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Showing posts from October 16, 2015

House of Naaman the Leper, Damascus

House of Naaman the Leper, Damascus
Outside the east gate of the city of Damascus, on the banks of Abana, is the leper hospital, which tradition tells us occupies the site of Naaman’s house. Naaman was commander-in-chief of the armies of Damascus. He was one of the greatest generals and greatest men of his age, but “he was a leper.” In some warlike expedition he carried away a little Jewish maid, who became his slave. Amid his sufferings the little maid exclaimed, “Would God my lord were with the prophet [Elisha] that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” Naaman went, but Elisha did not condescend to see him. He simply sent him a message saying, “Go wash in the Jordan.” The proud Damascene was indignant. He expected that the prophet would come out “and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be cle…

The Sistine Madonna

The Sistine Madonna ‎ The Sistine Madonna is perhaps the most celebrated painting in the world. It is called “Sistine” because it was originally painted for Pope Sixtus who was the great art patron of Raphael’s period. The beauty of the Sistine Madonna lies in its grace and in the self-sacrifice, the deep, universal love which pervades the mother’s countenance. ‎The prophecy of the birth of Christ echoes through all the prophets; not only in many passages from Isaiah, but in Jeremiah, 31, 22; in Daniel, 9, 24–26; in Ezekiel, 34, 23, and in several of the lesser prophets, especially Hosea and Zechariah. The picture of the virgin mother with her son has always been the favorite theme of religious art. St. Luke, the writer of the gospel, is reputed to have painted from life the earliest picture of Christ’s mother. This strange little painting, almost black with age, is still preserved at Rome, as an object of deepest reverence. Sketches of the Madonna have been found in the early cataco…

Jews and Gentiles

Jews and Gentiles Jesus’ mention of Gentiles rather than Jews having God’s blessing caused the people to be furious (Luke 4:28). They attempted to kill Him, but He walked right through the crowd (v. 30). Luke no doubt described a miraculous escape from the angry crowd. This pattern is seen throughout the rest of Jesus’ ministry: Jesus went to the Jews; they rejected Him; He told of Gentile participation in the kingdom; some Jews wanted to kill Him. But He was not killed until the proper time, when He chose to die (23:46; cf. John 10:15, 17–18).
Martin, John A. “Luke.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 214–215. Print.

Rings of Gold and Silver

Rings of Gold and Silver

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

October 16

  The word of our God shall stand forever
Isa. 40:8
The Word of God is the water of life; the more ye lave it forth, the fresher it runneth. It is the fire of God’s glory; the more ye blow it, the clearer it burneth. It is the corn of the Lord’s field; the better ye grind it, the more it yieldeth. It is the bread of heaven; the more it is broken and given forth, the more it remaineth. It is the sword of the Spirit; the more it is scoured, the brighter it shineth.

Bishop Jewel

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

October 15: Picturing God Ezekiel 30:1–31:18; Revelation 14:14–15:8; Job 37:1–8

If you were to ask five people at random, “How do you picture God?” you would receive five very different answers. A social network prompt to “describe God in one word” confirms this idea: It resulted in more than 50 answers. For John, that one word was logos or “Word.” Ultimately, God is far too complex to fit into human language. His personality is too diverse to capture in a painting. His intricacy of character far surpasses ours.
God is able to feel the full spectrum of emotion and able to articulate who He is using the full spectrum of vocabulary. He is able to encounter us in any way He sees fit. Where we may be able to change only our hair color, glasses, or general way of speaking, He can change anything.
Throughout the books of Ezekiel and Revelation, we see diverse descriptions of God. They are so different that they could, by analogy, range from a mannerist painting of Jesus to a surrealist or mo…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, October 16      Go To Evening Reading
 “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.”           — John 21:12
In these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to Jesus. “Come and dine,” implies the same table, the same meat; aye, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Saviour’s bosom. It is being brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love. “Come and dine,” gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because the only food that we can feast upon when we dine with Jesus is himself. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth which reason cannot fathom, that we thus feed upon Jesus. “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” It is also an invitation to enjoy fellowship with the saints. Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fell…

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

October 16th
The key to the Master’s orders

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest. Matthew 9:38.

The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood to-day, because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God. The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelize. The key is prayer. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest.” Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary commonsense point of view.
There are no nations in Jesus Christ’s outlook, but the world. How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that laboure…