OCTOBER 31

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 - God Hates Witchcraft
Moses said this to the children of Israel, but it also applies to everyone else:

Verses 9-12: "When thou art [you are] come into the land [Canaan] which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations [wicked practices] of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one

that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire
[in a religious rite involving Moloch, the fire-god, which involved sacrificing children to idols--see note below*],
or
that useth divination
[fortune-telling or other supernatural means] [to predict the future],
or
[who is] an observer of times [an astrologer or stargazer (someone who looks to the stars for guidance); examples include checking your horoscope],
or
[who is] an enchanter [a magician],
or
[who is] a witch [a woman (female) with magic powers],
Or
[who is] a charmer [someone who uses the power of enchantment, like a snake charmer],
or
[who is] a consulter with familiar spirits [a person who speaks to demons],
or
[who is] a wizard [a man (male) with magic powers],
or
[who is] a necromancer [someone who communicates with the dead].

For
[because] all that do these things are an abomination [a detestable (hateful) thing] unto the LORD: and because of these abominations [wicked practices] the LORD thy God doth drive them [the nations that do these things] out [of their land] from before thee [you, meaning the Jewish people]."
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*Here's how John Gill explained what "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" means: "To Moloch, which was a sort of lustration [ceremonial purification] by fire, two fires being made, and the child led by a priest between them, and which was an initiation of him into the religion of that deity, and devoting him to it; so Jarchi says, this is the service of Moloch, making piles of fire here and there (on this side and on that), and causing (the children) to pass between them both. Besides this they used to burn them with fire to this deity, perhaps after the performance of this ceremony; …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/18-10.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 30

Matthew 7:6: "Give not
[don't give] that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye [and don't throw] your pearls before swine [pigs], lest they trample them under their feet [otherwise, the swine will stomp on and crush the pearls], and [the dogs will] turn again [turn around] and rend you [tear you apart]."

Meaning of the words in the above verse, according to Albert Barnes:

Holy
- Anything connected with religion--admonitions (warnings), precepts (rules of action), doctrine (set of beliefs)
Dogs
- People who reject, oppose, and abuse the gospel
Pearls
- Precious words; i.e., the truth of the gospel
Swine
- People who don't know the value of the gospel

Here's how he explains the above verse: "The meaning of this proverb, then, is, do not offer your doctrine to those violent and abusive people who would growl and curse you; nor to those especially debased and profligate [careless and foolish people] who would not perceive its value, would trample it down, and would abuse you."

(Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-6.html,"Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

In a different commentary, Charles Spurgeon said: "You are not needlessly to provoke attack upon yourself, or upon the higher truths of the gospel. You are not to judge, but you are not to act without judgment. Count not men to be dogs or swine; but when they avow themselves to be such, or by their conduct act as if they were such, do not put occasions in their way for displaying their evil character. Saints [i.e., born-again Christians] are not to be simpletons; they are not to be judges, but, also, they are not to be fools. Great King, how much wisdom thy precepts require! I need thee, not only to open my mouth, but also at times to keep it shut."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-7.html,"Verses 1-8, Matthew 7:6")

OCTOBER 29

1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray
[to Almighty God] without ceasing [stopping]."

Christians should pray often, or frequently.

In other words, on an ongoing basis, talk silently to God. For example, comment on things that you see and hear throughout each day, tell him your problems, seek his advice and guidance, ask for forgiveness whenever you sin, etc.

GotQuestions.org has a good explanation of this verse in their article entitled "What does it mean to pray without ceasing?" Here's an excerpt:

-- "Paul is not referring to non-stop talking, but rather an attitude of God-consciousness and God-surrender that we carry with us all the time. Every waking moment is to be lived in an awareness that God is with us and that He is actively involved and engaged in our thoughts and actions." He goes on to say, "Unceasing prayer is, in essence, continual dependence upon and communion with the Father."

If you want to read the entire article, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/pray-without-ceasing.html.

OCTOBER 28

James 4:4
[A warning for worldly-minded Christians]: "Ye [spiritual] adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not [don't you know] that the friendship of the world [i.e., loving the things of this world (unsaved people, worldly pleasures, etc.) more than we love God] is enmity with [shows that we are actively opposed to or unfriendly toward] God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

OCTOBER 27

Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul
[of a person] that sinneth, it shall die. The son [or daughter] shall not bear the iniquity [shall not be punished for the sins] of the father [or mother], neither shall the father [or mother] bear the iniquity [be punished for the sins] of the son [or daughter]: the righteousness of the righteous [the things that a righteous person (one who obeys God) does] shall be [placed] upon him [the righteous person], and the wickedness of the wicked [the things that a wicked person does] shall be [placed] upon him [the wicked person]."

In other words, we are all responsible for our own sins. No one else can be punished for them.

OCTOBER 26

Proverbs 26:12: "Seest thou
[do you see] a man [who is] wise in his own conceit [in his own eyes or sight; i.e., filled with pride]? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this verse is directed mainly toward men, but it can also apply to women. It points out that there are two types of fools (proud and humble), and there is more hope for humble fools than for proud ones. That's because:

A humble fool:

-- "is open to listening to wisdom,"
-- "will respond to rebuke and correction," and
-- "can eventually leave his folly behind and become wise."

A proud fool:

-- "will not listen to correction,"
-- "refuses to acknowledge that he might be wrong,"
-- "thinks he is too smart to listen to the words of wisdom from God's Word," and consequently
-- "will never change."
 
The above quotes were taken from Pastor Delany's commentary on the above verse, which can be found here: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_12/.

OCTOBER 24-25

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Will
You Be Going to Heaven Someday?
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verses 9-10: "Know ye not [don't you know] that the unrighteous [people--those who are unjust, sinful, wicked] shall not inherit [possess or enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]? Be not deceived [don't be misled]:

neither fornicators
[unmarried people who engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who is either single or married to someone else],
nor
idolaters
[those who worship people or things other than the one true God],
nor
adulterers
[people who have sex outside of marriage; i.e., with someone other than their spouse (their own husband or wife)],
nor
effeminate
[men or boys who display feminine (womanly, unmanly) characteristics],
nor
abusers of themselves with mankind
[sodomites, homosexuals--those who engage in unnatural types of intercourse, such as anal sex],
Nor
thieves
[robbers, those who steal other people's property],
nor
covetous
[people who crave money or possessions, especially things belonging to someone else],
nor
drunkards
[those who become intoxicated (drunk) from drinking too much beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages],
nor
revilers
[people who say mean things about others with the intention of humiliating, insulting, and embarrassing them],
nor extortioners
[those who use force or threats (as in blackmail) to obtain money],

shall inherit
[enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]." [In other words, they will not enter into it.]

Verse 11: "And such [the same kind of people as listed above] were some of you [referring to the Corinthian people before they were saved--see note below*]: but ye [you, the people of Corinth, after salvation] are [now] washed [in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ--and thereby cleansed from sin], but ye are [now] sanctified [by the Holy Spirit--and thereby made holy], but ye are [now] justified [by Jesus' righteousness--and thereby made acceptable in God's sight] in the name of the Lord Jesus [i.e., by his authority], and by the [Holy] Spirit of our God [… and consequently, as born-again Christians, you (in this case, the Corinthian believers) will inherit the kingdom of God]."
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*If you want to be saved, or born again (like the people mentioned in verse 11), 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. Here's the link: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

OCTOBER 23

Proverbs 23:1-3 - Advice for "Commoners"

Verse 1:"When thou sittest
[when you sit down--at a state dinner, royal banquet, etc.] to eat with a ruler [someone who is 'out of your class' (a person of influence and power, with a position of authority or leadership), such as your boss, the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company, or a senator, governor, billionaire, etc.], consider diligently what is before thee [carefully consider your surroundings]:"

Verse 2: "And put a knife to thy throat
[meaning exercise self-control], if thou be a man [or woman or child] given to appetite [overeating or talking too much]."

Verse 3: "Be not desirous of
[don't covet or crave] his [the ruler's] dainties [delicacies]: for they are deceitful [deceptive, misleading] meat [food]. [In other words, watch what you say and do, and don't believe everything that you see and hear, because the ruler may have ulterior motives for dining with you.]"

Salem Bible Church has an in-depth explanation of these verses.

At the beginning of the commentary, it says, "If Solomon wrote this, these words are words of advice from a King to perhaps ordinary citizens, who because of their diligence, competence, and skill, find themselves in a setting with the upper class. … The point is that 'commoners' don't always know how to behave themselves before the upper crust of society and sometimes make a fool of themselves [as in 'The Beverly Hillbillies' TV show]. … Here's some advice on how to avoid making a fool of yourself."

The commentary ends with, "The invitation to the feast might at first seem like a wonderful opportunity for advancement and promotion (and it may be)… but don't be so sure. … The ruler may have something sinister in mind."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_1-3/.

OCTOBER 22

Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter
[everything previously 'discussed' in the book of Ecclesiastes]: Fear God [which, according to the commentary by Matthew Henry, includes 'a reverence of his majesty, a deference to his authority, and a dread of his wrath'--see note below*], and keep [obey] his commandments: for this is the whole duty [obligation, responsibility] of man [mankind, human beings, all people]."
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*Source for quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ecclesiastes/12.html, "Verses 13-14"

OCTOBER 21

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - Don't Be Fooled by False Teachers
In a letter to members of the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 13: "For such [men, like Paul had been talking about] are false apostles [false teachers], deceitful [dishonest, untrustworthy] workers [also known as imposters], transforming themselves into the apostles of [Jesus] Christ [i.e., pretending to be like them in what they think, say, and do]."

Verse 14: "And no marvel
[no wonder]; for Satan himself [the 'prince of darkness'--an evil angel] is transformed into an angel of light [a good angel; in other words, he can change himself into almost any shape or form and appear to be something that he's not]."

Verse 15: "Therefore it is no great thing
[it is not surprising] if his ministers [i.e., Satan's servants, or false teachers] also be transformed as [appear to be] the ministers [religious leaders] of righteousness [good]; whose end [destiny, fate--referring to that of Satan's servants] shall be according to their works [of deception]."

OCTOBER 20

Proverbs 20:21: "An inheritance
[money, property, possessions, etc.] may be gotten hastily [quickly] at the beginning [for example, when a parent dies]; but the end thereof shall not be blessed [by God]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, the real lesson of the this proverb is "Easy come; easy go."

He says that the term gotten hastily in the above verse can be taken in two ways--good and bad. The good way is when a parent dies of natural causes and leaves an inheritance for his or her children. A bad way is when one of the children tries to speed everything up (i.e., receive his or her inheritance faster) by poisoning the parent, declaring him or her incompetent, tricking the parent into signing over his or her finances, lying about why the "child" needs the money (e.g., to pay off a gambling debt), etc.

In addition, many people get in trouble when they suddenly become rich due to fame (this includes movie stars, rock stars, and athletes), winning the lottery, inheriting a business, etc., especially when they are young and inexperienced. Because they lack wisdom, they spend the money foolishly and it doesn't last very long.

There is much more excellent material in Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link:
http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_21/.

OCTOBER 19

James 4:17: "Therefore to him
[the person] that knoweth to do good [things], and doeth it not [does not do them], to him [or her] it is sin."

In other words, if a person knows what is right and doesn't do it (also known as a sin of omission), he or she is just as guilty of sinning as the person who knows that something is wrong or bad and does it anyway (also known as a sin of commission).

OCTOBER 18

Matthew 6:19-21 - Serving God on Earth Earns Rewards in Heaven
While preaching his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 19: "Lay not up [don't store up or accumulate] for yourselves treasures [riches] upon earth, where moth [bites, as on fine clothing] and rust [as on metal and some types of food, including corn and grain] doth corrupt [cause things to decay, spoil, rot, or be destroyed], and where thieves break through [the wall or door] and steal [valuable items, like money and jewels]:"

Verse 20: "But lay up for yourselves treasures
[in this case, rewards] in heaven [by serving God with your time, talents, money, and influence--see note below*], where [referring to heaven] neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"

Verse 21: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart
[and, consequently, your love and desire] be also."
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*GotQuestions.org has an article entitled "How can we store up treasures in heaven?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/treasures-in-heaven.html.

OCTOBER 17

Matthew 7:3-5 - Judging Others, Hypocrisy
Jesus addressed this sin during his Sermon on the Mount.

Verse 3: "And why beholdest thou [why do you see, notice, focus on] the mote [small particle, splinter] that is in thy brother's [or someone else's] eye, but considerest not [don't consider] the [wooden] beam [i.e., long, heavy piece of squared timber] that is in thine own eye?" [In other words, why do you criticize the faults of others while ignoring your own faults?]

Verse 4: "Or how wilt thou [will you] say to thy brother [your relative, neighbor, friend, etc.], Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?"

Verse 5: "Thou
[you] hypocrite [someone who engages in the same behaviors that he or she condemns others for], first cast out the beam out of thine own eye [get rid of your own problems first]; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye [and then you'll be able to give other people good advice]."

Charles Spurgeon summarized the above verse as follows: "Sin we may rebuke, but not if we indulge it. We may protest against evil, but not if we willfully practice it. " (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-7.html, "Verses 1-8, Matthew 7:3-5")

Concerning hypocrites, I found an excellent quote from GotQuestions.org: "It must be noted that hypocrisy is not the same as taking a stand against sin. For example, it is not hypocrisy to teach that drunkenness is a sin, unless the one teaching against drunkenness gets drunk every weekend--that would be hypocrisy." If you want to read the entire article ("What does the Bible say about hypocrisy?"), here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Bible-hypocrisy.html.

OCTOBER 16

Revelation 21:1
[About his vision of future events, the apostle John wrote]: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven [our current universe] and the first earth [the one we live in now] were passed away [changed]; and there was no more sea."

God promised Noah that there would be no more worldwide floods:

-- Genesis 9:11: "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."

So, the next time that God has to rid the world of sin (by removing evil people and evil things), he'll do it with fire:

-- 2 Peter 3:12-13: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

OCTOBER 13-15

Matthew 6:9-13 - The Lord's Prayer (a "Model" Prayer)
Teaching them how to pray, Jesus said to his disciples:

Verse 9: "After this manner therefore pray ye [pray like this]: Our Father which art [are] in heaven [referring to Almighty God, whose throne is in heaven], Hallowed [honored as holy, treated with respect and awe] be thy name [i.e., YHWH, or Jehovah]."

Verse 10: "
[Let] Thy [your] kingdom [known as the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven--see note below*] come. [Let] Thy will [what God wants; i.e., that everyone obey his word, as set forth in the Bible] be done in earth [by humans], as it is [done] in heaven [by the angels]."

Verse 11: "Give us this day
[today] our daily bread [food--everything necessary to sustain (support) life]."

Verse 12: "And forgive us our debts
[sins], as we forgive our debtors [meaning people who have sinned against us--those who have said and/or done things to cause us harm]."

Verse 13: "And lead us not into temptation
[do not allow us to be tempted to sin and/or to experience overwhelming trials and afflictions], but deliver us from evil [the evil one (Satan, the devil), evil people, and evil things (sin); i.e., protect us from Satan and sin and prevent us from being corrupted or destroyed by Satan's attacks]: For thine [yours, meaning belonging to God] is the kingdom [meaning God has control over everything in it], and the power [meaning God has the power to do everything that we ask], and the glory [meaning God deserves honor and praise], for ever. Amen."
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*GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question "What is the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html.

OCTOBER 12

Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool is right
[correct] in his [or her] own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [the person who heeds (listens and pays attention to) good advice] is wise."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, especially when he talks about fools. Here's part of what he says in paragraph 3 in the section entitled "Right in His Own Eyes":

"d. Even Christians learn to justify their actions… and rationalize them.

" We watch things on TV and video that believers NEVER would have watched 25 years ago, and we justify it because, 'at least it's not as bad as that other show…'
" Christians are listening to the golden oldies radio station and are listening to the old rock songs-and justifying it, because, after all, the Beach Boys aren't nearly as bad as the Gangster Rappers are today.
" Churches are doing away with prayer meeting and justifying it because 'everybody's too tired'… it's too much trouble… and effort to come out mid week…
" Believers turn to drugs to calm down their nerves… and justify it because they have a prescription…
" Some believers begin dating an unsaved person-and rationalize that after they get married, my spouse will surely get saved…
" Some believers violate the biblical principle of separation and rationalize that they are doing it in order to lead someone to Christ. Separation will only turn them off…
" EVERY way of man can be rationalized away…

"e. And if believers can justify such evil things-surely men in the world will!

" Even terrorists justify their horrible plots and are RIGHT in their own eyes!
" Abortionists are right in their own eyes.
" One of the priests arrested in Boston was part of an organization that believes pedophilia is right!
" The violent animal rights groups have convinced themselves that they are right… and if they destroy businesses and lives in their crusade, so be it!
" When two countries fight in a war-usually both sides think that they are right. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-1215/.


In another commentary, John Gill says:

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,… Whether it be the way of open profaneness, or self-righteousness, it appears to him to be the right way; it seems to him a very plain one, and he finds it pleasant; and, trusting to carnal sense, corrupt reason, and a false judgment, and having a high opinion of himself and his own knowledge, never asks after the right way, nor takes the advice of others;" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/12-15.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 11

Psalm 66:18: "If I regard
[see, perceive, am aware of] iniquity [wickedness, evil] in my heart [mind] [and do nothing about it--meaning that if I take pleasure and delight in sinful thoughts and/or actions], the Lord will not hear me [when I pray]:"

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the above verse like this:

"'If I have favourable thoughts of it [i.e., iniquity, or 'heart-sins'], if I love it, indulge it, and allow myself in it, if I treat it as a friend and bid it welcome, make provision for it and am loth [loath, or unwilling] to part with it, …, if I delight in it …, God will not hear my prayer, will not accept it, nor be pleased with it, nor can I expect an answer of peace to it.'"

(Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/66.html, "(v. 18)")


Albert Barnes says that the the word iniquity in the above verse is applicable:

"(a) to secret purposes of sin; to sinful desires, corrupt passions. and evil propensities;

"(b) to acts of sin in individuals, as when a man is pursuing a business founded on fraud, dishonesty, oppression, and wrong;

"(c) to public acts of sin, as when a people fast and pray Isaiah 58:1-14, and yet hold their fellow-men in bondage; or enact and maintain unjust and unrighteous laws; or uphold the acts of wicked rulers; or countenance and support by law that which is contrary to the law of God; and

"(d) to the feelings of an awakened and trembling sinner when he is professedly seeking salvation."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/66-18.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 10

Joshua 24:14-15 - Which God Will
You Serve?
Speaking to the nation of Israel, Joshua said:

Verse 14: "Now therefore fear the LORD [i.e., because of his supreme power and authority, you should love, honor, and respect Almighty God], and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods [images, idols, false gods] which your fathers [forefathers, ancestors] served [worshiped] on the other side of the flood [referring to the Euphrates River], and in Egypt [when they were sojourners (temporary residents) there]; and serve ye the LORD."

Verse 15: "And if it seem evil
[hard, unreasonable, disagreeable] unto you to serve the LORD [the living God], choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether [it be] the [false] gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the [false] gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell [live]: but as for me and my house [household, family] [as far as I can influence them], we will serve the LORD."

Joshua's statement in verse 15 ('choose you this day whom ye will serve') also applies to everyone in the world today.

OCTOBER 9

Matthew 3:13-17 - Baptism of Jesus:

Verse 13: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee
[specifically, from Nazareth, the city where he had lived for nearly 30 years] to [the river] Jordan unto John [the Baptist], to be baptized of [by] him."

Verses 14-15: "But John forbad
[refused] him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee [by you], and comest thou [you come] to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [allow] it to be so now: for thus it becometh us [it is suitable and proper for us to do this in order] to fulfil all righteousness [of the ceremonial law, by obeying God's commands]. Then he suffered [permitted] him [to be baptized]."

Verses 16-17: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway
[immediately] out of the water: and, lo [exclamation, meaning look, see, observe], the heavens were opened unto him [John the Baptist], and he saw the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit] descending [coming down from heaven] like [in the shape of] a dove, and lighting [landing] upon him [Jesus]: And lo a voice from heaven [from God the Father] [was heard], saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

As you can see from these verses, all three persons of the Trinity were present during Jesus' baptism:

1. God the Father, speaking from heaven
2. God the Son, in person
3. God the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove

Concerning the Holy Spirit appearing in the form of a dove, Albert Barnes says: "The dove, among the Jews, was the symbol of purity of heart, harmlessness, and gentleness …. The form chosen here was doubtless an emblem of the innocence, meekness, and tenderness of the Saviour." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-3.html, "Verse 16" - "The Spirit of God")

OCTOBER 8

Colossians 3:20: "Children, obey your parents
[both father and mother] in all things [that are good and lawful--i.e., not sinful]: for [because] this is well pleasing unto the Lord [God]."

OCTOBER 7

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - One Reason People Don't Get Saved
In a letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul explained why some people don't get saved:

Verse 3: "But if our gospel [i.e., the good news that Jesus died to pay for our sins so we could have eternal life] be hid [hidden], it is hid to them that are lost [unsaved, not born again]:"

Verse 4: "
[Why the gospel is hidden:] In whom [referring to 'them that are lost'] the god of this world [referring to Satan, the devil] hath blinded the minds [has blocked the understanding] of them which believe not [those who don't believe] [the gospel], lest [otherwise,] the light [excellence, beauty, splendor] of the glorious gospel of [Jesus] Christ, who is the image of God [who 'resembles' the invisible God in all ways, having the same glory and perfection, moral attributes, etc.], should shine unto them [and make them want to be saved]."

Since people can only be saved if they understand the gospel, Satan tries very hard to prevent that from happening.

OCTOBER 6

1 Corinthians 2:14: "But the natural man
[or woman or child--someone who is not born again] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God [has no interest in spiritual matters]: for they are foolishness unto him [because he or she thinks they're stupid]: neither can he [or she] know [comprehend, understand] them, because they are spiritually discerned [only revealed (made known) by the Holy Spirit, who lives in the hearts of born-again Christians--see verse below*]."

This is why most unsaved people do not like to go to church and/or read the Bible.
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*In John 14:16-17, Jesus said: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

OCTOBER 5

Psalm 51:10
[King David's prayer to God]: "Create in me a clean heart [make my heart clean again; forgive my sins], O God; and renew [restore, bring back] a right spirit [obedient attitude] within me."

David prayed the above prayer after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover up that sin by having her husband murdered in battle. You can read that story in your Bible (2 Samuel 11:1-12:24). It also appears in the August 2017 "Previous Verses" section of my website (specifically, the 'JULY 31-AUGUST 14' entry). To find it, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

OCTOBER 4

James 1:5-7 - Strong Faith is Required for Answered Prayer
The apostle James wrote this in a letter to the twelve tribes of Israel (specifically, Jewish Christians), but what he says also applies to all Christians.

Verse 5: "If any of you lack [don't have enough] wisdom, let him [or her] ask of God [through prayer], that [who, referring to God] giveth to all men [and women and children] liberally [meaning God is generous to everyone], and upbraideth not [he does not criticize or scold]; and it [i.e., wisdom] shall be given [to] him [or her]."

Verses 6-7: "But let him
[or her] ask in faith, nothing wavering [not hesitating or doubting]. For he that wavereth [the person who can't make a decision or goes back and forth between two opinions or courses of action] is like a wave of the sea [that is] driven with the wind and tossed [about; i.e.,  he or she is agitated and restless like the ocean]. For let not that man [or woman or child] think that he [or she] shall receive any thing of [from] the Lord."

OCTOBER 3

Amos 3:3
[Speaking to the nation of Israel through his prophet Amos, God said]: "Can two [people--in this case, referring to God and 'man' (human beings)] walk together [comfortably, as friends], except they be agreed [in agreement]?"

In this verse and those that follow, Israel is being warned that unless they repent and obey God's commandments, they will no longer be protected and blessed by God but, instead, will be punished by him. Today, we hear politicians routinely end their speeches with, "May God bless the United States of America," … but he won't, because, as a nation, we're just as bad as rebellious Israel was in Bible times.

In Amos 3:11, God continues his warning: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled."

OCTOBER 2

James 4:13-15 - Consult God When Planning for the Future

Verse 13: "Go to now
[hear this], ye [you] that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue [stay] there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain [make money, accumulate possessions, etc.]:"

Verse 14: "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow
[you don't know what will happen tomorrow]. For what is your life? It is even a vapour [it is like gas or moisture floating in the air (e.g., steam, smoke, mist, fog, etc.)], that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away [disappears]."

Verse 15: "For that
[reason--i.e., because you don't know what will happen in the future] ye ought to say [you should say instead], If the Lord will [if it is God's will], we shall live, and do this [thing], or that [thing]."

The following are examples of assumptions that people make when they say something like, "To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain" (verse 13):

"Tomorrow ... Of course, we shall be alive and in health tomorrow. No emergency will arise, no sickness lay us low, no sudden death overtake us. Tomorrow is our apple, and we'll cut it up like we please.

"We will go into the city ... The weather will be good; transportation will be available; we shall meet with no accident; no car will be wrecked, airplane fall, or train derail; we shall arrive exactly as planned.

"And spend a year there ... Lodging will be available to us, and at a price we can afford; no problems! No rioting shall break out; no epidemic shall occur; no war will break out; no disastrous fire will hinder; no earthquake will level the city; no flood will sweep it away. No thieves or robbers shall injure us!

"And trade ... Ah yes! Goods will be available, and of the kind, quality and price we want; financing the operation will be no impediment; there will be no shortages, no damaged freight, no ruined merchandise, no change in style or taste that would hinder trade; no city regulation, no competition, no shortage of labor - nothing will get in the way!

"And get gain ... Of course, buyers for our products will be plentiful; they will have the money; they will wish to purchase our goods, at a prince substantially higher than we paid; the profits will roll in!"

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/4-13.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

OCTOBER 1

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 - Christians Shouldn't Fear Death
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verses 6-7: "Therefore we [born-again Christians] are always confident [cheerful, happy, full of hope], knowing that, whilst we [while our souls] are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord [Jesus Christ] [i.e., we are away from his presence]: (For we walk [through life; i.e., we live, or are controlled] by faith, not by sight:) "

Verse 8: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body
[to die], and to be present with the Lord [in heaven]."

In other words, born-again Christians should enjoy life, but they should not fear death because the Bible promises, and (through faith) we know, that when we die, we'll be in heaven with the Lord.

The above sentiment is expressed very well when we sing the beginning words of a famous hymn: "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through …" To hear Al Grant sing the song ("This World Is Not My Home," written by Albert E. Brumley), click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u5CPwlSMgc. And to view the words, click here: www.namethathymn.com/hymn-lyrics-detective-forum/index.php%3Fa%3Dvtopic%26t%3D7384.

Previous Verses
October 2017
OCTOBER 31

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 - God Hates Witchcraft
Moses said this to the children of Israel, but it also applies to everyone else:

Verses 9-12: "When thou art [you are] come into the land [Canaan] which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations [wicked practices] of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one

that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire
[in a religious rite involving Moloch, the fire-god, which involved sacrificing children to idols--see note below*],
or
that useth divination
[fortune-telling or other supernatural means] [to predict the future],
or
[who is] an observer of times [an astrologer or stargazer (someone who looks to the stars for guidance); examples include checking your horoscope],
or
[who is] an enchanter [a magician],
or
[who is] a witch [a woman (female) with magic powers],
Or
[who is] a charmer [someone who uses the power of enchantment, like a snake charmer],
or
[who is] a consulter with familiar spirits [a person who speaks to demons],
or
[who is] a wizard [a man (male) with magic powers],
or
[who is] a necromancer [someone who communicates with the dead].

For
[because] all that do these things are an abomination [a detestable (hateful) thing] unto the LORD: and because of these abominations [wicked practices] the LORD thy God doth drive them [the nations that do these things] out [of their land] from before thee [you, meaning the Jewish people]."
________________________

*Here's how John Gill explained what "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" means: "To Moloch, which was a sort of lustration [ceremonial purification] by fire, two fires being made, and the child led by a priest between them, and which was an initiation of him into the religion of that deity, and devoting him to it; so Jarchi says, this is the service of Moloch, making piles of fire here and there (on this side and on that), and causing (the children) to pass between them both. Besides this they used to burn them with fire to this deity, perhaps after the performance of this ceremony; …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/18-10.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 30

Matthew 7:6: "Give not
[don't give] that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye [and don't throw] your pearls before swine [pigs], lest they trample them under their feet [otherwise, the swine will stomp on and crush the pearls], and [the dogs will] turn again [turn around] and rend you [tear you apart]."

Meaning of the words in the above verse, according to Albert Barnes:

Holy
- Anything connected with religion--admonitions (warnings), precepts (rules of action), doctrine (set of beliefs)
Dogs
- People who reject, oppose, and abuse the gospel
Pearls
- Precious words; i.e., the truth of the gospel
Swine
- People who don't know the value of the gospel

Here's how he explains the above verse: "The meaning of this proverb, then, is, do not offer your doctrine to those violent and abusive people who would growl and curse you; nor to those especially debased and profligate [careless and foolish people] who would not perceive its value, would trample it down, and would abuse you."

(Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-6.html,"Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

In a different commentary, Charles Spurgeon said: "You are not needlessly to provoke attack upon yourself, or upon the higher truths of the gospel. You are not to judge, but you are not to act without judgment. Count not men to be dogs or swine; but when they avow themselves to be such, or by their conduct act as if they were such, do not put occasions in their way for displaying their evil character. Saints [i.e., born-again Christians] are not to be simpletons; they are not to be judges, but, also, they are not to be fools. Great King, how much wisdom thy precepts require! I need thee, not only to open my mouth, but also at times to keep it shut."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-7.html,"Verses 1-8, Matthew 7:6")

OCTOBER 29

1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray
[to Almighty God] without ceasing [stopping]."

Christians should pray often, or frequently.

In other words, on an ongoing basis, talk silently to God. For example, comment on things that you see and hear throughout each day, tell him your problems, seek his advice and guidance, ask for forgiveness whenever you sin, etc.

GotQuestions.org has a good explanation of this verse in their article entitled "What does it mean to pray without ceasing?" Here's an excerpt:

-- "Paul is not referring to non-stop talking, but rather an attitude of God-consciousness and God-surrender that we carry with us all the time. Every waking moment is to be lived in an awareness that God is with us and that He is actively involved and engaged in our thoughts and actions." He goes on to say, "Unceasing prayer is, in essence, continual dependence upon and communion with the Father."

If you want to read the entire article, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/pray-without-ceasing.html.

OCTOBER 28

James 4:4
[A warning for worldly-minded Christians]: "Ye [spiritual] adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not [don't you know] that the friendship of the world [i.e., loving the things of this world (unsaved people, worldly pleasures, etc.) more than we love God] is enmity with [shows that we are actively opposed to or unfriendly toward] God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

OCTOBER 27

Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul
[of a person] that sinneth, it shall die. The son [or daughter] shall not bear the iniquity [shall not be punished for the sins] of the father [or mother], neither shall the father [or mother] bear the iniquity [be punished for the sins] of the son [or daughter]: the righteousness of the righteous [the things that a righteous person (one who obeys God) does] shall be [placed] upon him [the righteous person], and the wickedness of the wicked [the things that a wicked person does] shall be [placed] upon him [the wicked person]."

In other words, we are all responsible for our own sins. No one else can be punished for them.

OCTOBER 26

Proverbs 26:12: "Seest thou
[do you see] a man [who is] wise in his own conceit [in his own eyes or sight; i.e., filled with pride]? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this verse is directed mainly toward men, but it can also apply to women. It points out that there are two types of fools (proud and humble), and there is more hope for humble fools than for proud ones. That's because:

A humble fool:

-- "is open to listening to wisdom,"
-- "will respond to rebuke and correction," and
-- "can eventually leave his folly behind and become wise."

A proud fool:

-- "will not listen to correction,"
-- "refuses to acknowledge that he might be wrong,"
-- "thinks he is too smart to listen to the words of wisdom from God's Word," and consequently
-- "will never change."
 
The above quotes were taken from Pastor Delany's commentary on the above verse, which can be found here: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_12/.

OCTOBER 24-25

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Will
You Be Going to Heaven Someday?
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verses 9-10: "Know ye not [don't you know] that the unrighteous [people--those who are unjust, sinful, wicked] shall not inherit [possess or enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]? Be not deceived [don't be misled]:

neither fornicators
[unmarried people who engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who is either single or married to someone else],
nor
idolaters
[those who worship people or things other than the one true God],
nor
adulterers
[people who have sex outside of marriage; i.e., with someone other than their spouse (their own husband or wife)],
nor
effeminate
[men or boys who display feminine (womanly, unmanly) characteristics],
nor
abusers of themselves with mankind
[sodomites, homosexuals--those who engage in unnatural types of intercourse, such as anal sex],
Nor
thieves
[robbers, those who steal other people's property],
nor
covetous
[people who crave money or possessions, especially things belonging to someone else],
nor
drunkards
[those who become intoxicated (drunk) from drinking too much beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages],
nor
revilers
[people who say mean things about others with the intention of humiliating, insulting, and embarrassing them],
nor extortioners
[those who use force or threats (as in blackmail) to obtain money],

shall inherit
[enter into] the kingdom of God [heaven]." [In other words, they will not enter into it.]

Verse 11: "And such [the same kind of people as listed above] were some of you [referring to the Corinthian people before they were saved--see note below*]: but ye [you, the people of Corinth, after salvation] are [now] washed [in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ--and thereby cleansed from sin], but ye are [now] sanctified [by the Holy Spirit--and thereby made holy], but ye are [now] justified [by Jesus' righteousness--and thereby made acceptable in God's sight] in the name of the Lord Jesus [i.e., by his authority], and by the [Holy] Spirit of our God [… and consequently, as born-again Christians, you (in this case, the Corinthian believers) will inherit the kingdom of God]."
________________________

*If you want to be saved, or born again (like the people mentioned in verse 11), 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. Here's the link: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

OCTOBER 23

Proverbs 23:1-3 - Advice for "Commoners"

Verse 1:"When thou sittest
[when you sit down--at a state dinner, royal banquet, etc.] to eat with a ruler [someone who is 'out of your class' (a person of influence and power, with a position of authority or leadership), such as your boss, the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company, or a senator, governor, billionaire, etc.], consider diligently what is before thee [carefully consider your surroundings]:"

Verse 2: "And put a knife to thy throat
[meaning exercise self-control], if thou be a man [or woman or child] given to appetite [overeating or talking too much]."

Verse 3: "Be not desirous of
[don't covet or crave] his [the ruler's] dainties [delicacies]: for they are deceitful [deceptive, misleading] meat [food]. [In other words, watch what you say and do, and don't believe everything that you see and hear, because the ruler may have ulterior motives for dining with you.]"

Salem Bible Church has an in-depth explanation of these verses.

At the beginning of the commentary, it says, "If Solomon wrote this, these words are words of advice from a King to perhaps ordinary citizens, who because of their diligence, competence, and skill, find themselves in a setting with the upper class. … The point is that 'commoners' don't always know how to behave themselves before the upper crust of society and sometimes make a fool of themselves [as in 'The Beverly Hillbillies' TV show]. … Here's some advice on how to avoid making a fool of yourself."

The commentary ends with, "The invitation to the feast might at first seem like a wonderful opportunity for advancement and promotion (and it may be)… but don't be so sure. … The ruler may have something sinister in mind."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_1-3/.

OCTOBER 22

Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter
[everything previously 'discussed' in the book of Ecclesiastes]: Fear God [which, according to the commentary by Matthew Henry, includes 'a reverence of his majesty, a deference to his authority, and a dread of his wrath'--see note below*], and keep [obey] his commandments: for this is the whole duty [obligation, responsibility] of man [mankind, human beings, all people]."
________________________

*Source for quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ecclesiastes/12.html, "Verses 13-14"

OCTOBER 21

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - Don't Be Fooled by False Teachers
In a letter to members of the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 13: "For such [men, like Paul had been talking about] are false apostles [false teachers], deceitful [dishonest, untrustworthy] workers [also known as imposters], transforming themselves into the apostles of [Jesus] Christ [i.e., pretending to be like them in what they think, say, and do]."

Verse 14: "And no marvel
[no wonder]; for Satan himself [the 'prince of darkness'--an evil angel] is transformed into an angel of light [a good angel; in other words, he can change himself into almost any shape or form and appear to be something that he's not]."

Verse 15: "Therefore it is no great thing
[it is not surprising] if his ministers [i.e., Satan's servants, or false teachers] also be transformed as [appear to be] the ministers [religious leaders] of righteousness [good]; whose end [destiny, fate--referring to that of Satan's servants] shall be according to their works [of deception]."

OCTOBER 20

Proverbs 20:21: "An inheritance
[money, property, possessions, etc.] may be gotten hastily [quickly] at the beginning [for example, when a parent dies]; but the end thereof shall not be blessed [by God]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, the real lesson of the this proverb is "Easy come; easy go."

He says that the term gotten hastily in the above verse can be taken in two ways--good and bad. The good way is when a parent dies of natural causes and leaves an inheritance for his or her children. A bad way is when one of the children tries to speed everything up (i.e., receive his or her inheritance faster) by poisoning the parent, declaring him or her incompetent, tricking the parent into signing over his or her finances, lying about why the "child" needs the money (e.g., to pay off a gambling debt), etc.

In addition, many people get in trouble when they suddenly become rich due to fame (this includes movie stars, rock stars, and athletes), winning the lottery, inheriting a business, etc., especially when they are young and inexperienced. Because they lack wisdom, they spend the money foolishly and it doesn't last very long.

There is much more excellent material in Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link:
http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_21/.

OCTOBER 19

James 4:17: "Therefore to him
[the person] that knoweth to do good [things], and doeth it not [does not do them], to him [or her] it is sin."

In other words, if a person knows what is right and doesn't do it (also known as a sin of omission), he or she is just as guilty of sinning as the person who knows that something is wrong or bad and does it anyway (also known as a sin of commission).

OCTOBER 18

Matthew 6:19-21 - Serving God on Earth Earns Rewards in Heaven
While preaching his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 19: "Lay not up [don't store up or accumulate] for yourselves treasures [riches] upon earth, where moth [bites, as on fine clothing] and rust [as on metal and some types of food, including corn and grain] doth corrupt [cause things to decay, spoil, rot, or be destroyed], and where thieves break through [the wall or door] and steal [valuable items, like money and jewels]:"

Verse 20: "But lay up for yourselves treasures
[in this case, rewards] in heaven [by serving God with your time, talents, money, and influence--see note below*], where [referring to heaven] neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"

Verse 21: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart
[and, consequently, your love and desire] be also."
________________________

*GotQuestions.org has an article entitled "How can we store up treasures in heaven?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/treasures-in-heaven.html.

OCTOBER 17

Matthew 7:3-5 - Judging Others, Hypocrisy
Jesus addressed this sin during his Sermon on the Mount.

Verse 3: "And why beholdest thou [why do you see, notice, focus on] the mote [small particle, splinter] that is in thy brother's [or someone else's] eye, but considerest not [don't consider] the [wooden] beam [i.e., long, heavy piece of squared timber] that is in thine own eye?" [In other words, why do you criticize the faults of others while ignoring your own faults?]

Verse 4: "Or how wilt thou [will you] say to thy brother [your relative, neighbor, friend, etc.], Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?"

Verse 5: "Thou
[you] hypocrite [someone who engages in the same behaviors that he or she condemns others for], first cast out the beam out of thine own eye [get rid of your own problems first]; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye [and then you'll be able to give other people good advice]."

Charles Spurgeon summarized the above verse as follows: "Sin we may rebuke, but not if we indulge it. We may protest against evil, but not if we willfully practice it. " (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-7.html, "Verses 1-8, Matthew 7:3-5")

Concerning hypocrites, I found an excellent quote from GotQuestions.org: "It must be noted that hypocrisy is not the same as taking a stand against sin. For example, it is not hypocrisy to teach that drunkenness is a sin, unless the one teaching against drunkenness gets drunk every weekend--that would be hypocrisy." If you want to read the entire article ("What does the Bible say about hypocrisy?"), here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Bible-hypocrisy.html.

OCTOBER 16

Revelation 21:1
[About his vision of future events, the apostle John wrote]: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven [our current universe] and the first earth [the one we live in now] were passed away [changed]; and there was no more sea."

God promised Noah that there would be no more worldwide floods:

-- Genesis 9:11: "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."

So, the next time that God has to rid the world of sin (by removing evil people and evil things), he'll do it with fire:

-- 2 Peter 3:12-13: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

OCTOBER 13-15

Matthew 6:9-13 - The Lord's Prayer (a "Model" Prayer)
Teaching them how to pray, Jesus said to his disciples:

Verse 9: "After this manner therefore pray ye [pray like this]: Our Father which art [are] in heaven [referring to Almighty God, whose throne is in heaven], Hallowed [honored as holy, treated with respect and awe] be thy name [i.e., YHWH, or Jehovah]."

Verse 10: "
[Let] Thy [your] kingdom [known as the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven--see note below*] come. [Let] Thy will [what God wants; i.e., that everyone obey his word, as set forth in the Bible] be done in earth [by humans], as it is [done] in heaven [by the angels]."

Verse 11: "Give us this day
[today] our daily bread [food--everything necessary to sustain (support) life]."

Verse 12: "And forgive us our debts
[sins], as we forgive our debtors [meaning people who have sinned against us--those who have said and/or done things to cause us harm]."

Verse 13: "And lead us not into temptation
[do not allow us to be tempted to sin and/or to experience overwhelming trials and afflictions], but deliver us from evil [the evil one (Satan, the devil), evil people, and evil things (sin); i.e., protect us from Satan and sin and prevent us from being corrupted or destroyed by Satan's attacks]: For thine [yours, meaning belonging to God] is the kingdom [meaning God has control over everything in it], and the power [meaning God has the power to do everything that we ask], and the glory [meaning God deserves honor and praise], for ever. Amen."
________________________

*GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question "What is the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html.

OCTOBER 12

Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool is right
[correct] in his [or her] own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [the person who heeds (listens and pays attention to) good advice] is wise."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, especially when he talks about fools. Here's part of what he says in paragraph 3 in the section entitled "Right in His Own Eyes":

"d. Even Christians learn to justify their actions… and rationalize them.

" We watch things on TV and video that believers NEVER would have watched 25 years ago, and we justify it because, 'at least it's not as bad as that other show…'
" Christians are listening to the golden oldies radio station and are listening to the old rock songs-and justifying it, because, after all, the Beach Boys aren't nearly as bad as the Gangster Rappers are today.
" Churches are doing away with prayer meeting and justifying it because 'everybody's too tired'… it's too much trouble… and effort to come out mid week…
" Believers turn to drugs to calm down their nerves… and justify it because they have a prescription…
" Some believers begin dating an unsaved person-and rationalize that after they get married, my spouse will surely get saved…
" Some believers violate the biblical principle of separation and rationalize that they are doing it in order to lead someone to Christ. Separation will only turn them off…
" EVERY way of man can be rationalized away…

"e. And if believers can justify such evil things-surely men in the world will!

" Even terrorists justify their horrible plots and are RIGHT in their own eyes!
" Abortionists are right in their own eyes.
" One of the priests arrested in Boston was part of an organization that believes pedophilia is right!
" The violent animal rights groups have convinced themselves that they are right… and if they destroy businesses and lives in their crusade, so be it!
" When two countries fight in a war-usually both sides think that they are right. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-1215/.


In another commentary, John Gill says:

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,… Whether it be the way of open profaneness, or self-righteousness, it appears to him to be the right way; it seems to him a very plain one, and he finds it pleasant; and, trusting to carnal sense, corrupt reason, and a false judgment, and having a high opinion of himself and his own knowledge, never asks after the right way, nor takes the advice of others;" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/12-15.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 11

Psalm 66:18: "If I regard
[see, perceive, am aware of] iniquity [wickedness, evil] in my heart [mind] [and do nothing about it--meaning that if I take pleasure and delight in sinful thoughts and/or actions], the Lord will not hear me [when I pray]:"

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the above verse like this:

"'If I have favourable thoughts of it [i.e., iniquity, or 'heart-sins'], if I love it, indulge it, and allow myself in it, if I treat it as a friend and bid it welcome, make provision for it and am loth [loath, or unwilling] to part with it, …, if I delight in it …, God will not hear my prayer, will not accept it, nor be pleased with it, nor can I expect an answer of peace to it.'"

(Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/66.html, "(v. 18)")


Albert Barnes says that the the word iniquity in the above verse is applicable:

"(a) to secret purposes of sin; to sinful desires, corrupt passions. and evil propensities;

"(b) to acts of sin in individuals, as when a man is pursuing a business founded on fraud, dishonesty, oppression, and wrong;

"(c) to public acts of sin, as when a people fast and pray Isaiah 58:1-14, and yet hold their fellow-men in bondage; or enact and maintain unjust and unrighteous laws; or uphold the acts of wicked rulers; or countenance and support by law that which is contrary to the law of God; and

"(d) to the feelings of an awakened and trembling sinner when he is professedly seeking salvation."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/66-18.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 10

Joshua 24:14-15 - Which God Will
You Serve?
Speaking to the nation of Israel, Joshua said:

Verse 14: "Now therefore fear the LORD [i.e., because of his supreme power and authority, you should love, honor, and respect Almighty God], and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods [images, idols, false gods] which your fathers [forefathers, ancestors] served [worshiped] on the other side of the flood [referring to the Euphrates River], and in Egypt [when they were sojourners (temporary residents) there]; and serve ye the LORD."

Verse 15: "And if it seem evil
[hard, unreasonable, disagreeable] unto you to serve the LORD [the living God], choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether [it be] the [false] gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the [false] gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell [live]: but as for me and my house [household, family] [as far as I can influence them], we will serve the LORD."

Joshua's statement in verse 15 ('choose you this day whom ye will serve') also applies to everyone in the world today.

OCTOBER 9

Matthew 3:13-17 - Baptism of Jesus:

Verse 13: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee
[specifically, from Nazareth, the city where he had lived for nearly 30 years] to [the river] Jordan unto John [the Baptist], to be baptized of [by] him."

Verses 14-15: "But John forbad
[refused] him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee [by you], and comest thou [you come] to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [allow] it to be so now: for thus it becometh us [it is suitable and proper for us to do this in order] to fulfil all righteousness [of the ceremonial law, by obeying God's commands]. Then he suffered [permitted] him [to be baptized]."

Verses 16-17: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway
[immediately] out of the water: and, lo [exclamation, meaning look, see, observe], the heavens were opened unto him [John the Baptist], and he saw the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit] descending [coming down from heaven] like [in the shape of] a dove, and lighting [landing] upon him [Jesus]: And lo a voice from heaven [from God the Father] [was heard], saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

As you can see from these verses, all three persons of the Trinity were present during Jesus' baptism:

1. God the Father, speaking from heaven
2. God the Son, in person
3. God the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove

Concerning the Holy Spirit appearing in the form of a dove, Albert Barnes says: "The dove, among the Jews, was the symbol of purity of heart, harmlessness, and gentleness …. The form chosen here was doubtless an emblem of the innocence, meekness, and tenderness of the Saviour." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-3.html, "Verse 16" - "The Spirit of God")

OCTOBER 8

Colossians 3:20: "Children, obey your parents
[both father and mother] in all things [that are good and lawful--i.e., not sinful]: for [because] this is well pleasing unto the Lord [God]."

OCTOBER 7

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - One Reason People Don't Get Saved
In a letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul explained why some people don't get saved:

Verse 3: "But if our gospel [i.e., the good news that Jesus died to pay for our sins so we could have eternal life] be hid [hidden], it is hid to them that are lost [unsaved, not born again]:"

Verse 4: "
[Why the gospel is hidden:] In whom [referring to 'them that are lost'] the god of this world [referring to Satan, the devil] hath blinded the minds [has blocked the understanding] of them which believe not [those who don't believe] [the gospel], lest [otherwise,] the light [excellence, beauty, splendor] of the glorious gospel of [Jesus] Christ, who is the image of God [who 'resembles' the invisible God in all ways, having the same glory and perfection, moral attributes, etc.], should shine unto them [and make them want to be saved]."

Since people can only be saved if they understand the gospel, Satan tries very hard to prevent that from happening.

OCTOBER 6

1 Corinthians 2:14: "But the natural man
[or woman or child--someone who is not born again] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God [has no interest in spiritual matters]: for they are foolishness unto him [because he or she thinks they're stupid]: neither can he [or she] know [comprehend, understand] them, because they are spiritually discerned [only revealed (made known) by the Holy Spirit, who lives in the hearts of born-again Christians--see verse below*]."

This is why most unsaved people do not like to go to church and/or read the Bible.
________________________

*In John 14:16-17, Jesus said: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

OCTOBER 5

Psalm 51:10
[King David's prayer to God]: "Create in me a clean heart [make my heart clean again; forgive my sins], O God; and renew [restore, bring back] a right spirit [obedient attitude] within me."

David prayed the above prayer after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover up that sin by having her husband murdered in battle. You can read that story in your Bible (2 Samuel 11:1-12:24). It also appears in the August 2017 "Previous Verses" section of my website (specifically, the 'JULY 31-AUGUST 14' entry). To find it, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

OCTOBER 4

James 1:5-7 - Strong Faith is Required for Answered Prayer
The apostle James wrote this in a letter to the twelve tribes of Israel (specifically, Jewish Christians), but what he says also applies to all Christians.

Verse 5: "If any of you lack [don't have enough] wisdom, let him [or her] ask of God [through prayer], that [who, referring to God] giveth to all men [and women and children] liberally [meaning God is generous to everyone], and upbraideth not [he does not criticize or scold]; and it [i.e., wisdom] shall be given [to] him [or her]."

Verses 6-7: "But let him
[or her] ask in faith, nothing wavering [not hesitating or doubting]. For he that wavereth [the person who can't make a decision or goes back and forth between two opinions or courses of action] is like a wave of the sea [that is] driven with the wind and tossed [about; i.e.,  he or she is agitated and restless like the ocean]. For let not that man [or woman or child] think that he [or she] shall receive any thing of [from] the Lord."

OCTOBER 3

Amos 3:3
[Speaking to the nation of Israel through his prophet Amos, God said]: "Can two [people--in this case, referring to God and 'man' (human beings)] walk together [comfortably, as friends], except they be agreed [in agreement]?"

In this verse and those that follow, Israel is being warned that unless they repent and obey God's commandments, they will no longer be protected and blessed by God but, instead, will be punished by him. Today, we hear politicians routinely end their speeches with, "May God bless the United States of America," … but he won't, because, as a nation, we're just as bad as rebellious Israel was in Bible times.

In Amos 3:11, God continues his warning: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled."

OCTOBER 2

James 4:13-15 - Consult God When Planning for the Future

Verse 13: "Go to now
[hear this], ye [you] that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue [stay] there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain [make money, accumulate possessions, etc.]:"

Verse 14: "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow
[you don't know what will happen tomorrow]. For what is your life? It is even a vapour [it is like gas or moisture floating in the air (e.g., steam, smoke, mist, fog, etc.)], that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away [disappears]."

Verse 15: "For that
[reason--i.e., because you don't know what will happen in the future] ye ought to say [you should say instead], If the Lord will [if it is God's will], we shall live, and do this [thing], or that [thing]."

The following are examples of assumptions that people make when they say something like, "To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain" (verse 13):

"Tomorrow ... Of course, we shall be alive and in health tomorrow. No emergency will arise, no sickness lay us low, no sudden death overtake us. Tomorrow is our apple, and we'll cut it up like we please.

"We will go into the city ... The weather will be good; transportation will be available; we shall meet with no accident; no car will be wrecked, airplane fall, or train derail; we shall arrive exactly as planned.

"And spend a year there ... Lodging will be available to us, and at a price we can afford; no problems! No rioting shall break out; no epidemic shall occur; no war will break out; no disastrous fire will hinder; no earthquake will level the city; no flood will sweep it away. No thieves or robbers shall injure us!

"And trade ... Ah yes! Goods will be available, and of the kind, quality and price we want; financing the operation will be no impediment; there will be no shortages, no damaged freight, no ruined merchandise, no change in style or taste that would hinder trade; no city regulation, no competition, no shortage of labor - nothing will get in the way!

"And get gain ... Of course, buyers for our products will be plentiful; they will have the money; they will wish to purchase our goods, at a prince substantially higher than we paid; the profits will roll in!"

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/4-13.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

OCTOBER 1

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 - Christians Shouldn't Fear Death
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verses 6-7: "Therefore we [born-again Christians] are always confident [cheerful, happy, full of hope], knowing that, whilst we [while our souls] are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord [Jesus Christ] [i.e., we are away from his presence]: (For we walk [through life; i.e., we live, or are controlled] by faith, not by sight:) "

Verse 8: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body
[to die], and to be present with the Lord [in heaven]."

In other words, born-again Christians should enjoy life, but they should not fear death because the Bible promises, and (through faith) we know, that when we die, we'll be in heaven with the Lord.

The above sentiment is expressed very well when we sing the beginning words of a famous hymn: "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through …" To hear Al Grant sing the song ("This World Is Not My Home," written by Albert E. Brumley), click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u5CPwlSMgc. And to view the words, click here: www.namethathymn.com/hymn-lyrics-detective-forum/index.php%3Fa%3Dvtopic%26t%3D7384.

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