JULY 25

1 Corinthians 11:14: "Doth
[does] not even nature itself [your instinctive feelings or judgments, a deep internal sense of what is right and wrong] teach you, that, if a man [or boy] have long hair, it is a shame unto him [it is improper and disgraceful]?"

JULY 24

John 3:19-20 - Jesus Explains Why People Reject the Gospel

Verse 19: "And this is the condemnation
[the reason why people are sent to hell], that light [referring to Jesus Christ] is come into the world, and men [and women and children] loved darkness rather than light [preferred error (false doctrine) over truth, and sin instead of righteousness (salvation)], because their deeds [works, actions] were evil."

Verse 20: "For
[because] every one that doeth evil [does bad things] hateth [hates] the light, neither cometh [and doesn't come] to the light, lest [for fear that] his [or her] deeds should be reproved [detected (discovered) and punished]."

JULY 23

Galatians 6:9: "And let us not be weary in well doing
[we shouldn't get tired of doing good]: for [because] in due season [at the proper time, either in this world, or in heaven (on judgment day), or both] we shall reap [rewards; i.e., be rewarded or repaid for our good deeds, by others and/or by God], if we faint not [if we don't give up or stop doing good things before then]."

JULY 22

1 John 2:3-4: "And hereby
[by this] we do know that we know him [Jesus Christ, personally, meaning we know for sure that we are saved, or born again], if we keep [obey] his commandments. He [or she] that saith, I know him [Jesus], and keepeth not [does not obey] his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him [or her]."

Everyone who is truly saved (by faith alone, not works*) should have a desire to obey and please God.

*Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

JULY 21

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Don't Commit Sexual Sins
In a letter to Christians in the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote this in an attempt to explain why they should not commit fornication, which is sexual relations between people not married to each other:

Verse 19: "What? know ye not [don't you know] that your body is the temple [sanctuary, sacred dwelling place] of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit--see note below*] which [referring to the Holy Spirit] is in you [in your heart], which ye have of [from] God, and [that] ye are not your own [master]?"

Verse 20: "
[You should not commit the sin of fornication] For [because] ye are bought with a price [i.e., the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to pay for our sins--see note below**]: therefore glorify [honor] God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's [which belong to him]."

True Christians (those who have been born again, or saved) should want to serve God because, according to this verse, they belong to him.
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*The Holy Ghost (also known as the Holy Spirit) is the third person of the Godhead, or Trinity, which means that God consists of three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

I found an article that answers the question, "What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Spirit-Ghost.html.

**1 Peter 1:18-19: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

JULY 20

Luke 12:6-7
[Jesus said to his disciples]: "Are not five sparrows [little birds] sold [in Bible times] for two farthings [small coins of little worth], and not one of them is forgotten before [unnoticed or not cared for by] God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [by God]. Fear not [don't worry] therefore: [because] ye [you] are of more value [to God] than many sparrows."

All Christians are important to God.

JULY 19

Luke 6:38: "Give
[to others, especially the poor and needy], and it shall be given unto you [in return]; good measure [full measure, as when you fill a measuring cup to the brim with solid food, like figs or grapes], pressed down, and shaken together [to make room for more], and running over [overflowing], shall men give into your bosom [to you]. For with the same measure [generosity] that ye mete withal [measure out, give to others] it shall be measured to you again [given back to you]."

In other words, God will make sure that your charitable deeds are repaid.

Note: According to the commentary by Albert Barnes, "The word 'bosom' here has reference to a custom among Oriental nations of making the bosom or front part of their garments large, so that articles could be carried in them, answering the purpose of our pockets." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/luke/6-38, "Barnes' Commentary")

JULY 18

1 Samuel 16:6-7 - God Doesn't Judge People by Their Looks
This took place after God told his prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem, make a sacrifice to him (God), and anoint a new king for Israel. We find out later on this chapter that God's choice for king was Jesse's youngest son, David.

Verse 6: "And it came to pass, when they [Jesse and seven of his eight sons] were come [had arrived] [to witness the sacrifice], that he [Samuel] looked on Eliab [Jesse's oldest son], and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed [God's choice for king, to replace Saul, who was a very tall man--see note below*] is before him [God, … meaning that Eliab was standing near the altar, where God was present]."

Verse 7: "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on
[don't look at, or pay attention to] his [Eliab's] countenance [appearance; i.e., whether he was good-looking or not], or on the height of his stature [how tall he was]; because I have refused [rejected] him [as my choice for king]: for [because] the LORD seeth not [doesn't see] as [like] man [mankind, people] seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance [of a person], but the LORD looketh on the heart [what that person is like inside]."
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*1 Samuel 9:2: "And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people."

JULY 17

Psalm 4:8
[King David's prayer to God]: "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep [meaning he will lie down and sleep peacefully]: for thou [you], LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."

God protected King David, and he protects Christians, too.

JULY 16

2 Peter 3:8
[The apostle Peter, in a letter to Christians regarding the second coming of Christ (i.e., when Jesus returns to earth), wrote]: "But, beloved, be not [don't be] ignorant [lacking in knowledge, unaware] of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord [Jesus, in heaven] [the same] as a thousand years [is with us, on earth], and a thousand years [on earth] [is the same] as one day [in heaven]."

Because 1,000 years on earth = 1 day in heaven, we know that God measures time differently than we do..

According to Albert Barnes, "This 2 Peter 3:8-9 is the second consideration by which the apostle meets the objection of scoffers against the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour. The objection was, that much time, and perhaps the time which had been supposed to be set for his coming, had passed away, and still all things remained as they were. The reply of the apostle is, that no argument could be drawn from this, for that which may seem to be a long time to us is a brief period with God. In the infinity of his own duration there is abundant time to accomplish his designs, and it can make no difference with him whether they are accomplished in one day or extended to one thousand years. Man has but a short time to live, and if he does not accomplish his purposes in a very brief period, he never will. But it is not so with God. …"

(Source of quote: www.studylight.org/commentary/2-peter/3-8.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

JULY 15

Matthew 6:24: "No man
[person] can serve two masters: for [because] either he [or she] will hate the one [master], and love the other; or else he [or she] will hold [on] to the one [master], and despise [disrespect, neglect, or reject] the other. Ye [you] cannot serve [submit to, obey] [both] God and mammon [money, riches, wealth] [at the same time]."

JULY 13-14

Proverbs 13:3: "He that
[the person who] keepeth [guards] his [or her] mouth [i.e., watches what he or she says] keepeth his [or her] life [under control]: but he [or she] that openeth wide his [or her] lips [i.e., talks too much and/or says whatever pops into his or her mind without considering the consequences] shall have destruction [all kinds of trouble--see examples in the note below*]."

In other words, we should always think before speaking.
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*In paragraph 2 of the "Destruction" part of his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says, "The things people SAY can get them in more trouble and cause more pain, suffering, grief, and unrest in their lives than the things they DO."

Then, in paragraph 3, he goes on to give specific examples of how the things that we say can cause destruction in our lives. Here they are, in shortened form:

"3.) Examples of such destruction…

     "a. Saying YES to a salesman too soon…
         " Financial destruction: more bills than you are able to pay!
     "b. Spreading gossip…
         " Destruction to your friendships… you may separate chief friends…
     "c. Betraying confidences…
         " Destruction of your trust: you may lose friends… lose trust…
     "d. Speaking before getting all the facts…
         " Destruction: you may earn a reputation for being a fool… a liar and a troublemaker…
     "e. Saying whatever is on your mind…
         " Destruction: what's on our mind is not always worth saying!
     "f. Pride… self-exalting speech…
         " Destruction: you might become obnoxious in the eyes of others… and of the Lord!
     "g. Sin
         " Destruction: there is no shortage of sin that comes from a mouth that is unbridled and ungoverned.
     "h. Hurt
         " Destruction: saying something that hurts others… and then regretting it… but not being able to take it back…
     "i. Trouble
         " We can dig a big hole for ourselves with our tongues.
     "j. Give place to the devil
         " We give the devil opportunity to divide brethren… churches…
         " We give the devil opportunity to destroy our testimony before the world…
         " We give the devil opportunity to do harm to the cause of Christ-because of our ungoverned tongues.
     "k. Hasty - trouble!
         " When we speak hastily, we usually come out with thoughtless, insensitive, hurtful words…
         " Then, because of our rash words, we have to deal with the aftermath-the wrath of others… broken relationships… hurt feelings…
         " We make rash promises we can't keep…
         " We end up offending others because of a careless choice of words
     "l. Speaking evil of a person… may come back to bite you!
         " Speak evil of the king and he will likely find out!
         " Speak evil of any man and he might find out.
         " Then we deal with the destructive effects:
     "m. A mouth wide open could bring destruction:
         " To our reputation…
         " To our credibility….
         " To our friendships…
         " To our career…
         " To our finances…
         " To our marriage…
         " To our testimony for the Lord…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch13_html/Prov.13.3.htm.

JULY 12

2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture
[everything written in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments] is given [was given to the prophets and apostles] by inspiration of God [through the influence of the Holy Spirit], and is profitable [useful] for doctrine [teaching of Christian beliefs], for reproof [conviction of sin], for correction [of errors], for instruction in righteousness [helping us learn what is right and good so we may lead lives that are pleasing to God]:"

JULY 11

Matthew 26:51-52 - Violence Doesn't Solve Problems
This is what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane when the mob (consisting of Roman soldiers and the servants and officers of the high priest) came to arrest Jesus:

Verse 51: "And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus [i.e., Peter] stretched out his hand, and drew [pulled out] his sword [one of the two swords that the disciples were carrying for the purpose of self-defense--to protect themselves from attacks by robbers, etc.], and struck [hit] a servant of the high priest's [whose name was Malchus], and smote [cut] off his [right] ear."

Verse 52: "Then said Jesus unto him
[Peter], Put up again thy sword into his place [into its sheath, which is a protective covering]: for [because] all they that take the sword [and use it, not for the purposes of justice, but due to hatred, anger, a desire for revenge, etc.] shall perish with [die by] the sword."

In other words, violent acts (all of them, not just those committed with a sword) usually result in more violence and death.

Note: In another verse (Luke 22:51), we're told that after Peter cut off the servant's ear, Jesus healed it.

JULY 10

Mark 8:36: "For what shall it profit a man
[or woman or child] [i.e., what advantage will a person have], if he [or she] shall gain [acquire, obtain] the whole world [everything that he or she wants--riches, honor, pleasure, etc.] [by denying Jesus Christ, or refusing to accept his offer of salvation], and lose his [or her] own soul [in hell]?"

JULY 9

2 Chronicles 7:14
[In a dream or vision, God said to King Solomon]: "If my people, which are called by my name [referring to the Jewish people specifically (in this verse) and also to Christians], shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face [i.e., pray to God], and turn from their wicked ways [stop doing bad things]; then will I hear [their prayers] from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

JULY 8

Proverbs 8:17
["Wisdom," personified (speaking like a person--in this case, a woman), says]: "I love them that love me [choose me over other things]; and those that seek me early [diligently, earnestly] shall find me [meaning that they keep looking for wisdom until they find it and have it]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, all godly people can be wise if that's what they want. All they have to do is sincerely pray and ask God for wisdom. As you can see from the above verse, the Bible promises that he won't say no.

In addition, in paragraph 7 at the end of his commentary on this verse, the pastor says, "It is GOOD for children to be taught to seek wisdom early. … Think of all the trouble and grief that could be avoided in life if our young people sought wisdom with all their hearts at a young age!"

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch8_html/Prov.8.17.htm.

Also, I found two interesting articles on the Internet about wisdom. Here are their titles and links:

-- "What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?"
(www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-knowledge.html)

-- "Why is wisdom referred to as a she in Proverbs?"
(www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-she-Proverbs.html)

JULY 7

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things
[that happen, both good and bad] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose [i.e., born-again Christians, or those who have accepted God's invitation to be saved] ."

JULY 6

2 Corinthians 9:1-2 - Charity
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote the following:

Verse 1: "For as touching [concerning] the ministering to [meeting the needs of] the saints [Christians] [i.e., taking a collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem and in Judea], it is superfluous [unnecessary] for me to write [more] to you [Christians at Corinth] [about this subject]:"

Verse 2: "For
[because] I know the forwardness of your mind [your eagerness or readiness to help those poor people], for which [reason] I boast of [brag about] you to them of Macedonia [i.e., the churches of Macedonia, a country in Greece], [by telling them] that Achaia [i.e., the Christians living in the part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital] was ready [to give] a year ago; and your zeal [enthusiasm and willingness] [to take a collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem and in Judea] hath provoked [has stirred] very many [of the Christians in Macedonia] [to action]."

Following the example that the Corinthians set for the Macedonians, we see that by doing kind things for people who need our help, we silently (through our actions) encourage others to do the same.

JULY 5

Proverbs 5:21: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD
[everything that we think, say, and do, both publicly and privately, is seen by God], and he pondereth all his goings [God carefully considers--and eventually will judge--our actions]."

Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church says we should be pay attention to what we're doing because God is always watching us.

The pastor's commentary on this verse is combined with verses 18-20, on the subject of sexual immorality. If you want to read it, click on the link (www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch5_html/Prov.5.18.htm) and scroll down to the bottom of the page, where verse 21 is highlighted in bold type.

JULY 4

John 8:36: "If the Son
[of God--Jesus] therefore shall make you free [from bondage to sin (so you're no longer a 'slave' to it, or under its control), which happens when you are 'born again,' or saved--see note below*], ye shall be free indeed."
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*We're "born again" when we believe that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, willingly suffered and died an extremely painful death on the cross to pay for our sins and then rose from the dead and when, through faith, we receive him into our hearts as Savior.

For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. Here's a direct link: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

JULY 3

Proverbs 3:3-4 - Mercy and Truth
This is King Solomon's advice to his son, but it also applies to us.

Verse 3: "Let not [don't let] mercy [goodness, kindness, compassion] and truth [as opposed to lying; also, faithfulness, reliability] forsake thee [leave you]: bind them about thy [around your] neck [like a necklace]; write them upon the table [tablet] of thine [your] heart [i.e., keep them close to your heart and don't be ashamed of them]:"

Verse 4: "
[If  those two virtues (mercy and truth, which are examples of good moral character) become second nature (meaning they can be done instinctively, or automatically),] So shalt thou [then you will] find favour [acceptance] and good understanding in the sight of God and man [people]."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch3_html/Prov.3.3.htm.

JULY 2

2 Corinthians 6:14 [In a letter to Christians in the church at Corinth, Paul (the apostle) and Timothy wrote]: "Be ye not [don't be] unequally yoked together [joined together, united] with unbelievers [unsaved people--in marriage, friendships, business partnerships, etc.]: for what fellowship [friendly association, companionship] hath righteousness [does righteousness have] with unrighteousness? and what communion [close personal connection] hath light [does spiritual light] [have] with [spiritual] darkness?"

In his commentary on the above verse, Albert Barnes explains what Paul meant when he told Christians not to be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers":

"… There is no principle of Christianity that is more important than that which is here stated by the apostle; and none in which Christians are more in danger of erring, or in which they have more difficulty in determining the exact rule which they are to follow. The questions which arise are very important. Are we to have no contact with the people of the world? Are we cut loose from all our friends who are not Christians? Are we to become monks, and live a recluse and unsocial life? Are we never to mingle with the people of the world in business, in innocent recreation, or in the duties of citizens, and as neighbors and friends? It is important, therefore, in the highest degree, to endeavor to ascertain what are the principles on which the New Testament requires us to act in this matter. And in order to a correct understanding of this, the following principles may be suggested:

"I. There is a large field of action, pursuit, principle, and thought, over which infidelity, sin, paganism, and the world as such, have the entire control. It is wholly without the range of Christian law, and stands opposed to Christian law. It pertains to a different kingdom; is conducted by different principles, and tends to destroy and annihilate the kingdom of Christ. It cannot be reconciled with Christian principle, and cannot be conformed to but in entire violation of the influence of religion. Here the prohibition of the New Testament is absolute and entire. Christians are not to mingle with the people of the world in these things; and are not to partake of them. This prohibition, it is supposed, extends to the following, among other things:

"(1) To idolatry. This was plain. On no account or pretence were the early Christians to partake of that, or to countenance it. In primitive times, during the Roman persecutions, all that was asked was that they should cast a little incense on the altar of a pagan god. They refused to do it, and because they refused to do it, thousands perished as martyrs. They judged rightly; and the world has approved their cause.

"(2) sin, vice, licentiousness. This is also plain. Christians are in no way to patronise them, or to lend their influence to them, or to promote them by their name, their presence, or their property. 'Neither be partakers of other people's sins;' …

"(3) arts and acts of dishonesty, deception, and fraud in traffic and trade. Here the prohibition also must be absolute. No Christian can have a right to enter into partnership with another where the business is to be conducted on dishonest and unchristian principles, or where it shall lead to the violation of any of the laws of God. If it involves deception and fraud in the principles on which it is conducted; if it spreads ruin and poverty - as the distilling and vending of ardent spirits does; if it leads to the necessary violation of the Christian Sabbath, then the case is plain. A Christian is to have no 'fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness, but is rather to reprove them;' …

"(4) the amusements and pleasures that are entirely worldly, and sinful in their nature; that are wholly under worldly influence, and which cannot be brought under Christian principles. Nearly all amusements are of this description. The true principle here seems to be, that if a Christian in such a place is expected to lay aside his Christian principles, and if it would be deemed indecorous and improper for him to introduce the subject of religion, or if religion would be regarded is entirely inconsistent with the nature of the amusement then he is not to be found there. The world reigns there, and if the principles of his Lord and Master would be excluded, he should not be there. This applies of course to the theater, the circus, the ballroom, and to large and splendid parties of pleasure. We are not to associate with idolaters in their idolatry; nor with the licentious in their licentiousness; nor with the infidel in his infidelity; nor with the proud in their pride; nor with the frivolous in their gaiety; nor with the friends of the theater, or the ballroom, or the circus in their attachment to these places and pursuits. And whatever other connection we are to have with them as neighbors, citizens, or members of our families, we are not to participate with them in these things. Thus far all seems to be clear; and the rule is a plain one whether it applies to marriage, or to business, or to religion, or to pleasure; …

"II. There is a large field of action, thought, and plan which may be said to be common with the Christian and the world; that is, where the Christian is not expected to abandon his own principles, and where there will be, or need be, no compromise of the sternest views of truth, or the most upright, serious, and holy conduct. He may carry his principles with him; may always manifest them if necessary; and may even commend them to others. A few of these may be referred to.

"(1) Commercial transactions and professional engagements that are conducted on honest and upright principles, even when those with whom we act are not Christians.

"(2) Literary and scientific pursuits, which never, when pursued with a right spirit, interfere with the principles of Christianity, and never are contrary to it.

"(3) the love and affection which are due to relatives and friends. Nothing in the Bible assuredly will prohibit a pious son from uniting with one who is not pious in supporting an aged and infirm parent, or a much loved and affectionate sister. The same remark is true also respecting the duty which a wife owes to a husband, a husband to a wife, or a parent to a child, though one of them should not be a Christian. And the same observation is true also of neighbors, who are not to be prohibited from uniting as neighbors in social contact, and in acts of common kindness and charity, though all not Christians.

"(4) as citizens. We owe duties to our country, and a Christian need not refuse to act with others in the elective franchise, or in making or administering the laws. Here, however, it is clear that he is not at liberty to violate the laws and the principles of the Bible. He cannot be at liberty to unite with them in political schemes that are contrary to the Law of God, or in elevating to office people whom he cannot vote for with a good conscience as qualified for the station.

"(5) in plans of public improvement, in schemes that go to the advancement of the public welfare, when the schemes do not violate the laws of God. But if they involve the necessity of violating the Sabbath, or any of the laws of God, assuredly he cannot consistently participate in them.

"(6) in doing good to others. So the Saviour was with sinners; so he ate, and drank, and conversed with them. So we may mingle with them, without partaking of their wicked feelings and plans, so far as we can do them good, and exert over them a holy and saving influence. In all the situations here referred to, and in all the duties growing out of them, the Christian may maintain his principles, and may preserve a good conscience. Indeed the Saviour evidently contemplated that his people would have such contact with the world, and that in it they would do good. But in none of these is there to be any compromise of principle; in none to be any yielding to the opinions and practices that are contrary to the laws of God.

"III. There is a large field of action, conduct, and plan, where Christians only will act together. These relate to the special duties of religion - to prayer, Christian fellowship, the ordinances of the gospel, and most of the plans of Christian beneficence. Here the world will not intrude; and here assuredly there will be no necessity of any compromise of Christian principle."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/2-corinthians/6-14.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

JULY 1

Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of the LORD
[being afraid of God (especially of disobeying, displeasing, or offending him in any way), plus having deep respect, awe, and love for him] is the beginning of knowledge: but fools [people who do not fear God] despise [hate] wisdom and instruction."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church explains the meaning of the phrase fear of the LORD and tells why fearing God is the principal part of knowledge. He says that having the fear of God will help us know many things, including: (1) how to avoid marital problems, (2) why we are here, (3) where the sun and moon came from, (4) how we can get to heaven, (5) how to deal with the problem of self-control (over things like alcohol, drugs, lust, sexual sins, greed, anger, etc.), and (6) the right way to bring up our children.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch1_html/Prov.1.7.htm.

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JULY 25

1 Corinthians 11:14: "Doth
[does] not even nature itself [your instinctive feelings or judgments, a deep internal sense of what is right and wrong] teach you, that, if a man [or boy] have long hair, it is a shame unto him [it is improper and disgraceful]?"

JULY 24

John 3:19-20 - Jesus Explains Why People Reject the Gospel

Verse 19: "And this is the condemnation
[the reason why people are sent to hell], that light [referring to Jesus Christ] is come into the world, and men [and women and children] loved darkness rather than light [preferred error (false doctrine) over truth, and sin instead of righteousness (salvation)], because their deeds [works, actions] were evil."

Verse 20: "For
[because] every one that doeth evil [does bad things] hateth [hates] the light, neither cometh [and doesn't come] to the light, lest [for fear that] his [or her] deeds should be reproved [detected (discovered) and punished]."

JULY 23

Galatians 6:9: "And let us not be weary in well doing
[we shouldn't get tired of doing good]: for [because] in due season [at the proper time, either in this world, or in heaven (on judgment day), or both] we shall reap [rewards; i.e., be rewarded or repaid for our good deeds, by others and/or by God], if we faint not [if we don't give up or stop doing good things before then]."

JULY 22

1 John 2:3-4: "And hereby
[by this] we do know that we know him [Jesus Christ, personally, meaning we know for sure that we are saved, or born again], if we keep [obey] his commandments. He [or she] that saith, I know him [Jesus], and keepeth not [does not obey] his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him [or her]."

Everyone who is truly saved (by faith alone, not works*) should have a desire to obey and please God.

*Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

JULY 21

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Don't Commit Sexual Sins
In a letter to Christians in the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote this in an attempt to explain why they should not commit fornication, which is sexual relations between people not married to each other:

Verse 19: "What? know ye not [don't you know] that your body is the temple [sanctuary, sacred dwelling place] of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit--see note below*] which [referring to the Holy Spirit] is in you [in your heart], which ye have of [from] God, and [that] ye are not your own [master]?"

Verse 20: "
[You should not commit the sin of fornication] For [because] ye are bought with a price [i.e., the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to pay for our sins--see note below**]: therefore glorify [honor] God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's [which belong to him]."

True Christians (those who have been born again, or saved) should want to serve God because, according to this verse, they belong to him.
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*The Holy Ghost (also known as the Holy Spirit) is the third person of the Godhead, or Trinity, which means that God consists of three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

I found an article that answers the question, "What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Spirit-Ghost.html.

**1 Peter 1:18-19: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

JULY 20

Luke 12:6-7
[Jesus said to his disciples]: "Are not five sparrows [little birds] sold [in Bible times] for two farthings [small coins of little worth], and not one of them is forgotten before [unnoticed or not cared for by] God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [by God]. Fear not [don't worry] therefore: [because] ye [you] are of more value [to God] than many sparrows."

All Christians are important to God.

JULY 19

Luke 6:38: "Give
[to others, especially the poor and needy], and it shall be given unto you [in return]; good measure [full measure, as when you fill a measuring cup to the brim with solid food, like figs or grapes], pressed down, and shaken together [to make room for more], and running over [overflowing], shall men give into your bosom [to you]. For with the same measure [generosity] that ye mete withal [measure out, give to others] it shall be measured to you again [given back to you]."

In other words, God will make sure that your charitable deeds are repaid.

Note: According to the commentary by Albert Barnes, "The word 'bosom' here has reference to a custom among Oriental nations of making the bosom or front part of their garments large, so that articles could be carried in them, answering the purpose of our pockets." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/luke/6-38, "Barnes' Commentary")

JULY 18

1 Samuel 16:6-7 - God Doesn't Judge People by Their Looks
This took place after God told his prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem, make a sacrifice to him (God), and anoint a new king for Israel. We find out later on this chapter that God's choice for king was Jesse's youngest son, David.

Verse 6: "And it came to pass, when they [Jesse and seven of his eight sons] were come [had arrived] [to witness the sacrifice], that he [Samuel] looked on Eliab [Jesse's oldest son], and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed [God's choice for king, to replace Saul, who was a very tall man--see note below*] is before him [God, … meaning that Eliab was standing near the altar, where God was present]."

Verse 7: "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on
[don't look at, or pay attention to] his [Eliab's] countenance [appearance; i.e., whether he was good-looking or not], or on the height of his stature [how tall he was]; because I have refused [rejected] him [as my choice for king]: for [because] the LORD seeth not [doesn't see] as [like] man [mankind, people] seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance [of a person], but the LORD looketh on the heart [what that person is like inside]."
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*1 Samuel 9:2: "And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people."

JULY 17

Psalm 4:8
[King David's prayer to God]: "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep [meaning he will lie down and sleep peacefully]: for thou [you], LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."

God protected King David, and he protects Christians, too.

JULY 16

2 Peter 3:8
[The apostle Peter, in a letter to Christians regarding the second coming of Christ (i.e., when Jesus returns to earth), wrote]: "But, beloved, be not [don't be] ignorant [lacking in knowledge, unaware] of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord [Jesus, in heaven] [the same] as a thousand years [is with us, on earth], and a thousand years [on earth] [is the same] as one day [in heaven]."

Because 1,000 years on earth = 1 day in heaven, we know that God measures time differently than we do..

According to Albert Barnes, "This 2 Peter 3:8-9 is the second consideration by which the apostle meets the objection of scoffers against the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour. The objection was, that much time, and perhaps the time which had been supposed to be set for his coming, had passed away, and still all things remained as they were. The reply of the apostle is, that no argument could be drawn from this, for that which may seem to be a long time to us is a brief period with God. In the infinity of his own duration there is abundant time to accomplish his designs, and it can make no difference with him whether they are accomplished in one day or extended to one thousand years. Man has but a short time to live, and if he does not accomplish his purposes in a very brief period, he never will. But it is not so with God. …"

(Source of quote: www.studylight.org/commentary/2-peter/3-8.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

JULY 15

Matthew 6:24: "No man
[person] can serve two masters: for [because] either he [or she] will hate the one [master], and love the other; or else he [or she] will hold [on] to the one [master], and despise [disrespect, neglect, or reject] the other. Ye [you] cannot serve [submit to, obey] [both] God and mammon [money, riches, wealth] [at the same time]."

JULY 13-14

Proverbs 13:3: "He that
[the person who] keepeth [guards] his [or her] mouth [i.e., watches what he or she says] keepeth his [or her] life [under control]: but he [or she] that openeth wide his [or her] lips [i.e., talks too much and/or says whatever pops into his or her mind without considering the consequences] shall have destruction [all kinds of trouble--see examples in the note below*]."

In other words, we should always think before speaking.
_________________________

*In paragraph 2 of the "Destruction" part of his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says, "The things people SAY can get them in more trouble and cause more pain, suffering, grief, and unrest in their lives than the things they DO."

Then, in paragraph 3, he goes on to give specific examples of how the things that we say can cause destruction in our lives. Here they are, in shortened form:

"3.) Examples of such destruction…

     "a. Saying YES to a salesman too soon…
         " Financial destruction: more bills than you are able to pay!
     "b. Spreading gossip…
         " Destruction to your friendships… you may separate chief friends…
     "c. Betraying confidences…
         " Destruction of your trust: you may lose friends… lose trust…
     "d. Speaking before getting all the facts…
         " Destruction: you may earn a reputation for being a fool… a liar and a troublemaker…
     "e. Saying whatever is on your mind…
         " Destruction: what's on our mind is not always worth saying!
     "f. Pride… self-exalting speech…
         " Destruction: you might become obnoxious in the eyes of others… and of the Lord!
     "g. Sin
         " Destruction: there is no shortage of sin that comes from a mouth that is unbridled and ungoverned.
     "h. Hurt
         " Destruction: saying something that hurts others… and then regretting it… but not being able to take it back…
     "i. Trouble
         " We can dig a big hole for ourselves with our tongues.
     "j. Give place to the devil
         " We give the devil opportunity to divide brethren… churches…
         " We give the devil opportunity to destroy our testimony before the world…
         " We give the devil opportunity to do harm to the cause of Christ-because of our ungoverned tongues.
     "k. Hasty - trouble!
         " When we speak hastily, we usually come out with thoughtless, insensitive, hurtful words…
         " Then, because of our rash words, we have to deal with the aftermath-the wrath of others… broken relationships… hurt feelings…
         " We make rash promises we can't keep…
         " We end up offending others because of a careless choice of words
     "l. Speaking evil of a person… may come back to bite you!
         " Speak evil of the king and he will likely find out!
         " Speak evil of any man and he might find out.
         " Then we deal with the destructive effects:
     "m. A mouth wide open could bring destruction:
         " To our reputation…
         " To our credibility….
         " To our friendships…
         " To our career…
         " To our finances…
         " To our marriage…
         " To our testimony for the Lord…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch13_html/Prov.13.3.htm.

JULY 12

2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture
[everything written in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments] is given [was given to the prophets and apostles] by inspiration of God [through the influence of the Holy Spirit], and is profitable [useful] for doctrine [teaching of Christian beliefs], for reproof [conviction of sin], for correction [of errors], for instruction in righteousness [helping us learn what is right and good so we may lead lives that are pleasing to God]:"

JULY 11

Matthew 26:51-52 - Violence Doesn't Solve Problems
This is what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane when the mob (consisting of Roman soldiers and the servants and officers of the high priest) came to arrest Jesus:

Verse 51: "And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus [i.e., Peter] stretched out his hand, and drew [pulled out] his sword [one of the two swords that the disciples were carrying for the purpose of self-defense--to protect themselves from attacks by robbers, etc.], and struck [hit] a servant of the high priest's [whose name was Malchus], and smote [cut] off his [right] ear."

Verse 52: "Then said Jesus unto him
[Peter], Put up again thy sword into his place [into its sheath, which is a protective covering]: for [because] all they that take the sword [and use it, not for the purposes of justice, but due to hatred, anger, a desire for revenge, etc.] shall perish with [die by] the sword."

In other words, violent acts (all of them, not just those committed with a sword) usually result in more violence and death.

Note: In another verse (Luke 22:51), we're told that after Peter cut off the servant's ear, Jesus healed it.

JULY 10

Mark 8:36: "For what shall it profit a man
[or woman or child] [i.e., what advantage will a person have], if he [or she] shall gain [acquire, obtain] the whole world [everything that he or she wants--riches, honor, pleasure, etc.] [by denying Jesus Christ, or refusing to accept his offer of salvation], and lose his [or her] own soul [in hell]?"

JULY 9

2 Chronicles 7:14
[In a dream or vision, God said to King Solomon]: "If my people, which are called by my name [referring to the Jewish people specifically (in this verse) and also to Christians], shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face [i.e., pray to God], and turn from their wicked ways [stop doing bad things]; then will I hear [their prayers] from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

JULY 8

Proverbs 8:17
["Wisdom," personified (speaking like a person--in this case, a woman), says]: "I love them that love me [choose me over other things]; and those that seek me early [diligently, earnestly] shall find me [meaning that they keep looking for wisdom until they find it and have it]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, all godly people can be wise if that's what they want. All they have to do is sincerely pray and ask God for wisdom. As you can see from the above verse, the Bible promises that he won't say no.

In addition, in paragraph 7 at the end of his commentary on this verse, the pastor says, "It is GOOD for children to be taught to seek wisdom early. … Think of all the trouble and grief that could be avoided in life if our young people sought wisdom with all their hearts at a young age!"

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch8_html/Prov.8.17.htm.

Also, I found two interesting articles on the Internet about wisdom. Here are their titles and links:

-- "What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?"
(www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-knowledge.html)

-- "Why is wisdom referred to as a she in Proverbs?"
(www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-she-Proverbs.html)

JULY 7

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things
[that happen, both good and bad] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose [i.e., born-again Christians, or those who have accepted God's invitation to be saved] ."

JULY 6

2 Corinthians 9:1-2 - Charity
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote the following:

Verse 1: "For as touching [concerning] the ministering to [meeting the needs of] the saints [Christians] [i.e., taking a collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem and in Judea], it is superfluous [unnecessary] for me to write [more] to you [Christians at Corinth] [about this subject]:"

Verse 2: "For
[because] I know the forwardness of your mind [your eagerness or readiness to help those poor people], for which [reason] I boast of [brag about] you to them of Macedonia [i.e., the churches of Macedonia, a country in Greece], [by telling them] that Achaia [i.e., the Christians living in the part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital] was ready [to give] a year ago; and your zeal [enthusiasm and willingness] [to take a collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem and in Judea] hath provoked [has stirred] very many [of the Christians in Macedonia] [to action]."

Following the example that the Corinthians set for the Macedonians, we see that by doing kind things for people who need our help, we silently (through our actions) encourage others to do the same.

JULY 5

Proverbs 5:21: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD
[everything that we think, say, and do, both publicly and privately, is seen by God], and he pondereth all his goings [God carefully considers--and eventually will judge--our actions]."

Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church says we should be pay attention to what we're doing because God is always watching us.

The pastor's commentary on this verse is combined with verses 18-20, on the subject of sexual immorality. If you want to read it, click on the link (www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch5_html/Prov.5.18.htm) and scroll down to the bottom of the page, where verse 21 is highlighted in bold type.

JULY 4

John 8:36: "If the Son
[of God--Jesus] therefore shall make you free [from bondage to sin (so you're no longer a 'slave' to it, or under its control), which happens when you are 'born again,' or saved--see note below*], ye shall be free indeed."
_________________________

*We're "born again" when we believe that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, willingly suffered and died an extremely painful death on the cross to pay for our sins and then rose from the dead and when, through faith, we receive him into our hearts as Savior.

For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. Here's a direct link: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

JULY 3

Proverbs 3:3-4 - Mercy and Truth
This is King Solomon's advice to his son, but it also applies to us.

Verse 3: "Let not [don't let] mercy [goodness, kindness, compassion] and truth [as opposed to lying; also, faithfulness, reliability] forsake thee [leave you]: bind them about thy [around your] neck [like a necklace]; write them upon the table [tablet] of thine [your] heart [i.e., keep them close to your heart and don't be ashamed of them]:"

Verse 4: "
[If  those two virtues (mercy and truth, which are examples of good moral character) become second nature (meaning they can be done instinctively, or automatically),] So shalt thou [then you will] find favour [acceptance] and good understanding in the sight of God and man [people]."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch3_html/Prov.3.3.htm.

JULY 2

2 Corinthians 6:14 [In a letter to Christians in the church at Corinth, Paul (the apostle) and Timothy wrote]: "Be ye not [don't be] unequally yoked together [joined together, united] with unbelievers [unsaved people--in marriage, friendships, business partnerships, etc.]: for what fellowship [friendly association, companionship] hath righteousness [does righteousness have] with unrighteousness? and what communion [close personal connection] hath light [does spiritual light] [have] with [spiritual] darkness?"

In his commentary on the above verse, Albert Barnes explains what Paul meant when he told Christians not to be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers":

"… There is no principle of Christianity that is more important than that which is here stated by the apostle; and none in which Christians are more in danger of erring, or in which they have more difficulty in determining the exact rule which they are to follow. The questions which arise are very important. Are we to have no contact with the people of the world? Are we cut loose from all our friends who are not Christians? Are we to become monks, and live a recluse and unsocial life? Are we never to mingle with the people of the world in business, in innocent recreation, or in the duties of citizens, and as neighbors and friends? It is important, therefore, in the highest degree, to endeavor to ascertain what are the principles on which the New Testament requires us to act in this matter. And in order to a correct understanding of this, the following principles may be suggested:

"I. There is a large field of action, pursuit, principle, and thought, over which infidelity, sin, paganism, and the world as such, have the entire control. It is wholly without the range of Christian law, and stands opposed to Christian law. It pertains to a different kingdom; is conducted by different principles, and tends to destroy and annihilate the kingdom of Christ. It cannot be reconciled with Christian principle, and cannot be conformed to but in entire violation of the influence of religion. Here the prohibition of the New Testament is absolute and entire. Christians are not to mingle with the people of the world in these things; and are not to partake of them. This prohibition, it is supposed, extends to the following, among other things:

"(1) To idolatry. This was plain. On no account or pretence were the early Christians to partake of that, or to countenance it. In primitive times, during the Roman persecutions, all that was asked was that they should cast a little incense on the altar of a pagan god. They refused to do it, and because they refused to do it, thousands perished as martyrs. They judged rightly; and the world has approved their cause.

"(2) sin, vice, licentiousness. This is also plain. Christians are in no way to patronise them, or to lend their influence to them, or to promote them by their name, their presence, or their property. 'Neither be partakers of other people's sins;' …

"(3) arts and acts of dishonesty, deception, and fraud in traffic and trade. Here the prohibition also must be absolute. No Christian can have a right to enter into partnership with another where the business is to be conducted on dishonest and unchristian principles, or where it shall lead to the violation of any of the laws of God. If it involves deception and fraud in the principles on which it is conducted; if it spreads ruin and poverty - as the distilling and vending of ardent spirits does; if it leads to the necessary violation of the Christian Sabbath, then the case is plain. A Christian is to have no 'fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness, but is rather to reprove them;' …

"(4) the amusements and pleasures that are entirely worldly, and sinful in their nature; that are wholly under worldly influence, and which cannot be brought under Christian principles. Nearly all amusements are of this description. The true principle here seems to be, that if a Christian in such a place is expected to lay aside his Christian principles, and if it would be deemed indecorous and improper for him to introduce the subject of religion, or if religion would be regarded is entirely inconsistent with the nature of the amusement then he is not to be found there. The world reigns there, and if the principles of his Lord and Master would be excluded, he should not be there. This applies of course to the theater, the circus, the ballroom, and to large and splendid parties of pleasure. We are not to associate with idolaters in their idolatry; nor with the licentious in their licentiousness; nor with the infidel in his infidelity; nor with the proud in their pride; nor with the frivolous in their gaiety; nor with the friends of the theater, or the ballroom, or the circus in their attachment to these places and pursuits. And whatever other connection we are to have with them as neighbors, citizens, or members of our families, we are not to participate with them in these things. Thus far all seems to be clear; and the rule is a plain one whether it applies to marriage, or to business, or to religion, or to pleasure; …

"II. There is a large field of action, thought, and plan which may be said to be common with the Christian and the world; that is, where the Christian is not expected to abandon his own principles, and where there will be, or need be, no compromise of the sternest views of truth, or the most upright, serious, and holy conduct. He may carry his principles with him; may always manifest them if necessary; and may even commend them to others. A few of these may be referred to.

"(1) Commercial transactions and professional engagements that are conducted on honest and upright principles, even when those with whom we act are not Christians.

"(2) Literary and scientific pursuits, which never, when pursued with a right spirit, interfere with the principles of Christianity, and never are contrary to it.

"(3) the love and affection which are due to relatives and friends. Nothing in the Bible assuredly will prohibit a pious son from uniting with one who is not pious in supporting an aged and infirm parent, or a much loved and affectionate sister. The same remark is true also respecting the duty which a wife owes to a husband, a husband to a wife, or a parent to a child, though one of them should not be a Christian. And the same observation is true also of neighbors, who are not to be prohibited from uniting as neighbors in social contact, and in acts of common kindness and charity, though all not Christians.

"(4) as citizens. We owe duties to our country, and a Christian need not refuse to act with others in the elective franchise, or in making or administering the laws. Here, however, it is clear that he is not at liberty to violate the laws and the principles of the Bible. He cannot be at liberty to unite with them in political schemes that are contrary to the Law of God, or in elevating to office people whom he cannot vote for with a good conscience as qualified for the station.

"(5) in plans of public improvement, in schemes that go to the advancement of the public welfare, when the schemes do not violate the laws of God. But if they involve the necessity of violating the Sabbath, or any of the laws of God, assuredly he cannot consistently participate in them.

"(6) in doing good to others. So the Saviour was with sinners; so he ate, and drank, and conversed with them. So we may mingle with them, without partaking of their wicked feelings and plans, so far as we can do them good, and exert over them a holy and saving influence. In all the situations here referred to, and in all the duties growing out of them, the Christian may maintain his principles, and may preserve a good conscience. Indeed the Saviour evidently contemplated that his people would have such contact with the world, and that in it they would do good. But in none of these is there to be any compromise of principle; in none to be any yielding to the opinions and practices that are contrary to the laws of God.

"III. There is a large field of action, conduct, and plan, where Christians only will act together. These relate to the special duties of religion - to prayer, Christian fellowship, the ordinances of the gospel, and most of the plans of Christian beneficence. Here the world will not intrude; and here assuredly there will be no necessity of any compromise of Christian principle."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/2-corinthians/6-14.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

JULY 1

Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of the LORD
[being afraid of God (especially of disobeying, displeasing, or offending him in any way), plus having deep respect, awe, and love for him] is the beginning of knowledge: but fools [people who do not fear God] despise [hate] wisdom and instruction."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church explains the meaning of the phrase fear of the LORD and tells why fearing God is the principal part of knowledge. He says that having the fear of God will help us know many things, including: (1) how to avoid marital problems, (2) why we are here, (3) where the sun and moon came from, (4) how we can get to heaven, (5) how to deal with the problem of self-control (over things like alcohol, drugs, lust, sexual sins, greed, anger, etc.), and (6) the right way to bring up our children.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch1_html/Prov.1.7.htm.

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