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Showing posts from September 5, 2017

The Witness of Two People

The Witness of Two PeopleExcerpt Jesus now reverts to the topic of testimony. The shifts back and forth between Jesus as witness and Jesus as judge would appear sudden and awkward if the dispute in chapter 5 had not already prepared readers for the irony of Jesus’ dual role, which in turn reflects Yahweh’s functioning as both witness and judge in the trial scenes of Isa. 40–55. Having stressed his self-authenticating witness, Jesus can now return to the conventions of ordinary Jewish trials—In your law it is written that the witness of two people is true. As he did in 5:31–7, he again accommodates himself to the law’s requirements (cf. Deut. 19:15). But the concession to the opponents’ standard of judgement (‘your law’) is ironic. The law required two witnesses, not including the accused, and an appeal to God is not envisaged as one of these. The force of Jesus’ mention of the law appears to be that if the law demands two human witnesses, then he will supply two divine witnesses—himsel…

Respectful and Pure Conduct

Respectful and Pure ConductExcerpt The word “behold”in the Greek text refers to the act of viewing attentively. How carefully the unsaved watch Christians. The word “chaste” in the Greek means not only “chaste” but “pure”. The phrase “with fear” is to be understood as referring to the wives, not the husbands. It is their pure manner of life which is coupled with fear that is used of the Lord to gain these husbands. The Greek word “fear” here is used also in Ephesians 5:33 and is there translated “reverence.” The word in a connection like this means “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.” More Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print.

The Tongue as a Revealer of Maturity or Immaturity

The Tongue as a Revealer of Maturity or ImmaturityJames 3:1–12 Excerpt Since the teacher’s work is performed primarily through the use of his tongue, control of this instrument is of utmost importance. The greater the privilege in terms of knowledge and education, the greater the accountability for the use of that information (Luke 12:48). The tongue is a symbol for the overall discipline and maturity of the whole person (3:2). The images of bridle, rudder, fire, untamed animal, poison, fountain, and fig tree all illustrate the cause and effect relationship between maturity and words. James has clearly shown the relationship between inner lust and outward expression (1:14–15). The images applied to the tongue illustrate the outward effects of inner lusts (cf. 4:2–4). The questions of 3:11–12 uncover the real issue: external behavior in sharp contrast with claims to purity and righteousness before God. More Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL…

The Filling of the Spirit for Prophecy

The Filling of the Spirit for ProphecyExcerpt With the coming of the Holy Spirit came also enablement to communicate God’s message supernaturally (Acts 2:4). The believers were filled with the Spirit for the specific function of proclaiming the gospel (2:11). The disciples were all filled with the Spirit, baptized into the body of Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Ezek. 36:27John 14:17). Luke’s Gospel presented people being filled with the Spirit to speak (Luke 1:41–4267). But the difference in Acts from the early chapters of Luke is the speaking in foreign languages—“in other languages.”More Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 5 It is high time to awake out of sleep Rom. 13:11 I have heard of a painter who loved to work by the morning light. He said that the colors were better understood by the light of the early day, and so he was wont to be in his studio waiting for the rising of the sun. Then every moment it grew lighter, and he found he could accomplish things which he could not reach if he waited till the day had advanced. Is there not work waiting for us—work that no one else can do—work, too, that the Master has promised to help us perform? Shall He come and find that we still sleep? Or shall the Sun of Righteousness, when He appears, find us waiting, as that painter waited, looking and longing for the first gleam of day? Surely those of us who thus wait on the Lord shall renew our strength, and, eagle-like, rise to greet the Sun. Thomas Champness

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

Morning and Evening

Morning, September 5Go To Evening Reading
“Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar.” Psalm 120:5
As a Christian you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry “Woe is me.” Jesus did not pray that you should be taken out of the world, and what he did not pray for, you need not desire. Better far in the Lord’s strength to meet the difficulty, and glorify him in it. The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you, and that more is expected from you than from other men. Strive to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness be the only fault they can discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” Seek to be useful as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I were in a more favourable position I might …

Connect the Testaments

September 5: I Loved You; I Love You Now Hosea 11:1–12:14; Acts 5:1–42; Job 16:10–22 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hos 11:1). This line is beautiful if read alone, but it is sad when read in context: “When I called them, they went from my face. They sacrificed to the Baals, and they sacrificed to idols” (Hos 11:2). It’s incredible how quickly we forget God’s mercy and provision. All too soon we return to putting our desires before His. When we put things in front of God’s will—false gods and our own misguided ways (Baals and idols)—we thwart His will not only for our lives, but also for the lives of others. For each of us, God has a tremendous plan that also affects others, for His glory and for the betterment of the world. When we fail to seek His will, we neglect our faith and operate by our own agenda, setting His work aside. Our missteps can have terribly painful consequences: “The sword rages in [my people’s] cities; it consumes [their] fal…

My Utmost for His Highest

September 5th The missionary watching Watch with Me.Matthew 26:40. “Watch with Me”—with no private point of view of your own at all, but watch entirely with Me. In the early stages we do not watch with Jesus, we watch for Him. We do not watch with Him through the revelation of the Bible; in the circumstances of our lives. Our Lord is trying to introduce us to identification with Himself in a particular Gethsemane, and we will not go; we say—‘No, Lord, I cannot see the meaning of this, it is bitter.’ How can we possibly watch with Someone Who is inscrutable? How are we going to understand Jesus sufficiently to watch with Him in His Gethsemane, when we do not know even what His suffering is for? We do not know how to watch with Him; we are only used to the idea of Jesus watching with us. The disciples loved Jesus Christ to the limit of their natural capacity, but they did not understand what He was after. In the Garden of Gethsemane they slept for their own sorrow, and at the end of three y…