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Christian Qualities

Christian Qualities

2 Peter1:8. Christian growth (vv. 5–7) results in spiritual effectiveness and productivity. The word possess (hyparchōnta, lit. “possessing”) emphasizes that these spiritual qualities “belong to” Christians. However, Christians are to do more than merely possess these virtues. Effective and productive spirituality comes as these qualities are held in increasing measure. There is to be a growth in grace. A believer who does not progress in these seven areas is ineffective (argous, “idle” or “useless”) and unproductive (lit., “unfruitful”) in his knowledge (epignōsin, “full personal knowledge”; cf. vv. 2–3; 2:20) of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, many Christians know the Lord in salvation but lack the “fruit” of the Spirit and are not advancing spiritually. They remain “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1), still in need of spiritual “milk” (Heb. 5:12–13). But as Peter urged, believers should “grow in the grace and knowledge (gnōsei) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Ch…

The Shulamite

The Shulamite

‎All efforts to construct a completed story from this most intricate of books must depend largely on fancy; but there is certainly running all through it the piteous picture of the longing woman once referred to as the Shulamite. “Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.” Shut away from the care and protection of him to whom she has pledged herself, she spends her time in dreaming of him, in yearning and lamenting. “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.”
‎“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame."
‎“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a m…

Moriah and the Temple

Moriah and the Temple

Genesis 22:1

Excerpt


According to tradition, the mountain in the land of Moriah where God tested Abraham (22:1) is the hill upon which Solomon built the temple (2 Chron. 3:1).


Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

Arad Iron Age

Arad Iron Age
‎Arad Iron Age holy of holies

Date palms

Date palms
Date palms

Solomon’s Bronze Altar

Solomon’s Bronze Altar
‎Solomon may have built both a large stone altar and a smaller bronze altar. Ahaz moved Solomon’s bronze altar—a considerable feat given its weight and dimensions (2 Kgs 16:14). Asa also “repaired” this altar—implying that it was made of materials that could fall into disrepair (2 Chr 15:8).

Temptations

Temptations

James 1:13–18

Excerpt


The pull toward evil we feel when tested—a pull toward anger, striking out, or surrender to passion—does not “come from” God. That is, a temptation is not located in the test but in our sin nature’s response to the test. If we realize God intends the test as a “good and perfect gift,” our perspective changes. Rather than view tests as temptation and give in, we can welcome tests as blessings intended to help us grow. James reminds us that God has given us a new birth (v. 18). That new life is the source of an inner power that will enable us to triumph not only over the circumstances but our sinful tendencies as well.


Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 1
  In the morning came the word of the Lord unto me Ezek. 12:8
A quiet hour spent alone with God at the beginning of the day is the best beginning for the toils and cares of active business. A brief season of prayer, looking above for wisdom and grace and strength, and seeking for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, helps us to carry our religion into the business of the day. It brings joy and peace within the heart. And as we place all our concerns in the care and keeping of the Lord, faithfully striving to do His will, we have a joyful trust that however dark or discouraging events may appear, our Father’s hand is guiding everything, and will give the wisest direction to all our toils.
Selected

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

My Utmost for His Highest

My Utmost for His Highest






April 1st
Heartiness v. heartlessness towards others


It is Christ … who also maketh intercession for us … The Spirit … maketh intercession for the saints. Romans 8:34, 27.
Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors—that Christ “ever liveth to make intercession”; that the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints”? Are we living in such vital relationship to our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God? Begin with the circumstances we are in—our homes, our business, our country, the present crisis as it touches us and others—are these things crushing us? Are they badgering us out of the presence of God and leaving us no time for worship? Then let us call a halt, and get into such living relationship with God that our relationship to others may be maintained on the line of intercession whereby God works His marvels.
Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead o…

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 1      Go To Evening Reading
     “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.”   — Song of Solomon 1:2
For several days, we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time in the future, we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention his name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of him who was the only him in the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint his feet with spikenard—it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at his feet and learn of him—but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in a joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fe…

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan




April 1: Moving On Deuteronomy 1:1–46; 2 Corinthians 1:1–11; Psalm 31:1–9
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn now and move on” (Deut 1:6–7).
We have a terrible tendency to stay in one place or keep doing one activity longer than we should. Our meetings run long, we constantly work overtime, or we overstay a welcome. And then there’s the most significant problem of all: we ignore God’s command to leave a place, position, or role.
Change can be refreshing. But the countless decisions and the difficult and frustrating moments that accompany change can often keep us from moving forward. We become comfortable where we are, and we fear the unknown.
Indeed, the majority of people (including Christians) live seemingly meaningless lives. Most American Christians spend more hours per day doing comfortable things, like watching TV, than they do praying,  reading their Bibles, or serving others (usually comb…