MARCH 30-31

Matthew 12:38-41 - When Was Jesus Crucified?

Verse 38: "Then certain
[some] of the scribes [teachers of the Jewish people and interpreters of the law] and of the Pharisees [members of a Jewish sect (religious group)] answered [Jesus], saying, Master, we would [like to] see a sign from thee [you] [i.e., a sign from heaven, in the form of a miracle] [to prove that you are the Christ, or Messiah, and have been sent by God]."

Verses 39-40: "But he
[Jesus] answered and said unto them [the crowd], An evil and adulterous generation [referring to the Jews, many of whom--at that time--were unfaithful to their spouses and/or God] seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it [to the 'evil and adulterous generation'], but [except] the sign of the prophet Jonas [Jonah]: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man [Jesus] be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth [i.e., Jesus meant that he would be in the grave, or tomb, for three days and three nights between his crucifixion and resurrection, which was the same amount of time that Jonah spent inside the whale]."

Verse 41: "The men
[inhabitants] of Nineveh [capital city of the Assyrian empire] shall rise [as witnesses] in judgment [on judgment day] with this generation [of Jews], and [the example of the Ninevites] shall condemn it ['this generation']: because they [the people of Nineveh] repented at the preaching of Jonas [a prophet, or messenger, of God]; and, behold, a greater [one] than Jonas is here [referring to himself (Jesus), who is the Son of God--second person of the trinity (which means one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)] [and the Jews refused to repent at his preaching]."

Christians normally celebrate Good Friday as the day when Jesus was crucified, but according to verse 40 above, that's not true. There are other theories about when he died, and they are discussed in the following article: "On what day was Jesus crucified?". If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/three-days.html.

MARCH 29

Proverbs 29:26: "Many
[people] seek the ruler's favour [i.e., the favor, or approval, of kings, presidents, government officials, world leaders, etc.]; but every man's [every person's] judgment [i.e., true justice] cometh from the LORD [God]."

At the end of his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said: "The bottom line: if you're in trouble, if you are facing injustice, if you are being treated unfairly, go to God. You will get justice from Him."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_26/.

MARCH 28

Proverbs 28:22: "He
[or she] that hasteth [is in a hurry] to be rich hath an evil eye [is an envious, selfish, and/or covetous person], and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him [or her]."

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

MARCH 27

Proverbs 27:5-6 - Friends vs. Enemies

Verse 5: "Open rebuke
[criticism to correct a fault] is better [more desirable and beneficial] than secret love."

Verse 6: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend
[we may feel hurt when our friends rebuke or correct us (point out our sins), even if it is done with good intentions (because they want to help)]; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [phony and misleading, because they hide the person's true feelings]."

In his commentary on these verses, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church said, "Rebukes and wounds are sometimes expressions of true love and friendship while smiles, kisses, flattery, and hugs may actually be expressions of hatred and enmity."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-27-index/proverbs-27_5-6/.

MARCH 26

Matthew 5:27-28
[During his sermon on the mount, Jesus said to his disciples]: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time [i.e., Moses and the prophets], Thou shalt not commit adultery [which is the seventh commandment]: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart [mind]."

Examples of the above teaching include watching pornographic videos, reading pornographic literature, etc. For more information about this subject, read "What does the Bible say about pornography?" Here's the link: https://gotquestions.org/pornography-Bible.html.

Matthew Henry commented on the above verses as follows: "What have we the covering of the eyes for, but to restrain corrupt glances, and to keep out of their defiling impressions? This forbids also the using of any other of our senses to stir up lust. … And if looking be lust, they who dress and deck, and expose themselves, with design to be looked at and lusted after … are no less guilty." (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/matthew/5.html, "Verses 27-32")

MARCH 25

John 6:37
[Jesus said]: "All that the Father [God] giveth me [i.e., everyone who believes the gospel and wants to be saved (from hell) and go to heaven when they die] shall come to me [Jesus]; and him [or her] that cometh to me [for salvation] I will in no wise [never--in no way, at no time] cast out [turn away, throw aside, reject (or refuse to save)]."

In his commentary, Albert Barnes has an excellent explanation of this verse. Here are some excerpts:

"The Father giveth me - We here learn that those who come to Christ, and who will be saved, are given to him by God.

"1.God promised him that he should see of the travail of his soul - that is, "the fruit of his wearisome toil" … and should be satisfied …

"2.All men are sinners, and none have any claim to mercy, and he may therefore bestow salvation on whom he pleases.

"3.All people of themselves are disposed to reject the gospel …

"4.God enables those who do believe to do it. He draws them to Him by His Word and Spirit; "He opens their hearts to understand the Scriptures … and He grants to them repentance …

"5.All those who become Christians may therefore be said to be given to Jesus as the reward of his sufferings, for his death was the price by which they were redeemed …

"Shall come to me - This is an expression denoting that they would believe on him. To come to one implies our need of help, our confidence that he can aid us, and our readiness to trust to him. The sinner comes to Jesus feeling that he is poor, and needy, and wretched, and casts himself on his mercy, believing that he alone can save him. This expression also proves that men are not compelled to believe on Christ. Though they who believe are given to him, and though his Spirit works in them faith and repentance, yet they are made willing in the day of his power … No man is compelled to go to heaven against his will, and no man is compelled to go to hell against his will. The Spirit of God inclines the will of one, and he comes freely as a moral agent. The other chooses the way to death; and, though God is constantly using means to save him, yet he prefers the path that leads down to woe.

"Him that cometh - Everyone that comes - that is, everyone that comes in a proper mariner [i.e., manner], feeling that he is a lost and ruined sinner. This invitation is wide, and full, and free. It shows the unbounded mercy of God; and it shows, also, that the reason, and the only reason, why men are not saved, is that they will not come to Christ. Of any sinner it may be said that if he had been willing to come to Christ he might have come and been saved. As he chooses not to come, he cannot blame God because he [God] saves others who are willing, no matter from what cause, and who thus are made partakers of everlasting life.

"Cast out - Reject, or refuse to save. This expression does not refer to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, but to the fact that Jesus will not reject or refuse any sinner who comes to him."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-6.html, "Verse 37")


Another Bible commentator said that "Christ is God's gift to men, but the believers are his gift to Christ." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/6-37.html, "People's New Testament")


Note: If you want to be saved but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website, which can be found here: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

MARCH 24

Proverbs 24:17-18: "Rejoice not
[don't gloat (be joyful in an arrogant way)] when thine enemy falleth [when your enemy experiences physical suffering, pain, and/or death], and let not thine heart be glad [don't be glad] when he [or she] stumbleth [i.e., when bad things happen to him or her]: Lest [or] the LORD [will] see it, and it [will] displease him, and he [will] turn away his wrath [anger] from him [or her, meaning the enemy]."

In other words, we shouldn't be happy when others suffer, including our enemies. As long as we don't gloat over our enemies' misfortunes, God will take care of any revenge and punishment that is necessary for them. If we do gloat, not only will God 'turn away his wrath' from our enemies, but he may punish us instead.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, including an explanation of the important difference between rejoicing and gloating. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-24-index/proverbs-24_17-18/.

MARCH 23

Proverbs 23:29-30 - Dangers of Alcohol
Below is a list of some emotional, social (interpersonal relationship), and physical problems that are caused by drinking too much.

Verse 29 - Questions:

"Who hath
[has] woe [intense suffering caused by misfortune, affliction, or grief]?
who hath
sorrow
[deep distress, sadness, or regret, especially for the loss of a beloved person or thing]?
who hath
contentions
[arguments, disagreements, fights]?
who hath
babbling
[foolish talking]?
who hath
wounds without cause
[injuries caused by accidents, fighting for no good reason, etc.]?
who hath
redness of eyes
[bloodshot eyes]?"

Verse 30 - Answer:

"They that tarry long at the wine
[people who 'hang out' (and drink too much) at places where alcohol is served]; they that go to seek [search for] mixed wine [alcoholic beverages]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on the above verses, including examples of ways in which drunk people can get hurt and an explanation of what mixed wine was in Bible times. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_29-31/.

MARCH 22

Romans 2:21-23 - Are You a Hypocrite?
The apostle Paul asked this question in his letter to the professing Christians in Rome.

"Thou [you] therefore [referring to what he had written before this verse] which teachest another [person] [to do or not do something], teachest thou not thyself  [to do the same, or (like a hypocrite) do you do the opposite]?

"thou that preachest
[that] a man should not steal, dost thou [do you] steal?"

"Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery
[have sex with another man's wife], dost thou commit adultery?

"thou that abhorrest
[hates] idols, dost thou commit sacrilege [violate or misuse things that are considered sacred (dedicated to God); take things that belong to God]?

"Thou that makest thy boast of the law
[you who teach the importance of obeying God's law, as found in the Bible and the Ten Commandments], through breaking the law [by not obeying it] dishonourest thou God [do you dishonor or insult God--see note below*]?"

The teaching in the above verses can be summarized by this common saying: "Do you practice what you preach?"
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*Meaning of the phrase dishonourest thou God in verse 23, according to Albert Barnes:

"By boasting of the Law, they proclaimed their conviction that it was from God. By breaking it, they denied it. And as actions are a true test of man's real opinions, their breaking the Law did it more dishonor than their boasting of it did it honor. This is always the case. It matters little what a man's speculative opinions may be; his practice may do far more to disgrace religion than his profession does to honor it. It is the life and conduct, and not merely the profession of the lips, that does real honor to the true religion. Alas, with what pertinency and force may this question be put to many who call themselves Christians!"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-2.html, "Verse 23")

MARCH 21

John 15:5
[Jesus said to his disciples during the last supper]: "I am the vine, ye [you] are the branches: He [or she] that abideth in me [meaning that if a saved person continues to stay close to Jesus through faith], and [if] I [Jesus] [abideth] in him [or her, which is made possible through the Holy Spirit, who comes to live in that saved person's heart], the same ['branch,' or saved person] bringeth forth [will produce] much fruit [in the form of good works]: for without me [i.e., separate or apart from Jesus,] ye can do nothing [that is truly and spiritually good and acceptable in the sight of God]."

What Jesus said to his disciples also applies to all born-again Christians. Jesus is the source of our strength, and he wants us to be fruitful. The praise for any good works that we do belongs to him.

In regard to the above verse, one Bible commentator  wrote:

"Obviously it is impossible for a branch to bear any fruit if it has no contact with the life-giving vine. Many unbelievers appear to bear the fruit of godly character and conduct, but their fruit is phony. It is similar to plastic fruit that one could hang on trees to give them the appearance of being healthy and productive. It is natural, though not inevitable, that a branch that has vital connection with the vine bear some fruit. The way to bear much fruit is for the branch to maintain unhindered fellowship with the vine by allowing the vine to have its way with the branch. The alternative would be resisting the Holy Spirit"s work by neglecting and disobeying God.

"Lack of fruit in the life, therefore, may not necessarily be an indication that the branch has no vital relationship to the vine (i.e, that the person is unsaved). It may indicate that the branch, though connected to the vine, is not abiding in it (i.e, that the believer is not cultivating an intimate relationship with the Savior)."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/15-5.html#dcc, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

MARCH 20

Acts 11:25-26: "Then departed
[went] Barnabas to Tarsus [a major city in Cilicia, in Asia Minor, where the apostle Paul was born and lived], for to seek [in search of] Saul [Paul]: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch [a city in, and capital of, ancient Syria]. And it came to pass, that [for] a whole year they [Paul and Barnabas] assembled themselves [gathered together for worship] with [those who attended] the church, and taught much [many] people. And the disciples [followers of Jesus Christ] were called Christians first [for the first time] in Antioch."

MARCH 19

Luke 6:35
[During his 'sermon on the plain' (see note below*), Jesus said]: "But love ye your enemies, and do good [to everyone], and lend [loan things] [to others], hoping for nothing again [in return]; and your reward [on earth and/or in heaven] shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest [of Almighty God]: [you should do these things (love your enemies, do good, and lend)] for [because] he [God] is kind unto the unthankful [to people who are unthankful] and to the evil [to bad people]."

Christians should be kind to everyone because our heavenly Father is kind to everyone. We should try to follow his example.
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*Differences between the "sermon on the plain" and the "sermon on the mount" are explained in the following article: "What is the Sermon on the Plain?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://carm.org/what-is-the-sermon-on-the-plain.

MARCH 18

Psalm 33:20
[Written by an unknown author, perhaps King David, to the people of God (i.e., the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, and born-again Christians in the New Testament)]: "Our soul waiteth for [we wait for, or depend on,] the LORD: he is our help [he provides aid and assistance when necessary] and our shield [he defends us from our enemies and protects us from harm]."

MARCH 17

Proverbs 17:10: "A reproof
[criticism, correction, warning] entereth more into a wise man than [do] an hundred stripes [long, narrow, discolored marks on the skin (bruises) resulting from a beating or spanking] [enter] into a fool."

In the "Conclusions" section of his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church summarized his teaching on the above verse as follows:

"1. Notice that BOTH the wise man and the fool make mistakes and do things incorrectly from time to time.

"2. This proverb does not deny the fact that wise men sometimes take the wrong route in life.

"3. But the proverb does speak about the difference in the way the two men receive correction.

"a.  The wise man listens, learns, and changes.

"b. The fool doesn't listen-and has to be beaten 100 times… for the same infraction-and still doesn't learn!"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary (including examples of wise men in the Bible who made mistakes), you'll find it here: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_10/.

MARCH 16

Proverbs 16:5: "Every one that is proud in heart
[haughty, arrogant, full of pride] is an abomination [object of disgust or extreme hatred] to the LORD: though hand join in hand [although he or she may 'hold hands' with other sinners (as when forming a 'human chain') in opposition to God], he [or she--the person who is 'proud is heart'] shall not be unpunished [i.e., will be punished] [by God]."

Matthew Henry summarized the verse as follows: "Though [sinners] may … [join] forces against God, they shall not escape his righteous judgment …" (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/16.html, "Verse 5")

Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse has many examples, both from the Bible and from everyday life, of situations involving strength in numbers. It shows how people can escape punishment because of, or can be punished in spite of, their large numbers. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_5/.

MARCH 15

Luke 18:17
[Jesus said to his disciples]: "Verily [truly] I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God [i.e., heaven, by accepting God's free gift of eternal life,] as [like] a little child shall in no wise [shall not] enter therein."

MARCH 14

Proverbs 14:14: "The backslider in heart
[a born-again Christian who stops following God and falls back into sin or becomes more focused on worldly things than on his/her spiritual life] shall be filled with [the consequences of] his [or her] own ways: and a [spiritually and morally] good man [person] shall be satisfied from [within, or be at peace with,] himself [or herself]."

Here are some facts about backsliders, quoted from Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse:

"2.) The backslider described:

"a. He ONCE walked with God. He at one time was headed in the right direction, but has CHANGED directions… or at least slowed down his pace of progress.

"b. He is no longer going forward, but is going backwards.

"c. He once fought the good fight, but has retreated for one reason or another. (tired; weary; wounded; enticed; lazy; enamored by the worldly; deceived by the enemy; etc.)

"3.) The backslider in HEART… implies two things:

"a. He may not appear to be a backslider
" His backsliding may not be outwardly apparent. It is inward… in the heart… where no man can see.
" He is still assembling together with the saints…
" All looks well on the outside, but on the inside, a departure is underway.
" There are backsliders in heart who sit in churches every Sunday, thinking nobody knows. God knows.
" Sin doesn't have to be outward. It is possible to commit adultery in the heart… murder… idolatry…
" In fact, sin manifests itself in the heart before it is ever manifested outwardly.
" Eventually, the backslider in heart will become a backslider in outward deed.

"b. The backslider in heart is just as much a backslider as the backslider in deed.
" Whatever the backslider in heart does is unacceptable before God.
" He may sing in the choir, serve as an officer, teach Sunday school… but if he is a backslider in heart, it is all wood, hay, and stubble… regardless of how talented he may be… how well he sings or teaches or ministers in any other way.

"c. His backsliding was not a mere slip that occurred in a weak moment, but was rather a slip that occurred because it was in his heart to go backwards…
" It was the secret desire of his heart long before it was ever put into practice.

"4.) Degrees of backsliding…

"a. Backsliding implies going backwards… not progressing forwards.

"b. A believer is going backwards when:
" He has lost his earlier zeal for the things of Christ…and is 'cooling off'… like embers losing their former glow…
" He has become entangled in the affairs of this life… not necessarily involved in sin, but 'occupied' with things that keep him from spiritual growth.
" He has settled back into mediocrity… and is no longer pressing toward the mark.
" His devotion time in the Word has slacked off… become dry and dusty… finds himself reading the Word less than he used to… praying less…
" He desires the camaraderie of his old friends or the guys at work rather than making friends with God's children…and the fellowship of the saints…

"c. Many believers at church would not be able to notice this change, but God does. God knows a lack of spiritual progress when He sees it…

"d. God takes note of our spiritual progress, growth, zeal, fervor, level of dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and our love for Christ."

If you want to read more of Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_14/.

MARCH 13

Psalm 1:1-3 - Description of a Godly Person

Verse 1: Blessed
[happy] is the man [person] that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly [does not take advice from unsaved people], nor standeth in the way of sinners [does not go where habitual sinners go], nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful [does not keep company ('hang out,' spend time, associate) with people who disrespect God and his followers and make fun of sin] [in other words, this person is not a 'friend of the world']."

Verse 2: "But his
[or her] delight is in the law of the LORD [as recorded in the Bible]; and in his [God's] law doth he [or she] meditate day and night [i.e., this person is in the habit of reading and/or studying the Bible on a daily basis]."

Verse 3: "And he
[or she] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his [its] fruit in his [its] season [at the proper time (when the fruit is ripe)]; his leaf also shall not wither [from drought and heat; i.e., the person, like the leaf of the tree, shall not become lifeless, or unfruitful]; and whatsoever he doeth [whatever the person does, in most cases,] shall prosper [flourish, thrive, succeed]."

MARCH 12

Proverbs 12:21: "There shall no evil
[things, like trouble, sorrow and grief, affliction and suffering] happen to the just [people, referring to those who obey the law, follow orders, etc.]: but the wicked [people, including those who tend to lie, cheat, steal, and break the law] shall be filled with mischief [such as being arrested and ending up in jail, or having an accident and ending up injured or dead, or cheating at work and being fired, etc.]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this proverb is a general observation by King Solomon, which means that although it may not be true all of the time, it's true most of the time.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says:

-- "Solomon's point is that when you do things right, you avoid a lot of trouble!"

-- "Law-abiding citizens usually lead a quiet and peaceable life. But criminals and lawbreakers bring trouble upon their own heads and upon their households."

-- "The one who keeps on committing crimes… who keeps on breaking the rules… who keeps on cheating-will also keep on falling into trouble."

-- "Folks who don't do things right lead their whole lives with a dark cloud following them… the dark cloud of their own making!"

If you want to read this commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-12_21/.

MARCH 7-11

Acts 16:25-34 - The Night the Jailer and His Family Got Saved
This took place in Philippi, a city in Macedonia, after Paul (the apostle) and Silas were arrested, beaten with rods, and thrown in prison for casting a demon out of a fortune-telling slave girl.

Verses 25-26: "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the [other] prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great [very strong, major] earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors [of the prison] were opened, and every one's bands were loosed [loosened, as in untied or unlocked]."

Verses 27-28: "And the keeper of the prison
[the jailer] awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled [had escaped, or run away]. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm [don't commit suicide]: for we are all here."

Verses 29-31: "Then he
[the jailer] called for a light [lamps or torches], and sprang in [rushed in], and came trembling, and fell down [as an act of honor and respect] before Paul and Silas, And [he] brought them out [of the inner prison], and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on [trust in] the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved [from the consequences of (punishment for) sin], and thy house [and so will your household, or family; in other words, he was told, 'If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved, and all of your family members who believe will also be saved']."

Verses 32-33: "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord
[Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the jailer], and to all that were in his house [referring to his family; in other words, they told them how to be saved]. And he [the jailer] took them [Paul and Silas] [to a place with water] the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes [cleansed the blood from the wounds that resulted from beatings they had received in prison]; and [the jailer] was baptized, he and all his [family members who were saved] [were baptized], straightway [immediately]."

Verse 34: "And when he
[the jailer] had brought them [Paul and Silas] into his house, he set meat before them [he gave them something to eat], and rejoiced [was filled with joy], believing in God with all his house [because he and his family had believed and were saved]."

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved means that if you believe that Jesus can save you (from hell), and you sincerely ask him to save you, you will be saved.

You can say a simple prayer (such as "Jesus, save me"), or a long and complicated prayer in your own words (confessing your sins to God, asking his forgiveness, etc.), or anything in between. As long as you mean what you say (and let me assure you that God knows what's in your heart!), you will be saved.

When I got saved, I prayed something like this: "Jesus, please come into my heart and save me so I can go to heaven when I die." If you're not already saved, I hope you'll do the same.

MARCH 6

Jeremiah 17:7: "Blessed is the man
[or woman or child] that trusteth in the LORD [for salvation, safety, happiness, etc.], and whose hope [state of confidence, security] the LORD is."

MARCH 5

Luke 6:43-44
[Comparing people to trees, and their words and actions to fruit, Jesus said]: "For a good tree bringeth not forth [does not produce] corrupt [bad, rotten] fruit; neither doth [does] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his [its] own fruit. For of [from] thorns men [people] do not gather figs, nor of [from] a bramble bush gather they [do they gather] grapes."

By listening to what we say and watching what we do, others can usually tell what kind of people we are.

MARCH 4

Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful
[remember, don't forget] to entertain [be hospitable to] strangers: for thereby [because, by entertaining strangers,] some [people, such as Abraham and Lot--see note below*] have entertained angels [messengers from God] unawares [unknowingly, by surprise]."

Christians should always be hospitable (friendly and welcoming to strangers and guests).
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*If you want to read about the above-mentioned visits with angels (one of whom, in Abraham's case, was the Son of God), here are the links:

Abraham - Genesis 18:1-8:
(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+18%3A1-8&version=KJV)

Lot - Genesis 19:1-3:
(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19%3A1-3&version=KJV)

MARCH 3

1 Corinthians 14:33
[In a letter to the church at Corinth, regarding rules for public worship in Christian churches, especially when it involves spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. (see note below*), the apostle Paul wrote]: "For God is not the author of confusion [disorder], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints [born-again Christians]."

Christians should never behave publicly in a manner that would give false impressions to others.

In regard to the Corinthian church, Albert Barnes says that "[t]he effect of their all speaking with tongues would be to produce confusion and disorder, and disgust among observers, and the conviction that they were deranged …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-14.html, "Introduction", paragraph 8)
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*At the beginning of his commentary on 1 Corinthians 14, Matthew Henry said:

"In this chapter the apostle directs them about the use of their spiritual gifts, preferring those that are best and fitted to do the greatest good. I. He begins with advising them of all spiritual gifts to prefer prophesying, and shows that this is much better than speaking with tongues (v. 1-5). II. He goes on to show them how unprofitable the speaking of foreign languages is, and useless to the church; it is like piping in one tone, like sounding a trumpet without any certain note, like talking gibberish; whereas gifts should be used for the good of the church (v. 6-14). III. He advises that worship should be celebrated so that the most ignorant might understand, and join in prayer and praise, and presses the advice by his own example (v. 15-20). IV. He informs them that tongues were a sign for unbelievers rather than those that believe; and represents the advantage of prophecy above speaking with tongues, from the different suggestions they would give to the mind of an unbeliever coming into their assemblies (v. 21-25). V. He blames them for the disorder and confusion they had brought into the assembly, by their vanity and ostentation of their gifts; and directs them in using the gifts both of tongues and prophecy  (v. 26-33). VI. He forbids women speaking in the church; and closes this subject by requiring them to perform every thing in the public worship with order and decency (v. 34 to the end)."

(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/1-corinthians/14.html, introduction)

Note: If you want to read the verses referred to above by Matthew Henry, they can be found here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14&version=KJV
.

MARCH 2

Psalm 54:2
[Regarding the time that he needed God's help and protection, King David wrote]: "Hear my prayer, O God; give ear [listen] to the words of my mouth."

MARCH 1

Psalm 55:22: "Cast
[throw] thy burden [heavy load; i.e., things you have to do, your cares and worries, etc.] upon the LORD, and he shall sustain [strengthen, comfort, help] thee: he shall never suffer [allow] the righteous [those who have the imputed righteousness of Christ (i.e., born-again Christians)--see note below*] to be moved [shaken, utterly cast down]."

One Bible commentator gave a good example of the meaning of the word casting. He wrote:

"… [O]ur text teaches … [t]hat the Lord is within my reach. He is near me, I am to cast my burden upon Him. Now, this is just what we don't do. We kneel, and sigh, and pray about our burden, that we may cast it on the Lord, but we don't do it. We look up and sigh, and resolve that we will, but nothing comes of it. Some years ago I was staying in a Swiss city, and from the windows of my hotel I looked out on the bridge that crossed the Rhine. At the middle of the bridge there was a tiny wayside chapel, and as the peasants went to market they set the heavy basket down on the steps while they turned in to pray. Then they came out and took up their burdens again. That is how many people do with their troubles--they pray about them, and then pick them up again. What folly it is to call that casting! On the other side of the parapet there swept the swift current of the Rhine. Now, if one should take up the load with both hands, and swing it with all his might over the side, and then let it go whirling through space until it splashed into the waters, and went, swept away for ever--that is casting. …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/55-22.html, "The Biblical Illustrator: Our burden-bearer")
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*On the cross, our sins were given (imputed) to Jesus, and when we are born again, his righteousness is given to us. (Source: https://carm.org/dictionary-impute)


Previous Verses
March 2018
MARCH 30-31

Matthew 12:38-41 - When Was Jesus Crucified?

Verse 38: "Then certain
[some] of the scribes [teachers of the Jewish people and interpreters of the law] and of the Pharisees [members of a Jewish sect (religious group)] answered [Jesus], saying, Master, we would [like to] see a sign from thee [you] [i.e., a sign from heaven, in the form of a miracle] [to prove that you are the Christ, or Messiah, and have been sent by God]."

Verses 39-40: "But he
[Jesus] answered and said unto them [the crowd], An evil and adulterous generation [referring to the Jews, many of whom--at that time--were unfaithful to their spouses and/or God] seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it [to the 'evil and adulterous generation'], but [except] the sign of the prophet Jonas [Jonah]: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man [Jesus] be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth [i.e., Jesus meant that he would be in the grave, or tomb, for three days and three nights between his crucifixion and resurrection, which was the same amount of time that Jonah spent inside the whale]."

Verse 41: "The men
[inhabitants] of Nineveh [capital city of the Assyrian empire] shall rise [as witnesses] in judgment [on judgment day] with this generation [of Jews], and [the example of the Ninevites] shall condemn it ['this generation']: because they [the people of Nineveh] repented at the preaching of Jonas [a prophet, or messenger, of God]; and, behold, a greater [one] than Jonas is here [referring to himself (Jesus), who is the Son of God--second person of the trinity (which means one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)] [and the Jews refused to repent at his preaching]."

Christians normally celebrate Good Friday as the day when Jesus was crucified, but according to verse 40 above, that's not true. There are other theories about when he died, and they are discussed in the following article: "On what day was Jesus crucified?". If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/three-days.html.

MARCH 29

Proverbs 29:26: "Many
[people] seek the ruler's favour [i.e., the favor, or approval, of kings, presidents, government officials, world leaders, etc.]; but every man's [every person's] judgment [i.e., true justice] cometh from the LORD [God]."

At the end of his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said: "The bottom line: if you're in trouble, if you are facing injustice, if you are being treated unfairly, go to God. You will get justice from Him."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_26/.

MARCH 28

Proverbs 28:22: "He
[or she] that hasteth [is in a hurry] to be rich hath an evil eye [is an envious, selfish, and/or covetous person], and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him [or her]."

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

MARCH 27

Proverbs 27:5-6 - Friends vs. Enemies

Verse 5: "Open rebuke
[criticism to correct a fault] is better [more desirable and beneficial] than secret love."

Verse 6: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend
[we may feel hurt when our friends rebuke or correct us (point out our sins), even if it is done with good intentions (because they want to help)]; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [phony and misleading, because they hide the person's true feelings]."

In his commentary on these verses, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church said, "Rebukes and wounds are sometimes expressions of true love and friendship while smiles, kisses, flattery, and hugs may actually be expressions of hatred and enmity."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-27-index/proverbs-27_5-6/.

MARCH 26

Matthew 5:27-28
[During his sermon on the mount, Jesus said to his disciples]: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time [i.e., Moses and the prophets], Thou shalt not commit adultery [which is the seventh commandment]: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart [mind]."

Examples of the above teaching include watching pornographic videos, reading pornographic literature, etc. For more information about this subject, read "What does the Bible say about pornography?" Here's the link: https://gotquestions.org/pornography-Bible.html.

Matthew Henry commented on the above verses as follows: "What have we the covering of the eyes for, but to restrain corrupt glances, and to keep out of their defiling impressions? This forbids also the using of any other of our senses to stir up lust. … And if looking be lust, they who dress and deck, and expose themselves, with design to be looked at and lusted after … are no less guilty." (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/matthew/5.html, "Verses 27-32")

MARCH 25

John 6:37
[Jesus said]: "All that the Father [God] giveth me [i.e., everyone who believes the gospel and wants to be saved (from hell) and go to heaven when they die] shall come to me [Jesus]; and him [or her] that cometh to me [for salvation] I will in no wise [never--in no way, at no time] cast out [turn away, throw aside, reject (or refuse to save)]."

In his commentary, Albert Barnes has an excellent explanation of this verse. Here are some excerpts:

"The Father giveth me - We here learn that those who come to Christ, and who will be saved, are given to him by God.

"1.God promised him that he should see of the travail of his soul - that is, "the fruit of his wearisome toil" … and should be satisfied …

"2.All men are sinners, and none have any claim to mercy, and he may therefore bestow salvation on whom he pleases.

"3.All people of themselves are disposed to reject the gospel …

"4.God enables those who do believe to do it. He draws them to Him by His Word and Spirit; "He opens their hearts to understand the Scriptures … and He grants to them repentance …

"5.All those who become Christians may therefore be said to be given to Jesus as the reward of his sufferings, for his death was the price by which they were redeemed …

"Shall come to me - This is an expression denoting that they would believe on him. To come to one implies our need of help, our confidence that he can aid us, and our readiness to trust to him. The sinner comes to Jesus feeling that he is poor, and needy, and wretched, and casts himself on his mercy, believing that he alone can save him. This expression also proves that men are not compelled to believe on Christ. Though they who believe are given to him, and though his Spirit works in them faith and repentance, yet they are made willing in the day of his power … No man is compelled to go to heaven against his will, and no man is compelled to go to hell against his will. The Spirit of God inclines the will of one, and he comes freely as a moral agent. The other chooses the way to death; and, though God is constantly using means to save him, yet he prefers the path that leads down to woe.

"Him that cometh - Everyone that comes - that is, everyone that comes in a proper mariner [i.e., manner], feeling that he is a lost and ruined sinner. This invitation is wide, and full, and free. It shows the unbounded mercy of God; and it shows, also, that the reason, and the only reason, why men are not saved, is that they will not come to Christ. Of any sinner it may be said that if he had been willing to come to Christ he might have come and been saved. As he chooses not to come, he cannot blame God because he [God] saves others who are willing, no matter from what cause, and who thus are made partakers of everlasting life.

"Cast out - Reject, or refuse to save. This expression does not refer to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, but to the fact that Jesus will not reject or refuse any sinner who comes to him."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-6.html, "Verse 37")


Another Bible commentator said that "Christ is God's gift to men, but the believers are his gift to Christ." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/6-37.html, "People's New Testament")


Note: If you want to be saved but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website, which can be found here: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

MARCH 24

Proverbs 24:17-18: "Rejoice not
[don't gloat (be joyful in an arrogant way)] when thine enemy falleth [when your enemy experiences physical suffering, pain, and/or death], and let not thine heart be glad [don't be glad] when he [or she] stumbleth [i.e., when bad things happen to him or her]: Lest [or] the LORD [will] see it, and it [will] displease him, and he [will] turn away his wrath [anger] from him [or her, meaning the enemy]."

In other words, we shouldn't be happy when others suffer, including our enemies. As long as we don't gloat over our enemies' misfortunes, God will take care of any revenge and punishment that is necessary for them. If we do gloat, not only will God 'turn away his wrath' from our enemies, but he may punish us instead.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, including an explanation of the important difference between rejoicing and gloating. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-24-index/proverbs-24_17-18/.

MARCH 23

Proverbs 23:29-30 - Dangers of Alcohol
Below is a list of some emotional, social (interpersonal relationship), and physical problems that are caused by drinking too much.

Verse 29 - Questions:

"Who hath
[has] woe [intense suffering caused by misfortune, affliction, or grief]?
who hath
sorrow
[deep distress, sadness, or regret, especially for the loss of a beloved person or thing]?
who hath
contentions
[arguments, disagreements, fights]?
who hath
babbling
[foolish talking]?
who hath
wounds without cause
[injuries caused by accidents, fighting for no good reason, etc.]?
who hath
redness of eyes
[bloodshot eyes]?"

Verse 30 - Answer:

"They that tarry long at the wine
[people who 'hang out' (and drink too much) at places where alcohol is served]; they that go to seek [search for] mixed wine [alcoholic beverages]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on the above verses, including examples of ways in which drunk people can get hurt and an explanation of what mixed wine was in Bible times. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_29-31/.

MARCH 22

Romans 2:21-23 - Are You a Hypocrite?
The apostle Paul asked this question in his letter to the professing Christians in Rome.

"Thou [you] therefore [referring to what he had written before this verse] which teachest another [person] [to do or not do something], teachest thou not thyself  [to do the same, or (like a hypocrite) do you do the opposite]?

"thou that preachest
[that] a man should not steal, dost thou [do you] steal?"

"Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery
[have sex with another man's wife], dost thou commit adultery?

"thou that abhorrest
[hates] idols, dost thou commit sacrilege [violate or misuse things that are considered sacred (dedicated to God); take things that belong to God]?

"Thou that makest thy boast of the law
[you who teach the importance of obeying God's law, as found in the Bible and the Ten Commandments], through breaking the law [by not obeying it] dishonourest thou God [do you dishonor or insult God--see note below*]?"

The teaching in the above verses can be summarized by this common saying: "Do you practice what you preach?"
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*Meaning of the phrase dishonourest thou God in verse 23, according to Albert Barnes:

"By boasting of the Law, they proclaimed their conviction that it was from God. By breaking it, they denied it. And as actions are a true test of man's real opinions, their breaking the Law did it more dishonor than their boasting of it did it honor. This is always the case. It matters little what a man's speculative opinions may be; his practice may do far more to disgrace religion than his profession does to honor it. It is the life and conduct, and not merely the profession of the lips, that does real honor to the true religion. Alas, with what pertinency and force may this question be put to many who call themselves Christians!"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-2.html, "Verse 23")

MARCH 21

John 15:5
[Jesus said to his disciples during the last supper]: "I am the vine, ye [you] are the branches: He [or she] that abideth in me [meaning that if a saved person continues to stay close to Jesus through faith], and [if] I [Jesus] [abideth] in him [or her, which is made possible through the Holy Spirit, who comes to live in that saved person's heart], the same ['branch,' or saved person] bringeth forth [will produce] much fruit [in the form of good works]: for without me [i.e., separate or apart from Jesus,] ye can do nothing [that is truly and spiritually good and acceptable in the sight of God]."

What Jesus said to his disciples also applies to all born-again Christians. Jesus is the source of our strength, and he wants us to be fruitful. The praise for any good works that we do belongs to him.

In regard to the above verse, one Bible commentator  wrote:

"Obviously it is impossible for a branch to bear any fruit if it has no contact with the life-giving vine. Many unbelievers appear to bear the fruit of godly character and conduct, but their fruit is phony. It is similar to plastic fruit that one could hang on trees to give them the appearance of being healthy and productive. It is natural, though not inevitable, that a branch that has vital connection with the vine bear some fruit. The way to bear much fruit is for the branch to maintain unhindered fellowship with the vine by allowing the vine to have its way with the branch. The alternative would be resisting the Holy Spirit"s work by neglecting and disobeying God.

"Lack of fruit in the life, therefore, may not necessarily be an indication that the branch has no vital relationship to the vine (i.e, that the person is unsaved). It may indicate that the branch, though connected to the vine, is not abiding in it (i.e, that the believer is not cultivating an intimate relationship with the Savior)."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/15-5.html#dcc, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

MARCH 20

Acts 11:25-26: "Then departed
[went] Barnabas to Tarsus [a major city in Cilicia, in Asia Minor, where the apostle Paul was born and lived], for to seek [in search of] Saul [Paul]: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch [a city in, and capital of, ancient Syria]. And it came to pass, that [for] a whole year they [Paul and Barnabas] assembled themselves [gathered together for worship] with [those who attended] the church, and taught much [many] people. And the disciples [followers of Jesus Christ] were called Christians first [for the first time] in Antioch."

MARCH 19

Luke 6:35
[During his 'sermon on the plain' (see note below*), Jesus said]: "But love ye your enemies, and do good [to everyone], and lend [loan things] [to others], hoping for nothing again [in return]; and your reward [on earth and/or in heaven] shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest [of Almighty God]: [you should do these things (love your enemies, do good, and lend)] for [because] he [God] is kind unto the unthankful [to people who are unthankful] and to the evil [to bad people]."

Christians should be kind to everyone because our heavenly Father is kind to everyone. We should try to follow his example.
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*Differences between the "sermon on the plain" and the "sermon on the mount" are explained in the following article: "What is the Sermon on the Plain?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://carm.org/what-is-the-sermon-on-the-plain.

MARCH 18

Psalm 33:20
[Written by an unknown author, perhaps King David, to the people of God (i.e., the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, and born-again Christians in the New Testament)]: "Our soul waiteth for [we wait for, or depend on,] the LORD: he is our help [he provides aid and assistance when necessary] and our shield [he defends us from our enemies and protects us from harm]."

MARCH 17

Proverbs 17:10: "A reproof
[criticism, correction, warning] entereth more into a wise man than [do] an hundred stripes [long, narrow, discolored marks on the skin (bruises) resulting from a beating or spanking] [enter] into a fool."

In the "Conclusions" section of his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church summarized his teaching on the above verse as follows:

"1. Notice that BOTH the wise man and the fool make mistakes and do things incorrectly from time to time.

"2. This proverb does not deny the fact that wise men sometimes take the wrong route in life.

"3. But the proverb does speak about the difference in the way the two men receive correction.

"a.  The wise man listens, learns, and changes.

"b. The fool doesn't listen-and has to be beaten 100 times… for the same infraction-and still doesn't learn!"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary (including examples of wise men in the Bible who made mistakes), you'll find it here: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_10/.

MARCH 16

Proverbs 16:5: "Every one that is proud in heart
[haughty, arrogant, full of pride] is an abomination [object of disgust or extreme hatred] to the LORD: though hand join in hand [although he or she may 'hold hands' with other sinners (as when forming a 'human chain') in opposition to God], he [or she--the person who is 'proud is heart'] shall not be unpunished [i.e., will be punished] [by God]."

Matthew Henry summarized the verse as follows: "Though [sinners] may … [join] forces against God, they shall not escape his righteous judgment …" (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/16.html, "Verse 5")

Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse has many examples, both from the Bible and from everyday life, of situations involving strength in numbers. It shows how people can escape punishment because of, or can be punished in spite of, their large numbers. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_5/.

MARCH 15

Luke 18:17
[Jesus said to his disciples]: "Verily [truly] I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God [i.e., heaven, by accepting God's free gift of eternal life,] as [like] a little child shall in no wise [shall not] enter therein."

MARCH 14

Proverbs 14:14: "The backslider in heart
[a born-again Christian who stops following God and falls back into sin or becomes more focused on worldly things than on his/her spiritual life] shall be filled with [the consequences of] his [or her] own ways: and a [spiritually and morally] good man [person] shall be satisfied from [within, or be at peace with,] himself [or herself]."

Here are some facts about backsliders, quoted from Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse:

"2.) The backslider described:

"a. He ONCE walked with God. He at one time was headed in the right direction, but has CHANGED directions… or at least slowed down his pace of progress.

"b. He is no longer going forward, but is going backwards.

"c. He once fought the good fight, but has retreated for one reason or another. (tired; weary; wounded; enticed; lazy; enamored by the worldly; deceived by the enemy; etc.)

"3.) The backslider in HEART… implies two things:

"a. He may not appear to be a backslider
" His backsliding may not be outwardly apparent. It is inward… in the heart… where no man can see.
" He is still assembling together with the saints…
" All looks well on the outside, but on the inside, a departure is underway.
" There are backsliders in heart who sit in churches every Sunday, thinking nobody knows. God knows.
" Sin doesn't have to be outward. It is possible to commit adultery in the heart… murder… idolatry…
" In fact, sin manifests itself in the heart before it is ever manifested outwardly.
" Eventually, the backslider in heart will become a backslider in outward deed.

"b. The backslider in heart is just as much a backslider as the backslider in deed.
" Whatever the backslider in heart does is unacceptable before God.
" He may sing in the choir, serve as an officer, teach Sunday school… but if he is a backslider in heart, it is all wood, hay, and stubble… regardless of how talented he may be… how well he sings or teaches or ministers in any other way.

"c. His backsliding was not a mere slip that occurred in a weak moment, but was rather a slip that occurred because it was in his heart to go backwards…
" It was the secret desire of his heart long before it was ever put into practice.

"4.) Degrees of backsliding…

"a. Backsliding implies going backwards… not progressing forwards.

"b. A believer is going backwards when:
" He has lost his earlier zeal for the things of Christ…and is 'cooling off'… like embers losing their former glow…
" He has become entangled in the affairs of this life… not necessarily involved in sin, but 'occupied' with things that keep him from spiritual growth.
" He has settled back into mediocrity… and is no longer pressing toward the mark.
" His devotion time in the Word has slacked off… become dry and dusty… finds himself reading the Word less than he used to… praying less…
" He desires the camaraderie of his old friends or the guys at work rather than making friends with God's children…and the fellowship of the saints…

"c. Many believers at church would not be able to notice this change, but God does. God knows a lack of spiritual progress when He sees it…

"d. God takes note of our spiritual progress, growth, zeal, fervor, level of dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and our love for Christ."

If you want to read more of Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_14/.

MARCH 13

Psalm 1:1-3 - Description of a Godly Person

Verse 1: Blessed
[happy] is the man [person] that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly [does not take advice from unsaved people], nor standeth in the way of sinners [does not go where habitual sinners go], nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful [does not keep company ('hang out,' spend time, associate) with people who disrespect God and his followers and make fun of sin] [in other words, this person is not a 'friend of the world']."

Verse 2: "But his
[or her] delight is in the law of the LORD [as recorded in the Bible]; and in his [God's] law doth he [or she] meditate day and night [i.e., this person is in the habit of reading and/or studying the Bible on a daily basis]."

Verse 3: "And he
[or she] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his [its] fruit in his [its] season [at the proper time (when the fruit is ripe)]; his leaf also shall not wither [from drought and heat; i.e., the person, like the leaf of the tree, shall not become lifeless, or unfruitful]; and whatsoever he doeth [whatever the person does, in most cases,] shall prosper [flourish, thrive, succeed]."

MARCH 12

Proverbs 12:21: "There shall no evil
[things, like trouble, sorrow and grief, affliction and suffering] happen to the just [people, referring to those who obey the law, follow orders, etc.]: but the wicked [people, including those who tend to lie, cheat, steal, and break the law] shall be filled with mischief [such as being arrested and ending up in jail, or having an accident and ending up injured or dead, or cheating at work and being fired, etc.]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this proverb is a general observation by King Solomon, which means that although it may not be true all of the time, it's true most of the time.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says:

-- "Solomon's point is that when you do things right, you avoid a lot of trouble!"

-- "Law-abiding citizens usually lead a quiet and peaceable life. But criminals and lawbreakers bring trouble upon their own heads and upon their households."

-- "The one who keeps on committing crimes… who keeps on breaking the rules… who keeps on cheating-will also keep on falling into trouble."

-- "Folks who don't do things right lead their whole lives with a dark cloud following them… the dark cloud of their own making!"

If you want to read this commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-12_21/.

MARCH 7-11

Acts 16:25-34 - The Night the Jailer and His Family Got Saved
This took place in Philippi, a city in Macedonia, after Paul (the apostle) and Silas were arrested, beaten with rods, and thrown in prison for casting a demon out of a fortune-telling slave girl.

Verses 25-26: "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the [other] prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great [very strong, major] earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors [of the prison] were opened, and every one's bands were loosed [loosened, as in untied or unlocked]."

Verses 27-28: "And the keeper of the prison
[the jailer] awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled [had escaped, or run away]. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm [don't commit suicide]: for we are all here."

Verses 29-31: "Then he
[the jailer] called for a light [lamps or torches], and sprang in [rushed in], and came trembling, and fell down [as an act of honor and respect] before Paul and Silas, And [he] brought them out [of the inner prison], and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on [trust in] the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved [from the consequences of (punishment for) sin], and thy house [and so will your household, or family; in other words, he was told, 'If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved, and all of your family members who believe will also be saved']."

Verses 32-33: "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord
[Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the jailer], and to all that were in his house [referring to his family; in other words, they told them how to be saved]. And he [the jailer] took them [Paul and Silas] [to a place with water] the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes [cleansed the blood from the wounds that resulted from beatings they had received in prison]; and [the jailer] was baptized, he and all his [family members who were saved] [were baptized], straightway [immediately]."

Verse 34: "And when he
[the jailer] had brought them [Paul and Silas] into his house, he set meat before them [he gave them something to eat], and rejoiced [was filled with joy], believing in God with all his house [because he and his family had believed and were saved]."

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved means that if you believe that Jesus can save you (from hell), and you sincerely ask him to save you, you will be saved.

You can say a simple prayer (such as "Jesus, save me"), or a long and complicated prayer in your own words (confessing your sins to God, asking his forgiveness, etc.), or anything in between. As long as you mean what you say (and let me assure you that God knows what's in your heart!), you will be saved.

When I got saved, I prayed something like this: "Jesus, please come into my heart and save me so I can go to heaven when I die." If you're not already saved, I hope you'll do the same.

MARCH 6

Jeremiah 17:7: "Blessed is the man
[or woman or child] that trusteth in the LORD [for salvation, safety, happiness, etc.], and whose hope [state of confidence, security] the LORD is."

MARCH 5

Luke 6:43-44
[Comparing people to trees, and their words and actions to fruit, Jesus said]: "For a good tree bringeth not forth [does not produce] corrupt [bad, rotten] fruit; neither doth [does] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his [its] own fruit. For of [from] thorns men [people] do not gather figs, nor of [from] a bramble bush gather they [do they gather] grapes."

By listening to what we say and watching what we do, others can usually tell what kind of people we are.

MARCH 4

Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful
[remember, don't forget] to entertain [be hospitable to] strangers: for thereby [because, by entertaining strangers,] some [people, such as Abraham and Lot--see note below*] have entertained angels [messengers from God] unawares [unknowingly, by surprise]."

Christians should always be hospitable (friendly and welcoming to strangers and guests).
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*If you want to read about the above-mentioned visits with angels (one of whom, in Abraham's case, was the Son of God), here are the links:

Abraham - Genesis 18:1-8:
(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+18%3A1-8&version=KJV)

Lot - Genesis 19:1-3:
(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19%3A1-3&version=KJV)

MARCH 3

1 Corinthians 14:33
[In a letter to the church at Corinth, regarding rules for public worship in Christian churches, especially when it involves spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. (see note below*), the apostle Paul wrote]: "For God is not the author of confusion [disorder], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints [born-again Christians]."

Christians should never behave publicly in a manner that would give false impressions to others.

In regard to the Corinthian church, Albert Barnes says that "[t]he effect of their all speaking with tongues would be to produce confusion and disorder, and disgust among observers, and the conviction that they were deranged …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-14.html, "Introduction", paragraph 8)
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*At the beginning of his commentary on 1 Corinthians 14, Matthew Henry said:

"In this chapter the apostle directs them about the use of their spiritual gifts, preferring those that are best and fitted to do the greatest good. I. He begins with advising them of all spiritual gifts to prefer prophesying, and shows that this is much better than speaking with tongues (v. 1-5). II. He goes on to show them how unprofitable the speaking of foreign languages is, and useless to the church; it is like piping in one tone, like sounding a trumpet without any certain note, like talking gibberish; whereas gifts should be used for the good of the church (v. 6-14). III. He advises that worship should be celebrated so that the most ignorant might understand, and join in prayer and praise, and presses the advice by his own example (v. 15-20). IV. He informs them that tongues were a sign for unbelievers rather than those that believe; and represents the advantage of prophecy above speaking with tongues, from the different suggestions they would give to the mind of an unbeliever coming into their assemblies (v. 21-25). V. He blames them for the disorder and confusion they had brought into the assembly, by their vanity and ostentation of their gifts; and directs them in using the gifts both of tongues and prophecy  (v. 26-33). VI. He forbids women speaking in the church; and closes this subject by requiring them to perform every thing in the public worship with order and decency (v. 34 to the end)."

(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/1-corinthians/14.html, introduction)

Note: If you want to read the verses referred to above by Matthew Henry, they can be found here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14&version=KJV
.

MARCH 2

Psalm 54:2
[Regarding the time that he needed God's help and protection, King David wrote]: "Hear my prayer, O God; give ear [listen] to the words of my mouth."

MARCH 1

Psalm 55:22: "Cast
[throw] thy burden [heavy load; i.e., things you have to do, your cares and worries, etc.] upon the LORD, and he shall sustain [strengthen, comfort, help] thee: he shall never suffer [allow] the righteous [those who have the imputed righteousness of Christ (i.e., born-again Christians)--see note below*] to be moved [shaken, utterly cast down]."

One Bible commentator gave a good example of the meaning of the word casting. He wrote:

"… [O]ur text teaches … [t]hat the Lord is within my reach. He is near me, I am to cast my burden upon Him. Now, this is just what we don't do. We kneel, and sigh, and pray about our burden, that we may cast it on the Lord, but we don't do it. We look up and sigh, and resolve that we will, but nothing comes of it. Some years ago I was staying in a Swiss city, and from the windows of my hotel I looked out on the bridge that crossed the Rhine. At the middle of the bridge there was a tiny wayside chapel, and as the peasants went to market they set the heavy basket down on the steps while they turned in to pray. Then they came out and took up their burdens again. That is how many people do with their troubles--they pray about them, and then pick them up again. What folly it is to call that casting! On the other side of the parapet there swept the swift current of the Rhine. Now, if one should take up the load with both hands, and swing it with all his might over the side, and then let it go whirling through space until it splashed into the waters, and went, swept away for ever--that is casting. …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/55-22.html, "The Biblical Illustrator: Our burden-bearer")
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*On the cross, our sins were given (imputed) to Jesus, and when we are born again, his righteousness is given to us. (Source: https://carm.org/dictionary-impute)


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