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Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

January 7th
Intimate with Jesus


Have I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known Me? John 14:9.

These words are not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus is leading Philip on. The last One with whom we get intimate is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One Who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18–20 ). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come—“I have called you friends.” Friendship is rare on earth. It means identity in thought and heart and spirit. The whole discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His word, but do we know Him?

Jesus said—“It is expedient for you that I go away”—in that relationship, so that He might lead them on. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him. Fruit-bearing is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate unio…

Tomb of Joseph, Nablous

Tomb of Joseph, Nablous
‎The pilgrims from Jerusalem having left Shiloh would in about ten miles’ further travel reach Joseph’s Tomb, a mile and a half to the south of Nablous. This is supposed to be on “the parcel of ground purchased by Jacob,” and is an object of great veneration. It stands at the eastern entrance to the valley between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Mohammedans agree on the identity of this sacred place. The low-domed mosque gleams white against the mountain back ground. The tomb itself is about six feet long and four feet high, covered with ordinary plaster, which has been whitewashed, as are all the Moslem graves of the country. Within the entrance to the inclosure is the vine “whose branches run over the wall,” recording the words of Jacob when he blessed Joseph. Hebrew, Arabic and Samaritan inscriptions are on the wall. It is really the tomb that should mark the resting place of the bones of Joseph, the Hebrew prince of Egypt and…

The Symbolism of the Right Hand

The Symbolism of the Right HandHebrews 1:13“Sit at My right hand” (Heb 1:13). The right hand is the traditional place of power and authority in the biblical world. Christ not only laid the foundations of the earth, and possesses endless life and existence, He also exercises all the power and authority of Deity
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Fishing in the Sea of Galilee

Fishing in the Sea of Galilee
‎In the Hellenistic period, fishing boomed around the Sea of Galilee. Now it was possible to dry (pickle) fish; thus it could be delivered to regions farther away. Until the middle of the 20th century CE, fisherman fished there the same way as in the time of the New Testament: A net was spread between two boats, then pulled together so that the fish were trapped in the area enclosed by the net. ‎Matt 4:18; Mark 1:16; Luke 5:2

You Shall not Murder

You Shall not Murder The fifth commandment (v. Ex 20:12) deals with the honor or respect due to a parent. The sixth through eighth commandments are common to most cultures. The prohibition against killing (v. Ex 20:13) actually means murder, which is quite different than the sort of killing that goes on in the course of a battle. A distinction between murder and death in battle is apparent in David’s statement in 1 Kings 2:5. A whole range of circumstances that lead to death will be dealt with in 1 Kings 21:12–27. These laws make it clear that the sixth commandment is a general statement that requires expansion.
Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library.

Sea of Galilee: Church of St. Peter's Primacy

Sea of Galilee: Church of St. Peter's Primacy
‎Tabgha. The Church of St. Peter’s Primacy was built by the Franciscans in 1934. Using the local basalt stones, they built on the foundations of a Byzantine church housing the rock known as Mensa Christi or Christ’s Table. The church was built to commemorate the miracle of Jesus’ revealing himself to Simon Peter and the other disciples at Tabgha after his Resurrection, as described in John 21:1–17. The fishing had been poor that day and Jesus suggested that they cast their nets at the right side of the boat. As soon as they did so their nets filled with fish. After this the text goes on: “Jesus saith to Simon, ‘Peter Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me more than these?’ He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee’. He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs’”. Following this event Peter’s Primacy was recognized.

Mosaic Law Fulfilled

Mosaic Law FulfilledRomans 3:31. The final question is, Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Paul responded in his characteristic expletive, Not at all! (mē genoito, “Let it not be”; cf. comments on v. 4) and then explained, Rather, we uphold the Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’stotal plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith inJesus Christ (cf.v. 20; Gal. 3:23–25). Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Romans 3:22–31! (See vv. 22, 25–28, 30 [twice], and 31.
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. 452. Print.

Appreciation of God's Word

Appreciation of God's WordPs 119:17–24. The psalmist asked God to open his eyes so that he could see the marvelous blessings of God in the Word (vv. 17–18). He hungered for the Word (vv. 19–20). Because God curses the wickedwho disobeyHim, he prayed that the Lord would remove those who reproached him. In contrast with them, he meditated on and delighted in God’s Law (vv. 21–24). Frequently in this psalm he referred to the wicked and those who oppressed him (vv. 23, 53, 61, 69–70, 78, 85–87, 95, 110, 115, 119, 122, 134, 155, 157–158, 161).
Ross, Allen P. “Psalms.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 880. Print.

Relations Between the Testaments

Relations Between the Testaments In some ways the area of the relations between the testaments has been neglected in the history of Bible study. In other respects it has been the scene of heated debate, as in the case of the controversy over the relation of the law to the life of the believer. But in any case it is a feature of the biblical revelation that cannot be ignored.
Although this area of study is in many ways open-ended, we will suggest four avenues of approach to relations between the testaments: (1) structural, (2) theological, (3) analogical, and (4) quotational. It should be emphasized that these are not mutually exclusive. For instance, many theological relations between the testaments are carried by quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament, and many structural features are expressed in the development of theological themes between the testaments. The very fact that the New Testament quotes the Old Testament extensively is in itself a structural feature. Tha…

Aaron's bejeweled breastpiece

Aaron's bejeweled breastpiece


Exodus 28–29 ___________________________________________________________

Outline
Place
Finder
SLAVERY
DELIVERANCE
LAW
ACCESS
BACK
to Outline

Chapter summary. On Mt. Sinai God continues His instructions to Moses. Moses is to set Aaron and his sons apart to serve as priests (Ex 28:1). God gives a detailed description of the ritual garments to be worn by the high priest (Exodus 28:2–43). He also gives detailed instructions for a consecration ceremony which is to set them aside for their ministry (Exodus 29:1–46).

Key verse. Exodus 28:29: Priestly ministry means representing others to God.

Personal application. The most splendid dress in Israel was worn by the ministering priest, for there is no more important ministry than to represent others to God, and lead them to worship Him.

Key concepts. Leading » Deuteronomy 18. Anoint » 1 Samuel 10–11. Priesthood » Leviticus 9–10. Consecration » Proverbs 19–22.



Illustration. Aaron’s jeweled breastpiece held the Urim and…

First-Century Galilean Fishing Boat

First-Century Galilean Fishing Boat
‎This type of small sailboat was very common in first century Galilee; it was likely the same kind that Jesus’ first disciples used.

God's Judgement

God's JudgementRomans 9:19Rom. 9:19. Paul again anticipates an objection (“Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted [=anthestēken perfect tense, and continues to resist] His will?”) from his readers from what he has just argued: Mercy is neither a human right nor a divine obligation. Rather God extends mercy to undeserving men as He wills. Hence the objector thinks, if all rebellious men like Pharaoh serve God’s purpose why should God blame them? Could they have acted otherwise? Thus one may conclude: Is God’s will not the basis of human behavior instead of judgment?
Lopez, René A. Romans Unlocked Power to Deliver. Springfield, MO: 21st Century, 2005. Print.

Obey the Lord's Precepts

Obey the Lord's PreceptsPsalm 119:4-6
It is to be noticed that in verse 4 the Hebrew word translated precepts appears only in the Psalms. The Hebrew verb “to keep” is used in verses 4b and 5b (see its use inverse 2a); again, it means to follow, to “obey.” In verse 5 the wish represented by O that … may be expressed by “I hope that” or “I wish that.”NJB has “May my ways be steady in doing your will.”
In verse 6 be put to shame is the public shame to which a pious Israelite would be subjected who did not fully obey the law of Yahweh; failure to obey the Law would be obvious from the disgrace or the suffering which would overtake such a person. TEV in verse 6 has inverted the order of the Hebrew text, putting first line b, “If I pay attention to all your commands,” so as to make the psalmist’s statement easier to understand. RSV having my eyes fixed on means “because I have my eyes fixed on.” The Hebrew phrase “fix one’s eyes on” means to “pay attention to,” to observe, to obey. In …

Tree threatened by locusts

Tree threatened by locusts ‎Since locusts usually appear in swarms that can eat up the entire vegetation in large areas, they were regarded as a great danger in antiquity. This is illustrated by the tree eaten bare. Such a complete defoliation by locusts could happen in a very short time. ‎Exod 10:4–19; Deut 28:38; Judg 6:5; Judg 7:12; Job 39:20; Ps 78:46; Ps 105:34; Ps 109:23; Isa 33:4; Joel 1:4; Joel 2:25; Amos 7:1; Judith 2:19–20; Wisdom of Sol 16:9; Sirach 43:17b; Matt 3:4; Mark 1:6; Rev 9:3, Rev 9:7

Jerusalem: Pater Nostra Church

Jerusalem: Pater Nostra Church ‎ Jerusalem. The churchyard of the Pater Noster. The church, belonging to the Sisters of the Carmelite Order, was built on the Mount of Olives over the remains of a Crusader church called the Eleona, the Greek name of the Mount of Olives. The crypt of the church is the grotto where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The Byzantine basilica built over the crypt by the Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helena, was demolished in the 7th century, and the Crusader church was destroyed by Saladin’s soldiers in the 12th century. Only towards the end of the 19th century was a new church built.

Good Master

Good Master1 Peter 2:18
THE particular Greek word translated “servants” indicates that these were household slaves. They were Christian slaves serving for the most part in the homes of pagan masters. The fact that Peter singles them out for special admonitions indicates that slaves, as a class, formed a large part of the early Christian community. The slaves are exhorted to put themselves in subjection to their absolute lords and masters. They are to do this to the good and gentle ones. Some of these pagan masters had what the poet calls “the milk of human kindness.” They were good to their slaves. The Greek word translated “good,” refers to inner intrinsic goodness. They were good at heart. The word “gentle” in the Greek refers to that disposition which is mild, yielding, indulgent. It is derived from a Greek word meaning, “not being unduly rigorous.” Alford translates, “where not strictness of legal right, but consideration for another is the rule of practice.” The one word “reason…

Map of Babylon

Map of Babylon 
‎The map shows Babylon towards the end of the 7th and the beginning of the 6th millennium BCE. ‎1: New Town ‎2: Temple area Esagila ‎3: Ziggurat/Temple Tower Etemenanki (“House between Heaven and Earth”) ‎4: Marduk Way ‎5: Libilchegalla Channel ‎6: outer wall of the Walls of Babylon ‎7: Marduk Gate ‎8: City wall of Nebuchadnezzar ‎9: Holy Gate ‎10: Ishtar Temple ‎11: Processional Way ‎12: Ishtar Gate ‎13: Hanging Gardens ‎14: Marduk Temple ‎15: House of the New Year Festival ‎Gen 11:9; 2 Kings 17:24; 2 Kings 24:1, 2 Kings 24:7, 2 Kings 24:10; Ezra 4:9; Ezra 5:13, Ezra 5:17; Ezra 6:1, Ezra 6:5; Ps 137:1; Isa 13:19;  Isa 14:4;  Isa 21:9; Jer 29:15; Jer. 46:2; Jer. 50:1; Dan 2:48; Micah 4:10; Zech 6:10; Baruch 1:1, Baruch 1:4

Modern Mount Calvary

Modern Mount Calvary
‎Great authorities are marshaled in favor of both claimants—the church within and the mound without the walls. For a long time the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the only traditional spot pointed out as the place of burial. But with the growing influence of the Grotto of Jeremiah, the modern Mount Calvary, a picture of which we give, increased in favor. This whole discussion as to the place where Christ was crucified, and as to the tomb in which His body was placed, turns upon the direction which the walls about Jerusalem took at the time of the crucifixion. If the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was outside the wall at that time, as Dean Stanley thinks it might have been, the chances in favor of its being the place of crucifixion and burial are increased. If, however, the site of this church was inside the wall at that time it is sure that the place of burial and crucifixion was not there, for Christ was crucified outside of the walls of Jerusalem. And supposing …

Mount Hermon: Caesarea Philippi - Banias Spring

Mount Hermon:  Caesarea Philippi -
Banias Spring
‎The crystal-clear waters of the Banias spring, which feeds the River Hermon, one of the three tributaries of the River Jordan. The origin of the name is Paneas or Panias—city of Pan, the god of springs, flocks and herds in ancient Greece, whose rites flourished here in the first century A.D. When the Arabs arrived its name was changed to Banias. Panias was given to King Herod by his patron, the Roman Emperor Augustus. Herod’s son and heir, Philip, made it his capital and called it Caesarea Philippi. Matthew (Mt. 16:13) mentions it as the northernmost town which Jesus visited with his disciples, and during the visit there he entrusted Simon Peter with the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Rooted and Established

Rooted and EstablishedEphesians 3:17-19Ephesians 3:17b–19. 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. They could be translated “having been rooted and established.” The purpose of the request is that they may have power (exischysēte, “have inherent strength”), together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. These measurements most likely describe not the thoroughness of comprehension but the immensity of the thing to be comprehended.
Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 631. Pri…

Alley in Jerusalem

Alley in Jerusalem ‎The picture of present-day Old City of Jerusalem in some ways is also typical for the conditions in biblical times. Even though there were neither two-story houses, nor apses or arches, the city was characterized by similar small alleys. Tradesman and craftsmen had their stores alongside these alleys, so that it was possible to shop there. Doorways led from the alleys into each of the residential buildings. ‎2 Sam 1:20; Eccles 12:4–5; Song 3:2; Jer 5:1; Jer. 7:17; Jer. 11:6; Jer. 14:16; Jer. 33:10; Tobit 13:17; Acts 5:15

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy


Walk in Love
5 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:1-7, NKJV)

The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 7

  Now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light
Eph. 5:8

The influence we exert in the world is created by our relationship to Jesus Christ; and our relationship to Jesus Christ is revealed by our influence.

Selected

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

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged

Morning, January 7                                                Go To Evening Reading

         “For me to live is Christ.”  — Philippians 1:21
The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and celestial birth the man begins to live to Christ.

Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defence of his gospel we would die; he is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character. Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ—nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath,…

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

January 7: A Time for Everything
Genesis 12–13, Matthew 10, Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Eccl 3:1).

The Bible’s most famous poem has inspired writers for generations, yet has not been improved upon. In a few short, simple lines, the Preacher ponders the whole of life: birth, death, weeping, laughing, mourning, dancing, breaking down, and building up. The buoyancy and familiarity of the text could cause us to gloss over the poetic brilliance of “the matter[s] under heaven.” But when we get to “a time to hate” and “a time to kill,” the romance is—well, killed. Are all these emotions and events really ordained by God? The strength of the poem is in contrast and repetition. By laying the seasons side by side, the Preacher effectively captures the span and cycle of human life. He isn’t providing a list of experiences that we should check off our holistic life to-do list. Rather, he is emphasizing an absolute need for relianc…