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Connect the Testaments

February 22: The Light of the World Leviticus 12:1–13:59;John 8:12–30; Song of Solomon 6:11–13 “I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). While some of Jesus’ “I am” statements confused the Jews, the “following the light” imagery would have been familiar. God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness with a pillar of fire so they could walk at night (Exod 13:21). They couldn’t deflect or misunderstand this claim. Jesus used this imagery to show the Jews that He offers clarity and meaning in a dark world. He offers life, grace, and spiritual awakening to those who are lost in the darkness. But the Pharisees couldn’t comprehend the light; they misinterpreted Jesus’ claims and fumbled around in the darkness and the details (John 8:19, 22, 25, 27). When we’ve elevated ourselves in the darkness, it’s hard to humble ourselves in the light. Even when we have inklings that tell us there is a b…

Morning and Evening

Morning, February 22Go To Evening Reading
“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Genesis 49:24
That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true—divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph—“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him. He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon…

My Utmost for His Highest

February 22nd The discipline of spiritual tenacity Be still, and know that I am God.Psalm 46:10. Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted. If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dr…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 22 After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions Heb. 10:32 Our boldness for God before the world must always be the result of individual dealing with God in secret. Our victories over self, and sin, and the world, are always first fought where no eye sees but God’s.… If we have not these secret conflicts, well may we not have any open ones. The outward absence of conflict betrays the inward sleep of the soul. F. Whitfield

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Eternal Life

Eternal LifeActs 13:4648 Excerpt This phrase eternal life is probably one of the most difficult expressions of the Bible to render satisfactorily. Literally the meaning of “eternal” or “everlasting” refers to length of time, for example, “life that never ends.” But this can be very seriously misunderstood if people are to conclude that by becoming Christians they will never die. On the other hand, to use an expression such as “life which comes from God” or “true life” is to miss some of the significance of this quality of life which does continue not only throughout one’s earthly lifetime, but even after death. In some languages an attempt has been made to represent both the qualitative and the quantitative factors involved by translating “real life which never ends.” This may ultimately be the best solution. More Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles. New York: United Bible Societies, 1972. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Abide

AbideJohn 15:4–79–1016 Excerpt R. Bultmann (John [Eng. tr., 1971] 535n.1) correctly emphasizes two aspects of μένω ἐν: In reference to humankind “abide in” designates “loyalty”; in reference to the revealer or God it designates “the eternal validity of the divine act of salvation for the believer.”More Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament1990– : 408. Print.

A Diligent Son and a Lazy Son

A Diligent Son and a Lazy SonExcerpt Verses1b–5 form a collection marked off by the inclusio of “wise son/foolish son” (v.1) and “wise son/disgraceful son” (v.5).195 The theme of the collection is that a family will thrive if the children are diligent in their work but collapse if they are lazy or resort to crime. More Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Vol. 14. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993. Print. The New American Commentary.

Treated as Impostors

Treated as ImpostorsExcerpt Friends had failed him, converts had turned upon him, and his works were threatened by wicked men. “But,” as Philip Hughes explains, “no sorrow, no disappointment, however severe, could ever interrupt, let alone extinguish, the joy of his salvation with its vision of unclouded glory to come, for this joy was founded upon the sovereign supremacy of God, who overrules all things and causes them to work together for good to those He has called” (cf.Romans. 8:1828).6 More Hughes, R. Kent. 2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2006. Print. Preaching the Word.

Lectionary Devotions

Today WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT Catholic Daily Readings First Reading Jon 3:1–10 Response Ps 51:19b PsalmPs 51:3–412–1318–19 Gospel Acclamation Joe 2:12–13 Gospel Lk 11:29–32
Today WEDNESDAY AFTER THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings Psalm Ps 77 First Reading Pr 30:1–9 Second Reading Mt 4:1–11
Today WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN LENT Book of Common Prayer (1979) Daily Office Lectionary Psalms (Morning) Ps 119:49–72 Psalms (Evening)