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Showing posts from March 30, 2015

Place of Herod, Samaria or Sebaste

Place of Herod, Samaria or Sebaste ‎ Thirty years of silence in the midst of which our Savior grew up is broken only once. This was upon the occasion of the visit of the Holy Family to the feast of the Passover, when Jesus was twelve years of age. “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” The feast of the Passover began on the 8th of April, according to Dr. Andrews, and this visit to Jerusalem was made by the Holy Family in the year A. D. 8, according to the same authority. It must be remembered, in order to understand the calendar which began the Christian era, that from some error in the calculation it is four years too late. The journey of Jesus and His mother, from Nazareth in Galilee to the Holy City of Jerusalem, would be full of historic associations which the lad with His ample knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures would readily recall. The lad of Shunem w…

Altar and pillar

Altar and pillar ‎The altar (on the left) belongs to a private house in Shechem, perhaps dating back to the first half of the 1st millennium BCE; the pillar is from Megiddo (12th-10th century BCE). Perhaps fragrant incense was burnt on the altar, whereas a drink offering could have been poured in the dish on top of the pillar (on the left). ‎Altar of incense: Exod 30:1, 30:27; 31:8; 35:15; 40:5; 1 Macc 4:49; 2 Macc 2:5; Luke 1:11


Ships ‎This Assyrian relief shows a rowing boat at the top, and beneath it a galley that can be propelled by either oarsmen or sail. The oars made the ship independent of the wind, but galleys without sail had to remain near the Mediterranean coast. ‎James 3:4

Magi in the Ancient World

Magi in the Ancient World Excerpt Extrabiblical evidence offers various clues that shed light on the place of origin and positions held by the magi of Matthew 2. The historian Herodotus mentioned magi as a priestly caste of Media, or Persia, and, as the religion in Persia at the time was Zoroastrinism, Herodotus’s magi were probably Zoroastrian priests. Herodotus, together with Plutarch and Strabo, suggested that magi were partly responsible for ritual and cultic life (supervising sacrifices and prayers) and partly responsible as royal advisers to the courts of the East. Believing the affairs of history were reflected in the movements of the stars and other phenomena, Herodotus said, the rulers of the East commonly utilized the magi’s knowledge of astrology and dream interpretation to determine affairs of state. The magi were, therefore, concerned with what the movement of the stars (as signs and portents) might signify for the future affairs of history. Such an interest could accoun…


PowerEphesians 1:19 Excerpt The word “power” (dynamis; cf. 3:20) means a spiritually dynamic and living force. This power of God is directed toward believers. Paul then used three additional words to describe God’s power. It is according to the working (energeian, “energetic power,” from which comes the Eng. “energy”) of the might (kratous, “power that overcomes resistance,” as in Christ’s miracles; this word is used only of God, never of believers) of God’s inherentstrength (ischyos) which He provides (cf. 6:10; 1 Peter 4:11). This magnificent accumulation of words for power under scores the magnitude of God’s “great power” available to Christians. More 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. 620. Print

The Word and the Shepherd

The Word and the Shepherd Excerpt The final stanza contains concluding petitions. Once more the psalmist prays for fuller understanding or discernment, and for the freedom of outward circumstance which will enable him to use it. As a ground of both of these appeals he pleads God’s word of promise. He prays for a spirit of joyous, exuberant thankfulness for God’s continuous teaching, and for the character of the law which is the substance of that teaching. He asks for help on three grounds: (1) he has deliberately resolved to obey God’s precepts; (2) he has long been waiting eagerly for deliverance from the hindrances to obedience which surround him; and (3) his devotion has been no grudging service, but his constant delight. The object of the revived life for which he has prayed so often in this psalm is that his whole self may praise God. At the moment he is as defenseless as a sheep which has wandered from the flock. Therefore he desperately needs for the good shepherd to “seek,” i…

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy
3bHe is despised and 4rejected by men, A Man of 5sorrows and cacquainted with 6grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and dwe did not esteem Him. 4    Surely eHe has borne our 7griefs And carried our 8sorrows; Yet we 9esteemed Him stricken, 1Smitten by God, and afflicted.[1][2]

bPs. 22:6; [Is. 49:7; Matt. 27:30, 31; Luke 18:31–33; 23:18] 4 Or forsaken 5 Lit. pains c [Heb. 4:15] 6 Lit. sickness d [John 1:10, 11] e [Matt. 8:17; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:24] 7 Lit. sicknesses 8 Lit. pains 9 reckoned 1 Struck down [1]The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 30

  Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards; for our vineyards are in blossom
Song of Sol. 2:15 (R.V.)

How numerous the little foxes are! Little compromises with the world; disobedience to the still, small voice in little things; little indulgences to the flesh to the neglect of duty; little strokes of policy; doing evil in little things that good may come; and the beauty, and the fruitfulness of the vine are sacrificed!

J. Hudson Taylor

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

Osbeck, Kenneth W. Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

March 30

NOW THE DAY IS OVER Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834–1924

  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

  Upon God’s care I lay me down, as a child upon its mother’s breast;
  No silken couch, nor softest bed could ever give me such deep rest.

Trusting God throughout the day allows us to rest peacefully at night. Fear and anxiety are the chief causes of the tension that leads to disturbed rest. And sound rest is an absolute necessity for the renewing of our bodies, minds, and emotions. Only a peaceful relationship with God and with others allows us this total renewal at the close of each day. We must learn to relax and release our cares and burdens to the Lord and then claim His promised rest.

  ’Tis sweet to keep my hand in His, while all is dim—   To close my weary, aching eyes, and trust in Him! —Unknown
Whenever there are those occasional times when sleep eludes us, it is important to center our thoughts on God, the Sc…


AbideJohn 15:4-7, 9-10, 16 Excerpt R. Bultmann (John [Eng. tr., 1971] 535n.1) correctly emphasizes two aspects of μένω ἐν: In reference to humankind “abide in” designates “loyalty”; in reference to the revealer or God it designates “the eternal validity of the divine act of salvation for the believer.” More Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament 1990– : 408. Print.

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

March 30th
Holiness v. hardness towards God

And He … wondered that there was no intercessor. Isaiah 59:16.

The reason many of us leave off praying and become hard towards God is because we have only a sentimental interest in prayer. It sounds right to say that we pray; we read books on prayer which tell us that prayer is beneficial, that our minds are quieted and our souls uplifted when we pray; but Isaiah implies that God is amazed at such thoughts of prayer.
Worship and intercession must go together, the one is impossible without the other. Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray. Too often instead of worshipping God, we construct statements as to how prayer works. Are we worshipping or are we in dispute with God—‘I don’t see how You are going to do it.’ This is a sure sign that we are not worshipping. When we lose sight of God we become hard and dogmatic. We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him as …

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, March 30                                              Go To Evening Reading

         “He was numbered with the transgressors.”
— Isaiah 53:12
Why did Jesus suffer himself to be enrolled amongst sinners? This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful reasons. In such a character he could the better become their advocate. In some trials there is an identification of the counsellor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the eye of the law as apart from one another. Now, when the sinner is brought to the bar, Jesus appears there himself. He stands to answer the accusation. He points to his side, his hands, his feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the sinners whom he represents; he pleads his blood, and pleads so triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with them, that the Judge proclaims, “Let them go their way; deliver them from going down into the pit, for he hath found a ransom.” Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transg…

Connect the Testaments

March 30: Taunting DeathNumbers 33:50–34:29; 1 Corinthians 15:35–58; Psalm 29:1–11My best friend’s mother, a dear family friend, died of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Over the span of three years, the disease attacked her nerve cells, starting with her hands and feet and moving inward to her vital organs. Every time I visited her, she would be changed—her cane became a wheelchair, and her warbled words were muffled into silence. Although she was fully alert, she slowly lost the ability to communicate her feelings and needs. In the end, only her eyes displayed the tumultuous feelings underneath.Those who confront the reality of death or the death of a loved one don’t doubt their own fallibility. They are closely acquainted with the reality that so many strangely disregard. And they cling to the hope of the resurrection that Paul eloquently relays, and that the Corinthians were slow to understand and believe: “We will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpe…