Fountain at Cana of Galilee




Fountain at Cana of Galilee


‎“Then when He was come into Galilee the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast.” It was at Cana of Galilee that He healed the son of a certain nobleman who was sick at Capernaum. In the picture we see the fountain which is, according to the tradition, the one from which the water pots were filled when Christ made the wine at the marriage feast in Cana. The water here is abundant and pure, and as there is no other fountain in the immediate vicinity, the natives of the village regard its claims as beyond dispute. The large sculptured stone near the fountain, to the left of the picture, is a Roman sarcophagus, now used as a trough for watering cattle. A woman of the village appears in the picture. We find them sometimes in groups, sometimes alone. They often bear jars upon their heads. Beyond the fountain we see a fence of cactus and beyond it are olive and fig trees. The writer and the artist were at this place at about half-past eight on the morning of May 8th, 1894. In the picture we are looking toward the north. To many the miracles of Christ are a source of perplexity and doubt. One has well said that they were the “ordinary and inevitable works of One whose very existence was the highest miracle of all.” A German poet said: “One would have thought that the miracle of miracles was to have created the world such as it is, yet it is a far greater miracle to have lived a perfectly pure life therein.”

Who's in the Box




Who's in the Box



























‎By the first century AD it had become a Jewish custom to place the bones of a decomposed corpse in a stone box called an ossuary. Several of these containers were discovered in Jerusalem in the 20th century.

Paul's Concern for His Own People




Paul's Concern for His Own People

Excerpt
‎It is obvious that, while Paul was writing to these believers in Rome, he at the same time continually displays a great concern for his own wayward people, the people of the nation of Israel. It is clear that he also writes to help them to overcome some of their errant ideas about how a man may become righteous before God. These are ideas which actually are keeping them from receiving the righteousness which God Himself would provide. As a result, the reader can observe two elements in the book. The initial theme of the book, which continues to show up throughout the book, is directed through these saints in Rome who have believed. It concerns their own ministry which they should have among the Jews who were depending upon their own devices for salvation. … More
Northrup, Bernard E. True Evangelism: Paul’s Presentation of the First Five Steps of the Soul-Winner in Romans. N. p., 1997. Print

Warship




Warship

‎The 69-cm-high relief from the period of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704–681 BCE) shows a vessel (galley) powered by banks of oarsmen used as a warship. Its bow was designed to ram and sink enemy vessels. The shields of the warriors hang on the ship’s side in order to protect the vessel.
Num 24:24; Judg 5:17; Job 9:26; Ps 104:26; Prov 30:19; Dan 11:30; 1 Macc 1:17; 11:1; 15:4

Persian art




Persian art

‎This picture shows some examples of Persian art and craftsmanship. The picture at top shows a mythological figure consisting of a winged cow. The state god is pictured at the bottom right, and two animals at the left.


Connect the Testaments





April 8: Compelled to Worship

Deuteronomy 12:29–14:29; 2 Corinthians 4:1–6; Psalm 36

When we experience God’s mercy, it shows. Our instincts change and our priorities shift from gratifying our own ego to making much of God. We stop fearing what others think of us and find our identity grounded in Christ. It’s a transformation that shows God is working in our lives. Paul recognized the transformative power of the gospel, and it drove his ministry. This is evidenced in his second letter to the Corinthian church:
“Just as we have been shown mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced shameful hidden things, not behaving with craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but with the open proclamation of the truth commending ourselves to every person’s conscience before God” (2 Cor 4:1–2).

Paul wasn’t manipulating or distorting the good news for his own gain, as some were doing in the community. He preached the good news to all people with openness and sincerity. He allowed the gospel to convict people as it should, refusing to distort it to make people comfortable. He proclaimed “Christ Jesus as Lord” and he and his disciples as “slaves for the sake of Jesus” to those in Corinth (2 Cor 4:5). Bound to Christ, they lived as free slaves for His cause. They were solely dedicated to Jesus because they wanted to be, and because of the salvation He had brought them.

Psalm 36 provides an illustration of Paul’s approach, highlighting the qualities of those who don’t fear God. This person is characterized by “rebellion in the midst of his heart” (Psa 36:1). He is self-absorbed and rejects his need: “he flatters himself in his eyes, hating to detect his iniquity” (Psa 36:2). He is deceitful (Psa 36:3).

The psalmist doesn’t contrast this picture with one of the righteous man. Instead, he honors Yahweh—His loyal love, faithfulness, righteousness, and judgments (Psa 36:5–6). The psalmist says, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psa 36:9). Paul echoes “For God … is the one who has shined in our hearts for the enlightenment of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).

God’s grace puts everything in perspective. Both passages help us assess with wisdom the message and posture of those who teach. They also challenge us to take a look at our own standing before God.

Take an honest look at what motivates you. Are you transformed by the good news? Is it apparent to others around you?

REBECCA VAN NOORD


Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour








April 8

  Each one resembled the children of a king
        Judges 8:18

If the King is indeed near of kin to us, the royal likeness will be recognizable.

Frances Ridley Havergal


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

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest








April 8th

His resurrection destiny



Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? Luke 24:26.

Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He has power now to convey His life to me. When I am born again from above, I receive from the risen Lord His very life.
Our Lord’s Resurrection destiny is to bring “many sons unto glory.” The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We are never in the relationship to God that the Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. “I would know Him in the power of His resurrection.”

“As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” “Holy Spirit” is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the Deity in proceeding power Who applies the Atonement to our experience. Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Ghost can work in us the very nature of Jesus if we will obey Him.


Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986. Print.

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings





Morning, January 8                                           Go To Evening Reading

         “The iniquity of the holy things.” 
         — Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, ‘In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbors may look over the wall and say, ‘How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, he presents before his Father’s face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!
___________________________________________________________

Go To Morning Reading                                           Evening, January 8

         “Thy love is better than wine.” 
         — Song of Solomon 1:2

Nothing gives the believer so much joy as fellowship with Christ. He has enjoyment as others have in the common mercies of life, he can be glad both in God’s gifts and God’s works; but in all these separately, yea, and in all of them added together, he doth not find such substantial delight as in the matchless person of his Lord Jesus. He has wine which no vineyard on earth ever yielded; he has bread which all the corn-fields of Egypt could never bring forth. Where can such sweetness be found as we have tasted in communion with our Beloved? In our esteem, the joys of earth are little better than husks for swine compared with Jesus, the heavenly manna. We would rather have one mouthful of Christ’s love, and a sip of his fellowship, than a whole world full of carnal delights. What is the chaff to the wheat? What is the sparkling paste to the true diamond? What is a dream to the glorious reality? What is time’s mirth, in its best trim, compared to our Lord Jesus in his most despised estate? If you know anything of the inner life, you will confess that our highest, purest, and most enduring joys must be the fruit of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. No spring yields such sweet water as that well of God which was digged with the soldier’s spear. All earthly bliss is of the earth earthy, but the comforts of Christ’s presence are like himself, heavenly. We can review our communion with Jesus, and find no regrets of emptiness therein; there are no dregs in this wine, no dead flies in this ointment. The joy of the Lord is solid and enduring. Vanity hath not looked upon it, but discretion and prudence testify that it abideth the test of years, and is in time and in eternity worthy to be called “the only true delight.” For nourishment, consolation, exhilaration, and refreshment, no wine can rival the love of Jesus. Let us drink to the full this evening.


Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006. Print.