SEPTEMBER 30

Ephesians 5:11: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness
[don't participate in sinful behavior, stay away from sinful things (activities, deeds, actions)], but rather [instead] reprove [express disapproval of, criticize, correct, expose] them."

Concerning how we might fellowship with "works of darkness," here are similar examples from three Bible commentators:

Commentator 1:

"Those in whom there is the light of grace and true knowledge must not walk in evil works, nor communicate in them.

"(a) By provoking to sin.
"(b) By commanding.
"(c) By counselling.
"(d) By consenting.
"(e) By carelessness to prevent sin.
"(f) By not repressing sin when it has entered.
"(g) By applauding sin.
"(h) By not testifying against sin."

Commentator 2:

"1. That we must have no fellowship with them [i.e., 'works of darkness'] in evil. To understand that, we must consider how many ways we have fellowship with them.

"(a) If we counsel, persuade, allure, or entice others to sins. These are Satan's decoys, who being ensnared themselves, draw others into the net.

"(b) By commanding that which is evil. This is the sin of those that have power over others; as David commanded Joab to set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire from him, that he may be smitten and die (2 Samuel 11:15).

"(c) By consenting, though we be not the principal actors; as Ahab (1 Kings 21:19).

"(d) By abetting, aiding, and assisting in the conveyance of the sin; as Jonadab assisted Amnon in getting an occasion to satisfy his lust on his sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:5).

"(e) By applauding, approving, or praising the sin, which is the guise of flatterers (Romans 1:32).

"(f) By carelessness to prevent the sin: "I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not" (1 Samuel 3:13). So that a culpable omission may make us accessory to their sin."

Commentator 3:

"I. What is forbidden. "Fellowship." This may be produced in several ways.

"1. By personally committing the sins described, or by joining with others in bringing them about.
"2. By teaching wrong-doing, either by plain word or by just inference.
"3. By constraining, commanding, or tempting; by threat, request, persuasion, inducement, compulsion, bribery, or influence.
"4. By provoking, through exciting anger, emulation, or discouragement.
"5. By neglecting to rebuke, especially by parents and masters misusing their office, and allowing known evils in the family.
"6. By counselling, and advising, or by guiding by example.
"7. By consenting, agreeing, and cooperating.
"8. By conniving at sin: tolerating, concealing, and making light of it.
"9. By commending, countenancing, defending, and excusing the wrong already done; and contending against those who would expose, denounce, and punish it."

(Source for all three quotes: www.studylight.org/commentary/ephesians/5-11.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

SEPTEMBER 29

James 2:10-11 - Obeying the Law of God

Verse 10: "For whosoever
[whoever] shall keep [obey] the whole [moral] law [as found in the ten commandments], and yet offend in one point [violate even one commandment], he [or she] is guilty of [breaking] all [of them (the commandments)]."

Verse 11: "For he
[God] that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no [you do not commit] adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art [have] become a transgressor of the law [violator of the law, lawbreaker, sinner]."

Albert Barnes has an excellent commentary on verse 10. In part, it says:

"He is guilty of all - He is guilty of violating the law as a whole, or of violating the law of God as such; he has rendered it impossible that he should be justified and saved by the law. This does not affirm that he is as guilty as if he had violated every law of God; or that all sinners are of equal grade because all have violated some one or more of the laws of God; but the meaning is, that he is guilty of violating the law of God as such; he shows that be has not the true spirit of obedience; he has exposed himself to the penalty of the law, and made it impossible now to be saved by it. His acts of obedience in other respects, no matter how many, will not screen him from the charge of being a violator of the law, or from its penalty. He must be held and treated as a transgressor for that offence, however upright he may be in other respects, and must meet the penalty of the law as certainly as though he had violated every commandment.

"One portion of the law is as much binding as another, and if a man violates any one plain commandment, he sets at nought the authority of God. This is a simple principle which is everywhere recognised, and the apostle means no more by it than occurs every day. A man who has stolen a horse is held to be a violator of the law, no matter in how many other respects he has kept it, and the law condemns him for it. He cannot plead his obedience to the law in other things as a reason why he should not be punished for this sin; but however upright he may have been in general, even though it may have been through a long life, the law holds him to be a transgressor, and condemns him. He is as really condemned, and as much thrown from the protection of law, as though he had violated every command. So of murder, arson, treason, or any other crime. The law judges a man for what he has done in this specific case, and he cannot plead in justification of it that he has been obedient in other things.

"It follows, therefore, that if a man has been guilty of violating the law of God in any one instance, or is not perfectly holy, he cannot be justified and saved by it, though he should have obeyed it in every other respect, any more than a man who has been guilty of murder can be saved from the gallows because he has, in other respects, been a good citizen, a kind father, an honest neighbor, or has been compassionate to the poor and the needy. He cannot plead his act of truth in one case as an offset to the sin of falsehood in another; he cannot defend himself from the charge of dishonesty in one instance by the plea that he has been honest in another; he cannot urge the fact that he has done a good thing as a reason why he should not be punished for a bad one. He must answer for the specific charge against him, and none of these other things can be an offset against this one act of wrong. Let it be remarked, also, in respect to our being justified by obedience to the law, that no man can plead before God that he has kept all his law except in one point. Who is there that has not, in spirit at least, broken each one of the ten commandments? …"

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/2-10.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")


Regarding the concept of "breaking one commandment means breaking them all" in the above verse, another commentator said: "'Our obedience to God"s will cannot be on a selective basis; we cannot choose that part that is to our liking and disregard the rest. God"s will is not fragmentary; the entire law is the expression of His will for His people; it constitutes a grand unity. To break out one corner of a window pane is to become guilty of breaking the whole pane. He who crosses a forbidden boundary at one point or another is guilty of having crossed the boundary.' …" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/2-10.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

In other words, God's commandments are connected, like links in a chain that make up his law. If you break one link, the entire chain is broken.

SEPTEMBER 28

2 Corinthians 5:21: "For he
[God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin [a sin offering] for us, who knew no sin [referring to Jesus, who never sinned]; [so] that we might be made the righteousness of God in [through] him."

Because Jesus never sinned, he was able to become the sacrifice for our sins when he died on the cross. As a result, those who receive him as Savior take on his righteousness (become righteous, or justified, in God's eyes) and are allowed to enter into heaven when they die.

SEPTEMBER 27

Romans 8:26-27:

Verse 26: "Likewise
[in the same way as was discussed in preceding verses] the [Holy] Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses, especially during prayer--such as (according to Charles Spurgeon), want of memory, want of faith, want of earnestness, ignorance, pride, deadness, and coldness of heart]: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought [should] [i.e., we don't know how to pray in the proper way]: but the [Holy] Spirit itself maketh intercession for us [assists or aids us, guides us in our prayers] with [our] groanings [inward sighs and moans due to our deep-felt emotions] which cannot be uttered [spoken, expressed in words]."

Verse 27: "And he that searcheth the hearts
[i.e., God] knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit [knows what desires the Holy Spirit has instilled (produced) in our hearts], because he [the Holy Spirit] maketh intercession for the saints [helps born-again Christians pray] according to the will of God."

In other words, God has promised to answer our prayers when we obey him and pray in accordance with his will. The Holy Spirit helps us do both of those things.

SEPTEMBER 26

Genesis 1:26-27 - God Creates Man

Verse 26: "And God
[the Father] said [to God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)], Let us make man [mankind, human beings] in our image, after our likeness [i.e., to look like us]: and let them have dominion [authority, control] over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air [such as birds and flying insects], and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing [wild animals, etc.] that creepeth upon the earth."

Verse 27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him
[referring to Adam, the first man]; male and female created he them [i.e., Adam and his wife, Eve (the first human beings)--see note below*]."
________________________

*According to the Bible, God created Adam first (from the dust of the ground), and then Eve (from Adam's rib):

Genesis 2:7: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Genesis 2:21-22: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

SEPTEMBER 25

Proverbs 25:17: "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's
[friend's] house; lest he [so he or she won't] be weary [tired] of thee, and so [consequently] hate thee."

In other words, don't visit your friends too often (don't be a pest), or they'll become "sick and tired" of you. A common saying to illustrate this point is, "Familiarity breeds contempt."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. It's combined with verse 16, which says: "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

In his commentary, Pastor Delany compares the results of visiting your friends too much to what usually happens when you eat too much honey, and he says that the only friend who never gets tired of us, no matter how much we come to him, is Jesus.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_16-17/.

SEPTEMBER 24

1 Peter 4:15
[The apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "But let none of you suffer [punishment] as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's [people's] matters."

Don't do the things that are listed in the above verse (i.e., kill, steal, do bad things, interfere in other people's business), and you won't have to worry about being punished for them.

Albert Barnes says, "If you must be called to suffer, see that it be not for crime." He describes busybody as "one who busies himself with what does not concern him; that is, one who pries into the affairs of another; who attempts to control or direct them as if they were his own." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/4-15.html, "Albert Barnes" Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 23

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

SEPTEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:13: "The slothful
[lazy] man [person] saith, There is a lion without [outside], I shall be slain [killed] in the streets."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, the subject of this verse is excuses for laziness. In this case, the man says he can't go to work because he might be eaten by a lion.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says that laziness is more than a personality trait, cultural issue, or natural disposition--it's a moral failure, a SIN--and he goes on to list (with many examples for each statement) what Solomon said about laziness in the book of Proverbs. Then he talks specifically about excuses that people give for not doing something (like going to work).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_13/.

SEPTEMBER 21

Psalm 9:17: "The wicked
[referring to evil, sinful people who are morally bad in principle and practice] shall be turned into [sent to] hell, and [so will] all the nations [throughout the world, referring to the people in them, both 'bad' and 'good'] that [who] forget [about] God [and consequently don't honor him and obey his word]."

SEPTEMBER 20

1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath
[has] no temptation [an urge or desire to do something unwise, immoral, or wrong] taken [hold of] you but such as is common to man [mankind, all people]: but God is faithful [trustworthy], who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above [beyond] that [which] ye are able [to resist]; but [he] will with the temptation also make a way to escape [the temptation], that ye may be able to bear [endure] it."

SEPTEMBER 19

Luke 6:31
[Jesus said]: "And as ye would [want, desire] that men [other people] should do to you, do ye also to them likewise [the same]."

In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (for example, with kindness).

The above verse is also known as the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

SEPTEMBER 18

Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter
[the person who gives his or her opinion about something] before he [or she] heareth it [hears the whole story, or both sides of it], it is folly [foolishness] and shame unto him [or her]."

This verse is about making snap judgments, jumping to conclusions, making up our minds without knowing all of the facts.

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church uses an example from the book of Joshua to illustrate the above point. He ends his commentary by saying, "Wars have started; marriages have ended; families destroyed; churches split; friendships broken; lives ruined; reputations damaged… all because of men have answered a matter before they heard it."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_13/.

SEPTEMBER 17

Proverbs 17:25: "A foolish son is a grief
[source of anger and/or frustration] to his father, and [is] [a cause of] bitterness [sorrow (sadness), trouble or annoyance, mental strain and stress] to her that bare [gave birth to] him [i.e., his mother]."

Note: Since this verse is mostly self-explanatory, there is no commentary for it on the Salem Bible Church website.

SEPTEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:4: "The LORD
[God] hath made all things for himself [for his own purpose; for his honor, glory, and pleasure]: yea [yes], even the wicked [referring to sinners who end up rebelling against God and refuse to accept his free gift of eternal life] [were created] for the day of [the punishment of] evil [i.e., judgment day, when God will demonstrate his holiness, justice, and righteousness]."

In other words, God created everything for his pleasure and to show his handiwork, demonstrate his power and greatness, serve his purposes, and bring glory (praise and honor) to his name.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If  you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_4/.

SEPTEMBER 15

Proverbs 15:27: "He that is greedy of gain
[the person who wants to be rich and tries to get things dishonestly, through cheating or violence] troubleth his [or her] own house [household, family]; but he [or she] that hateth [refuses to take] gifts [in this case, bribes--to do something unjust or wrong, or to obtain money unlawfully] shall live [a long, fulfilling (satisfying, happy), and peaceful life]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including the following examples of how we can be "greedy of gain" and cause trouble for our families: cheating on our tax returns, embellishing our resumes, becoming involved in shady business deals, taking bribes, and gambling.

Especially interesting and eye-opening is how this behavior affects our children. Here's what the commentary says in paragraph 4 under "B. Troubling One's Own House":

"4. There are various WAYS in which a dishonest, greedy man troubles his house.

"a. He may trouble his family with the hardships they experience because of him being arrested… losing his job… being imprisoned… losing their house… etc.

"b. But he may also trouble his house for years to come by TEACHING HIS CHILDREN to follow his behavior.
"→ Our kids pick up on our values by observation.
"→ The dishonest, greedy man demonstrates his character not only when he robs a bank. His kids will pick up on as they are growing up.
"→ Often those values (or lack thereof) are passed on to the next generation.

"c. This may go on for many generations. (Ex. 34:7)
" Alcoholism and drug abuse is often passed on in a family. Partly perhaps to genetics… but mostly through LEARNED and observed behavior!
" You don't have to worry about a genetic predisposition to alcoholism if you don't take your first drink!
" If the parents are involved in lying, cheating, stealing, those poor kids don't stand a chance of growing up honest!
" Domestic violence is also learned and passed on.
" Trouble brought into the home is often kept there… and passed on to future generations to CONTINUE to trouble that household…

"d. Kids are like sponges and they are watching and observing everything their parents do.
" And more often than not, those qualities are repeated in their lives.

"e. A man who is greedy for gain can trouble his own household even if he does nothing illegal!
" If a man is so driven to succeed materially that he works so many hours that he never has any TIME for his family, he too troubles his house.
" Those kids will grow up with many toys and nice clothes, but will RESENT that dad never spent any time with them.
" Kids grow up fast… and if they grow up angry, bitter, and resentful because Dad was more interested in material gain than in them… that exacerbates the trouble in the home…"

Concerning bribes, Pastor Delany says that people (including politicians, judges, police, and CEO's) can sometimes be bought off by money, and justice can also be perverted by money. Many people are willing to lie, cheat, look the other way, and refuse to blow the whistle when offered money or other things to keep quiet.

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_27/.

SEPTEMBER 14

Psalm 139:4: "For there is not a word in my tongue
[there is nothing I can say], but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether [you know all about it; in other words, God knows the true meaning of everything we say--see comments below]."

This chapter of Psalms proves that God is omniscient, which means he knows everything about us, including the things that we think, say, and do. The above verse deals with things that we say.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the verse as follows: "'Thou knowest me, and all I say (v. 4): There is not a word in my tongue, not a vain word, nor a good word, but thou knowest it altogether, knowest what it meant, from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. There is not a word at my tongue's end, ready to be spoken, yet checked and kept in, but thou knowest it.' When there is not a word in my tongue, O Lord! thou knowest all (so some read it); for thoughts are words to God." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/139.html, "Verses 1-6")

Regarding the phrase thou knowest it altogether at the end of the verse, Albert Barnes says: "Merely to 'hear' what is spoken does not imply necessarily a full knowledge of what is said - for it may be false, insincere, hypocritical. God knows exactly what is said and what is 'meant.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/139-4.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:19: "The
[good, proper] desire [when] accomplished is sweet [pleasant, satisfying] to the soul [i.e., to the person who gets what he or she wants--see examples below*]: but it is abomination [a disgusting, repulsive, hateful thing or thought] to fools to depart from evil [stop doing bad things, as in the examples below*]."
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*Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of people whose "desires were accomplished" when they paid off their mortgages, received college degrees, became missionaries, climbed mountains, saw loved ones get saved, etc.

He also gives examples of people (fools) whose "desires are not accomplished" because they refuse to "depart from evil." Here's what he said about them in Section 2, paragraph 2, of his commentary:

"a. They want a happy family… but refuse to stop messing around… and their hopes for a happy family are dashed!

"b. They want to do well at work and get promotions… but they continue to show up late… do sloppy work… because they refuse to get up on time… or put in an honest day's work.

"c. They would love to have a college degree, but will not depart from all their partying and night life to go to college…

"d. They want to have friends too…but refuse to stop their gossip and bad behavior that causes their acquaintances to stay away…

"e. They want good health too… but refuse to depart from their many habits that are hazardous to their health… they drive fast, smoke, drink, take drugs… etc… and good health seems to elude them."

There are more examples of foolish behavior in Section 2, paragraph 3, of the commentary:

"b. A man with lung cancer who continues to smoke…

"c. A man who just wrecked his family because of his drinking who continues to drink…

"d. The homosexual who contracts aids, and refuses to depart from his lifestyle…

"e. The big mouth who gossips and slanders wherever he goes and makes enemies and brings trouble on himself… who continues to blab…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_19/.

SEPTEMBER 12

Matthew 18:19-20 - Prayer
Regarding the subject of prayer, especially in reference to guidance in organizing and running the church, which was mentioned in previous verses, Jesus told his disciples (the apostles):

Verse 19: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching [regarding] any thing that they shall ask [in prayer], it shall be done for them of my Father [God] which is in heaven."

Verse 20: "For where two or three
[believers, born-again Christians, saved people] are gathered together in my [Jesus'] name [to worship God, as in church, at prayer meetings, etc.], there am I [Jesus, in their hearts, in Spirit form] in the midst [middle] of them."

SEPTEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
[in other words, the born-again Christian (likened to a tree) will produce good works (likened to fruit) and be a blessing to others]; and he [or she] that winneth souls [to God; i.e., the person who tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."

Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon about this verse. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: http://archive.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.php. A second article, containing his lectures on soul winning, is entitled "What Is It to Win a Soul?" and can be found here: www.romans45.org/spurgeon/misc/sw01.htm.

Most Bible commentators agree with Charles Spurgeon that the phrase he that winneth souls in the above verse refers to soul winning. Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has a slightly different take on its meaning. If you want to read his commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_30/.

SEPTEMBER 10

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves [don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or someone or something that you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender rather than doing it yourself]: for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay ["pay him/her back"], saith the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his head [i.e., you will make the person feel pain in his or her conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …']. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
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Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2: In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-20.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

Note 3: Source of quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 9

Romans 12:1 - Christian Service
In the following verse, comparing Christian service in the New Testament (i.e., a willingness on the part of born-again Christians to serve God after salvation, due to a love for him and an appreciation for his gift of eternal life) to the Old Testament practice of presenting offerings to God (animal sacrifices, etc.) to atone for sin, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 1: "I beseech [implore, beg] you therefore, brethren [fellow Christians], by the mercies [because of the compassion and kindness] of God, that ye present your bodies [your entire selves] [to God] [as] a living sacrifice, holy [without blemish or defect], acceptable [well-pleasing] unto God, which is your reasonable service [which is the reasonable, or right, thing to do]."

SEPTEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:13
["Lady Wisdom" (God's wisdom personified) says]: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil [in other words, those with 'the fear of the LORD' (a fear of displeasing God) will hate all evil things, including evil thoughts, words, actions, company, worship, and doctrines]: pride, and arrogancy [arrogance; i.e., conceit, egotism (believing you are better, smarter, and/or more important than other people)], and the evil way [sinning, doing bad things], and the froward [unmanageable] mouth, do I [Lady Wisdom] hate."

Salem Bible Church has a good explanation of this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_13-14/.

SEPTEMBER 7

Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man
[is designed specifically for men], neither shall a man put on a woman's garment [item of clothing]: for all that do so are abomination [hateful, detestable, disgusting] unto the LORD thy God."

According to some Bible commentators, there may be one exception to the above rule: "This [cross-dressing] shall not be done ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases it may be lawful, as to make an escape for one's life." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/22-5.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:16-19 - Things that God Hates:

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea
[yes], seven are an abomination [a disgusting thing] unto him:

[1] A proud look,
[2] a lying tongue
[referring to lying in general], and
[3] hands that shed innocent blood
[commit murder],
[4] An heart
[mind] that deviseth wicked imaginations [plans evil deeds],
[5] feet that be swift in running to mischief
[are in a hurry to do bad things],
[6] A false witness that speaketh lies
[gives false testimony (or tells lies) about others, as in court], and
[7] he
[or she] that soweth discord [causes trouble] among brethren [by spreading gossip or rumors]."

As usual, Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on all of these verses. They are broken down into six sections as follows:

-- Verses 16-19: "Introduction" and "A Proud Look"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_16-19/
-- Verse 17a: "A Lying Tongue"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17a/
-- Verse 17b: "Hands that Shed Innocent Blood"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17b/
-- Verse 18a: "A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18a/
-- Verse 18b: "Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18b/
-- Verse 19: "Sowing Discord" (and False Witnesses)
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_19/

If you want to read some or all of them, click on the accompanying links.

SEPTEMBER 5

Matthew 5:38-41 - Jesus Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Preaching to the multitude (crowd) during his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 38: "Ye have heard that it hath been said [referring to the Old Testament law of retaliation], An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [meaning you should punish bad behavior by doing to others what they have done to you]:

Verse 39: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil
[people, when they intend to do (or have already done) you harm]: but whosoever shall smite thee [strike or hit hard with a hand, stick, or other weapon] on thy right cheek, turn to him [or her] the other [cheek] also."

Verses 40-41: "And if any man
[person] will sue thee at the law [i.e., in court], and take away thy coat, let him [or her] have thy cloke [cloak: a loose outer garment, such as a cape] also. And whosoever shall compel [force] thee to go a mile [in Rome, a mile was 1,000 paces], go with him [or her] twain [two] [miles]."

The expressions an eye for an eye and turn the other cheek come from this passage.

Albert Barnes' has a detailed commentary on the above verses. In it, he explains:

"An eye for an eye … - This command is found in Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it. But instead of confining it to magistrates, the Jews had extended it to private conduct, and made it the rule by which to take revenge. They considered themselves justified by this rule to inflict the same injury on others that they had received. Our Saviour remonstrates against this. He declares that the law had no reference to private revenge, that it was given only to regulate the magistrate, and that their private conduct was to be governed by different principles.

"The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention.

"A doctrine so unusual, so unlike all that the world had believed. and that the best people had acted on, deserved to be formally stated. Instead of doing this, however, he confines himself to smaller matters, to things of comparatively trivial interest, and says that in these we had better take wrong than to enter into strife and lawsuits. The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek. This does not, however, prevent our remonstrating firmly yet mildly on the injustice of the thing, and insisting that justice should be done us, as is evident from the example of the Saviour himself. See John 18:23. The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.

"Coat - The Jews wore two principal garments, an interior and an exterior. The interior, here called the 'coat,' or the tunic, was made commonly of linen, and encircled the whole body, extending down to the knees. Sometimes beneath this garment, as in the case of the priests, there was another garment corresponding to pantaloons. The coat, or tunic, was extended to the neck. and had long or short sleeves. Over this was commonly worn an upper garment, here called 'cloak,' or mantle. It was made commonly nearly square, of different sizes, 5 or 6 cubits long and as many broad, and was wrapped around the body, and was thrown off when labor was performed. If, said Christ, an adversary wished to obtain, at law, one of these garments, rather than contend with him let him have the other also. …

"Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile - The word translated 'shall compel' is of Persian origin. Post-offices were then unknown. In order that the royal commands might be delivered with safety and despatch in different parts of the empire, Cyrus stationed horsemen at proper intervals on all the great public highways. One of those delivered the message to another, and intelligence was thus rapidly and safely communicated. These heralds were permitted to compel any person, or to press any horse, boat, ship, or other vehicle that they might need for the quick transmission of the king's commandments. It was to this custom that our Saviour refers. Rather, says he, than resist a public authority requiring your attendance and aid for a certain distance, go peaceably twice the distance."

(Source of quoted material: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verses 38-41")

In addition to the above, GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question, "What does the Bible mean by 'an eye for an eye'?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/eye-for-an-eye.html.

SEPTEMBER 4

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
Jesus said this to the Jews who were still trying to make themselves acceptable to God by obeying ceremonial (Mosaic) laws and rites, but it also applies to everyone else in the world:

Verse 28: "Come unto me [for salvation and comfort], all ye that labour [especially those who worked hard to keep the traditions of the elders and the law of Moses, which required strict obedience] and are heavy laden [overwhelmed, oppressed, burdened--by sin, sorrow, trouble, etc.], and I will give you rest [relief from worldly cares]."

Verse 29: "Take my yoke
[bond or connection with Jesus, using oxen as an illustration--see note below*] upon you, and learn of me [Jesus]; for I am meek [kind, gentle] and lowly in heart [humble]: and ye shall find rest unto your souls [i.e., spiritual rest]."

Verse 30: "
[We should take Jesus' yoke (do what he says; i.e., follow his rule, doctrine, and leadership)] For [because] my yoke is easy [to handle; i.e., manageable], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."
________________________

*Dictionary.com's definition of yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. In his commentary on verse 29, Peter Pett describes it like this:"In general a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:11-12
[King Solomon's advice to his son concerning afflictions]: "My son, despise not [don't resist, ignore, or consider unworthy of your attention] the chastening of [being disciplined or punished by] the LORD [God]; neither [and don't] be weary [sick and tired] of his correction: For [because] whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father [corrects, disciplines] the son in whom he delighteth [is well pleased]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, and as usual, Pastor Delany provides many examples to illustrate each point. Here's a sample from paragraph 5c in the top section of his commentary: "One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_11-12/.

SEPTEMBER 2

Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage
[between a man and woman--see note below*] is honourable in all [things], and the [marriage] bed [is] undefiled [meaning that sexual activity between a husband and wife is considered pure and wholesome, not immoral or unclean]: but whoremongers [customers of prostitutes--see note below**] and adulterers [those who commit adultery, which is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband] God will judge [punish]."
________________________

*1 Corinthians 7:2-4 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

**For the biblical definition of whoremonger, read the following article: "What is a whoremonger in the Bible?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/whoremonger.html.

SEPTEMBER 1

Galatians 1:6-9 - Don't Believe False Teachers!
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the churches in Galatia, wrote:

Verses 6-7: "I marvel [I'm amazed] that ye are so soon removed from him [probably referring to God] that called you into the grace of Christ [referring to salvation by faith--trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to pay for our sins] unto another gospel [salvation through works, as in religious rites and ceremonies]: Which is not another [gospel--because there is only one true gospel]; but there be some that trouble you [referring to false teachers], and [who] would pervert [corrupt, distort, misinterpret] the gospel of Christ [i.e., simple reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation]."

Verses 8-9: "But though we
[referring to himself (Paul) and the other apostles], or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [i.e., salvation by faith, not works], let him [or her] be accursed [under a curse from God, doomed to destruction]. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man [person] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him [or her] be accursed."

Previous Verses
September 2017
SEPTEMBER 30

Ephesians 5:11: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness
[don't participate in sinful behavior, stay away from sinful things (activities, deeds, actions)], but rather [instead] reprove [express disapproval of, criticize, correct, expose] them."

Concerning how we might fellowship with "works of darkness," here are similar examples from three Bible commentators:

Commentator 1:

"Those in whom there is the light of grace and true knowledge must not walk in evil works, nor communicate in them.

"(a) By provoking to sin.
"(b) By commanding.
"(c) By counselling.
"(d) By consenting.
"(e) By carelessness to prevent sin.
"(f) By not repressing sin when it has entered.
"(g) By applauding sin.
"(h) By not testifying against sin."

Commentator 2:

"1. That we must have no fellowship with them [i.e., 'works of darkness'] in evil. To understand that, we must consider how many ways we have fellowship with them.

"(a) If we counsel, persuade, allure, or entice others to sins. These are Satan's decoys, who being ensnared themselves, draw others into the net.

"(b) By commanding that which is evil. This is the sin of those that have power over others; as David commanded Joab to set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire from him, that he may be smitten and die (2 Samuel 11:15).

"(c) By consenting, though we be not the principal actors; as Ahab (1 Kings 21:19).

"(d) By abetting, aiding, and assisting in the conveyance of the sin; as Jonadab assisted Amnon in getting an occasion to satisfy his lust on his sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:5).

"(e) By applauding, approving, or praising the sin, which is the guise of flatterers (Romans 1:32).

"(f) By carelessness to prevent the sin: "I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not" (1 Samuel 3:13). So that a culpable omission may make us accessory to their sin."

Commentator 3:

"I. What is forbidden. "Fellowship." This may be produced in several ways.

"1. By personally committing the sins described, or by joining with others in bringing them about.
"2. By teaching wrong-doing, either by plain word or by just inference.
"3. By constraining, commanding, or tempting; by threat, request, persuasion, inducement, compulsion, bribery, or influence.
"4. By provoking, through exciting anger, emulation, or discouragement.
"5. By neglecting to rebuke, especially by parents and masters misusing their office, and allowing known evils in the family.
"6. By counselling, and advising, or by guiding by example.
"7. By consenting, agreeing, and cooperating.
"8. By conniving at sin: tolerating, concealing, and making light of it.
"9. By commending, countenancing, defending, and excusing the wrong already done; and contending against those who would expose, denounce, and punish it."

(Source for all three quotes: www.studylight.org/commentary/ephesians/5-11.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

SEPTEMBER 29

James 2:10-11 - Obeying the Law of God

Verse 10: "For whosoever
[whoever] shall keep [obey] the whole [moral] law [as found in the ten commandments], and yet offend in one point [violate even one commandment], he [or she] is guilty of [breaking] all [of them (the commandments)]."

Verse 11: "For he
[God] that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no [you do not commit] adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art [have] become a transgressor of the law [violator of the law, lawbreaker, sinner]."

Albert Barnes has an excellent commentary on verse 10. In part, it says:

"He is guilty of all - He is guilty of violating the law as a whole, or of violating the law of God as such; he has rendered it impossible that he should be justified and saved by the law. This does not affirm that he is as guilty as if he had violated every law of God; or that all sinners are of equal grade because all have violated some one or more of the laws of God; but the meaning is, that he is guilty of violating the law of God as such; he shows that be has not the true spirit of obedience; he has exposed himself to the penalty of the law, and made it impossible now to be saved by it. His acts of obedience in other respects, no matter how many, will not screen him from the charge of being a violator of the law, or from its penalty. He must be held and treated as a transgressor for that offence, however upright he may be in other respects, and must meet the penalty of the law as certainly as though he had violated every commandment.

"One portion of the law is as much binding as another, and if a man violates any one plain commandment, he sets at nought the authority of God. This is a simple principle which is everywhere recognised, and the apostle means no more by it than occurs every day. A man who has stolen a horse is held to be a violator of the law, no matter in how many other respects he has kept it, and the law condemns him for it. He cannot plead his obedience to the law in other things as a reason why he should not be punished for this sin; but however upright he may have been in general, even though it may have been through a long life, the law holds him to be a transgressor, and condemns him. He is as really condemned, and as much thrown from the protection of law, as though he had violated every command. So of murder, arson, treason, or any other crime. The law judges a man for what he has done in this specific case, and he cannot plead in justification of it that he has been obedient in other things.

"It follows, therefore, that if a man has been guilty of violating the law of God in any one instance, or is not perfectly holy, he cannot be justified and saved by it, though he should have obeyed it in every other respect, any more than a man who has been guilty of murder can be saved from the gallows because he has, in other respects, been a good citizen, a kind father, an honest neighbor, or has been compassionate to the poor and the needy. He cannot plead his act of truth in one case as an offset to the sin of falsehood in another; he cannot defend himself from the charge of dishonesty in one instance by the plea that he has been honest in another; he cannot urge the fact that he has done a good thing as a reason why he should not be punished for a bad one. He must answer for the specific charge against him, and none of these other things can be an offset against this one act of wrong. Let it be remarked, also, in respect to our being justified by obedience to the law, that no man can plead before God that he has kept all his law except in one point. Who is there that has not, in spirit at least, broken each one of the ten commandments? …"

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/2-10.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")


Regarding the concept of "breaking one commandment means breaking them all" in the above verse, another commentator said: "'Our obedience to God"s will cannot be on a selective basis; we cannot choose that part that is to our liking and disregard the rest. God"s will is not fragmentary; the entire law is the expression of His will for His people; it constitutes a grand unity. To break out one corner of a window pane is to become guilty of breaking the whole pane. He who crosses a forbidden boundary at one point or another is guilty of having crossed the boundary.' …" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/2-10.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

In other words, God's commandments are connected, like links in a chain that make up his law. If you break one link, the entire chain is broken.

SEPTEMBER 28

2 Corinthians 5:21: "For he
[God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin [a sin offering] for us, who knew no sin [referring to Jesus, who never sinned]; [so] that we might be made the righteousness of God in [through] him."

Because Jesus never sinned, he was able to become the sacrifice for our sins when he died on the cross. As a result, those who receive him as Savior take on his righteousness (become righteous, or justified, in God's eyes) and are allowed to enter into heaven when they die.

SEPTEMBER 27

Romans 8:26-27:

Verse 26: "Likewise
[in the same way as was discussed in preceding verses] the [Holy] Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses, especially during prayer--such as (according to Charles Spurgeon), want of memory, want of faith, want of earnestness, ignorance, pride, deadness, and coldness of heart]: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought [should] [i.e., we don't know how to pray in the proper way]: but the [Holy] Spirit itself maketh intercession for us [assists or aids us, guides us in our prayers] with [our] groanings [inward sighs and moans due to our deep-felt emotions] which cannot be uttered [spoken, expressed in words]."

Verse 27: "And he that searcheth the hearts
[i.e., God] knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit [knows what desires the Holy Spirit has instilled (produced) in our hearts], because he [the Holy Spirit] maketh intercession for the saints [helps born-again Christians pray] according to the will of God."

In other words, God has promised to answer our prayers when we obey him and pray in accordance with his will. The Holy Spirit helps us do both of those things.

SEPTEMBER 26

Genesis 1:26-27 - God Creates Man

Verse 26: "And God
[the Father] said [to God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)], Let us make man [mankind, human beings] in our image, after our likeness [i.e., to look like us]: and let them have dominion [authority, control] over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air [such as birds and flying insects], and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing [wild animals, etc.] that creepeth upon the earth."

Verse 27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him
[referring to Adam, the first man]; male and female created he them [i.e., Adam and his wife, Eve (the first human beings)--see note below*]."
________________________

*According to the Bible, God created Adam first (from the dust of the ground), and then Eve (from Adam's rib):

Genesis 2:7: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Genesis 2:21-22: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

SEPTEMBER 25

Proverbs 25:17: "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's
[friend's] house; lest he [so he or she won't] be weary [tired] of thee, and so [consequently] hate thee."

In other words, don't visit your friends too often (don't be a pest), or they'll become "sick and tired" of you. A common saying to illustrate this point is, "Familiarity breeds contempt."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. It's combined with verse 16, which says: "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

In his commentary, Pastor Delany compares the results of visiting your friends too much to what usually happens when you eat too much honey, and he says that the only friend who never gets tired of us, no matter how much we come to him, is Jesus.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_16-17/.

SEPTEMBER 24

1 Peter 4:15
[The apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "But let none of you suffer [punishment] as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's [people's] matters."

Don't do the things that are listed in the above verse (i.e., kill, steal, do bad things, interfere in other people's business), and you won't have to worry about being punished for them.

Albert Barnes says, "If you must be called to suffer, see that it be not for crime." He describes busybody as "one who busies himself with what does not concern him; that is, one who pries into the affairs of another; who attempts to control or direct them as if they were his own." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/4-15.html, "Albert Barnes" Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 23

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

SEPTEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:13: "The slothful
[lazy] man [person] saith, There is a lion without [outside], I shall be slain [killed] in the streets."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, the subject of this verse is excuses for laziness. In this case, the man says he can't go to work because he might be eaten by a lion.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says that laziness is more than a personality trait, cultural issue, or natural disposition--it's a moral failure, a SIN--and he goes on to list (with many examples for each statement) what Solomon said about laziness in the book of Proverbs. Then he talks specifically about excuses that people give for not doing something (like going to work).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_13/.

SEPTEMBER 21

Psalm 9:17: "The wicked
[referring to evil, sinful people who are morally bad in principle and practice] shall be turned into [sent to] hell, and [so will] all the nations [throughout the world, referring to the people in them, both 'bad' and 'good'] that [who] forget [about] God [and consequently don't honor him and obey his word]."

SEPTEMBER 20

1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath
[has] no temptation [an urge or desire to do something unwise, immoral, or wrong] taken [hold of] you but such as is common to man [mankind, all people]: but God is faithful [trustworthy], who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above [beyond] that [which] ye are able [to resist]; but [he] will with the temptation also make a way to escape [the temptation], that ye may be able to bear [endure] it."

SEPTEMBER 19

Luke 6:31
[Jesus said]: "And as ye would [want, desire] that men [other people] should do to you, do ye also to them likewise [the same]."

In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (for example, with kindness).

The above verse is also known as the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

SEPTEMBER 18

Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter
[the person who gives his or her opinion about something] before he [or she] heareth it [hears the whole story, or both sides of it], it is folly [foolishness] and shame unto him [or her]."

This verse is about making snap judgments, jumping to conclusions, making up our minds without knowing all of the facts.

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church uses an example from the book of Joshua to illustrate the above point. He ends his commentary by saying, "Wars have started; marriages have ended; families destroyed; churches split; friendships broken; lives ruined; reputations damaged… all because of men have answered a matter before they heard it."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_13/.

SEPTEMBER 17

Proverbs 17:25: "A foolish son is a grief
[source of anger and/or frustration] to his father, and [is] [a cause of] bitterness [sorrow (sadness), trouble or annoyance, mental strain and stress] to her that bare [gave birth to] him [i.e., his mother]."

Note: Since this verse is mostly self-explanatory, there is no commentary for it on the Salem Bible Church website.

SEPTEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:4: "The LORD
[God] hath made all things for himself [for his own purpose; for his honor, glory, and pleasure]: yea [yes], even the wicked [referring to sinners who end up rebelling against God and refuse to accept his free gift of eternal life] [were created] for the day of [the punishment of] evil [i.e., judgment day, when God will demonstrate his holiness, justice, and righteousness]."

In other words, God created everything for his pleasure and to show his handiwork, demonstrate his power and greatness, serve his purposes, and bring glory (praise and honor) to his name.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If  you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_4/.

SEPTEMBER 15

Proverbs 15:27: "He that is greedy of gain
[the person who wants to be rich and tries to get things dishonestly, through cheating or violence] troubleth his [or her] own house [household, family]; but he [or she] that hateth [refuses to take] gifts [in this case, bribes--to do something unjust or wrong, or to obtain money unlawfully] shall live [a long, fulfilling (satisfying, happy), and peaceful life]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including the following examples of how we can be "greedy of gain" and cause trouble for our families: cheating on our tax returns, embellishing our resumes, becoming involved in shady business deals, taking bribes, and gambling.

Especially interesting and eye-opening is how this behavior affects our children. Here's what the commentary says in paragraph 4 under "B. Troubling One's Own House":

"4. There are various WAYS in which a dishonest, greedy man troubles his house.

"a. He may trouble his family with the hardships they experience because of him being arrested… losing his job… being imprisoned… losing their house… etc.

"b. But he may also trouble his house for years to come by TEACHING HIS CHILDREN to follow his behavior.
"→ Our kids pick up on our values by observation.
"→ The dishonest, greedy man demonstrates his character not only when he robs a bank. His kids will pick up on as they are growing up.
"→ Often those values (or lack thereof) are passed on to the next generation.

"c. This may go on for many generations. (Ex. 34:7)
" Alcoholism and drug abuse is often passed on in a family. Partly perhaps to genetics… but mostly through LEARNED and observed behavior!
" You don't have to worry about a genetic predisposition to alcoholism if you don't take your first drink!
" If the parents are involved in lying, cheating, stealing, those poor kids don't stand a chance of growing up honest!
" Domestic violence is also learned and passed on.
" Trouble brought into the home is often kept there… and passed on to future generations to CONTINUE to trouble that household…

"d. Kids are like sponges and they are watching and observing everything their parents do.
" And more often than not, those qualities are repeated in their lives.

"e. A man who is greedy for gain can trouble his own household even if he does nothing illegal!
" If a man is so driven to succeed materially that he works so many hours that he never has any TIME for his family, he too troubles his house.
" Those kids will grow up with many toys and nice clothes, but will RESENT that dad never spent any time with them.
" Kids grow up fast… and if they grow up angry, bitter, and resentful because Dad was more interested in material gain than in them… that exacerbates the trouble in the home…"

Concerning bribes, Pastor Delany says that people (including politicians, judges, police, and CEO's) can sometimes be bought off by money, and justice can also be perverted by money. Many people are willing to lie, cheat, look the other way, and refuse to blow the whistle when offered money or other things to keep quiet.

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_27/.

SEPTEMBER 14

Psalm 139:4: "For there is not a word in my tongue
[there is nothing I can say], but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether [you know all about it; in other words, God knows the true meaning of everything we say--see comments below]."

This chapter of Psalms proves that God is omniscient, which means he knows everything about us, including the things that we think, say, and do. The above verse deals with things that we say.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the verse as follows: "'Thou knowest me, and all I say (v. 4): There is not a word in my tongue, not a vain word, nor a good word, but thou knowest it altogether, knowest what it meant, from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. There is not a word at my tongue's end, ready to be spoken, yet checked and kept in, but thou knowest it.' When there is not a word in my tongue, O Lord! thou knowest all (so some read it); for thoughts are words to God." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/139.html, "Verses 1-6")

Regarding the phrase thou knowest it altogether at the end of the verse, Albert Barnes says: "Merely to 'hear' what is spoken does not imply necessarily a full knowledge of what is said - for it may be false, insincere, hypocritical. God knows exactly what is said and what is 'meant.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/139-4.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:19: "The
[good, proper] desire [when] accomplished is sweet [pleasant, satisfying] to the soul [i.e., to the person who gets what he or she wants--see examples below*]: but it is abomination [a disgusting, repulsive, hateful thing or thought] to fools to depart from evil [stop doing bad things, as in the examples below*]."
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*Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of people whose "desires were accomplished" when they paid off their mortgages, received college degrees, became missionaries, climbed mountains, saw loved ones get saved, etc.

He also gives examples of people (fools) whose "desires are not accomplished" because they refuse to "depart from evil." Here's what he said about them in Section 2, paragraph 2, of his commentary:

"a. They want a happy family… but refuse to stop messing around… and their hopes for a happy family are dashed!

"b. They want to do well at work and get promotions… but they continue to show up late… do sloppy work… because they refuse to get up on time… or put in an honest day's work.

"c. They would love to have a college degree, but will not depart from all their partying and night life to go to college…

"d. They want to have friends too…but refuse to stop their gossip and bad behavior that causes their acquaintances to stay away…

"e. They want good health too… but refuse to depart from their many habits that are hazardous to their health… they drive fast, smoke, drink, take drugs… etc… and good health seems to elude them."

There are more examples of foolish behavior in Section 2, paragraph 3, of the commentary:

"b. A man with lung cancer who continues to smoke…

"c. A man who just wrecked his family because of his drinking who continues to drink…

"d. The homosexual who contracts aids, and refuses to depart from his lifestyle…

"e. The big mouth who gossips and slanders wherever he goes and makes enemies and brings trouble on himself… who continues to blab…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_19/.

SEPTEMBER 12

Matthew 18:19-20 - Prayer
Regarding the subject of prayer, especially in reference to guidance in organizing and running the church, which was mentioned in previous verses, Jesus told his disciples (the apostles):

Verse 19: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching [regarding] any thing that they shall ask [in prayer], it shall be done for them of my Father [God] which is in heaven."

Verse 20: "For where two or three
[believers, born-again Christians, saved people] are gathered together in my [Jesus'] name [to worship God, as in church, at prayer meetings, etc.], there am I [Jesus, in their hearts, in Spirit form] in the midst [middle] of them."

SEPTEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
[in other words, the born-again Christian (likened to a tree) will produce good works (likened to fruit) and be a blessing to others]; and he [or she] that winneth souls [to God; i.e., the person who tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."

Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon about this verse. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: http://archive.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.php. A second article, containing his lectures on soul winning, is entitled "What Is It to Win a Soul?" and can be found here: www.romans45.org/spurgeon/misc/sw01.htm.

Most Bible commentators agree with Charles Spurgeon that the phrase he that winneth souls in the above verse refers to soul winning. Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has a slightly different take on its meaning. If you want to read his commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_30/.

SEPTEMBER 10

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves [don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or someone or something that you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender rather than doing it yourself]: for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay ["pay him/her back"], saith the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his head [i.e., you will make the person feel pain in his or her conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …']. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
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Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2: In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-20.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

Note 3: Source of quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 9

Romans 12:1 - Christian Service
In the following verse, comparing Christian service in the New Testament (i.e., a willingness on the part of born-again Christians to serve God after salvation, due to a love for him and an appreciation for his gift of eternal life) to the Old Testament practice of presenting offerings to God (animal sacrifices, etc.) to atone for sin, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 1: "I beseech [implore, beg] you therefore, brethren [fellow Christians], by the mercies [because of the compassion and kindness] of God, that ye present your bodies [your entire selves] [to God] [as] a living sacrifice, holy [without blemish or defect], acceptable [well-pleasing] unto God, which is your reasonable service [which is the reasonable, or right, thing to do]."

SEPTEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:13
["Lady Wisdom" (God's wisdom personified) says]: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil [in other words, those with 'the fear of the LORD' (a fear of displeasing God) will hate all evil things, including evil thoughts, words, actions, company, worship, and doctrines]: pride, and arrogancy [arrogance; i.e., conceit, egotism (believing you are better, smarter, and/or more important than other people)], and the evil way [sinning, doing bad things], and the froward [unmanageable] mouth, do I [Lady Wisdom] hate."

Salem Bible Church has a good explanation of this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_13-14/.

SEPTEMBER 7

Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man
[is designed specifically for men], neither shall a man put on a woman's garment [item of clothing]: for all that do so are abomination [hateful, detestable, disgusting] unto the LORD thy God."

According to some Bible commentators, there may be one exception to the above rule: "This [cross-dressing] shall not be done ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases it may be lawful, as to make an escape for one's life." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/22-5.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:16-19 - Things that God Hates:

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea
[yes], seven are an abomination [a disgusting thing] unto him:

[1] A proud look,
[2] a lying tongue
[referring to lying in general], and
[3] hands that shed innocent blood
[commit murder],
[4] An heart
[mind] that deviseth wicked imaginations [plans evil deeds],
[5] feet that be swift in running to mischief
[are in a hurry to do bad things],
[6] A false witness that speaketh lies
[gives false testimony (or tells lies) about others, as in court], and
[7] he
[or she] that soweth discord [causes trouble] among brethren [by spreading gossip or rumors]."

As usual, Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on all of these verses. They are broken down into six sections as follows:

-- Verses 16-19: "Introduction" and "A Proud Look"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_16-19/
-- Verse 17a: "A Lying Tongue"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17a/
-- Verse 17b: "Hands that Shed Innocent Blood"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17b/
-- Verse 18a: "A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18a/
-- Verse 18b: "Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18b/
-- Verse 19: "Sowing Discord" (and False Witnesses)
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_19/

If you want to read some or all of them, click on the accompanying links.

SEPTEMBER 5

Matthew 5:38-41 - Jesus Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Preaching to the multitude (crowd) during his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 38: "Ye have heard that it hath been said [referring to the Old Testament law of retaliation], An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [meaning you should punish bad behavior by doing to others what they have done to you]:

Verse 39: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil
[people, when they intend to do (or have already done) you harm]: but whosoever shall smite thee [strike or hit hard with a hand, stick, or other weapon] on thy right cheek, turn to him [or her] the other [cheek] also."

Verses 40-41: "And if any man
[person] will sue thee at the law [i.e., in court], and take away thy coat, let him [or her] have thy cloke [cloak: a loose outer garment, such as a cape] also. And whosoever shall compel [force] thee to go a mile [in Rome, a mile was 1,000 paces], go with him [or her] twain [two] [miles]."

The expressions an eye for an eye and turn the other cheek come from this passage.

Albert Barnes' has a detailed commentary on the above verses. In it, he explains:

"An eye for an eye … - This command is found in Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it. But instead of confining it to magistrates, the Jews had extended it to private conduct, and made it the rule by which to take revenge. They considered themselves justified by this rule to inflict the same injury on others that they had received. Our Saviour remonstrates against this. He declares that the law had no reference to private revenge, that it was given only to regulate the magistrate, and that their private conduct was to be governed by different principles.

"The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention.

"A doctrine so unusual, so unlike all that the world had believed. and that the best people had acted on, deserved to be formally stated. Instead of doing this, however, he confines himself to smaller matters, to things of comparatively trivial interest, and says that in these we had better take wrong than to enter into strife and lawsuits. The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek. This does not, however, prevent our remonstrating firmly yet mildly on the injustice of the thing, and insisting that justice should be done us, as is evident from the example of the Saviour himself. See John 18:23. The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.

"Coat - The Jews wore two principal garments, an interior and an exterior. The interior, here called the 'coat,' or the tunic, was made commonly of linen, and encircled the whole body, extending down to the knees. Sometimes beneath this garment, as in the case of the priests, there was another garment corresponding to pantaloons. The coat, or tunic, was extended to the neck. and had long or short sleeves. Over this was commonly worn an upper garment, here called 'cloak,' or mantle. It was made commonly nearly square, of different sizes, 5 or 6 cubits long and as many broad, and was wrapped around the body, and was thrown off when labor was performed. If, said Christ, an adversary wished to obtain, at law, one of these garments, rather than contend with him let him have the other also. …

"Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile - The word translated 'shall compel' is of Persian origin. Post-offices were then unknown. In order that the royal commands might be delivered with safety and despatch in different parts of the empire, Cyrus stationed horsemen at proper intervals on all the great public highways. One of those delivered the message to another, and intelligence was thus rapidly and safely communicated. These heralds were permitted to compel any person, or to press any horse, boat, ship, or other vehicle that they might need for the quick transmission of the king's commandments. It was to this custom that our Saviour refers. Rather, says he, than resist a public authority requiring your attendance and aid for a certain distance, go peaceably twice the distance."

(Source of quoted material: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verses 38-41")

In addition to the above, GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question, "What does the Bible mean by 'an eye for an eye'?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/eye-for-an-eye.html.

SEPTEMBER 4

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
Jesus said this to the Jews who were still trying to make themselves acceptable to God by obeying ceremonial (Mosaic) laws and rites, but it also applies to everyone else in the world:

Verse 28: "Come unto me [for salvation and comfort], all ye that labour [especially those who worked hard to keep the traditions of the elders and the law of Moses, which required strict obedience] and are heavy laden [overwhelmed, oppressed, burdened--by sin, sorrow, trouble, etc.], and I will give you rest [relief from worldly cares]."

Verse 29: "Take my yoke
[bond or connection with Jesus, using oxen as an illustration--see note below*] upon you, and learn of me [Jesus]; for I am meek [kind, gentle] and lowly in heart [humble]: and ye shall find rest unto your souls [i.e., spiritual rest]."

Verse 30: "
[We should take Jesus' yoke (do what he says; i.e., follow his rule, doctrine, and leadership)] For [because] my yoke is easy [to handle; i.e., manageable], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."
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*Dictionary.com's definition of yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. In his commentary on verse 29, Peter Pett describes it like this:"In general a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:11-12
[King Solomon's advice to his son concerning afflictions]: "My son, despise not [don't resist, ignore, or consider unworthy of your attention] the chastening of [being disciplined or punished by] the LORD [God]; neither [and don't] be weary [sick and tired] of his correction: For [because] whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father [corrects, disciplines] the son in whom he delighteth [is well pleased]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, and as usual, Pastor Delany provides many examples to illustrate each point. Here's a sample from paragraph 5c in the top section of his commentary: "One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_11-12/.

SEPTEMBER 2

Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage
[between a man and woman--see note below*] is honourable in all [things], and the [marriage] bed [is] undefiled [meaning that sexual activity between a husband and wife is considered pure and wholesome, not immoral or unclean]: but whoremongers [customers of prostitutes--see note below**] and adulterers [those who commit adultery, which is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband] God will judge [punish]."
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*1 Corinthians 7:2-4 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

**For the biblical definition of whoremonger, read the following article: "What is a whoremonger in the Bible?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/whoremonger.html.

SEPTEMBER 1

Galatians 1:6-9 - Don't Believe False Teachers!
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the churches in Galatia, wrote:

Verses 6-7: "I marvel [I'm amazed] that ye are so soon removed from him [probably referring to God] that called you into the grace of Christ [referring to salvation by faith--trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to pay for our sins] unto another gospel [salvation through works, as in religious rites and ceremonies]: Which is not another [gospel--because there is only one true gospel]; but there be some that trouble you [referring to false teachers], and [who] would pervert [corrupt, distort, misinterpret] the gospel of Christ [i.e., simple reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation]."

Verses 8-9: "But though we
[referring to himself (Paul) and the other apostles], or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [i.e., salvation by faith, not works], let him [or her] be accursed [under a curse from God, doomed to destruction]. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man [person] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him [or her] be accursed."

Previous Verses: