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Showing posts from March 13, 2014

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Excerpt ‎This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to enforce the warning given just before: the barren tree, except it brings forth fruit, will be cut down. This parable in the first place refers to the nation and people of the Jews. Yet it is, without doubt, for awakening all that enjoy the means of grace, and the privileges of the visible church. When God has borne long, we may hope that he will bear with us yet a little longer, but we cannot expect thathe willbear always
Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Print.


1:4. In fulfillment of the preceding prophecy, John came (egeneto, “appeared”) on the stage of history as the last Old Testament prophet (cf. Luke 7:24–28; 16:16), signaling a turning point in God’s dealingswith mankind. John was baptizing in the desert region (erēmō, dry, uninhabited country) and preaching a baptism of repentance. The word “preaching” (kēryssōn) could be rendered “proclaiming as a herald,” appropriate in light of the prediction in Mark 1:2–3.
John’s baptism was no innovation since Jews required Gentiles wanting to be admitted into Judaism to be baptized by self-immersion. The startling new element was that John’s baptism was designed for God’s covenant people, the Jews, and it required their repentance in view of the coming Messiah (cf. Matt. 3:2).
This baptism is described as one relating to or expressive of repentance for (eis) the forgiveness of sins. The Greek preposition eis could be referential (“with reference to”) or purpose (“leading to”) but probabl…

The True Worshiper

The True WorshiperGenesis 22:9-14 Excerpt ‎A true worshiper of God holds nothing back from God but obediently gives Him what He asks, trusting that He will provide. The key idea of the entire passage is summarized in the name Abraham gave to the place: Yahweh Yir’eh, The Lordwill provide (or, “see”; v. 14). The explanation is, On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided (or, “seen,” yērā’eh, v. 14; cf. v. 8). This is the basis of a truth often repeated in the Old Testament: the Lord was to be worshiped in His holy mountainby the nation. “Three times a year all the men [of Israel] are to appear [yērā’eh, ­be seen‘] before the Sovereign Lord” to worshipHim, bringing their offerings and sacrifices (Ex. 23:17; cf. Deut. 16:16). The Lord would see (rā’âh) the needs of those who came beforeHim, and would meet their needs. Thus in providing for them He would be “seen.”

The Gladness of Access

The Gladness of Access
Excerpt ‎Finally, the psalmist realizes that this privilege is ongoing. God’s naturedoesn’t change, sohis goodness will continue.His love will last for ever. This invitation to acknowledge him is to all people, in every place and age.

Knowles, Andrew. The Bible Guide.1st Augsburg books ed. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001. Print.

One Mediator

One Mediator
Excerpt ‎The basic meaning of mediator (mesites) is a person who intervenes between two parties to restore or make peace. In giving Himself as a “ransom for all men” Jesus became qualified for the role of mediator between God and man. He alone can bring us together.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Watch Our Word's

Watch Our Word's The use of the tongue is the theme of this collection, and each verse is merismatic. Verses 20–21 closely parallel each other and can be regarded as a proverb pair. Verse 19 then is an ironic heading to vv. 20–21: Although the wise person gives sound advice, wisdom is found more in those who are silent than in those who are verbose! The message here is that you should be careful about who you listen to and that when a person talks too much, that is a good sign that his words are not worth hearing.

Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Vol. 14. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993. Print. The New American Commentary.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

March 13 Nostalgia: My Old FriendNumbers 14:1–45; John 19:17–42; Psalm 14:1–15:5

Regret and nostalgia can destroy lives. They are mirrored ideas with the same pitfalls: neither can change the past, and both keep us from living in the present. When we live wishfully rather than interacting with the present, we’re bound to miss out and hurt others. Since other people don’t necessarily share our feelings about the past, they feel less important to us here and now. And indeed, we’re making them less important. We’re concerned instead with how things could have been or used to be.

This is precisely what happens after the Israelites flee Egypt: “Then all the community lifted up their voices, and the people wept during that night. And all the children of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and all the community said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt or in this desert!’ ” (Num 14:1–2).

As usual with regret and nostalgia, these words were said in frustration but born out o…