A word..!

A word for you!

Day 47

Easter Sunday – Resurrection Sunday

And he says to them, “Do not be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, the One having been crucified. He is risen! He is not here! Behold the place where they laid Him. (Mark 16: 6. BLB)

In Short

He is risen; He is not here.’ The first preacher of the Resurrection was an angel, a true ev-angel-ist. His message is conveyed in these brief sentences, unconnected with each other, in token, not of abruptness and haste, but of solemnity. ‘He is risen’ is one word in the original-a sentence of one word, which announces the mightiest miracle that ever was wrought upon earth, a miracle which opens the door wide enough for all supernatural events recorded of Jesus Christ to find an entrance to the understanding and the reason. ‘He is risen.’ The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is declared by angel lips to be His own act; not, indeed, as if He were acting separately from the Father, but still less as if in it He were merely passive. Think of that; a dead Christ raised Himself. That is the teaching of the Scripture. (MacLaren Expositions Of Holy Scripture. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/maclaren/mark/16.htm.)

 A word for you

Христос воскрес! The Lord is risen!

Psalm 103

Bless the LORD, O My Soul

Of David.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;

all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and do not forget all His kind deeds—

3He who forgives all your iniquities,

and heals all your diseases,

4who redeems your life from the Pit

and crowns you with loving devotion and compassion,

5who satisfies you with good things,

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6The LORD executes righteousness

and justice for all the oppressed.

7He made known His ways to Moses,

His deeds to the people of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion.

9He will not always accuse us,

nor harbor His anger forever.

10He has not dealt with us according to our sins

or repaid us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him.

12As far as the east is from the west,

so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13As a father has compassion on his children,

so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

14For He knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are dust.

15As for man, his days are like grass—

he blooms like a flower of the field;

16when the wind passes over, it vanishes,

and its place remembers it no more.

17But from everlasting to everlasting

the loving devotion of the LORD extends to those who fear Him,

and His righteousness to their children’s children—

18to those who keep His covenant

and remember to obey His precepts.

19The LORD has established His throne in heaven,

and His kingdom rules over all.

20Bless the LORD, all His angels mighty in strength,

who do His word,

who hearken to the voice of His command.

21Bless the LORD, all His hosts,

you servants who do His will.

22Bless the LORD, all His works

in all places of His dominion.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 46

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil.

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. (Luke 23: 50-54. NIV).

In Short

23:50-56 Many, though they do not make any show in outward profession, yet, like Joseph of Arimathea, will be far more ready to do real service, when there is occasion, than others who make a greater noise. Christ was buried in haste, because the Sabbath drew on. Weeping must not hinder sowing. Though they were in tears for the death of their Lord, yet they must prepare to keep holy the Sabbath. When the Sabbath draws on, there must be preparation. Our worldly affairs must be so ordered, that they may not hinder us from our Sabbath work; and our holy affections so stirred up, that they may carry us on in it. In whatever business we engage, or however our hearts may be affected, let us never fail to get ready for, and to keep holy, the day of sacred rest, which is the Lord’s day.. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/luke/23.htm)

 A word for you

The body of Jesus is in a tomb. The entrance closed by a huge stone. Roman soldiers guard the tomb. Jesus is dead and laid to rest before the Sabbath hour arrives. It is Saturday and everything is quiet around the burial site. Heaven and earth are in turmoil for in the spiritual realm it is not quiet. Human eye and ears cannot perceive what is happening “in the air”. Heaven is in preparation for the resurrection. Jesus’ followers may be in utter despair, yet heaven knows that the next revelation is but hours away. God is in control, as always! Do not despair for God is alive and in control!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 45

Good Friday

46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” e When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23: 46. NIV)

In Short

23:44-49 We have here the death of Christ magnified by the wonders that attended it, and his death explained by the words with which he breathed out his soul. He was willing to offer himself. Let us seek to glorify God by true repentance and conversion; by protesting against those who crucify the Saviour; by a sober, righteous, and godly life; and by employing our talents in the service of Him who died for us and rose again. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/luke/23.htm).

 A word for you

The moment of Jesus’ death on the cross was the deathblow to Satan and all his cohorts. Victory is final and forever and He was willing to sacrifice Himself to bring the much-awaited salvation to save mankind from their sin. All honour and glory belongs to Jesus the everlasting King, the Son of God.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you

Day 44

Thursday in the holy Week

31Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33“Lord,” said Peter, “I am ready to go with You even to prison and to death.”

34But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

 (Luke 22:31-34. NIV)

In Short

It was blameworthy, but only too natural, that, while Christ’s heart was full of His approaching sufferings, the Apostles should be squabbling about their respective dignity. They thought that the half-understood predictions pointed to a brief struggle immediately preceding the establishment of the kingdom, and they wished to have their rank settled in advance. Possibly, too, they had been disputing as to whose office was the menial task of presenting the basin for foot-washing. So little did the first partakers of the Lord’s Supper ‘discern the Lord’s body,’ and so little did His most loving friends share His sorrows. (MacLaren Expositions Of Holy Scripture.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/maclaren/luke/22.htm).

 A word for you

We are in the same danger, to do the same and not discern Christ’s body in the act of salvation. The cross might be to us just a symbol of God’s love and we may skim over it losing sight of its immense meaning and power to wrought repentance in our foul human existence. We should remember it today and the days ahead as we rest our eyes on the cross; unless we are prepared to become nothing we will not receive anything. Unless we are willing to become a nobody we will not become a somebody in Christ. We, as did Paul, should resolve to know Christ and Him crucified. Then we will discern Him for the rest of our lives.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 43

Wednesday in the holy Week

31Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33“Lord,” said Peter, “I am ready to go with You even to prison and to death.”

34But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

 (Luke 22:31-34. NIV)

In Short

(31) And the Lord said, Simon, Simon.—The first three Gospels agree in placing the warning to Peter after the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The two-fold utterance of the name, as in the case of Martha (Luke 10:41), is significant of the emphasis of sadness.

Satan hath desired to have you.—Both this verb, and the “I have prayed,” are in the Greek tense which indicates an act thought of as belonging entirely to the past. The Lord speaks as though He had taken part in some scene like that in the opening of Job (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6), or that which had come in vision before the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 3:1-5), and had prevailed by His intercession against the Tempter and Accuser.

That he may sift you as wheat.—The word and the figure are peculiar to St. Luke’s record. The main idea is, however, the same as that of the winnowing fan in Matthew 3:12; the word for “sift” implying a like process working on a smaller scale. The word for “you” is plural. The fiery trial by which the wheat was to be separated from the chaff was to embrace the whole company of the disciples as a body. There is a latent encouragement in the very word chosen. They were “to be sifted as wheat.” The good grain was there. They were not altogether as the chaff. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ellicott/luke/22.htm).

 A word for you

Satan was so sure of his victory. But Christ has prayed. There will be no victory for Satan after all. The prayer of Christ is sufficient even to this day and beyond! Just read John 17 as well. This is the absolute difference between salvation and damnation – a praying Christ. If I fail in this life because of whatever reason I dare remember, Christ has prayed for me. This gives hope and set my eyes on the salvation wrought at Calvary. In Him and because He prayed I am able to turn back from failure and raise my voice to glorify Him in thankfulness!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 42

Tuesday in the holy Week

17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

 (Luke 22:17-19. NIV)

In Short

This do in remembrance of me; that is, eat this bread in remembrance of my love to you, and in commemoration of my body being offered up for you. Observe this ordinance in the manner I now institute it, in time to come, in memory of what I am about to do for you; for this direction does not only regard the present time and action, but is intended as a rule to be observed by the churches of Christ in all ages, to his second coming: and it is to be observed, that the Lord’s supper is not a reiteration, but a commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ. This phrase is only mentioned by Luke here, and by the Apostle Paul, who adds it also at the drinking of the cup, 1 Corinthians 11:24. The Persic version here reads, “do this perpetually in remembrance of me”. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/luke/22.htm).

 A word for you

The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is to be remembered. Perpetually, continuously and ever so till Christ comes again. By remembering Christ’s sacrifice by participating in the symbols given, we will never forget God’s love towards us. Surely there is no greater love! God’s love will not go unanswered. It confronts us anew in this time, Easter 2019. And you and I have to respond. Truly Heaven anticipates every one’s response.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 41

Monday in the holy Week

23But Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (John 12:23. NIV)

In Short

The hour is come – The time is come. The word “hour” commonly means a definite part or a division of a day; but it also is used to denote a brief period, and a fixed, definite, determined time. It is used in this sense here. The appointed, fixed time is come – that is, is so near at hand that it may be said to be come.

The Son of man – This is the favorite title, which Jesus gives to himself, denoting his union with man, and the interest he felt in his welfare. The title is used here rather than “The Son of God,” because as a man he had been humble, poor, and despised; but the time had come when, as a man, he was to receive the appropriate honors of the Messiah.

Be glorified – Be honored in an appropriate way – that is, by the testimony, which God would give to him at his death, by his resurrection, and by his ascension to glory. See John 7:39.

A word for you

The time has come! It was five days before the Passover. Our Lord and Saviour acknowledges that everything is set and the final moments to work the long awaited victory over darkness is set in motion. From this moment heaven and earth will go through an emotional whirlwind as the phenomenon unfolds to its marvelous victory on resurrection Sunday. The cross in all its humiliating clarity will effectively become the glorifying symbol of Christ’s victory. Therefore, in our lives there will also be no victory over sin apart from the cross!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 40

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19: 41. NIV)

In Short

Those who of old blotted out this sentence, as thinking that weeping was not becoming Christ’s perfection, seem to have forgotten that he was perfect man, and a sharer in all the natural infirmities of human nature (if weeping upon the prospect of human miseries deserveth no better name than an infirmity, being an indication of love and compassion). Those who think that it was idle for him to weep for that which he might easily have helped, seem to oblige God to give out of his grace, whether men do what he hath commanded them, and is in their power to do, yea or no. Christ wept over Jerusalem as a man, having compassion for these poor Jews, with respect to the miseries he saw coming upon them; as a minister of the gospel, pitying the people to whom he was primarily sent. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/luke/19.htm).

A word for you

Almighty and ever living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(http://lectionarypage.net/YearC_RCL/HolyDays/CPalmSun_RCL.html).

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 39

Saturday in the Fifth Week of Lent

2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. (John 7: 47-49. ESV)

In Short

8:1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner’s guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate’s office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ’s favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.

 (Matthew Henry’s Commentary Notes.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/john/7.htm)

A word for you

With what attitude do we approach Jesus? It is no small question. Jesus came to the temple and people followed. He taught them about the Truth. And most benefited from His teaching but some did not. They had their own agenda driven by their own intrinsic attitude. It was not about Him but about themselves. We can learn from this for ourselves. When we approach Jesus, for whatever need or reason, He must be first and foremost in our approach and from that attitude will flow everything that will satisfy our needs.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 38

Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent

47“You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48“Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” (John 7: 47-49. ESV)

In Short

Are ye also deceived? – They set down the claims of Jesus as of course an imposture. They did not examine, but were, like thousands, determined to believe that he was a deceiver. Hence, they did not ask them whether they were convinced, or had seen evidence that he was the Messiah; but, with mingled contempt, envy, and anger, they asked if they were also deluded. Thus many assume religion to be an imposture; and when one becomes a Christian, they assume at once that he is deceived, that he is the victim of foolish credulity or superstition, and treat him with ridicule or scorn. Candor would require them to inquire whether such changes were not proof of the power and truth of the gospel, as candor in the case of the rulers required them to inquire whether Jesus had not given them evidence that he was from God.

(Barnes’ Notes. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/john/7.htm)

A word for you

Jesus does not deceive! The wise people of this world would want people believe so – the liberals and atheists! But no, He does not deceive. Love does not deceive but cares and wants the best for those who come to Him. His message of love is a message of salvation and reconciliation. It is a message of being set free from the powers of darkness. Indeed there is no deception at all. But the truth may be offensive to some and they would not receive the Christ. They would rather shout, “Deception!” But to those who believe He is everything.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 37

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent

“Never has anyone spoken like this man!” the officers answered. (John 7: 46. ESV)

In Short

46 – Never man spake like this man.— Some of the oldest MSS., including the Vatican, have a shorter text, “Never man spake thus”; but the longer reading is to be preferred. The very officers acknowledged His power, and tell the professed teachers, whose opinions and words were the rule of all Jewish life, that never man spake as He whom they sought to take! It is probable that in the section immediately preceding (John 7:32-34), St. John gives us only a résumé of what Jesus had said, and that words which have not come down to us were among those which produced so profound an impression on the officers.

(Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ellicott/john/7.htm)

A word for you

One cannot miss the marvelous truth of this statement. One feels to shout, “Of course nobody can speak as Jesus spoke! He is after all the Christ!” Oh, to hear His voice speaking to one’s heart is above anything the human ear can hear. The Bible encourages us to seek Him and find Him and hear His voice calling us to simply, “Follow me”. Have you heard His call yet?

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 36

Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

41Others said, “He is the Christ.”

 (John 7: 41. ESV)

In Short

Others said, this is the Christ,…. The true Messiah, which they concluded, not only from the miracles, John 7:31, but from his speaking of rivers of living water flowing from him that believes in him; for the same prophecy that speaks of miracles to be performed in the times of the Messiah, speaks also of waters breaking out in the wilderness, and streams in the desert, of the parched ground becoming a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water, Isaiah 35:5. (Gill’s Exposition.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/john/7.htm)

A word for you

How marvelous that Jesus is the Christ. He is the Anointed, the Christ, the Messiah, and the Son of the Living God. Without Christ there is no truth, life and way to the Father. Thus no Salvation is possible without believing on Him. That is why the Bible says in two places, He who has the son has life!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 35

Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

40On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

41Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

(John 7: 40-41. NEV)

In Short

7:40-53 The malice of Christ’s enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion’s sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things, which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary.)

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/john/7.htm.

A word for you

Many people are confused about who Jesus is. This is a great hindrance to repentance in a person’s life. But there is no reason to be confused. The Lord Jesus said when we belief on Him as the Scriptures say, faith will follow. Confusion is inevitable when we listen to people and not take the Bible at face value. The Bible and God the Holy Spirit, together brings faith into the heart of a person and dispels confusion.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 34

Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

30 Some of the people wanted to arrest Jesus right then. But no one even laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 31 A lot of people in the crowd put their faith in him and said, “When the Messiah comes, he surely won’t perform more miracles than this man has done!” (John 7: 30-31. CEV)

In Short

By this time the news was come to the Sanhedrim, the great court of the Jews, to whom belonged the cognizance of church affairs, false prophets, blasphemy, violation of the Sabbath, &c.: they took counsel, and used endeavours to apprehend him; or it may be, some of the ruder sort of people that were his enemies used some such endeavours, but not with any effect; for by the mighty providence of God, who had set the time when Christ should suffer, till that hour was come, mentioned also John 8:20 12:23, there was such a restraint upon the rage of the rabble, yea, (as we shall hereafter hear), upon the spirits of the officers, who were sent from the Sanhedrim to apprehend him, that they had no power to lay hold upon him. Men shall do us no hurt, till God’s time comes. A sparrow falls not to the ground without the will of our Father.

(Matthew Poole’s Commentary.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/john/7.htm)

A word for you

God is in control as His plan of salvation unfolds against the pace that He has determined. It will happen according to His plan and in time as He has determined. How wonderful to know He has everything in His hand and He restrains all so that everything will happen at His appointed time. As it was in the earthy life of Jesus the Messiah, so it is in your and my life as well. God is in control.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 33

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” (John 7: 38. BSB)

In Short

He that believeth on me,…. Which explains what is meant by coming to Christ, and drinking; for these acts are no other than for a man to go out of himself to Christ, and live by faith on him, and his grace. To which what follows is a great encouragement;

as the Scripture hath said: some refer these words to the preceding clause concerning believing in Christ, which the writings of the Old Testament speak of, as in Deuteronomy 18:15, and the sense is, that he that believes on Christ, the object of faith the Scripture points at, and in him, as that directs and requires; that believes in him as the mighty God, and as the prophet, priest, and King, and as the only foundation of the church, and lives by faith upon him, as just men do, then

(Gill’s Exposition. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/john/7.htm)

A word for you

Coming to Christ in thankfulness, hearing His invitation from the cross, responding to His knocking on the “door” of one’s heart, and therefore allowing Him to enter into one’s life brings about the most wonderful “feast” with Christ the Lord. Mere existence is turned into an abundant life, where His presence and His fullness cause the cup of life to run over. Spiritually one may remain a pauper, or one may live in the excess of His lavish blessings.  

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 32

Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” (John 7: 38. BSB)

In Short

He that believeth on me – He that acknowledges me as the Messiah, and trusts in me for salvation.

As the scripture hath said – This is a difficult expression, from the fact that no such expression as follows is to be found literally in the Old Testament. Some have proposed to connect it with what precedes – “He that believeth on me, as the Old Testament has commanded or required” – but to this there are many objections. The natural and obvious meaning here is, doubtless, the true one; and Jesus probably intended to say, not that there was any particular place in the Old Testament that affirmed this in so many words, but that this was the substance of what the Scriptures taught, or this was the spirit of their declarations. Hence, the Syriac translates it in the plural – the Scriptures.

 (Barnes’ Notes.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/7-38.htm

A word for you

Not only is He the Word, but He is also the Author of the Bible, His Word. Everything man needs to know to believe is to be found in the Word. Therefore one needs nothing more and nothing less than God’s Word to come to know the Saviour and to believe on Him as the Son of God. Salvation comes by faith in Him and it is worked in us by believing as the Scriptures have said!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 31

Friday in the Fourth Week of Lent

4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1: 4-5. BSB)

In Short

The light shineth in darkness – Darkness, in the Bible, commonly denotes ignorance, guilt, or misery. See Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:16; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 5:8, Ephesians 5:11; Romans 13:12. It refers here to a wicked and ignorant people. When it is said that “the light shineth in darkness,” it is meant that the Lord Jesus came to teach an ignorant, benighted, and wicked world. This has always been the case. It was so when he sent his prophets; so during his own ministry; and so in every age since. His efforts to enlighten and save men have been like light struggling to penetrate a thick, dense cloud; and though a few rays may pierce the gloom, yet the great mass is still an impenetrable shade. (Barnes’ Notes.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/john/1.htm

A word for you

As stated above, darkness equals sin in man’s life. Or guilt, wrongs and whatever tends to be against God’s good for us. But the Light that shines into such darkness with heavenly clarity has entered this world. He, Jesus is this Light, and His presence; the presence of Light in our lives drives the darkness of our self-centered and willful association with darkness away.

What then shall we do? Accept God’s Light and walk in the light as he is in the light. Quite simple, is it not?

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 30

Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (John 1: 4. NASB)

In Short

In him was life – The evangelist had just affirmed John 5:3 that by the λόγος Logos or “Word” the world was originally created. One part of that creation consisted “in breathing into man the breath of life,” Genesis 2:7. God is declared to be “life,” or the “living” God, because he is the source or fountain of life. This attribute is here ascribed to Jesus Christ. He not merely made the material worlds, but he also gave “life.”

The life was the light of men – “Light” is that by which we see objects distinctly. The light of the sun enables us to discern the form, the distance, the magnitude, and the relation of objects, and prevents the perplexities and dangers, which result from a state of darkness. Light is in all languages, therefore, put for “knowledge” – for whatever enables us to discern our duty, and that saves us from the evils of ignorance and error.

(Barnes’ Notes.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/john/1.htm).

A word for you

What a precious thought that man, with the coming of Christ, had no longer any reason to dwell in darkness. Light has come, spiritually eyes have been opened and minds have received discernment. The evil has no longer unchallenged dominion over man – the Light has come and teaches us to say no to unrighteousness. We only have to be in the Light as He is in the Light.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 29

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1: 1NIV)

In Short

1:1-5 The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father’s mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light that we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/john/1.htm)

A word for you

Let there be no uncertainty about the Lord Jesus Christ. In plain language it is clearly stated who Jesus is. He is not a mere man like those going about in the created world. Jesus is the creator God who is coming to His creation. He may not and cannot be mistaken for being a created creature. As such He is from above, the extension of God coming into this world as the Saviour God to a creation who needs Him desperately.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 28

Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:13ESV)

In Short

A ram behind. – The voice from heaven was heard from behind Abraham, who, on turning back and lifting up his eyes, saw the ram. This Abraham took and offered as a substitute for Isaac. Both in the intention and in the act he rises to a higher resemblance to God. He withholds not his only son in intent, and yet in fact he offers a substitute for his son. “Jehovah-jireh”, the Lord will provide, is a deeply significant name. He who provided the ram caught in the thicket will provide the really atoning victim of which the ram was the type. In this event we can imagine Abraham seeing the day of that pre-eminent seed who should in the fullness of time actually take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. “In the mount of the Lord he will be seen.” This proverb remained as a monument of this transaction in the time of the sacred writer. The mount of the Lord here means the very height of the trial into which he brings his saints. There he will certainly appear in due time for their deliverance.

Barnes’ Notes:

(https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/genesis/22.htm).

A word for you

It is a well-known portion of Scripture above. One tends to read it and nod one’s head in agreement with the explanation that God, as “Jehovah-Jireh” is indeed the provider. This morning we were driving and my wife was suddenly crying, touched by a short video clip on her mobile. “What is it?”, I asked. With tears in her eyes and sobbing she said, “There was no ram for Christ”. Have you ever given thought to that truth? God provided for Abraham and his son was spared. However, when Jesus Christ hung on the cross there was no substitute “ram”. We were spared the wrath of God simply because God did not give a substitute “ram” for His Son. Do you understand?

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 27

Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5: 21 NASB)

In Short

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin: Christ knew no sin, as he was guilty of no sin; which of you (saith he, John 8:46) convinceth me of sin? 1 Peter 2:22, He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: but God made him to be sin for us. He was numbered with the transgressors, Isaiah 53:12. Our sins were reckoned to him; so as though personally he was no sinner, yet by imputation he was, and God dealt with him as such; for he was made a sacrifice for our sins, a sin offering; so answering the type in the law, Leviticus 4:3, 25, 29 5:6 7:2. That we might be made the righteousness of God in him; that so his righteousness might be imputed to us, and we might be made righteous with such a righteousness as those souls must have whom God will accept. As Christ was not made sin by any sin inherent in him, so neither are we made righteous by any righteousness inherent in us, but by the righteousness of Christ imputed to us; as he was a sinner by the sins of his people reckoned and imputed unto him.

.A word for you

It is not easy to understand this verse in Scripture. It is loaded with the greatest love ever bestowed on mankind. Man’s brain is too small to fathom the intensity of such love. Only God is capable to love so deeply, so purely and with such sacrificial love. In faith we may accept that God loved us so much and love one another with such Godly love. But the warning hangs in the air; “Don’t try to do it ever in your own strength”. It is only possible in Him and as long as we remain in Him. For Jesus is God’s love to us. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary.)

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 26

Fourth Sunday in Lent

1 Tax collectors and sinners were all crowding around to listen to Jesus. 2 So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses started grumbling, “This man is friendly with sinners. He even eats with them.”

 (Luke 15: 1-2 CEV)

In Short

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners — That is, some of all the different classes of publicans, or all those of that place, and some other notorious sinners; for to hear him — Being influenced to do so through the condescension and kindness which he manifested toward all descriptions of persons, the most abandoned not excepted. Some suppose they came by a particular appointment from all the neighbouring parts. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, &c. — Thinking this behaviour of our Lord inconsistent with the sanctity of a prophet, they were much displeased with him for it, and murmured at that charitable condescension, which ought rather to have given them joy. (Benson Commentary.)

(https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/luke/15.htm)

.A word for you

There is place for any one with the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to save sinners. Not only that, He came to save the lost, and when saved to give them a new status in Him, “children of God”.  If that is too distant, be reminded that He is a personal Saviour, the indwelling Jesus. Indeed – my Saviour! How marvelous the thought that Jesus takes time to be with me, and save me from my sin. When I understand that He does it for me I will understand He wants to do it for all kinds of people. And I could tell them, invite them and introduce them to Jesus. Others may grumble and mock, but they will never ever be able to take away what one receives from Christ, forgiveness of sin and life everlasting! What a Saviour.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 25

Saturday in the third week of Lent

27Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.… (John 14: 26 BSB)

In Short

He would seasonably remind them of the sayings of Jesus, which they might otherwise have forgotten. In the organization of the church, and in composing the sacred history, he would preside over their memories, and recall such truths and doctrines as were necessary either for their comfort or the edification of his people. Amid the multitude of things which Jesus spake during a ministry of more than three years, it was to be expected that many things, which he had uttered, that would be important for the edification of the church, would be forgotten. We see, hence, the nature of their inspiration. The Holy Spirit made use of their memories, and doubtless of all their natural faculties. He so presided over their memories as to recall what they had forgotten, and then it was recorded as a thing, which they distinctly remembered, in the same way as we remember a thing, which would have been forgotten had not some friend recalled it to our recollection.

(https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/14-26.htm. Barnes’ Notes)

.A word for you

The peace of God in Jesus Christ is a most precious thing. It is unimaginable that man can have peace with God. How is it possible that sinful man can have peace when his burden of sin is sky high in the sight of God? Worse, because of his sin mankind has nailed Christ to the Cross. Peace? Everlasting peace? It is of God’s doing in Christ. And God the Spirit testifies to the Truth of it, that mankind can have peace not by his own doing, but by the grace of God. Yes, peace is possible, forgiveness is possible, but only in Christ Jesus the Lord.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 24

Friday in the third week of Lent

He made the wheels of their chariots wobble so that they drove them with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from Israel because the LORD is fighting for them and against us.” (Exodus 14: 25 ISV)

In Short

Then followed the just and righteous wrath of God upon his and his people’s enemies. The ruin of sinners is brought on by their own rage and presumption. They might have let Israel alone, and would not; now they would flee from the face of Israel, and cannot. Men will not be convinced, till it is too late, that those who meddle with God’s people, meddle to their own hurt. Moses was ordered to stretch out his hand over the sea; the waters returned, and overwhelmed all the host of the Egyptians. Pharaoh and his servants, who had hardened one another in sin, now fell together, not one escaped. The Israelites saw the Egyptians dead upon the sands. The sight very much affected them. While men see God’s works, and feel the benefit, they fear him and trust in him.

(Matthew Henry’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/exodus/14.htm.)

A word for you

You may find this text a strange citation here in the time of Lent. But I had a thought this morning when Andra, my wife, read Exodus 14: 14 to me. As Satan and his vast cohorts attack everyone and everything that are God’s, the immensity of that attack may be quite frightening to God’s people, the followers of Christ the Son. One would have thought that Satan would heed God’s warning in Genesis 3: 15 but he did not. The coming of Jesus into this “war” is causing the wheels of Satan’s “chariots” to come off. God is at hand. He is the fighting God for His people, El Shaddai: God Almighty. We have nothing to fear. The Son of God, the Saviour Eternal, has the two-edged sword in His hand. God the Spirit is opening the spiritual “Red Sea”, the flow of Christ’s blood at Calvary for all believers. And the defeated enemy is behind us, as we set our eyes on eternity with God in heaven.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 23

Thursday in the third week of Lent

Jesus replied, “Come and see!” It was already about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him and saw where he lived. So they stayed on for the rest of the day.  (John1:39 CEV)

In Short

Come and see – This was a kind and gracious answer. He did not put them off to some future period. Then, as now, he was willing that they should come at once and enjoy the full opportunity which they desired of his conversation. Jesus is ever ready to admit those who seek him to his presence and favor.

Abode with him – Remained with him. This was probably the dwelling of some friend of Jesus. His usual home was at Nazareth.

The tenth hour – The Jews divided their day into twelve equal parts, beginning at sunrise. If John used their mode of computation, this was about four o’clock p. m. The Romans divided time as we do, beginning at midnight. If John used their mode, it was about ten o’clock in the forenoon. It is not certain which he used. (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/john/1.htm).

A word for you

Jesus’ invitation reverberates through all time to you and I. In looking for Jesus, He allows them not only to find Him, but He reaches out to them with the question, “What do you want?”  Then there follows the invitation to go with Him and to see where he stays. They went…..and stayed! That is the one thing about faith in the Son of Man, when you find Him, you want to stay with Him. In any case, why would one want to leave when you have found the Way, Truth and Life? There is nothing in this life that could even remotely compare with being in the wonderful presence of Christ. When you have come to Him, abide! Stay! Do not leave! You have found Life everlasting.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 22

Wednesday in the third week of Lent

The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. (John14:17CEV)

In Short

But ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.—The better text is,. . . . and is in you. The verbs are in the present tense, describing the receptivity of the disciples as opposed to the moral blindness of the world. They had, during our Lord’s work and teaching in their midst, exercised and strengthened their spiritual faculties. They had in part received the Spirit, and by that reception were prepared for the fuller gift. They knew Him. He was in their midst. He was then, and therefore should be in the future, a living power, dwelling in their inmost life. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ellicott/john/14.htm)

A word for you

He is called the Spirit of Truth because Jesus said in John 15: 26 that the Spirit will testify about Him, Jesus. And we know also that Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. And in 14: 26 Jesus said the Spirit would remind and teach us everything He, Jesus, said. How wonderful that in the life of believing man the Spirit reveals the complete Truth of Jesus as the Christ. Indeed the Spirit does this with the expectation that we will follow the Truth, abide in the Truth and walk in the Truth. 1John 2: 6 reminds us that when we abide in the Truth (Jesus), we must live as He lived. And God the Holy Spirit will help us. And how will we do this? Jesus said, “Follow me”.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 21

Tuesday in the third week of Lent

John14:16

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (KJV)

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. (CSB)

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—(BSB)

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,(ESV)

In Short

3875 paráklētos (from 3844 /pará, “from close-beside” and 2564 /kaléō, “make a call”) – properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation. 3875 /paráklētos (“advocate, advisor-helper“) is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e. someone giving evidence that stands up in court. (HELPS Word-studies. https://biblehub.com/greek/3875.htm)

A word for you

Jesus is stepping in for you and me with the Father. Separation is on hand but Jesus is not going to leave His people as orphans. No, Jesus is stepping in to “arrange” the permanent presence of God, the abiding presence through God the Holy Spirit, in the lives of all who believe. Like air filling the lungs, like blood filling the heart so will the abiding Presence be in the life of believing man. Believing man in his walk in this life will be sustained (Helper), he would find refuge in his afflictions (Comforter), he will find the words when apologetic (Advocate) and he will find assistance in his challenges (Counselor). The believing man will not be crushed because Jesus ha petitioned God the Father that God the Holy Spirit will abide in you and me.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 20

The Annunciation: the announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26–38).

But in the six month, Gabriel the Angel was sent from the presence of God to Galilee to the city whose name was Nazareth. (Luke 1: 26. ABPE).

In Short

Ver. 26,27. In the sixth month, that is, after Elisabeth’s conception; thus it is expounded afterward, Luke 1:36. The angel Gabriel, the same angel that had appeared in the temple to Zacharias, who seemeth to have had a special ministration with reference to that part of God’s will which was predictive of the Messiah; he was sent from God (without whose command the angels do not move) unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth. There Joseph lived; from thence he went, Luke 2:4. The angel came to the virgin, who is here described by her name, Mary, and her relation, she was espoused to one Joseph, who is said to be of the house of David. Matthew reduces his genealogy to prove him to be so. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/luke/1.htm.)

A word for you

After 400 years of silence from the time of Malachi, God in heaven, the Author of the design of salvation for all mankind, begins the process to unfold His revelation of this design in Christ Jesus our Saviour. He sends the angel Gabriel. His name has tremendous significance and power. Gabriel means “God is great,” and, as the angel of the annunciation, he is the one who revealed that the Savior would be called “Jesus”. Every time Gabriel shows up in the Bible, he makes some mention of Jesus. Gabriel’s messages always point to the coming Messiah. Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible, first to the prophet Daniel, referenced in Daniel 8:16; next to the priest Zechariah to foretell and announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist (Luke 19:19); and finally to the virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive and bear a son (Luke 1:26-28). He has a privileged position as an angel who stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19), and he is selected to deliver important messages of God’s particular love and favour to individuals chosen to be part of God’s plan.

Gabriel came, he announced the message and the ultimate “good” of God is put in motion!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 19

Third Sunday in Lent

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9: 10. NIV).

In Short

For it follows, He shall speak peace unto the heathen, or, unto the nations, as the Hebrew is, namely, to the Gentile nations that were afar off, as well as to the Jews that were nigh; his gospel being the gospel of peace, proclaiming and ensuring peace to all the truly penitent that believe in him with their heart unto righteousness; even peace with God, peace of conscience, tranquility of mind, and a disposition, as far as possible, to live peaceably with all men. And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river, &c. — As was foretold by David, Psalm 72:8, from whence these words are taken: see the note there. The sense is, his kingdom shall extend itself to all parts of the world, in defiance of the opposition made to it. The preachers of his gospel shall carry it from one country to another; from one island and continent to another; till the remotest parts of the earth are enlightened, and reduced by it to the obedience of the faith, and the practice of love and holiness. (Benson Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/zechariah/9.htm)

A word for you

Isaiah 9: 6 say Jesus’ name will be Prince of Peace. In John 20: 21 he said to the people “Peace be with you!” It was not the first time Jesus used the word “Peace”. But all in all it satisfies the prophecy to who He was and what he came to do. The greatest possible “peace” Jesus did establish was peace between God and me. Oh, how thankful I am that the Prince of Peace has reconciled me with God. This truth should be written all of my live for all to see and know. And yes I would like to bless you today with the words: “May the Peace of God be with you, now and forever!”.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 18

Saturday in the Second Week of Lent

9Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious,

lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 (Zechariah 9: 9. NIV).

In Short

Rejoice greatly: the prophet calls for such a joy as expresseth itself in outward gesture, as indeed the daughters of Zion did in their hosannas, when this had its accomplishment.
Daughter of Zion; Jerusalem’s inhabitants, or the church.
Shout; proclaim aloud your joy at the news I now tell you. Before it was
daughter of Zion, now it is daughter of Jerusalem, both the church and state among the Jews had great cause to triumph at this.
Thy King; the Redeemer, expected, promised Messiah, Son of David, the only restorer of your lapsed state.
Cometh unto thee; Christ cometh to thee, to redeem and save thee; he cometh for thee, as well as to time. He is just; the righteous One, who cometh to fulfil all righteousness, and to be our righteousness.
Having salvation; designs to save, and hath that in his eye, that he can save, it is in his power; he can save us as he did save himself, by raising himself from the dead.
Lowly; low and mean of state, and meek or lowly of mind.
Riding upon an ass; a beast of no state or price, an emblem of his outward state.
And upon a colt the foal of an ass: in this some footsteps of sovereignty appeared in the colt’s taking and bearing him quietly. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/zechariah/9.htm.)

A word for you

Zechariah is specific about dating his writing (520–518 BC). Imagine, more than 500 years before the Lord Jesus would enter Jerusalem, the entry was prophesied in detail. About 50 years (450 BC) later Malachi wrote his prophecies and then silence. Between the writing of Malachi and the birth of the Lord Jesus lies roughly 400 years of silence. A world needed time to prepare for the coming King, the Son of God, as prophesied in Zechariah. God was silent in this time and no further speaking of the coming Messiah was needed. In the wink of time, as seen against the endless eternity, the prophecy was fulfilled and Salvation came for all God’s people. And all were told: ”he who has the Son, has eternal life” (1 John 5: 12). The great Truth of God’s announcement when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

“Rejoice greatly!”

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 17

Friday in the Second Week of Lent

40When the crowd heard Jesus say this, some of them said, “He must be the Prophet!”+ 41Others said, “He is the Messiah!” Others even said, “Can the Messiah come from Galilee?   (John 7: 40ff. BSB).

In Short

7:40-53 The malice of Christ’s enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion’s sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things, which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/john/7.htm)

A word for you

As Jesus spoke many were touched. They were also confused. Never has there been any like Christ. This happens frequently today also. When people hear about Christ, when they hear about being saved from their sins and He will do it, there is many a time confusion. Quickly they want more, better health, prosperity, money etc. No he has come to bring salvation for many, let there be no confusion. He is the Christ, the Saviour, the Immanuel, the King of Kings, the One saving people from hell and not the local supermarket where our physical needs are satisfied. He is first of all Jesus the Christ.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 16

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and she will call Him Immanuel.  (Isaiah 7: 14. BSB).

In Short

‘The name Immanuel,’ says Professor Alexander, ‘although it might be used to signify God’s providential presence merely Psalm 46:8, 12; Psalm 89:25; Joshua 1:5; Jeremiah 1:8; Isaiah 43:2, has a latitude and pregnancy of meaning which can scarcely be fortuitous; and which, combined with all the rest, makes the conclusion almost unavoidable, that it was here intended to express a personal, as well as a providential presence … When we read in the Gospel of Matthew, that Jesus Christ was actually born of a virgin, and that all the circumstances of his birth came to pass that this very prophecy might be fulfilled, it has less the appearance of an unexpected application, than of a conclusion rendered necessary by a series of antecedent facts and reasonings, the last link in a long chain of intimations more or less explicit (referring to such prophecies as Genesis 3:15; Micah 5:2). (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/isaiah/7.htm)

A word for you

There is a most beautiful song; the words are so reassuring. “I am not alone, God is with me”. The meaning of the name “Immanuel” is imbedded in the prophecy of the coming Messiah. His real presence in this world will be revealed for all to see. Not only is God with us but also God will reveal in Immanuel the “door” to be with Him. Not only will we know He is with us, not only will we know how to be with Him, but also He will reveal the Guide to show us the Way to be eternally with Them, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Indeed, not only is God with us, I will never ever be alone!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 15

Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and she will call Him Immanuel.  (Isaiah 7: 14. BSB).

In Short

The Lord himself – Hebrew, ‘Adonai;’ see this word explained in the the note at Isaiah 1:24. He will do it without being asked to do it; he will do it though it is rejected and despised; he will do it because it is important for the welfare of the nation, and for the confirmation of his religion, to furnish a demonstration to the people that he is the only true God. It is clearly implied here; that the sign should be such as Yahweh alone could give. It would be such as would be a demonstration that he presided over the interests of the people. If this refers to the birth of a child, then it means that this was an event which could be known only to God, and which could be accomplished only by his agency. If it refers to the miraculous conception and birth of the Messiah, then it means that that was an event which none but God could accomplish. The true meaning I shall endeavor to state in the notes, at the close of Isaiah 7:16.

(Matthew Henry’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/isaiah/7.htm)

A word for you

God is in control. We don’t always see. We don’t always hear. We don’t always understand. We don’t always accept. Yet, many times we resist and complain. The people cried for a Messiah. But they did not want to receive Him the way God intended. But God knew best and He gave the Messiah His way because His love and care is perfect. We cry out to God many times for various things in our lives. God gives. He knows best. When He gives, may we accept his gift irrespective whether in brings joy or pain, prosperity or suffering.

He does know best!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 14

Tuesday in the second week of Lent

Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”  (John 8: 12. CEV).

In Short

Then spake Jesus again — Addressing himself to his disciples and the multitude; I am the light of the world — It was with singular propriety that our Lord spake thus, after the wonderful display which he had just made, by the above-mentioned remarkable decision, of his wisdom and knowledge, as well as of his power and goodness. He probably alluded to Malachi 4:2, where the Messiah is foretold under the name of the Sun of righteousness; or to the bright shining of the sun that morning. As if he had said, I am the spiritual Sun, that dispels the darkness of ignorance and superstition, with which the minds of men are overcast; for by my doctrine and example I show clearly everywhere the will of God and the way of salvation: and I never leave those in darkness who walk by my light, as the sun leaves travelers when he sets, and occasions the darkness of the night. (Benson Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/john/8.htm)

A word for you

Darkness, sin, is always around the corner. Waiting to jump on the unsuspected wanderer in this world. However, there is a safeguard, a surety or a redeeming cover of protection namely the Light. Jesus is light and in Him is no darkness says the Bible. As Jesus said, if we follow Him, we will never walk in darkness. He also said He will come into our lives and where He is, there can be no darkness. The words of the song that Simon and Garfunkel sang: “Hello darkness my old friend”, will never cross my lips ever again. Because, as child of God I have received the light that brings life and dispel even the desire to harbor darkness.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 13

Monday in the second week of Lent.

37Jesus said:

Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. 38If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.

 (Luke13:31-32. NASB).

In Short

6:37-49 All these sayings Christ often used; it was easy to apply them. We ought to be very careful when we blame others; for we need allowance ourselves. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit. Though full and exact returns are made in another world, not in this world, yet Providence does what should encourage us in doing good. Those who follow the multitude to do evil, follow in the broad way that leads to destruction. The tree is known by its fruits; may the word of Christ be so grafted in our hearts, that we may be fruitful in every good word and work. And what the mouth commonly speaks, generally agrees with what is most in the heart. Those only make sure work for their souls and eternity, and take the course that will profit in a trying time, who think, speak, and act according to the words of Christ. Those who take pains in religion, found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of Ages, and other foundation can no man lay. In death and judgment they are safe, being kept by the power of Christ through faith unto salvation, and they shall never perish. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary). https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/luke/6.htm

A word for you

The Lord Jesus taught us to pray that God’s Kingdom may come on earth. He said when He started to preach that the Kingdom is near. He is the King of the Kingdom. The economy of His Kingdom is vastly different from the earthly kingdoms of the nations or the kingdom of Satan. The Kingdom of God comes with various attitudes but of single quality for all in Christ. The King speaks the Word and God the Spirit works the Kingdom miracles of repentance, forsaking sin, birth in the Spirit, renewal of the mind, fruit of the Spirit and obedience to the King, the Way, the Truth and the Life of all.  Such is the life of the one who receives the King and in whose life the Kingdom comes. An abundance that “will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.”

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 12

Second Sunday in Lent

31Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’(Luke13:31-32. NASB).

In short:     

13:31-35 Christ, in calling Herod a fox, gave him his true character. The greatest of men were accountable to God, therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name; but it is not an example for us. I know, said our Lord that I must die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shall have completed my undertaking. It is good for us to look upon the time we have before us as but little, that we may thereby be quickened to do the work of the day in its day. The wickedness of persons and places, which more than others profess religion and relation to God, especially displeases and grieves the Lord Jesus. The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers; but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all who come in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of his great salvation. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/luke/13.htm)

A word for youWhen I read this portion I remembered the words in Philippians 1: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus”. The Pharisees tried to stop Jesus with a threat that He might be killed. But our Saviour was not going to give up on that what was the will of the Father. The message: repent, believe, the Kingdom is near, had to be established notwithstanding the opposition! God loved the world; it is filled with precious souls in need of salvation. Jesus is come, the souls are responding and heaven rejoices! Jesus is not being hindered, He will stop at every precious heart to knock. Has He stopped at your heart? Have you responded and opened the door of your heart for Him to enter? (Revelation3: 20). Don’t hesitate, if you are one of His He will not pass you by.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 11

Friday in the First Week of Lent

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live. (Ezekiel 18:32. NASB)”

In short:     

  • The place of the present chapter may be explained by connecting it with the Messianic prophecy immediately preceding (ch. Ezekiel 17:22-24); the passage enunciates the principles and conditions of entering the perfect kingdom. The same principles are stated in two other passages, ch. Ezekiel 3:16-21, and ch. Ezekiel 33:1-20. They are properly in place in the last passage. The prophet feels himself, however, essentially a prophet of the new age, and writing his Book after the fall of Jerusalem he may have expanded principles less fully developed at an earlier time. The age before which he stands is an ideal one, and principles realized but imperfectly now shall then have full prevalence (ch. Ezekiel 12:16, Ezekiel 14:22).

(Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/ezekiel/18.htm).

A word for you

God desires that all people will live! God’s will for mankind is “life” and not “death”. His whole intention for all people is that they will find and choose “life”. God in His love reveals this Life, Jesus Christ, to all people and simply states that whoever believe on Jesus will receive “life”. God goes a step further, He makes it virtually impossible to not have this life in Jesus; He freely gives it and we only have to accept it in faith from Him. You cannot buy it, you cannot earn it, and you cannot find it any other place than Jesus’ cross at Golgotha. God the Father is prepared, He desires to do so, to meet each one at the cross of Jesus and give freely the gift of “life”.

God asks: “Why will you die….?” Indeed let us choose Life and live.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 10

Friday in the First Week of Lent

4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1: 4 CEV)

In short:     

[In him was life] He was the wellspring from which every form of life—physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, eternal—flows. See on John 5:26.

Observe how frequently S. John’s thoughts overlap and run into one another. Creation leads on to life, and life leads on to light. Without life creation would be unintelligible; without light all but the lowest forms of life would be impossible.

[the light] Not ‘light,’ but ‘the Light,’ the one true Light; absolute Truth both intellectual and moral, free from all ignorance and all stain. The Source of life is the Source of light.

[the light of men] Man shares life with all organic creatures; light, or Revelation, is for him alone. The communication of Divine truth before the Fall is specially meant. (https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/john/1.htm)

A word for you

Jesus is life! Life present and life eternal, Only in Jesus is eternal life unlocked for the believer – He who has the Son has the life (1John5: 12). It is as simple as that. It is life for the individual; it is life for everybody, life for all mankind. He, who believes on Jesus as the Scripture says, receives life. But, not only does one receive life; streams of living water flows from one’s inner being.  Where there is light there is no darkness! In Him is no darkness and Him being in His children drives out the darkness that sin brings. Therefore, if we are in the light as He is in the light, there will be no darkness in our hearts.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 9

Thursday in the First Week of Lent

1In the beginning was the one who is called the Word.

The Word was with God and was truly God.

2From the very beginning the Word was with God.(John 1:1-2 CEV)

In short:     

With God—These words express the co-existence, but at the same time the distinction of person. They imply relation with, intercourse with. (Comp. the “in the bosom of the Father” of John 1:18, and “Let us make man” of Genesis 1:26.) “Throned face to face with God,” “the gaze ever directed towards God,” have been given as paraphrases, and the full sense cannot be expressed in fewer words. The “with” represents “motion towards.” The Being whose existence is asserted in the “was” is regarded as distinct, but not alone, as ever going forth in communion with God. (Comp. the use of the same word “with” in Matthew 13:56; Matthew 26:11; Mark 6:3; Mark 9:19; 1Corinthians 16:6-7; Galatians 1:18; Galatians 4:18.)

Was God—This is the completion of the graduated statement. It maintains the distinction of person, but at the same time asserts the oneness of essence. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ellicott/john/1.htm)

A word for you

Jesus is God! He is the Word! He is the Living Word, the spoken Word of God!

He is the way, truth and life and no one comes to the Father but by Him!

He is the beginning and He is the end, the alpha and the omega!

He said:

  • I Am the Bread of Life
  • I Am the Door
  • I Am the Good Shepherd
  • I Am the Resurrection
  • I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • I Am the Vine
  • I Am the Light of the World

Indeed He is God, from the beginning!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 8

Wednesday  in the First Week of Lent

19We also have the message of the prophets, which has been confirmed beyond doubt. And you will do well to pay attention to this message, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.(2Peter1: 19. BSB)

In short:      

and the day-star should arise in their hearts. — Till the Lord Jesus, the bright and morning star, (Revelation 22:16,) should be more fully revealed in them. Or “till the Holy Spirit should discover to their souls the glory and excellence of the gospel, and by his sanctifying and comforting influences give them the dawning of heaven in their hearts; and till the knowledge of Christ, and the experience of his power, truth, and love, had formed within them an assurance and anticipation of the light, holiness, and felicity of the saints in the presence of their glorified Saviour, even as the morning-star preceded and ushered in the rising sun and the perfect day.” (Benson Commentary. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/2_peter/1.htm)

A word for you

The apostle Peter refers us here to the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah. He is adamant in the following verses that the Word is the result of the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. In John 16: 14 the Lord Jesus said that God the Holy Spirit will reveal Him, the Son of God, “the bright Morning Star” to the believers. Thus the importance of reading the Bible, the Word of God, cannot be underestimated. Reading the Word, is to allow the Word to give birth to the Morning Star in our lives. When He arises in our hearts, a new dawn appears for us in living our lives and the horizon of life’s wilderness becomes the garden of God’s new creation! Many desire this, yet few find it. The secret is in the Word of God, the way is to abide in the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). The result is the rising of Jesus, the Morning Star in the heart of man!  Then life begins!

Soli Deo gloria

Day 7

Tuesday in the First Week of Lent

8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.…(Isaiah 55:8-9.BSB)

In short:      

Notice the profound truth here in regard to the essential and deepest evil of all our evil. ‘Your thoughts’; ‘your ways,’-self-dependence and self-confidence are the master-evils of humanity. And every sin is at bottom the result of saying-’I will not conform myself to God, but I am going to please myself, and take my own way.’ My own way is never God’s way; my own way is always the devil’s way. And the root of all sin lies in these two strong, simple words, ‘Your thoughts not Mine; your ways not Mine.’ Notice, too, how there are suggested the misery and retribution of this unlikeness. ‘If you will not make My thoughts your thoughts, I shall not take your ways as My ways. I will leave you to them.’ ‘You will be filled with the fruit of your own devices. I shall not incorporate your actions into My great scheme and purpose.’ (MacLaren Expositions Of Holy Scripture; https://biblehub.com/commentaries/maclaren/isaiah/55.htm)

A word for you

I sit here, trying to formulate in words the experience that the above text works in my heart. I am reminded that I must be renewed in my mind (Romans 12:2), that Jesus’ mind must be my mind (Phillipians 5:2), that my life must be lived like Jesus lived His life (1John 2:6) and that Jesus said He is the way, truth and life! I am amazed about the thoughts that God has for me. Listen – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV). And finally God wants us to have all of this in Jesus because whoever has the Son has life. Indeed God’s thoughts are so much more than our thoughts in every aspect of our human existence. How absolutely wonderful is the God we serve!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 6

9Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious,

lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9: 9 NIV)

In short:      

9. [Thy King cometh] – The reference to Christ, the true King of Israel, is direct and immediate. Even if the prophecy be placed before the exile, no event in Jewish history answers, even typically, to this prediction. After the exile no Jewish ruler bore the title of King. “The prophet here briefly shews the manner in which the church is to be restored, namely, because a King will come forth of the tribe and family of David, to bring all things to their pristine order. And this line of argument constantly occurs in the Prophets, since the hope of the ancient people rested, as ours does, on Christ.”

(https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/zechariah/9.htm)

A word for you

What an amazing piece of Scripture. Just read it again. Does it strike you as well as absolutely amazing? Zechariah is specific about dating his writing (520–518 BC), compare chapter1: 1. So, more than 550 years before the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, this prophecy gave a clear indication of the coming King in minutest detail to the people of God. This passage is sited in the New Testament in two places – Matthew 21:5 & John 12:15. God the Father does not miss detail. It strikes me that God would neither miss detail in my life. How wonderful to know that I can trust God with the minutest detail of my life. I need not hide anything from Him. He knows and He wants to know what is in my life because He takes care of all the particulars of my life.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 5

9“This, then, is how you should pray:“ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matt6: 9 NIV)

In short:      

This passage contains the Lord’s Prayer, a composition unequaled for comprehensiveness and for beauty. It is supposed that some of these petitions were taken from those in common use among the Jews. Indeed some of them are still to be found in Jewish writings, but they did not exist in this beautiful combination. This prayer is given as a “model.” It is designed to express the “manner” in which we are to pray, evidently not the precise words or petitions, which we are to use. (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/matthew/6.htm).

A word for you

I preached tonight on the Lord’s Prayer at Mafakatini in rural KwaZulu-Natal. It was special. We gathered in a round hut and outside a thunderstorm was intense and rain came down in torrents. Lightning would pierce the darkness every so many minutes. I spoke. The Lord Jesus taught this prayer to His disciples. To me it is significant that He taught them to acknowledge God the Father first. God is Abba, Father, to the child of God and all it’s expectations should be from the Father. How absolutely beautiful to know and say it, “our Father”, and know that I am not illegitimate in any way, but in Christ, a legitimate child of the Father in heaven. And at any time and at any place, I may call upon my Father in heaven. I may enter into His presence through prayer and He will hear me. I am never alone, God the Father is with me!

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your Name!”

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 4

30The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” 31And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”(Luke 5:30-32 NASB).

In short:      

[the righteous] – This also was true in two senses. Our Lord came to seek and save the lost. He came not to the elder son but to the prodigal; not to the folded flock but to the straying sheep. In a lower and external sense these Pharisees were really, as they called themselves, ‘the righteous’ (chasidim). In another sense they were only self-righteous and self-deceived (Luke 18:9). St Matthew tells us that He further rebuked their haughty and pitiless exclusiveness by borrowing one of their own formulae, and bidding them “go and learn” the meaning of Hosea 6:6, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” i. e. love is better than legal scrupulosity; Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7. (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/luke/5.htm)

A word for you

How marvelous that I am the focus of God’s mercy and grace! The reason? I am a sinner, non-deserving of His grace and mercy and most definitely deserving hell. However, God so loved the world (so loved me!) that if I believe on His Son Jesus the Christ, I will not perish but have everlasting life. As He sat with sinners, drunkards and all kinds of sinners, I can know He will sit with me as well, for I am a sinner too. He will be ridiculed for doing so, but in doing so He will reveal His mercy and grace to me. I am diseased, in fact I was born diseased, and the root cause of my disease is nothing else but sin; yet, healing came because the Son of God came into this sinful world and was nailed to a cross. Therefore this terrible disease “sin” was nailed to the cross as well and I am healed by His merciful death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.

He did it not only for this sinner, but also for all sinners, including you!

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

Day 3

2But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth for Me One to be ruler over Israel, whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity.… (Micah 5: 2. BSB)

In short:      

But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata – This is a passage of immense significance, through the interpretation given to it by the chief priests and scribes in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Bethlehem Ephrata: the two names, modern and ancient, are united, each of them having reference to the fertility of the country. In the Gospel the scribes quote, evidently from memory, the passage from Micah, in reply to Herod’s question; and their first variation is in the title of the town—“Thou, Bethlehem (not Ephrata, but), land of Judah.” So also the people protested against Jesus on the ground of His being from Galilee, for, “Hath not the Scripture said that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (John 7:42)

A word for you

Micah, in this prophecy, speaks of the Messiah as the one whose origin is “from the days of eternity”. It reminds one of the words of Daniel (Dan 7:9) when in his vision, “ the Ancient of Days took His seat” and His clothing was as white as snow, His hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire. This is a very clear picture of God taking His place on the throne of judgment. In Jeremiah (6:16) we are told to ask for the “ancient paths”, to discern the good way and walk in it and so find rest for our souls. So God promised His people the “Good Way” and when the Lord Jesus came, He confirmed this way, the ancient path whose origin is as ancient when He said” I am the way!” and He invited all: “Follow me”.

Soli Deo gloria

A word for you!

14So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and every beast of the field! On your belly will you go, and dust you will eat, all the days of your life. 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”(Gen 3:14-15. BSB)

In short:      

In this verse, therefore, notice is given of a perpetual quarrel commenced between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil among men: war is proclaimed between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Rev 12:7). It is the fruit of this enmity, 1st, that there is a continual conflict between God’s people and him. Heaven and hell can never be reconciled, no more can Satan and a sanctified soul. 2nd, that there is likewise a continual struggle between the wicked and the good. And all the malice of persecutors against the people of God is the fruit of this enmity, which will continue while there is a godly man on this side heaven, and a wicked man on this side hell. But, 3rd, A gracious promise also is here made of Christ, as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. (Benson Commentary: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/genesis/3.htm).

A word for you

The promise of the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God is already given here in the Garden. Although there is punishment for sin and although death will reign on earth, God will not allow Satan to be victorious over His creation. God will not sacrifice His creation to the will of and deeds of Satan. Therefore, God gives the Promise, the proto-evangelium, mother promise or first gospel, predicting the defeat of evil by the victory of Jesus Christ. This is the first promise or ‘gospel’ of the coming Redeemer. This also, is the first promise given by God after Adam sinned, that God will save people and send the Messiah.

Soli Deo gloria
2019/03/07

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.(Genesis 3:19 K J V):

20– All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.(Ecclesiastes 3: 20 ESV)

In short:      

Ash Wednesday is traditionally a Christian holy day of prayer, fasting and repentance. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

A word for you

It appears from the above verses, especially the verse from Genesis that death is man’s normal condition. Because of his sin, God put marks of displeasure on Adam’s life and subsequently on the lives of all humankind:

  • His habitation is cursed. God gave the earth to the humankind, to be a comfortable dwelling; but it is now cursed because of man’s sin.
  • Labour is our obligation, which we must faithfully perform; it is part of man’s sentence, which laziness boldly challenges.
  • Man’s life is also shortened. Sin brought death into the world. Death concludes the punishment.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our dependence on God for spiritual salvation from the sin that nearly destroyed us;……but for Christ! May God be with you and keep you as we remember our need to walk with God every day!

Soli Deo gloria.
2019/03/06

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