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Showing posts from June 14, 2016

Egyptian Whips

Egyptian Whips

‎The whips pictured here could have been used on animals or people. Horse whips appear in some portrayals of military campaigns. Egyptians inflicted corporal punishment with either whips or rods. The whips shown here are mild compared to the Roman scourges used on Jesus (Luke 18:33); these incorporated bits of stone, bone, or metal into the cords. Judah’s young and untested king Rehoboam threatened to punish his subjects more harshly than his father Solomon had done, precipitating the break between Judah and Israel (1 Kgs 12:14). ‎Exod 5:14, Josh 23:13, 1 Kgs 12:11, 14, Prov 26:3, Luke 18:33, John 19:1

Nazareth

Nazareth
‎Nazareth, the city that gave its name to Christianity, was described by St. Jerome as “the flower of Galilee and the nurse of Christ”. Here the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she was going to give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:26–38). Here Jesus grew up and went out to preach in the surrounding cities and villages, until he was driven out by the inhabitants after declaring himself to be the Messiah (Luke 4:21). At that time, during the Roman period, Nazareth was a small, unimportant Jewish village. In 1620 the Druze ruler, Fakhr a-Din, allowed Franciscan monks to purchase the remains of the Crusader Church of the Annunciation, and later to settle in the town and build churches and monasteries. Today it is the largest Arab city in Galilee and a center of Christian pilgrimage.

The Royal Law

The Royal Law

Excerpt


The alternatives are clear. Love is right. Favoritism is sin. James was optimistic; the “if-clause,” if you really keep the royal law, was written in Greek in such a way that an obedient response was anticipated. The “royal law” was given in Leviticus 19:18 and affirmed by Christ (Matt. 22:39): Love your neighbor as yourself. The law is royal or regal (basilikon, from basileus, “king”) because it is decreed by the King of kings, is fit for a king, and is considered the king of laws. The phrase reflects the Latin lex regia known throughout the Roman Empire. Obedience to this law, nonpreferential love, is the answer to the evident disobedience to God’s Law, prejudicial favoritism.


Blue, J. Ronald. “James.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 824. Print.

Aquinas: Christ’s Love in the Eucharist

Aquinas: Christ’s Love in the Eucharist

Excerpt


This belongs to Christ’s love, out of which for our salvation He assumed a true body of our nature. And because it is the special feature of friendship to live together with friends, as the Philosopher says (Ethic.ix.), He promises us His bodily presence as a reward, saying (Matth. 24:28): Where the body is, there shall the eagles be gathered together. Yet meanwhile in our pilgrimage He does not deprive us of His bodily presence; but unites us with Himself in this sacrament through the truth of His body and blood. Hence (John 6:57) he says: He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. Hence this sacrament is the sign of supreme charity, and the up-lifter of our hope, from such familiar union of Christ with us.


Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne. Print.

The Spirits in Prison

The Spirits in Prison

Excerpt


The “spirits in prison” are the fallen angels of Gen. 6 who consorted with the daughters of men, “going after strange flesh” as Jude 6–7 explains it. The word “prison” in 3:19 refers to the place of judgment mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4, “chains of darkness.” It was this violation of God’s order that helped bring on the Flood, which explains why Peter mentions Noah. Note too that Peter’s theme is the subjection of angels to Christ (v.22). These fallen angels were not subject to Him, and therefore they were judged.

Between His death and resurrection, Christ visited these angels in prison and announced His victory over Satan. The word “preached” in 3:19 means “to announce” and not “to preach the Gospel.” Jesus announced their doom and His victory over all angels and authorities. It is likely that at this time Christ “led captivity captive” (Eph. 4:8), rescued godly souls dwelling in Hades (see Luke 16:19–31), and took them to heaven. There is not one hint here of …

The Background to Hebrews 3:7-11

The Background to Hebrews 3:7-11

Excerpt


When the Exodus generation led by Moses first approached the Promised Land, they refused to obey God’s command to enter. Their rebellion led to a dread decree: the Israelites must wander for decades in the desert until every person over 20 had died. Disobedience demonstrated their failure to trust God in the face of a powerful enemy and doomed those who refused to believe to never see the Promised Land or experience rest there. It is this historic experience that the writer of Heb. looks back on as he utters yet another warning. The spirit of unbelief and disobedience which marked the men and women of Moses’ day will surely keep people in the writer’s day from experiencing the rest promised in Christ.


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

Walk in His Ways

Walk in His Ways

Excerpt


The psalmist here shows that godly people are happy people; they are, and shall be, blessed indeed. Felicity is the thing we all pretend to aim at and pursue. He does not say here wherein it consists; it is enough for us to know what we must do and be that we may attain to it, and that we are here told. All men would be happy, but few take the right way; God has here laid before us the right way, which we may be sure will end in happiness, though it be strait and narrow. Blessednesses are to the righteous; all manner of blessedness. Now observe the characters of the happy people. Those are happy, 1. Who make the will of God the rule of all their actions, and govern themselves, in their whole conversation, by that rule: They walk in the law of the Lord, v. 1. God’s word is a law to them, not only in this or that instance, but in the whole course of their conversation; they walk within the hedges of that law, which they dare not break through by doing any thing it…

Connect the Testaments

June 14: Remembering
2 Chronicles 33:1–34:33; 1 John 2:18–27; Psalm 105:1–22

My mom discovered scrapbooking when I was a teenager. At first, the craft seemed time-consuming and burdensome; paper scraps, pictures, and double-sided tape were constantly strewn over the kitchen table. But as the books came together, I began to appreciate her new hobby. A random photo would inspire a conversation about an event I had no memory of. The way she pieced the book together showed me a timeline of my parents’ sacrifice for my siblings and me. I had a deeper respect and a renewed sense of gratitude toward them.
Psalm 105 reads like a record of God’s faithfulness to Israel—a scrapbook of His work in their lives. To help them remember, the psalmist details each memory, beginning with the great patriarchs with whom God initiated and renewed His covenant—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God didn’t choose these men because of their spotless lives. He was true to Israel, protecting, guiding, and reprimanding th…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 14                                       Go To Evening Reading

         “Delight thyself also in the Lord.”
         —Psalm 37:4
The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to those who are strangers to vital godliness, but to the sincere believer it is only the inculcation of a recognized truth. The life of the believer is here described as a delight in God, and we are thus certified of the great fact that true religion overflows with happiness and joy. Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do otherwise. The thought of delight in religion is so strange to most men, that no two words in their language stand further apart than “holiness” and “delight.” But believers who know Christ, understand that delight and faith are so blessedly united, th…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 14th
Get a move on


In the Matter of Determination. Abide in Me. John 15:4.

The Spirit of Jesus is put into me by the Atonement, then I have to construct with patience the way of thinking that is exactly in accordance with my Lord. God will not make me think like Jesus, I have to do it myself; I have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. “Abide in Me”—in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is. It is not a bandbox life.
Am I preventing God from doing things in my circumstances because I say it will hinder my communion with Him? That is an impertinence. It does not matter what my circumstances are, I can be as sure of abiding in Jesus in them as in a prayer meeting. I have not to change and arrange my circumstances myself. With Our Lord the inner abiding was unsullied; He was at home with God wherever His body was placed. He never chose His own circumstances but was meek towards His Father’s di…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 14

  I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land
Gen. 28:15
“With thee,” companionship; “Keep thee,” guardianship; “Bring thee,” guidance.


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