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Showing posts from December 29, 2015

Diana of the Ephesians

Diana of the Ephesians
‎Diana was a Roman indigenous goddess. Through contact with the Greeks, the Romans learned of their goddess Artemis and equated her with their traditional goddess, whom they believed to have many of the same attributes. The image shown here is a Roman statue of Diana, a variation of the Ephesian image of Artemis that had supposedly fallen from heaven. The animals pictured on her skirt and arms symbolize her role as ruler of wild beasts. ‎Isa 45:5, Acts 19:24–35, 1 Cor 8:5–6, Gal 4:9

Bible as Progressive Revelation

Bible as Progressive Revelation
Excerpt


‎We speak of God’s progressive revelation. This does not mean God began to reveal Himself crudely and learned to do a better job as He went along. Genesis is as much His revelation as is John. Progressive revelation means God revealed Himself progressively to people as they were able to grasp and understand Him. Thus we have a clearer revelation of God in John than in Genesis, but the same God is revealed in both books.
‎How would Einstein teach arithmetic to a small child? He would not start out with the equation for the theory of relativity or for splitting the atom. He would begin with two plus two equals four. That is not all the arithmetic he knows; but that is as much as the child can grasp. Years later he would teach the child, now an adult, about complex theories. This is also how God revealed Himself to humanity. He did not reveal everything about Himself at one time. He did it gradually. …


Hobbs, Herschel H. My Favorite Illustrations. Nas…

Purity of Life

Purity of Life
Excerpt


Verse 1 begins with the Greek imperative “Become, therefore, imitators of God.” The “therefore” (RSV) links this command with what immediately precedes, that is, forgiveness of one another as God has forgiven us. The command to “imitate God” is unique in the New Testament.* It is justified by the fact that Christians are God’s dear children. As children, they must imitate their heavenly Father. The specific application of the command to imitate God is found in verse 2: it is love, as the rule of the Christian life, which enables the children to be like their Father.

The clause Since you are God’s dear children may be expressed as “since you are God’s children whom he very much loves”


Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Coin of Tigranes II of Armenia

Coin of Tigranes II of Armenia ‎The Armenian Empire started as Ararat (2 Kgs 19:37) and crested under Tigranes II (“the Great,” ruled 95–55 B.C.), reaching south to Ptolemais (Acts 21:7). Tigranes ended Seleucid rule in 83 B.C., governing from their capital Antioch (Acts 11:26) until Roman conquest. This silver stater depicts Tigranes (obverse). The Orontes River, personified, runs by Antioch’s Tyche under the Greek phrase “Of King Tigranes” (reverse). Greeks, believing that local Tyches (destiny goddesses) ruled cities’ fortunes, bestowed names like Eutychus (Acts 20:9) and Tychicus (2 Tim 4:12). ‎Gen 8:4, 2 Kgs 19:37, Acts 11:19–30, Acts 20:9, Acts 21:7, Gal 2:11, 2 Tim 4:12, 2 Macc 4:33

The Word and the Shepherd

The Word and the Shepherd
Excerpt


The final stanza contains concluding petitions. Once more the psalmist prays for fuller understanding or discernment, and for the freedom of outward circumstance which will enable him to use it. As a ground of both of these appeals he pleads God’s word of promise. He prays for a spirit of joyous, exuberant thankfulness for God’s continuous teaching, and for the character of the law which is the substance of that teaching. He asks for help on three grounds: (1) he has deliberately resolved to obey God’s precepts; (2) he has long been waiting eagerly for deliverance from the hindrances to obedience which surround him; and (3) his devotion has been no grudging service, but his constant delight. The object of the revived life for which he has prayed so often in this psalm is that his whole self may praise God. At the moment he is as defenseless as a sheep which has wandered from the flock. Therefore he desperately needs for the good shepherd to “seek,” i.e…

Treasure in the field

Treasure in the field ‎To keep a treasure in a safe place in antiquity, one had to bury it. The coins or pieces of jewelry were deposited in a clay vessel, so that they later were easier to retrace. Time and again such treasures that were buried in antiquity were discovered during excavations. ‎Matt 13:44–45

Octodrachma of Ptolemy II

Octodrachma of Ptolemy II ‎Egypt’s Ptolemy II issued this gold eight-drachma coin sometime after 265 B.C. The obverse features his parents, Ptolemy I and Berenice I. Above the couple, both deceased before this coin appeared, is the Greek word meaning “of gods.” The coin's reverse shows Ptolemy II and his second wife and full sister Arsinoe II under a Greek inscription meaning "of siblings." The coin’s unmistakable message? All of the people pictured are divine–the parents explicitly identified as gods, their children implicitly. ‎Ps 82:6,7, Isa 14:12–14, Isa 45:14, Dan 11:36, John 10:34, Rev 13:1–8


Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 29

  She [Hannah] … prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore … she, spake in her heart
1 Sam. 1:10, 13
For real business at the mercy-seat give me a home-made prayer, a prayer that comes out of the depths of my heart, not because I invented it, but because God the Holy Ghost put it there, and gave it such living force that I could not help letting it out. Though your words are broken, and your sentences disconnected, if your desires are earnest, if they are like coals of juniper, burning with a vehement flame, God will not mind how they find expression. If you have no words, perhaps you will pray better without them than with them. There are prayers that break the backs of words; they are too heavy for any human language to carry.

Spurgeon

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

Connect the Testaments

December 29: The Grace of God Shines Through
Lamentations 1:1–2:22;Romans 15:8–21; Proverbs 30:1–33

I was once asked why the Bible is so brutal—why it depicts things like babies being killed and war. It’s true, the Bible has many moments of darkness and violence. But these depictions of the rawness of humanity—in all its ungratefulness and depravity—demonstrate how much people need God. And more than that, through these moments, the Bible shows how much people need a savior.

The book of Lamentations is brimming with sorrow and gnashing of teeth. Little hope can be found in this book. The prophet weeps and moans over his fallen nation, over watching Jerusalem crumble. In this poetic work, we see people who don’t follow the God who loves them dearly and so badly yearns to see them return to Him.

“How desolate the city sits that was full of people! She has become like a widow, once great among the nations! Like a woman of nobility in the provinces, she has become a forced laborer. She weep…

My Utmost for His Highest

December 29th
Deserter or disciple?


From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. John 6:66.

When God gives a vision by His Spirit through His word of what He wants, and your mind and soul thrill to it, if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into servitude to a point of view which Our Lord never had. Disobedience in mind to the heavenly vision will make you a slave to points of view that are alien to Jesus Christ. Do not look at someone else and say—‘Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why cannot I?’ You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God. When you find that a point of view in which you have been delighting clashes with the heavenly vision and you debate, certain things will begin to develop in you—a sense of property and a sense of personal right, things of which Jesus Christ made nothing. He was always again…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, December 29      Go To Evening Reading
     “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” — 1 Samuel 7:12
The word “hitherto” seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, “hitherto the Lord hath helped!” Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received “hitherto.”

But the word also points forwa…