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Showing posts from June 18, 2014

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From Revelation 21:1 KJV Translation: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. NKJV Translation: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Logos Verse of the Day

The Cannot Receive God's Grace

The Cannot Receive God's Grace Excerpt ‎Have cut yourselves off from Christ may thus be rendered as “have completely separated yourselves from Christ.” This meaning may be expressed idiomatically in some languages as “have destroyed your bond with Christ,” or “have destroyed what ties you to Christ.”

‎Furthermore, they are outside God’s grace (literally, “you have fallen away from grace”). Grace here may refer either to God’s or Christ’s grace, but most translators prefer the former interpretation. For a discussion of grace, see under1.6. So here also as in 1:6, grace includes the components of undeserved love and free gift. To obey the Law in order to win God’s approval is to turn one’s back on God’s gift of son-ship. The expression “you have fallen away” should be understood, not in the sense that grace has been taken away from them, but in the sense that they have turned their backs on it (NEB “you have fallen out of the domain of God’s grace”; Phps“you put yourself outside th…

Love and Fear

Love and Fear1 John 4:17-18 Excerpt ‎Love and fear are not compatible. When we experience God’s love for us our whole attitude toward Him is transformed. We still stand in awe of Him, but that awe is without terror or fear of punishment. The more we live in love—and living in love means expressing as well as receiving love—the more confident we become in our relationship with the Lord.

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print

The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus

The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus John 17:1-26 Excerpt ‎This prayer is not free-standing; it is intimately connected by themes and link-words with the discourse that precedes it (chs. 14–16), as even the first words of 17:1 (‘After Jesus said this …’) intimate.

Indeed, there is ample evidence that prayers of one sort or another were frequently connected with ‘farewell discourses’ in the ancient world, both in Jewish and in Hellenistic literature (e.g.Gn. 49; Dt. 32–33;  Jubilees 22:7–23). What is unique about this prayer rests neither on form nor on literary associations but on him who offers it, and when. He is the incarnate Son of God, and he is returning to hisFather by the route of a desperately shameful and painful death. He prays that the course on which he is embarked will bring glory to hisFather, and that his followers, in consequence of his own death and exaltation, will be preserved from evil and for the priceless privilege of seeing Jesus’ glory, all the while imitating i…

Armor of God Belt

Armor of God Belt ‎The leather belt was tied around a wool tunic. Connected bronze plates hung from the belt to protect the soldier’s groin area.

Paul's Experience Explained (3:1-16)

Paul's Experience Explained (3:1-16) Excerpt ‎Some commentators suggest that in this section Paul addressed his opponents. They say that he consciously countered a protectionist group, sometimes called “divine men,” who claimed their own completeness. Others suggest that Paul produced this section because the Jewish opponents of 3:2 taught that perfection could be achieved by keeping the law. Still others see Paul continuing the logic of 3:4–11, issuing a warning because of a tendency to misunderstand his teaching. His introduction of 3:15 with the words “all of us who are mature,” (lit., “perfect”), however, suggests that there may have been some irony in his tone. The context does not require an opponent, and it is unlikely that he envisioned one. A group within the church may have misunderstood his teaching on justification and taken it to their own “logical” conclusions, which were theologically unacceptable.

Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. Nash…

Love and Obedience

Love and Obedience John 14:15 ‎The 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.


3:31 Oxgoad
    After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad.

The oxgoad was formidable when used as a weapon. It was about 8 feet long (2.4 meters) and two inches in diameter. At one end was a sharp point for pricking the ox when their movements became intolerably slow, and at the other end was a broad chisel-shaped blade, which was used to clear the plow blade of any roots and thorns that got caught on it and impeded it, or to clean off any sticky clay that adhered to it. It substituted nicely for a spear, and also made a long ax-like weapon. The pointed end of this instrument is alluded in Acts 26:14—“We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads’ ” (pricks, KJV).

Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Print.

The Meaning of Teaching

The Meaning of TeachingProverbs 3:1 Excerpt ‎Teaching renders the Hebrew word Torah, as used in 1:8 where the learner was advised not to forsake his mother’s “teaching.” The term should not be translated as “law” in these contexts, even though the law lies behind and supports the teaching given by the wise ones.

Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Coffee Garden, Damascus‎

Coffee Garden, Damascus‎ This is a scene taken by our artist in another of the numerous coffee gardens of Damascus.

The women whom we see are Christians. This is manifest from the fact that their faces are uncovered. It is not thought out of place at all in Damascus for the women to smoke. Even Christian women do that. There is now in the city of Damascus a population, according to recent good authority, of one hundred and eighty thousand. Twenty thousand of these are Christians, eight thousand Jews and the rest Mohammedans.

This large majority is not as fanatical as it was thirty years ago. The influence of the French and of foreigners who visit the city every year is gradually tending to give the natives a better opinion of the Christians. The influence of trade is also felt. More and more is Damascus coming to be a center of trade. We have here a specimen of the nargileh, of which we speak so often.

Through its amber mouthpiece the smoke passes into the mouth from a cup on the top…

The Temptation of Jesus

The Temptation of Jesus Excerpt ‎Each of these temptations attacks Jesus at one of his strong points — his power to work miracles, his longing to change the world and his need to spread his message. But, in each case, Jesus answers Satan with words of scripture. He draws on the hard-won lessons that the Israelites learned in their wilderness years with Moses.

‎If Jesus is to fulfil the calling of Israel, he must worship God alone (Deuteronomy 6:13). He must rely on God’s word for his life, just as he relies on bread for his body (Deuteronomy 8:3). There is to be no complaining, no cheating and no turning back (Deuteronomy 6:16).

‎Jesus wins this first struggle with the devil, but Satan will return.

‎These temptations are crucial for Jesus. In the months that follow, he will feed a multitude, refuse to become king and resist the taunts to escape from the cross. These are the very choices he made in the desert.

Knowles, Andrew. The Bible Guide. 1st Augsburg books ed. Minneapolis, MN: A…


CharismataRomans 12:6-8 Excerpt ‎Paul then applied what he had just said (vv. 3-5) to the exercise of God-given abilities for spiritual service (vv. 6-8). He built on the principle, We have different gifts (cf. v. 4,“not all have the same function”;cf. 1 Cor. 12:4). The grace-gifts (charismata) are according to God’s grace (charis). He listed seven gifts, none of which—with the possible exception of prophesying—is a sign gift. The Greek text is much more abrupt than any English translation; let him is supplied for smoother English.
Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 488. Print.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

June 18
What Is Love?
Ezra 5:1–6:22; 1 John 3:19–24; Psalm 106:30–48

I find it easy to talk about myself. I like to get to the root of why I act the way I do. Sometimes this is helpful—it helps me nail down where I struggle. But this tendency also reminds me that I’m geared inward.

The danger is that I often filter others through the sieve of my experience. Our culture encourages the mindset that other people ought to make us feel good about ourselves and help us fulfill our dreams. In this mindset, our relationships ultimately become about self-fulfillment.

John squashes this idea. He tells the recipients of his letter, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). He’s not saying we should refrain from expressing love and care through words. But displaying love—putting others’ needs before our own—requires much more of us.

John doesn’t go on to define love. However, he does describe the ultimate example of love: “We have come to know…