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Showing posts from March 14, 2014

Behold Ye

Behold Ye Excerpt‎“Behold” is plural here, literally, “behold ye.” The usual form is singular. John is calling upon all the saints to wonder at the particular kind of love God has bestowed upon them. “What manner of” is potapēn (ποταπην), “from what country, race or tribe?” The word speaks of something foreign. The translation could read, “Behold, what foreign kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” The love of God is foreign to the human race. It is not found naturally in humanity. When it exists there, it is in a saved individual, and by reason of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Smith suggests, “from what far realm? What unearthly love, … how other-worldly.”
Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print.

The Older Brother

The Older Brother Excerpt ‎The story now turns against the Pharisees, who like the older brother have no grasp of grace. Instead of rejoicing at the restoration of a brother, they’re filled with resentment. They neither appreciate what they have, nor do they want anyone else to share it!
‎How we need to guard against this attitude in our own relationship with God and with others. Grace must make us gracious.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Remember the Height from which You Fell

Remember the Height from which You Fell Excerpt ‎The Ephesians were first reminded to remember the height from which you have fallen! They were told to repent and to return to the love they had left. Similar exhortations concerning the need for a deep love for God are frequently found in the New Testament (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; John 14:15, 21, 23; 21:15-16; James 2:5; 1 Peter 1:8). Christ stated that one’s love for God should be greater greater than his love for his closest relatives, including his father, mother, son, and daughter (Matt. 10:37). Paul added that love for God should even be above one’s love for his or her mate (1 Cor. 7:32-35). In calling the Ephesian believers to repentance Christ was asking them to change their attitude as well as their affections. They were to continue their service not simply because it was right but because they loved Christ. He warned them that if they did not respond, the light of their witness in Ephesus would be extinguished: I…

Recall The Former Days

Recall The Former Days Excerpt ‎In the early days of the gospel there was a very hot persecution raised up against the professors of the Christian religion, and the believing Hebrews had their share of it: he would have them to remember,
‎(1.) When they had suffered: In former days, after they were illuminated; that is, as soon as God had breathed life into their souls, and caused divine light to spring up in their minds, and taken them into his favour and covenant; then earth and hell combined all their force against them. Here observe, A natural state is a dark state, and those who continue in that state meet with no disturbance from Satan and the world; but a state of grace is a state of light, and therefore the powers of darkness will violently oppose it. Those who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.
Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.

Creation Will Be Set Free

Creation Will Be Set FreeRomans 8:20-21
‎Some have suggested that this points to life during the millennium, but it is better to see it as the entire created universe celebrating together the glorious state of final redemption and restoration. Paul’s use of personification is striking. As sin brought the curse of death to the physical universe, the day is coming when a new heaven and earth will be in place (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1). They will take their place with the children of God in the perfect freedom of a sinless universe.
Mounce, Robert H. Romans. Vol. 27. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. Print. The New American Commentary.

Fire Under a Pot

Fire Under a Pot The Assyrian relief pictures an Assyrian, who heats up a huge pot in order to let the content boil. ‎Ezek 24:11

Bathsaida

Bathsaida Excerpt ‎Same expression in 12:21 with the added words “of Galilee,” which locates it in Galilee, not in Iturea. There were two Bethsaidas, one called Bethsaida Julias in Iturea (that inLuke 9:10) or the Eastern Bethsaida, the other the Western Bethsaida in Galilee (Mark 6:45), perhaps somewhere near Capernaum. This is the town of Andrew and Peter and Philip. Hence Philip would be inclined to follow the example of his townsmen.
Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933. Print.

A Christian Response to Drug Addiction

A Christian Response to Drug Addiction Jimi Hendrix. Heath Ledger. Whitney Houston. Cory Monteith. Philip Seymour Hoffman. And countless others.

The drug culture that so often surrounds celebrities is tragic from every angle, and too often deadly. These men and women live in the spotlight, entertain us, and then retreat to the solitude and loneliness of addiction. They shoot poison into their veins, hoping it will calm their restlessness, and for a time, entertain the entertainers. They seek a fix. As Russell Brand, famously clean for many years, admitted in an op-ed published by The Guardian, “I look to drugs and booze to fill up a hole in me.” But substance abuse isn’t limited to celebrities. Many people within the middle-class suburban towns that so many of us call home also struggle with addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths by overdose have risen more than 100 percent nationwide since 1999. Even though no headline is made when one among t…

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

March 14
A Psalm of ConfidenceNumbers 15:1–41; John 20:1–31; Psalm 16:1–11
“You are my Lord,” the psalmist acknowledges. “I have no good apart from you” (Psa 16:2).

We know that God is everything we need, but somehow the details still get in the way. We want to alleviate our troubles through other means—that vacation, the position that will bring recognition, or the spouse who will complete us. The psalmist says that anyone who places their desire in anything other than God will only increase in sorrow (Psa 16:4).

It seems radical and difficult to live out the psalmist’s simple confession. The ancient practice of idol worship is alive and well in our modern-day culture and in our own hearts. (Just look at the magazine rack or TV shows if you think I’m wrong: what is worshiped there?) We are just like the Israelites—unfaithful and prone to “hurry after another god” (Psa 16:4).

For the psalmist, however, “Yahweh is the portion which is my share and my cup” (Psa 16:5). He is all the psalmi…