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Showing posts from November 1, 2016

Protect Me and Help Me

Protect Me and Help Me Excerpt In these two verses, the psalmist pleads with Yahweh to rescue him from his oppressors, for he has always done what is just and right (verse 121). He calls his enemies my oppressors because they persecute and mistreat him; the same verb oppress is used in verse 122b. In verse 122a the Hebrew verb form translated Be surety by RSV is a legal term describing the action of someone who makes himself responsible for another’s debts; here the term has the general sense of helping. The meaning of the line is well expressed by NJV, “Guarantee your servant’s well-being” (also NJB); FRCL has “Guarantee me that everything will end well.”Be surety for thy servant may also be rendered, for example, “Be my protector and helper” or simply “Protect me and help me.” For thy servant see verse 17a; for the godless see verse 51a. (It is to be noticed that in verses 121–122there is no reference to God’s law.)  Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s Han…

What Happened “before the World Was”

What Happened “before the World Was” Excerpt ‎As we have seen, the glory of God is the sum total of all that He is, the expression of His character. It is the manifestation of all that He is in Himself, His marvelous attributes. We have a difficult time grasping the concept of God’s glory because there is nothing like it on earth. While it is true that "The heavens are telling of the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1), it is also true that sin has put God’s creation into bondage and robbed God of glory (Romans 8:18-25).Psalm 19 makes special mention of the sun as an illustration of God’s glory, and perhaps that is the closest we can come to finding a picture. Just as the rays of the sun cannot be separated from the sun itself, so Jesus Christ cannot be separated from God, because He is God. ‎The amazing thing is this: Those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior possess this glory now (John 17:22) and will see God’s glory and share it in heaven one day (John 17:24). … Wiersbe,…

To Live Quietly...

To Live Quietly... Excerpt First, his readers should lead a restful life. The word translated quiet (hēsychazein) means quiet in the sense of restfulness (cf. Acts 22:2; 2 Thes. 3:12; Tim. 2:2, 11), rather than quiet as opposed to talkativeness (sigaō; cf. Acts 21:40; Cor. 14:34). The former means “undisturbed, settled, not noisy,” while the latter means “silent.” Paul was telling the Thessalonians to be less frantic, not less exuberant. A person who is constantly on the move is frequently a bother to other people as well as somewhat distracted from his own walk with God. The latter can lead to the former. But a Christian who strives to be at peace with himself and God will be a source of peace to his brethren. Such quietude constitutes a practical demonstration of love for others. Second, Paul recommended minding one’s own business. The connection with love for the brethren is obvious (cf. Prov. 25:17). Third, working with one’s own hands demonstrates love for the brethren becau…

The Value of Adversity

The Value of Adversity Excerpt It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men. ‎When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. …  Thomas à Kempis. The Imitation of Christ. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996. Print.

Scribes in Preexilic Times

Scribes in Preexilic Times2 Kings 22:12 Excerpt The ability to read and write was not widespread in ancient Israel, and professional secretaries were needed in the various aspects of public life. This appears to be the earliest biblical notion of the term “scribe” and has no particular religious connotation. Scribes were employed to keep accounts or transcribe legal information (Jer 32:12), military data (2 Chr 26:11), other public documents (Jgs 8:14; Is 50:1), or personal correspondence (Jer 36:18). These secretaries were essential to royal administrations, and there is frequent mention of a chief scribe who functioned as a court recorder (1 Kgs 4:3; 2 Chr 24:11), adviser (2 Sm 8:16–17; 2 Kgs 18:18; 22:12; 1 Chr 27:32; Is 36:3), and financial overseer (2 Kgs 22:3–4). Secretaries or scribes were associated with the priesthood as well, serving as recorders for temple affairs (1 Chr 24:6; 2 Chr 34:13–15).  Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 11…

The Present Evil Age

The Present Evil AgeGalatians 1:4 Excerpt “The present evil age” is the context in which God’s purpose of salvation is now unfolding. The notion of two ages, borrowed from Jewish apocalyptic thought, juxtaposes a present age of sin and decay and a future age of blessing and peace. For Paul, however, the death and resurrection of Jesus radically punctuated this traditional time line. The Christian now lives in profound tension between the NoLonger and the Not Yet. The coming of Christ has drastically relativized, though not completely obliterated, former distinctions of race, class, and gender. It also has placed in a totally new perspective such former requirements as circumcision, food laws, and feast days.  George, Timothy. Galatians. Vol. 30. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994. Print. The New American Commentary.

Walking With Jesus

Walking With Jesus Excerpt In the Bible, “walking” is a frequent figure of behavior or lifestyle. Since Jesus lives in the believer, a person who is living close to Him will have a Christlike lifestyle. Christ loved and gave Himself for us. Anyone who hates his brother is still in darkness. Love for others is one way that Jesus expresses Himself in our lives. More Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Angelic Announcement

Angelic Announcement Excerpt As Zechariah offers up the incense and prayer, an angel appears. Angelic visitations to announce births of major figures are common in the Old Testament (Gen16:10–11; 17:15–1918:10–1525:23; Judg 13:3–21). This announcement is unusual, however, in that the father rather than the mother receives the message. The angel’s arrival produces fear in the priest. He senses the presence of God’s agent (Lk 1:29–301:65;2:95:8–10267:168:379:34) and is taken back by this surprising development.  Bock, Darrell L. Luke. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, November 1Go To Evening Reading

         “The church in thy house.”          —Philemon 2
Is there a Church in this house? Are parents, children, friends, servants, all members of it? or are some still unconverted? Let us pause here and let the question go round—Am I a member of the Church in this house? How would father’s heart leap for joy, and mother’s eyes fill with holy tears if from the eldest to the youngest all were saved! Let us pray for this great mercy until the Lord shall grant it to us. Probably it had been the dearest object of Philemon’s desires to have all his household saved; but it was not at first granted him in its fulness. He had a wicked servant, Onesimus, who, having wronged him, ran away from his service. His master’s prayers followed him, and at last, as God would have it, Onesimus was led to hear Paul preach; his heart was touched, and he returned to Philemon, not only to be a faithful servant, but a brother beloved, adding another member to the Churc…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 1

  Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst
John 8:9
Alone with Jesus! What a sweet and holy spot! What a blessed refuge to which the soul may betake itself from the charges of Satan, the accusations of the world, and the sorrows of life! Sweet spot for the heart to unfold itself to tell its hidden tale in the ear of Infinite love, tenderness and compassion!
Alone with Jesus! How different a front would Christianity present to the world if the Lord’s people were oftener there! What humility, and gentleness, and love, would characterize all their dealings! What holiness stamped on the very brow, that all might read! What few judgments passed on others, how many more on ourselves! What calmness and resignation and joyful submission to all the Lord’s dealings!
Be much “alone with Jesus!” Then will the passage to glory be one of sunshine, whether it be through the portals of the grave or through the clouds of Heaven.

F. Whitfield

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Ly…

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

November 1

Christian Henry Bateman, 1813–1889

  Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. (Psalm 95:1)
A New Testament church should always be a singing church, for a sacred song is the natural outpouring of joyous Christian hearts. Of all the world’s religions, only Christianity is a singing faith. But singing should not be limited to the church services; rather, it should become the Christian’s normal daily lifestyle.
Singing God’s praises provides many important benefits to believers. There is the awareness that God is pleased when the voice is lifted in praise: “He who offers praise honors me” (Psalm 50:23). Then we learn many important spiritual truths and concepts when we sing. For many of us, our first awareness that God loves us and that He loves all the children of the world was gained through a song sung at our mother’s knee …

Connect the Testaments

November 1: The Danger of Unwarranted Favor
1 Kings 1:1–53; Mark 1:1–34; Proverbs 1:1–7

No sooner had David assumed the throne of Israel than he began to lose sight of God’s way. As a young “warrior in the wilderness,” he had provided a beacon of hope and an ethical example for God’s people. But King David allowed emotion, rather than spiritual or even rational principles, to drive him. And David’s children made the situation even worse. Although we often look to David as an example to emulate, we can also learn from the mistakes that he made, including the disaster recorded in 1 Kgs 1:5–53.
As king, David was charged with protecting God’s people against all outside enemies. What David didn’t see coming—or so it appears from the text—was the threat from within his own family. When David’s sons began to compete for power, David should have put his love for God’s people and the calling God gave him above his love for his sons. The moment that Adonijah showed signs of laying claim to the …