Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sabbath Instituted

Monday, December 29, 2008: Exodus 16:4, 19-20

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

What was God’s tests for Israel? God wished to test Israel’s faith in believing that the manna would last one day only.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008: Exodus 16:23-24
And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

How did the test change on sabbath? Yes, because Israel now had to believe that the same manna would last two days without stinking or breeding worms.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008: Exodus 16:32-34

And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

What happened to the memorial manna that was to be placed near the testimony? It NEVER stank nor bred worms. It was to show future generations that God provided Israel with food in the wilderness.

Thursday, New Years Day 2009: Exodus 31:16-17

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

What did God call the sabbath? The sabbath was a sign between God and Israel. Commandments 1-3 were to God and commandments 5-10 were to man; all nine are irrespective of time. Only the fourth commandment applied to a specific day, one day out of seven.

Friday, January 2, 2009: Psalm 16:10
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

What prophetically would NOT happen? God’s Holy One, Jesus Christ, would never be corrupted while His body lay in the tomb or ever afterwards. The Jews could not enter the tomb on the sabbath; the sabbath prevented them from corrupting the tomb.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

God Manifested

Monday, December 22, 2008: Romans 16:25–27
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
What mystery was kept secret since time began but is now shown to mankind? God, alone wise, glorified in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008: 1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
What begins the mystery of Godliness? God was manifested in the flesh.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008: 1 John 1:1–3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
How was the Word of life manifested? In the Father (unseen) and in His Son, Jesus Christ (seen)

Thursday, December 25, 2008: 1 John 4:9
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
What was shown to us when God sent His Son into the world? God’s love for us was manifested in that first Christmas day. Have a very merry Christmas!

Friday, December 26, 2008: 1 John 3:5
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
Why was God’s Son born? He was born to take away our sin.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Angels and Mankind

Monday, December 15, 2008: Luke 1:11–13
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Background: Zacharias was one of the priests performing his duties inside the Holy place of the tabernacle. No one else was allowed to be anywhere near.

Why was Zacharias afraid? Wouldn’t you be afraid if a person suddenly appeared in an area where only you were supposed to be? Furthermore, this person knew you, your wife, and told you that you would have a son and name him John!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008: Luke 1:18–20
And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

Why was Zacharias reply inappropriate? It is not too difficult to know that a woman is pregnant! Such a dumb reply deserved the punishment he received.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008: Luke 1:26–32
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

What did it mean, in those days, to be ‘a virgin betrothed to a man?’ Engagement was then considered marriage. But the man had to build his own room inside his father’s property. When it was finished, he brought his wife into their new home to consummate their marriage.

(Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

In what way was Mary’s reply correct? Mary’s faith, and not her understanding allowed her to accept this rationally impossible declaration.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008: Luke 1:38
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

What did it mean that Joseph her husband was minded to put her away secretly? Public denouncement would have ostracized her from Israel. Joseph thought highly of her and decided not to do this, but not consummate their marriage.

Friday, December 19, 2008: Matthew 1:24-25
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Was Joseph’s answer correct? Yes, he immediately followed the vision that very night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Monday, December 8, 2008: Genesis 22:18
In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
What is inclusive? God’s blessing will be on ALL nations of the Earth.
What is exclusive? Only through the seed of Abraham will this blessing come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008: Isaiah 53:5–6
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
What is inclusive? Our transgressions, iniquities, punishment, etc.
What is exclusive? Only He was bruised and wounded for what we had done, not for what He had done!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008: John 1:12–13
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
What is inclusive? As many as received and believed become the sons of God.
What is exclusive? He (Jesus Christ) must be received and believed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008: Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
What is inclusive? Whoever comes to God; whoever seeks Him.
What is exclusive? You must have faith that God is (exists).

Friday, December 12, 2008: Acts 16:30–31
And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
What is inclusive? You and your household.
What is exclusive? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Monday, December 1, 2008: Philippians 4:5
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Focus: how can we do this practically? Suggestion: pick one individual who bothers you and be gentle in dealing with that individual.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008: Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Paul separates emotions and thoughts. Focus: how can God’s peace guard both in us? Make sure you quickly pray when any kind of anxiety strikes today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008: Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Focus: why should we think about these things instead of TV shows? We carry their violence and betrayals into our workplace.

Thursday, December 4, 2008: Philippians 4:9
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Focus: what is one example of doing things you have learned? Gentleness, anxiousness, thinking good thoughts, or anything else that applies this week.

Friday, December 5, 2008: Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Focus: what is one thing you can do through Christ today? Any personal answer is fine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tabernacle / Dwell

Monday, November 24, 2008: John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
{to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent)}
What is the implication of ‘dwelt’? He set up His tent of flesh on Earth to live with mankind. Dwell = tabernacle = set up a tent.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008: John 2:19–21
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
What did the Jews fail to understand? Resurrection wasn’t conceivable then and still isn’t. But that’s exactly what the Lord was prophesying to them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008: Hebrews 9:11–12
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Why is Christ Jesus as a High Priest? After His ascension into heaven, He entered God’s the perfect tent and its inner holiest tent with His own blood as full payment for all sin!

Thursday, November 26, 2008: Happy Thanksgiving! Dwell in peace.

Friday, November 28, 2008: Revelation 21:3–4
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
How will a perfect God dwell with mankind? Those who accept the payment that Christ made on their behalf have all their sins washed away; they can and will dwell eternally with God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Walk and War

Walk and War
Monday, November 17, 2008
Ephesians 4:1–2
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

What is the difference between our walk and our war? Our walk is in humility and love towards our fellow man; our war is not against flesh (and blood) but against powers of spiritual darkness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ephesians 4:3
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

How are our actions different in our walk and war? Our walk amidst other believers is to keep the Unity of the Spirit using the chords of peace to tie us together. Our Spiritual war (as a leaders) is to go on the offensive against the defense fortifications built by the Prince of wickedness in the minds of unbelievers among whom we live.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Ephesians 4:4
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
2 Corinthians 10:5a
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,

How is our thinking different in our walk and war? The Body of Christ is one, the sustaining Holy Spirit is one, the hope of resurrection by which we have become believers is also one. On the side of the war, there are two sides: and the enemy is always exalting human knowledge and thoughts against belief in God and the knowledge of God Himself.

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Ephesians 4:5
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
2 Corinthians 10:5b
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

How is our belief different in our walk and war? We have one Master, our example who brings us under one body of faith through one baptism that is a witness to other believers that we are of Christ. In our warfare, we take prisoners: thoughts that lead astray are to be regulated and subjugated under Christ.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Ephesians 4:5
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
2 Corinthians 10:6
and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

How is our strength different in our walk and war? God is our sustainer and strength in the daily walk; punishment is reserved for those defeated in war.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Monday, November 10, 2008: Hebrews 3:6
But Christ was faithful as a Son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
Does this mean we need to do something to assure our being part of the house of God? No, it is a question of confidence and faith, NOT actions and deeds like good works.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008: Hebrews 3:14

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end
What does beginning and end refer to? Your life as a believer in Christ: it is our confidence in Him and NOT in our own works.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008: Hebrews 3:18-19
And to whom did He swear that they should not enter into His rest, but to those who did not believe? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Background: This refers to the journey of Israel from Egypt to the promised land.
How many believed that God, not their own accomplishments, would get them into the promised land? Aside from Moses, only two: Caleb and Joshua! The rest did not believe in spite of the unmistakable signs and plagues.

Thursday, November 13, 2008: 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and in which you stand; by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
Does your eternal safety depend on what you do? No, it depends on being faithful to the words of the gospel preached to you.

Friday, November 14, 2008: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures
Is this the Gospel? Yes, this is probably the earliest expression of the gospel as a brief statement. Continued belief in this is what commends us to God, never the things we do.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Looking Out

Monday, November 3, 2008: 1 Corinthians 10:24
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Who is the other your should look out for? This applies to other Christians in general. More specifically, to those in your Christian group or Church. Even more appropriately, those who irritate you to no end!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008: 1 Corinthians 13:4–5
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Is this a reciprocal thought? It could be, but it doesn’t start out that way. It’s a one-way street to begin with , and might never change. But keep on loving- it’s God’s way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008: 1 Corinthians 14:12
Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
What is the normal reason to look for spiritual gifts? We tend to look for self-glorification, even in seeking after spiritual gifts: we are to look to build others up.

Thursday, November 6, 2008: Colossians 3:1–2
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Isn’t it normal for a believer to look for heavenly things? Yes, as far as good intentions go. But other things common in everyday life get in the way.

Friday, November 7, 2008: 1 Peter 5:8–9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Is this the battle’s frontline? There are two others: the world, the flesh and then the devil.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Armor of Light

Monday, October 27, 2008: Romans 13:11–14
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

How do we cast off or put on these things? Casting off is by confession before God in prayer; putting on is by reading God’s word.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: Romans 6:12–14
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

What do the words reign and dominion have to do with sin? When you are in Christ, sin has lost its grip: you have the weapons to break free instead of living under dominion of sin.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 2 Corinthians 6:4–7
But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left

What is the implication of Paul putting on armor on his hands? Paul’s strong and weak actions are for God’s kingdom.

Thursday, October 30, 2008: 2 Corinthians 10:3–5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

What is the battleground in the Christian’s life? The battleground is the thoughts of our mind!

Friday, October 31, 2008: Ephesians 6:14–17
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

What weapon allows to fight, and not merely stand? Without doubt, that weapon is knowledge of how the Bible, the Word of God, can be used daily.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taken in the Act

Taken In The Act
Monday, October 20, 2008: John 8:3–4
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.

Background: Jesus Christ spent the night on the Mount of Olives while those He taught went back home. Jesus Christ returned to the temple and so did the people. He taught them there.
The Scribes and the Pharisees did not like this, and the incident we look at this week followed.

Where was the man who was with her? They let him go but they laid hold of the woman. This shows the intentions of the leaders towards Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008: John 8:5–6
Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

What is unique about these verses? This (and the verses that follow) is the only record of Jesus Christ writing something. He wrote with His finger, reminiscent of the Law, written by the Finger of God, and the judgment against the King in the book of Daniel where a hand without a writing utensil wrote. Note that Jesus Christ stooped down. John the Baptist said that the One who came after himself was so great that he was not fit to even do the menial task of stooping down and untying his shoes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008: John 8:7–8
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

What is unique about these verses? He stood up and spoke with authority. He was the only one present that day without sin! The woman was silent, not screaming, nor protesting her innocence. Was she praying in her heart to God for forgiveness? Was Jesus Christ listening to the agony without words? Did He hear her confess, as she perceived this to be her last moment on earth? Did He write off her sin to His account? Did He write her name in the Lamb’s book of life? I think so.

Thursday, October 23, 2008: John 8:9–10
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

What is unique about these verses? Only Jesus Christ was left with the woman. None could bear their conscience. The oldest scribes and Pharisees left first, their trap diffused and their purposes defeated. Jesus Christ rose and spoke to the repentant woman, asking her a question.

Friday, October 24, 2008: John 8:11
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

What is unique about this verse? The woman acknowledged His not as Rabbi, but Lord. Graciously, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, tells her there is no condemnation from Him.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Laying hold of, attaining, or perceiving things.

Monday, October 13, 2008: Philippians 3:12–14
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Background: Paul is speaking about his new life in Christ, whom he previously persecuted.

What is the connection between the red words? They mean the same thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008: Romans 9:30–32
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

What is still the stumbling stone still being set by many preachers? Following the law instead of pleasing God by faith.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Acts 4:13–14
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

Background: Peter and John were before the Sanhedrin because they healed the lame man and preached resurrection.

What was the big surprise to the learned Jews? Uneducated fishermen were speaking about spiritual truth with authority.

Thursday, October 16, 2008: John 12:35–36
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

What is the difference, according to Jesus Christ, between the sons of light and those who let darkness overtake them? The former attain the status by belief, not action: the latter by action, not belief.

Friday, October 17, 2008: 1 Thessalonians 5:2–4
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief

Background Founded by Paul in his second missionary journey in A D 51, the young Church was standing up well under heavy persecution from the Jews. Paul encourages them with the message of the rapture in every chapter. This passage is widely read.

Is Paul’s admonition good today? Yes, we get so involved in the world, we do not see the end coming.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Monday, October 6, 2008: Haggai 1:6-7
“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!

Background: The Jewish exiles in Babylon had returned, started building the Temple, and had stopped. Haggai’s and Zechariah’s prophecies restarted them.

Why were the Jews unable to prosper? God asked them to examine themselves and see their neglect of God. Their wages were spent as if their purses had holes. Isn’t this reminiscent of today’s conditions?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008: 1 Samuel 2:5
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
And the hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.

Background: the time of the Judges ended in failure: everyone did what was right in his own sight. God brings in the prophet, the anointer of Kings, into history as the son Hanna (Samuel’s mother) prays for and receives.

What is the symbolic message in the parallel couplet of verses? Those who are unmindful of God’s purposes in their lives and dependent on self-accomplishment have to learn through difficult circumstances (which turn things around) that God is the blesser and from him material blessings flow.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008: Zechariah 8:10
For before these days
There were no wages for man nor any hire for beast;
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in;
For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.
But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.

Background: same as Haggai.

What lies behind a time of trouble? God’s hand is present. We often depend on our own strength and resourcefulness only to find it lacking in such times.

Thursday, October 9 2008: Romans 4:2–8
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

Background: Paul writes about attitude that our work or good deeds are sufficient in God’s sight. He uses two prominent men of the Bible to demonstrate faith and forgiveness of sins.

Do good works set you right before God? No. If they did, then you could earn God’s favor. But even the patriarchs believed God and had their sins forgiven to the point that they were right before God.

Friday, October 10, 2008: Romans 6:22–23
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How are wages different from a gift? The former is earned the latter given free for the taking.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Human and Divine Forgiveness

Monday, September 29, 2008: Matthew 9:2
Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.

What did Jesus Christ consider as the healing of greater importance? Spiritual forgiveness: then physical healing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008: Matthew 9:6–7
But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.

Did this action take faith on the part of the paralytic? Yes, he had to believe he could sit up and have the strength to pick up his bed and walk home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008: Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Why could the Lord Jesus forgive sins? His blood was shed not for Himself but for us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008: 1 John 2:12
I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

What is in the name, Jesus Christ, that forgives sin? Using the name Jesus Christ is placing our faith on the only one who has authority (power) to forgive sins.

Friday, October 3, 2008: 2 Corinthians 2:7–8
so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him

How is human forgiveness different from divine forgiveness? Divine forgiveness demands a just penalty, paid by Jesus Christ; human forgiveness requires one to overlook injustice in spite of the cost.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Monday, September 22, 2008: Romans 8:28–29
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

What are the ‘things’ that work together for good? Circumstances, material possessions, and people are all in God’s plan.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008: 1 Corinthians 3:12–15
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

What is THE DAY? Judgment day!
What is the condition for salvation? The condition is that you build on One foundation: Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008: Galatians 6:3–4
For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

What examination must our work pass? Answer: is it for self-glory or for God?

Thursday, September 25, 2008: Philippians 1:3–6
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Who should be at work in your life? It should be God but it often is us.

Friday, September 26, 2008: 2 Thessalonians 2:7–8
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Who is the restrainer? The Holy Spirit in us.
When will He be taken out of the way? When the believers are raptured away.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Misconceptions in Revlation

Monday, September 15, 2008: Revelation 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

What is the mystery? The seven stars and seven lampstands are symbols.
What is the revelation? Stars are Angels (of each Church); lampstands are Churches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008: Revelation 2:1a, 8a, 12a, 18a
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

To whom was John told to write? John was to write to the Angels or Stars.
To whom was John NOT told to write? John was NOT told to write to the Churches or Candlesticks. Many preachers, pastors and priests confuse the two and read the passages as letters to Churches when the Bible says seven times they are not.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008: Revelation 3:1a, 7a, 14a
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
Revelation 1:11a
saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:

What was John told to do? The letters he was to write were not to be mailed to separate places; they were to be put in a book, Revelation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008: Revelation 2:7a, 11a, 17a, 29a
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Are these sections a letter, a text message or a voicemail? I believe this is closest to a text message. The ear is spiritual ear and the hearing spiritual hearing: it refers to those who read the book of Revelation.

Friday, September 19, 2008: Revelation 3:6, 13, 22
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

Who speaks in these sections? The Holy Spirit speaks (through Christ)
To whom does He speak? To all seven Churches, NOT to a single Church.
To whom is the message? To anyone who reads Revelation.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Worship Service

Λατρεύω, latreuō
1) to serve for hire
2) to serve, minister to, either to the gods or men and used alike of slaves and freemen
i) in the NT, to render religious service or homage, to worship
ii) to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship
(1) of priests, to officiate, to discharge the sacred office
Verb: from latris (a hired menial) adapted from Thayer's Greek Definitions.

Monday, September 8, 2008: Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

What is our circumcision? We have cut off, or have no confidence in the flesh, but worship God in the Spirit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008: Hebrews 9:13–14
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

How are dead works different from living works? Dead works go only as far as remembering that you have sinned before God and have to sacrifice to ‘cover’ the sins every year. Living works start from a clean conscience cleaned by the blood of Christ and proceed to serving not self but God.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008: 2 Timothy 1:3
I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

What is one of Paul’s service before God? Paul served by remembering fellow believers in prayers daily.

Thursday, September 11, 2008: Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

What service is acceptable to God? The Savior said it all: “not My will but Yours be done.”

Friday, September 12, 2008: Hebrews 10:1–2
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

What is the difference between a shadow and an image of hope? A shadow reveals a dark silhouette or outline: an image has details, but in fewer dimensions than reality. Part of our worship is remembering what sacrifice gave us hope of eternal life.

Monday, September 1, 2008


ICQ (pronounced: I Seek You)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008: Matthew 6:31–33
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Background: this is part of the ‘Sermon On The Mount.’

Is there an element of childlike faith in seeking after God’s kingdom first? Jesus Christ calls Him our Heavenly Father who is aware of our physical needs. The implication is that our eternal spiritual needs far outweigh what the world brings to our attention as important.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008: Luke 19:9–10
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Background: this is the end result of the change that took place in the life of Zacchaeus, a disliked tax collector.

What is the prerequisite to salvation? A realization that one is lost: if you think you know where you are and know the way, you cannot be saved.

Thursday, September 4, 2008: Luke 24:5
Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Background: In spite of all that Jesus Christ had told His disciples, the human mind cannot conceive life after death, especially after crucifixion.

What was the effect of the question? It forced the disciples to realize that Jesus Christ was not dead but alive.

Friday, September 5, 2008: Hebrews 13:13–14
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

How can we seek for something that we know is not here? If we continue to look at life in the same manner as we did before we knew God and His salvation, we have missed the point about eternal life and its everlasting reward in pleasing God.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Choosing To Repent

Monday, August 25, 2008: Matthew 3:1–2
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

What does ‘repent’ mean? It is you choosing to recognize your sin before God and realize of its cost to God- His own Son. This is the great turning point – of your own free will!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008: Mark 1:4
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

What was the significance of baptism? It was a visible sign that, after you choose to repent, your life was begun anew.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008: Mark 1:14–15
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

What did Jesus Christ preach about repentance? The mind-changing choice of repentance was followed by believing the good news of God’s kingdom.

Thursday, August 28, 2008: Mark 6:7,12
And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
So they went out and preached that people should repent.

What were the apostles (twelve) asked to do? They went out and preached repentance with power given by Jesus Christ Himself.

Friday, August 29, 2008: Luke 15:10
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

What did the Lord Jesus Christ say about a repentant sinner? There is joy in the presence of the angels - not that the angels were joyful, but that God Himself was!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Peter's Second Letter

Monday, August 18, 2008: 2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Background: Peter is writing this last letter just before his execution in A. D. 65-68 because of error that is creeping into the churches in what is now Turkey.
Who does Peter say he is? Peter calls himself a slave and an eyewitness-messenger of Jesus Christ.
Who is he specifically writing to? He writes to other believers who acquire faith as a result of the perfect rightness of God and our savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008: 2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

Is this A x B where A = grace and B = peace? No, both grace and peace continue to increase in our lives proportionate to the increase of our knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008: 2 Peter 1:3
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

Are the faithful already given ALL things? Yes, but linked to a new life and living that is centered on God and His plan for your life.

Thursday, August 21, 2008: 2 Peter 1:4
by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What does our knowledge of Him give the faithful? It gives us promises which are so great and valuable that they make us take part of God’s own nature, escaping lust’s worldly corrosion.

Friday, August 22, 2008: 2 Peter 1:5
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

What are we to diligently add? Faith + virtue + knowledge.
But isn't this already there in the previous verses? Yes, but each quality or qualification has many levels to which the circumstances brought into your life by God allow you to grow in stature.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It Is A Must...

δει; dei: It is a Must.

Prelude: certain phrases in Greek loose some of their force in translation. One such example is ‘It is a MUST,’ an imperative statement.

Monday, August 11, 2008: Matthew 16:21
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Background: This passage lies between Jesus Christ calling Peter blessed (because His Father had revealed to him that Jesus was the Son of God) and calling him (get behind me,) Satan!
Why was ‘must’ used about going to Jerusalem instead of ‘would?’ This was the main purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming into the world.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008: John 3:7
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Background: Nicodemus came to meet Jesus Christ at night.
Did Nicodemus ask a question that Jesus answered thus? No. But the subject was in his heart, which Jesus Christ knew.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008: Acts 4:11–12
This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Background: After Pentecost, Peter healed the beggar born blind. He was brought before the Sanhedrin (Jewish leadership) who still rejected the Gospel. This was Peter’s uncompromising statement.
Does salvation depend on a verb like being good? No, being saved depends upon a Name: Jesus Christ, and on nothing else.

Thursday, August 14, 2008: John 4:23–24
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Background: This took place at a well in Samaria when the woman who was an adulteress sought to change the subject. She did so by invoking a controversy: where do people go to worship God?
Where do people go to worship God? In Spirit and in Truth. Jesus Christ called Himself: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. A worshiper must exalt the Name Jesus Christ before God.

Friday, August 15, 2008: 2 Corinthians 5:9–10
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Background: there is a judgment for all believers called the BEMA, or Judgment Seat of Christ. We all must stand before it.
Is the judgment going to be about good or bad? No, but about weather we were pleasing to Him or not. We, however will receive according to the good or bad we have done, that is reward or no reward (not punishment.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Three Indespensables

Mark Hartley, S.C., spoke of three indispensables for those who simply read the Bible and take it for what it is. Here is my look at the three…

Monday, August 4, 2008: Exodus 24:8
And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

Background: Israel is on their journey to the Promised Land. They have received the Ten Commandments and have built the Tabernacle (Tent) where God would meet Moses. This Holy place was consecrated by blood of sacrifice.
Did the blood forgive or clear sins? No. It was to separate the Tent for holy use. Sins were atoned for, or covered over, till the perfect sacrifice.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008: Luke 22:19–20
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Background: At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ tells His disciples to remember Him in taking bread and wine.
What were the similarity and difference between the old and the new covenant? Both required blood; the first of bulls and goats, the second of a sinless man.
Blood is the first indispensable.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008: Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Background: Hebrews 11 is the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’
What is pleasing to God? His son pleased Him. Our faith in His Son pleases Him.

Thursday, August 7, 2008: Galatians 2:16
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

What cannot please God? Our attempts at following the Law. Only our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, makes us just in His sight.
Faith is the second indispensable.

Friday, August 8, 2008: Hebrews 12:14
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

What is the third indispensable? Pursue holiness: the emulation of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Disciples and Apostles

Disciples and Apostles
I regret the delay: my DSL service was interrupted. Dan.

Monday, July 28, 2008: Matthew 4:17–20
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Background: this is the start of Jesus Christ’s ministry.
Did Peter and Andrew’s call make them Jesus Christ’s disciples? No. To become His disciples they had to first leave all and follow Him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008: Matthew 10:1–2a
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:

Background: this is the early part of Jesus Christ’s ministry.
Were the disciples of Jesus Christ also Apostles? No, but the 12 Apostles were all disciples.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008: Luke 6:12–16
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

How did the disciples of Jesus Christ become Apostles? Jesus Christ called His disciples to Him after a night of prayer, choose 12 and named them Apostles.

Thursday, July 31, 2008: Luke 24:46–48
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.

Background: this is Jesus Christ after resurrection but just before ascension.
What were the apostles to be (eye) witnesses to? Christ suffered and rose from the dead. A sinner’s repentance leads to remission of sins in the Name: Jesus Christ.

Friday, August 1, 2008: Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

Were the original twelve the first Apostles? No, Jesus Christ was THE APOSTLE sent from and by God.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good Samiratan, Ugly Lawyer?

Monday, July 21, 2008: Luke 10:25
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Background: the parable of the Good Samaritan (and the Jerusalem ministry of Jesus Christ) is only in Luke’s Gospel.
What was strange about the lawyer’s question? The lawyer had to be challenging what Jesus Christ had said. The lawyer’s error was in the expectation that he himself could do something to ‘earn’ eternal life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008: Luke 10:26–28
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.

Can anyone obey the commandments? None but the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He had eternal life as a consequence.
Why, then, did Jesus Christ have to die? A man perfect in God’s sight was the only sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin for mankind.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008: Luke 10:29–32
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

Why did the priest and the Levite (the family from which priests were chosen) pass by?
If they touched blood, they would become unclean themselves. This parallels “I’m late for work!”

Thursday, July 24, 2008: Luke 10:33–35
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

Who is a Samaritan? A person regarded as inferior to Jews and not to be associated with.

Friday, July 25, 2008: Luke 10:36–37
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.

What was the effect of the question at the end of the parable? Jesus Christ gently lead the lawyer to answer his own question.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A More Excellent Way to Love

Monday, July 14, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 13:1–3
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Background: Paul’s (AD 55) answer to the Corinthian Church about the most important spiritual gift ends with an intriguing ‘more excellent way.’
How does ‘have not love,’ render the use of your spiritual gift? Not having love makes you (or your gift) noise, nobody, and profitless.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 13:4–7
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

How does having love change your use of spiritual gifts? Your spiritual gifts become God’s Body-building way, molding you and your interaction with others into a reflection of Christ.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 13:8–10
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

How is love different from spiritual gifts? God is love: love is perfection. Spiritual gifts are limited and fleeting; they evaporate into our future perfection.

Thursday, July 17, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 13:11–12
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

How is the way of love analogous to growth? Putting on love is the evidence of God’s actions in your spiritual growth. This is growth of hope in the knowledge of eternity.

Friday, July 18, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 13:13
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How is love the greatest? Faith is based on Christ’s finished work of love; hope is built on His resurrection from the dead. Both are only needed till we see Him.
Love for us is why He did this: shouldn’t we love Him in return?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Church = Body?

Monday, July 7, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:14–16
For in fact the body is not one member but many.
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

Background: Paul, in Ephesus, replies to questions from the Corinthian Church in AD 55 during his 3rd missionary journey. (He had established the Corinthian Church in AD 52 during his 2nd journey) The question about which Spiritual Gift is most important is addressed in Chapter 12. After giving a list, Paul uses the metaphor of a body to explain the Church using its gifts. Just like a body exists for a short time and dies, the Church meets as a body occasionally. (Twice on Sundays and once during the week, perhaps.)

Can a member disqualify himself from the body? Using any excuse for not attending a meeting of the Church is like a hand detaching itself from the Body.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:17–19
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

Can you choose which member you are in the Church? No, God decides according to His pleasure: you are to recognize your gift and use it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:20–22
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.

Will your Church be better off without one nasty member? This is like the mouth rejecting the stomach because it hurts! No, all the members are needed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:23–25
And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

We cover parts of our body and not others: what is the Church in analogy? We treat new members with care, not burdening them with strong spiritual food.

Friday, July 11, 2008: 1 Corinthians 12:26–27
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Is this a reference to the local Church you attend? Yes, you feel for a member who is going through difficulties. But you are not aware of problems in a Church down the street. In extension, you cannot stay home: you must become a member of a Church.

Conclusion: the chapter ends with Paul showing a better way! This is LOVE, the subject of Chapter 13, which will be for next week.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Out of Pawn

Monday, June 30, 2008: Galatians 3:11–14

But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Background: The letter to the Galatians was to explain that we are not bound to live the Law, but to live by faith.
What is the CURSE of the law? We were under its penalty. Christ has paid the price for us. We don’t have to pay the penalty and have the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008: Galatians 4:1–7

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

What is the problem of being under the LAW? We have the presence of the Law above us. Christ has removed the presence of the Law from us. No longer slaves, we are sons of God. Ours is now the Law of Love!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008: Ephesians 5:15–20

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:5–6

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one

What does redeeming the time mean? We spend our time earning money; with this we buy things. If we need money in an emergency, we pawn our possessions and buy them back when we can. Redeeming time is a metaphor: if we are wise, we make use of time by doing what God wants us to do. The opposite of this is getting so deep in debt that we take a second job just to meet payments, but have no life left.

Thursday, July 3, 2008: Isaiah 52:3

For thus says the Lord: “You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money.”

Hosea 13:14

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.”

What does redeemed w/o money mean? The price paid by Jesus Christ for our sins was His death on the cross. His being raised from the dead implies that we are no longer under the penalty of death.

Friday, July 4, 2008: 1 Corinthians 15:51–57

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is this mystery? Not all believers in Jesus Christ will suffer death. At the last trumpet, we shall put on incorruptibility and immortality!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hnshackled Automatically!

Monday, June 23, 2008: Acts 12:3–5
And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

Background: The Lord has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. He has left His apostles the Great Commission of spreading the gospel. The Jews still reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. Herod probably wanted to finance a project and needed favor with the Jewish leadership. He had arrested James, the brother of John and put him to death. Seeing that it pleased the Jews, he now he arrests Peter.

What was the restriction imposed on Peter? Peter was under arrest and given to four squads of soldiers to guard personally around the clock in prison.
What was the conspiracy to release Peter planning? The believers in the early Church prayed constantly to God for Peter’s release.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008: Acts 12:6–8
And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”

What was Peter’s condition that night? He was asleep, chained to two soldiers, with prison guards at the doors of the cell.
What miraculous events took place? An angel stood by peter, a light (invisible to others) shone, and his chains fell off.
In spite of these miracles, what was Peter to do? He was told to get dressed and follow the angel. He did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008: Acts 12:9–10
So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

Did the prison have an automatic iron gate as main door? At that moment, yes, it did. The words ‘of its own accord,’ is automatic, an original Greek word!

Thursday, June 26, 2008: Mark 4:13–14, 26–29
And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word.
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Background: The Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His people, the Jews in parables about the Kingdom of God. It was a spiritual Kingdom and a parable was a heavenly story with an earthly meaning; an analogy to understand spiritual things with earthly examples. The seed is the Word of God, the Bible.

How does a seed become a plant? Automatically! The words ‘by itself,’ is automatic, an original Greek word!

Friday, June 27, 2008: Daniel 4:35–37
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Background: Daniel foretells the pride of the King and its consequences. The warning is forgotten. After spending seven years in a brutish fashion, the King recognizes God as sovereign. Recognizing Gods heavenly kingdom, the King repents of his pride and receives his understanding back.

Why should we pray instead of fighting our battles? Because only the hand of God cannot be restrained.