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Showing posts from September 4, 2015


TemptationJames 1:12–15
Temptation temptation, generally an enticement to do evil, the term is used in the Bible to convey two somewhat different ideas. The first is that of ‘testing’ or ‘proving by testing,’ to determine the depth and integrity of one’s commitment to God (see, e.g., God’s command to Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice in Gen. 22:1-19; also the testing of Job in Job 1-2). In the NT, some of the writers thought of persecution as a ‘testing’ in this manner (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:3-9). The intent of this testing is ultimately to strengthen the person’s faith and devotion to God. 
The second nuance of temptation is more in line with modern popular understandings of the term, namely, an enticement toward sin leading to a deliberate act of evil against God or one’s neighbor. The biblical writers are careful, however, to make it clear that God does not ‘tempt’ humans to do evil (e.g., James 1:12-15) and in fact makes available the resources necessary to resist temptation (…

What? In the World?

What? In the World? Jesus Christ provides for us the spiritual resources we need to overcome the world. 1. His joy-John 17:13. It comes as a shock to some people that Jesus was a man of joy. We usually hear Him described as the “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). Of course, He was a “man of sorrows,” but He was also a man filled with the joy of the Lord. He experienced the deepest sorrows and the highest joys as He ministered here on earth. His heart was broken as He saw people destroying themselves with sin. His heart exulted as He saw God at work, saving the lost and making lives new. He had the sorrow of the shepherd, seeking the lost sheep, and the joy of the shepherd, bringing home the sheep that had been found.
Joy in life is not the absence of sorrow. The Arabs have a motto, “All sunshine makes a desert.” If God were to insulate us from sorrow, we would never grow or develop mature character. Heaven is a place of all joy and no sorrow, and hell is a place of all sorrow and no joy.…

Jerusalem: House of Caiaphas

Jerusalem: House of Caiaphas
‎Jerusalem. Just as the incense dispersed in the church symbolizes the words of the disciples that were spread throughout the world, so the candles held by the acolytes in the service at the House of Caiaphas symbolize the divine, spiritual light. A sunbeam filtering into the church also adds its share, while the priest reads the passage in the New Testament describing Jesus meeting with the High Priest Caiaphas and being questioned by him before being handed over to Pontius Pilate (John 18:19–24).

A depiction of an OT priest

A depiction of an OT priest

Chapter 16

To Your Offspring

Chapter 16

Sarai gives Hagar to Abram 1–3 Hagar’s misbehaviour to Sarai 4–6 The Angel commands Hagar to return, The promise to her Birth of Ishmael 7–16

Verses Genesis 16:1–3 Sarai, no longer expecting to have children herself, proposed to Abram to take another wife, whose children she might; her slave, whose children would be her property. This was done without asking counsel of the Lord. Unbelief worked, God’s almighty power was forgotten. It was a bad example, and a source of manifold uneasiness. In every relation and situation in life there is some cross for us to bear: much of the exercise of faith consists in patiently submitting, in waiting the Lord’s time, and using only those means which he appoints for the removal of the cross. Foul temptations may have very fair pretences, and be coloured with that which is very plausible. Fleshly wisdom puts us out of God’s way. This would not be the case, if we would ask counsel of God by his word and by prayer, before we att…

Relationships Between the Testaments

Relationships Between the Testaments
Relations Between the Testaments

In Lk 24:13–27 we find a stirring account of the self-revelation of the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ to two disciples by means of the Old Testament Scriptures. After exploring their spiritual understanding, He graciously opens their eyes in what must rank as one of the greatest teaching sessions of all time. He proceeds to take them from one end of the Old Testament to the other, all the while showing how He Himself was the center of that body of revelation: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Lk 24:27, NIV). Our Lord, then, described Himself by appealing to the Old Testament. This kind of use of the Old Testament is foundational to the text of the New Testament.
It is not necessary for us to read very far in the New Testament before we discover that there is some kind of extensive relationship between that portion…

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark ‎Genesis tells the extraordinary story of the ark God commanded Noah to build to escape the great flood that covered the earth. The flood destroyed all life but Noah’s and “those who were with him in the ark” (Gen 7:23).

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

September 3: The Discomfort of Scripture
Hosea 6:1–7:16; Acts 2:42–3:26; Job 15:21–35

Most of the Western world operates in the spirit of individualism. Christianity does not, though we often attempt to adapt it and make it more comfortable. It’s much easier to think about “God’s role in my life” than to reflect on “my role in God’s plan” to help others and share the gospel.

When we attempt to shape our faith to fit our needs, we’re bound to run into Scripture that makes us squirm. Some people perform interpretive back-flips to wriggle out of passages such as Acts 2:42–47. Verse 44 says, “And all who believed were in the same place, and had everything in common.” A fear of socialism serves as a convenient excuse to sidestep this verse, but it doesn’t speak to socialism. It speaks to voluntarily joining a movement of people who care more about the betterment of the group than they do about their individual gain.

The truth is that God’s Word should make us uncomfortable because we are th…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 4

  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness
Dan. 9:9
As a spring lock closes itself, but cannot be unlocked without a key, so we ourselves may run into sin, but cannot return without the key of God’s grace.


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

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

September 4: Utopian Truth for Today
Hosea 8:1–10:15; Acts 4:1–37; Job 16:1–9

Wealth often tempts us to materialism, as our possessions make us feel secure, valued, and comfortable. But sometimes the lack of these assets allows this temptation to exert even more power over us, driving us to spend our lives chasing the higher salary, the bigger house, or the new car. Our pursuit of this illusion makes it easy to dismiss passages like Acts 4 as utopian fantasy—ideal for difficult times, perhaps, but hardly realistic.

“Now the group of those who believed were one heart and soul, and no one said anything of what belonged to him was his own, but all things were theirs in common. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. For there was not even anyone needy among them, because all those who were owners of plots of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds of the things that were sold” (Acts 4…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

September 4th

Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me. John 17:6.

The missionary is one in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought this realization—“Ye are not your own.” To say ‘I am not my own,’ is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not that I might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He had done for them. It was not until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said ‘Go.’

“If any man come to Me and hate not …, he cannot be My disciple,” not—he cannot be good and upright, but—he cannot be one over whom Jesus writes the word ‘Mine.’ Any one of the relationships Our Lord mentions may be a competitive r…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, September 4      Go To Evening Reading
 “I will; be thou clean.”           — Mark 1:41
Primeval darkness heard the Almighty fiat, “light be,” and straightway light was, and the word of the Lord Jesus is equal in majesty to that ancient word of power. Redemption like Creation has its word of might. Jesus speaks and it is done. Leprosy yielded to no human remedies, but it fled at once at the Lord’s “I will.” The disease exhibited no hopeful signs or tokens of recovery, nature contributed nothing to its own healing, but the unaided word effected the entire work on the spot and for ever. The sinner is in a plight more miserable than the leper; let him imitate his example and go to Jesus, “beseeching him and kneeling down to him.” Let him exercise what little faith he has, even though it should go no further than “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”; and there need be no doubt as to the result of the application. Jesus heals all who come, and casts out none. In reading the…