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Showing posts from January 19, 2016

Rose (Narcissus Tazetta, Linn.)

Rose (Narcissus Tazetta, Linn.)
ROSE OF SHARON.—(Narcissus tazetta.)
The plant is employed in Scripture to shadow forth Him “who offered himself a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour;” and to picture the blessedness of that time when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.
In some of the apocryphal books we meet with the word which properly means rose, the rhodon of the Greeks.
Roses are highly prized in the East, and many wild species have been observed in Syria. The damask and hundred-leaved rose are cultivated extensively. What has been called the rose of Jericho is a species of cruciform plant, Anastatica hierochuntica, which, after flowering, dries up into a sort of ball.

Balfour, John Hutton. The Plants of the Bible. London; Edinburgh; New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1885. Print.

The Enemy Also Speaks to Us

The Enemy Also Speaks to Us
Excerpt


But while God is speaking, the enemy is also speaking (Psa. 119:42). We have learned that the writer of this psalm was oppressed by enemies who lied about him, slandered his name, and even threatened his life. Our main weapon against these attacks is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17), for only God’s truth can silence the devil’s lies (Matt. 4:1–11). We need God’s truth in our hearts, not only to keep us from sin, but also to equip us to answer those who oppose us or ask us why we believe as we do (1 Peter 3:15).


Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Exultant. 1st ed. Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

The Work of the Gospel

The Work of the Gospel
Philippians 1:5
Excerpt


The word “gospel” originally meant a reward for bringing good news, but later it came to be used for good news itself, often the joyous news of victory in war. In the New Testament it always means good news itself and refers to the salvation that God has made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word appears nine times in Philippians and is used in a variety of ways. It is the message about Jesus Christ that is proclaimed (Phil.1.5; Phil. 4.15), defended (Phil. 1.7, Phil. 1:16), promoted, spread, and advanced (Phil. 4.3; Phil. 1.12; Phil. 2.22). It is also the standard of Christian living and basis of faith (Phil. 1.27). The phrase in this context is not a reference to the Philippians’ sharing in accepting Paul’s preaching, but rather to their active participation in the work of the gospel. It may therefore be expressed as “in proclaiming the good news to others,” or “in the telling of the good news to others.”


L…

Whose Staff

Whose Staff
Numbers 20:8
Excerpt


It could well have been Aaron’s since it was kept “before the Lord” (Num. 20:10), in which case it was not for striking but to remind Israel of their contentiousness (Num. 17:25). Or it could have been for striking since, according to the priestly texts, Aaron’s rod was so used during the plagues (Exod. 7:9, Exod. 7:20; Exod. 8:1, Exod. 8:13). However, it was more likely the rod of Moses, which had been employed in the performance of God’s miracles in the wilderness (Exod. 14:16; Exod. 17:9). And, more relevantly, it was used in a previous instance of drawing water from a rock (Exod. 17:1–7), in which it was identified as the one used to strike the Nile (e.g., Exod. 7:19–20). Note also “his (Moses’) rod” in Exod. 7:11. Ibn Ezraassumes that if this is so, then Moses’ rod was kept in the sanctuary, a most plausible conjecture since it (as well as Aaron’s) was called “the rod of God” (Exod. 4:20).


Milgrom, Jacob. Numbers. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication So…

The World in the Gospel of John

The World in the Gospel of John
John 3:16–17, John 3:19
Excerpt


In the Gospel of John, the world is the object of God’s salvation in Christ (John 3:16; John 12:47). Moreover, it is his creation through Christ (John 1:3, John 1:10). Yet the world apart from Christ stands under judgment (John 16:8-11), hating Jesus’ followers, who have been separated from the world and are not of the world (John 17:16). The dualism between God, Christ, and the disciples, on the one hand, and the world, on the other, is described in terms of a sharp antinomy. Disciples are urged to have nothing to do with the world, especially not to love it (1 John 2:15-17). At the same time, Jesus has explicitly not prayed for disciples to be taken out of the world (John 17:15). Even in the Fourth Gospel, the world continues to be God’s, in creation and salvation. It is the same world that Matthew has in view as he portrays the risen Jesus sending his disciples to make disciples of all nations (John 28:19) or Luke as Jes…

Greetings to the Seven Churches

Greetings to the Seven Churches
Excerpt


As with the prologue in Revelation 1:1–3, the greeting was written after John had experienced the visions of the book. It presents the major themes of the book: seven churches, the eternality of God, Jesus the faithful witness, and God’s eternal glory and dominion. These themes will be illustrated throughout the book. John gave a standard blessing: “grace and peace.”Revelation is addressed to the seven churches of Asia. The churches were in cities Paul had visited on his second and third missionary journeys. As elder, or bishop, of Ephesus, the apostle John was responsible for these churches. Note the structure of Revelation 1:4–8. It starts and ends with the eternality of God (cf. Exod. 3:14–15). The middle part describes the person and work of Jesus, which results in believers being “priests” (Revelation 1:6). The servants of God do their priestly ministry in Christ surrounded by the eternal power and nature of the Father.


Hughes, Robert B., an…

How Has Archaeology Corroborated the Bible?

How Has Archaeology Corroborated the Bible?
Excerpt


The real role of archaeology is not to “prove” the Bible, for that kind of “proof” is available only in certain deductive sciences such as mathematics and logic. On the contrary, the role of archaeology is: (1) to supply cultural, epigraphic, and artifactual materials that provide the background for accurately interpreting the Bible, (2) to anchor the events of the biblical text in the history and geography of the times, and (3) to build confidence in the revelation of God where the truths of Scripture impinge on historical events.

Over the last century or so, archaeology has strengthened the case for biblical reliability. Missing individuals, peoples, places, and obscure customs, historical, and political settings have been helpfully identified.


Kaiser Jr., Walter C. “How Has Archaeology Corroborated the Bible?” The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith. Ed. Ted Cabal et al. Nashville, TN: Holman Bi…

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 19

  Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron
Exod. 28:2
Have we no garments of blue, and purple, and beautiful suggestiveness? We have garments of praise; we are clothed with the Lord Jesus. And have we no ornaments? The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is, in the sight of God, of great price. And have we no golden bells? We have the golden bells of holy actions. Our words are bells, our actions are bells, our purposes are bells. Wherever we move, our motion is thus understood to be a motion towards holy places, holy deeds, holy character.

Joseph Parker

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

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

January 19: The Million Dollar Question
Genesis 31, Matthew 23:37–24:28, Ecclesiastes 7:13–21

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is an ancient question, though often asked as if it’s new. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes says, “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing” (Eccl 7:15).

Answers to this age-old question do exist, the simplest is that since people gave into temptation near the beginning, havoc—caused by humans and by evil spirits—has taken hold. The time between now and when God takes full control of the world again is just grace; the moment He does is the end for all evil, including those who have not chosen Christ as their Savior.

The only way to fix the world is to rid it of all evil, but the Preacher doesn’t offer this deductive explanation. Instead, he notes that life is a series of balancing acts, and he uses hyperbole to make his point (Eccl 7:16–17).

The Preacher goes on to say…

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

January 19th
Vision and darkness


An horror of great darkness fell upon him. Genesis 15:12.

Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from excess of light, and then is the time to listen. Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfil His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on commonsense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God (cf. Isaiah 50:10, 11).

Have I any confidence in the flesh? Or have I got beyond all confidenc…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 19      Go To Evening Reading
 “I sought him, but I found him not.”          — Song of Solomon 3:1
Tell me where you lost the company of a Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures. It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost him, for he has not gone away. But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan tells us, the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the Arbour of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever travelled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile back for the lost evidence.