APRIL 21-22

Luke 10:38-42 - Jesus Tells Martha What She Needs to Do

Verse 38: "Now it came to pass, as they
[Jesus and his disciples] went [on their way to Jerusalem], that he [Jesus (and his disciples)] entered into a certain village [called Bethany]: and a certain woman named Martha [who was the sister of Mary and Lazarus] received him [and his disciples, kindly and hospitably,] into her house."

Verse 39: "And she
[Martha] had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word [listened to his preaching and teaching]."

Verse 40: "But Martha was cumbered about much serving
[was very busy preparing food for her guests and making sure they were comfortable], and came to him [Jesus], and said, Lord, dost thou not care [don't you care] that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me [ask her to come and help me]."

Verses 41-42: "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art
[you are] careful [anxious, full of care] and troubled [worried, distracted] about many things [i.e., providing 'food for the body']: But one thing is needful [needed]: and Mary hath chosen that good part [i.e., 'food for the soul,' referring to salvation, plus a love for God and an interest in his kingdom], which shall not be taken away from her."

Regarding these verses, James Burton Coffman said: "Much of the failure of modern Christianity lies in the fact that Christians are busy with all kinds of things, many of them important and necessary, of course; but yet they have no time for the word of the Lord." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/10-41.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

In addition, Albert Barnes ended his commentary on these verses by saying:

"From this interesting narrative we learn:

"1. That the cares of this life are dangerous, even when they seem to be most lawful and commendable. Nothing of a worldly nature could have been more proper than to provide for the Lord Jesus and supply his wants. Yet even 'for this,' because it too much engrossed her mind, the Lord Jesus gently reproved Martha. So a care for our families may be the means of our neglecting religion and losing our souls.

"2. It is of more importance to attend to the instructions of the Lord Jesus than to be engaged in the affairs of the world. The one will abide forever; the other will be but for a little time.

"3. There 'are' times when it is proper to suspend worldly employments, and to attend to the affairs of the soul. It 'was' proper for Mary to do it. It would have been proper for Martha to have done it. It 'is' proper for all on the Sabbath and at other occasional seasons - seasons of prayer and for searching the word of God - to suspend worldly concerns and to attend to religion.

"4. If attention to religion be omitted at 'the proper time,' it will always be omitted. If Mary had neglected to hear Jesus 'then,' she might never have heard him.

"5. Piety is the chief thing needed. Other things will perish. We shall soon die. All that we can gain we must leave. But the 'soul' will live. There is a judgment-seat; there is a heaven; there is a hell; and 'all' that is needful to prepare us to die, and to make us happy forever, is to be a friend of Jesus, and to listen to his teaching.

"6. Piety is the chief ornament in a female. It sweetens every other virtue; adorns every other grace; gives new loveliness to the tenderness, mildness, and grace of the female character. Nothing is more lovely than a female sitting at the feet of the meek and lowly Jesus, like Mary; nothing more unlovely than entire absorption in the affairs of the world, like Martha. The most lovely female is she who has most of the spirit of Jesus; the least amiable, she who neglects her soul - who is proud, frivolous, thoughtless, envious, and unlike the meek and lowly Redeemer. At his feet are peace, purity, joy. Everywhere else an alluring and wicked world steals the affections and renders us vain, frivolous, wicked, proud, and unwilling to die."

(Source for Barnes' quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html, "Verse 42")

APRIL 20

Proverbs 20:3: "It is an honour for a man
[or woman or child] to cease from strife [in other words, wise people will refuse to become involved in arguments and quarrels about unimportant matters]: but every fool will be meddling [interfering, or taking part, in situations involving controversy and strife]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that strife in the above verse does not apply to normal, everyday disagreements or differences of opinion between individuals or groups of people, but to what happens when someone tries to stir up trouble because of them. In his commentary, he gives examples of normal differences of opinion and how they can develop into heated arguments, and he tells what we can do to act as peacemakers and cease from strife.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_3/.

In another commentary on the same verse, Matthew Poole says:

"To cease from strife; either to prevent it, or, if it be begun, to put an end to it …

"Will be meddling, to wit, with matters of strife; he is always ready to begin strife, and obstinate in the continuance of it."

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/20-3.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

APRIL 19

Proverbs 19:1: "Better is the poor
[person] that walketh in his [or her] integrity [referring to someone who is honest and has a good moral compass, or lives a good, wholesome, moral lifestyle], than he [or she] that is perverse [corrupt] in his [or her] lips [meaning he or she distorts the truth, or what he or she says shows a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion], and is a fool."

According to Pastor Jim Delany, or Salem Bible Church, a poor person of integrity is better than a rich person without integrity.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_1/.

Matthew Henry's commentary says: "… What will be the shame of a rich man, notwithstanding all his pomp. If he have a shallow head and an evil tongue, if he is perverse in his lips and is a fool, if he is a wicked man and gets what he has by fraud and oppression, he is a fool, and an honest poor man is to be preferred far before him." (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/19.html, "Verse 1")

APRIL 18

Titus 2:11-12 - How God Wants Us to Live

Verse 11: "For the grace
[kindness, unmerited (undeserved) favor] of God that bringeth salvation [i.e., the plan of salvation] hath appeared [has been revealed] to all men [to all people or classes of people--males/females, masters/servants, old/young, rich/poor, wise/foolish, etc.],"

Verse 12: "Teaching us
[i.e., the grace of God teaches us] that, denying [renouncing, rejecting, giving up, refusing to be associated with] ungodliness [all things contrary to God, including atheism, idolatry, and false religions] and worldly lusts [such as ambition, pride, or a desire for riches, pleasure, honor, etc.], we should live soberly [calmly, seriously (by exercising self-control)], righteously [justly, fairly (by treating people in a way that is considered morally right)], and godly [by honoring and obeying God], in this present world;"

APRIL 17

Proverbs 17:15: "He
[or she] that justifieth the wicked [excuses wickedness (evil, sinful behavior), or declares a criminal or bad person to be righteous, or 'good'], and he [or she] that condemneth the just [condemns (expresses strong disapproval of, or sentences to punishment) a morally upright or innocent person], even they both [referring to people who justify the wicked and condemn the just] are abomination [a disgusting or repulsive thing] to the LORD."

According to the Bible commentaries that I read, the above verse pertains mainly to injustice in our legal system--when bad people are intentionally set free and innocent people are sent to prison--but it also refers to the "court" of public opinion (i.e., when we call evil good, and good evil).

Once again, the commentary by Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church is excellent and contains many examples of unintentional injustice (honest mistakes due to human error) and intentional injustice (things done on purpose to pervert the law), both inside and outside the courtroom. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_15/.

APRIL 16

Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt communication
[obscene, filthy, offensive words] proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good to [for] the use of edifying [instructing or benefitting, especially morally and/or spiritually; uplifting, encouraging] [others], [so] that it may minister [supply] grace [kindness, goodwill] unto the hearers."

This is what several well-known Bible commentators said about corrupt communication:

Matthew Henry:

"Filthy and unclean words and discourse are poisonous and infectious, as putrid rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse …"

(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ephesians/4.html, "Verses 17-32," "v. 29")

Charles Spurgeon:

"I have heard unthinking people say, 'Well, if it is in your heart, you may as well speak it; it is better out than in.' I do not agree with them! If you had a barrel of whiskey in your house, that would certainly be a bad thing to be in your possession; but it would not do any hurt so long as you kept it unopened, so that nobody could get at it, for the mischief arises when people begin to drink it. Undoubtedly, it is an evil thing for you to have anything that is corrupt in your heart, but it will not be mischievous to other people until it begins to come out; so, 'let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/ephesians-4.html, "Ephesians 4:29")

Albert Barnes:

"(3) [I]ts importance [referring to the admonition (advice or warning) to not say bad things] will be seen from the 'influence' of such corrupt communications. 'The passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it;' the expression of such a thought deepens the pollution on the soul, and corrupts others. It is like retaining an offensive carcase above ground, to pollute the air, and to diffuse pestilence and death, which should at once be buried out of sight. A Christian should be pure in his conversation. His Master was pure. His God is pure. The heaven to which he goes is pure. The religion which he professes is pure. Never should he indulge himself in an obscene allusion: never should he retail [relate] anecdotes of an obscene character, or smile when they are retailed [related] by others. Never should he indulge in a jest having a double meaning; never should be listen to a song of this character. If those with whom he associates have not sufficient respect for themselves and him to abstain from such corrupt and corrupting allusions, he should at once leave them."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-4.html, "Verse 29")

APRIL 15

Proverbs 15:8: "The sacrifice of the wicked
[referring to religious things that are done by both saved and unsaved people whose hearts are not right with God and/or other people] is an abomination [a disgusting or repulsive thing] to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [person, referring to born-again Christians who try to live their lives in a way that is acceptable and pleasing to God] is his [God's] delight."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Here are some highlights:

Sacrifices

"God knows what's going on in the mind as the sacrifice is offered."

"The wicked mind can devise all kinds of reasons to offer sacrifice to God: an attempt to atone for our sin; to restore fellowship = a lack of confidence in the blood of Christ; a cloak for maliciousness; pretense; pride; showmanship; to be seen of men…"

Prayer

"God is not impressed with a room full of people here at our prayer meetings… if we are harboring SIN in our hearts at the same time we come to the throne of grace in prayer!"

"If we behave in a wicked way-even our prayers are an abomination to God."

"It is not that God is unable to hear the prayers of the wicked, or that He is ignorant of what they are saying in their prayers. He knows their hearts."

"It is that God CHOOSES not to hear them… BECAUSE He knows their heart!"

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_8b/.

APRIL 14

John 14:15
[During the last supper, with his twelve disciples, prior to his crucifixion (death on the cross), after Judas (the traitor) had left the room, Jesus said]: "If ye love me, keep [obey] my commandments."

The above statement also applies to all Christians.

By reading the Bible, we learn what Jesus said to do and not do. We prove our love for him by readily (willingly) following his teachings.

APRIL 13

Proverbs 13:5: "A righteous man
[a just, lawful person] hateth lying: but a wicked man [or woman or child, especially one who repeatedly tells lies] is loathsome [detestable, disgusting], and cometh to shame.

Here's a good illustration from a Bible commentary of the consequences of lying:

"There is no knowing the effects of a lie even in this world. Said a lady, 'I told once for all the fashionable lie of having my servant announce at the door that I was not at home. At night my husband said, " Mrs.       died to-day." It went through me like cold steel. She had made me promise that I would be at her bedside at the last hour, as she had something of great importance to disclose. "And," said my husband, "she died in great distress to see you, having sent three times, only to learn that you were not at home." How I loathed myself! No more lies for me!'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/13-5.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Lying hateful")


Note: There is no commentary for this verse on the Salem Bible Church website.

APRIL 12

Matthew 22:36-40 - The Most Important Commandments
While Jesus was preaching, one of the Pharisees (a lawyer, or interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law) asked him:

Verse 36: "Master [or teacher--a title for Jesus], which is the great [greatest] commandment in the law [of Moses, especially the Ten Commandments]?"

Verses 37-38: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind
[you should love God supremely--above everything else]. This is the first and great [most important] commandment [which is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5--see note below*]."

Verse 39: "And the second
[commandment, quoted from Leviticus 19:18--see note below**] is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself [you should love everyone else as much as you love yourself]."

Verse 40: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets
[which means that love is the basis of the teachings of the Old Testament]."
_________________________

*Deuteronomy 6:5: "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

**Leviticus 19:18: "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

APRIL 11

Luke 9:49-50: "And John
[one of the original twelve disciples/apostles] answered [Jesus] and said, Master, we saw one [person] casting out devils in thy [your] name [perhaps he was one of John the Baptist's disciples, or one of the seventy men whom Jesus had sent out to perform miracles]; and we forbad him [told him not to do it], because he followeth not with us [he doesn't associate with us and is not part of our group]. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not [don't tell him he can't cast out devils (demons)]: for he [or she] that is not against us is for us."

APRIL 10

John 8:44 - Children of the Devil: "Like Father, Like Son"
To some Pharisees (members of a religious group), who claimed to be descendants of Abraham, and children of God, but who hated Jesus and wanted to kill him, Jesus said:

"Ye are of [you are from] your father the devil [i.e., you have the same temper, disposition, and spirit as Satan does], and the lusts [desires or wishes] of your father ye will do [which means you are influenced by the devil and willingly do what he wants you to do … or, as the saying goes, 'Like father, like son'].

"He
[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning [of the world, from the time that he tempted Adam and Eve to sin and, as a result, brought physical and spiritual death to the human race, and also when he caused Cain to kill his brother, Abel], and [he] abode not [did not continue] in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he [the devil] speaketh [tells] a lie, he speaketh of his own [accord]: for he [Satan] is a liar, and the father of it [referring to lying itself; in other words, Satan is the originator of all lies]."

APRIL 9

Isaiah 42:8: "I am the LORD
[Yahweh, or Jehovah--the one true God]: that is my name: and my glory [honor] will I not give [not allow to be given] to another [person or 'god'], neither [will I allow] my praise to [be given to] graven images [idols]."

APRIL 7-8

Galatians 6:7-8 - Reaping What We Sow

Verse 7: "Be not deceived
[don't be misled or fooled]; God is not mocked [he won't be disrespected, dishonored, or ignored]: for whatsoever a man [or woman or child] soweth, that shall he [or she] also reap [as when a farmer scatters/plants seeds and harvests a crop]."

Verse 8: "For he
[or she] that soweth to his [or her] flesh [i.e., those who engage in things like smoking, drinking, gambling, drug abuse, adultery, fornication, pornography, overeating, etc.) to satisfy a craving for pleasure] shall of the flesh reap corruption [sorrow or distress, disease, death]; but he [or she] that soweth to the Spirit [of God; i.e., those who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit] shall of the [Holy] Spirit reap life everlasting [eternal life]."

In verse 8, sowing to the flesh means having a desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and sowing to the Spirit means being guided by the Holy Spirit, which results in salvation and living the kind of life that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit. The Bible describes these two things as follows:

Sowing to the Flesh = Works of the Flesh

Galatians 5:19-21: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Sowing to the Spirit = Salvation, and Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

APRIL 6

Galatians 6:10
[Advice to born-again Christians, from the apostle Paul's letter to the Christian churches in Galatia]: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men [and women and children], especially unto them who are of the household of faith [i.e., the Christian faith, meaning those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior]."

APRIL 4-5

Romans 10:1-4 - We Must All be Saved
God's Way
The apostle Paul wrote this in his letter to the Christians in Rome:

Verse 1: "Brethren [fellow Christians], my heart's desire [sincere wish] and prayer to God for Israel [the Jewish nation] is, that they might be saved [from the sin of unbelief and the consequences of sin (i.e., punishment in hell)--in other words, he wants them to be 'born again']."

Verses 2-3: "For I
[Paul] bear them record [bear witness, or give evidence] that they [the Jewish people] have a zeal of [great energy and enthusiasm for] God, but not according to [true and correct] knowledge. For they [the Jews] being ignorant of God's righteousness [not understanding the gospel (God's simple plan of salvation), i.e., that sinners are justified (made righteous, or acceptable, in God's sight) by grace through faith in Jesus Christ], and going about to establish their own righteousness [through good works and obedience to the law of Moses], have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

Verse 4: "For
[faith in] Christ [Jesus] is the end of the [moral] law [referring to the Ten Commandments] [see note below*] for righteousness [justification, or acceptance by God] to every one that believeth [on, or trusts in, him--Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God--for salvation]."

We should follow Paul's example and pray for the salvation of Israel, and also for own country and the people we love.
_________________________

*According to Albert Barnes, the phrase Christ is the end of the law in verse 4 means that "… perfect obedience to the Law would accomplish justification before God, secure his favor and eternal life. The same end is now accomplished by faith in Christ." [Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-10.html, "Verse 4"]

APRIL 3

1 Corinthians 7:8-9
[At a time when the Christian church at Corinth was undergoing persecution and trials, the apostle Paul wrote]: "I say therefore to the unmarried [men and women] and [to] widows [and widowers--i.e., those whose spouses have died], It is good for them if they abide [remain unmarried] even as I [am]. But if they cannot contain [control] [their sexual thoughts and actions, or resist temptation], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [with lust, which means have an overwhelming desire or craving for sex]."

APRIL 1-2

Matthew 28:1-9 - Resurrection of Jesus

Verse 1: "In the end of the
[weekly] sabbath [which took place every Saturday], as it began to dawn toward [Sunday,] the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [i.e., wife of Cleopas, and mother of James and Joses] to see the sepulchre [the tomb in which Jesus had been buried]."

Verses 2-4: "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended
[came down] from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door [of the sepulchre], and sat upon it. His countenance [outward appearance] was [bright and shining] like lightning, and his raiment [clothing] [was as] white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb] did shake [tremble], and became as dead men [they probably fainted from fright, because they were terrified by what had just happened]."

Verses 5-7: "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen
[from the dead], as he said. Come, see the place [in the sepulchre] where the Lord [referring to Jesus' body] lay [had been placed]. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he [Jesus] goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."

Verses 8-9: "And they
[the women] departed [left] quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word [good news] [that Jesus was alive]. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail [a salutation, or greeting, meaning 'rejoice']. And they came and held him by the feet [i.e., they lay face down on the ground, touching his feet, showing respect, honor, love, and affection,], and worshipped him."


Previous Verses
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April 2018
APRIL 21-22

Luke 10:38-42 - Jesus Tells Martha What She Needs to Do

Verse 38: "Now it came to pass, as they
[Jesus and his disciples] went [on their way to Jerusalem], that he [Jesus (and his disciples)] entered into a certain village [called Bethany]: and a certain woman named Martha [who was the sister of Mary and Lazarus] received him [and his disciples, kindly and hospitably,] into her house."

Verse 39: "And she
[Martha] had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word [listened to his preaching and teaching]."

Verse 40: "But Martha was cumbered about much serving
[was very busy preparing food for her guests and making sure they were comfortable], and came to him [Jesus], and said, Lord, dost thou not care [don't you care] that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me [ask her to come and help me]."

Verses 41-42: "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art
[you are] careful [anxious, full of care] and troubled [worried, distracted] about many things [i.e., providing 'food for the body']: But one thing is needful [needed]: and Mary hath chosen that good part [i.e., 'food for the soul,' referring to salvation, plus a love for God and an interest in his kingdom], which shall not be taken away from her."

Regarding these verses, James Burton Coffman said: "Much of the failure of modern Christianity lies in the fact that Christians are busy with all kinds of things, many of them important and necessary, of course; but yet they have no time for the word of the Lord." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/10-41.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

In addition, Albert Barnes ended his commentary on these verses by saying:

"From this interesting narrative we learn:

"1. That the cares of this life are dangerous, even when they seem to be most lawful and commendable. Nothing of a worldly nature could have been more proper than to provide for the Lord Jesus and supply his wants. Yet even 'for this,' because it too much engrossed her mind, the Lord Jesus gently reproved Martha. So a care for our families may be the means of our neglecting religion and losing our souls.

"2. It is of more importance to attend to the instructions of the Lord Jesus than to be engaged in the affairs of the world. The one will abide forever; the other will be but for a little time.

"3. There 'are' times when it is proper to suspend worldly employments, and to attend to the affairs of the soul. It 'was' proper for Mary to do it. It would have been proper for Martha to have done it. It 'is' proper for all on the Sabbath and at other occasional seasons - seasons of prayer and for searching the word of God - to suspend worldly concerns and to attend to religion.

"4. If attention to religion be omitted at 'the proper time,' it will always be omitted. If Mary had neglected to hear Jesus 'then,' she might never have heard him.

"5. Piety is the chief thing needed. Other things will perish. We shall soon die. All that we can gain we must leave. But the 'soul' will live. There is a judgment-seat; there is a heaven; there is a hell; and 'all' that is needful to prepare us to die, and to make us happy forever, is to be a friend of Jesus, and to listen to his teaching.

"6. Piety is the chief ornament in a female. It sweetens every other virtue; adorns every other grace; gives new loveliness to the tenderness, mildness, and grace of the female character. Nothing is more lovely than a female sitting at the feet of the meek and lowly Jesus, like Mary; nothing more unlovely than entire absorption in the affairs of the world, like Martha. The most lovely female is she who has most of the spirit of Jesus; the least amiable, she who neglects her soul - who is proud, frivolous, thoughtless, envious, and unlike the meek and lowly Redeemer. At his feet are peace, purity, joy. Everywhere else an alluring and wicked world steals the affections and renders us vain, frivolous, wicked, proud, and unwilling to die."

(Source for Barnes' quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html, "Verse 42")

APRIL 20

Proverbs 20:3: "It is an honour for a man
[or woman or child] to cease from strife [in other words, wise people will refuse to become involved in arguments and quarrels about unimportant matters]: but every fool will be meddling [interfering, or taking part, in situations involving controversy and strife]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that strife in the above verse does not apply to normal, everyday disagreements or differences of opinion between individuals or groups of people, but to what happens when someone tries to stir up trouble because of them. In his commentary, he gives examples of normal differences of opinion and how they can develop into heated arguments, and he tells what we can do to act as peacemakers and cease from strife.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_3/.

In another commentary on the same verse, Matthew Poole says:

"To cease from strife; either to prevent it, or, if it be begun, to put an end to it …

"Will be meddling, to wit, with matters of strife; he is always ready to begin strife, and obstinate in the continuance of it."

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/20-3.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

APRIL 19

Proverbs 19:1: "Better is the poor
[person] that walketh in his [or her] integrity [referring to someone who is honest and has a good moral compass, or lives a good, wholesome, moral lifestyle], than he [or she] that is perverse [corrupt] in his [or her] lips [meaning he or she distorts the truth, or what he or she says shows a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion], and is a fool."

According to Pastor Jim Delany, or Salem Bible Church, a poor person of integrity is better than a rich person without integrity.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_1/.

Matthew Henry's commentary says: "… What will be the shame of a rich man, notwithstanding all his pomp. If he have a shallow head and an evil tongue, if he is perverse in his lips and is a fool, if he is a wicked man and gets what he has by fraud and oppression, he is a fool, and an honest poor man is to be preferred far before him." (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/19.html, "Verse 1")

APRIL 18

Titus 2:11-12 - How God Wants Us to Live

Verse 11: "For the grace
[kindness, unmerited (undeserved) favor] of God that bringeth salvation [i.e., the plan of salvation] hath appeared [has been revealed] to all men [to all people or classes of people--males/females, masters/servants, old/young, rich/poor, wise/foolish, etc.],"

Verse 12: "Teaching us
[i.e., the grace of God teaches us] that, denying [renouncing, rejecting, giving up, refusing to be associated with] ungodliness [all things contrary to God, including atheism, idolatry, and false religions] and worldly lusts [such as ambition, pride, or a desire for riches, pleasure, honor, etc.], we should live soberly [calmly, seriously (by exercising self-control)], righteously [justly, fairly (by treating people in a way that is considered morally right)], and godly [by honoring and obeying God], in this present world;"

APRIL 17

Proverbs 17:15: "He
[or she] that justifieth the wicked [excuses wickedness (evil, sinful behavior), or declares a criminal or bad person to be righteous, or 'good'], and he [or she] that condemneth the just [condemns (expresses strong disapproval of, or sentences to punishment) a morally upright or innocent person], even they both [referring to people who justify the wicked and condemn the just] are abomination [a disgusting or repulsive thing] to the LORD."

According to the Bible commentaries that I read, the above verse pertains mainly to injustice in our legal system--when bad people are intentionally set free and innocent people are sent to prison--but it also refers to the "court" of public opinion (i.e., when we call evil good, and good evil).

Once again, the commentary by Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church is excellent and contains many examples of unintentional injustice (honest mistakes due to human error) and intentional injustice (things done on purpose to pervert the law), both inside and outside the courtroom. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_15/.

APRIL 16

Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt communication
[obscene, filthy, offensive words] proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good to [for] the use of edifying [instructing or benefitting, especially morally and/or spiritually; uplifting, encouraging] [others], [so] that it may minister [supply] grace [kindness, goodwill] unto the hearers."

This is what several well-known Bible commentators said about corrupt communication:

Matthew Henry:

"Filthy and unclean words and discourse are poisonous and infectious, as putrid rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse …"

(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ephesians/4.html, "Verses 17-32," "v. 29")

Charles Spurgeon:

"I have heard unthinking people say, 'Well, if it is in your heart, you may as well speak it; it is better out than in.' I do not agree with them! If you had a barrel of whiskey in your house, that would certainly be a bad thing to be in your possession; but it would not do any hurt so long as you kept it unopened, so that nobody could get at it, for the mischief arises when people begin to drink it. Undoubtedly, it is an evil thing for you to have anything that is corrupt in your heart, but it will not be mischievous to other people until it begins to come out; so, 'let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/ephesians-4.html, "Ephesians 4:29")

Albert Barnes:

"(3) [I]ts importance [referring to the admonition (advice or warning) to not say bad things] will be seen from the 'influence' of such corrupt communications. 'The passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it;' the expression of such a thought deepens the pollution on the soul, and corrupts others. It is like retaining an offensive carcase above ground, to pollute the air, and to diffuse pestilence and death, which should at once be buried out of sight. A Christian should be pure in his conversation. His Master was pure. His God is pure. The heaven to which he goes is pure. The religion which he professes is pure. Never should he indulge himself in an obscene allusion: never should he retail [relate] anecdotes of an obscene character, or smile when they are retailed [related] by others. Never should he indulge in a jest having a double meaning; never should be listen to a song of this character. If those with whom he associates have not sufficient respect for themselves and him to abstain from such corrupt and corrupting allusions, he should at once leave them."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-4.html, "Verse 29")

APRIL 15

Proverbs 15:8: "The sacrifice of the wicked
[referring to religious things that are done by both saved and unsaved people whose hearts are not right with God and/or other people] is an abomination [a disgusting or repulsive thing] to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [person, referring to born-again Christians who try to live their lives in a way that is acceptable and pleasing to God] is his [God's] delight."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Here are some highlights:

Sacrifices

"God knows what's going on in the mind as the sacrifice is offered."

"The wicked mind can devise all kinds of reasons to offer sacrifice to God: an attempt to atone for our sin; to restore fellowship = a lack of confidence in the blood of Christ; a cloak for maliciousness; pretense; pride; showmanship; to be seen of men…"

Prayer

"God is not impressed with a room full of people here at our prayer meetings… if we are harboring SIN in our hearts at the same time we come to the throne of grace in prayer!"

"If we behave in a wicked way-even our prayers are an abomination to God."

"It is not that God is unable to hear the prayers of the wicked, or that He is ignorant of what they are saying in their prayers. He knows their hearts."

"It is that God CHOOSES not to hear them… BECAUSE He knows their heart!"

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_8b/.

APRIL 14

John 14:15
[During the last supper, with his twelve disciples, prior to his crucifixion (death on the cross), after Judas (the traitor) had left the room, Jesus said]: "If ye love me, keep [obey] my commandments."

The above statement also applies to all Christians.

By reading the Bible, we learn what Jesus said to do and not do. We prove our love for him by readily (willingly) following his teachings.

APRIL 13

Proverbs 13:5: "A righteous man
[a just, lawful person] hateth lying: but a wicked man [or woman or child, especially one who repeatedly tells lies] is loathsome [detestable, disgusting], and cometh to shame.

Here's a good illustration from a Bible commentary of the consequences of lying:

"There is no knowing the effects of a lie even in this world. Said a lady, 'I told once for all the fashionable lie of having my servant announce at the door that I was not at home. At night my husband said, " Mrs.       died to-day." It went through me like cold steel. She had made me promise that I would be at her bedside at the last hour, as she had something of great importance to disclose. "And," said my husband, "she died in great distress to see you, having sent three times, only to learn that you were not at home." How I loathed myself! No more lies for me!'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/13-5.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Lying hateful")


Note: There is no commentary for this verse on the Salem Bible Church website.

APRIL 12

Matthew 22:36-40 - The Most Important Commandments
While Jesus was preaching, one of the Pharisees (a lawyer, or interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law) asked him:

Verse 36: "Master [or teacher--a title for Jesus], which is the great [greatest] commandment in the law [of Moses, especially the Ten Commandments]?"

Verses 37-38: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind
[you should love God supremely--above everything else]. This is the first and great [most important] commandment [which is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5--see note below*]."

Verse 39: "And the second
[commandment, quoted from Leviticus 19:18--see note below**] is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself [you should love everyone else as much as you love yourself]."

Verse 40: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets
[which means that love is the basis of the teachings of the Old Testament]."
_________________________

*Deuteronomy 6:5: "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

**Leviticus 19:18: "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

APRIL 11

Luke 9:49-50: "And John
[one of the original twelve disciples/apostles] answered [Jesus] and said, Master, we saw one [person] casting out devils in thy [your] name [perhaps he was one of John the Baptist's disciples, or one of the seventy men whom Jesus had sent out to perform miracles]; and we forbad him [told him not to do it], because he followeth not with us [he doesn't associate with us and is not part of our group]. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not [don't tell him he can't cast out devils (demons)]: for he [or she] that is not against us is for us."

APRIL 10

John 8:44 - Children of the Devil: "Like Father, Like Son"
To some Pharisees (members of a religious group), who claimed to be descendants of Abraham, and children of God, but who hated Jesus and wanted to kill him, Jesus said:

"Ye are of [you are from] your father the devil [i.e., you have the same temper, disposition, and spirit as Satan does], and the lusts [desires or wishes] of your father ye will do [which means you are influenced by the devil and willingly do what he wants you to do … or, as the saying goes, 'Like father, like son'].

"He
[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning [of the world, from the time that he tempted Adam and Eve to sin and, as a result, brought physical and spiritual death to the human race, and also when he caused Cain to kill his brother, Abel], and [he] abode not [did not continue] in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he [the devil] speaketh [tells] a lie, he speaketh of his own [accord]: for he [Satan] is a liar, and the father of it [referring to lying itself; in other words, Satan is the originator of all lies]."

APRIL 9

Isaiah 42:8: "I am the LORD
[Yahweh, or Jehovah--the one true God]: that is my name: and my glory [honor] will I not give [not allow to be given] to another [person or 'god'], neither [will I allow] my praise to [be given to] graven images [idols]."

APRIL 7-8

Galatians 6:7-8 - Reaping What We Sow

Verse 7: "Be not deceived
[don't be misled or fooled]; God is not mocked [he won't be disrespected, dishonored, or ignored]: for whatsoever a man [or woman or child] soweth, that shall he [or she] also reap [as when a farmer scatters/plants seeds and harvests a crop]."

Verse 8: "For he
[or she] that soweth to his [or her] flesh [i.e., those who engage in things like smoking, drinking, gambling, drug abuse, adultery, fornication, pornography, overeating, etc.) to satisfy a craving for pleasure] shall of the flesh reap corruption [sorrow or distress, disease, death]; but he [or she] that soweth to the Spirit [of God; i.e., those who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit] shall of the [Holy] Spirit reap life everlasting [eternal life]."

In verse 8, sowing to the flesh means having a desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and sowing to the Spirit means being guided by the Holy Spirit, which results in salvation and living the kind of life that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit. The Bible describes these two things as follows:

Sowing to the Flesh = Works of the Flesh

Galatians 5:19-21: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Sowing to the Spirit = Salvation, and Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

APRIL 6

Galatians 6:10
[Advice to born-again Christians, from the apostle Paul's letter to the Christian churches in Galatia]: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men [and women and children], especially unto them who are of the household of faith [i.e., the Christian faith, meaning those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior]."

APRIL 4-5

Romans 10:1-4 - We Must All be Saved
God's Way
The apostle Paul wrote this in his letter to the Christians in Rome:

Verse 1: "Brethren [fellow Christians], my heart's desire [sincere wish] and prayer to God for Israel [the Jewish nation] is, that they might be saved [from the sin of unbelief and the consequences of sin (i.e., punishment in hell)--in other words, he wants them to be 'born again']."

Verses 2-3: "For I
[Paul] bear them record [bear witness, or give evidence] that they [the Jewish people] have a zeal of [great energy and enthusiasm for] God, but not according to [true and correct] knowledge. For they [the Jews] being ignorant of God's righteousness [not understanding the gospel (God's simple plan of salvation), i.e., that sinners are justified (made righteous, or acceptable, in God's sight) by grace through faith in Jesus Christ], and going about to establish their own righteousness [through good works and obedience to the law of Moses], have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

Verse 4: "For
[faith in] Christ [Jesus] is the end of the [moral] law [referring to the Ten Commandments] [see note below*] for righteousness [justification, or acceptance by God] to every one that believeth [on, or trusts in, him--Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God--for salvation]."

We should follow Paul's example and pray for the salvation of Israel, and also for own country and the people we love.
_________________________

*According to Albert Barnes, the phrase Christ is the end of the law in verse 4 means that "… perfect obedience to the Law would accomplish justification before God, secure his favor and eternal life. The same end is now accomplished by faith in Christ." [Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-10.html, "Verse 4"]

APRIL 3

1 Corinthians 7:8-9
[At a time when the Christian church at Corinth was undergoing persecution and trials, the apostle Paul wrote]: "I say therefore to the unmarried [men and women] and [to] widows [and widowers--i.e., those whose spouses have died], It is good for them if they abide [remain unmarried] even as I [am]. But if they cannot contain [control] [their sexual thoughts and actions, or resist temptation], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [with lust, which means have an overwhelming desire or craving for sex]."

APRIL 1-2

Matthew 28:1-9 - Resurrection of Jesus

Verse 1: "In the end of the
[weekly] sabbath [which took place every Saturday], as it began to dawn toward [Sunday,] the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [i.e., wife of Cleopas, and mother of James and Joses] to see the sepulchre [the tomb in which Jesus had been buried]."

Verses 2-4: "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended
[came down] from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door [of the sepulchre], and sat upon it. His countenance [outward appearance] was [bright and shining] like lightning, and his raiment [clothing] [was as] white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb] did shake [tremble], and became as dead men [they probably fainted from fright, because they were terrified by what had just happened]."

Verses 5-7: "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen
[from the dead], as he said. Come, see the place [in the sepulchre] where the Lord [referring to Jesus' body] lay [had been placed]. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he [Jesus] goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."

Verses 8-9: "And they
[the women] departed [left] quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word [good news] [that Jesus was alive]. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail [a salutation, or greeting, meaning 'rejoice']. And they came and held him by the feet [i.e., they lay face down on the ground, touching his feet, showing respect, honor, love, and affection,], and worshipped him."


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