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Showing posts from September 14, 2016

Death

Death

Romans 5:12

Excerpt


“Death” is a complex term in both Testaments. Here it is not so much biological as a description of man’s spiritual condition, powerless in the grasp of an inner moral corruption that alienates human beings from God and makes final judgment a dread certainty. Adam’s sin insinuated both biological and spiritual death into our race, making both our present and future dark and grim. In contrast, Jesus interjects life, the opposite of death, making us alive to God and guaranteeing a bright eternal future.


Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Damascus Gate

Damascus Gate


‎The pilgrims from Nazareth in all probability passed into Jerusalem through this gate, or through one occupying the same position. The Damascus gate (the Bab El Amud) is by far the handsomest and most striking of the five entrances into Jerusalem. At either side, on the inside of the gate, are very slender columns, above which is a pointed pediment bearing an inscription. The Damascus Gate, with its, towers, battlements, turrets, and projecting parapets on either side and above “the chamber over the gate,” presents an appearance both beautiful and imposing. According to the inscription, it was built, or at least restored, by Soliman in the year 944 of the Hegira (beginning June 10, 1537), and is a fine example of the architecture of the sixteenth century. The tower of the gate commands a magnificent view. On both sides of the entrance are some fine specimens of ancient work. The stones employed are evidently the fragments of ancient structures, which have attracted the…

Persian Satrap Dictating Terms to Grecian Chiefs at the Gate of a City. Bas-relief from Lycian Monument

Persian Satrap Dictating Terms to Grecian Chiefs at the Gate of a City. Bas-relief from Lycian Monument
1) The usual gateway was provided with double doors, swung on projections that fitted into sockets in the sill and lintel. Ordinarily, the material was wood (Neh 2:3, 17), but greater strength and protection against fire was given by plating with metal (Ps 107:16; Isa 45:2). Jos (BJ, V, v, 3) speaks of the solid metal doors of the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:2) as a very exceptional thing. Some doors were solid slabs of stone, from which the imagery of single jewels (Isa 54:12; Rev 21:21) was derived. When closed, the doors were secured with a bar (usually of wood, Nah 3:13, but sometimes of metal, 1 K 4:13; Ps 107:16; Isa 45:2), which fitted into clamps on the doors and sockets in the post, uniting the whole firmly (Jgs 16:3). Sometimes, perhaps, a portcullis was used, but Ps 24:7 refers to the enlargement or enrichment of the gates. As the gate was esp. subject to attack (Ezk 21:15, 22…

Jesus Alone: The Messiah’s Temptation

Jesus Alone: The Messiah’s Temptation

Excerpt


It is no coincidence that Jesus’ temptation immediately follows his baptism. Many of God’s people have had similar experiences. Right after conversion or some other significant spiritual event, precisely when a certain level of victory or maturity seems to have been attained, temptations resume more strongly than ever (cf. Elijah in 1 Kgs 19:1–18 and Paul in Rom 7:14–25).


Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.

Half Shekel (Silver)

Half Shekel (Silver)

The Salutation of Galatians

The Salutation of Galatians

Galatians 1:1

Excerpt


The opening of the Galatian epistle is both typical and atypical. Though the salutation includes the usual identification of author and recipient together with a customary greeting, the usual expression of thanksgiving and praise for believers is totally absent.


Campbell, Donald K. “Galatians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 589. Print.

Return of the Spies

Return of the Spies
‎ This ancient relief sculpture from Palestine shows two of the spies that Moses sent out to reconnoiter the land of Canaan, returning with the cluster of grapes that was so large it took both of them to carry it. It was on the occasion shown here that Joshua and Caleb demonstrated their faith in opposition to the other spies’ angry fear. Palestine’s climate and many of its soil types remain ideal for raising grapes, with long, dry warm to hot months balanced by heavy dew at night. ‎Num 13:21–24, Num 14:6–9, 24, 30, 38, Num 26:65, Josh 14:6, 2 Kgs 25:12, Matt 21:33–41, 1 Cor 9:7

If You Have ...

If You Have ...

Philippians 2:1

Excerpt


In 1:27 Paul had written about living the Christian life in harmony with the message on which it is based. He followed that message with a call to show forth spiritual unity. This unity is possible because of the reality of the four qualities mentioned in 2:1. The “if” clauses, being translations of first-class conditions in Greek, speak of certainties. So in this passage “if” may be translated “since.” Paul wrote here about realities, not questionable things. Paul appealed on the basis of (a) encouragement from being united with Christ . . . (b) comfort from His love . . . (c) fellowship with the Spirit . . . (d) tenderness and compassion.                                                  


Lightner, Robert P. “Philippians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 653. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 14

 I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye
Ps. 32:8
When God does the directing, our life is useful and full of promise, whatever it is doing; and discipline has its perfecting work.

H. E. Cobb

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

My Utmost for His Highest

September 14th
Imagination v. inspiration


The simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Cor. 11:3.

Simplicity is the secret of seeing things clearly. A saint does not think clearly for a long while, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will think yourself into cotton wool. If there is something upon which God has put His pressure, obey in that matter, bring your imagination into captivity to the obedience of Christ with regard to it and everything will become as clear as daylight. The reasoning capacity comes afterwards, but we never see along that line, we see like children; when we try to be wise we see nothing (Matthew 11:25.).

The tiniest thing we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is quite sufficient to account for spiritual muddle, and all the thinking we like to spend on it will never mak…

Connect the Testaments

September 14: Going Your Own Way
Jonah 1:1–4:11; Acts 13:1–12; Job 22:1–13

I work hard to make my disobedience socially acceptable: “I have a stubborn streak,” I explain, or “I’m just like my dad.” But the truth is that my weaknesses aren’t cute or transitory—and they’re not anyone else’s fault. Instead, my disobedience is a deep-rooted, rebellious tendency to follow my own path when I should be humbling myself, seeking wisdom, or obeying leaders who know better.

The book of Jonah illustrates these opposing responses to God’s will. We can easily identify with Jonah’s stubborn character. When God tells Jonah to warn Nineveh of its coming judgment, Jonah not only disobeys, but he sets off in the opposite direction. As Jonah’s story progresses, however, we see God orchestrate a reversal. In His incredible mercy, He breaks Jonah’s stubborn streak and replaces it with humility. God also has mercy on the Ninevites—a “people who do not know right from left”—and they repent in sackcloth and as…

Morning and Evening

Morning, September 14Go To Evening Reading

“There were also with him other little ships.”
—Mark 4:36
Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and his presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship. When we sail in Christ’s company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as he did before us.

When the storm swept over Galilee’s dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck. When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Saviour arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that…