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Showing posts from December 27, 2013

The Wickedness of Man

The Wickedness of Man Excerpt ‎Very much sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that the wickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination, or purpose, of the thoughts of man’s heart, was only evil continually. 
This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. The heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were corrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs and devices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving how to do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man’s wickedness as one injured and wronged by it.
Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Print.

Mature in Christ

Mature in Christ Excerpt ‎Paul, in proclaiming this Christ who now also dwells in Gentile believers was admonishing (nouthetountes, “counseling”) and teaching (didaskontes, “instructing”) everyone (cf. 3:16). No doubt he did this “admonishing” and instructing because of the false teaching about Christ in Colosse. He did so wisely (cf. 4:5-6) since his purpose was not to drive them into the hands of the heretics but to present everyone perfect (teleion, “mature”; cf. James 1:4) in Christ.
Paul was interested in believers not remaining spiritual babies (cf. 1 Cor. 3:1-2) but in becoming spiritually mature (cf. Heb. 5:11-14). Elsewhere Paul prayed for complete sanctification of believers (1 Thes. 5:23). Paul preached the “fullness” of the gospel so that believers could have the fullness of life Jesus promised (John 10:10). 
To this end Paul expended all his God-given strength. Developing maturity in believers took great labor (kopiō) or wearisome toil (cf. 1 Cor. 15:10, 58; Gal. 4:11; 1…

Inscription from Hezekiah's Tunnel

Inscription from Hezekiah's Tunnel
‎Hezekiah, king of Judah, fortified Jerusalem at the end of the 8th century BC, just before the invasion of Sennacherib. As part of his building project, Hezekiah brought water into the city of Jerusalem through a tunnel carved from over half a kilometer of bedrock (2 Kgs 20:20). A six percent gradient was designed into the excavation to allow water to flow from the Gihon spring into the pool of Siloam (compareJohn 9:7).

The Portion

The Portion According to the Jewish law of inheritance, if there were but two sons, the elder would receive two portions, the younger the third of all movable property. A man might, during his lifetime, dispose of all his property by gift as he chose. If the share of younger children was to be diminished by gift or taken away, the disposition must be made by a person presumably near death. No one in good health could diminish, except by gift, the legal portion of a younger son. The younger son thus was entitled by law to his share, though he had no right to claim it during his father’s lifetime. The request must be regarded as asking a favor (Edersheim).
Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887. Print.

Attitudes for Sanctification

Attitudes for Sanctification  Excerpt ‎Sanctification begins with regeneration, the implanting of spiritual life in a believer. From that starting point sanctification is God’s progressively separatinga believer from sin to Himself and transforming his total life experience toward holiness and purity. 
The process of sanctification for a believer never ends while he is on earth in his mortal body. It is consummated in glorification when that believer through death and resurrection or through the Rapture stands in the presence of God “conformed to the likeness of HisSon” (8:29). 
A believer’s identification with Jesus Christ by faith is both the ground and the goal of sanctification.
Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 462. Print.

A Little Leaven

A Little Leaven Excerpt‎“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” And thus this slight error, he says, if not corrected, will have power (as the leaven has with the lump) to lead you into complete Judaism.
John Chrysostom. “Commentary of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.” A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series: Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Ed. Philip Schaff. Trans. Gross Alexander with Anonymous. Vol. 13. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889. 37. Print.

Church of St. John, Samaria (Inside)

Church of St. John, Samaria (Inside)
‎Here is another view of the Church of St. John, taken from the interior of an open court inside. We see here the domed tomb of John the Baptist, referred to in our notes on the former picture. 
When we were there on the 4th day of May, 1894, Moslems were tearing it down in order to build here a mosque. You can see in the above picture some beautiful specimens of the work which entered into the construction of this church. We were, perhaps, among the very last tourists who will be permitted to look upon it, and nothing will be left of the ancient building that once stood in the city of Samaria except the columns of Herod. These also would be taken down by the natives if so much labor were not involved in that work. 
Certainly it is high time that the European powers interfered with the vandalism of the modern Turks. An author says “that the Church of St. John is on the whole the most picturesque ruin in all Palestine.” The church, including the po…

Church of St. John, Samaria

Church of St. John, Samaria
“Now, after two days, He departed thence and went into Galilee.” Leaving Sychar He would pass up the valley between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, passing Shechem. About one mile beyond Shechem He would leave the valley and turn northward across the slopes of Ebal toward Galilee. After journeying from Shechem about seven miles, He would come again to the City of Samaria. We have here a picture of the Church of St. John in Samaria, appropriate here, not simply because it is directly on the road from Shechem to Galilee, but because our Savior had just left the Jordan, where His disciples baptized and had the controversy with the disciples of John.
This church overhangs the steep declivity below the village of Samaria, called also in ancient times Sebaste, and now known as Sebustiyeh. The windows of the church are high and narrow, with pointed arches and ornaments peculiar to the early Normans, the blocks carved with grotesque heads and figures. Popular traditi…

Let Us Not Grow Weary

Let Us Not Grow Weary Excerpt ‎But Christians may become discouraged with spiritual sowing because the harvest is often long in coming. In the face of this reality the apostle charged the Galatians not to become weary or give up because the harvest is sure. (Paul included himself as he no doubt contemplated his sometimes frustrating labors on behalf of the Galatian Christians.) 
The reaping will come at God’s proper time, which may be only in part in this life and in full in the life to come at the judgment seat of Christ.
Campbell, Donald K. “Galatians.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 610. Print.

Road in the Harbor of Jaffa

Road in the Harbor of Jaffa
‎The writer approached the shore of Palestine on the 10th day of March, 1863. He saw the yellow sands of the Philistian plain, the Judean hills veiled in the delicate mist, and the town of Joppa standing on its projecting headland, rising up house above house, with minarets and towers, and on every side of the city, green fields and pleasant gardens. Jaffa is called “The Port of Jerusalem,” but has no proper harbor, and it is only under favorable circumstances of wind and wave that a vessel may come to anchor and ship her freight for the city. 
There is a little road or enclosure, sometimes called a harbor. It is beyond a dangerous reef that runs parallel with the shore, and the opening through it is only sufficient for one boat, and the noisy surf tumbling about the rocks around him makes the voyager exceedingly glad to reach the little space of quiet water beyond. 
This was the only harbor possessed by the Jews throughout the greater part of their nation…

Purity of Heart

Purity of HeartMatthew 5:8 Excerpt ‎The term Matthew used here means pure or “clean.” It can be used literally of physical cleanness, but Scripture often uses it for moral cleanness and purity. A simple but helpful way of looking at the word is to realize that it implies the absence of impurity or filth. It implies a singleness of purpose, without distraction (akin to the concept of “holiness,” being set apart for a special purpose; seeJas. 4:8). 
Any distracting or corrupting influence a kingdom servant allows into his or her heart makes that person less effective as a servant. The kingdom servant has a heart that is undivided and unalloyed.
Weber, Stuart K. Matthew. Vol. 1. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000. Print. Holman New Testament Commentary.

Renew a Right Spirit within Me

Renew a Right Spirit within Me Excerpt ‎In the O.T. the Holy Spirit was experienced by believers as an enabling divine presence (»Exodus 35-38). But Saul, David’s predecessor, had been deprived of the Spirit’spresence because of his sin (1 Sam. 16:14). David, then, is expressing concern that his sin might be so great that God would also remove His Spirit from him.
‎There is a vital difference, however, between the enabling presence of the Spirit we see in the O.T. and the indwelling presence of the Spirit seen in the N.T. God’s Spirit is His guarantee of redemption (Eph. 1:13–14).
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

The Consolation of Israel

The Consolation of IsraelLuke 2:25 Excerpt ‎This refers to the consolation that would be brought about by the inauguration of the messianic age. Compare Luke 2:26, where this consolation is described as “seeing the Lord’sChrist” (cf. also1:54, 68–75). For Luke this referred not to the fulfillment of Jewish political hopes involving deliverance from their enemies and restoration of David’s throne but rather to the salvation Jesus brought. This is clear when one compares 2:30 with such verses as 19:10. 
See the discussion at 1:69. Like other devout model believers (Anna, 2:38; Joseph of Arimathea, 23:51; cf. also12:36; Acts 24:15), Simeon was looking forward to Israel’s consolation (2:25), i.e., Jerusalem’s redemption (2:38); the coming of God’s kingdom (23:51); the Master’s return (12:36); the resurrection of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15).
Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.

My Verse for Today

My Verse for Today"5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus ChristHis Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

My Prayer for the Day

Prayer  Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
Lord, thank You for this day of Your Grace and Mercy. Within this passtwenty-four hour day up to moments ago, killings and violence of various types have come to me in the news from my city to around the world; This is happening during mans-corporate Christmas festival of gift giving, and de-facto love and peace. Surely Christ isn't in it because, He is LOVE and PEACE.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

December 27
Love Is Good NewsJeremiah 51:1–64; Romans 13:8–14:12
Love is good news for those seeking guidance. Love is the guide we need.
Many first-century Jewish Christians faced the question of what to do with the Law (the first five books of the Bible), by which they had lived previously. Now that they had Jesus, what would they do with their traditions? Paul’s answer is based on love: 
“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another, for the one who loves someone else has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8). He goes on: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are summed up in this statement: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does not commit evil against a neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:9–10). 
These are beautiful words, and I’m not saying that because they let me off the hook for keeping the law; they also answer …