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Showing posts from March 22, 2016

Forsaken to Delight

March 22: Forsaken to Delight
Numbers 26:1–65; 1 Corinthians 8:1–9:27; Psalm 22:1–13

“My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you far from helping me, far from the words of my groaning?” (Psa 22:1).
These are some of the darkest words in Scripture. It’s almost painful to speak them, to imagine a feeling of complete abandonment by God. These are also the words we hear Jesus say when He is hanging from the cross (Matt 27:46). When He utters them, He makes Himself one with this ultimate sufferer, this true lamenter, in Psa 22. He is essentially saying, “I am He: the one who has suffered the most for God’s cause and thus knows what it means to be human.”

The plea in this psalm becomes even sadder, but then it is followed by a surprising affirmation of complete faithfulness in God: “O my God, I call by day and you do not answer, and by night but I have no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Psa 22:2–3). The very nature of crying out to God, even in a time of…

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 22      Go To Evening Reading
 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed.”  — Matthew 26:39
There are several instructive features in our Saviour’s prayer in his hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from his three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God’s.

It was humble prayer. Luke says he knelt, but another evangelist says he “fell on his face.” Where, then, must be THY place, thou humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover thy head! Humility gives us good foot-hold in prayer. There is no hope of prevalence with God unless we abase ourselves that he may exalt us in due time.

It was filial prayer. “Abba, Father.” You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to ple…

Pass From Death to Life

Pass From Death to Life

Excerpt


This is a spiritual resurrection (see Eph. 2:1–3) and takes place when sinners hear the Word and believe. The man Christ healed was really a living dead man. When he heard the Word and believed, he was given new life in his body. Christ has life in Himself, for Christ is “the Life” (14:6) and therefore can give life to others.


Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

Psalm 139:7

Excerpt


God’s manifestation of his spiritual being. Since God is a spirit every believer experience him by sensing his invisible presence. God also makes himself known in other ways. He appears in nature, particularly in catastrophic forces—fire, lightning, and earthquake (1 Kgs 19:11–13). He also appears in human form (Gn 18; 32:22–32). So God, who cannot be seen, has chosen ways to reveal himself.


Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 1071. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

The Nature of Christ

The Nature of Christ

Philippians 2:6

Excerpt


The word translated nature (morphē) in verses 6 and 7 is a crucial term in this passage. This word (trans. “form” in theKJVand NASB) stresses the inner essence or reality of that with which it is associated (cf. Mark 16:12). Christ Jesus, Paul said, is of the very essence (morphē) of God, and in His incarnation He embraced perfect humanity. His complete and absolute deity is here carefully stressed by the apostle. The Savior’s claim to deity infuriated the Jewish leaders (John 5:18) and caused them to accuse Him of blasphemy (John 10:33).

Though possessing full deity (John 1:14; Col. 2:9), Christ did not consider His equality with God (Phil. 2:6) as something to be grasped or held onto. In other words, Christ did not hesitate to set aside His self-willed use of deity when He became a man. As God, He had all the rights of deity, and yet during His incarnate state He surrendered His right to manifest Himself visibly as the God of all splendor and…

The Fall of Jericho

The Fall of Jericho

Excerpt


‎The fall of Jericho detailed in Josh 6 represents one of the most contested subjects for those studying the history and archaeology of the biblical world. Since the 1950s, a debate has centered on the question of whether the archaeology of Jericho confirms or invalidates the biblical story. Many today opt for the latter for several reasons. If the biblical chronology is taken at face value, then the exodus from Egypt occurred in 1446 bc. Forty years of wandering in the wilderness followed, placing Joshua’s attack on Jericho at approximately 1400 bc. Many believe the archaeological record shows that Jericho was destroyed ca. 1550–1500 bc, meaning that there was no city for the biblical Joshua to attack. …


Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012. Print.

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God

Excerpt


And steadfastly regarding (see Mark. 10:21, 27; Luke 20:17; 22:61)—with eager and penetrating glance, as though something might be learned from his slightest movements—Jesus as he walked; “walked,” not towards John, as on the previous day, but in some opposite direction. This implies that their relative functions were not identical, and not to be confounded. This is the last time when the Baptist and the Christ were together, and the sublime meekness of John and his surrender of all primary claims to deference throw light on the unspeakable and gentle dignity of Jesus. He saith, Behold the Lamb of God. The simple phrase, without further exposition, implies that he was recalling to their minds the mighty appellation which he had bestowed upon the Saviour on the previous day, with all the additional interpretation of the term with which it had then been accompanied. The brevity of the cry here marks the emphasis which it bore, and the rich associations it al…

Bethany

Bethany

Luke 19:29

Excerpt


Village on the eastern slope of the Mt of Olives about a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) east of Jerusalem. Jesus and his disciples sometimes stayed in Bethany when in Judea, as when they attended temple observances during Passover (Mt 21:17; Mk 11:11). Jesus was eating at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany when a woman came and anointed his head with costly perfume (Mt 26:6–13; Mk 14:3–9). Bethany was also the home of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus, where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1, 18). The village was near Bethphage on an approach to Jerusalem (Mk 11:1; Lk 19:29) that Jesus followed in preparation for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In Bethany Jesus blessed his disciples after the resurrection and parted from them (Lk 24:50). Today the town is called el-Azariyeh (the place of Lazarus).


Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 162. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

John 10:1-21: Parable or Mashal?

John 10:1-21: Parable or Mashal?

John 10:1–21

Excerpt


I prefer, however, not to use the parabolic categories associated with Synoptic studies but rather to employ the Semitic designation of mashal. A mashal, or symbolic illustration, is a figurative text that can interweave as few or as many tangents and implications as are considered necessary by the writer or storyteller. Since the Hebrew term māšāl has a considerable breadth of meaning, I believe such breadth adheres in the New Testament to such Greek terms as parabolē (“parable,” which is not used in this Gospel) and paroimia (“image” or “figure,” see 10:6). Both of themeshalim (chaps. 10; 15) in John include tangential arguments and references, but in the shepherd mashal, the tangents are more developed than in the vine text. Yet it is important to note that despite the tangents here, the main direction of the mashal remains constant. The messianic figure here is Jesus who cares for his sheep like God does. But the enemies are ident…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 22nd
The burning heart


Did not our heart burn within us? Luke 24:32.

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, the fires are kindled, we have wonderful visions; then we have to learn to keep the secret of the burning heart that will go through anything. It is the dull, bald, dreary, commonplace day, with commonplace duties and people, that kills the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

Much of our distress as Christians comes not because of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test as to whether we ought to allow an emotion to have its way is to see what the outcome of the emotion will be. Push it to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something God would condemn, allow it no more way. But if it is an emotion kindled by the Spirit of God and you do not let that emotion have its right issue in your life, it will react on a lower level. That is the wa…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 22

  And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send
Exod. 4:13
It was a very grudging assent. It was as much as to say, “Since Thou art determined to send me and I must undertake the mission, then let it be so; but I would that it might have been another, and I go because I am compelled.” So often do we shrink back from the sacrifice or obligation to which God calls us, that we think we are going to our doom. We seek every reason for evading the divine will, little realizing that He is forcing us out from our quiet homes into a career which includes, among other things, the song of victory on the banks of the Red Sea; the two lonely sojourns for forty days in converse with God; the shining face; the vision of glory; the burial by the hand of Michael; and the supreme honor of standing beside the Lord on the Transfiguration mountain.

F. B. Meyer

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Ele…