Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April 19, 2016

Laodiceans Were Neither Hot nor Cold

Laodiceans Were Neither Hot nor Cold

Excerpt


The city was in the southwest of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, not far from Colosse, and lying between it and Philadelphia. It was destroyed by an earthquake, a.d., and rebuilt by its wealthy citizens without the help of the state [Tacitus, Annals, 14.27]. This wealth (arising from the excellence of its wools) led to a self-satisfied, lukewarm state in spiritual things, as Rev 3:17 describes. See on Col 4:16, on the Epistle which is thought to have been written to the Laodicean Church by Paul. The Church in latter times was apparently flourishing; for one of the councils at which the canon of Scripture was determined was held in Laodicea in a.d. 361. Hardly a Christian is now to be found on or near its site.


Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Devotion and Wisdom

Devotion and Wisdom

Proverbs 3:1–12
Excerpt


Devotion to God and devotion to Wisdom are inseparable. For the scholar, who may be tempted to seek knowledge without having first submitted to God, this means that the search will be futile and the wisdom gained will be distorted if one has not first oriented oneself to the Creator in faith, humility, and obedience. For the religious person, this means that one’s alleged piety is hollow if it does not embrace the simple and indeed very earthy precepts of wisdom. Basic axioms of moral integrity, matters as ordinary as being an adjacent neighbor (vv. 28–29), must adorn the life of anyone who would claim to possess the fear of the Lord. In this time, when there are far too many examples of Christians and especially of ministers who seem to have forgotten that right living is essential for those who would claim to know God, this lesson cannot be proclaimed loudly enough.


Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Vol. 14. Nashville: B…

The Gifts of the Magi

The Gifts of the Magi




Matthew 2:9–12
Excerpt


What the Magi recognize as divine guidance fills them, literally, with exceedingly great joy (v. 10). They find the mother and child and prostrate themselves before him in worship. The gifts used to honor the new king were typically associated with royalty. Because Matthew has not yet introduced the theme of Jesus’ death, it is not likely that he is implying it here, even though myrrh was a spice often used in embalming. Rather, all three gifts honor the Christ child as King. Gold, then as now, was a precious metal prized for its beauty and value, an appropriate regal gift. Frankincense and myrrh were fragrant spices and perfumes equally appropriate for such adoration and worship. Similar visits of Magi to royalty are described in other Greco-Roman literature of the time (Dio Cassius Roman History 63.7; Suetonius, Nero13), but more significant here is the Jewish background. The Magi appear as Balaam’s successors to witness the fulfillment of N…

Gnats (Lice)

Genesis

The Entrance to the Church of the Nativity

The Entrance to the Church of the Nativity
‎ We enter the Church of the Nativity, which is known as the Church of St. Mary. It is situated in the western part of Bethlehem, overlooking a beautiful valley. The church and its neighboring convents seem more like a fortress or a prison than a sanctuary. We enter the church from the west. Its doors are heavy. They stand in an archway of stone not exceeding four feet in height and are very narrow. There was a time, and there have been many times in Palestine when it was perilous to enter this sacred edifice. The Church of St. Mary is the property of three leading sects—the Greeks, the Latins and the Armenians. It is a very ancient structure but has undergone many changes and restorations during the centuries of its history. Tradition carries us back to the third century, and trustworthy tradition finds a church built here by Constantine in the Sixth Century. It is said that the mother of Constantine, the Empress Helena, persuaded her son t…

Herodian Jericho

Herodian Jericho

Connect the Testaments

April 19: He’s Dead, But You Can Be Alive
Joshua 1:1–3:17; 2 Corinthians 9:1–5; Psalm 47:1–9

“My servant Moses is dead” (Josh 1:2).
Imagine the shock of this moment for Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. He probably already knew about Moses’ death before God told him (Deut 34:1–8), but it’s in this moment that he really feels the tragedy.

If you’ve experienced death, you know this feeling—the moment when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “They’re gone.” You can’t prepare for it. It’s death; there’s nothing you can do to change it or handle it.

This was also the moment when Joshua was confronted with the great leadership burden that he would now carry as a result of Moses’ passing—equivalent to the emotional burden a vice president carries as he’s being sworn into office after the president has died.

Yahweh tells Joshua, “Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place that the soles of your feet will…

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 19      Go To Evening Reading
 “Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” — Matthew 27:51
No mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power—many lessons were herein taught us. The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay. That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus, we have a clear revelation of God, for he was “not as Moses, who put a veil over his face.” Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in him. The annual ceremony of ato…