Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June 17, 2016

Hospitality

Hospitality

Mark 6:10–11
Excerpt


[Hospitality is] the act of friendship shown a visitor. Hospitality in the ancient Near East was tightly bound up in customs and practices which all were expected to observe. As in an intricately choreographed dance, where any participant who does not observe his or her role must either learn it, or leave the dance if the whole is not to be jeopardized, so it was with the customs of ancient hospitality. One ignored the customs at one’s own peril. To try to understand those carefully structured and rigidly observed practices in terms of the relative informality of modern Western practices of hospitality would be completely not to misunderstand them.


Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 408. Print.

Latin Inscription, Philippi

Latin Inscription, Philippi

‎A fragment of a Latin inscription at Philippi honoring the Roman emperor Vespasian (r. AD 69–79).

The Suffering Servant

The Suffering Servant

Isaiah 52:13–53:12

Excerpt


The Messiah Servant suffered willingly and silently (cf. Matt. 26:63;27:11–14; Luke 23:9). The unjust judicial proceedings Christ was subjected to were reflected in 53:8. The Jewish Sanhedrin violated their own laws by (1) convening at the house of Caiaphas rather than the regular meeting place, (2) meeting at night rather than during the day, (3) convening on the eve of a Sabbath and a festival, (4) pronouncing the judgment the same day as the trial, and (5) ignoring the formalities allowing for the possibility of acquittal in cases involving a capital sentence. Although condemned with wicked criminals (the two thieves), Christ was buried in the tomb of a rich man (cf. Matt. 27:57–60).


Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

You Will be Blessed

You Will be Blessed

Excerpt


The context of Peter’s question makes it almost rhetorical. Though the adversary, through physical suffering or material hardship, would distress those who were eager (zēlōtai, lit., “zealots”) to do good, no real harm can come to those who belong to Christ. For even if suffering should occur, Christians are blessed and thus should not be frightened. The word here translated “blessed” (makarioi; cf. 4:14) was used by Jesus (Matt. 5:3-11). To be “blessed” in this context does not mean to “feel delighted” but to be “highly privileged.” Christians are not to be afraid of what men can do to them (cf. Matt. 10:28). Consequently 1 Peter 3:14 concludes with a quotation from Isaiah 8:12 which, in context, is part of an exhortation to fear God rather than men.


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. 850. Print.

The Fundamental Resources of Personality

The Fundamental Resources of Personality

Excerpt


‎There are resources of personality known only to God. Psalm 139 is the prayer of a man asking God to explore him where he cannot go, and to garrison him. In 1 Thessalonians 2:10, Paul is alluding to the working out of what God works in. The majority of us keep taking in and forget altogether that somehow we must work out what we take in: we cannot elude our destiny, which is practical. The profound nature of each one of us is created by God, but our perception of God depends entirely upon our own determined effort to understand what we come in contact with, and that perception is always coloured by the ruling disposition. If my ruling disposition is self-interest, I perceive that everything that happens to me is always for or against my self-interest; if, on the other hand, my ruling disposition is obedience to God, I perceive Him to be at work for my perfecting in everything that happens to me. …


Chambers, Oswald. The Moral Foundation o…

Esther Braves the King

Esther Braves the King

‎The story of Esther stands first among the poetic books of the Bible. It is the story of her devotion to her race. She had been chosen as the chief wife of Ahasuerus, king of Persia; but because the Jews were prisoners in that land she had not revealed her nationality to the king or his courtiers. Haman, the king’s favorite, hated the Jews and secured from Ahasuerus orders to destroy the entire race. Esther, learning of this, resolved to save her people; but she might not go to the king until he sent for her, because the law said that whoever approached the king unbidden, should die. For a whole month Ahasuerus did not send for Esther, and at length in desperation, as the time for the slaughter of the Jews drew near, she defied the law and went to the monarch. ‎He spared her, yet she still feared lest her plea for her people might anger him, and so hesitated to tell him all. Instead, she invited him to a feast and then to another, ere at length she spoke in fu…

Gold in Bar and Lozenge Form

Gold in Bar and Lozenge Form

‎In Jericho, Achan found a chunk of refined gold, probably a lozenge (the Hebrew word in Josh 7:21 means literally “tongue”) like the one at right in this photograph. God explicitly reserved all such booty from Jericho for his temple treasury, so by keeping the gold Achan was robbing, and angering, God. This incident underscores Jesus’ teaching that it is impossible to serve both God and wealth (Luke 16:13); by pursuing illicit wealth, Achan defied God. Many Bible passages illustrate the risks of loving riches. ‎Josh 7:1, 10–26, Josh 22:20, 1 Chr 2:7, Matt 6:19, Luke 16:13, 1 Tim 6:10, Heb 13:5


The Fire of Atonement

The Fire of Atonement

‎Not yet was this grim punishment ended which Korah had up-stirred. The dissatisfaction had been widespread; and though the leaders had been slain and all active rebellion checked, yet “on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.” Doubtless many felt, as Dathan had, that Moses had brought them to no pleasant life. They forgot that it was their own cowardice and disobedience which were being punished. ‎So they murmured; and God, seeing that punishment must extent yet further, sent a plague among them, so that many fell and died where they stood. “And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.” Aaron ran as he was bidden; and wherever the holy fire came, the plague was stay…

Obedience Leads to Understanding

Obedience Leads to Understanding

Excerpt


The light of the Word comes into our hearts and minds and brings spiritual insight and understanding (2 Cor. 4:1–6). The word “entrance” (KJV).is translated “unfolding” in the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version; it means “disclosure” and “opening up” as in Luke 24:32 and 35. When Spirit-led teachers and preachers “open up” the Word, then the light of God’s truth shines forth and brings about spiritual transformation (v. 135; 2 Cor. 3:18).


Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Exultant. 1st ed. Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

Site of the Academy

Site of the Academy

‎We are looking toward the west. The half century following the battle of Salamis (480–430 B. C.) follows the most brilliant period of Athenian history, and one of the most illustrious in the history of the world. This was the era of Pericles. Socrates belongs to the epoch immediately following the age of Pericles. Plato, a disciple of Socrates, founded the great Academe, so called because the grove or garden in which it was situated was given to Athens for a gymnasium by the old hero Academus. The Academy of Plato was about two miles out of Athens on the plain of Attica. Here, amidst beautiful and enchanting scenery, perfect seclusion and profound stillness, the philosopher and his students conversed. The grounds were planted with plane trees and olives and adorned with many statues. There was here a temple to Athene and a modest little house of Plato, over the door of which were the words: “Let no one enter who is ignorant of geometry.” The teachings of Plato we…

Connect the Testaments

June 17: Learning from Enemies
Ezra 3:1–4:24; 1 John 3:11–18; Psalm 106:16–29

If a new venture is really worth pursuing, it will probably be opposed. Some people will refuse to get on board, and others will intentionally get in the way. While these people may be trying to protect their own interests, it’s more likely that they don’t like change—even if it’s for the better.
God’s work among His people is not that different from innovation; after all, He is the Author of all good ideas since all ideas come from His creation. And just like new ventures, God’s work is often rejected. The difference between new ventures and God’s work, though, is that all people who oppose God’s work are opposing Him, their Creator; they’re choosing to put their own interests before His interests, which are only for good.
Jeshua and Zerubbabel faced this type of opposition in the book of Ezra. After they had restored worship in Jerusalem, they began to organize the effort to lay the foundation of the temple…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 17                                       Go To Evening Reading

         “Help, Lord.”
         —Psalm 12:1
The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time, he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word “help” is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer a…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 17th
The uncritical temper


Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1.

Jesus says regarding judging—Don’t. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain, nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple, cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person’s place.
There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 17

  Wait for the promise of the Father.… When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place … and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost
        Acts 1:4; 2:1, 4
Obedience to a divine prompting transforms it into a permanent acquisition.

F. B. Meyer

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