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Showing posts from January 17, 2017

Submission to Her Husband

Submission to Her HusbandExcerpt Despite what has just been said, the custom of the time expected that a wife would be submissive to her husband, which means in part that she would normally adopt his religion. This placed converted wives in a difficult position. The Christian wife should, therefore, seek to please her husband in other respects as much as possible. The basic command to submission sounds strange to modern Western readers, and so it must be understood in its first-century and early Christian context. Submission to the husband was the custom of the time. For Jews, it was based on the stories of the Creation and Fall where the woman, originally created to be a helper for the man (Gen 2:20), is cursed by the pain of childbirth and submission to the rule of her husband (Gen 3:16). In contrast, the Christian gospel emphasized that in the new situation brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you a…

Need of Endurance

Need of EnduranceExcerpt The sacrifices which the Hebrews once made proved their confidence—confidence in an unseen future—which they boldly proclaimed; and at the same time, they confirmed it. The lesson of the past therefore, encouraged them to still further endurance. And such endurance God claims from His people. More Westcott, Brooke Foss, ed. The Epistle to the Hebrews the Greek Text with Notes and Essays. 3d ed. London: Macmillan, 1903. Print. Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament.

The Kingdom of God as Present Reality

The Kingdom of God as Present RealityMatthew 6:33 Excerpt If God’s eschatological rule brings to his people the blessings of that kingdom, and if God’s kingdom is his rule invading history before the eschatological consummation, then we may expect God’s rule in the present to bring a preliminary blessing to his people. This fact is reflected in numerous sayings. The kingdom is something to be sought here and now (Mt 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk 10:15Lk 18:16–17). Although it is present in an unexpected form, the kingdom of God in Jesus’ person is like a hidden treasure or a pearl of great price whose possession outranks all other goods (Mt 13:44–46). The gift of the kingdom is also seen in that the deaf hear, the blind see, lepers are cleansed, and the poor have good news preached to them (11:5). More Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001: 779. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

Prayer for His Disciples

Prayer for His DisciplesExcerpt Here the Divine Intercessor turns from himself, and from the approaching glory of his own mediatorial Person and position, to meditate, for the advantage of his disciples, on what had already been done for them, in them, to them. He clothes these meditations in the form of a direct address to the eternal God and makes the series of facts on which he dwells the groundwork of the prayer which follows for his disciples, as representative of all who, like them, have come into relations with the Father through him. More Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. St. John. Vol. 2. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments

January 17: Cheer Up, Preacher Genesis 28–29; Matthew 21:23–22:22; Ecclesiastes 7:1–5 Things are getting serious for the writer of Ecclesiastes (“the Preacher”), and sometimes confusing for us, as we follow him through the labyrinth of his discourse on the meaning of life. Death is better than birth, mourning is better than feasting, and sorrow is better than laughter? What happened to his “eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil” statements from earlier (Eccl 5:18)? The Preacher might sound like he’s contradicting himself, but the twist in his argument is meant to show us exactly what folly we may be inadvertently embracing. It’s easy to brush over these verses while thinking in terms of standard, run-of-the-mill folly, or obvious sins. But folly can even look like a daily routine: goals, successes, and our happy, fulfilling lives. It can take the form of anything that skims the surface of life but keeps us from confronting our greatest need and the reality of eternity. When life…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 17                   Go To Evening Reading
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.” —Revelation 14:1
The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Nothing else attracted the apostle’s attention so much as the person of that Divine Being, who hath redeemed us by his blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here is a joy for thee; thou looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on his throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy …

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

January 17th The vocation of the natural life But when it pleased God … to reveal His son in me … Gal. 1:15–16. The call of God is not a call to any particular service; my interpretation of it may be because contact with the nature of God has made me realize what I would like to do for Him. The call of God is essentially expressive of His nature; service is the outcome of what is fitted to my nature. The vocation of the natural life is stated by the apostle Paul—“When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him” (i.e., sacramentally express Him) “among the Gentiles.” Service is the overflow of superabounding devotion; but, profoundly speaking, there is no call to that, it is my own little actual bit, and is the echo of my identification with the nature of God. Service is the natural part of my life. God gets me into a relationship with Himself whereby I understand His call, then I do things out of sheer love for Him on my own account. To serve God is the deliberate love…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 17 Elisha said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see 2 Kings 6:17 This is the prayer we need to pray for ourselves and for one another, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see”; for the world all around us, as well as around the prophet, is full of God’s horses and chariots, waiting to carry us to places of glorious victory. And when our eyes are thus opened, we shall see in all the events of life, whether great or small, whether joyful or sad, a “chariot” for our souls. Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such; and, on the other hand, even the smallest trial may be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we so consider them. It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be. It all depends, not upon what these events are, but upon how we take them. If we lie down under them, and let them roll over us and crush us, they become Juggernaut cars, but if we climb up into them, as into a car of victory, and make them carr…