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Showing posts from July 21, 2016

The Feast of Passover

The Feast of Passover

Excerpt


The Passover was the major feast celebrated at the beginning of the Jewish year, Nisan 15, which falls in our month of March or April (Fitzmyer 1981:339–40). Only men were required to make the journey, so Mary’s presence shows her commitment (Preisker 1964:373). Jerusalem was eighty miles from Nazareth, so the trip would take three days. Though some have argued that women and children traveled separately from the men as a way to explain how Jesus got lost, there is no ancient text that describes this practice.


Bock, Darrell L. Luke. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Bond Servant of Christ Jesus

Bond Servant of Christ Jesus

Excerpt


The word here rendered “servant” means “bond-servant,” or one subject to the will and wholly at the disposal of another. In this sense, it is applied to the disciples of Christ at large (1Co7:21–23), as in the Old Testament to all the people of God (Isa 66:14). But as, in addition to this, the prophets and kings of Israel were the official “the servants of the Lord” (Jos 1:1; Ps 18:1, title), the apostles call themselves, in the same official sense, “the servants of Christ” (as here, and Php 1:1; Jam 1:1; 2 Pe 1:1; Jud 1:1), expressing such absolute subjection and devotion to the Lord Jesus as they would never have yielded to a mere creature. (See on Ro 1:7; Jn 5:22,23).


Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Church or Lair?

Church or Lair?

Excerpt


Dragons, of course, are fictional beasts—monstrous reptiles with lion’s claws, a serpent’s tail, bat wings, and scaly skin. They exist only in the imagination.

‎But there are dragons of a different sort, decidedly real. In most cases, though not always, they do not intend to be sinister; in fact, they’re usually quite friendly. But their charm belies their power to destroy.

‎Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don’t consider themselves difficult people. They don’t sit up nights thinking of ways to be nasty. Often they are pillars of the community—talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected—but for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church. They are not naturally rebellious or pathological; they are loyal church members, convinced they’re serving God, but they wind up doing more harm than good. …


Shelley, Marshall. Well-Intent…

Each Member Functions to Serve the Body

Each Member Functions to Serve the Body

Romans 12:3

Excerpt


As Paul explained, a parallelism exists between a believer’s physical body which has members with differing functions and the community of believers in Christ as a spiritual body (cf. 1 Cor.12:12-27; Eph. 4:11-12, 15-16). The point is that each member functions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members. The diversity of the many accompanies the unity of the body. Therefore it is important to think soundly about oneself and to evaluate properly God’s gifts and their uses.


Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 488. Print.

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.

The Corrective: God’s Perspective

The Corrective: God’s Perspective

Excerpt


God’s view of servants (3:5) was that they were channels “through” whom God worked. Their work was limited to Christ’s gifts through the Holy Spirit within them. Any success they had was a gift from God. While Paul planted the church at Corinth, Apollos came to Corinth after Paul’s visit and helped the ministry to grow (3:6; cf. Acts 18:27–19:1). But God, not the workers, caused the growth.

The unity of the workers was a result of their “same purpose” (3:8) and the fact that they all belonged to God. God was mentioned three times (3:9). The phrase “partners who belong to God” may mean either “fellow workers with God” or “fellow workers who belong to God.” The context favors the latter.


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

Favor before the Egyptians

Favor before the Egyptians

Exodus 3:21
Excerpt


I will give this people favor refers to something God will give to the Israelites as a group, including Moses. But it is something that will be recognized in the sight of the Egyptians. So favor may be understood as “prestige” (JB), or some quality that would command the “respect” of the Egyptians. It may be easier to think of the Egyptians as the object of God’s action, as in 3:21 tev: “I will make the Egyptians respect you.” In some languages the idea of “face” will be helpful here; for example, “I will lift up your face before the Egyptians,” or “I will cause you to have face before.…”


Osborn, Noel D., and Howard A. Hatton. A Handbook on Exodus. New York: United Bible Societies, 1999. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Connect the Testaments

July 21: Truth and Honesty Can Be Painful
2 Samuel 7:1–8:18; 1 Peter 4:12–19; Psalm 137:1–9

A commitment to honesty and truth often puts us in unexpected spiritual situations—something David experiences in 2 Sam 7. David thinks he will build God a great house—a temple—but instead, God plans to build a house for him—a legacy. Because David seeks God, God does great things through him. Yet, as David discovers, being part of God’s work and living in His will isn’t without difficulty or pain.

Consciously or subconsciously, we often cling to the notion that “If I do good works for God, He will owe me.” Isn’t that the assumption behind the statement, “I am loyal to God, but He has afflicted me with pain”? We frame our pain in light of God’s role. Instead, we should view it in relation to the sin of our world. We sin, just as people did in the past, so why should we not expect pain?

Like David, Peter and his fellow missionaries experience a great deal of pain in doing God’s work. Peter encour…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, July 21 Go To Evening Reading

         “The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.” —Isaiah 37:22
Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at Sennacherib’s boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah’s buckler to their own hurt.

We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord arise, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and his trut…

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 22Go To Evening Reading

         “I am married unto you.” —Jeremiah 3:14
Christ Jesus is joined unto his people in marriage-union. In love, he espoused his Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection he toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by his Spirit, and brought her to know and love him, he awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented his betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as his wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to his heart, precious in his sight, written on his hands, and united with his person. On earth, he exercises …

My Utmost for His Highest

July 21st
The gateway to the kingdom


Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3.

Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be—to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natur…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 21

  Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure
Phil. 2:12, 13
What a staggering weight of thought is excited by these words! Stay, my soul, and wonder that the Eternal God should stoop to work within thy narrow limits. Is it not a marvel indeed, that He, whom the heavens cannot contain, and in whose sight they are not clean, should trouble Himself to work on such material, so unpromising, and amid circumstances so uncongenial?
How careful should we be to make Him welcome, and to throw no hindrance in His way! How eager to garner up all the least movements of His gracious operation, as the machinist conserves the force of his engine; and as the goldsmith, with miserly care, collects every flake of gold leaf! Surely we shall be sensible of the fear of holy reverence and the trembling of eager anxiety; as we “work out,” into daily act and life, all that God our Father is “working in.”

F. B. Mey…