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Showing posts from January 8, 2016

The Chair of the Preacher

The Chair of the Preacher
Excerpt


This was the usual position adopted by a Jewish preacher. The chair of the preacher was placed near the spot where the lesson was read. These synagogues were built with the end pointed towards Jerusalem, in which direction the Jew ever loved to turn as he prayed (Dan. 6:10). The men eat on one side of the building, the women on the other. There was always at the end of the chamber an ark of wood, a memory of the sacred ark of the covenant, which once, with its golden mercy-seat, hallowed now and again with the presence of the visible glory, was the chief treasure of the temple on Mount Zion. In the “ark” were kept the Law(the five books of Moses) and the rolls of the prophets.


Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. St. Luke. Vol. 1. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Smyrna Agora and Stoa

Smyrna Agora and Stoa ‎A view across the agora ruins at Smyrna to the columns of the Western Stoa—a covered public walkway in ancient times.

The Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the TalentsMatthew 25:14-30
The parable of the talents (25:14–30). “Talent” is a unit of weight. It became a monetary term as that unit of weight used of the metals that served as money—gold, silver, or copper. A talent of silver represented some 20 years wages for a day laborer and thus was worth far more than the $ 1,000 suggested in the NIV notes. The point of the parable is that good servants felt responsible and immediately set about using the funds entrusted to them in their master’s behalf. What’s more, they worked faithfully at serving him. The poor servant was not faithful in carrying out this responsibility. Lessons from this parable. Till Christ returns we are to use every resource He has given us in His service. How exciting to realize that whatever those resources may be, our reward is based on faithfulness, not the size of our achievements (cf. 25:21, 23).

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Prin…

Jerusalem: Shrine of the Book—Interior

Jerusalem: Shrine of the Book—Interior Jerusalem: Shrine of the Book—Interior ‎A display case in the shape of a Torah (Biblical) Scroll, its handle rising towards the source of light, in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Qumran Scrolls are displayed in the Shrine along with other finds from the Bar Kochba period. The Scrolls, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, include prophesies, hypotheses about the coming of the Messiah and interpretations of sacred texts. They cast light on theological thought in Judea in the 1st century A.D. as represented by the members of the Judean Desert sect.

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower ‎Jesus often spoke in parables while teaching. He used this parable to differentiate between types of people who hear God’s Word.

All Flesh Died

All Flesh Died
Excerpt


All the men, women, and children, that were in the world, excepting those in the ark, died. We may easily imagine what terror seized them. Our Saviour tells us, that till the very day that the flood came, they were eating and drinking, Lu 17:26, 27; they were deaf and blind to all Divine warnings. In this posture death surprised them. They were convinced of their folly when it was too late. We may suppose they tried all ways and means possible to save themselves, but all in vain. And those that are not found in Christ, the Ark, are certainly undone, undone for ever.


Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Print

High Place at Petra

High Place at Petra
‎Pagan shrines and altars could be built anywhere, but were most often found on the tops of mountains and ridges. Petra, in an area originally settled as early as 1550 B.C., was in the area of the Old Testament kingdom of Edom though the city itself was founded by the later Nabateans. ‎Num 23:3, 1 Kgs 11:1–8, 2 Chr 25:20, Amos 7:9

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 8

  Take good heed therefore unto your souls
Josh. 23:11 (Margin)
Gold cannot be used for currency as long as it is mixed with the quartz and rock in which it lies embedded. So your soul is useless to God till taken out from sin and earthiness and selfishness, in which it lies buried. By the regenerating power of the Spirit you must be separated unto Christ, stamped with His image and superscription, and made into a divine currency, which shall bear His likeness among men. The Christian is, so to speak, the circulating medium of Christ, the coin of the realm by whom the great transactions of mercy and grace to a lost world are carried on. As the currency stands for the gold, so does the Christian stand for Christ, representing His good andacceptable will.

A. J. Gordon

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

January 8: Judging the Time and Seasons
Genesis 14–15; Matthew 11; Ecclesiastes 3:9–15

We often have difficulty judging the events in our lives and then responding appropriately. Although God has placed eternity “in our hearts,” we don’t know the reason or the outcome of our life’s events (Eccl 3:11).
The danger comes in being known for only one mode of operation and one response for all seasons. In Matt 11, Jesus speaks to a generation who responds in one way—with skepticism and unbelief. Those who judge see John the Baptist as a demon-possessed man rather than a prophet. They see Jesus as a glutton, a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and sinners—not the one who has come to save them from their sins.
Jesus illustrates their responses with a tale. He compares them to children who call out to each other in the marketplaces, saying, “We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we sang a lament and you did not mourn” (Matt 11:17). Those who hear and fail to act confuse the w…

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

January 8th
Does my sacrifice live?


And Abraham built an altar … and bound Isaac his son. Genesis 22:9.

This incident is a picture of the blunder we make in thinking that the final thing God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, viz., sacrifice our lives. Not ‘I am willing to go to death with Thee,’ but, ‘I am willing to be identified with Thy death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.’ We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this blunder, and the same discipline goes on in our lives. God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, viz., life with Himself. It is a question of loosening the bands that hinder the life, and immediately those bands are loosened by identification with the death of Jesus, we enter into a relationship with God whereby we can sacrifice o…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 8      Go To Evening Reading
   “The iniquity of the holy things.”          — Exodus 28:38
What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed eith…