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Showing posts from January 1, 2016

The first covenant

3. The first covenant (Gen. 2:16–17)

A covenant is a binding arrangement between two or more parties that governs their relationship. 3 The word command is introduced at this point because it’s God who makes the terms of the agreement. God is the Creator and man is the creature, a “royal tenant” in God’s wonderful world, so God has the right to tell the man what he can and cannot do. God didn’t ask for Adam’s advice; He simply gave him His commandment.

God had given great honor and privilege to Adam in making him His vice-regent on the earth (1:28), but with privilege always comes responsibility. The same divine Word that brought the universe into being also expresses God’s love and will to Adam and Eve and their descendants (Ps. 33:11). Obedience to this Word would keep them in the sphere of God’s fellowship and approval. All God’s commands are good commands and bring good things to those who obey them (Ps. 119:39; Prov. 6:20–23). “And His commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).


Happy New Year

HappyNew Year To My International Community's

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 1

  Come up in the morning … and present thyself … to me in the top of the mount
Exod. 34:2
My Father, I am coming. Nothing on the mean plain shall keep me away from the holy heights. Help me to climb fast, and keep Thou my foot, lest it fall upon the hard rock! At Thy bidding I come, so Thou wilt not mock my heart. Bring with Thee honey from Heaven, yea, milk and wine, and oil for my soul’s good, and stay the sun in his course, or the time will be too short in which to look upon Thy face, and to hear Thy gentle voice.

Morning on the mount! It will make me strong and glad all the rest of the day so well begun.

Joseph Parker

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

Connect the Testaments

January 1: Beginnings
Genesis 1–2;Matthew 1–2; Ecclesiastes 1:1–5

In the beginning, God subdues the greatest symbol of chaos in the ancient world: the waters. He also creates light—something that the ancients thought ruled everything. Even darkness, which they deeply feared, is now ruled by Him.

The ancients were in the middle, asking, “God, where are you in the midst of this chaotic world?” He answers them with a story about beginnings. In this story, we find that God establishes order in a chaotic world. He rules other gods. He rules the light. He rules the night. It’s as if God said, “Why are you afraid? I’m here. I’m working it out.”

Matthew 1–2 gives us another beginning—a child born in humble circumstances. But it’s through this child, Jesus, that the world itself was first created. And that’s not all: in Him and through Him everything is brought together. Chaos is made orderly: “Because all things in the heavens and on earth were created by him … and he himself is before all thin…

My Utmost for His Highest

January 1st
Let us keep to the point

My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honour to Christ in my own person by fearless courage. Phil. 1:20. (Moffatt.)

My Utmost for His Highest. “My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed.” We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point He has asked us to yield to Him. Paul says—“My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest.” To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point. An over-weening consideration for ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it that we are considering others. When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this on…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 1      Go To Evening Reading
   “They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.”  — Joshua 5:12
Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith be in active exercise, it will yield unalloyed delight. To be with Jesus in the rest which remaineth for the people of God, is a cheering hope indeed, and to expect this glory so soon is a double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls between us and the goodly land, but let us rest assured that we have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall be…