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Showing posts from June 25, 2015

Love Leads to Fellowship

Love Leads to Fellowship1 John 4:17-21 Moreover, love must be perfected (or, matured; 4:17–21). Love stands completed by the mutual abiding (v. 16); the result (NIV so that) is that believers will have “confidence” on the day of judgment. (Another interpretation is that John means that love stands completed when one has confidence on judgment day.) This is so because in this evil world we are abiding in the Father and in his love (John 14:10–11, 20; 15:9–10; 17:21–23, 26). Now and on judgment day there is no fear because complete love “drives out” fear (v. 18). Fear of punishment and love are incompatible. Sin breeds fear; fearless love breeds confidence. Verse 19 echoes verse 10. Christiansdo not fear but love. Yet all our love, whether of God or of men, is only a response to his first and greater demonstration of love in Christ at the cross.
Another test of love is set forth in verse 20. The phrase if anyone says introduces a false claim (see also1:6, 8, 10; 2:4, 6, 9), here to lov…

Jesus' Birth and Early Years

Jesus' Birth and Early Years If there is one consistent theme that runs through all the stories of Jesus’ birth, it is the repeated claim that ordinary people had more insight than religious experts when it came to understanding the significance of it all. The coming of the one who was later claimed to be the expected Messiah was recognized not predominantly by the great and the good but by those who, to a greater or lesser extent, were on the fringes of the cultured society of their day. The first chapter of Luke’s Gospel paints a vivid picture of the little-known priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth praying expectantly for God to deliver their people, and being rewarded for their faithfulness by the announcement of the birth of their own son, later to be known as John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–28, 57–80).
Mary, the mother of Jesus, belonged to the same family. At the time of Jesus’ conception and birth she was in the process of getting married to Joseph. This was an extended busi…

The Lord Tells Abraham About Future Events

The Lord Tells Abraham About Future Events
Genesis 15:12–16, NKJV
A deep sleep fell upon Abram; with this sleep a horror of great darkness fell upon him: a sudden change. The children of light do not always walk in the light. Several things were then foretold. 1. The suffering state of Abram’s seed for a long time. They shall be strangers. The heirs of heaven are strangers on earth. They shall be servants; but Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing. They shall be suffers. Those that are blessed and beloved of God, are often sorely afflicted by wicked men. 2. The judgment of the enemies of Abram’s seed. Though God may allow persecutors and oppressors to trample upon his people a great while, he will certainly reckon with them at last. 3. That great event, the deliverance of Abram’s seed out of Egypt, is here foretold. 4. Their happy settlement in Canaan. They shall come hither again. The measure of sin fills gradually. Some people’s measure of sin fills slowly. Th…

Assyrian scene of sacrificing with hand tool

Assyrian scene of sacrificing with hand tool
‎The series of pictures from an obelisk of Ashurnasirpal II (884–859 BCE) shows at the left a shrine on a mound. A praying person is standing in front of a deity sitting on a throne. Next to the shrine is an altar where offerings could be deposited, followed by an altar were incense is burning next to a large container on a stand. Moving towards the shrine, the king is wearing a long robe and is holding a vessel with lid in his hand. A priest follows him, carrying another vessel. On the right, a man is standing in front of a bull and is putting his hand on the bull’s head. Perhaps he is leading the bull to the altar as sacrifice. Two other men seem to nudge the bull from behind, followed by two additional men. But the scene could also illustrate the laying of hands on the head of the burned offering as transfer of guilt from man to animal for the purpose of atonement as described in Lev 1:4. ‎

Praying jester of a penitent

Praying jester of a penitent ‎Throwing oneself on the floor is a common gesture of humility. With this gesture, one shows one’s submissiveness to a god or a superior person. For this reason, it is the normal posture of a penitent standing before God.‎Gen 24:26; Exod 34:8; 1 Sam 24:8; 28:14; 2 Kings 4:37; 5:18

Comb and make up palette

Comb and make up palette ‎The central field of this ivory comb that was found in Megiddo is decorated with a lion. The comb dates back to the 13th-11th century BCE. The make-up palette from Megiddo is made of limestone, and is a bit younger (9th-6th century BCE). The make-up was mashed and mixed in the hollow, so that it could be applied with a stick. Both utensils belong to the equipment of the upper class. ‎2 Kings 9:30; Jer 4:30; Ezek 23:40; Wisd of Sol 13:14

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 25

  The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them
Acts 13:2
We have such a nice little quiet, shady corner in the vineyard, down among the tender grapes, with such easy little weedings and waterings to attend to. And then the Master comes and draws us out into the thick of the work, and puts us in a part of the field where we never should have thought of going, and puts larger tools into our hands, that we may do more at a stroke. And we know we are not sufficient for these things, and the very tools seem too heavy for us, and the glare too dazzling and the vines too tall. Ah! but would we dally, go back? He would not be in the shady corner with us now; for when He put us forth He went before us, and it is only by close following that we can abide with Him.

Frances Ridley Havergal

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

Connect the Testaments

June 25: From Concern to Action
Nehemiah 9:1–10:27; 1 John 5:13–16; Psalm 111:1–112:10

When I approach God, I often to try to persuade Him that I am worthy of something or that He should act on my behalf. But there is no reason God should act on our behalf—none is worthy of His intercession.

When we pray, we often need a change in focus. Ultimately, it’s not about our rightness or goodness; it’s about His. It’s about what He can do, who He is, and why we know He can do something about the situation we’re in. We should still be honest and open with God, telling Him how we really feel (even though He already knows), but instead of focusing on our own righteousness, we should focus on God and what He’s already done for us.

When I shift my attention to God and His goodness, many of my previous concerns fade. Before I even begin to pray, gratitude reminds me of God’s care and provision for me, allowing me to move from what I think matters to what matters to God.

Throughout the Bible, we see…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

June 25th
Receiving one’s self in the fires of sorrow

What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. John 12:27–29 (R.V.).

My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys …

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Morning, June 25                                                Go To Evening Reading

 “Get thee up into the high mountain.” 
         — Isaiah 40:9
Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of …