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Showing posts from August 6, 2015

A Prayer for Protection

A Prayer for Protection John 17:15 17:15 The prayer of Jesus was not for God to send something like “rescue planes” to evacuate the disciples from their hostile setting in the world. Such a plan would destroy God’s mission through them. Nor was it to wrap them in some plastic, danger-free safety casing where they would never encounter evil. But the prayer of Jesus was to protect them from succumbing to the onslaught of evil or the evil one.
Jesus was not under any delusion concerning the power of evil or of the enemy. John was clear that Jesus understood the nature of the battle, which Paul elsewhere explained is not merely against flesh and blood but is at the core of a spiritual battle (Eph 6:12). This battle requires not merely spiritual weapons (6:13–17), for both texts recognize the crucial nature of prayer in this hostile world setting (John 17:15; Eph 6:18). The Greek ek tou ponērou can be translated as “from evil” in the abstract sense of a force in the world, but probably he…

Live Under Christ's Reconciling Headship

Live Under Christ's Reconciling Headship Paul applied the fact of God’s reconciliation with man to the lives of all believers and declared himself a servant of that truth (1:21–23). The “But” (1:23) does not cast doubt on the security of truly saved people (John 10:28) but stresses the fact that the proof of the genuineness of the believers’ salvation is their continuance in faith and hope.
Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

The Work of the Gospel

The Work of the Gospel Philippians 1:5
In the work of the gospel is literally “into the gospel.” The word “gospel” originally meant a reward for bringing good news, but later it came to be used for good news itself, often the joyous news of victory in war. In the New Testament it always means good news itself and refers to the salvation that God has made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word appears nine times in Philippians and is used in a variety of ways. It is the message about Jesus Christ that is proclaimed (1:5; 4:15), defended (1:7, 16), promoted, spread, and advanced (4:3; 1:12; 2:22). It is also the standard of Christian living and basis of faith (1:27). The phrase in this context is not a reference to the Philippians’ sharing in accepting Paul’s preaching, but rather to their active participation in the work of the gospel. It may therefore be expressed as “in proclaiming the good news to others,” or “in the telling of the good news to others…

Unbelieving Jews were Blind

Unbelieving Jews were Blind The subsequent evaluation of Jesus confirmed this distinction between seeing and not seeing in the comparison made between the believing man and the unbelieving Jews. Blindness is here to be interpreted on two levels (9:39). On the one hand, the Pharisees who had by physical standards been able to see were by spiritual standards revealed to be blind. On the other hand, the former blind man who had come to see physically in fact also became the model of spiritual perception. Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ question concerning their state (9:40) was thus for the evangelist self-evident. Accordingly, Jesus confirmed the continuation of their pitiful state of both blindness and guilt. The judgment on the blind state of the Pharisees here in John was not very different from Jesus’ judgment on the hypocritical Pharisees of Matt 23:16–19, who were condemned as pathetic, blind guides. That view is reinforced by Paul’s judgment on the self-righteous Jews as guides …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 6

  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.… Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might
        Col. 3:2; Eccles. 9:10

If we are to live separate from the world, how, since men only do well what they do with a will, are we, with affections fixed on things above, to perform aright the secular, ordinary duties of life? If our hearts are engrossed with heavenly things, how are we to obey this other and equally divine commandment, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might?”
The two are perfectly consistent. Man standing between the celestial and terrestrial worlds is related to both; and resembling neither a flower, which, springing from the dust and returning to it, belongs altogether to the earth, nor a star which, shining far remote from its lower sphere, belongs altogether to the heavens, our hearts may be fitly likened to the rainbow that, rising into heaven but resting on earth, is connected both with the clods of the valle…

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

August 6: Feeling Entitled
Isaiah 10:20–12:6; Luke 4:1–44; Job 3:17–26

Familiarity breeds contempt, so the saying goes. But the line from Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Lion” wasn’t meant to imply that we often take those closest to us for granted. Rather, the fox fails to properly acknowledge the lion—the king of all beasts—because he doesn’t know his place. His self-perception is dangerously inflated.
The same is true for the fickle Nazarenes who heard Jesus interpret the Scriptures. When Jesus preached in the synagogue of His hometown, the Nazarenes were initially receptive. But when He interpreted the prophet Isaiah’s words in a way they disliked—a way that showed Him as the one who “proclaim[s] release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18; see Isa 61:1)—they belittled Him: “Is this man not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22).
The Nazarenes weren’t ready to admit their need (Luke 4:23). They didn’t understand that they were blind and unrepentant. They may h…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, August 6      Go To Evening Reading

         “Watchman, what of the night?”
         — Isaiah 21:11

What enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer. Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, he prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake hold not thy peace.

“Watchman, what of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.


Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

August 6th
The cross in prayer

At that day ye shall ask in My name. John 16:26.

We are too much given to thinking of the Cross as something we have to get through; we get through it only in order to get into it. The Cross stands for one thing only for us—a complete and entire and absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is nothing in which this identification is realized more than in prayer.
“Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” Then why ask? The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we will get huffed with God. The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect, and our spiritual huff shows a refusal to identify ourselves with Our Lord in prayer. We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.
“I say not that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself lovet…