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Showing posts from March 1, 2017

Diligence

DiligenceExcerpt VersesProverbs 10:3-5 discuss diligence and sloth. Satisfaction of one’s appetite is related to the Lord (v.3); poverty and wealth result from laziness and diligence, respectively (v.4); industry characterizes a wise son and sleep characterizes a shameful son (v.5). The righteous is literally, “the soul of the righteous.” Since “soul” emphasizes the whole person, God has said here that He meets all one’s needs, including the needs of his body for food (cf.Ps. 37:1925). The craving of the wicked refers to their evil desires to bring about destruction and disaster. God can keep them from carrying out such plans. Like many verses in Proverbs, this verse is a generalization. It is usually true that the godly do not starve and that the wicked do not get all they desire. More Buzzell, Sid S. “Proverbs.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 925. Print.

Aquinas on the Lord’s Prayer

Aquinas on the Lord’s PrayerExcerpt The Lord’s Prayer is most perfect, because, as Augustine says to Proba (Ep. cxxx.), if we pray rightly and fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of Our Lord. For since prayer interprets our desires, as it were, before God, then alone is it right to ask for something in our prayers when it is right that we should desire it. Now in the Lord’s Prayer not only do we ask for all that we may rightly desire but also in the order wherein we ought to desire them so that this prayer not only teaches us to ask but also directs all our affections. More Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne. Print.

God’s Righteous Judgment

God’s Righteous JudgmentExcerpt Jesus warned against condemning others. In the Sermon on the Mount, he said, “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Matt 7:1). The kind of judging both Jesus and Paul referred to was not a sane appraisal of character based on conduct but a hypocritical and self-righteous condemnation of the other person. In the same context, Jesus told his followers to watch out for false prophets (v. 15), who are to be recognized by their fruit (vv. 16–20).62 That would be difficult, to say the least, apart from determining which actions are moral and which are not. Evaluation is not the same as condemnation. It is the latter that passes sentence. More Mounce, Robert H. Romans. Vol. 27. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. Print. The New American Commentary.

Healing on the Sabbath

Healing on the SabbathExcerpt After describing this healing John introduces the dramatic note that this occurred on a [Sabbath](v. 9), thereby setting the stage for the second scene of this story. The Jews reproach the man for carrying his mat on the sabbath (v. 10). The Old Testament does not prohibit this activity, but rabbinic interpretation of the command not to work on the [Sabbath] did prohibit it (m.Šabbat7:2; cf. Carson 1991:244). Since Jesus explicitly commanded the man to carry his mat we have a conflict between interpretations of God’s will. The Jewish opponents believe the man is sinning as he obeys Jesus’ command. A more striking illustration of the conflict between Jesus and these opponents could not be imagined. Indeed, this story becomes a point of reference as the conflict deepens (7:19–24). More Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Connect the Testaments

March 1: A Bold God and a Bold People Numbers 1:1–46; John 11:1–27; Psalms 1:1–6 Imagine a God so bold that He would say, “Take a census of the entire community of the children of Israel according to their clans and their ancestors’ house … from twenty years old and above, everyone in Israel who is able to go to war. You and Aaron must muster them for their wars. A man from each tribe will be with you, each man the head of his family” (Num 1:2–4). It wouldn’t be easy to hear God tell you that you must be ready for war. Yet our daily decisions to follow God are not so different than the decisions and preparations Moses had to make. Every day we have opportunities to choose God—or not. It’s easy to agree to this as a principle, but living it is an entirely different story. How often do distractions deter us from actually hearing God? Yet if we can’t hear Him, we can’t obey Him. It’s also easy to be distracted by sin, but following sinful ways will only make us like “the chaff that the wind …

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 1Go To Evening Reading
“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.” —Song of Solomon 4:16
Anything is better than the dead calm of indifference. Our souls may wisely desire the north wind of trouble if that alone can be sanctified to the drawing forth of the perfume of our graces. So long as it cannot be said, “The Lord was not in the wind,” we will not shrink from the most wintry blast that ever blew upon plants of grace. Did not the spouse in this verse humbly submit herself to the reproofs of her Beloved; only entreating him to send forth his grace in some form, and making no stipulation as to the peculiar manner in which it should come? Did she not, like ourselves, become so utterly weary of deadness and unholy calm that she sighed for any visitation which would brace her to action? Yet she desires the warm south wind of comfort, too, the smiles of divine love, the joy of the Redeemer’s presence; these are ofte…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 1st The undeviating question Lovest thou Me?John 21:17. Peter declares nothing now (cf. Matthew 26:33–35 ). Natural individuality professes and declares; the love of the personality is only discovered by the hurt of the question of Jesus Christ. Peter loved Jesus in the way in which any natural man loves a good man. That is temperamental love; it may go deep into the individuality, but it does not touch the center of the person. True love never professes anything. Jesus said—“Whosoever shall confess Me before men,” i.e., confess his love not merely by his words, but by everything he does. Unless we get hurt right out of every deception about ourselves, the word of God is not having its way with us. The word of God hurts as no sin can ever hurt because sin blunts feeling. The question of the Lord intensifies feeling until to be hurt by Jesus is the most exquisite hurt conceivable. It hurts not only in a natural way but in the profound personal way. The word of the Lordpierces even to…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 1 Come up in the morning … and present thyself unto me in the top of the mount Exod. 34:2 The morning is the time fixed for my meeting the Lord. This very word morning is a cluster of rich grapes. Let me crush them, and drink the sacred wine. In the morning! Then God means me to be at my best in strength and hope. I have not to climb in my weakness. In the night I have buried yesterday’s fatigue, and in the morning I take a new lease of energy. Sweet morning! There is hope in its music. Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified! Successful is the day whose first victory was won in prayer! Holy is the day whose dawn finds thee on the top of the mount! Health is established in the morning. Wealth is won in the morning. The light is brightest in the morning. “Wake, psaltery and harp; I myself will awake early.” Joseph Parker

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