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Showing posts from November 26, 2014

Jerusalem: St. Savior's Church

Jerusalem: St. Savior's Church
‎Jerusalem. An Armenian deacon scatters incense on Holy Thursday at the entrance to St. Savior’s Church on Mount Zion, in the place identified by the Armenian Church as the site of the House of Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought after his arrest. Church dignitaries are buried here in the churchyard.

Humanity of Jesus

Humanity of Jesus Excerpt Theologians have puzzled over the exact relationship between Jesus’ humanity and deity. All we can say with confidence is that Jesus is both God and man. As a human being, He descended from Adam, was born, and lived a normal human life. He felt hunger and physical exhaustion. He knew rejection and pain. He enjoyed wedding celebrations and parties. He felt pity for the helpless, frustration at the dullness of His followers, and anger at the heartless indifference of the religious leaders to human suffering. He was truly human, in the best and the ideal sense of that word. As a human being He is our example. More Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print

Rock Hyrax

Rock Hyrax
‎The Rock Hyrax or Cape Hyrax (Heterohyrax syriacus) resembles a rat or a beaver, though zoologically it is not related to them, but is nearer to elephants. In the Hebrew Scriptures, it rates among the unclean animals. In addition, it is wrongly counted to the ruminants because of its intensive chewing movement. ‎Lev 11:5; Deut 14:7

The Keys of Death and Hades

The Keys of Death and HadesRevelations 1:18 Excerpt ...keys are the symbol of authority, and by having been raised from death, the glorified Christ has the power over death and the world of the dead; he has the power to leave people in death or to open the gates of Hades (see Isa 38.10; Matt 16.18 [RSV footnote]) and let its inhabitants leave. This, of course, is a figure for the power to bring the dead to life. More Bratcher, Robert G., and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Revelation to John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Wonders and Miraculous Signs

Wonders and Miraculous SignsActs 2:43 Excerpt Wonders (terata, “miracles evoking awe”) and miraculous signs(sēmeia, “miracles pointing to a divine truth”) authenticated the veracity of the apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4). The apostles performed many such “signs and wonders” (Acts 4:305:126:8;8:61314:315:12). Christ too had performed many “wonders” and “signs”—and also “miracles” (dynameis, “works of power”). More Toussaint, Stanley D. “Acts.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 360. Print

Jerusalem: John the Baptist Church

Jerusalem: John the Baptist Church ‎Jerusalem. Ein Karem. The Byzantines were the first, in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., to build a church in the birthplace of John the Baptist. That church was destroyed in the 7th century and later restored by the Crusaders. In 1579 Franciscan monks repaired the church for their annual visit on the day John the Baptist was beheaded. The present church was built towards the end of the 17th century, and the hospice and tower were added at the end of the 19th century.


Doxa Excerpt ‎Doxa essentially describes manifestations of supernatural splendor or divine glory. In the Greek translation of the ot (LXX), doxa is the usual translation for the Hebrew word kabod, whose primary meaning relates to weight (being heavy, weighty, or impressive). God’s presence was manifested by a visible, luminous phenomenon referred to as His doxa, which rested in particular in the tabernacle or temple (Exod 40:34–351 Kgs 8:11Hag 2:7lxx). ‎In the nt, doxa can also refer to the visible splendor or brightness of God’s presence (e.g. Rev 15:821:11). Writing to the Romans, Paul uses doxa to describe the direct presence of God and the communion with Him that was forfeited by humanity at the fall (Rom 3:23). … More Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012. Print.

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral - Inside

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral - Inside ‎Jerusalem. The severed head of St. James was buried here while his body was taken to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain. St. James is considered the first disciple who died as a martyr and an ancient tradition says that the person who betrayed him repented at once, declared himself a Christian and was beheaded together with him.

Fishermen and their Methods

Fishermen and their MethodsLuke 5:2-7 Excerpt The strenuous life of fishermen required a strong physique (Lk. 5:2), and their speech was sometimes rough (Mk. 14:70f). At least seven of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen: Peter, Andrew, probably Philip, who also came from Bethsaida (Aram. for ‘house of fishing’) on the Sea of Galilee, James, John, Thomas and Nathanael (Mt. 4:1821Jn. 1:4421:2). Some of these were partners in fishing and were used to working together (Lk. 5:710). The Bible mentions fishing by *net, specifically the casting-net (Mt. 4:18) and the large drag-net (Mt. 13:47). On the Sea of Galilee the fishermen used small boats, which were propelled by oars (Jn. 6:19). The statement that the wind was contrary (Mt. 14:24) may indicate the use of a sail as in the present-day fishing-boats on this lake. (*Ships and Boats.) Often on the Sea of Galilee fishing was done at night (Lk. 5:5Jn. 21:3). During the day the fisherman on the shore or wading in the water could throw…

Nazareth: Basilica of the Annunciation - Interior

Nazareth: Basilica of the Annunciation - Interior  ‎Listening attentively to the sermon around the main altar at the entrance to the Grotto in the Basilica of the Annunciation. Beyond the wrought iron fence and the Crusader columns, lit with a reddish glow is the Grotto of the Annunciation, where Joseph lived with Mary and Jesus after their return from Egypt. Inscribed on an altar inside the Grotto are the words: Hic Verbum Caro Factum Est (Here the Word Was Made Flesh)—from St. John’s Gospel, referring to the Incarnation of Jesus.

Jerusalem: Christian Quarters

Jerusalem: Christian Quarters ‎Jerusalem: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.” (Psalm 122:6–7). The Christian Quarter in the Old City. German style red-tiled roofs, the gray domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the minaret of a mosque from the Mameluke period.

Lower Than the Angels

Lower Than the Angels Excerpt Here the LXX takes Elohim (being a plural form) to mean “angels;” as also in Ps. 97:7 and 138:1. The more correct rendering of the Hebrew may be, “thou madest him a little short of God,” with reference to his having been made “in God’s image,” “after God’s likeness,” and having dominion over creation given him. But, if so,Elohim must be understood in its abstract sense of “Divinity” (so Gesenius), rather than as denoting the Supreme Being. Otherwise, “thyself” would have been the more appropriate expression, the psalm being addressed to God. The argument is not affected by the difference of translation. Indeed, the latter rendering enhances still more the position assigned to man. More Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Hebrews. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Loyalty and Faithfulness

Loyalty and FaithfulnessProverbs 3:3 Excerpt Loyalty and faithfulness are a combination of qualities that occur in such passages as Gen 24:49Exo 34:6Deut 7:9; and Psa 25:10and express the ideal relationship between people or between God and people. The two words overlap considerably in their meanings. In Gen 47:29 the word rendered loyalty(Hebrewchesed) is used of the relationship of Joseph to his father Jacob and in Exo 34:6 of the relationship of the Lord to his own people. An essential element in loyalty is love, and the word is sometimes translated as “love.” njb says “faithful love.” More Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Ephesus in Paul's Day

Ephesus in Paul's Day
‎Ephesus was a thriving port in the first century, situated on the only major east-west road system in the area. Nearly a century had passed since it had last been invaded. The city was proud and prosperous, and a strong Jewish community thrived there.

Each Member Functions to Serve the Other

Each Member Functions to Serve the OtherRomans 12:3 Excerpt As Paul explained, a parallelism exists between a believer’s physical body which has parts with differing functions and the community of believers in Christ as a spiritual body (cf. 1 Cor.12:12-27; Eph. 4:11-1215-16). The point is that each memberfunctions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members. The diversity of the many accompanies the unity of the body. Therefore it is important to think soundly about oneself and to evaluate properly God’s gifts and their uses. More Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 488. Print.

Love Your Enemies

Love Your Enemies Excerpt The Jewish teachers by “neighbour” understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends. The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1Pe 1:1516. Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. More Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: L…

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 (27:14John 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 His silence 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 trials was illegal, yet Jesus did not appeal for another trial. “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11More

Bible Gateway Verse for the Day

Hebrews 12:28King James Version

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

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Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

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Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reveren…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 26

  The Lord … thy habitation
        Ps. 91:9

We go home without arrangement. We plan our visits, and then go home because they are over. Duty, want, a host of things, lead us forth elsewhere; but the heart takes us home. Blessed, most blessed is he whose thoughts pass up to God, not because they are driven like a fisherman’s craft swept by the fierceness of the storm, not because they are forced by want or fear, not because they are led by the hand of duty, but because God is in his habitation and his home. Loosed from other things, the thoughts go home for rest.
In God the blessed man finds the love that welcomes. There is the sunny place. There care is loosed and toil forgotten. There is the joyous freedom, the happy calm, the rest, and renewing of our strength—at home with God.

Mark Guy Pearse

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Words and Music by Seth Sykes, 1892–1950 and Bessie Sykes, 1905–
  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
The gift of salvation—a personal relationship with almighty God—what an indescribable gift! Yet how often do we sincerely thank our Lord for all that He has done in making this possible? Our lack of praise and thanksgiving for His gift of salvation can be likened to the response of the ten lepers after being miraculously healed by Christ (Luke 17:11–19). Only one returned to express gratitude. The interest of the other nine was centered more in what had happened to them personally than in remembering the One who had performed the miracle in their lives. Are we ever guilty of this same carelessness?
It is interesting to imagine the life-long remorse that characterized these nine ungrateful lives:
  I meant to go back, but you may guess I was filled with amazement, I cannot express
  To think that after those horrible years, that passion o…

My Utmost for His Highest

November 26th

The concentration of spiritual energy

… save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. 6:14.

If you want to know the energy of God (i.e., the resurrection life of Jesus) in your mortal flesh, you must brood on the tragedy of God. Cut yourself off from prying personal interest in your own spiritual symptoms and consider bare-spirited the tragedy of God, and instantly the energy of God will be in you. “Look unto Me,” pay attention to the objective Source and the subjective energy will be there. We lose power if we do not concentrate on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these, we are to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s centre in your preaching, and though your crowd may apparently pay no attention, they can never be the same again. If I talk my own talk, it is of no more importance to you than your talk is to me; bu…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, November 26      Go To Evening Reading

         “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
         — Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,” refers to works that are possible. There are many things which our heart findeth to do which we never shall do. It is well it is in our heart; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart, and talking of them; we must practically carry out “whatsoever our hand findeth to do.” One good deed is more worth than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we “find to do” day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful as t…

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

November 26: A Moment to Reflect
2 Kings 17:6–18:12; Ephesians 1:1–23; Proverbs 8:9–18

Anyone will admit that wisdom is more than just knowledge. We think of wisdom as thoughtful insight acquired with life experience. However, Paul and the author of Proverbs tell us that it is not something we gain with a little age and some good direction. Wisdom is inseparable from the fear of God.

The author of Proverbs tells us wisdom is “knowledge and discretion”; it’s associated with the desire to fear God, and it is a reward to those who seek it out. “I love those who love me,” says Wisdom personified. “Those who seek me diligently shall find me” (Prov 8:17). Paul speaks of wisdom in light of understanding the grand story of salvation we’re part of. When writing to the Ephesians, Paul prays that they will receive a certain type of spirit so they can grow in faith—“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him (t…