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Showing posts from March 31, 2017

If You Have...

If You Have...Philippians 2:1 Excerpt In Philippians 1:27 Paul had written about living the Christian life in harmony with the message on which it is based. He followed that message with a call to show forth spiritual unity. This unity is possible because of the reality of the four qualities mentioned in Philippians2:1. The “if” clauses, being translations of first-class conditions in Greek, speak of certainties. So in this passage “if” may be translated “since.” Paul wrote here about realities, not questionable things. Paul appealed on the basis of (a) encouragement from being united with Christ . . . (b) comfort from His love . . . (c) fellowship with the Spirit . . . (d) tenderness and compassion. More Lightner, Robert P. “Philippians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 653. Print.

Whose Staff

Whose StaffNumbers 20:8 Excerpt It could well have been Aaron’s since it was kept “before the Lord” (v. Numbers 20:10), in which case it was not for striking but to remind Israel of their contentiousness (Numbers17:25).17 Or it could have been for striking since, according to the priestly texts, Aaron’s rod was so used during the plagues (Exod. 7:9, Exod. 7:20; Exod. 8:113). However, it was more likely the rod of Moses, which had been employed in the performance of God’s miracles in the wilderness (Exod. 14:16; Exod. 17:9). And, more relevantly, it was used in a previous instance of drawing water from a rock (Exod. 17:1–7), in which it was identified as the one used to strike the Nile (e.g., Exod. 7:19–20). Note also “his (Moses’) rod” in verse Numbers 20:11. Ibn Ezra assumes that if this is so, then Moses’ rod was kept in the sanctuary, a most plausible conjecture since it (as well as Aaron’s) was called “the rod of God” (Exod. 4:20). More Milgrom, Jacob. Numbers. Philadelphia: Jewish…

God’s Son Passes the Test

God’s Son Passes the TestExcerpt Matthew emphasizes that Jesus, unlike Israel, passed his test in the wilderness.Matthew makes this biblical background clear even in simple ways like saying the SpiritledJesus into the wilderness, reflecting a common biblical motif of God guiding his people in the wilderness (as in Ex 13:1821; Ex15:13, Ex 15:22Deut 8:2). we should also note that Jesus quotes three texts from Deuteronomy, all of them commandments that Israel failed to obey but that Jesus is determined to obey. Like John, Jesus had to exit the confines of society for his supernatural encounter (see comment on Jn3:1–12). The wilderness (translated desert in the NIV because few people lived there) was not a pleasant place: some believed the wilderness to be a special haunt of demons (see comment on Matthew12:43; compare 1 Enoch 10:4;4 Macc 18:8). Apart from a few rugged people like John who made the “wilderness” between the Jordan Valley and Judean hills their home, it represented a dang…

Seth—a new beginning from God

Seth—a new beginning from GodExcerpt The only ray of hope in that dark day was God’s promise that a Redeemer would one day be born of the woman and conquer the serpent (John 3:15). But Abel was dead so he couldn’t beget a child; and Cain, the unbelieving murderer, had wandered off and built a city in the Land of Nod, east of Eden.Would God’s promise be fulfilled? How could it be fulfilled? God is sovereign in all things and His plans aren’t frustrated by the foolish and sinful ways of mankind. Because He is the sovereign God, He“works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11, NKJV). “But our God is in heaven; Hedoes whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3, NKJV). The Lord enabled Eve to conceive and bear a son whom she named Seth (“granted”) because God had appointed him to replace Abel. More Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Basic. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1998. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

Connect the Testaments

March 31: Gifts and Grace Numbers 35:1–36:13; 1 Corinthians 16:1–24; Psalm 30:1–12 “Yahweh spoke to Moses on the desert plains of Moab beyond the Jordan across Jericho, saying, ‘Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their property cities to live in; and you will give to the Levites pastureland all around the cities’ ” (Num 35:1–2). The idea of giving is ancient. Before God’s people even enter the promised land, they’re commanded to help the Levites—who will be serving them as spiritual leaders—by giving them cities. Now that God has given to the people, He asks that they give back to His work. There is an opportunity for obedience, and this obedience will come with the blessing of continued spiritual guidance from the people to whom they are giving the land. But giving is not the only concept at play here. Shortly after this, God asks the people to provide refuge cities for murderers (Numbers 35:6–8). He institutes a system of grace—a type of…

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 31Go To Evening Reading
“With his stripes we are healed.” —Isaiah 53:5
Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of his flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over his poor stricken body.
Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of his own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which his stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love a…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 31st Heedfulness v. hypocrisy in ourselves If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.1 John 5:16. If we are not heedful of the way the Spirit of God works in us, we shall become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other folks are failing, and we turn our discernment into the gibe of criticism instead of into intercession on their behalf. The revelation is made to us not through the acuteness of our minds, but by the direct penetration of the Spirit of God, and if we are not heedful of the source of the revelation, we shall become criticizing centres and forget that God says—“… he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.” Take care lest you play the hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right before you worship God yourself. One of the subtlest burdens God ever puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls. He revea…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 31 The children of your Father which is in heaven Matt. 5:45 The best name by which we can think of God is Father. It is a loving, deep, sweet, heart-touching, name, for the name of father is in its nature full of inborn sweetness and comfort. Therefore, also, we must confess ourselves children of God, for by this name we deeply touch our God, since there is not a sweeter sound to the father than the voice of the child. Martin Luther

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