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Showing posts from August 15, 2017

To the Faithful...

To the Faithful...Ephesians 1:1 Excerpt Faithful applies to the readers’ faithfulness in their Christian life, the degree to which they have remained loyal followers of Christ Jesus. Some take the word here to mean “believers” (so New English Bible [NEB], “believers incorporate in Christ Jesus”), but most translate faithful, loyal, steadfast. In a number of languages faithful can be effectively expressed in a negative way; for example, “they never fail to,” or in the broader context of the clause in which faithful occurs, “who, as they are joined with Jesus Christ in their life, never give up” or “…always remain firm.” More Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

The Fall

The FallExcerpt ‎According to the sacred narrative, there were two trees standing side by side in the garden of Eden which had a peculiar symbolical or sacramental character. The one was called the Tree of Life, the other the Tree of Knowledge. The former was the symbol of life, and its fruit was not to be eaten except on the condition of man’s retaining his integrity. Whether the fruit of that tree had inherent virtue to impart life, i.e., to sustain the body of man in its youthful vigour and beauty, or gradually to refine it until it should become like to what the glorified body of Christ now is, or whether the connection between eating its fruit and immortality was simply conventional and sacramental, we cannot determine. It is enough to know that partaking of that tree secured in some way the enjoyment of eternal life. … More Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

The Forces of Evil

The Forces of EvilEphesians 6:12 Excerpt Verse12 provides further reason for being strong and deploying the armor of God and goes on to name other supernatural enemies, using some of the same terminology found in 1:21 and 3:10 (see comments there). Unfortunately, throughout its history the Christian church has often tended to view human opponents as the enemy to be fought. Sometimes this has been an exegetical position, concluding that structures of government constitute the enemy. Sometimes it has been de facto, as Christians lash out against those who oppose them. Paul’s negative clarification (not against) should have prevented that error. The enemy is not a visible and relatively weak humanity (the meaning of flesh and blood),* not even powerful human authorities. This enemy is in the heavenly realms and is therefore unseen, possessing a tactical advantage over those whose vision is earthbound. More Liefeld, Walter L. Ephesians. Vol. 10. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. P…

John the Baptist’s Birth Announced

John the Baptist’s Birth AnnouncedExcerpt In this section Luke recorded how God after four hundred years once again visited Israel and raised up a prophet who would prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Although the Qumran community believed that God was active and revealed himself through their movement and that their Teacher of Righteousness was a prophet, for the majority of Israel the prophets had fallen asleep (2 Bar 85:1–31 Macc 4:469:2714:41) and the Holy Spirit had ceased in Israel (Tosefta Soṭa 13:3). As a result most people tended to look back to the period of the law and the prophets when God was active among his people or forward to the time of the messianic age when God would once again be active and fulfill his covenantal promises. Thus God’s visit to Zechariah marks for Luke the breaking in of the messianic age, i.e., the beginning of the things that God has fulfilled among his people. More Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman…

Connect the Testaments

August 15: Lethal Planning Isaiah 30:18–32:20; Luke 11:1–36; Job 7:11–21 I’m a planner. I love schedules. The trouble is I sometimes make plans without consulting God. While I often think of this as a modern problem, I’ve discovered that, like many other modern issues, the Bible regularly addresses it. For example, in Isaiah 30:1 Yahweh declares, “Oh rebellious children!… to make a plan, but not from me, and pour out a libation, but not from my Spirit, so as to add sin to sin.” Apparently, God’s people had been offering libations—a type of drink offering—in the ways of the Egyptians rather than in the ways of Yahweh. We make the same mistake in our lives. We seek wisdom in books or from people before consulting Yahweh. We ask our colleagues what they think before turning to our God. We look to our parents or friends instead of waiting patiently on God’s resolve. We look to our own strength or influence instead of relying on the God who created us. In our demeanor toward God, we are so muc…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, August 15Go To Evening Reading
“Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide.” —Genesis 24:63
Very admirable was his occupation. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed. Isaac found Rebecca while engaged in private musings; many others have found their best beloved there.
Very admirable was the choice of place. In the field we have a study hung round with texts for thought. From the cedar to the hyssop, from the soaring eagle down to the chirping grasshopper, from the blue expanse of heaven to a drop of dew, all things are full …

My Utmost for His Highest

August 15th Signs of the new birth Ye must be born again.John 3:7. The answer to the question “How can a man be born when he is old?” is—When he is old enough to die—to die right out to his ‘rag rights,’ to his virtues, to his religion, to everything, and to receive into himself the life which never was there before. The new life manifests itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness. “As many as received Him.” (John 1:12.) Is my knowledge of Jesus born of internal spiritual perception, or is it only what I have learned by listening to others? Have I something in my life that connects me with the Lord Jesus as my personal Saviour? All spiritual history must have a personal knowledge for its bedrock. To be born again means that I see Jesus. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3.) Do I seek for signs of the Kingdom, or do I perceive God’s rule? The new birth gives a new power of vision whereby I begin to discern God’s rule. His rule was there al…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 15 Thou shall have no other gods before me Exod. 20:3 If you find yourself beginning to love any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than your Bible, any house better than God’s, any table better than the Lord’s, any person better than your Saviour, anyone better than your soul, a present indulgence better than the hope of Heaven—take alarm! Guthrie

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

Catholic Daily Readings

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 | Solemnity The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary During the Day Years ABC | Roman Missal | Lectionary

First Reading Revelation 11:19a, 12:1–6a, 10ab Response Psalm 45:10bc Psalm Psalm 45:10–12, 16 Second Reading 1 Corinthians 15:20–27 Gospel AcclamationText Gospel Luke 1:39–56

Catholic Daily Readings. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2009. Print.