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The Basis for Christian Living

The Basis for Christian LivingExcerpt In many ways, this paragraph, which stands virtually at the center of the letter, is its theological center. Sandwiched into the section on how people are to behave in their different relationships, it may give the impression of being a digression, a mere back-up for the teaching given to slaves in the preceding verses. But in fact, what it says goes far beyond the immediate problem and provides the basis for all Christian behavior. Peter starts off by motivating Christian slaves to proper conduct with reference to the example of Jesus, who put up with unjust suffering just as they are called to do. But right from the opening phrase, it is apparent that Peter is presenting far more than an example. He briefly tells the story of the Christ who suffered for you and develops a doctrine of Christ’s death that shows how Christians can be transformed to live for righteousness. More Marshall, I. Howard. 1 Peter. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991. …

St. Augustine on Ephesians 5:16

St. Augustine on Ephesians 5:16Ephesians 5:16 Excerpt But as concerning these days which we are passing now, the Apostle says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”3 Are not these days indeed evil which we spend in this corruptible flesh, in or under so heavy a load of the corruptible body, amid so great temptations, amid so great difficulties, where there is but false pleasure, no security of joy, a tormenting fear, a greedy covetousness, a withering sadness? Lo, what evil days! yet no one is willing to end these same evil days, and hence men earnestly pray God that they may live long. Yet what is it to live long, but to be long tormented? What is it to live long, but to add evil days to evil l days? When boys are growing up, it is as if days are being added to them; whereas they do not know that they are being diminished; and their very reckoning is false. For as we grow in up, the number of our days rather diminishes than increases. Appoint for any man at his birth, for in…

Walking in Darkness

Walking in DarknessExcerpt John points out that it is possible for people to say they are in the light, yet actually live in darkness. Note the four “liars” here: (1) lying about fellowship, 1:6–7; (2) lying about our nature, saying that we have no sin, 1:8; (3) lying about our deeds, saying that we have not sinned, 1:10; and (4) lying about our obedience, saying that we have kept His commandments when we have not, 2:4–6More Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

Oil and Wine

Oil and WineExcerpt In the ancient world, oil and wine were commonly used to soften wounds and as an antiseptic. More Schreiner, Thomas R. “Luke.”Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. 820. Print. Baker Reference Library.

Connect the Testaments

June 29: Behind the Scenes Esther 3:1–7:10; 3 John 1:1–4; Psalm 117:1–118:16 Sometimes life can look so bleak that it seems as if all hope is gone. This was the situation for Esther and Mordecai: “Letters were sent by couriers to all the provinces of the king to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children” (Esth 3:13). Genocide was upon Esther, Mordecai, and their people, and it seemed that little could be done. Yet God unexpectedly used Esther to do His work and made Mordecai a hero for thwarting the enemies’ plan to destroy God’s people (Esth 5–7). As a result, the people who wanted to kill Mordecai ended up dead (Esth 7:7–10). But these events depicted more than poetic justice; they provide an example of hope in the midst of adversity. This story shows that God is at work even when we don’t realize He is there—when even prayer feels like a waste of energy. While God is not a “character” in the book of Esther, His presence is implicit in ever…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 29Go To Evening Reading
“Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” —1 Thessalonians 4:14
Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They “sleep in Jesus,” but their souls are before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to him who washed them from their sins in his blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is “rest,” and that is the thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it slumbers on its mother’s breast. Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they rest from thei…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 29th Direction of discipline And if thy right hand offend thee cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.Matthew 5:30. Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but—‘If your right hand offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off.’ There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off. This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind. When God alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of the life to begin with is that it is maimed. There are a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that to you and in the eyes of the world that knows you are as your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says—‘Whatever is wrong in that? How a…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 29 Sleep on now, and take your rest Mark 14:41 Never did that sacred opportunity to watch with Christ return to His disciples. Lost then, it was lost forever. And now when Jesus is still beholding the travail of His soul in the redemption of the world, if you fail to be with Him watching for souls as they that must give account, remember that the opportunity will never return. “Watch, therefore,” says your Lord, “lest coming suddenly, he may find you sleeping.” A. J. Gordon

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