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Showing posts from January 3, 2017
Rule, Authority, Power, and DominionExcerpt The four synonyms (RSV “rule…authority…power…dominion”) indicate spiritual powers which are here not primarily regarded as evil, but which simply exist. In Jewish thought these powers were viewed as angels, of which there were ranks and degrees, or as spirits (evil); in Greek thought they were seen as lesser gods and powers. The author here takes their existence for granted and does not argue about it. See a similar list in Colossians 1.16, where the words appear in the plural; of the four words used here in Ephesians 1.21, three of them are also in the Colossians passage; the only difference is that Colossians has “throne” (first word) and Ephesians has “power” (third word). More Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.
The Trinity1 Peter 1:2 Excerpt Peter laid the theological foundations for this letter of encouragement. “God” the Father in His grace had chosen them and God the “Spirit” had sanctified them through the atoning blood of God the Son, Jesus Christ. (All three Persons of the Trinity are mentioned in this verse.) Thus Peter greeted his readers with the prayerful wish that they might experience in abundanceGod’s grace (charis) and peace (eirēnē,equivalent of the Heb. šālôm; cf. 5:14). More Raymer, Roger M. “1 Peter.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 840. Print.
The Creation of the WorldGenesis 1:1–2 Excerpt These verses have traditionally been understood as referring to the actual beginning of matter, a Creation out of nothing and therefore part of day one. But the vocabulary and grammar of this section require a closer look. The motifs and the structure of the Creation account are introduced in the first two verses. That the universe is God’s creative work is perfectly expressed by the statement God created the heavens and the earth. The wordbārā’ (“created”) may express creation out of nothing, but it certainly cannot be limited to that (cf. 2:7). Rather, it stresses that what was formed was new and perfect. The word is used throughout the Bible only with God as its subject. More Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 28. Print.
God’s Promise is the Psalmist’s HopeExcerpt God’s word of promise has given the psalmist hope, and he pleads that God will not forget it. Past experience of the sustaining power of God’s promise is his comfort in the present affliction. Though proud scoffers ridicule his faith, he does not swerve from his adherence to God’s law. Divine ordinances handed down from ancient times are true and sure in spite of all the ridicule of the scoffers. He becomes extremely angry over those who forsake God’s law. God’s statutes form the theme of his songs; they calm his mind and refresh his spirit in this transitory life of trial. The constant recollection of the Lord and all that he has revealed himself to be, is the most powerful motive to observance of his laws. Whatever advantages others may have had which the psalmist did not enjoy, this supreme privilege had been his, viz., the keeping of God’s precepts. More Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., …
January 3: Finding Comfort in a Cynic’s Words Genesis 5; Matthew 5; Ecclesiastes 1:12–18 “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind” (Eccl 1:14). These aren’t exactly the words you want to hear in the morning—look who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The intention behind them, though, is actually quite comforting. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes goes on to prove that he doesn’t need counseling, but instead should be our counselor: “What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted … I have acquired great wisdom … [But] in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl 1:15–16, 18). And although we may want to deny this fact, it’s a truism that haunts all great people: we may help the hurting people in our world, but we will never be able to end the pain and knowledge alone will simply not get us there. Words on paper are not the solution. A manifesto, like…
Morning, January 3                   Go To Evening Reading
“I will give thee for a covenant of the people.” —Isaiah 49:8
Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Consider that word “God” and its infinity, and then meditate upon “perfect man” and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine—out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has he power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his heart which is not yours; you may …
January 3rd Clouds and darkness Clouds and darkness are round about Him. Psalm 97:2. A man who has not been born of the Spirit of God will tell you that the teachings of Jesus are simple. But when you are baptized with the Holy Ghost, you find “clouds and darkness are round about Him.” When we come into close contact with the teachings of Jesus Christ we have our first insight into this aspect of things. The only possibility of understanding the teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside. If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our common-place religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and familiar are those who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ. After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He i…
January 3 Where art thou? Gen. 3:9 Art thou hiding thyself away from Him who would send thee forth to do His own blessed work in His own way? Oh, let me say to thee this morning, “The Lord hath need of thee.” It may seem to be only a little thing He has for you to do, but it is an important one. He has “need of thee.” Turn not thy back upon Him; put not thyself out of the way of being employed by Him; do not begin by laying down laws for thyself as to what thou wilt do and what thou wilt not do; but cry out from the very depth of thy heart, “Here am I! Send me.” W. Hay Aitken

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