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Showing posts from March 27, 2014

“Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed.

Rooted and EstablishedEphesians 3:17-19 Excerpt ‎Paul continued his prayer by repeating his request that Christ be the center of believers’ lives. He stated this in a mixed metaphor of biological and architectural terminology: being rooted (like a plant) and established (like a building) in love. 
The participles “being rooted and established"  are in the perfect tense, indicating a past action with continuing results.
Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 631. Print.

The New American Commentary

Jesus Enters Jerusalem Excerpt ‎Bethphage (v. 1) and Bethany (v. 17) were two small villages just to the east of Jerusalem on or near the slopes of the large hill, known as the Mount of Olives, which dominated the skyline of that side of town. Matthew includes the place names to remind his readers how near Jesus is to Jerusalem and perhaps also to evoke the messianic associations of the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4; see further under24:3). Jesus is consciously making preparations to enter Jerusalem after the fashion of Zech 9:9, with echoes of Isa 62:11. Zechariah’s prophecy was widely interpreted in rabbinic literature as messianic (e.g., Gen. Rab. 98.9; b. Sanh 98a, 99a; Qoh. Rab. 1.9). As again later with their preparation for the Passover (26:18), it is not clear whether the disciples’ rendezvous stems from Jesus’ prior arrangements or from his supernatural insight. “The Lord” is, more literally, their Lord/Master and also suggests a double entendre. The disciples will act as if th…

The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed

The Work of the Trinity in SalvationEphesians 3:14-17 Excerpt ‎The Father gives us our identity, the Spirit strengthens and empowers, and Christ “dwells in our hearts through faith” as the wellspring of transforming love.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

“Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed.

Christ at Home in Our HeartsEphesians 3:16 Excerpt ‎The result of this is that through faith Christ may dwell in believers’ hearts, that is, their whole personalities. “Dwell” (katoikēsai) refers not to the beginning of Christ’s indwelling at the moment of salvation. Instead it denotes the desire that Christ may, literally, “be at home in,” that is, at the very center of or deeply rooted in, believers’ lives. They are to let Christ become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct.
Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 631. Print.

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times

Whither Goest Thou Excerpt ‎ During the first persecution of Christians by Emperor Nero, Christians begged Peter not to expose his life which was considered necessary to the well-being of the church. Finally, Peter consented to depart from Rome, but as he fled along the Appian Way, about two miles from the gates, he was met by a vision of the Saviour traveling towards the city. 
‎Struck with amazement, he exclaimed, “Lord, whither goest thou?” The Saviour, looking upon him with a mild sadness, replied, “I go to Rome to be crucified a second time,” and vanished. Peter immediately turned back and reentered the city.  …
Tan, Paul Lee. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996. Print.

Burial Complex from the Hellenistic period

‎ Burial Complex from the Hellenistic period The grave complex in Maresha in the Shephelah is typical for the Hellenistic period. Whereas in pre-exilic times the tombs were owned by families, there are now larger graves with many niches wherein the bodies could be laid to rest. The graves were still underground and cut out of the rock.
‎Dan 12:2; Sirach 30:18; 51:6; Let Jer 6:71; 1 Macc 2:70; 2 Macc 5:10

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

April 1
Moving OnDeuteronomy 1:1–46; 2 Corinthians 1:1–11; Psalm 31:1–9
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn now and move on” (Deut 1:6–7).

We have a terrible tendency to stay in one place or keep doing one activity longer than we should. Our meetings run long, we constantly work overtime, or we overstay a welcome. And then there’s the most significant problem of all: we ignore God’s command to leave a place, position, or role.

Change can be refreshing. But the countless decisions and the difficult and frustrating moments that accompany change can often keep us from moving forward. We become comfortable where we are, and we fear the unknown.
Indeed, the majority of people (including Christians) live seemingly meaningless lives. Most American Christians spend more hours per day doing comfortable things, like watching TV, than they do praying, reading their Bibles, or serving others (usually combined). Yet what do the elderly always tell us? “I wish I had taken more risks; i…

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

March 28
Risk: Oversold and UnderplayedNumbers 32:1–42; 1 Corinthians 14:26–15:11; Psalm 27:1–14
The fears of the psalmist are not our fears today, and the fact that they aren’t should bother us. The psalmist remarks, “Do not give me over to the desire of my enemies, because false witnesses have arisen against me, and each breathing out violence. Surely I believe that I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living” (Psa 27:12–13). How many of us have legitimate enemies because of our faith? And how many of us experience violence because of the way we believe?

There are many problems with Christianity today, but one of the most pervasive is the lack of willingness to take major risks for Jesus. Likewise, there is unbelief in God’s incredible ability to overcome all that we face.

We may say that we affirm God’s power to beat all odds, but we don’t face the odds as if that were true. If we did, there would be far more world-changing Christians than there are. Instead, most Ch…

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From Exodus 34:7 KJV Translation: 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. NKJV Translation: 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

March 27
Tongues, Prophecy, and the Thing We Call LoveNumbers 31:1–54; 1 Corinthians 14:1–25; Psalm 26:1–12
Nearly anything good can become unproductive if it’s abused or misused. Paul is all about embracing the side of spirituality that can seem a bit wacky to us today—gifts of tongues and prophecy, to name a few. But he is fully aware of the problems that can come from these gifts being used in a way that doesn’t fit within God’s will. And Paul’s primary concern is that spiritual gifts are used only within the bounds of love.

Love is what it’s all about. “Pursue love, and strive for spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For the one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, because no one understands, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor 14:1–2). By tongues, Paul is likely referencing the “tongues of angels”—some angelic language (1 Cor 13:1)—although elsewhere the term is used in reference to people speaking in a language they don’t actuall…