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Showing posts from February 9, 2016

Resurrection

Resurrection
Romans 8:11
Excerpt


The most startling characteristic of the first Christian preaching is its emphasis on the resurrection. The first preachers were sure that Christ had risen, and sure, in consequence, that believers would in due course rise also. This set them off from all the other teachers of the ancient world. There are resurrections elsewhere, but none of them is like that of Christ. They are mostly mythological tales connected with the change of the season and the annual miracle of spring. The Gospels tell of an individual who truly died but overcame death by rising again. And if it is true that Christ’s resurrection bears no resemblance to anything in paganism it is also true that the attitude of believers to their own resurrection, the corollary of their Lord’s, is radically different from anything in the heathen world. Nothing is more characteristic of even the best thought of the day than its hopelessness in the face of death. Clearly the resurrection is of the v…

Tower of David, Old Wall and Olive Trees—Jerusalem

Tower of David, Old Wall and Olive Trees—Jerusalem
‎In Bible times, the towers formed part of the defenses of fortified cities (Neh. 3:1). They were erected beside the city gates—the one in our picture is at the Jaffa Gate—at the corners of the walls, and at intervals in the intervening space (2 Chronicles 26:9). Watchmen were stationed on them, military engines for shooting arrows and stones were mounted on them, and the citizens found refuge in them when sore pressed by the enemy (Judges 9:51–52).
‎Within their massive walls, the inmates were secure; their height allowed openings for light and air, out of reach of the adversary; and from their top, missiles could be advantageously discharged at the foe.

Roman Milepost in Israel

Roman Milepost in Israel
‎In A.D. 83, during Domitian’s reign, the Romans erected this milestone on the Acre-Antioch road near Achzib. The Latin inscription honoring Domitian also asserts his father Vespasian’s divinity. First Roman commander during the First Jewish Revolt (A.D. 66–73), Vespasian became emperor during the conflict. Though the Romans under Domitian banished John to Patmos in about A.D. 95, Domitian oppressed all perceived enemies, not only Christians. He insisted that subjects address him as “Dominus et Deus,” “Master and God,” an unpopular policy. He was murdered in A.D. 96. ‎Josh 19:29, Judg 1:31, Jer 31:21, Matt 5:41, Luke 11:18, Luke 24:13 ‎Image by user Ingsoc, from Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Smyrna Agora Arches

Smyrna Agora Arches ‎A view from above the restored Roman era stone arches in the agora, or public marketplace, at Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey).

Power

Power
Ephesians 1:19
Excerpt


The word “power” (dynamis; cf. 3:20) means a spiritually dynamic and living force. This power of God is directed toward believers. Paul then used three additional words to describe God’s power. It is according to the working(energeian, “energetic power,” from which comes the Eng. “energy”) of the might (kratous, “power that overcomes resistance,” as in Christ’s miracles; this word is used only of God, never of believers) of God’s inherent strength(ischyos) which He provides (cf. 6:10; 1 Peter 4:11). This magnificent accumulation of words for power under scores the magnitude of God’s “great power” available to Christians. More


Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 620. Print.

Ancient Jerusalem

Ancient Jerusalem
Ancient Jerusalem

  JOTHAM
739–734 BCE

Over time, the gaps between social classes had become wide and unrelenting in the northern kingdom of Israel where the rich enjoyed benefits and privileges far beyond those available to most of the people. But Judah appears to have enjoyed a more equitable society, even when great wealth was being generated within its borders, as happened during the reign of Jotham’s acclaimed father Uzziah. Recent excavations of houses of the period suggest narrower differences in social scale among its people than in the northern kingdom, a greater filtering down of wealth. Judah was fortunate in other ways as well. Not since Ahab succeeded Omri as ruler of Israel had the Jews experienced a king’s handover to a son as promising as when Jotham succeeded to the throne. Uzziah having been stricken with leprosy and having become a quarantined recluse, Jotham was required to function as his regent until he died. He did so in a modest, unassuming fas…

I Am the Gate

I Am the Gate
John 10:9
Excerpt


It is obvious from this verse that Jesus is the gate by which one enters into the Kingdom. In the Greek sentence construction the phrase by me is emphatic, thus emphasizing that Jesus is the only one through whom one enters the Kingdom. The one who enters through Jesus is saved, and he has freedom, which is expressed by the phrase come in and go out.


Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Gospel of John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 9

  Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you
Isa. 30:8
This is God’s way. In the darkest hours of the night His tread draws near across the billows. As the day of execution is breaking, the angel comes to Peter’s cell. When the scaffold for Mordecai is complete, the royal sleeplessness leads to a reaction in favor of the threatened race.
Ah, soul, it may have come to the worst with thee ere thou art delivered; but thou wilt be! God may keep thee waiting, but He will ever be mindful of His covenant, and will appear to fulfill His inviolable word.

F. B. Meyer

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

Connect the Testaments

February 9: Speaking Up
Exodus 21:1–23:33;John 4:27–42; Song of Solomon 3:1–2

Because we convince ourselves that people won’t accept our testimony about God’s work in our lives, we’re not usually ready to share it. We might prejudge their reactions or simply lack confidence. Soon, staying silent becomes a way of life. We become accustomed to the monotony and forget our calling in the world.
But we’re called to action. Our words have power, and not because of our own storytelling talent or our ability to tap into others’ emotions. God can and will use our words to draw people to Him through His Spirit—perhaps without our even being aware of it. In John 4:27–42, Jesus uses a Samaritan woman with a tarnished reputation to bring Samaritans (people whom the disciples and the Jews looked down upon) to faith.

Like the disciples, we have to realize the urgency of the good news. We have to show others that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
We are called to action. Verbalizing, with humility, wh…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

February 9th
Are you exhausted spiritually?


The everlasting God … fainteth not, neither is weary. Isaiah 40:28.

Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter—“Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through you; you have to be literally ‘sucked’, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.

Has the way in which you have been serving God…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, February 9      Go To Evening Reading
 “And David inquired of the Lord.”           — 2 Samuel 5:23
When David made this enquiry he had just fought the Philistines, and gained a signal victory. The Philistines came up in great hosts, but, by the help of God, David had easily put them to flight. Note, however, that when they came a second time, David did not go up to fight them without inquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious, and he might have said, as many have in other cases, “I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have conquered once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I tarry to seek at the Lord’s hands?” Not so, David. He had gained one battle by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another until he had ensured the same. He inquired, “Shall I go up against them?” He waited until God’s sign was given. Learn from David to take no step without God. Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compas…