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The Wise and the Foolish

The Wise and the Foolish
Excerpt


Most of the sentences in this unit state contrasting ideas. The exceptions are vv. 10, 18, and 22 in which the first thought is expanded in the second.


Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996. Print. Old Testament Survey Series.

Kiriath Jearim

Kiriath Jearim

Walking With God

Walking With God
Excerpt


John’s readers were confused by two false teachings. The first was the claim that those who choose sin’s lifestyle can maintain fellowship with God. This John labeled as a lie (v. 6). The second claim was by those who said they were without sin (v. 8). They based their claim to fellowship with God on the belief that they matched God in His moral perfection! John called this claim self-deceit: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (v. 8).

Truth and falsehood are not related so much to the trustworthiness of the teller as they are to correspondence with reality. The problem with the claim of sinlessness is not that the motives of the claimant are unpure. His or her report may be made with honest conviction. But the report of sinlessness is mistaken: it does not correspond to reality. “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

What is the reality of sin for the Christian? The simple fact is that while in His death Jesus dealt fully with sin, the …

Photo of a Garden in Palestine

Photo of a Garden in Palestine
‎Though this picture was taken in the early twentieth century, it illustrates a timeless principle: a watered and tended garden soothes the soul. The original terrestrial paradise was a garden where God talked with Adam face to face. Jesus himself sought contact with his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. The eternal dwelling place of humans with God will be a city with trees in its midst. ‎Gen 2:8, Song 4:12–15, John 18:1, Rev 22:2

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral—Sacristy

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral—Sacristy
‎Jerusalem. The entrance to the Sacristy in the Cathedral of St. James. About ten thousand ceramic tiles with geometric designs in cobalt blue were brought here in the 18th century from Kutahay in Turkey. They decorate the Cathedral where three stones brought from the River Jordan, Mount Sinai and Mount Tabor are kept.

Origin of the Pharisees

Origin of the Pharisees

Philippians 3:5

Excerpt


The origins of the Pharisees are obscure. According to Jewish tradition, Pharisaic (= rabbinic) Judaism can be traced back to Ezra and the beginnings of the scribal movement in the fifth century bc. At the opposite extreme, a few scholars argue that, since there are no explicit references to the Pharisees in historical documents prior to the second century bc, Pharisaism appeared suddenly after the Maccabean revolt (167 bc). Many specialists take the position that perhaps as early as the third century bc one can find evidence of an incipient form of Pharisaism (as in The Wisdom of Joshua [Jesus] ben Sirach, also known as Ecclesiasticus). It may well be, moreover, that the intellectual pursuits associated with the work of the scribes did have something to do with the development of the Pharisees. It is also probable that prior to the Maccabean revolt some distinctive Pharisaic concerns appeared in connection with the development of the Hasid…

It was the Lord’s Will...

It was the Lord’s Will...

Isaiah 53:10

Excerpt


The suffering and death of the Servant was clearly the Lord’s will. In that sense He was “slain from the Creation of the world” (Rev.13:8). The statement, the Lord made the Servant’s life a guilt offering, does not mean that Jesus’ life satisfied the wrath of God but that His life which culminated in His death was the sacrifice for sins. As indicated in Isaiah53:7-8 He had to die to satisfy the righteous demands of God. The word for “guilt offering”is’āšām, used in Leviticus5:15; 6:5; 19:21 and elsewhere of an offering to atone for sin.

His death and burial appeared to end His existence (He was “cut off, ”Isa.53:8), but in actuality because of His resurrection Jesus will see His offspring(those who by believing in Him become children of God, John1:12) and He will prolong His days (live on forever as the Son of God). He will be blessed (prosper; cf. Isa.53:12a) because of His obedience to the will (plan) of the Lord. More


Martin, John A. “Isaia…

Connect the Testaments

February 24: The Day of Atonement
Leviticus 15–16; John 9:1–12; Song of Solomon 7:5–9

When it comes to the cost of sin, the average person probably thinks in terms of “What can I get away with?” rather than “What does this cost me and other people emotionally?” These calculations aren’t made in terms of life and death, but that is literally the case when it comes to sin.

The Day of Atonement is a beautiful, though horrific, illustration of this. It takes three innocent animals to deal with the people’s sin: one to purify the high priest and his family, one to be a sin offering to Yahweh that purifies the place where He symbolically dwelt (the holy of holies), and one to be sent into the wilderness to remove the people’s transgressions (Lev 16:11, 15–16, 21–22).

After the blood of the first two animals is spilled on the Day of Atonement—demonstrating the purification of God’s people—the final goat demonstrates God’s desire to completely rid the people of their sin. “Aaron shall place hi…

Morning and Evening

Morning, February 24      Go To Evening Reading
 “I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”           — Ezekiel 34:26
Here is sovereign mercy—“I will give them the shower in its season.” Is it not sovereign, divine mercy?—for who can say, “I will give them showers,” except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. Who sendeth down the rain upon the earth? Who scattereth the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord? So grace is the gift of God, and is not to be created by man. It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds, but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing. In vain you labour, until God the plenteous shower bestows, and sends salvation down. Then, it is plenteous grace. “I will send them showers.” It does not say, “I will send them drops,” but “showers.” So it is with gr…

My Utmost for His Highest

February 24th
The delight of sacrifice


I will very gladly spend and be spent for you. 2 Cor. 12:15.

When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin deliberately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people, not for a cause. Paul spent himself for one purpose only—that he might win men to Jesus Christ. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time, never to himself. “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” When a man says he must develop a holy life alone with God, he is of no more use to his fellow men: he puts himself on a pedestal, away from the common …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 24

  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit
John 3:8
We know that the wind listeth to blow where there is a vacuum. If you find a tremendous rush of wind, you know that somewhere there is an empty space. I am perfectly sure about this fact: if we could expel all pride, vanity, self-righteousness, self-seeking, desire for applause, honor, and promotion—if by some divine power we should be utterly emptied of all that, the Spirit would come as a rushing mighty wind to fill us.

A. J. Gordon

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