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Showing posts from August 9, 2016

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem

‎This photo shows a structure constructed long after Bible times, but tradition has it that Saul of Tarsus went through a gate near this one when he traveled to Damascus. Gates and walls protected principal cities throughout the ancient world, and much of the book of Nehemiah describes the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. Building city walls stopped only when modern cannons and aircraft made them obsolete. Solomon observes that a rich man thinks of his wealth as a wall protecting him (Prov 18:11). ‎Neh 2:13–17, Neh 6:15, Ps 122:7, Prov 18:11, Acts 9:1–2, Rev 21:12–14

Paul’s Ministry to the Churches

Paul’s Ministry to the Churches

Excerpt


The first aspect of Paul’s ministry involved suffering. Perhaps Paul reflected here on the words of explanation at his conversion experience. God told Ananias that Paul would learn how many things he must suffer for Christ’s sake (Acts 9:16). From the beginning of his ministry, Paul and others knew that unique suffering would be his lot. That knowledge came through direct revelation from God. Perhaps, further, Paul reflected on the fulfillment of that prediction in the various experiences of suffering in his ministry. Even at the time of writing, Paul was suffering in house arrest for the sake of Gentile churches. In a unique way, the apostle was granted the privilege of suffering for the Messiah.


Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991. Print. The New American Commentary.

Petra

Petra
‎The picture shows the landscape near the Nabataean capital Petra, lying in a basin among mountains and almost hidden by the towering rocks. One reaches the city only through some 2 km long, a narrow pathway between rock faces that rise up to 70 m high. The Nabataeans, who controlled the frankincense trade at the turn of the era, were able to develop here a flourishing city with their own authentic Nabataean culture. Predating the Nabateans, the Edomites had built settlements on these almost inaccessible into which they could draw back in times of danger. Jer 49:16 may allude to this condition. ‎Gen 25:13; 28:9; 36:3; 1 Chron 1:29; Isa 60:7; Jer 49:16; 1 Macc 5:25; 9:35

Paul and the Stoics

Paul and the Stoics

Excerpt


‎Stoicism was one of the most influential philosophies in Paul’s day. Boasting adherents across the social spectrum, Stoicism counted lowborn slaves and members of the imperial aristocracy among its ranks. Its origins lie in the teachings of Zeno who, having been deeply influenced by Socrates, presented his ideas in third-century bc in Athens.

‎Many points of continuity and discontinuity exist between Paul and the Stoics. Stoicism was pantheistic but held that the universe was a vast quasi-rational being with intelligence and will. Paul, on the other hand, believed the universe was created by a personal God who was distinct from His creation (1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16). …


Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.

Church of the Beatitudes

Church of the Beatitudes

‎A Roman Catholic church on the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1–7:29).

Judas

Judas
‎ Throughout the awful story of the betrayal and death of Christ, there run two parallel tragedies of sorrow, Christ’s physical sufferings as a man and His sufferings as a God, reading the hearts of men and seeing all the weaknesses and trickeries of those who helped as well as those who hated Him. When Jesus turned aside from the triple failure of His three closest disciples to watch as He had bidden them, He faced the coming of the great betrayal.
‎Into the quiet, unwatched garden of Gethsemane, there thronged a tumultuous band of soldiers, sent by the chief priests, and led by Judas to the place where he had tracked the Master. These armed men, coming upon Jesus and the little band of disciples, fell back in awe and amaze. Could this noble and commanding being who faced them so calmly, be the malefactor they had been sent to arrest?
‎Then Judas, to complete the identification as he had been bidden, pushed forward, his brain filled with who knows what wild frenzy of fright an…

The Ford of the River Jordan

The Ford of the River Jordan

‎After the conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus, with His newly selected disciples, made a pilgrimage from Jerusalem to the Jordan. These were days of preparation, the beginning of that great itinerant school of theology in which the plain but naturally gifted men were students and Jesus, the great Teacher, “who spake as never man spake,” was Master. What a school of theology it was! Over them the dome of heaven; in the fresh air they walked day by day, hearing the songs of the birds, looking into the faces of the people and talking with them, witnessing deeds of mercy and of power, and listening to the quickening, broadening and strengthening words which their Divine Leader proclaimed. In 1894, on the morning of the 26th of April, our artist secured the fine picture of the Jordan. We are looking down the river. The mountains in the distance are the Judean Mountains. Although we stand on the western bank, we are able, because of the bend in the river at thi…

Connect the Testaments

August 9: Borrowed Imagery
Isaiah 17:1–19:25; Luke 7:1–35; Job 5:1–7

In the OT, Yahweh regularly explains Himself by using imagery familiar to the time. Sometimes Yahweh even uses images associated with other gods to emphasize that He—and not the gods of other nations—has authority over the earth. This poetic exchange would have served as an intercultural dialogue between the Israelites and their neighbors. A classic example is the image of the rider upon the clouds: “Look! Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. And the idols of Egypt will tremble in front of him, and the heart of Egypt melts in his inner parts” (Isa 19:1).

Here, the prophet borrows a metaphor usually associated with the god Baal (from Ugaritic literature) to demonstrate Yahweh’s superiority over Baal: Yahweh arrives in Egypt in greater glory than that of the god feared by Egypt’s (and Israel’s) Canaanite neighbor. Because Egypt has oppressed Yahweh’s people, Yahweh will withhold the rains—a decision…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 9 Go To Evening Reading

“The city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it.” —Revelation 21:23
Yonder in the better world, the inhabitants are independent of all creature comforts. They have no need of raiment; their white robes never wear out, neither shall they ever be defiled. They need no medicine to heal diseases, “for the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” They need no sleep to recruit their frames—they rest not day nor night, but unweariedly praise him in his temple. They need no social relationship to minister comfort, and whatever happiness they may derive from association with their fellows is not essential to their bliss, for their Lord’s society is enough for their largest desires. They need no teachers there; they doubtless commune with one another concerning the things of God, but they do not require this by way of instruction; they shall all be taught of the Lord. Ours are the alms at the king’s gate, but they feast at the table itse…

My Utmost for His Highest

August 9th
Prayer in the Father’s hearing


Father, I thank Thee that thou hast heard Me. John 11:41.

When the Son of God prays, He has only one consciousness, and that consciousness is of His Father. God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God is formed in me the Father will always hear my prayers. I have to see that the Son of God is manifested in my mortal flesh. “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” the ‘Bethlehem’ of the Son of God. Is the Son of God getting His chance in me? Is the direct simplicity of the life of God’s Son being worked out exactly as it was worked out in His historic life? When I come in contact with the occurrences of life as an ordinary human being, is the prayer of God’s Eternal Son to His Father being prayed for me? “In that day ye shall ask in My name.…” What day? The day when the Holy Ghost has come to me and made me effectually one with my Lord.

Is the Lord Jesus Christ being abundantly satisfied in your life or have you got a sp…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 9

  Ye call me Teacher, and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am
John 13:13. (R. V. margin).
How wonderful a Teacher we have! Sometimes we seek Him in the house, but He is not there. We go forth seeking Him and find Him perhaps in the wilderness or on a mountain praying, or leading some poor blind man by the hand, or eating with publicans or sinners, or asleep in a storm, or conversing with a Samaritan woman, or surrounded by wrathful men, or bearing a cross. It is not merely His words that instruct. His place, His occupation, His companions, His environment, His garment, His silence, His submission—all teem with instruction. And they that learn of Him are made like unto Him.

George Bowen

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