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Showing posts from November 18, 2015

Mt. Gerizim, where the Samaritans worshipped, and steps leading to Jacob’s Well—looking northwest, Palestine

Mt. Gerizim, where the Samaritans worshipped, and steps leading to Jacob’s Well—looking northwest, Palestine

What are Nations?

What are Nations?
Isaiah 55:4, Isaiah 55:5

NATIONS Groups formed on the basis of political or social interests or on kinship. Generally, the word “nations” implies peoples of the world other than the Hebrews, although it can also include the Jews.
Origins The book of Genesis attributes to the three sons of Noah the origin of the various “families” or ethnic groups (about 70 in all) who inhabited the eastern Mediterranean regions (Gen. 10). The narrative presupposes that each group has its own individual geographical location and language (vv Gen. 10:5, Gen. 10:20, Gen. 10:31). The story of the tower (ziggurat) of Babel, whose peak was to reach to heaven (ch Gen. 11), explains that ethnic groups were separated by language barriers and scattered geographically so that they might not collaborate on presumptuous ventures.
Paul, in his sermon in Athens, assumes that the various nations had a common origin, just as the writer of Genesis did, and accepts as part of the design of God the fact …

I Will Not Leave You as Orphan

I Will Not Leave You as Orphan
John 14:18

ORPHAN A fatherless child (Heb. yāṯôm, from the root “to be alone, deprived”; cf. Lam. 5:3). In cultures throughout the ancient Near East, orphans (along with widows and resident aliens) were among the personae miserabilis, with a special claim on a community’s justice and care because they were often under divine protection. In a social system where the male head of the family safeguarded the welfare of its members, orphans were particularly vulnerable. Without a voice to advocate on their behalf within the clan, these fatherless children were outsiders and their property an easy mark for the greedy.
Within the community constituted by the Sinai covenant, the treatment of orphans determines Israel’s fate before the Lord. This Lord is their father (Ps. 68:6), watching over them (Ps. 146:9) and executing justice for them (Deut. 10:18; Ps. 10:14, Ps. 10:18). This protection extends even to Edomite orphans whom the Lord promises to keep alive (Jer…

Shiloh place of tabernacle

Shiloh place of tabernacle

Love God, Obey His Commandments

Love God, Obey His CommandmentsHow we know (1 John 5:2). John is not talking about how we know others have a vital relationship with God. He is discussing how a real faith in Jesus expresses itself in our lives. As we experience love for others and for God, and find ourselves choosing to obey His commandments, we realize that we truly have been born again.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 18
  He which establish us … in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts
2 Cor. 1:21, 2 Cor. 1:22
When a Christian is “sealed” by the Holy Ghost, “sealed” as the property of his Master, there will be no need to ask, “Whose image and superscription is this?” upon the “sealed” one. The King’s, of course. Anyone can see the image.

Of what use is a “seal” if it cannot be seen?

Is the King’s image visibly, permanently, stamped upon us? It is on every Spirit-filled, “sealed” believer.

John McNeil

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

Connect the Testaments

November 18: Warring Tendencies and Spiritual Airs
2 Kings 3:1–4:17; Mark 14:22–50; Proverbs 6:6–11

“I will do this!” I declare as I resolve to get in shape, eat better, save money, study and meditate on the Word more, journal more, read more. My plans escalate, growing grander in scale and depth. Although I succeed in them for a while, I easily become overwhelmed when I can’t live up to the inflated vision I’ve projected for myself.

It’s especially easy to do this spiritually. It’s simple to hand out godly advice with a spiritual air, to speak wise words about past failings (read subtext: “Look how far I’ve come!”), and to talk about personal growth. But when we mess up on a colossal scale, it’s humiliating and surprising to all—especially ourselves. “What happened?” we might ask. “I was doing so well!”

Simon Peter had a tendency to make grand plans: “Even if they all fall away, certainly I will not!” he declared, proclaiming his loyalty to the Savior (Mark 14:29). They’re words to fal…

My Utmost for His Highest

November 18th
Winning into freedom

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36.

If there is any remnant of individual conceit left, it always says—‘I can’t.’ Personality never says—‘I can’t,’ but simply absorbs and absorbs. Personality always wants more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God; and sin and our individuality are the things that keep us from getting at God. God delivers us from sin: we have to deliver ourselves from individuality, i.e., to present our natural life to God and sacrifice it until it is transformed into a spiritual life by obedience.

God does not pay any attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His order runs right across the natural life, and we have to see that we aid and abet God, not stand against Him and say—‘I can’t do that.’ God will not discipline us, we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring every thought and imagination into …

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings.

Morning, November 18      Go To Evening Reading
 “A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” — Song of Solomon 4:12
In this metaphor, which has reference to the inner life of a believer, we have very plainly the idea of secrecy. It is a spring shut up: just as there were springs in the East, over which an edifice was built, so that none could reach them save those who knew the secret entrance; so is the heart of a believer when it is renewed by grace: there is a mysterious life within which no human skill can touch. It is a secret which no other man knoweth; nay, which the very man who is the possessor of it cannot tell to his neighbour. The text includes not only secrecy, but separation. It is not the common spring, of which every passer-by may drink, it is one kept and preserved from all others; it is a fountain bearing a particular mark—a king’s royal seal, so that all can perceive that it is not a common fountain, but a fountain owned by a proprietor, and placed specially by itself alo…