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The Silent Servant

The Silent ServantIsaiah 53:7-9 Excerpt ‎A servant is not permitted to talk back; he or she must submit to the will of the master or mistress. Jesus Christ was  silent before those who accused Him as well as those who afflicted Him. He was silent before Caiaphas (Matt. 26:62–63), the chief priests and elders (27:12), Pilate (27:14; John 19:9) and Herod Antipas (Luke 23:9). He did not speak when the soldiers mocked Him and beat Him (1 Peter 2:21–23). This is what impressed the Ethiopian treasurer as he read this passage in Isaiah (Acts 8:26–40).
‎Isaiah 53:7 speaks of Hissilence under suffering and verse 8 of His silence when illegally tried and condemned to death. In today’s courts, a person can be found guilty of terrible crimes; but if it can be proved that something in the trial was illegal, the case must be tried again. Everything about His trialswas illegal, yet Jesus did not appeal for another trial. “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11)
Wie…

Were the Disciples Drunk?

Were the Disciples Drunk?Acts 2:14-15 Excerpt ‎To “lift up one’s voice” (literally in the Greek) may merely mean “to begin to speak in a loud voice.” In a loud voice is more often rendered simply as “to speak loudly to” or “to shout to.”
‎It is interesting that the Greek verb which Luke has chosen for speak is one which places emphasis upon the high quality and articulate nature of the words spoken (see 2.4). The word occurs here, following the charge of drunkenness, and in 26.25 after the charge of madness.
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.

Understanding the Command "Be Baptize"

Understanding the Command "Be Baptize"Acts 2:38
Excerpt ‎A problem revolves around the command “be baptized” and its connection with the remainder of 2:38. There are several views:     (1) One is that both repentance and baptism result in remission of sins. In this                view, baptism is essential for salvation. The problem with this interpretation          is that elsewhere in Scripture forgiveness of sins is based on faith alone                 (John 3:16, 36; Rom. 4:1-17; 11:6; Gal. 3:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9; etc.). Furthermore         Peter, the same speaker, later promised forgiveness of sins on the basis of               faith alone (Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18). ‎   (2) A second interpretation translates 2:38, “Be baptized . . . on the basis of the         remission of your sins.” The preposition used here is eis which, with the              accusative case, may mean “on account of, on the basis of.” It is used in this        way in Matthew 3:11; 12:41; and Mark 1:…

Altar of Incense

Altar of Incense

‎Fragrant incense was burned on the altar every morning and evening (Ex 30:7, 8). ‎Once a year the high priest would make atonement for the altar by sprinkling some of the blood of the sin offering on the horns because the altar was “most holy to the Lord” (Ex 30:10).

Bazar of Jaffa

Bazar of Jaffa.
‎Passing through the bazars of any of the cities of Palestine we doubtless witness the very same scenes common in the days of our Savior. The very same things are sold, and the disposition to use many words in buying and selling is the same to-day as in the time when He was upon earth. In the above view we are looking toward the sea. A lone palm tree stands to the left of the picture and the entire view is typical of Jaffa. The liveliest spot in the city is the market place. Here the venders, dressed in unique costumes, raise their canvased canopy, spread out their wares, sit in the shade and wait for custom. Turbaned men and veiled women, with here and there a little brown-skinned, bare-footed boy among them, move in and out among the booths. Heavily laden camels go slowly along, and over-burdened donkeys do their share in this bewildering march. It is a veritable Oriental fair, a Babel of confusion; every one for himself and each ambitious to make the loudest possib…

Jaffa From Hotel Window

Jaffa From Hotel Window
“Jaffa,”“Joppa” or “Yafa” is a city with a history. Traditionally it is the oldest city in the world.
‎No city in the world has had a more remarkable record. It has been alternately Pagan, Jew, Moslem, Arab, Mameluke and Christian. It has been sacked and wasted by war, swept by pestilence, fire and sword, rebuilt, walled and fortified only to be again destroyed.
‎The town is defended by a wall, on which a few old guns are mounted. Its dirty lanes and alleys are uninviting, but this aspect is redeemed by the freshness and beauty of its towering palms, its lemon groves and its orange orchards and fruit gardens. The sudden transition from the discomfort of the ship to these quiet gardens is something to be remembered. A traveler says, “In March and April these Jaffa gardens are indeed enchanting. The air is over-loaded with the mingled perfume of oranges, apples, apricots, quinces, plums and China trees in bloom.” The legendary and historic associations combine to…

The 90/10 Principle

The 90/10 Principle Excerpt ‎While I have gained more insight into how I am wired, at mid-life, I have had to face another reality. I prefer to work out of my giftedness, to concentrate my efforts only in areas of ability and interest. But ministry often falls under the 90/10 principle: 90 percent of what I do is what I must do in order to get to do the 10 percent I love to do. For example, I love to preach. The thirty minutes I communicate God’s Word on Sunday are most often pure ecstasy. But wrangling with a board or putting out a church fire, which can consume inordinate amounts of time, drains me. I have often wished I could preach 90 percent of the time. …
Fenton, Gary. Your Ministry’s Next Chapter. Vol. 8. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1999. Print. The Pastor’s Soul Series.

ALL NATIONS

ALL NATIONS Matthew 28:19 Excerpt‎“All nations” translates panta ta ethnē. The two main options for interpreting ethnē are Gentiles (non-Jews) and peoples (somewhat equivalent to ethnic groups). The former translation is popular among those who see either Jesus or Matthew as believing that God once-for-all rejected the Jews. We have repeatedly seen evidence that calls this perspective into serious question (see under10:23; 23:39; 24:30; 27:25). Matthew’s most recent uses of ethnē (24:9, 14; 25:32) seem to include Jews and Gentiles alike as the recipients of evangelism and judgment. God is not turning his back on Jewish people here. What has changed is that they can no longer be saved simply by trusting in God under the Mosaic covenant. All who wish to be in fellowship with God must now come to him through Jesus.
Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.

God Speaks to Cain

God Speaks to Cain
‎God is here reasoning with Cain, to convince him of the sin and folly of his anger and discontent, and to bring him into a good temper again, that further mischief might be prevented. It is an instance of God’s patience and condescending goodness that he would deal thus tenderly with so bad a man, in so bad an affair. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Thus the father of the prodigal argued the case with the elder son (Lu. 15:28, etc.), and God with those Israelites who said, The way of the Lord is not equal, Eze. 18:25.
Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From Amos 5:9 KJV Translation: That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. NKJV Translation: That strengthens the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

March 12
Cry Out Like the PsalmistNumbers 13:1–33; John 18:25–19:16; Psalm 13:1–6
We often read the very bold [Psalms] of the Bible without really reading them. We’re used to their cadence, their cries, and their requests. They seem appropriate in contexts where war, death, and enemies or mutinous friends were a daily reality. For that reason, these cries don’t always resound off the pages and fill our own lips, even when they should.

“How long, O Yahweh? Will you forget me forever?” says the psalmist (Psa 13:1). “Consider and answer me, O Yahweh my God” (Psa 13:3).

Often, when going through the difficulties of life, these cries should be our own. Instead, we try to lean on our own strength. We rely on the bravery and wisdom that we think rests deep inside us. We try to muster courage. We engage the fear. The psalmist acknowledges that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be: “How long must I take counsel in my soul, and sorrow in my heart all the day?” (Psa 13:2).

Instead, we should be …