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Showing posts from April 20, 2017

The Spirit and the Son at Creation

The Spirit and the Son at CreationGenesis 1:2 Excerpt At the beginning of Creation Week, the earth was “empty, a formless mass.” There were soil and water but no light. The Holy Spirit was “hovering over” this newly created world. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, may be best known for his appearance at Pentecost (Acts 2), but he made his grand entrance here, at the very beginning of Creation. We read elsewhere that Jesus, Son of God and second person of the Trinity, took part in Creation as well (John 1:1–3Col. 1:16Heb. 1:2). More Willmington, H. L. Willmington’s Bible Handbook. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997. Print.

Saul’s Conversion

Saul’s ConversionExcerpt This experience is described in detail in three different places in the book of the Acts, which shows just how important it was not only in Paul’s life but in the entire history of the early church. In Acts 9:3–19 there is Luke’s summary account of what happened, then 22:6–16presents a personal account given by Paul when defending himself before a Jewish mob in Jerusalem, and finally in 26:9–23 there is yet another account given by Paul, this time in his defence before Herod Agrippa II. The three accounts do not agree precisely in every detail, and it is clear that Luke used them to build up a composite picture, exploring the different nuances of the experience that would be specially relevant to the concerns of the different circumstances depicted in his narrative. More Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and updated. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000. Print.

But Because You are Lukewarm...

But Because You are Lukewarm...Excerpt The Laodiceans were in spiritual things cold comparatively, but not cold as the world outside, and as those who had never belonged to the Church. The lukewarm state, if it is the transitional stage to a warmer, is a desirable state (for a little religion, if real, is better than none); but most fatal when, as here, an abiding condition, for it is mistaken for a safe state (Rev3:17). This accounts for Christ’s desiring that they were cold rather than lukewarm. For then there would not be the same “danger of mixed motive and disregarded principle” [Alford]. Also, there is more hope of the “cold,” that is, those who are of the world, and not yet warmed by the Gospel call; for, when called, they may become hot and fervent Christians: such did the once-cold publicans, Zaccheus and Matthew, become. But the lukewarm has been brought within reach of the holy fire, without being heated by it into fervor: having religion enough to lull the conscience in fal…

God’s Elect

God’s Elect1 Peter 1:1 Excerpt These Christians lived in the Roman provinces which occupied the area of modern Turkey. They were a set of scattered groups and perhaps isolated individuals in a wide territory. In this respect, they resembled the many Jews who lived in small communities scattered throughout the ancient world, and Peter’s wording deliberately echoes the self-description of the Jews as the scattered people outside their homeland. More Marshall, I. Howard. 1 Peter. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Connect the Testaments

April 20: Be Generous to Consume? Joshua 4:1–6:27; 2 Corinthians 9:6–15; Psalm 48 Our culture encourages us to absorb the latest and greatest, and then cast off our gently used devices. We are targeted to accumulate and consume. The new feature we learned about yesterday is now the one we can’t live without. At first, 2 Corinthians 9 seems to appeal to our consumer lifestyle: “The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9:6). This verse has often been used to encourage giving, because then, God will provide us with even more. But should we give more for the sake of consuming more? Should this be our motivation for generosity? Paul debunks this idea in the next verse: “Each one should give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Certainly, God will provide for those who give; He takes care of those who follow Him. But our willingness to give …

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 20Go To Evening Reading
“That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.” —Hebrews 2:14
O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear to die. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer’s death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great, but it is not so. We are not far from home—a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds mu…

My Utmost for His Highest

April 20th Can a saint slander God? For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen.2 Cor. 1:20. Jesus told the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25 as a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacity. This parable has not to do with natural gifts, but with the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Ghost. We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by the intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, before long, we will slander Him as the servant slandered his master: ‘You expect more than You give me the power to do; You demand too much of me, I cannot stand true to You where I am placed.’ When it is a question of God’s Almighty Spirit, never say ‘I can’t.’ Never let the limitation of natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us. The servant justified himself in everything he did and condemned …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 20 There stood by me this night the angel of God … saying, Fear not, Paul.… God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore … be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me Acts 27:23, 24, 25 An active faith can give thanks for a promise, though it [is] not yet performed; knowing that God’s bonds are as good as ready money. Matthew Henry

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