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Showing posts from March 7, 2016

The Race of Life

The Race of Life


Their encouragement has two purposes: to throw off everything that hinders and to puts away the sin that so easily entangles. As Moses laid aside the prerogatives of royalty for the sake of his God-given mission, so we must throw off whatever may hinder faith even though it may be right for others. Joseph properly ruled in Egypt, but for Moses, it was a hindering weight. Other weights might well be ambition, anxieties, hobbies, wealth or fame. Each runner must honestly judge what hinders faith. For him or her and resolutely lay it aside, even though others seem to be unhindered by the same thing. One cannot run well in an overcoat!

But the primary block to gaining the prize is the sin that so easily entangles. Since the writer does not specify what this is, it may be taken for granted that it is the sin continually warned about in Hebrews— persistent unbelief. Do not take God’s Word lightly. Do not excuse any sin as all right for you, but forbidden to others. …

Tarsus, Excavations



Little of Tarsus during the time of Paul has been excavated due to the location of the modern city of Cumhuriyet Alani atop the ruins. Excavations have turned up a paved city street of Tarsus along with a colonnaded podium, which may date to the 2nd century BC. In addition, remains have been found from the Bronze Age, baths, a Hellenistic portico, a Roman theater, and many terracotta figurines of deities, animals, people, and various mythological creatures.

Tarsus, History



During this time of Pompey (67 BC), Tarsus was made capital over the Roman province of Cilicia, and Jews began to receive Roman citizenship. Antony, who controlled the eastern provinces, declared the city free in 42 BC. Tarsus continued to receive special privileges under Augustus, who exempted the city from imperial taxation because Athenodorus, his teacher and friend, was a Tarsian. Tarsus grew into a cultural and intellectual center. Stoic philosophers like Athenodorus, Zeno, Antipater, and Nestor lived in the city in the first century AD.

Tarsus, Cleopatra's Gate


Cleopatra's Gate

The Tarsus gate of Cleopatra, also called the “Sea Gate,” still stands today, though it has been significantly restored. It was believed that Cleopatra sailed up the Cydnus disguised as Aphrodite and came through this gate in 41 BC on her way to meet Mark Antony.

Tarsus, Roman Temple

Tarsus, Roman Temple

Roman Temple

V. Longlois, a traveler during the Middle Ages, identified this structure as the tomb of Sardanapalus, an Assyrian who was killed during the siege of Nineveh ca. 612 BC. Located in Tekke, east of the medieval wall in Tarsus, this is actually a Roman temple dating to the second century A.D.

Tarsus, Well of St. Paul

Well of St. Paul Tarsus was the hometown of the apostle Paul (Acts 9:11), a city of great importance (Acts 21:39) as a learning center of the ancient world, alongside Alexandria and Athens. Notably, Jewish citizens of Tarsus were granted Roman citizenship. As a child, Paul was raised in Jerusalem and properly educated under the tutelage of Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin. Paul’s trade, tentmaking, fits well with Tarsus, a city well-known for making a certain type of felt cloth from the wool of shaggy black goats. Legend says that St. Paul often drank from this well, said to have special curative properties.

Connect the Testaments

March 7: Concerning Knowledge and Eating Meat
Numbers 7:1–47; John 14:1–31; Psalm 8:1–9

It’s easy to equate knowledge with faith and then look down on new believers. Although we might not voice it, those who are less knowledgeable in their faith can seem weak. And sometimes, instead of practicing patience, showing love, and speaking carefully about the hope within us, we enroll them in Bible boot camp for dummies.

But Jesus shows that love is what leads to growth in faith: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will take up residence with him. The one who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:23–24).

Paul echoes this in his letter to the Corinthians: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he has not yet known as it is necessary to know” (1 Cor 8:1–2). In reality, the opposite of what we believe is true: anyon…

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 7      Go To Evening Reading
 “Have faith in God.”  — Mark 11:22
Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great-heart’s” arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 7th
Undaunted radiance

Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Romans 8:37.

Paul is speaking of the things that might seem likely to separate or wedge in between the saint and the love of God; but the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the saint. These things can and do come in between the devotional exercises of the soul and God and separate individual life from God; but none of them is able to wedge in between the love of God and the soul of the saint. The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit. Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super joy of …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 7

  He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please him
  John 8:29
He who holds nearest communion with Heaven can best discharge the duties of everyday life.


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