Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Song of Solomon 1–8
Chronological Order: Isaiah 44-48
Old Testament Only: Job 17–19
New Testament Only: Acts 21:1–16

Daily Verse: Acts 9:4     Acts 9. 4

 

 

Bible Study

Getting Your Attention

Passage: John 7:10-13

We’ll touch on a transitional paragraph today in John 7. Being a transitional paragraph it won’t take much time to discuss but I don’t want to skip it entirely and it would likely be too much to try and cover along with the following bit of Scripture. So, you’re in luck. You won’t have as much to read today!

We are looking at John 7:10-13; a short bit of Scripture but there is some interesting stuff being relayed to us. Jesus had told his brothers that He would not go up with them to the feast in Jerusalem because His time had not yet come. Now what He meant by that is He would not be going up with them to make a spectacle of Himself. He had started to gather crowds because of all the healing and physical miracles He performed. As He began to teach that He was the Christ and that they had to “feed on Him” for everlasting life, however, many turned away.

The miracles were attention getters and they succeeded in doing just that. Once Jesus had their attention He told them things they didn’t want to hear. He had caused a stir and many expected Him to show Himself during the Feast of Booths and to continue to astound with His performance of miracles. Instead, Jesus came quietly by Himself. This left people wondering where He was and then who He was. Frankly, as I think about this, Jesus was a pretty good promoter. He knew how to get people’s attention and how to keep it. He knew how to build suspense, when to show Himself and when to be absent. It was only in the middle of the feast that Jesus showed Himself, not by healing in the crowds but by teaching in the temple. He seems to have been a master of the unexpected.

As I’ve mentioned before, the debate about who Jesus is and where He is continues to this day. Through His Holy Spirit He continues to reveal Himself to the Lost and the Faithful at seemingly just the right time. He sure does know how to get our attention doesn’t He? I find that I can get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of this world and forget to abide in Christ. Instead of trying to compete with the noise of the world, Jesus lets me run until I hit a wall. Then, as I sit quietly rubbing my bumped nose, He speaks quietly to me and reminds me of who and whose I am. He knows how to get my attention. What will He do to get yours?

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Ecclesiastes 9–12
Chronological Order: Isaiah 40-43
Old Testament Only: Job 15–16
New Testament Only: Acts 20:7–38

Daily Verse: Daniel 11:32    Daniel 11. 32

Bible Study

Hated For Standing Against Evil

Passage: John 7:3-9

Okay, so picking up where we left off in John 7, let me touch on verses 3 thru 9. These verses tell us that Jesus’ brothers suggested He go up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths so that He could perform His miracles before a big crowd. These were His half-brothers. Matthew 13:55 give us their names. They were James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. James was the one who wrote the book of James and it is believed that Jude wrote the book of Jude. At this point in Jesus’ earthly ministry, however, they evidently didn’t believe in Him. I can kind of understand this. Here is your older brother whom you’ve known all your life as just one of the family and now it is being claimed that He is actually the promised Messiah, the Son of God, and a worker of miraculous physical and spiritual healing. Yea right.

Well, eventually the family came to know the truth of who Jesus is and like everyone who does so, their lives were transformed. These boys have not grown up spiritually yet and so their taunting advice to Jesus is considerably ill advised. They don’t understand that their brother is not only the Son of God but that He was sent to die upon a cross. While they may have heard that the powers that be were upset with their brother, they obviously did not understand those powers were seeking to take His life.

Jesus, however, did understand that these folks would kill him. He also knew that He was to die at a very specific time. He was to be the Passover Lamb. He was scheduled to die at Passover, not the Feast of Booths. Jesus rejected worldly advice for what He knew to be true. He wasn’t there to pursue His own will; He was there to fulfill the will of the Father. Below are the verses in question.

John 7:3-9 ESV
[3] So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. [4] For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” [5] For not even his brothers believed in him. [6] Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. [7] The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. [8] You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” [9] After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

Jesus said that the world could not hate His brothers but it does hate Him because He testifies that its works are evil. The implication here is that His brothers are no different from the world. The world does not hate that which it sees in itself, but it does hate that which starkly shows its corruption and perversion. Today the world celebrates every form of sexual perversion known to man but condemns those who do not agree that sexual perversion is good. To stand with God is to stand against the world. Do you desire that those in the world would love you? Then you need to agree with the world, practice the perversions of the world, and encourage others performing perverse acts. You cannot choose the world and God; being with one puts you at enmity with the other.

Appeasement has always encouraged evil. Evil will not simply slink away if you agree with it. Evil advances and grows when there is nothing to hold it in check. The Children of God in America have tried to be faithful to God and to appease evil. Instead of standing up and sharing the truth of the Gospel we huddle in our homes and churches hoping that once one evil milestone or another is reached evil will be sated. Unfortunately each victory for evil only feeds its hunger for more.

In the 1930s the prime minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, was so desperate for peace that he went to Munich to appease Hitler, coming away with the “Munich Agreement” which conceded to Germany the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia. This, he believed, would satisfy Germany’s desire for “Lebensraum”, or “living space”. He returned to London in triumph and gave a speech in which he said “I believe it is peace for our time”. Rather than sate Hitler’s appetite for conquest, it affirmed his belief that the rest of Europe was so fearful of war that no one would stand up to him. Well, we know the rest of the story don’t we?

I’ve shared with you here before the famous quote from Edmund Burke who said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” For fear of what the world would say or do, we Christians far too often do nothing in the face of creeping evil. Jesus was hated because He testified about, and stood against, evil. He also said His followers would be hated because we belonged to Him. This implies that we too would stand against evil.

Brother, standing against evil is not shouting and marching and protesting but it is softly and firmly speaking truth in love. Agreeing with the culture will not sate the cultures ravenous appetite for corruption and perversion. If you intend to reflect the light of God in this dark and dying world, and if you are a Christian that is certainly part of your task in Christ, then you have to accept the fact that the world will hate you. Because Christ was willing to be hated, you were saved. Who will be saved because you are willing to be hated as well?

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Ecclesiastes 5–8
Chronological Order: Isaiah 37-39, Psalms 76
Old Testament Only: Job 12–14
New Testament Only: Acts 19:21–20:6
 

Daily Verse: 2 Corinthians 3:17     2 Corinthians 3. 17 (2)

 

 

Day of Rest

Saturdays are a day of rest for me in my blog writing. I write the blog a day ahead so this means it is a day of rest from my commentary for you on Sundays. Enjoy your day of worship!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Ecclesiastes 1–4
Chronological Order: Isaiah 35-36
Old Testament Only: Job 9–11
New Testament Only: Acts 19:11–20

Daily Verse: Philippians 4:4     Philippians 4. 4

 

 

Bible Study

Work Intrudes

Passage: None

Brothers, you’ll have to forgive me once again. I have been working on a project for work all day (9am to 9pm) and I just lost the last 4 to 5 hours of my work when the computer announced that my work file was corrupted and would not permit me to save my work or copy my work or export my work. It then said “goodbye chump” – at least that’s what it felt like it said. I have to redo those hours of work so I will be at it well into the night. Please forgive me for being unable to provide commentary today. Please study John 7 and we’ll get back to it on Monday.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Proverbs 29–31
Chronological Order: Isaiah 31-34
Old Testament Only: Job 7–8
New Testament Only: Acts 18:18–19:10

Daily Verse: Matthew 5:10     Matthew 5. 10

 

 

Bible Study

Blessed Are You When People Hate You

Passage: John 7

We begin John 7 today and I rather like how Dr. J. Vernon McGee introduced this chapter in his “Thru the Bible” commentary. I’ll provide just that today as our introduction and we’ll dig in deeper tomorrow. Dr. McGee begins by addressing the first three words of John 7:1.

“After these things.” This is a common expression with John who is giving us a chronological picture. The events of chapter 6 took place in Galilee at the Sea of Galilee; but before that, Jesus had been in Jerusalem where there had arisen the controversy concerning Him at the pool of Bethesda. It seems that the events of chapter 6 transpired about one year before the cross in April; the events in chapter 7 occur about six months later, in October. Matthew 15–18 and Mark 7–9 and Luke 9 relate incidents which transpired during this period.

During the last year of His ministry, Jesus confined His activities to Galilee. It says that He walked no longer in Jewry, that means in Judaea, because the religious rulers there had a plot to kill Him. Jesus is following a divine schedule which His Father had given Him. These men could not touch Him until His time was come. We are now entering the last six months of His life, and the first incident which John records in that period is this occurrence of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 1 reveals that a storm is gathering about the Person of Christ. Six months later that storm will break in all its fury upon Jesus on the cross. Friend, that storm is still going on. There is more difference of opinion about Him than about any other person who has ever lived. They blaspheme Him and say the worst things about Him that ever have been said. He’s controversial today.

Although the storm is gathering, Jesus chose this time to abandon His method of staying away, and He went up to Jerusalem because it was the Feast of Tabernacles.

Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand [John 7:2].

There were three feasts which every male Jew was required to attend in Jerusalem. Our Lord kept the Law; He had to go up to Jerusalem during the feasts of Passover, Tabernacles, and Pentecost. The Feast of Tabernacles is described in Leviticus 23. This was a feast of great joy to celebrate Israel’s wonderful deliverance out of the land of Egypt. Because they had lived in tents during the wilderness journey, this is a feast of tents, or booths. They didn’t have campers, you see, but they did camp out in booths. There was the blowing of trumpets and seventy bullocks were offered. There was the pouring out of water in the temple, with a double portion on the last day of the feast to remind them that God gave them water from the rock in the wilderness. They brought the water from the pool of Siloam and poured out literally barrels of water. During this festival, they illuminated the inner court with a regular torch parade. This was commemorating the pillar of fire that guided the children of Israel by night as they wandered in the wilderness. Now we can understand that the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire that led the children of Israel were both pictures of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All the feasts of Jehovah in the Old Testament have been fulfilled except the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be fulfilled when our Lord returns to the earth. Thus it symbolizes the great joy of that time.

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Dr. McGee is correct; there is still today much disagreement about the identity of Jesus. The mere mention of His name can send some individuals into fits of apoplectic anger. I remember back when we slid into a new millennium and a fellow asked me who I thought was the most influential person of the past 100 years. I didn’t even have to give it a thought. I said “Jesus Christ”. That man launched out of his chair like he was shot from a cannon. His face was immediately beat red and spit flew from his mouth as he stuttered out his outrage that I would even consider the name. It was an immediate knee-jerk reaction to the name of Jesus Christ on both our parts. To this day He engenders polar opposites in feelings and opinions.

I’m reminded that the Prince of Peace, Jesus, said that He came not to give peace on Earth but to give division (Luke 12:51). There are other scriptural references to the fact that Jesus came to divide. In Matthew He speaks of dividing the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:33). Those who belong to the world hate Him for who He is, and, as His follower, if you think you can get by without having that hatred poured out on you, I’m afraid you are in for a rude awakening. Jesus told us the world will hate us for His sake. You just can’t stand with Him and with the world. You will have to choose sides, if you haven’t already. Let me close by reminding you of our Lord’s words as relayed in the book of Luke.

Luke 6:22-23 ESV
[22] “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! [23] Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Proverbs 25–28
Chronological Order: Isaiah 28-30
Old Testament Only: Job 4–6
New Testament Only: Acts 18:1–17

Daily Verse: 1 John 2:5     1 John 2. 5

 

 

Bible Study

Deny Yourself Daily And Follow Him

Passage: John 6:60-71

I don’t know about you but I have really enjoyed this time we have spent in John 6. I have finally come to see what Jesus was really teaching with His miracle of feeding 5,000+ with the five loaves and two fish. We’ll finish up this chapter today, and while I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have, I’m sure we are all ready for chapter seven.

Here in the last couple of paragraphs of John 6 Jesus wraps up this episode by telling us that some want what He has to offer, but not at the price it is offered. I’m not going to paste the entire two paragraphs in question into this post, so you’ll want to click on the passage link above to read it for yourself. To me, the most significant point found within these paragraphs is the fact that some just can’t accept abiding in Jesus for the sake of their own salvation; they can’t accept that He is really God and that they must submit to His Lordship. You see, while Jesus offers salvation as a free gift, that gift is Him as the Lord of your life. The price then for salvation is getting off the throne of your heart and surrendering that seat to Jesus Christ. The price is submission to His will and rejection of your own. Some folks just cannot deny themselves that seat.

Verse 63 says that it is the “Spirit” (Spirit with a Capital S making it a noun) who (making the Spirit a person) gives life; the flesh is no help at all”. The desires of our flesh lead us to death. Real life, spiritual life, is a gift from God, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we discover through the working of the Holy Spirit, and accept by surrendering authority over our life to Christ. Our flesh and fleshly desires are no help in attaining true life. In fact the flesh is not only no help, but a hindrance. God’s Holy Spirit calls us and convicts us of our need for a Savior. His Holy Spirit testifies within us to the truth of the Gospel and when we finally surrender all to Jesus, His Spirit resides within our heart so that we indeed do abide, that is to say constantly live, with Christ.

Verse 60 tells us that what Jesus told them was hard to accept. Verse 64 tells us that there were those among His followers who did not really believe; this was a specific reference to Judas who would later betray Him. Verse 66 tells us that many of Jesus’ disciples turned away from Him because they could not accept His Lordship over their lives. They wanted what He could do for them, but they did not want to give up their own rule over their lives. At least these folks were honest. Judas continued to outwardly follow Jesus while never having accepted His Lordship in his heart.

Perhaps the most significant verse, if one can be so foolish as to parse Scripture this way, is verse 65 where Jesus says “no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father”. This proves that salvation is completely dependent upon the will and work of God. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for having been so wise as to “choose Jesus”. You see He chose us. We did not meet some minimum standard for selection. We are completely unworthy of being selected, and we did nothing at any step of the process that makes us more special than those who are not saved. We are not somehow more deserving than the Lost. Now you might be tempted to say that at least you agreed with God and accepted His gift, but please think about that for a moment. It is God who made it possible for you to truly understand the choice as being one between eternal joy and eternal pain. Is that really a choice? Would anyone in their right mind, convinced that one option was pain and one option joy, choose pain? Would you like a billion dollars or a punch in the face? Isn’t that what we call a no brainer?

Salvation is a complete work of God. Not one of us can boast in our secure position in Christ for we have done nothing to obtain it. Of critical importance to the believer, however, is abiding in Christ. Having surrendered the throne of our heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we must daily draw our spiritual sustenance from Him. This is what it means to abide in Him. As Jesus Himself said, we must deny ourselves daily, take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). If we truly belong to Him our will is no longer what drives us forward but rather His. Daily we must rededicate ourselves to obedience to Christ. We must remind ourselves every day whose we are and whose will we will obey.

So what will it be? Will you accept His Lordship over your life or will you turn away, unwilling to surrender true control over your life to Him? Will you abide in Him or reject Him? Will you at least be honest about this? Judas was not honest. He pretended to be something He was not. Was this to his advantage? Brother, live the truth of whose you are. Abide in Him. Deny yourself daily and follow Him.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!