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Showing posts from April 11, 2016

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 13      Go To Evening Reading
         “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me.”   — Song of Solomon 1:13
Myrrh may well be chosen as the type of Jesus on account of its preciousness, its perfume, its pleasantness, its healing, preserving, disinfecting qualities, and its connection with sacrifice, but why is he compared to “a bundle of myrrh”? First, for plenty. He is not a drop of it, he is a casket full. He is not a sprig or flower of it, but a whole bundle. There is enough in Christ for all my necessities; let me not be slow to avail myself of him. Our well-beloved is compared to a “bundle” again, for variety: for there is in Christ not only the one thing needful but in “him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” everything needful is in him. Take Jesus in his different characters, and you will see a marvellous variety—Prophet, Priest, King, Husband, Friend, Shepherd. Consider him in his life, death, resurrection, ascension, second advent; view him in…

What Brought Death?

What Brought Death?

Romans 7:13

It was not the Law that brought death to Paul; rather sin used what is good (the Law) to accomplish this. The outcome was that sin’s true nature was revealed (NEB “sin exposed its true character”; JB “but sin, to show itself in its true colors”). Paul is saying that one cannot see how evil sin is until he realizes that sin takes what is good, that is, a divine command, and uses this to bring death to men. More

Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. New York: United Bible Societies, 1973. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Paul Disowns Self-interest

Paul Disowns Self-interest


Whatever the background to this difficult verse, its general import seems clear. Paul disowns self-interest as a motive for any of his action; whether his actions be judged irrational or rational, all is for God’s glory and the benefit of others (1 Cor. 10:31; 2 Cor. 4:5, 15). Of this the Corinthians can be justly proud (v. 12). This interpretation accords well with his following appeal (v. 14) to Christ as “the man for others” and his definition of the purpose of Christ’s death (v. 15) — that believers should lead a life that is not centered on self but on Christ.

Harris, Murray J. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids, MI; Milton Keynes, UK: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Paternoster Press, 2005. Print. New International Greek Testament Commentary.

The Poor Mother’s Offering

The Poor Mother’s Offering
‎The sudden death of Aaron’s sons doubtless served as sufficient warning to the Israelites to be exact and punctilious in following the religious ceremonials laid down for them. There are in the Bible many chapters of directions concerning these; and all are planned with forethought and justice. Thus, for instance, one important principle was that the value of an offering should be proportioned to the wealth of the individual who presented it.
‎This is illustrated in the present picture. One of the laws was that a mother after her child was born, should come with an offering of purification when she returned to the tabernacle to give thanks to the Lord. The chief offering was to be a lamb; but if the woman was poor, two turtle doves or two young pigeons would suffice instead. We are shown here a young mother approaching with her modest gift, eager to proclaim her gratitude to the giver of all.

View from Northwest Shore, Sea of Galilee

View from Northwest Shore, Sea of Galilee
‎A view at sunset from the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, facing Tiberias (top background).

Amorite Pottery

Amorite Pottery
‎These Amorite baked clay vessels, handmade with simple incised ornamentation, date from before 1500 B.C. The Amorites were descendants of Noah by way of Ham and Canaan. The history of their interaction with the Hebrews goes back to Abraham’s time and includes periods of alliance and of bitter conflict. War erupted when the Hebrews, recently released from Egyptian bondage, wanted to cross Amorite land. King Sihon of the Amorites refused them passage, then attacked. The Hebrew army defeated the Amorites, appropriating their land (Num 21:21–32). ‎Gen 10:15, Gen 14:7, 13, Exod 3:8, Num 21:13, 21–32, 2 Sam 17:28, Ezra 9:1

Inscription on Bulla

Inscription on Bulla Inscription on Bulla.
Although the owner of the seal stamped on the Bulla under discussion cannot be identified positively on the basis of all the criteria mentioned by Avigad, three auxiliary elements help to identify its owner with a particular biblical personality: the name, the royal genealogy, and chronological probability. Ishmael son of Nethaniah is the only known bearer of the name Ishmael who was a descendant of the royal family. It is highly unlikely that there were two different members of the royal family bearing the same name during that period. Had that been the case, there would have been some indication on the seal, distinguishing our Ishmael from other bearers of the same name. That supports the assumption that Ishmael the king’s son is to be identified with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. If the suggested identification is correct, it can also contribute significantly to clarifying the exact meaning of the title “the king’s son.” That title, which…

Coin of Herod the Great

Coin of Herod the Great

Morning and Evening

Morning, January 11      Go To Evening Reading
“These have no root.”   — Luke 8:13
My soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another; superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one. In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth tak…

My Utmost for His Highest

January 11th
What my obedience to God costs other people

They laid hold upon one Simon, … and on him, they laid the cross Luke 23:26.
If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it—‘You call this Christianity?’ We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.

Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say—‘I will never accept anything from anyone.’ We shall have to, or disobey God. We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke 8:2–3 ).

Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal…

Connect the Testaments

January 11: The Kingdom of Heaven is Like …
Genesis 19:30–21:21; Matthew 13:44–14:36; Ecclesiastes 4:8–16

Few in the world have sold everything to pursue an idea. Yet Jesus claims those who discover the kingdom of heaven is willing to do so. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, that a man found and concealed, and in his joy he goes and sells everything that he has and buys that field” (Matt 13:44). It seems that hardly any of us are equally willing to give up everything for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

The realization that Jesus has brought the kingdom of heaven to earth presents us with a choice. Will we decide that His kingdom is worth more than all things, or will we devalue it by equating it with worldly treasures?

There are many types of currency, not just money: reputation, occupational status, and social media popularity are just a few. But the kingdom is much more than material or monetary ideas. It’s about giving our gifts, thoughts, and wealth. It’…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 11

  Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations
James 1:2
We cannot be losers by trusting God, for He is honored by faith, and most honored when faith discerns His love and truth behind a thick cloud of His ways and providence. Happy those who are thus tried! Let us only be clear of unbelief and a guilty conscience. We shall hide in the rock and pavilion of the Lord, sheltered beneath the wings of everlasting love till all calamities are overpast.


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