From: March 4, 2018
Scripture for today: Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:24-25
From: March 4, 2017
Singing praises to God should engage both the heart and the mind. All kinds of singing is encouraged by God’s Word. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). Modern praise songs, with their simple repetitive phrases, help move the heart, but soon feel shallow without the rich theology found in many older hymns. Both are needed. A survey of the 150 Psalms of the Bible, reveals a wealth of songs and hymns that engage both heart and mind. We are to sing songs that stir our emotion, with an exclamation on the end! But we are also to sing songs that deepen our “understanding,” so that the Word “dwells richly” in our minds too.
From: March 4, 2016
What is a “parable?” The word parable is from the root word “paraballo” or in the Greek “parabole.” This compound word comes from “para” which means “to come along side or compare” and “ballo” which literally means “to throw.” So, a “parable” is a simple story that stands “alongside” another story and “throws” towards, or points towards, a deeper meaning.
To whom was this parable directed? The chief priests, scribes and elders who had come questioning His authority.
What was this parable’s meaning? The “vineyard” pointed to Israel and the “winepress,” to the temple. The “tenants” were those chief priests, scribes and elders that the owner had left in charge. The “servants” who the owner sent were the prophets. And of course, the son of the owner, that the tenants killed, was Jesus. With this parable, Jesus was actually answering their earlier question concerning by what authority he acted. He was telling them that He was the Son of God and predicting that they would reject and kill Him. And that because of this rejection they would suffer God’s judgment.
He answered them with a parable. But they didn’t understand.
From: March 4, 2015
Even Christ’s enemies “marveled at Him” when He answered their question about paying taxes. Jesus displayed amazing wisdom with such brevity and fulness (“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”). He wasted not a single word, yet fully responded to their complex question. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but realize the otherworldliness of Jesus. Both His humanity and divinity are on full display. There is no other like Jesus. Whether one believes or rejects Him, no one who encounters the Christ of the gospels can help but “marvel at Him.”
From: March 4, 2014
It’s easy to fret about the state of world affairs. The dictators, the warmongers, the kings and presidents who care only for their own fame and power… where is God in all this? The Bible says that He reigns above. In the chain of command, God is atop all. Why then the wars and chaos? According to Acts 4 God has a plan and a purpose even in the midst of this. Instead of fretting, we can entrust the destiny of nations to the Lord while at the same time asking Him to embolden us to share the gospel and to stretch forth His hand to move in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:29-31). God reigns.
From: March 4, 2013
The Lord instructed the Israelites to set up camp with the Tabernacle at the center. Their tents were to face inward toward the place of worship, not outward toward the world. Worship was to be the center of individual and community life. All of daily life was to revolve around worship of God. What’s at the center of your family’s life?
From: March 4, 2012
We have dual citizenship. We are born into Caesar’s kingdom, but born again into God’s. We are to live at peace with the temporal king, while proclaiming the imminent return of the Eternal One. When the two kingdoms are at odds, we bow only to King Jesus!
From: March 4, 2011
Of the 12 tribes, Judah is given first position. They are to camp under their tribal flag emblazoned with a lion (Gen.49:9), situated due east, so that they are the first to rise with the sun. This is the tribe of the Messiah, whose return through the Eastern Gate is prophesied.