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Showing posts from November 24, 2015

The Feast of Passover

The Feast of Passover

The Passover was the major feast celebrated at the beginning of the Jewish year, Nisan 15, which falls in our month of March or April (Fitzmyer 1981:339–40). Only men were required to make the journey, so Mary’s presence shows her commitment (Preisker 1964:373). Jerusalem was eighty miles from Nazareth, so the trip would take three days.Though some have argued that women and children traveled separately from the men as a way to explain how Jesus got lost, there is no ancient text that describes this practice. 
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

The General Corruption of Man

The General Corruption of Man
‎The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. ‎Psalm 53:1

Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:3

The NT reports two different forms of the expression: “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of the heavens.” The latter is found only in Matthew, but Matthew also has “the kingdom of God” four times (Mt 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43). “The kingdom of heaven” is a Semitic phrase that would have been meaningful to Jews but not to Greeks. The Jews, out of reverence for God, avoided uttering the divine name, and contemporary literature gives examples of substituting the word “heaven” for God (1 Macc 3:18, 50; 4:10; see Lk 15:18).

Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 775. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee

Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee
‎Tiberias is a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, in northern Israel. It was located in the Roman province of Judea. The Roman-Jewish client king Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, established the town as his capital in A.D. 20, naming it for the Roman emperor Tiberius. The city quickly became such a major population center that the Sea of Galilee soon became known by the alternate name “Sea of Tiberias.” ‎John 6:1, John 6:23, John 21:1, Luke 3:1

Ruins at Philippi

Ruins at Philippi ‎From a Photograph by Bonfils.

Ruins of the Home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus at Bethany, Palestine

Ruins of the Home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus at Bethany, Palestine ‎Matt. 21:17

Reading of Isaiah

Reading of Isaiah Usually in New Testament of public reading.* After the liturgical services which introduced the worship of the synagogue, the “minister” took a roll of the law from the ark, removed its case and wrappings, and then called upon some one to read. On the Sabbaths, at least seven persons were called on successively to read portions of the law, none of them consisting of less than three verses. After the law followed a section from the prophets, which was succeeded immediately by a discourse. It was this section which Jesus read and expounded. See Acts 13:15; Neh. 8:5, 8. For a detailed account of the synagogue-worship, see Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus,” i., 430 sq. ___________________________________________________________
Acts 1:2525. That he may take part (λαβεῖν τὸν κλῆρον). Lit., to take the lot. But the best texts read τὸν τόπον, the place. Rev., to take the place.
By transgression fell (παρέβη). See on trespasses, Matt. 6:14. The rendering of the A. V. is ex…

Attitudes For Sanctification

Attitudes For SanctificationRomans 16:12-1316:12–13. Paul sent greetings jointly to Tryphena and Tryphosa, identifying them as those women who work hard (“toil”) in the Lord. Some believe they were sisters, possibly even twins. Then Persis, addressed as my dear friend (lit., “the one loved”), was another woman who has worked very hard (“toiled much”) in the Lord. Interestingly four women were said to have “worked hard” (cf. Mary, v. 6).
Whether Rufus is the same person mentioned in Mark 15:21 or not is uncertain. If so, then he, as a son of Simon of Cyrene, was a North African. Paul said Rufus was chosen in the Lord, a statement true of every believer (cf. Eph. 1:4). Consequently the word translated “chosen” may mean “eminent,” since it was given to Rufus as a statement of distinction. The greeting included Rufus’ mother who, Paul said, had also been a mother to him. Paul obviously did not say she was his actual mother, but he had been the recipient of her motherly care.

Witmer, John…

Live as Servants of God

Live as Servants of God

1 Peter Chapter 5
1 Peter 5:1
The term “elder” (church elders) is used frequently in the New Testament for church leaders (for example, Acts 11:30; 14:23; 1 Tim 5:17–19; Titus 1:5; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1). The practice of calling church leaders “elders” was borrowed from Judaism, where the leaders, whether secular or religious, were designated by this title (compare Mark 7:3; 8:31; 11:27; 14:53; 15:1; etc.), because they would normally be chosen from the older members of the community. This element of age may also be reflected in the Christian usage of the term, but the primary component is that of leadership and not of age.

Arichea, Daniel C., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter. New York: United Bible Societies, 1980. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Respectful and Pure Conduct

Respectful and Pure Conduct Excerpt

The word “behold” in the Greek text refers to the act of viewing attentively. How carefully the unsaved watch Christians. The word “chaste” in the Greek means not only “chaste” but “pure”. The phrase “with fear” is to be understood as referring to the wives, not the husbands. It is their pure manner of life which is coupled with fear that is used of the Lord to gain these husbands. The Greek word “fear” here is used also in Ephesians 5:33 and is there translated “reverence.” The word in a connection like this means “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.”

Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 24

  Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord
Col. 3:16
Remember your life is to be a singing life. This world is God’s grand cathedral for you. You are to be one of God’s choristers, and there is to be a continual Eucharistic sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving going up from your heart, with which God shall be continually well pleased. And there should be not only the offering of the lips, but the surrender of the life with joy. Yes, with joy, and not with constraint. Every faculty of our nature should be presented to Him in gladsome service, for the Lord Jehovah is my song as well as my strength.

W. Hay Aitken

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

Connect the Testaments

November 24: The Ties that Bind
2 Kings 13:1–14:29; Galatians 4:1–31; Proverbs 7:21–27

We don’t often consider our former lives as enslavement. We characterize our lives before Christ by bad decisions and sinful patterns, but not bondage. We like to think of ourselves as neutral beings. But Paul paints another picture. The things or people we once put our trust in were the things that enslaved us. Paul asks the Galatians why they would ever want to return to bondage.

“But at that time when you did not know God, you were enslaved to the things which by nature are not gods. But now, because you have come to know God, or rather have come to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental spirits? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?” (Gal 4:8–9).

Paul tells the Galatians that turning back to the things they trusted formerly—whether the law for the Jews or spiritual beings for the Gentiles—is choosing enslavement. For us, it could be anything f…

My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

November 24th
Direction of aspiration

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, … so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God. Psalm 123:2.

This verse is a description of entire reliance upon God. Just as the eyes of the servant are riveted on his master, so our eyes are up unto God and our knowledge of His countenance is gained (cf. Isaiah 53:1. R.V.). Spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto Him. The leakage comes not so much through trouble on the outside as in the imagination, when we begin to say—‘I expect I have been stretching myself a bit too much, standing on tiptoe and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person.’ We have to realize that no effort can be too high.

For instance, you came to a crisis when you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit that all was right, but the weeks have gone by, and the years maybe, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion, ‘Well, after all, was I not a bit t…

Morning and Evening

Morning, November 24      Go To Evening Reading
         “The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams.”           — Isaiah 33:21
Broad rivers and streams produce fertility, and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to his Church. Having God she has abundance. What can she ask for that he will not give her? What want can she mention which he will not supply? “In this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things.” Want ye the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Want ye refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ. If you suffer any want it is your own fault; if you are straitened you are not straitened in him, but in your own bowels. Broad rivers and streams also point to commerce. Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have commerce with the past; the…