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Showing posts from May 18, 2016

Abide

Abide

John 15:4–7, 9–10, 16

Excerpt


R. Bultmann (John [Eng. tr., 1971] 535n.1) correctly emphasizes two aspects of μένω ἐν: In reference to humankind “abide in” designates “loyalty”; in reference to the revealer or God, it designates “the eternal validity of the divine act of salvation for the believer.”


Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament1990– : 408. Print.

The Power of the Word Unto Wisdom

The Power of the Word Unto Wisdom

Excerpt


The testimonies of the Lord are “wonderful,” i.e., superhuman in their excellence. Their sublimity and mystery are what attracts the psalmist to them. The unfolding of that word equips the simple who need instruction to discern between right and wrong. He craved this wisdom food and opened his mouth to receive it. He boldly suggests that those who love God’s name are entitled to his mercy. He asks for guidance so that he might avoid both temptation from within and trial from without. He urges God to redeem him from oppressors so that he may freely practice his faith. He asks that God might illuminate the darkness that surrounds him with the light of his presence. The righteous indignation which he feels at one moment for the lawlessness of men (v. 53) is tempered here by profound sorrow and pity.


Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature, and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996. Print. Old Testament Survey Series.

Humble Adoration

Humble Adoration

Excerpt


This is the first of the four divisions of the Magnificat. In it, she speaks of herself, and her deep feelings of adoration and of holy joy, and of intense glad surprise. It is a prayer, but the highest kind of prayer, for it asks for nothing—it simply breathes adoration and thankfulness. We may imagine the angels praying thus. They have all that created beings, however, exalted, can desire in the beatific vision which they perpetually enjoy; and yet they pray continually, but only after this manner. The joy of her spirit, notice, is based on the fact of the revelation that he, God, was, too, her Saviour; and, of course, not hers only: her great joy was in the thought of the salvation of the suffering, sinning going on around her. Then she passes into simple wonderment that she should have been chosen as the instrument of the boundless goodness of God. She had nothing to recommend her only her low estate. Though royally descended, she only occupied a position am…

The Chosen People

The Chosen People

1 Peter 2:9
Excerpt


Peter again echoed the Old Testament, specifically Isaiah 43:20. “Chosen people,” which used to apply only to Israel, was now used of both Jewish and Gentile believers. The responsibility once solely trusted to the nation of Israel has now, during this Age of Grace, been given to the church.


Raymer, Roger M. “1 Peter.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 845. Print.

Creation Myths

Creation Myths

Genesis 1:1–2
Excerpt


Ancient explanations of the universe ranged from the Mesopotamian claim that matter represents the corpse of a slain deity, Tiamat, to the Greek conviction that the physical universe preexisted the gods. Only Genesis exalts God above His Creation. And only Genesis gives human beings a central place in Creation, as persons made in God’s image who are deeply loved by Him. Thus, the biblical view of Creation has always been radical—and remains in direct conflict with the modern notion that everything is the product of chance evolution.


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

Foundational Truth

Foundational Truth

Hebrews 6:1–2

Excerpt


What are the foundation truths on which we can rely?

• Repentance from dead works. Coming to Christ we realize that our works had nothing to do with salvation or the life Jesus offers. We turn away from a “works righteousness” in the Christian life as well.

• Faith in God. Trust in God is the key to salvation. That transaction of saving faith is complete.

• Instruction about baptisms. In the early church, careful instruction preceded baptism. It is likely this refers to the basic doctrines taught and accepted before baptism took place.

• Laying on of hands. This may refer to church discipline (leaders were appointed with the laying on of hands) or perhaps to teaching about the Holy Spirit (whose entry into the believer was so symbolized).

• Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. These doctrines summarize the believer’s hope.


Richards, Larry, and Lawrence O. Richards. The Teacher’s Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987. Print.

But Because You are Lukewarm...

But Because You are Lukewarm...

Excerpt


The Laodiceans were in spiritual things cold comparatively, but not cold as the world outside, and as those who had never belonged to the Church. The lukewarm state, if it is the transitional stage to a warmer, is a desirable state (for a little religion, if real, is better than none); but most fatal when, as here, an abiding condition, for it is mistaken for a safe state (Rev 3:17). This accounts for Christ’s desiring that they were cold rather than lukewarm. For then there would not be the same “danger of mixed motive and disregarded principle” [Alford]. Also, there is more hope of the “cold,” that is, those who are of the world, and not yet warmed by the Gospel call; for, when called, they may become hot and fervent Christians: such did the once-cold publicans, Zaccheus, and Matthew, become. But the lukewarm has been brought within reach of the holy fire, without being heated by it into fervor: having religion enough to lull the conscience in f…

Connect the Testaments

May 18: A Higher Calling
1 Chronicles 6:1–81;1 Timothy 4:6–16; Psalm 78:13–29

It’s easy to get self-absorbed when we’re criticized—or when we think others are criticizing us. Because of our real or imagined defects, we start to believe other people don’t take us seriously. It’s easy to get off course in an attempt to defend ourselves.
As a young leader, Timothy may have dealt with criticism in the Ephesian community because of his age. Paul gives him advice: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).
Paul doesn’t offer defensive solutions. Rather, he calls Timothy to be a living example of his teaching. He reinforces Timothy’s calling by encouraging him to stay focused on his call, speech, and conduct. By being the contrast to the rumors about him, Timothy thwarts criticism.
But Paul isn’t simply giving leadership advice. By reaffirming Timothy’s purpose and calling, he is helping Timothy f…

Morning and Evening

Morning, May 18      Go To Evening Reading
         “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.”          —Colossians 2:9, 10
All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus yoking the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without diminution of their infinity, are covenanted…

My Utmost for His Highest

May 18th
Careful unreasonableness


Behold the fowls of the air … consider the lilies of the field. Matthew 6:26, 28.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars and the moon—all these are, and what a ministration they exert. So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. ‘Do not bother about being of use to others, believe on Me’—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.
The people who influence us m…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 17

  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you
        Matt. 6:33

We need have only one care, that we put the first thing first—faithfulness to God. Then all else we need for both worlds will be supplied. God will never fail us; but we forget, sometimes, in our rejoicing over such an assurance, that we must fulfill our part if we would claim the divine promise.
It will not always be easy. Tomorrow it may mean a distasteful task, a disagreeable duty, a costly sacrifice for one who does not seem worthy. Life is full of sore testings of our willingness to follow the Good Shepherd. We have not the slightest right to claim this assurance unless we have taken Christ as the guide of our life.

J. R. Miller







May 18
  His praise shall continually be in my mouth Ps. 34:1
Let not thy praises be transients—a bit of music, and then the instrument hung by the wall till another gaudy day of some remarkable providence makes thee take it dow…