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Showing posts from March 17, 2017

Disease and Healing in the First Century

Disease and Healing in the First CenturyActs 4:9 Excerpt In the early Christian period illness may be caused by numerous demonic entities who are not always acting at Yahweh’s command (Matt. 15:22Luke 11:14), and not necessarily by the violation of covenant stipulations (John 9:2). Illnesses mentioned include fevers (Mark 1:30), hemorrhages (Matt. 9:20), and what has been identified by some scholars as epilepsy (Mark 9:14–29). The cure for illness may be found in this world, and not simply in some utopian future. Christianity also may have attracted patients who were too poor to afford fees charged in many Greco-Roman traditions (cf. Matt. 10:8). Some Greco-Romantraditions insisted that travel to a shrine was necessary for healing, but Christianity, with its emphasis on the value of faith alone, in effect announced that travel to a shrine was not required (Matt. 8:8). Likewise, Christianity resisted temporal restrictions on when healing could be administered (Mark 3:2–5). Nonetheless, …

Bind and Write Them

Bind and Write ThemProverbs 3:3 Excerpt The command to “bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” further indicates that the character of the student is in view rather than just his behavior. Some have suggested that the binding of love to the neck means that it is here a kind of necklace that beautifies the individual. But the parallel between “neck” and “heart” here implies that fidelity is more than an ornament to the neck. The neck houses the throat which, in Hebrew anthropology, is the very life of the person. Love and faithfulness are to become part of the student’s heart and life.46 The influence of Deuteronomy here is evident.47 More Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Vol. 14. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993. Print. The New American Commentary.

Rooms or Mansions?

Rooms or Mansions?John 14:2 Excerpt The Greek word monai was rendered in the Vulgate by the Latin mansiones, which came down through the Tyndale version to the KJV as mansions.”The use of the word mansions here is unfortunate because it has become infused into modern Christian culture so that one can hear some Christians speaking about the fact that they have “a mansion just over the hilltop.” Such a concept, unfortunately, supports the Western economic notion that following Jesus will lead to economic prosperity either in this life or in the life to come, especially if one must suffer in this life. But such a concept fails for several reasons. First,God does not promise economic prosperity. Second, the idea is a typical Semitic word picture84 describing a relationship of God with the people of God like the picture of heaven in Revelation 21–22. Third, and most importantly, monaidoes not mean a castle-like home any more than mansiones in the Vulgate is to be interpreted in that manne…

Elizabeth Remained in Seclusion

Elizabeth Remained in SeclusionExcerpt Most likely, this was because of the excitement of the surrounding people to her pregnancy (Lk. 1:25). Mary may have been the first person other than Zechariah and Elizabeth to know the news which the angel had delivered (Lk. 1:36). Luke did not say in verse 25 if Elizabeth knew about the destiny of her son at this time. However, because she knew that his name was to be John (Lk. 1:60) even before Zechariah was able to speak, he probably communicated his entire vision in writing. Elizabeth was overjoyed that she was finally able to have a baby. More Martin, John A. “Luke.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 204. Print.

Connect the Testaments

March 17: Letting Evil Burn Numbers 19:1–20:13; 1 Corinthians 2:1–16; Psalm 18:13–30 “And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying … ‘let them take to you a red heifer without a physical defect …. And you will give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will … be slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest will take some of its blood on his finger and spatter it toward the mouth of the tent of assembly seven times. The heifer will be burned in his sight; its skin, its meat, and its blood, in addition to its offal, will burn’ ” (Num 19:1–4). This passage is so strange and gruesome, it is clearly symbolic. The heifer represents the perfect, unblemished sacrifice—which takes care of some (not all) of the purification associated with things Yahweh deemed unclean for the purpose of teaching His people obedience, and some of the results of sin (Num 19:9). Also, the heifer is burned because it has to be made into ashes. This beautiful creature becomes ashes. That’s the cost of an impure life: …

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 17Go To Evening Reading
“Remember the poor.” —Galatians 2:10
Why does God allow so many of his children to be poor? He could make them all rich if he pleased; The Lord could lay bags of gold at their doors; He could send them a large annual income. Or God could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions, as once Lord made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that he sees it be best. “The cattle upon a thousand hills are his”—he could supply them; he could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of his children, for the hearts of all men are in his control. But he does not choose to do so; he allows them to suffer want, he allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favored with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We sh…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 17th The worker’s ruling passion Wherefore we labour, that, … we may be accepted of Him. 2 Cor. 5:9. “Wherefore we labour …” It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be “accepted of Him.” It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but the lack of labouring to keep the idea right. Once a week at least takes stock before God, and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master. Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “approved unto God” may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live to face the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says—Lest m…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 17 They rest not day and night Rev. 4:8 O blessed rest! When we rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!” When we shall rest from sin, but not from worship; from suffering and sorrow, but not from joy! O blessed day, when I shall rest with God. When I shall rest in knowing. Loving, rejoicing, and praise when my perfect soul and body shall together perfectly enjoy the most perfect God. When God, who is love itself, shall perfectly love me, and rest inHis loveto me, and I shall rest in my love to Him; when He shall rejoice over me with joy, and joy over me with singing, and I shall rejoice in Him! Baxter

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