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Showing posts from October 26, 2015

God Has a Universal Desire to Redeem Humanity

God Has a Universal Desire to Redeem Humanity Paul’s desire for universal prayer was based on the universal desire of God—the salvation of all the human race. God’s desire defines and shapes the nature of this age and should also shape the behavior of believers. Paul desired that the Ephesian believers would pray sincerely for the salvation of all people. This would provide the link between praying and having a quiet life. Prayer for the world’s salvation would also bring peace and righteousness. Salvation is characterized as “good” and pleasing to God (1 Timothy 2:3). Sadly, in their disputes the believers were excluding some from their prayers who needed salvation. God is not partisan (cf. 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:10). This fact is the reason why it is good to pray for the salvation of all people (cf.1 Timothy 1:13).
Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

Stone Head, Pharaoh Hophra

Stone Head, Pharaoh Hophra ‎Supporting King Zedekiah’s revolt against Nebuchadnezzar II, Pharaoh Hophra invaded Judah but withdrew without significantly damaging Babylonian forces. Jeremiah prophesied that God would “give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies” (Jer 44:30). After Hophra returned to Egypt, the Greek colony of Cyrene soundly defeated the army he sent against them. Egyptian survivors, rebelling, chose one of Hophra’s generals as leader. This general, who became Pharaoh Ahmose (Amasis) II, deposed Hophra in 570 B.C. and killed him in battle in 567, fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy. ‎Jer 37:5–11, Jer 44:30, Ezek 17:15–17 ‎Image by Keith Schengili-Roberts, from Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 2.5

First-Century Israelite House

First-Century Israelite House ‎The homes of poor families were small and plain. They were built of rough stone (or mud-brick) walls and roofs of woven branches covered with clay. Living spaces were used for household work—cooking and weaving. At night, the family’s domestic animals were housed in the lower level.

Western Wall with Wilson’s Arch

Western Wall with Wilson’s Arch

God’s Judgment of the Whole World, Especially Judah and Jerusalem

God’s Judgment of the Whole World, Especially Judah and JerusalemZephaniah 1:1

Zephaniah, speaking for God, proclaims a great and worldwide destruction. This will be focused particularly on Judah and her capital Jerusalem.
God will destroy the priests and people who are worshipping the Canaanite god Baal, the god Molech (the Ammonite god Milcom, favoured by some of King Solomon’s wives) and the sun, moon and stars. The priests have been mixing pagan worship with the worship of the Lord. The royal court has been mixing the Hebrew way of life with foreign dress and superstitions. All this has obscured the truth about God and muddied the purity of his people. Zephaniah calls for absolute silence, as God approaches the very moment of judgment.
Zephaniah shows his local knowledge as he describes God striking the areas of Jerusalem where the traders operate and where the smart people live. The self-sufficient merchants and self-satisfied homeowners will find their wealth swept away. Those …

Corinth

Corinth
Archaeologists have worked in Corinth for decades and uncovered many finds that fascinate the student of Scripture. In excavating the city center (above) an inscription was found mentioning a city official, Erastus, who is mentioned in Rom. 16:23 and other N.T. passages!

An inscription referring to the makellon, or meat market, over which such controversy developed in 1st-century Corinth. The meat sold there was from animals that had been offered to pagan idols. Some believers were horrified at the association with idolatry; others argued that idols had no real existence, so there was nothing wrong with trading at meat markets.

Large empty brass vases were placed at the back of the stage in the theater at Corinth. These, the “sounding brass” of 1 Cor. 13:1 (KJV), not as the NIV has it, a “clanging cymbal.” Paul’s point is that one who ministers without love may reach others—but his or her own life will be empty: “I gain nothing.”
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Compa…

The Logos in John’s Prologue

The Logos in John’s Prologue
John’s use of logos drew on a wide-range of Jewish and Greek concepts, evoking associations with the OT, Hellenistic Jewish literature, and Greek philosophy. Using the title “the Word” for Jesus simultaneously invoked and subverted the assumptions of his Jewish and Greek audiences. His use of the term was a deliberate attempt to persuade them of the divinity of Jesus using categories of thought they would have been familiar with.
For Jews, John’s use of logos would have evoked the phrase, the “word of Yahweh.” This title was an important part of biblical traditions about Yahweh and His effective power over the universe. The phrase was regularly used to refer to Scripture as divine law (Isa 2:3), written instruction (Psa 119:11), and prophetic revelation (Hos 4:1; Ezek 6:1). More important, the “word of Yahweh” was depicted as an active force at work in the world to accomplish Yahweh’s will (Isa 55:11; Jer 23:29). This force was the agent through which Yahw…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

October 26

  Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people
Luke 2:10
It is true that these good tidings of great joy were to be “for all people,” but not first. The message falls on our own ears, and is first for our own souls.
Oh, ponder this well! Take all God’s truths home first to thine own heart. Ask in earnest prayer that the Spirit may write them with the pen of Heaven on thine own conscience. Then wilt thou be a vessel fitted for the Master’s use, and carry His message with spiritual power to the souls of others.

F. Whitfield

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 26: Red Ropes and Restricted Access
Daniel 2:17–3:30; 1 Thessalonians 3:6–4:12; Job 40:13–24

I often want to keep certain areas of my life roped off. God can reign over some of my relationships, but not to the extent that I need to make gut-wrenching decisions to fall in line with His will. God can move in my Bible study, but I keep the chaos of my work life outside the bounds of His sovereignty. I am in charge, I think, and I allow only restricted access.
We might not readily admit it, but subconsciously we often operate with this mindset. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about the nature of faith. He spent time with the believers in Thessalonica, instructing them about God and life. He now sends word to encourage them to move along in faith. “We ask you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus that, just as you have received from us how it is necessary for you to live and to please God, just as indeed you are living, that you progress even more” (1 Thess 4:1). He continues to inst…

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

October 26th
What is a missionary?


As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. John 20:21.

A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.
Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God’s call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason und…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, October 26      Go To Evening Reading
 “Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.”
         — Haggai 1:9
Churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring ruin upon their own houses. Our God has a method in providence by which he can succeed our endeavours beyond our expectation, or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn of his hand he can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the miserly to find out that w…