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Showing posts from January 13, 2016

“Unclean! Unclean!” Wretched Lepers Outside of Jerusalem

“Unclean! Unclean!” Wretched Lepers Outside of Jerusalem

Paul’s Ministry to the Churches

Paul’s Ministry to the Churches
Excerpt


The first aspect of Paul’s ministry involved suffering. Perhaps Paul reflected here on the words of explanation at his conversion experience. God told Ananias that Paul would learn how many things he must suffer for Christ’s sake (Acts 9:16). From the beginning of his ministry, Paul and others knew that unique suffering would be his lot. That knowledge came through direct revelation from God. Perhaps, further, Paul reflected on the fulfillment of that prediction in the various experiences of suffering in his ministry. Even at the time of writing, Paul was suffering in house arrest for the sake of Gentile churches. In a unique way, the apostle was granted the privilege of suffering for the Messiah.


Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991. Print. The New American Commentary.

Aquinas on the Lord’s Prayer

Aquinas on the Lord’s Prayer

Excerpt


The Lord’s Prayer is most perfect, because, as Augustine says to Proba (Ep. cxxx.), if we pray rightly and fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of Our Lord. For since prayer interprets our desires, as it were, before God, then alone is it right to ask for something in our prayers when it is right that we should desire it. Now in the Lord’s Prayer not only do we ask for all that we may rightly desire, but also in the order wherein we ought to desire them, so that this prayer not only teaches us to ask, but also directs all our affections.


Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne. Print.

Egyptians Slingers

Egyptians Slingers

Flies

Flies

The Essence of the Letter

The Essence of the Letter
Excerpt


The essence of James’s letter is a call to action (works) that allows truth to triumph over sin and error. This is the essence of everything he wrote. The individual under consideration (James5:19, “anyone among you”) is a Christian who has strayed from the truth. By turning that one back to God, the ultimate discipline of death (1 Cor. 11:30; 1 John 5:16) would be avoided. The multitude of sins covered were those that had been committed and those that would never happen because of a person’s repentance. Through genuine repentance, forgiveness is appropriated and sins are hidden from the sight of God (cf. Ps. 32:1; 1 Pet. 4:8).


Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

The Keys of Death and Hades

The Keys of Death and Hades
Revelation 1:18
Excerpt


...keys are the symbol of authority, and by having been raised from death, the glorified Christ has the power over death and the world of the dead; he has the power to leave people in death or to open the gates of Hades (see Isa 38.10; Matt 16.18 [RSV footnote]) and let its inhabitants leave. This, of course, is a figure for the power to bring the dead to life.


Bratcher, Robert G., and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Revelation to John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Alexander the Great on Bucephalus

Alexander the Great on Bucephalus ‎Bucephalus, one of history’s most famous horses, carries Alexander the Great into the fray in this section of the first-century B.C. Pompeian mosaic depicting the Battle of Issus (333 B.C.) The Roman writer Plutarch recounts how a 13-year old Alexander broke the big-headed horse (“Bucephalus” means “ox head”) after many other men had tried and failed. In Plutarch’s legend, Alexander’s equestrian skills so impressed his father Philip that he declared, “Macedonia is too small for you, son!” ‎Dan 8:5–8, Dan 11:2–4, 1 Macc 1:1, 7, 1 Macc 6:2 ‎Image by user Ruthven, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain


Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 13  Go To Evening Reading
         “Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber”           — 1 Kings 22:48
Solomon’s ships had returned in safety, but Jehoshaphat’s vessels never reached the land of gold. Providence prospers one, and frustrates the desires of another, in the same business and at the same spot, yet the Great Ruler is as good and wise at one time as another. May we have grace to-day, in the remembrance of this text, to bless the Lord for ships broken at Ezion-geber, as well as for vessels freighted with temporal blessings; let us not envy the more successful, nor murmur at our losses as though we were singularly and specially tried. Like Jehoshaphat, we may be precious in the Lord’s sight, although our schemes end in disappointment.

The secret cause of Jehoshaphat’s loss is well worthy of notice, for it is the root of very much of the suffering of the Lord’s people; it was his…

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

January 13: Avoiding the Unavoidable
Genesis 24; Matthew 16–17;Ecclesiastes 5:8–11

It’s common to put people in our lives on hold, even if we love them, until something forces us to pay attention. Forgetting those who are closest to us is a frightening thought. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, likely realized that people were making a similar mistake in their relationship with Jesus.
In the district of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matt 16:13–14). At first, they respond with the expected: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and the prophets—suggesting that Jesus is an esteemed and powerful prophet, but not more. Then Jesus asks the are-you-paying-attention question: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt 16:15).
Simon Peter understood this, blurting out, “You are the Christ, the Son of theliving God!” (Matt 16:16). Jesus asked about the Son of Man, emphasizing His humanity; Peter responds by emphasizing both His status as the anointed o…

My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

January 13th
Have you ever been alone with God?


When He was alone, the twelve … asked of Him … Mark 4:10.

His Solitude with us. When God gets us alone by affliction, heartbreak, or temptation, by disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted affection, by a broken friendship, or by a new friendship—when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are dumbfounded and cannot ask one question, then He begins to expound. Watch Jesus Christ’s training of the twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were perplexed. They constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly expounded things to them; but they only understood after they had received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).
If you are going on with God, the only thing that is clear to you, and the only thing God intends to be clear, is the way He deals with your own soul. Your brother’s sorrows and perplexities are an absolute confusion to you. We imagine we understand where the other person is, until God gives us a dose of the plague …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 13
Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit
John 15:8
What a possibility, what an inspiration, that we can enhance the glory of “our Father!” Our hearts leap at the thought.
How can this be done? By bearing “leaves”—a profession of love for Him? No. By bearing some fruit? No. “That ye bear much fruit.” In the abundance of the yield is the joy, the glory of the husbandman. We should, therefore, aim to be extraordinary, “hundred-fold” Christians, satisfied with none but the largest yield. Our lives should be packed with good deeds. Then at harvest time we can say, “Father, I have glorified Thee on the earth!”

W. Jennings

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