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Showing posts from December 9, 2014

Lifting Up the Cup of Salvation

Lifting Up the Cup of Salvation ‎The picture illustrates the biblical term “lift up the cup of salvation.” In antiquity, a cup was a drinking bowl. ‎Ps 116:13

Her Firstborn

Her FirstbornLuke 2:7 Excerpt The reference to Jesus as the “firstborn” does not preclude Mary’s and Joseph’s later having had children as “only” (monogenēs) would, but it need not require the birth of other children either. An ancient grave inscription that speaks of the deceased as having died while giving birth to her “firstborn” son proves this (cf. also 2 Esdr 6:58; Pss. Sol.13:918:4).96 In light of the later references to the “brothers and sisters of Jesus” (Luke 8:19–21Acts 1:14; cf.Mark 6:3; etc.), Luke probably used “firstborn” instead ofmonogenēs because he knew of other sons. Luke clearly did not want to indicate that Jesus was Mary’s only son, or else he would have used monogenēs. In addition Matt 1:25 strongly implies that Joseph and Mary lived in a normal marital relationship after Jesus’ birth. This reference to Mary’s firstborn son prepares the reader forLuke 2:22–24More Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The…

The Power of the Word for Testimony

The Power of the Word for Testimony Excerpt The psalmist prays for the lovingkindness of the Lord to be manifested in deliverance, according to God’s word. This will enable him to render a decisive answer to those who taunt him with the uselessness of serving God. If he fails to experience this deliverance, then he will be deprived of the power to bear witness to the truth before his tormentors. If God will give him this grace, he resolves to send the rest of his life observing his law. In so doing he will be walking “in a broad place,” i.e., he will know true freedom. Should the opportunity present itself, he is prepared to confess his love for God’s word before rulers. He “lifts up his hands” to God’s commandment, i.e., he shows them the utmost reverence. More Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996. Print. Old Testament Survey Series.

Were the Disciples Drunk?

Were the Disciples Drunk?Acts 2:14–15 Excerpt To “lift up one’s voice” (literally in the Greek) may merely mean “to begin to speak in a loud voice.” In a loud voice is more often rendered simply as “to speak loudly to” or “to shout to.” It is interesting that the Greek verb which Luke has chosen forspeak is one which places emphasis upon the high quality and articulate nature of the words spoken (seeActs 2.4). The word occurs here, following the charge of drunkenness, and in Acts26.25 after the charge of madness. More Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles. New York: United Bible Societies, 1972. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Psalm 119

Psalm 119 Excerpt This psalm is special in several ways. It is the longest psalm (Ps 119:176verses), and it is an acrostic psalm, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In most editions of the Bible, the twenty-two sections of this psalm are headed by the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc.). In the Hebrew Bible, each verse in a section begins with that Hebrew letter. For example, all the verses in the “aleph” section (vv. 119:1–8) begin with the Hebrew letter “aleph.” Look at the “teth” section (vv. 119:65–72) and start v. 119:67 with “Til” and v. 119:71 with “Tis,” and you will have each line starting with the English letter “T” (which is the same as the Hebrew “teth”). The Jews wrote in this fashion to help them memorize the Scriptures so they could meditate on God’s Word. We do not know who wrote this psalm, although the writer refers to himself many times. He was suffering for his love for God’s Law (vv. Ps 22, Ps 50–53, Ps

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 10
  Then shall ye discern between the righteous and the wicked Mal. 3:18
Said Anne of Austria to Cardinal Richelieu: “God does not pay at the end of every week, but He pays at last!”


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

December 10

William C. Dix, 1837–1898
  When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child … (Luke 2:17)

The question asked in this well-loved carol must have been uppermost in the minds of those present at Jesus’ birth. We can almost hear the question being asked from one to another as they gazed into the humble manger. How difficult it must have been for them to understand that the babe who lay in “such mean estate” was truly the promised Messiah. And through the centuries men have continued to ponder who Christ really is—how can He be fully God and still fully man? Only through divine faith comes the revealed answer.

  He who is the Bread of Life began His ministry hungering. He who is the Water of Life ended His ministry thirsty. Christ hungered as man, yet fed the multitudes as God. He was weary, yet He is our rest. He prayed, yet He hears prayers. He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, yet He redeems sinners. He was le…

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day
Church Rev. Charles E. Spurgeon      
152 The treasury of the church is the liberality of God. The power of the church is the omnipotence of Jehovah. The persuasions of the church are the irresistible influences of the Holy Ghost. The destiny of the church is an ultimate conquest over all the sons of men.—14.324
153 I have heard of some who stay away because the church is not perfect. Are you perfect? Why, if the church were perfect, we should not endure you in it! I have no doubt that you will find the church quite as perfect as you are. There are others who keep aloof from the people of God because they feel they are not perfect themselves. My dear friend, if you were perfect we should not want you, because you would be the only perfect member among us.—17.478
154 If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all. And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it wo…

The International Sunday School Lesson

Lesson for December 14, 2014Make a Joyful NoisePsalm 95Lesson for December 14, 2014Make a Joyful NoisePsalm 95This treatment of the InternationalSunday School Lesson is written by Sam E. Stone, former editor of CHRISTIAN STANDARD. It is published in the December 7 issue of The Lookout magazine, and is also available online at ______ By Sam E. Stone  Psalm 95 begins with a call to sing praises to the Lord. The invitation to come is found three times in today’s text. The messianic implication in these verses is confirmed by the usage of this psalm in the New Testament. It is quoted in Hebrews 3 and 4, where it is attributed to David. Leslie S. M’Caw observed, “The anthem begins with an expression of Israel’s worship in which the knowledge of God is shown to be inseparable from the imprint of his action upon them at the Red Sea and in the wilderness.”
Exhortation to SingPsalm 95:1-5
In these verses people are called to unite in worshipping Yahweh. James E. Smith explaine…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 9

  When thou passes through the waters I will be with thee
Isa. 43:2
God’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial. The sympathy of His heart with us is sweeter far than the power of His hand for us.


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

Each Member Functions to Serve the Body

Each Member Functions to Serve the BodyRomans 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. 4:11-12, Eph. 15-16). 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

Paul Explains His Status

Paul Explains His Status Excerpt In v. 8 we have another newly-coined term which means literally “leaster” (elaxistoterō), that is “less than the least.” Paul’s sense of unworthiness was profound, because, even while he was persecuting Jesus’ followers of Jesus, Jesus’ grace was extended to him.78 This is not false modesty but rather profound gratitude, indicating how Paul really felt about the matter, as a text like 1 Cor. 15:9 shows. This sort of language falls under the ancient rhetorical rules for inoffensive self-praise.79 The rhetorical aim of such statements is to create a deep emotional response (pathos) in the audience, but it also makes it difficult to reject for if Paul is giving all the credit to God, to object to what he says is to object to what God has done. Humility, while not considered a virtue in the larger Greco-Roman world, was seen as a virtue in the Christian community and so could be referred to in a persuasive manner.80 The remarks also have a leveling effect,…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

December 9th

The offence of the natural

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Gal. 5:24.

The natural life is not sinful; we must be apostatized from sin, have nothing to do with sin in any shape or form. Sin belongs to hell and the devil; I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence and self-assertiveness, and this is where the battle has to be fought. It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural standpoint that keep us back from God’s best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God, is to bring our soul into the centre of its greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of the natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ. “They that are Christ…

Connect the Testaments

December 9: Self-Evident Hope
Jeremiah 16:1–17:27; Romans 1:18–2:11; Proverbs 16:1–11

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all impiety and unrighteousness of people, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is evident among them, for God made it clear to them” (Rom 1:18–19). A statement like this could easily be taken out of context if we leave off everything after “people.” But when we contextualize this message, we find hope instead of hopelessness.
Paul goes on to tell us that creation itself reveals God and His goodness to humanity, so there is no excuse for failing to understand God and the salvation He offers: “For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created, so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20).
We have all heard people who are concerned that salvation seems unfair: What about the people who won’t ever hear ab…