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Showing posts from January 23, 2015

Diversity of Gifts in One Body

Diversity of Gifts in One Body Excerpt Paul’s aim at the moment is not however to establish a rating or hierarchy of gifts, but rather to insist that all gifts whatsoever, important or unimportant, showy or obscure, come from the same source. All these things (just listed) the same one Spirit (literally, one and the same Spirit) puts into operation (ἐνεργεῖ, cf. verse6 above, where it is used of God; the word suggests that the Spirit is the source of boundless and manifold energy and power—a thoroughly biblical thought), distributing (cf. verses 4 ff.) individually (ἰδίᾳ; see e.g. M. iii.18; it would be possible to write the word ἴδια, and translate his own gifts) to each one (it is again implied that each Christian receives some gift) as he wills. Thus it is not for Christians to dictate to the Spirit what gifts they (or others) should have, though they should strive for the greater (and perhaps less spontaneous) gifts (verse 31). The Spirit chooses what gift shall be given to each …

The Race of Life

The Race of Life Excerpt Their encouragement has two purposes: to throw off everything that hinders and to put awaythe sin that so easily entangles. As Moses laid aside the prerogatives of royalty for the sake of his God-given mission, so we must throw off whatever may hinder faith even though it may be right for others. Joseph properly ruled in Egypt, but for Moses it was a hindering weight. Other weights might well be ambition, anxieties, hobbies, wealth or fame. Each runner must honestly judge what hinders faith for him or her and resolutely lay it aside, even though others seem to be unhindered by the same thing. One cannot run well in an overcoat! But the primary block to gaining the prize is the sin that so easily entangles. Since the writer does not specify what this is, it may be taken for granted that it is the sin continually warned about in Hebrews— persistent unbelief. Do not take God’s Word lightly. Do not excuse any sin as all right for you, but forbidden to others. Do …

Our Speech

Our Speech Excerpt The mouth is a poetic use of one of the organs of speech and refers to the words or thoughts spoken by the righteous, that is, a good, honest person. Fountain of life is similar to “tree of life” used in 3:18. See there for comments. The expression is used in Psa 36.9(Hebrew verse 10), where it refers to God as being the source or creator of all life. In 16:22 Wisdom is afountain of life. In this verse the expression refers to the words of the righteous, perhaps because such people are identified with the wise and with wisdom. More Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Beth She'an: Corinthian Columns

Beth She'an: Corinthian Columns
‎Washed by the rain, two columns of a temple that crashed onto the basalt stones during the massive earthquake of 749 A.D. The Corinthian capital of the column looks as if it had toppled off just yesterday. Four huge columns, 9.5 meters high, stood on 2-meter high pedestals at the facade of the temple. The sight of the columns lying helplessly like this in the excavations at the Beth She’an National Park reminds the visitor how small is man and his works, even the mightiest and most splendid of them, in face of nature’s wrath.

View of Jerusalem from the South with Kidron Valley and Silvan

View of Jerusalem from the South with Kidron Valley and Silvan

‎ The images shows present-day Jerusalem and the deeply indented Kidron Valley seen from the south. To its right lies the village Silwan. In the monarchic period, members of Jerusalem’s upper class were buried here in large rock-cut tombs. ‎2 Sam 15:23; 1 Kings 2:37; 15:13; 2 Kings 23:6, 23:12; Jer 31:40; John 18:1

Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi

‎ Cæsarea Philippi, Bâniâs. This ancient city occupies one of the most picturesque sites in Syria. It is about three and a half miles from Dan. This was anciently the old Greek city of Panium, which Herod the Great rebuilt and renamed Cæsarea Philippi. On the terrace at the base of this cone lie the ruins of Cæsarea Philippi. The terrace itself is covered with oak and olive trees, having green glades and clumps of hawthorn, acacia and myrtle here and there, all alive with streams of water and cascades.
The main attraction of Bâniâs is the great fountain, the “upper source” of the Jordan, bursting from the mouth of a cave, sweeping down a rocky bed, scattering its spray over thickets of oleander and dashing away over fallen columns and rocks, and at length plunging over a precipice into a dark ravine. The citadel, the walls, the moat, the bridge, the gateway, the towers, are all worthy of study, but there is one episode in the history of Cæsarea Philippi which has se…


Excommunication Excerpt According to the Talmud, there were three grades of excommunication among the Jews. The first was called niddin, and those on whom it was pronounced were not permitted for thirty days to have any communication with any person unless at a distance over four cubits (about 6 feet). They were not prohibited from attending public worship, though they could not, during the thirty days, enter the temple by the ordinary gate. They were not allowed to shave during that time, and were required to wear garments of mourning. The second was called cherem, and was pronounced on those who remained openly disobedient under the first. It was of greater severity than the other, and required the presence of at least ten members of the congregation to make it valid. The offender was formally cursed, was excluded from all intercourse with other people, and was prohibited from entering the temple or synagogue. The third was shammatha, and was inflicted on those who persisted in their …

Abram shall be the Father of the Heir

Abram shall be the Father of the Heir Excerpt God made it clear that Abraham alone would be the father of the future heir. Heirship depends on sonship (Rom. 8:14–17). Then God dramatically assured Abraham that this one heir would be the father of so many descendants that nobody would be able to count them.Even when life is dark, you can still see the stars. Someone has well said, “When the outlook is bleak, try the up-look.” Abraham had been looking around, trying to solve his problem; but the answer lay in looking up. About 30,000 stars are listed in the General Catalog used by astronomers, but it is estimated that there are 100 billion more! God did not say that Abraham would have that many descendants but that, like the stars, there would be too many to count. Whether Abraham looked down at the dust (Gen. 13:14) or up at the stars (15:5), he would recall God’s promise and have confidence. This promise was repeated to Abraham (22:17) and reaffirmed to Isaac (26:4). More Wiersbe, War…

The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane

‎For nearly sixteen hundred years this Garden of Gethsemane, in the Valley of Kedron, has been fixed by the devout as the place of the prayer of our Savior at the time of his “agony” just before his death. John says: “Jesus went forth with his disciples over the brook Kedron, where was a garden into which He entered with his disciples.” Mark says: “And they came to the place which was named Gethsemane, and He said to his disciples, Sit ye here while I shall pray.” Since the days of the visit of the Empress Helena to Jerusalem, in the fourth century, this garden has been identified by tradition. The Valley of Kedron (Jehoshaphat) is here deep and narrow, and Gethsemane occupies about an acre of ground, to the north of which are rugged and barren heights in which the kings of Jerusalem are buried. To the west are the massive walls of Jerusalem. To the east, and rising directly above it about three hundred feet, is the Mount of Olives. The Valley of the Kedron f…

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the DayReverend Lynwood F. Mundy GM."O' Give Thanks Unto The Lord"(In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ... .1 Thessalonians 5:28) can you think of one thing God did for you (this week) that you can say "Thank You". ... If He did nothing but woke you up this week. Thank God, (maybe you were so righteous and good that He had to wake you up, and you don't need to thank Him). ... Have a wonderful stress- free day and weekend. Much love. - Sister Shirley Thomas

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 23

  Under his shadow
Song of Sol. 2:3
I seem to see four pictures suggested by that: under the shadow of a rock in a weary plain; under the shadow of a tree; closer still, under the shadow of His wing; nearest and closest, in the shadow of His hand. Surely that hand must be the pierced hand, that may oftentimes press us sorely, and yet evermore encircling, upholding and shadowing!

Frances Ridley Havergal

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

Morning, January 23                                           Go To Evening Reading

“I have exalted one chosen out of the people.”
         — Psalm 89:19
Why was Christ chosen out of the people? Speak, my heart, for heart-thoughts are best. Was it not that he might be able to be our brother, in the blest tie of kindred blood? Oh, what relationship there is between Christ and the believer! The believer can say, “I have a Brother in heaven; I may be poor, but I have a Brother who is rich, and is a King, and will he suffer me to want while he is on his throne? Oh, no! He loves me; he is my Brother.” Believer, wear this blessed thought, like a necklace of diamonds, around the neck of thy memory; put it, as a golden ring, on the finger of recollection, and use it as the King’s own seal, stamping the petitions of thy faith with confidence of success. He is a brother born for adversity, treat him as such.

Christ was also chosen out of the people that he might know our wants and sympathize wi…

Connect the Testaments

January 23: Pride in Disguise
Genesis 37; Matthew 26:57–27:31; Ecclesiastes 9:1–6

Sometimes recognizing our sin for what it is can throw us into deep shame. In Matthew, we find that two of Jesus’ disciples experience this moment of remorse—Judas after he betrays Jesus, and Peter when he denies Jesus. From their responses, we learn what true repentance looks like.

Judas is remorseful when he realizes the enormity of his betrayal. But he doesn’t move from remorse to repentance. He tries to absolve his guilt by returning the payment he received for betraying Jesus—an attempt to buy back his innocence. And when the “blood money” is refused and he is unable to eliminate the guilt, Judas hangs himself (Matt 27:5).

Peter, the disciple with an impulsive, childlike loyalty to Jesus, denies his Lord when questioned by a mere servant girl. When Peter remembers Jesus’ prediction, he leaves, “weeping bitterly.” However, the Gospel of John tells us that Peter glorified God in his death (John 21:15–1…