpected gem as a reward for the believer’s efforts. Here are 3 beauties that I hope encourage you to investigate the Scriptures more.

#1 – Did you know that there is one New Testament book that does not contain the word “LOVE”? That’s right, the word “love” is nowhere in that book’s text, not anywhere. How could that be? And which book is it? It is the book of Acts. Nowhere in Acts does the word “love” occur. Did the Holy Spirit goof? NO! Did the translators alter the text? NO! I don’t know why the word “love” isn’t there, but I do know that LOVE DEEDS are all over the place. When the church began on Pentecost with 3,000 new Christians, right away they faced some difficult challenges. One of the biggest ones was providing for everyone’s housing and foods needs. However, these new Christians knew how to whittle that problem down to size. In Acts 4:32-37 these new Christians “shared everything they had, those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and distributed it to anyone who had need.” The word “love” occurs nowhere in those verses, but LOVE DEEDS flooded the early church. The word may not be there, but the actions are on every page.

#2- In the NIV, the word “HOPE” can only be found 5 times in the 4 Gospels and only one of those five refers to “hope” in Christ. Why only one time for something so priceless as a believer’s eternal “hope” in Jesus? Now compare that to the 83 times “hope” is used in Acts-Revelation and almost every one of those refers to “hope” in Christ. How come? The Gospels are all about Jesus preparing the highway of “hope”; Acts-Revelation describe the Christian’s possession of that precious “hope” and the lifestyle of “hope” they live in Christ every day.

#3- Did you know that one of the major prayers in the New Testament has not one word of thankfulness in it? Aren’t gratitude and thankfulness important? How could a major prayer leave that out? In fact, not just one of the major prayers, but THE MAJOR PRAYER contains nothing about thanksgiving. The Lord’s prayer is recorded twice; Mt. 6:9-13 (52 words) and Lk. 11:2-4 (35 words). In neither version is there a “thank You” anywhere in the text. Why? I have no idea. But like the absence of the word “love” in Acts, “thank You” may be absent in the Lord’s prayer, but Christ’s life was full of thanksgiving. Don’t think so? How about the feeding of the 4,000 in Mt. 15:36 & Mk. 8:6? And the feeding of the 5,000 in  Jn. 6:11, 23. Remember the sending out of the 72 to preach in Lk 10:21? There is also the raising of Lazarus in Jn. 11:41. And certainly there is the “giving thanks” in the Lord’s Supper in Mt. 26:27; Mk. 14:23; Lk 22:17-19.  So Jesus was certainly PRO-THANKSGIVING!

What’s the point of these 3 gems? Bible study is always full of rewards, so devote some time every day to God’s Word. Sometimes you will come across things you already know and are only reminded of them. But every once in a while you will stumble across a GEM that you didn’t know anything about and the Holy Spirit will enlighten you and you will be thrilled. God bless. Mike


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