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Showing posts from May 31, 2016

The Sun and Moon

‎The Sun and the Moon

The productions of this fourth day, the sun, and the moon with all their wonder and splendor are much insisted upon in the Bible narrative. In telling of them, the account of the creation for the first time pauses and goes into extended explanations: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” That is to say, a man from a very early period measured his days by the sunlight, his weeks and months by the changes of the moon, and his years by the shifting of the sun and stars. By them he knew the coming of spring and fall, and when to plant and when to reap his crops. They served as guides to travelers by land and sea.
‎“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth,
‎“And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
‎“And the evening and the…

Icon of Luke

Icon of Luke

Icon of Luke (nineteenth century AD)

The author of this Gospel also penned the book of Acts (cf.Luke 1:1–4; Acts 1:1–3). These two books comprise almost one-third of the NT. Luke is not directly named as the author of this Gospel, but the early church attributed it as well as the book of Acts to him. The author of Acts included himself in the “we” passages of that book (Acts 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1–28:16). According to these passages, the narrator was a companion of Paul. This harmonizes with other Scriptures in which Paul identified Luke as one of his coworkers (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24). Luke accompanied Paul on a part of his second missionary journey (Acts 16:10–17) and on his journey to Rome when the apostle experienced shipwreck on the island of Malta (Acts 27–28). Even after some of the other missionaries deserted Paul, Luke remained at his side to minister to his needs (2 Tim. 4:11). Apparently, Luke was a Gentile …

God Speaks to Cain

God Speaks to Cain


God is here reasoning with Cain, to convince him of the sin and folly of his anger and discontent, and to bring him into a good temper again, that further mischief might be prevented. It is an instance of God’s patience and condescending goodness that he would deal thus tenderly with so bad a man, in so bad an affair. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Thus,the father of the prodigal argued the case with the elder son (Lu. 15:28, etc.), and God with those Israelites who said, The way of the Lord is not equal, Eze. 18:25.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.

Mosaic Floor, Sardis Synagogue

Mosaic Floor, Sardis Synagogue

Loyalty and Faithfulness

Loyalty and Faithfulness

Proverbs 3:3

Loyalty and faithfulness are a combination of qualities that occur in such passages as Gen 24:49; Exo 34:6; Deut 7:9; and Psa 25:10 and express the ideal relationship between people or between God and people. The two words overlap considerably in their meanings. In Gen 47:29 the word rendered loyalty (Hebrew chesed) is used for the relationship of Joseph to his father Jacob and in Exo 34:6 of the relationship of the Lord to his own people. An essential element in loyalty is love, and the word is sometimes translated as “love.” NJB says “faithful love.”

Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Ruined Brick Building, Ephesus

Ruined Brick Building, Ephesus

The Spirit on the Waters

The Spirit on the Waters

‎The earth, as it first rose out of the void at God’s command, was a small huddled mass, a chaos of atoms heaped confusedly together. It was wholly unlike the world which smiles about man to-day, fixed in form, clothed with verdure, and teeming with busy life. The confused mass must at first have rolled onward amid an unspeakable tumult. Holy Writ is here enforced by science, which suggests a terrific picture of the awful battle between opposing elements. Tremendous explosions, fiery rains of white-hot liquid metal, vast clouds of vapor, stifling poison gases, enveloped all. ‎Profoundly impressive is the thought that God’s creative power was still active throughout this monstrous pandemonium. Every Titanic outburst was guided and directed toward His purpose. Of this, we have divine assurance in the second beautiful verse of the Bible narrative. The earth was formless, it was empty of life; darkness, profound darkness, covered its black deeps. Yet the Spirit o…

Connect the Testaments

May 31: Fighting Loneliness
1 Chronicles 28:1–29:2; 2 Timothy 4:9–22; Psalm 90:1–17

Loneliness is one of the most disheartening feelings a person can know. Being alone in a time of pain is even worse. Several recent surveys suggest that lonely people—especially teenagers—subtly reach out through their social networks, desperately looking for someone who cares. In a world where anyone can get attention online, we’ve moved away from the authentic community. We continue to crave personal interactions—perhaps more so because we have an electronic witness to the interactions of others. We as Christians should see this as an opportunity to reach out to disenfranchised, lonely people and show the love of Christ to others.
Paul’s second letter to Timothy illustrates how feelings of loneliness are amplified by pain. He makes one of the most candid statements in the Bible:
“At my first defense, no one came to my aid, but they all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord help…

Morning and Evening

Morning, May 31                                        Go To Evening Reading

         “The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron.”
         —2 Samuel 15:23
David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, and his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed, and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow’s gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads, wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?

The KING of kings himself was not with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a false friend, a sad bereavement, …

My Utmost for His Highest

May 31st
God first

Put God First in Trust. Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, … for He knew what was in man. John 2:24–25.

Our Lord trusted no man; yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man because He put God first in trust; He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for any man. If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter because I have insisted on man being what no man ever can be—absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.

Put God’s Needs First. Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. Hebrews 10:9.
A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The cry to-day is—‘We must get some work to do; the heathen are dying without God; we must go and tell them of Him.’ We have to see first of all that God’s needs in us personally are being met. “Tarry ye until.…” The purpose of this College is to…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 31

  Without me,ye can do nothing.… I can do all things, through Christ which strengtheneth me
John 15:5; Phil. 4:13
Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Whilst we are abiding in Him nothing is impossible. The one purpose of our life should, therefore, be to remain in living and intense union with Christ, guarding against everything that would break it, employing every means of cementing and enlarging it. And just in proportion as we do so, we shall find His strength flowing into us for every possible emergency. We may not feel its presence; but we shall find it present whenever we begin to draw on it. There is no temptation which we cannot master; no privation which we cannot patiently bear; no difficulty with which we cannot cope; no work which we cannot perform; no confession or testimony which we cannot make, if only our souls are living in healthy union with Jesus Christ; for as our day or hour, so shall our strength be.

F. B. Meyer

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Th…