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Showing posts from January 3, 2014

The Salutation of Galatians

The Salutation of Galatians  Excerpt ‎The opening of the Galatian epistle is both typical and atypical. Though the salutation includes the usual identification of author and recipient together with a customary greeting, the usual expression of thanksgiving and praise for believers is totally absent.
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. 589. Print.

Prosperity

ProsperityPsalm 1:3 Excerpt ‎For all who take their delight in living by God’s Word, there is prosperity. Under the image of a fruitful tree, the psalmist declared that whatever the righteous do will prosper (cf. 92:12-14). Two qualifications need to be noted. First, the fruit, that is, the prosperity, is produced in its season and not necessarily immediately after planting. Second, what the godly person does will be controlled by the Law of God (1:2). So if a person meditates on God’s Word, his actions will be godly, and his God-controlled activities will prosper, that is, come to their divinely directed fulfillment.
Ross, Allen P. “Psalms.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 790. Print.

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God Excerpt ‎And steadfastly regarding (seeMark. 10:21, 27; Luke 20:17; 22:61)—with eager and penetrating glance, as though something might be learned from his slightest movements—Jesus as he walked; “walked,” not towards John, as on the previous day, but in some opposite direction. This implies that their relative functions were not identical, and not to be confounded. This is the last time when the Baptist and the Christ were together, and the sublime meekness of John, and his surrender of all primary claims to deference, throw light on the unspeakable and gentle dignity of Jesus. He saith, "Behold the Lamb of God". The simple phrase, without further exposition, implies that he was recalling to their minds the mighty appellation which he had bestowed upon the Saviour on the previous day, with all the additional interpretation of the term with which it had then been accompanied. The brevity of the cry here marks the emphasis which it bore, and the rich a…

Faith Working through Love

Faith Working through Love
‎What is the meaning of “working through love?” Here he gives them a hard blow, by showing that this error had crept in because the love of Christ had not been rooted within them. For to believe is not all that is required, but also to abide in love. It is as if he had said, Had ye loved Christ as ye ought, ye would not have deserted to bondage, nor abandoned Him who redeemed you, nor treated with contumely Him who gave you freedom. Here he also hints at those who have plotted against them, implying that they would not have dared to do so, had they felt affection towards them. He wishes too by these words to correct their course of life.
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…

Lower than the Angels

Lower than the Angels Excerpt ‎Here the LXX takes Elohim (being a plural form) to mean “angels;” as also in Ps. 97:7 and 138:1. The more correct rendering of the Hebrew may be, “thou madest him a little short of God,” with reference to his having been made “in God’s image,”“after God’s likeness,” and having dominion over creation given him. But, if so, Elohim must be understood in its abstract sense of “Divinity” (so Gesenius), rather than as denoting the Supreme Being. Otherwise, “thyself” would have been the more appropriate expression, the psalm being addressed to God. The argument is not affected by the difference of translation. Indeed, the latter rendering enhances still more the position assigned to man.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Hebrews. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Castor-oil plant (shrub)

Castor-oil plant (shrub) ‎The caster-oil plant (Ricinus communis) is a fast-growing annual herb, which reaches a height of up to 4 m. The plant with its deeply lobed leaves provides ample shade in the torrid midday heat. ‎Jonah 4:6–10

Jerusalem - Via Dolorosa - Shopkeeper

Jerusalem - Via Dolorosa - Shopkeeper
‎Jerusalem. On weekdays as well as festivals and days of religious processions, the shopkeeper selling art objects and souvenirs waits for customers who want to go home with an oriental carpet, icons of Jesus or pictures recalling the places and events of the Via Dolorosa. The picturesque markets of the Old City developed back in Crusader times, to supply the pilgrims’ needs for good cheap food, clothing, local currency and various souvenirs to bring home with them.

The Councilor

The Councilor  Excerpt ‎John took time to counsel people personally and prepare them for baptism and their new life of faith. He admonished the people in general to be generous and share what they have (Acts 2:44–45; 4:32–37). He charged the tax collectors to be honest and the soldiers to be just. (Perhaps he knew that the soldiers and publicans worked together to extort money from the people.) Luke mentions tax collectors three other times (5:27; 15:1; 19:2). These soldiers were not likely Romans (see howeverMatt. 8:5–13), but were probably Jewish soldiers belonging to the temple guard or the court of Herod. It is interesting that John did not condemn the tax collectors’ and soldiers’ professions; he simply told the publicans and soldiers to do their jobs honestly and not to hurt people. They could remain in their vocations and serve God.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

First Century Galilean Fishing Boat

First Century Galilean Fishing Boat 

‎This type of small sailboat was very common in first century Galilee; it was likely the same kind that Jesus’ first disciples used.

Cain's Anger

Cain's Anger Excerpt ‎Cain was so angry he would not be talked out of his sin—even by God. Eve, however, had to be talked into her sin by Satan; but Cain “belonged to the evil one” (1 John 3:12). It is as if he could not wait to destroy his brother—a natural man’s solution to his own failure.
Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 34. Print.

Keep Disciples From the Evil One

Keep Disciples From the Evil One
‎Jesus’ intercession for the disciples continued with a reminder of (a) their value and (b) their coming danger. They were valuable because they had received the Word of God: I have given them Your Word (cf. “I gave them the words You gave Me,”v. 8).
They were in danger because the satanic world system hated them. It hated them because they are not a part of it. As believers share Jesus Christ, “Everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does” (1 John 2:16) loses its attractiveness. 
Blum, Edwin A. “John.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 332. Print.

Exhortations Regarding the Dead

Exhortations Regarding the Dead Excerpt ‎Paul’s words here (vv. 13–18) concern “those who fall asleep,” that is, those Christians who have died. His primary intent in the passage was to comfort the living in the face of death and enable them to use his teachings to comfort one another (v. 18). Thus a primary question question the modern reader should bring to this text is, What is said in these verses that would comfort a Christian who has lost a loved one?
‎The believer’s grief in the face of a fellow Christian’s death is addressed by highlighting the hope of resurrection (v. 13). The return of the Lord, by itself, is not the salve Paul applied. Rather, the reunion of the dead with the living and their shared glory in the presence of the Lord is crucial (v. 17). The living and the dead will be reunited and will be together with the Lord forever. It is this expectation that makes Christian grief the grief of temporary separation. It is still grief, but it is grief moderated by the an…

Love Your Enemies

Love Your Enemies Excerpt ‎The Jewish teachers by “neighbour” understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends. 
The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. 
Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1 Pe. 1:15, 16. 
Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others.
Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: …

The Book of Proverbs

The Book of ProverbsProverbs 3:1-12 Excerpt ‎The twentieth book of the Old Testament according to the Christian canon and third of the poetical books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs) in the Hebrew canon included among the Writings. The book of Proverbs is a collection of largely proverbial Wisdom Literature traditionally associated with Solomon, the Israelite king famed for his divine gift of wisdom (1 Kgs. 3–4); the Hebrew title for the book (Heb. mišlê; Prov. 1:1) reflects this association. 
It is clear from literary analyses and internal evidence that the contents of the book must be attributed to a variety of authors over an extended period of time. At least three authors are named in headings (Solomon, 1:1; 10:1; 25:1; Agur, 30:1; Lemuel,  31:1), and other segments are attributed anonymously to “the wise” (22:17; 24:23). The designation of the whole collection as “proverbs” (LXX Gk. Paroimiai; Vulg. Lat. Liber Proverbiorum) is not entirely apt since large portions of the contents (primari…

Ancient Greek Jewelry

Ancient Greek jewelry, an indication of the personal wealth of a few.
These practical warnings anticipate Jesus’ teaching about the dangers of becoming rich. Affluence, he taught, can destroy peace (Mt 6:24–34), blind people to the needs of others (Lk 16:19–31), stand between individuals and the gateway to eternal life (Mk 10:17–27), and even bring God’s judgment (Lk 12:16–21). He told his disciples not to accumulate personal wealth (Mt 6:19), and praised those who gave up their possessions (Mt 19:29).

These strong words suggest that Jesus was against wealth, but his sharp warnings are not in fact directed against riches in themselves. What he condemns is the wrong attitudes many people have toward acquiring wealth, and the wrong ways in which they use it. Longing for riches, not having them, chokes the spiritual life like weeds in a field of grain (Mt 13:22). The greedy desire to have more doomed the unforgiving servant (Mt 18:23–35). And the rich man’s selfishness, not his wealth, …

David Rescues Israel from a Philistine Giant

David Rescues Israel from a Philistine Giant Excerpt ‎We cannot know how soon the events of this chapter occurred after the previous events. However, enough time must have passed for Saul to have changed his policy toward David, permitting him to return to Bethlehem. It also may have been long enough for the youthful David to mature and change significantly in appearance, though not long enough for David to have become old enough for military service (=age twenty; cf. Num 1:3; also1 Sam 17:33).
Bergen, Robert D. 1, 2 Samuel. Vol. 7. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.

Rome in Paul's Day

Rome In Paul's Day
‎In Paul’s day, Rome was not yet at the height of its splendor. The Coliseum would not be built for another decade, the great temple of Claudius was only partially constructed, and most of the elaborate baths and palaces were still more than a century away. Nonetheless, Rome was the greatest city in the known world and the center of power for all of Europe and the ancient Near East

Fighting Wild Beasts

Fighting Wild Beasts

‎Fighting wild beasts was a symbolic struggle against evil and chaos all along. Already the Assyrians had lions, leopards, and other wild cats, so that they could be wrestled down in animal fights. Whoever overcame them was proven to be a hero who could master everything evil. Wild beasts were deployed in the arena in Rome; only true heroes could fend them off. ‎Gen 31:39; Exod 23:29; Lev 26:6, 26:22; Job 5:22; Ps 8:7; 104:20; Hos 13:8;Sirach 39:30; Mark 1:13; Acts 11:6; 1 Cor 15:32; Rev 6:8

What God Meant: "The Love of Money is a Root of all Kinds of Evil"

What God Meant: "The Love of Money is a Root of all Kinds of Evil"
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” —1 Timothy 6:10 What did Paul mean when he said, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils . . . ”? Many people view this verse in a way that depicts all money to be evil and not of Jesus, but this isn’t really the case at all. Jesus states that “the love of money” is where we will find evil, and to not find ourselves loving and idolizing it. Is money wrong? Of course not. Money helps pay our bills, feed our families, and even fund our schooling. But does this mean we should put money-making on a pedestal above God? Nope, not even close. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, eating nice food, or even buying a nice house. The problem is when we begin finding our identity in the stuff money can buy us instead of finding our i…

Bendouin

Bendouin

‎Here is a camp of Bedouin Arabs with their tents. Childhood and youth and old age are here. Beyond are the desolate mountains, fit surroundings for such a group of ignorant, superstitious and degraded people. These children of nature have been living in tents for thousands of years. No wonder that with such creatures as these below on the plain, the dream and desire of Peter, on the mountain, should not be gratified by his Master.

Peter, amidst the glory of the transfiguration, desired to remain on the heights. He would have three tabernacles built—one for Jesus, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He would spend the rest of his life in the rapture of this royal fellowship, amidst the splendor of this celestial epiphany; but it was like Christ to go down into the plain where the people needed His presence, for it was as they came down from this mountain of transfiguration that they came to the multitude. “And when they were come to the multitude there came to Him a certa…

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From 2 Corinthians 2:15 KJV Translation: For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: NKJV Translation: For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

My Prayer for the Day

Prayer  Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
Thank You Heavenly Father for this day. My prayer is simple: COME. In Jesus' name is my prayer. Amen.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

January 3
Finding Comfort in a Cynic’s WordsEcclesiastes 1:12–18
“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind” (Eccl 1:14). These aren’t exactly the words you want to hear in the morning—look who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The intention behind them, though, is actually quite comforting.

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes goes on to prove that he doesn’t need counseling, but instead should be our counselor: “What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted … I have acquired great wisdom … [But] in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl 1:15–16, 18). And although we may want to deny this fact, it’s a truism that haunts all great people: we may help the hurting people in our world, but we will never be able to end the pain and knowledge alone will simply not get us there. Words on paper are not the solution. A manifesto, like the Declaration of Ind…