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Showing posts from September 8, 2016

Jerusalem: Basilica of the Agony

Jerusalem: Basilica of the Agony

‎Jerusalem. A magnificent mosaic decorates the facade of the Basilica of the Agony at the foot of the Mount of Olives. The heart of Jesus, symbol of his sacrifice for mankind, is offered to the angel. His disciples look on from one side and opposite them are the “innocent” who have not yet seen the light, linked to God through Jesus. He wears a red robe, the color of agony and suffering, and over his head are the Latin letters Alpha and Omega, as in Revelation 1:8: “I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord”. At the end of the tympanum two bronze deer, symbolizing the believers’ longing for Jesus, gaze at the cross between them. The columns supporting the arches serve as pedestals for the statues of the four evangelists: St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John. The modern church was built in the years 1919–1924 with money donated by several Catholic countries, and that is why it is also called the Church of all Nations.

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 many parts 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 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.More


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

Hyssop

Hyssop


“I Stand at the Door and Knock”

“I Stand at the Door and Knock”

Excerpt


Dramatically Christ pictured Himself pictured Himself pictured Himself as standing outside and knocking on a door. In a familiar painting, the latch is not shown but is assumed to be on the inside. The appeal is for those who hear to open the door. To them Christ promised, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me. With Christ on the outside, there can be no fellowship or genuine wealth. With Christ on the outside, there can be no fellowship or genuine wealth. With Christ on the inside, there is wonderful fellowship and sharing of the marvelous grace of God on the inside, and a wonderful fellowship, and sharing of the marvelous grace of God. This was an appeal to Christians rather than to non-Christians. This raises the important question concerning the extent of one’s intimate fellowship with Christ. To those who respond, Christ . To those who respond, Christ . To those who respond, Christ . To those who respond, Christ promises to give the r…

He is the God of Everyone

He is the God of Everyone

Excerpt


The next two questions cover the same issue of Jewish distinctiveness from a different angle. Because the Gentiles worshiped false gods through idols, the Jews concluded that Yahweh, the true and living God (Jer. 10:10), was the God of Jews only. That was true in the sense that the Jews were the only people who acknowledged and worshiped Yahweh (except for a few proselyte Gentiles who joined with Judaism). But in reality Yahweh, as the Creator and Sovereign of all people, is the God of all people. Before God called Abraham and his descendants in the nation Israel to be His Chosen People (Deut. 7:6) God dealt equally with all people. And even after God’s choice of Israel to be His special people, God made it plain (e.g., in the Book of Jonah) that He is the God of everyone, Gentiles as well as Jews. And now since there is “no difference” among people for all are sinners (Rom. 3:23) and since the basis for salvation has been provided in the sacrificial de…

Suphanieh, Damascus

Suphanieh, Damascus

‎Passing through Bab Tuma, or gate of St. Thomas, at the northeast angle of the city wall, and proceeding eastward a short distance, we find a collection of tombs clustered together in a white-domed building, where rest the remains of the famous Sheik Arlan, a poet of the time of Mured Din. If we go through the gate of the tomb eastward a few minutes’ walk will bring us to Suphanieh Garden. The scenery here is beautiful beyond description. You almost fancy that you tread on enchanted ground, the cool waters of the Abana gurgling and glistening on their way, while overhead the branches of the trees interlace and cast flickering shadows below. You can truly say with the poet: ‎The drooping branches touching the cool water, the bee in the brier rose, the wind in the poplar, all this labyrinth of leafage so lavish “checkering the sunshine,” make the place enchanting. Near this is the road leading to the Jobar. “It is a sweet, quiet ride,” says Porter; “the winding lan…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 8

  He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever
Ps. 21:4
When poor men make requests of us we usually answer them as the echo does the voice—the answer cuts off half the petition. We shall seldom find among men Jael’s courtesy, giving milk to those that ask water, except it be as this was, an entangling benefit, the better to introduce a mischief. There are not many Naamans among us, that, when you beg them one talent, will force you to take two; but God’s answer to our prayers is like a multiplying glass, which renders the request much greater in the answer than it was in the prayer.

Bishop Reynolds

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

Connect the Testaments

September 8: Resilient Hope and Red Herrings
Joel 3:1–21; Acts 7:54–8:25; Job 19:1–12

The death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, must have crushed and discouraged the early church. But in this event, Luke shows us glimmers of hope. He reminds us that God is working behind the scenes.

Facing death, Stephen prayed for his persecutors, asking that God“not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). God answered that cry of mercy in a generous way. As we watch Stephen being forced out of the city and stoned to death, Luke introduces us to another character present in the crowd: “The witnesses laid aside their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul” (Acts 7:54).

This detail seems like a red herring, but by introducing Saul (later Paul) to us before his conversion, Luke gives his readers hope in desperate circumstances. Saul was determined to squelch this dangerous new sect coming out of Nazareth, but soon Paul would become its greatest advocate. By placing Stephen’s death alongsid…

My Utmost for His Highest

September 8th

Do it yourself


Determinedly Demolish some Things.
Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. 2 Cor. 10:5.

Deliverance from sin is not deliverance from human nature. There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, which the saint has to destroy by neglect; and other things which have to be destroyed by violence, i.e., by the Divine strength imparted by God’s Spirit. There are some things over which we are not to fight, but to stand still in and see the salvation of God; but every theory or conception which erects itself as a rampart against the knowledge of God is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not by fleshly endeavour or compromise (v. 4).

It is only when God has altered our disposition and we have entered into the experience of sanctification that the fight begins. The warfare is not against sin; we can never fight against sin: Jesus Christ deals with sin in Redemption. The conflict …

Morning and Evening

Morning, September 8 Go To Evening Reading
“From me is thy fruit found.” —Hosea 14:8
Our fruit is found from our God as to union. The fruit of the branch is directly traceable to the root. Sever the connection, the branch dies, and no fruit is produced. By virtue of our union with Christ, we bring forth fruit. Every bunch of grapes has been first in the root, it has passed through the stem, and flowed through the sap vessels, and fashioned itself externally into fruit, but it was first in the stem; so also every good work was first in Christ, and then is brought forth in us. O Christian, and then is brought forth in us. O Christian, prize this precious union to Christ; for it must be the source of all the fruitfulness which thou canst hope to know. If thou wert not joined to Jesus Christ, thou wouldst be a barren bough indeed.

Our fruit comes from God as to spiritual providence. When the dew-drops fall from heaven, when the cloud looks down from on high and is about to distil its liquid…