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Showing posts from January 12, 2015

The Significance of the Burning Bush

The Significance of the Burning BushExodus 3:2 The burning bush had a threefold significance. It was a picture of God (Deut. 33:16), for it revealed His glory and power, yet it was not consumed. Moses needed to be reminded of the glory and power of God, for he was about to undertake an impossible task. Second, the bush symbolized Israel going through the fire of affliction, but not consumed. How often nations have tried to exterminate the Jews, yet have failed! Finally, the bush illustrated Moses—a humble shepherd, who with God’s help would become a fire that could not be put out! Note that Moses was brought to the place where he bowed before God and adored Him in wonder, for this is the true beginning of Christian service. Servants who know how to take off their shoes in humility can be used of God to walk in power. Later we see that before God called Isaiah, He revealed His glory (Isa. 6). The memory of the burning bush must have encouraged Moses during many a trying mile in the wi…

Protect Me and Help Me

Protect Me and Help Me In these two verses the psalmist pleads with Yahweh to rescue him from his oppressors, for he has always done what is just and right (verse 121). He calls his enemies my oppressors because they persecute and mistreat him; the same verb oppress is used in verse 122b. In verse 122a the Hebrew verb form translated Be surety by RSV is a legal term describing the action of someone who makes himself responsible for another’s debts; here the term has the general sense of helping. The meaning of the line is well expressed by NJV, “Guarantee your servant’s well-being” (also NJB); FRCL has “Guarantee me that everything will end well.” Be surety for thy servant may also be rendered, for example, “Be my protector and helper” or simply “Protect me and help me.” For thy servant see verse 17a; for the godless see verse 51a. (It is to be noticed that in verses 121–122 there is no reference to God’s law.)
Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s Handbook o…

Abram's Travels

Abram's Travels
Illustration. Abram’s travels. It was 500 miles on foot from Ur to Canaan. We know the road; rainfall patterns of the era show only one route could have been followed. In Canaan Abram still lived as a nomad, in tents.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Not Commending Ourselves

Not Commending Ourselves12 Paul’s appeal to the consciences of his readers is not to be misunderstood. We are not commending ourselves to you again. Paul has already made this disclaimer (3:1; see the notes). He is in a difficult position, for though he has no intention of using any commendation beyond that of the Gospel itself, which authorizes those who preach it, it is necessary, or at least desirable, in the interests of the apostolic mission, that his good faith should be recognized by those who form the churches founded by him. The present verse is of great importance because it shows that this necessity arises out of the presence of others who work on different lines. Compare 3:2, and the development of the argument in chapters 10–13—the situation which in these four chapters flares up and is discussed with vehemence and some bitterness is already present in germ in the earlier part of the epistle. Allo writes of these verses: ‘The eagle is beginning to look down from above on…

Temptations

TemptationsJames 1:13-18 Analysis of temptations (1:13–18). The pull toward evil we feel when tested—a pull toward anger, striking out, or surrender to passion—does not “come from” God. That is, temptation is not located in the test but in our sin nature’s response to the test. If we realize God intends the test as a “good and perfect gift,” our perspective changes. Rather than view tests as temptation and give in, we can welcome tests as blessings intended to help us grow. James reminds us that God has given us a new birth (v. 18). That new life is the source of an inner power that will enable us to triumph not only over the circumstances but our sinful tendencies as well.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISHProverbs 10:6–22

Most of the sentences in this unit state contrasting ideas. The exceptions are vv. 10, 18, and 22 in which the first thought is expanded in the second.


A. Contrasting Outcomes (10:6–12)


1. Blessings vs. cursing (10:6). “Blessings are upon the head of the righteous.” Either God rewards the righteous person with blessings, or others bestow their blessings upon him because of his righteousness. On the other hand, “the mouth of the wicked conceals violence,” i.e., so that he may wait for the opportunity of practicing violence. The idea is that the wicked plot the ruin of their neighbors and thus incur their curses instead of their blessings. The verse indicates the contrast between the manifest blessedness of the righteous and the sinister activities of the wicked.
2. Pleasant vs. painful memories (10:7). “The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing.” After a righteous person dies the memory of his good deeds will endure. People will recall hi…

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy
Sons and Heirs
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all none in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

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

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 12

  Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed
John 20:29
The seen are shadows: the substance is found in the unseen.… No doubt, in Christ, the foundation of our faith is unseen; but so is that of yonder tower that lifts its tall erect form among the waves over which it throws a saving light. It appears to rest on the rolling billows; but, beneath these, invisible and immovable, lies the solid rock on which it stands secure: and when the hurricane roars above, and breakers roar below, I could go calmly to sleep in that lone sea tower. Founded on a rock, and safer than the proudest palace that stands on the sandy, surf-beaten shore, it cannot be moved. Still less the Rock of Ages! Who trusts in that is fit for death, prepared for judgment, ready for the last day’s sounding trumpet, since, “The Lord [redeems] the soul of his servants, and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

Guthrie

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet H…

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

January 12th
Have you ever been alone with God?


When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples. Mark 4:34.

Our Solitude with Him. Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He expounds things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been [harboring] before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves, it is the last conceit to go. The only One Who understands us is God. The greatest curse in spiritual life is conceit. …

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

Morning, January 12                                         Go To Evening Reading

         “Ye are Christ’s.”  — 1 Corinthians 3:23
“Ye are Christ’s.” You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for hecounted down the price for your redemption; hisby dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs.

Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, “I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ’s.” Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ’s, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ’s. Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat st…

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

January 12: Fear God
Genesis 21:22–23:20;Matthew 15; Ecclesiastes 5:1–7

In Ecclesiastes 5, the author stops to consider God’s place in the heavens and our place on earth. He acknowledges that there is a great gulf of understanding between who God is and who we think He is. This realization should affect our entire posture before Him.

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God,” he says. “Do not be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth.” Don’t attempt to offer the “sacrifice of fools” with your lips, or even your heart, he adds. Instead, we should come prepared to listen (Eccl 5:1–3).

Coming to God ready to listen doesn’t mean neglecting to bring our troubles or needs before Him. He wants us to do this—but not rashly. Rather, we should offer acknowledgement that He guides our lives. Like Rachel and Leah, in Genesis 30, we may sometimes use God to justify the pursuit of our own goals, rather than seek…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 12

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed
John 20:29
The seen are shadows: the substance is found in the unseen.… No doubt, in Christ, the foundation of our faith is unseen; but so is that of yonder tower that lifts its tall erect form among the waves over which it throws a saving light. It appears to rest on the rolling billows; but, beneath these, invisible and immovable, lies the solid rock on which it stands secure: and when the hurricane roars above, and breakers roar below, I could go calmly to sleep in that lone sea tower. Founded on a rock, and safer than the proudest palace that stands on the sandy, surf-beaten shore, it cannot be moved. Still less the Rock of Ages! Who trusts in that is fit for death, prepared for judgment, ready for the last day’s sounding trumpet, since, “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants, and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

Guthrie

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hou…

Morning and Evening

Morning, January 12                                            Go To Evening Reading

“Ye are Christ’s.” 
         — 1 Corinthians 3:23
“Ye are Christ’s.” You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs. Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, “I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ’s.” Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ’s, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ’s. Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the swe…

My Utmost for His Highest

January 12th

Have you ever been alone with God?



When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples.Mark 4:34.

Our Solitude with Him. Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He expounds things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been [harboring] before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves, it is the last conceit to go. The only One Who understands us is God. The greatest curse in spiritual life is conceit. If w…

Connect the Testaments

Putting aside God’s priorities in our lives can be far too easy—probably because He is not standing in front of us, nagging us to do His work. But there won’t be another day to get around to God’s work. Instead, those who believe in Christ (the righteous) will be separated from everyone else (the wicked). In the meantime, our job is to lead the “wicked” to the ways of Christ (Matt 13:44–50). We’re called to do His work, day by day. And we’re called to work as if we don’t have another chance—as if nothing in the world is more valuable.

JOHN D. BARRY




January 12: Fear God
Genesis 21:22–23:20; Matthew 15; Ecclesiastes 5:1–7

In Ecclesiastes 5, the author stops to consider God’s place in the heavens and our place on earth. He acknowledges that there is a great gulf of understanding between who God is and who we think He is. This realization should affect our entire posture before Him.

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God,” he says. “Do not be rash with your mouth, nor let your he…