Stir Up One Another
Excerpt “And” (he says) “let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” And again in other places, “The Lord is at hand; be careful for nothing.” (Phil. iv. 5, Phil. iv. 6.) “For now is our salvation nearer: Henceforth the time is short.” (Rom. xiii. 11.)
What is, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”? (1 Cor. vii. 29.) He knew that much strength arises from being together and assembling together. “For where two or three” (it is said) “are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. xviii. 20); and again, “That they may be One, as we” also are (John xvii. 11); and, “They had all one heart and [one] soul.” (Acts iv. 32.) And not this only, but also because love is increased by the gathering [of ourselves] together; and love being increased, of necessity the things of God must follow also. “And earnest prayer” (it is said) was “made by…
John Chrysostom. “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle to the Hebrews.” A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series: Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and Epistle to the Hebrews. Ed. Philip Schaff. Trans. T. Keble & Frederic Gardiner. Vol. 14. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889. 455. Print.
Love and Obedience
ExcerptThe uncompromising connection between love for Christ and obedience to Christ repeatedly recurs in John’s writings (cf. vv. 21, 23; 15:14). The linkage approaches the level of definition: ‘This is love for God: to obey his commands’ (1 Jn. 5:3). But what are his ‘commands’? The parallels that tie together ‘what I command’ (v. 15, lit. ‘my commands’), ‘commands’ (v. 21), and ‘my teaching’ (lit. ‘my word’ in v. 23, and ‘my words’ in v. 24) suggest to some that more is at stake than Jesus’ ethical commands. What the one who loves Jesus will observe is not simply an array of discrete ethical injunctions, but the entire revelation from the Father, revelation holistically conceived (cf. 3:31–32; 12:47–49; 17:6).
Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991. Print. The Pillar New Testament Commentary.
Mount of Transfiguration“But how can we be sure that this message is the true Word of God?” Peter answers this question by referring to his experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–13; Luke 9:27–36). Peter knew that he would not be in the body (his tabernacle) very long; see John 21:18. The word “decease” (v. 15) is actually “exodus”; it is the same word used of Christ’s death (Luke 9:31). When Christians die, it is not the end; rather, it is a triumphant exodus from this world into the next.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.
The phrase eternal life comes from a Hebrew phrase, literally “life in the (coming) age.” For the Hebrews “the coming age” was the age in which God would destroy the power of sin and evil in the world and set up his own rule of love and peace. In the earliest notions of this coming age, it was probably not looked upon as something that would never end; it was not “eternal” in our sense of the word. However, there is no doubt that by New Testament times “life in the age” was looked upon by many Jews as an everlasting experience. In the New Testament it definitely has this meaning, even though the main emphasis is always on the quality of life one experiences when God rules his life. That is, in the Gospel of John eternal life is basically qualitative, but it is also conceived of as life that never ends, because it comes from God.
Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Gospel of John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.
The River in Eden
ExcerptThe trees (v. 9), the river (v. 10), and the precious gold and gems (vv. 11-12) in the garden will also be in the new earth in its eternal state. The new Creation will be endowed with all these elements (Rev. 21:10-11, 21; 22:1-2), thus indicating that paradise will be restored in the new earth.
2:11-14. These verses, a long parenthesis, describe the richness of the then-known world. The garden was probably in the area of the Persian Gulf, judging from the place names in these verses. If the geography of that area was the same after the Flood as before, then the Tigris (lit., Hiddeqel) and the Euphrates, the third and fourth rivers, can be identified. The first of the four rivers, Pishon, was in Havilah, in north-central Arabia, east of Palestine. The second river, Gihon, was in Cush, probably not Ethiopia but possibly the land of the Cassites (kaššu in Akk.) in the mountains east of Mesopotamia.
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. 30. Print.
Jerusalem - Muristan Market
Jerusalem. At the end of the 19th century a modern marketplace was built to the west of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is called the Muristan, meaning hospital in Persian, a reminder of the Order of the Knights Hopitallers, who controlled this area during the Crusader period. The Knights of the Order built three monasteries here, as well as hospices for monks and a market which was mostly covered by domes supported by columns and arches. Some of the columns that supported the arches are still standing today. During the Mameluke period following Saladin’s conquest of the city at the end of the 12th century the market was destroyed and remained abandoned until the 19th century, when it was rebuilt by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.
Today's Verse of the Day is From 2 Corinthians
© Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
Good morning Heavenly Father. Thank You for granting me another day by letting the death angel pass by my door. Hallelujah!
I pray for those that have infirmities and other needs that request You for fulfillment through Your blessings.
Bless those that are Sabbath-keepers that keep Your Sabbath.
Bless the worlds peoples as they go about their daily tasks in democratic and dictatorship countries.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
God’s Ideas: More than Good
Exodus 1–3; John 1:1–18; Song of Solomon 1:1–4
It’s exciting to see ideas take shape and then become reality. Even more exciting, though, is when God’s ideas take form. The Bible shows us these events repeatedly. As the reader, we’re given glimpses into what God is really doing—events the characters are unaware of. Or we have a hint all along that God is up to something unexpected, and that He will make good out of the evil that’s happening.
The story of Moses is like this. God’s people are terribly oppressed, but they are many (Exod 1). And we all know there is power in numbers. When baby Moses comes along, we’re ready for something amazing to happen. It will be from this unassuming moment that God will do the least expected (Exod 2:1–10): He will help those on the underside of power. Our suspicion is confirmed when Moses is willing to kill for justice (Exod 2:11–12). Moses flees, and then God hears Israel’s complaints about the pain they’re enduring (Exod 2:23–25). He answers their cry by calling Moses (Exod 3:1–22). Moses is hesitant because he can’t speak well, but God will (as we thought) use this unexpected turn of events (Exod 4:10–17).
Like Moses’ story, we see behind the veil at the beginning of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word … And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us, and we saw his glory … For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 17). God gave Moses His law, and He gave Moses the opportunity to guide His people from oppression to the wilderness and almost to freedom. But He gave Jesus grace and truth.
And that’s the message of the [Testaments]: from cry to freedom cry, from calling upon God to salvation, and from merely men guided by God, to God in a man guiding men. Our love for God should be every bit as great—and far greater—than the love shown by the chorus of people in Song of Solomon. We must say about our God, like they say about people, “Let us be joyful and let us rejoice in you; let us extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you!” (Song 1:4).
We are called to see God’s work in our everyday life. We must recognize His story. He’s involved. Are we?
Are you worshiping God with your entire being—seeing His workings in your everyday life?
JOHN D. BARRY
Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.