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Showing posts from April 10, 2015

Bethlehem: Rachael's Tomb

Bethlehem: Rachael's Tomb
‎Rachel’s Tomb is marked in the north of Bethlehem on the basis of Genesis 35:19–20. Rachel, wife of Jacob and one of the four matriarchs of Israel, died in Bethlehem while giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, the youngest child of Jacob, and she was buried here. The Crusaders built the first structure over her burial place, but it was known as a place of pilgrimage before then and a small pyramid was set here. The present building, a square domed structure containing a large tomb covered with a velvet cloth, was erected by Sir Moses Montefiore in the mid-19th century.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

Jesus Enters Jerusalem Excerpt Bethphage (v. Matthew 21:1) and Bethany (v. Matthew 21:17) were two small villages just to the east of Jerusalem on or near the slopes of the large hill, known as the Mount of Olives, which dominated the skyline of that side of town. Matthew includes the place names to remind his readers how near Jesus is to Jerusalem and perhaps also to evoke the messianic associations of the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4; see further underMatthew 24:3). Jesus is consciously making preparations to enter Jerusalem after the fashion of Zech 9:9, with echoes of Isa 62:11. Zechariah’s prophecy was widely interpreted in rabbinic literature as messianic (e.g., Gen. Rab. 98.9; b. Sanh 98a, 99a; Qoh. Rab. 1.9). As again later with their preparation for the Passover (Matthew 26:18), it is not clear whether the disciples’ rendezvous stems from Jesus’ prior arrangements or from his supernatural insight. “The Lord” is, more literally, their Lord/Master and also suggests a double enten…

Areopagus

Areopagus
The hill (in the forefront of the picture) to the northwest of Athens’ Acropolis was called the Areopagus. However, the Areopagus was also a Council meeting on that hill. This governmental body was overseeing religion, education and moral behavior. It was in front of this body that Paul gave his Areopagus speech. ‎Acts 17:19, 17:22

Wisdom

WisdomJames 1:2-8 Excerpt The word wisdom is one of the important terms in this letter. It occurs again in 3.1315, and17. The Greek concept of wisdom centers around “knowledge,” “cleverness,” and “learnedness.” In biblical usage, however, especially in the Old Testament, it is basically a practical, moral, and spiritual insight given by God (1 Kgs 3.7-9Pro 2.3-610-199.1-6). It is the ability to discern right from wrong and good from evil. It is the power that enables a person to do and say the right thing at the right time. More Loh, I-Jin, and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Letter from James. New York: United Bible Societies, 1997. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Grinding stone

Grinding stone ‎In antiquity, it was the daily chore of women to grind the wheat and bake the bread. The lower grinding stone was mostly a large basalt stone with a rough surface. Since an adult consumed about 600 g grain per day, more then 2 kg flour had to be produced for a four or five person household. ‎Exod 11:5; Judg 9:53; Isa 47:2; Job 41:24; Matt 24:41

Connect the Testaments

April 10: Tent Making for Eternity

Deuteronomy 18:1–20:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1–10; Psalm 37:23–40

Paul, the tent maker, knew the temporal nature of human-made structures. For someone who made and probably repaired tents, he knew all their flaws and tendencies for wear. So it’s not a stretch for him to draw the connection from tents to mortality:

“For we know that if our earthly house, the tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1).

Paul is also making a connection to the tabernacle, the tent where the Israelites first regularly experienced God. Like the tents that Paul made, these earthly homes for God would eventually break down and be destroyed. But the Spirit and the heavens, where God actually dwelled, would live on. While temporal tent worship would fall apart, eternal worship in God’s heavenly “building” will remain.

Paul contrasts the art of tent-making and the beautiful worship places of Yahweh with God’s work (…

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







April 9

  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters
        Ps. 23:2

This suggests the rest into which our Good Shepherd leads His flock. Life is not all toil. God gives us many quiet resting-places in our pilgrim way.
Night is one of these, when, after the day’s toil, struggle, and exhaustion, we are led aside, and the curtains are drawn to shut out the noise and He giveth His beloved sleep, in sleep giving the wonderful blessings of renewal. The Sabbath is another of these quiet resting-places. God would have us drop our worldly tasks, and have a day for the refreshing of both body and soul.… Friendship’s trysts are also quiet resting-places, where heart may commune with heart, where Jesus comes, too, unseen, and gives His blessing. All ordinances of Christian worship…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

April 10th
Moral decision about sin


Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6.

Co-Crucifixion. Have I made this decision about sin—that it must be killed right out in me? It takes a long time to come to a moral decision about sin, but it is the great moment in my life when I do decide that just as Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world, so sin must die out in me, not be curbed or suppressed or counteracted, but crucified. No one can bring any one else to this decision. We may be earnestly convinced, and religiously convinced, but what we need to do is to come to the decision which Paul forces here.
Haul yourself up, take a time alone with God, make the moral decision and say—‘Lord, identify me with Thy death until I know that sin is dead in me.’ Make the moral decision that sin in you must be put to death.
It was not a divine anticipation on the part of Paul, but a very radical…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 10                                         Go To Evening Reading

         “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”
— 2 Timothy 4:8
Doubting one! thou hast often said, “I fear I shall never enter heaven.” Fear not! all the people of God shall enter there. I love the quaint saying of a dying man, who exclaimed, “I have no fear of going home; I have sent all before me; God’s finger is on the latch of my door, and I am ready for him to enter.” “But,” said one, “are you not afraid lest you should miss your inheritance?” “Nay,” said he, “nay; there is one crown in heaven which the angel Gabriel could not wear, it will fit no head but mine. There is one throne in heaven which Paul the apostle could not fill; it was made for me, and I shall have it.” O Christian, what a joyous thought! thy portion is secure; “there remaineth a rest.” “But cannot I forfeit it?” No, it is entailed. If I be a child of God I shall not lose it. It is mine as securely as if I were there. …