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The Glory of God in Paul’s Letters

The Glory of God in Paul’s Letters

Excerpt


‎The great unmentioned subject at the heart of much of Pauline theology is God himself. Paul most fully celebrates the glory of God when he presents his gospel, not simply as a message of how individuals get saved from sin and death, but how God has brought Jew and Gentile together into one body. Romans 15:1–13 states this great aim: that Jew and Gentile alike “may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6). A mutual welcome is mandatory within the body of Christ—Christians coming together across the boundaries of race, class, gender, and culture. Predicted in the Old Testament, Paul states that this has now been accomplished as people from across the world place their hope in the Root of Jesse who rises to rule the nations. …


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

Magi in the Ancient World

Magi in the Ancient World

Excerpt


Extrabiblical evidence offers various clues that shed light on the place of origin and positions held by the magi of Matthew 2. The historian Herodotus mentioned magi as a priestly caste of Media, or Persia, and, as the religion in Persia at the time was Zoroastrianism, Herodotus’s magi were probably Zoroastrian priests. Herodotus, together with Plutarch and Strabo, suggested that magi were partly responsible for ritual and cultic life (supervising sacrifices and prayers) and partly responsible as royal advisers to the courts of the East. Believing the affairs of history were reflected in the movements of the stars and other phenomena, Herodotus said, the rulers of the East commonly utilized the magi’s knowledge of astrology and dream interpretation to determine affairs of state. The magi were, therefore, concerned with what the movement of the stars (as signs and portents) might signify for the future affairs of history. Such an interest could account …

Imitation of Christ on Vain Learning

Imitation of Christ on Vain Learning

Excerpt


What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.


Thomas à Kempis. The Imitation of Christ. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996. Print.

Praying to His Father

Praying to His Father

Excerpt


As Jesus turns to address the Father his speech implies that he is taken up into the eternal presence (cf. Brown 1970:747). He speaks as if his work were already complete (for example, v.4). Indeed, he even says, “I am no longer in this world” (v. 11, completely obscured in the NIV). But right after that he says, I say these things while I am still in the world (v. 13). He is right there with his disciples just before his death, but he is praying from the realm of eternity. Just as the book of Revelation reveals from a heavenly perspective the certainty of God’s unfolding will, so this prayer of Jesus shows that he is completely confident in the outworking of that will.


Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Ruins of Cæsarea

Ruins of Cæsarea

Judith Commands the Attack

Judith Commands the Attack

‎Hastening onward to Bethulia, Judith displayed the head of Holofernes to her countrymen and told them what she had done. In a vehement speech she urged that they should hang up the head before all men upon their city walls; then with this to encourage their followers, they should prepare to attack the Assyrians. ‎They followed Judith’s counsel. Yet she would not let them advance instantly, but marshalled them before the city gates as a threat against the enemy. There she held them waiting, till the Assyrians, having ventured into the general’s tent to summon him, discovered his hideous death. A panic swept the entire army of the invaders; they fled in every direction, and the Israelites gathering from Bethulia and other cities pursued and slaughtered them. After this Judith led her people in singing a great chant of praise. ‎“For God breaketh the battles: for among the camps in the midst of the people he hath delivered me out of the hands of them that pers…

Sealed by the Spirit

Sealed by the Spirit

Ephesians 1:13–14

Excerpt


At the time of salvation, the Holy Spirit “seals” or “identifies” the believer, “guaranteeing” his or her salvation. This seal image suggests several things about the believer’s relationship to God:

• The believer is owned by God (see1 Cor. 6:19–20; 2 Tim. 2:19).

• he or she is eternally secure (see4:30; see exposition on John 10:22–30).

• Salvation is a completed transaction (see Jer. 32:9–10; John 17:4; 19:30).

The Holy Spirit is “promised,” for Christ promised his coming (1:13; see John 14:16–17; 16:7, 13; Acts 1:4–5). More


Willmington, H. L. Willmington’s Bible Handbook. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997. Print.

Connect the Testaments

August 11: Proclaiming the Light
Isaiah 23:1–24:23; Luke 8:16–56; Job 5:17–27

Many of us wait for precisely the right moment to tell others about Christ’s work in us. Yet every moment is the right moment to speak up for Christ. Every moment is the right time to fully express what Christ is doing in us and through us.

Jesus affirms this sense of immediacy when He remarks, “And no one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).

This line becomes even more profound when we consider what happens a short time later. After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, He says to him, “Return to your home and tell all that God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The man doesn’t wait for a better time. Instead, “he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).

We may consider our encounter with Christ less significant than a man healed from demon-posse…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 11 Go To Evening Reading

 “Oh that I were as in months past.” —Job 29:2
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!” They complain that they have lost their awareness', or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God’s glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart h…

My Utmost for His Highest

August 11th
This experience must come


And he saw him no more. 2 Kings 2:12.

It is not wrong to depend upon Elijah as long as God gives him to you, but remember the time will come when he will have to go; when he stands no more to you as your guide and leader because God does not intend he should. You say—‘I cannot go on without Elijah.’ God says you must.

Alone at your Jordan. v. 14. Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one can take the responsibility for you. You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah. You have been to Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone. It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go. If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.
Alone at your Jericho. v. 15. Jericho is the place where you have seen your Elijah do great things. When you …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 11

  They that wait upon the Lord shall change their strength
Isa. 40:31 (R.V.)
Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make!
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take!
What parched grounds refresh as with a shower!
We kneel—and all around us seems to lower.
We rise and all the distant and the near
Stand forth in sunny outline, brave and clear.
We kneel—how weak: we rise—how full of power.
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong
Or others—that we are not always strong;
That we are ever overborne with care;
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled, while with us is prayer,
And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?

Archbishop Trench

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