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Showing posts from June 13, 2016

Prison, Naples

Prison, Naples

‎Upon a little island rising directly out of the sea stands the prison of Naples. It is lifted up and away from the din of the city, the blue sea surrounding it on every side. To-day the scene appears mirror-like and motionless, except as an occasional fishing boat glides past the prison and stirs the glassy surface. The whole line of coast from Puteoli to Sorrento repeats and renews the scene in curves and waves of beauty. The land is rounded, scooped and hollowed; holding out jutting promontories and projecting like arms of invitation to the sea. No rigid lines of defense are thrown up; no castellated masses of granite stand along the coast like line-of-battle ships drawn up for an engagement. There is no expression of defiance stamped upon the scene. The buildings, the works of man’s hands, are subordinate to the grand and commanding features of nature around and above them. Naples with its bay presents one of the finest views that this world offers to the lover of …

Church of Nativity

Church of Nativity
‎Church of Nativity entrance

Widow’s Mite

Widow’s Mite

Greatly Distressed ▴John 12:20–36a
4 SOME GREEKS WHO HAD COME up to worship at the feast approached Philip (the one from Bethsaida in Galilee) and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew, and the two of them told Jesus.
But Jesus answered, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me. Where I am, there My servant will be as well. And the Father will honor anyone who serves Me.     4“Now I am greatly distressed. And what should I say? ‘Father, save Me from this time’? No! This is the very reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify Your Name!” At that moment a Voice from heaven said, “I have glorified it already, and I will glorify it again.” The…

Parable of the Prodigal Son

Parable of the Prodigal Son

‎Most noted of all the parables of this period is that of the prodigal son. It was related in answer to some Pharisees who sneered at Jesus for eating with sinners. The Master reminded them first of how, when a lost sheep was found, the shepherd would rejoice and bear it on his shoulders. These sinners were His lost sheep. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repent, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” ‎Then He told of the son who, having secured from his father his share of the inheritance, went forth and squandered it in riotous living until he was penniless and was reduced to tending swine for a bare existence. At length the shamed son returned to his home; whereon the father welcomed him and made a feast for him. A good son, who had stayed by the father, protested angrily that no feast had been made for him. The father consoled him, saying, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all th…

The Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives

Luke 19:29, 37


The Mt of Olives gained its name from its extensive olive groves, which were renowned in antiquity (Zec 14:4; Mk 11:1). Its western face collects rainfall from the Mediterranean, which, together with decomposed limestone, makes for fertile orchards. The eastern side marks the boundary of the arid Judean wilderness. Bethany and Bethphage are two NT villages hugging these eastern slopes. ...

During his final week, Jesus taught on the Mt of Olives (Mk 13) and spent his evenings there (Lk 21:37, although this may refer to Bethany). Following the Last Supper, Jesus came to this mountain for prayer (Mk 14:26). In a garden near an olive oil press (“Gethsemane”), he was arrested (v 32). The final event of Christ on earth, his ascension, was viewed from the mount by his followers (Acts 1:12).

Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 975. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.



‎The kiln depicted here (cross-section) conforms to the installation that was excavated in Tell Qasile (in today’s Tel Aviv) and dates back to the 11th century BCE. Copper or other metals were put in pots and smelted in a coal-fired kiln (cf. the two pots at the right of the kiln) until they were liquidized. Blowing the bellows brought air through a channel into the kiln in order to increase the temperature. Since the value of metal was, at the same time, a means of payment, the metal had to be smelted down, so as to proof the purity and thus the trading value of the metal. ‎Exod 19:18; Job 28:2; Ps 12:6; 147:18; Jer 6:29; 9:7; Ezek 22:20; 24:11; Zech 11:13; Mal 3:2; Wisd of Sol 3:6; 2 Pet 3:10

Assarius Coin of Augustus

Assarius Coin of Augustus

‎This obverse of this bronze coin, issued in 15 B.C. in Rome while Caesar Augustus ruled, features an inscription honoring Augustus ringed by an oak leaf wreath. On the reverse, the name of the monetary official who oversaw production of the coin rings the large letters “S.C.,” for “Senatus Consultus.” The Roman Senate minted it shortly after the Emperor authorized them to strike bronze coins. The assarius, also called the “as,” was the “penny” that Jesus mentioned in Matt 10:29. ‎Matt 10:29, Luke 2:1, Luke 12:6

Connect the Testaments

June 13: For It Is Better
2 Chronicles 31:1–32:33; 1 John 2:15–17; Psalm 104:16–35

“If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell” (Matt 5:30).
We might struggle to relate to this outspoken Jesus; we prefer gracious Jesus, offering us a pardon from sin through His sacrifice. We like friendly, loving Jesus, who wraps His arms around us even when we act disgracefully. Jesus is all of these things, but He is also very serious about sin.
One of the most tragic trends in church history is the increasingly casual attitude toward sin. We so badly want people to receive God’s grace that we’ve stopped expecting others—and ourselves—to fight against sin. Yet Jesus knew that fighting sin was necessary. In Matthew 5:30, He is not suggesting that we can be sinless by our own merit; salvation comes solely from the free grace He offers through His death. Jesus is telling us that we…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 13                                       Go To Evening Reading

         “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
         —Revelation 22:17
Jesus says, “take freely.” He wants no payment or preparation. He seeks no recommendation from our virtuous emotions. If you have no good feelings, if you be but willing, you are invited; therefore, come! You have no belief and no repentance,—come to him, and he will give them to you. Come just as you are, and take “Freely,” without money and without a price. He gives himself to needy ones. The drinking fountains at the corners of our streets are valuable institutions; and we can hardly imagine anyone so foolish as to feel for his purse, when he stands before one of them, and to cry, “I cannot drink because I have not five pounds in my pocket.” However poor the man is, there is the fountain, and just as he is he may drink of it. Thirsty passengers, as they go by, whether they are dressed in fustian or in broadcloth, d…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 13th
Getting there

Where the selective affinity dies and the sanctified abandon lives. Come ye after Me. Mark 1:17.

One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jesus is the excuse of temperament. We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jesus. The first thing we realize when we come to Jesus is that He pays no attention whatever to our natural affinities. We have the notion that we can consecrate our gifts to God. You cannot consecrate what is not yours; there is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself (Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed. The one mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint, there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh. The saint realizes that …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 13

  Come out from among them, and be ye separate
2 Cor. 6:17
With all the world in his choice, God placed His ancient people in a very remarkable situation. On the north they were walled in by the snowy ranges of Lebanon: a barren desert formed their eastern boundary; far to the south stretched a sterile region, called the howling wilderness; while the sea—not then, as now, the highway of the nations, facilitating rather than impeding intercourse lay on their west, breaking on a shore that had few harbors and no navigable rivers to invite the steps of commerce.
May we not find a great truth in the very position in which God placed His chosen people? It certainly teaches us that to be holy, or sanctified, we must be a separate people—living in the world, but not of it—as oil, that may be mixed, but cannot be combined with water.


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