Previous Verses
December 2016
DECEMBER 31

Proverbs 16:31: "The hoary head
[gray or white hair due to old age] is a crown of glory [beauty, honor; i.e., is honorable and commands respect], if it be found in the way of righteousness [when it's found on someone who sincerely tries to obey God's word]."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Paragraph 5 of the commentary. which begins with the bold heading "Our culture glories in youth," gives examples of how people in America usually react to the aging process and says it's sad that members of non-Christian religions around the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc.) generally show more respect for age than we do.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch16_html/Prov.16.31.htm.

Definition of culture: Way of life, code of behavior

DECEMBER 30

2 Chronicles 25:7-8 - A Warning From God

Verse 7: "But there came a man of God
[one of God's prophets] to him [Amaziah, king of Judah], saying, O king, let not [don't let] the army of Israel go with thee [you and your army] [to war against Edom]; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit [namely], with all the children [descendants] of Ephraim [because they were idolaters (in this case, they 'worshiped the calves') and had forsaken (abandoned or deserted) the Lord]."

Verse 8: "But if thou wilt
[will] go [with them anyway], do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help [you win the war], and to cast down [make you lose, allow you to be defeated]."

In other words, if you don't obey God's command(s), you'll face the consequences.

This is what Matthew Henry said in his commentary on this verse:

"What good could be expected from those that had not God with them, nor his blessings upon their undertakings? It is comfortable to employ those who, we have reason to hope, have an interest in heaven, and dangerous to associate with those from whom the Lord has departed. The prophet assured him that if he persisted in his resolution to take these idolatrous apostate Israelites with him, in hopes thereby to make himself strong for the battle, it was at his peril; they would prove a dead weight to his army, would sink and betray it: "God shall make thee fall before the enemy, and these Israelites will be the ruin of thy cause; for God has power to help thee without them, and to cast thee down though thou hast them with thee.''

(Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/2-chronicles/25.html, "v. 7, v. 8")

DECEMBER 29

1 Timothy 5:8: "But if any
[one] provide not [does not provide basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing, etc.)] for his [or her] own [people, meaning relatives who need help], and [e]specially for those of his [or her] own house [household, family; i.e., people who live with him or her], he [or she] hath denied the [Christian] faith, and is worse than an infidel [unbeliever]."

This may be the Bible verse (or one of them) that inspired the following saying: "Charity begins at home."

DECEMBER 28

Ephesians 4:25
[the apostle Paul, writing to the Christians at Ephesus]: "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man [person] truth with his [or her] neighbour [i.e., everyone he or she comes in contact with]: for we [born-again Christians] are members one of another [i.e., members of the body of Christ--the church]."

Albert Barnes has an excellent commentary on the above verse:

"Wherefore putting away lying - It may seem strange that the apostle should seriously exhort Christians to put away 'lying,' implying that they were in the habit of indulging in falsehood. But we are to remember:

"(1) that lying is the universal vice of the pagan world. Among the ancient pagans, as among the moderns, it was almost universally practiced. It has been remarked by a distinguished jurist who had spent much time in India, that he would not believe a Hindu on his oath. The same testimony is borne by almost all the missionaries. of the character of pagans everywhere. No confidence can be placed in their statements; and, where there is the slightest temptation to falsehood, they practice it without remorse.

"(2) the Ephesians had been recently converted, and were, to a great extent, ignorant of the requirements of the gospel. A conscience has to be 'created' when pagans are converted, and it is long before they see the evils of many things which appear to us to be palpably wrong.

"(3) the effects of former habits abide long, often, after a man is converted. He who has been in the habit of profane swearing, finds it difficult to avoid it; and he who has been all his life practicing deception, will find himself tempted to practice it still. It was for reasons such as these, probably, that the apostle exhorted the Ephesians to put away 'lying,' and to speak the truth only. Nor is the exhortation now inappropriate to Christians, and there are many classes to whom it would now be proper - such as the following:

"(1) He who is in the habit of concealing the defects of an article in trade, or of commending it for more than its real value - 'let him put away lying.'

"(2) he, or she, who instructs a servant to say that they are not at home, when they are at home: or that they are sick, when they are not sick or that they are engaged, when they are not engaged - 'let them put away lying.'

"(3) he that is in the habit of giving a coloring to his narratives; of conveying a false impression by the introduction or the suppression of circumstances that are important to the right understanding of an account - 'let him put away lying.'

"(4) he that is at no pains to ascertain the exact truth in regard to any facts that may affect his neighbor; that catches up flying rumors without investigating them, and that circulates them as undoubted truth, though they may seriously affect the character and peace of another - 'let him put away lying.'

"(5) he that is in the habit of making promises only to disregard them - 'let him put away lying.' The community is full of falsehoods of that kind, and they are not all confined to the people of the world. Nothing is more important in a community than simple 'truth' - and yet, it is to be feared that nothing is more habitually disregarded. No professing Christian can do any good who has not an unimpeachable character for integrity and truth - and yet who can lay his hand on his breast and say before God that he is in all cases a man that speaks the simple and unvarnished truth?"

(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/ephesians/4-25, "Barnes' Notes)

DECEMBER 27

Matthew 18:23-35 - Parable of the Unforgiving, or Unmerciful, Servant
[Jesus told this story to teach his disciples about forgiveness]

Verse 23: "Therefore is the kingdom of heaven [also known as the kingdom of God (see Note 1 below), referring to how God will deal with Christians, or members of his church] likened unto a certain king, which would take account of [check on the amounts of money owed to him by] his servants [see Note 2 below]."

Verses 24-27: "And when he
[the king] had begun to reckon [settle the accounts], one [servant] was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents [i.e., millions of dollars--see Note 3 below]. But forasmuch as [since] he had not [didn't have] [enough money] to pay [what was due], his lord [the king] commanded him to be sold, and [also] his wife, and children, and all that he had [his possessions], and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him [not in a religious way, but in a humble and reverent manner], saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all [that I owe]. Then the lord of that servant [i.e., the king] was moved with compassion, and loosed him [let him go], and forgave him the debt."

Verses 28-30: "But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence
[one pence, or denarius, was a day's wage (about sixteen cents)--see Note 3 below]: and he laid hands on [grabbed] him, and took him by the throat [in a violent and rough manner, almost choking him], saying, Pay me that thou owest [what you owe]. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought [begged] him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all [that I owe]. And he [the first servant] would not [grant the request]: but [instead] went and cast [threw or put] him [the second servant] into prison, till he should pay the debt."

Verses 31-34: "So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord
[the king], after that he had called him [the first servant], said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me [you asked me to]: Shouldest not thou [shouldn't you] also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth [very angry], and delivered him to the tormentors [put the wicked servant in prison], till he should pay all that was due unto him."

Verse 35: "So likewise shall my heavenly Father
[God] do also unto you [i.e., punish you], if ye from your hearts forgive not [don't forgive] every one his brother [fellow man (i.e., all people)] [for] their trespasses [offences] [against you] [see Note 4 below]."
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Note 1: For further information, see: "What is the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?" (www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html).

Note 2: The word "servants" here means, probably, petty princes, or, more likely, collectors of the revenue or taxes. Among the ancients kings often farmed out, or sold for a certain sum, the taxes of a particular district or province. Thus, when Judea was subject to Egypt or Rome, the kings frequently sold to the high priest the taxes to be raised from Judea on condition of a much smaller sum being paid to them. This secured to them a certain sum, but it gave occasion to much oppression in the collection of the taxes. It is probable that some such persons are intended by the word servants. (Source:
www.godvine.com/bible/matthew/18-23, "Barnes' Notes")

Note 3: Money values were taken from the following article: "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Unforgiving / Unmerciful Servant?" (
www.gotquestions.org/parable-unforgiving-servant.html, paragraph 2).

Note 4: From Albert Barnes' commentary: "This verse [35] contains the sum or moral of the parable. When Christ has explained one of his own parables, we are to receive it just as he has explained it, and not attempt to draw spiritual instruction from any parts or circumstances which he has not explained. The following seems to be the particulars of the general truth which he meant to teach:

"1. that our sins are great.
"2. that God freely forgives them.
"3. that the offences committed against us by our brethren are comparatively small.
"4. that we should therefore most freely forgive them.
"5. that if we do not, God will be justly angry with us, and punish us."

(Source:
www.godvine.com/bible/matthew/18-35, "Barnes' Notes")

DECEMBER 26

Matthew 6:34: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself
[don't worry about bad things that might happen tomorrow, or in the future, because it's useless to worry about things that we can't change]. Sufficient unto the day is the evil [trouble] thereof [i.e., each day has its own problems]."

Naturally, like everyone else, Christians should plan ahead for normal future events, such as saving for retirement; however, we shouldn't worry needlessly about problems that may occur someday, because we are assured by the Bible that when we trust God for guidance, protection, and help, he will take care of our daily needs. We must learn to stop worrying and leave the future in his hands.

DECEMBER 25

Isaiah 9:6
[what the prophet Isaiah saw in his vision of future events]: "For unto us [for our benefit] a child [Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God] is born [of the virgin Mary], unto us a son is given [as a gift from God the Father]: and the government shall be upon his shoulder [because he will eventually be King]:

and his name shall be called
Wonderful
[because he will inspire wonder, amazement, adoration],
Counsellor
[because he will have great wisdom and be qualified to guide and direct the human race],
The mighty God
[because he will be 'God in the flesh'--see note below*],
The everlasting Father
[because he will rule over his people forever],
The Prince of Peace
[because he will be the true source of peace]."
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*For an explanation of the meaning of the phrase God in the flesh, see the following article: "Is Jesus God in the flesh?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/God-in-the-flesh.html.

DECEMBER 24

John 3:17: "For God sent not
[didn't send] his Son [Jesus] into the world [to earth, to be born of the virgin Mary] to condemn [judge, punish] the [nations of the] world; but [so] that the world [the people in it] through him [because of his death on the cross to pay for our sins] might be saved [from hell]."

Adam Clarke explains the above verse as follows: "It was the opinion of the Jews that the Gentiles, whom they often term the world, …, were to be destroyed in the days of the Messiah. Christ corrects this false opinion; and teaches here a contrary doctrine. God, by giving his Son, and publishing his design in giving him, shows that he purposes the salvation, not the destruction, of the world - the Gentile people: nevertheless, those who will not receive the salvation he had provided for them, whether Jews or Gentiles, must necessarily perish; for this plain reason, There is but one remedy, and they refuse to apply it." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/john/3-17, "Clarke's Commentary")

DECEMBER 23

Proverbs 12:25: "Heaviness
[fear, worry, anxiety] in the heart [mind] of man [a person] maketh it [i.e., the heart] stoop [sink to a lower place; i.e., weighs it down, causing sadness, discouragement, and/or depression]: but a good [kind, compassionate, encouraging] word [from the Bible, or spoken by someone you know (a friend, relative, pastor, coworker, etc.)] maketh it glad."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, including many examples of where we can find "good words" in the Bible, and even in Christian hymns, to bring comfort, peace, and joy to others. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch12_html/Prov.12.25.htm.

DECEMBER 22

Proverbs 28:13: "He that covereth
[the person who tries to hide] his sins [by denying them, blaming others for them, making excuses for them, etc.] shall not prosper [succeed]: but whoso[ever] confesseth [those sins--to God, in prayer] and forsaketh [gives up, or renounces] them shall have mercy [compassion and forgiveness] [from God]."

We are told in the Bible that only God can forgive sins. One such verse is Luke 5:21, which says: "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

Note: If you enjoy reading Pastor Delany's Bible studies on Proverbs, like I do, I'm sorry to say that there is no commentary listed on the Salem Bible Church website for the above verse.

DECEMBER 21

Luke 10:17-20 - Jesus Sends His Disciples to Preach the Gospel and Heal the Sick
[The following event occurred after Jesus sent 70 of his disciples, in pairs (groups of two), into every city where he was planning to go, and they found that, in addition to healing sick people, they were able to cast out demons]

Verse 17: "And the seventy [disciples] returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

Verses 18-19: "And he
[Jesus] said unto them, I beheld [saw] Satan as [quickly as a flash of] lightning fall from heaven [when Satan and his followers (the wicked angels) were thrown out of heaven for rebelling against God]. Behold, I give unto you power to tread [step, trample] on serpents [snakes] and scorpions [see note below*], and over all the power of the enemy [i.e., Satan and his servants]: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Verse 20: "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not
[don't rejoice], that the [evil] spirits are subject unto you [obey you]; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven [in the Lamb's book of life--see note below**]."
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*"Scorpions - The scorpion is an animal with eight feet, eight eyes and a long jointed tail, ending in a pointed weapon or sting. It is found in tropical climates, and seldom exceeds 4 inches in length. Its sting is extremely poisonous, and it is sometimes fatal to life. It is in Scripture the emblem of malicious and crafty men. When rolled up it has some resemblance to an egg, …" (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/luke/10-19, "Barnes' Notes")

**Jesus is also known as the "Lamb of God," as confirmed by John 1:29: "The next day John [the Baptist] seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

DECEMBER 20

Acts 17:11: "These
[the Jews in the synagogue at Berea] were more noble [in mind, disposition, and manner] than those in Thessalonica, in that [because] they received the word [preaching of the gospel] with all readiness of mind [willingness to believe], and searched the scriptures [in this case, the Old Testament] daily, [to see] whether those things [that were being said by Paul and Silas] were so [were true]."

We should follow the example of the Jews in Berea and study the Bible on a daily basis.

DECEMBER 19

Psalm 5:3
[King David's prayer to God]: "My voice [in prayer, either silently or out loud] shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and [I] will look up [to heaven] [for an answer] [i.e., when praying, we should watch and wait for an answer from God, in the same way that an archer would shoot his or her arrow toward the target and then look up to see where it has landed--see note below*]."

A great time to pray and ask God for his guidance and protection (among other things)  is in the morning. We should all try to develop that habit.
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*In his commentary, Charles Spurgeon used archery to explain how we should pray: "Adjust your prayer as the archer fits his arrow on the bow, look up as you shoot it, and keep on looking up and looking out for an answer to your supplication. You cannot expect God to open the windows of heaven to pour you out a blessing if you do not open the windows of your expectation to look for it. If you look up in asking, God will look down in answering. It is well always to take good aim in prayer; some prayers are like random shots, they cannot be expected to hit the target; but David's prayer was well aimed, and he expected it to prevail with God: 'In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-5.html,"Psalms 5:3")

DECEMBER 18

Luke 1:30-35 - The Virgin Mary Will "Bring Forth" a Son

Verse 30-33: "And the angel
[Gabriel] said unto her [the virgin Mary], Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth [give birth to] a son, and shalt call his name JESUS [meaning 'The Lord is Salvation']. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest [i.e., the Son of God]: and the Lord God shall give unto him [Jesus] the throne [kingdom] of his father David [because, as a man, Jesus was descended from King David]: And he shall reign [rule] over the house of Jacob [the descendants of Jacob, also known as the children of Israel] for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Verse 34: "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing
[that] I know not [have not had sexual relations with] a man?"

Verse 35: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost
[Holy Spirit] shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee [i.e., Jesus would be created supernaturally, by the power of God]: therefore also that holy thing [child] which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God [in regard to his human nature]."

DECEMBER 17

Proverbs 23:9: "Speak not
[don't speak] in the ears of a fool: for [because] he [or she] will despise [hate, ignore, mock or ridicule] the wisdom of thy words."

In his commentary, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church summarized the above verse as follows: "The Fool Will Not Listen." In other words, don't waste your time counseling a fool, since he or she probably won't heed your advice.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch23_html/Prov.23.9.htm.

DECEMBER 16

1 Corinthians 10:14
[the apostle Paul, in a letter to the Corinthian church]: "Wherefore [i.e., to avoid temptation and sin], my dearly beloved [people], flee [run away] from idolatry [the worship of, or excessive devotion to, people or things (statues, images, false gods, etc.) more than the one, true God]."

In other words, don't worship idols, don't participate in sacrifices or feasts celebrated in their honor, and avoid places where they are worshiped.

GotQuestions.org has some good articles about idolatry. Here are two of them:

-- "What is the definition of idolatry?" (www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html)
-- "What are some modern forms of idolatry?" (www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-modern.html)

DECEMBER 15

Proverbs 15:29: "The LORD is far
[away] from the wicked [referring to people who don't respect God and man] [i.e., their prayers are ignored]: but he [God] heareth the prayer of the righteous [morally good (i.e., saved, born-again) person--see note below*]."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church explains when and why God would choose to hear and answer prayer. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch15_html/Prov.15.29.htm.
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*For the definition and explanation of righteousness, please read "What is righteousness?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/righteousness.html.

DECEMBER 14

Proverbs 14:7: "Go from the presence of
[go away from] a foolish man [person], when thou perceivest not [when you don't observe, notice, see (or hear)] in him the lips [language] of knowledge [understanding, wisdom]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of why we shouldn't associate with fools (in this case, people who refuse to listen and learn). It also tells us what to look for, because "Fools don't normally introduce themselves as such. … They don't say, 'Glad to meet you. I'm your local fool.' … 'I hate wisdom; I despise authority; I'm immoral; I refuse correction, and I am headed for trouble. What's your name?'"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch14_html/Prov.14.7.htm.

DECEMBER 13

Romans 3:23: "For all
[people] have sinned [see note below*], and come short of the glory [perfection or excellence, approval or praise] of God;"
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*We're all sinners due to our sin nature (inherited from Adam) and the bad things that we think, say, and do on a daily basis.

DECEMBER 12

Job 5:17-18 - When God Disciplines Christians
[Advice from Eliphaz when his friend Job was experiencing great pain and suffering]

Verse 17: "Behold, happy [blessed] is the man [person] whom God correcteth [corrects]: therefore despise not thou [don't disregard or feel contempt (disrespect) or hatred for] the chastening [punishment or discipline] of the Almighty [i.e., God, when he's acting in a fatherly way]:"

Verse 18: "For he maketh sore
[causes pain or suffering, as when a surgeon makes an incision in an attempt to remove or fix the problem area], and [then he] bindeth up [the wound; i.e., applies a bandage, or provides protection and comfort]: he woundeth, and [then] his hands make whole [bring healing]."

DECEMBER 11

Isaiah 41:13
[God's promise to the nation of Israel (Jews), which also applies to born-again Christians]: "For I the LORD thy God will hold [strengthen] thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee [whenever you need help or encouragement; e.g., to vanquish (defeat, conquer) your enemies, make wise decisions, find a good job, fight a disease, etc.]."

DECEMBER 10

Philippians 4:6-7 - The Apostle Paul's Advice to Christians

Verse 6: "Be careful for nothing
[don't worry]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication [asking for something that you need or want] with thanksgiving [along with giving of thanks] let your requests be made known unto God."

Verse 7: "And the peace of God, which passeth
[surpasses (exceeds, goes beyond, is greater than)] all [everyone's] understanding, shall keep [guard, protect] your hearts and minds [i.e., will help you remain calm and free from anxiety] through [the power of] Christ Jesus."

DECEMBER 9

James 2:13
[about judgment day, the apostle James wrote]: "For he [or she] shall have judgment without mercy [pity, compassion] [from God], that hath shewed [who has shown] no mercy [to others] [i.e., those people, if unsaved, will be sent to hell]; and mercy [from God] rejoiceth against judgment [i.e., Jesus' death on the cross paid for our sins, so all born-again Christians can rejoice (be filled with joy) because we know that our 'forever' home will be in heaven]."

DECEMBER 8

1 Peter 3:3-4 - The Apostle Peter's Advice to Christian Wives

Verse 3: "Whose
[a woman's] adorning [true beauty] let it not be [should not be] [judged by] that outward adorning of [things that are done to improve her appearance, such as] plaiting [braiding] the hair [which was commonly done in Bible times], and of wearing of gold [jewelry, hair pins, etc.], or of putting on of [high-quality and expensive] apparel [clothing];"

Verse 4: "But let it be
[determined by] the hidden man [person] of the heart [mind, soul], in that which is not corruptible [subject to destruction or decay], even the ornament [decoration] of a meek and quiet spirit [the traits of a kind and gentle person, who has a calm temper and contented mind, free from anger, envy, pride, etc.], which is in the sight of God of great price [value]."

We should never neglect our outward appearance but should always be neat and clean and modestly dressed. However, in God's eyes, true beauty is more than skin deep, as he values what's in our hearts much more than how we look.

DECEMBER 7

Proverbs 6:12-15 - Troublemakers

Verses 12-13: "A naughty
[worthless, good-for-nothing] person, a wicked man [troublemaker], walketh [around] with a froward [crooked, lying] mouth [i.e., he (or she) habitually distorts the truth]. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;"

Verse 14: "Frowardness
[or 'perversity'--see note below*] is in his heart [mind], he deviseth mischief [plots schemes] continually; he soweth discord [causes disagreements and division, stirs up trouble]."

Verse 15: "Therefore shall his calamity
[misfortune, misery] come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy [relief or cure]."

In his commentary on verse 12, Albert Barnes says: "This is the portrait of the man who is not to be trusted, whose look and gestures warn against him all who can observe. His speech is tortuous and crafty; his wink tells the accomplice that the victim is already snared; his gestures with foot and hand are half in deceit, and half in mockery." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/proverbs/6-12, "Barnes' Notes")

Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has also done a Bible study on the above verses and gives many examples of the various types of body language mentioned. If you want to read his commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch6_html/Prov.6.12.htm.
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*Definition of perversity, according to online dictionaries: A deliberate desire to behave in an unreasonable or unacceptable way; contrariness; the quality of being contrary to accepted standards or practice.

DECEMBER 6

Psalm 84:10
[King David's prayer to God]: "For a day in thy courts [a place of worship, such as church] is better than a thousand [days spent anywhere else]. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God [I would rather be a security guard in your (i.e., God's) house, or just stand at the entrance, looking in, without being allowed to enter], than to dwell in the tents of wickedness [than to be in places where I can enjoy many sinful pleasures]."

To summarize the above verse, in Albert Barnes' words, "It would be an honor and a privilege to be anywhere about the place of public worship, rather than to be the occupant of a dwelling-place of sin." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/psalms/84-10, "Barnes' Notes")

DECEMBER 5

Proverbs 13:24: "He that spareth his rod
[the parent who doesn't administer discipline according to the Bible; i.e., doesn't spank his or her child for misbehaving] hateth his son [or daughter]: but he that loveth him [the child] chasteneth [punishes] him [or her] betimes [when necessary, before it is too late]."

A good article about biblical discipline is entitled "What does it mean to 'spare the rod, spoil the child?'" Here's the link, if you want to read it: www.gotquestions.org/spare-rod-spoil-child.html.

In addition, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has done a Bible study on the above verse. In it, he explains why misbehaving children should be spanked and suggests what type of rod to use. If you want to read the commentary, click here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch13_html/Prov.13.24.htm.

DECEMBER 4

Titus 1:2
[in the beginning of a letter to Titus, the apostle Paul wrote]: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

Because God doesn't lie, we can be sure that all of his promises, as recorded in the Bible, have been or will be fulfilled (accomplished, realized).

Some of God's promises are listed in the article entitled "What are the promises of God?" If you want to read it, here's the link:
www.gotquestions.org/promises-of-God.html.

DECEMBER 3

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

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

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

DECEMBER 2

1 Chronicles 29:11-13 - King David Praises God

Verse 11: "Thine
[yours], O LORD, is the greatness, and the power [strength], and the glory [beauty], and the victory, and the majesty [splendor]: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all [people and things]."

Verse 12: "Both riches and honour come of thee
[from you], and thou reignest [you are ruler] over all [people and things, on earth and in heaven]; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand [with your hand] it is [you are able] to make great, and to give strength unto all."

Verse 13: "Now therefore, our God, we thank thee
[for your blessings], and [we] praise thy glorious [wonderful] name."

DECEMBER 1

Romans 2:21-23 - Are You a Hypocrite?
[The apostle Paul asked this question in his letter to the Christian church in Rome]

Verse 21: "Thou [you] therefore [referring to what was said before this] which teachest another [person] [to do or not do something], teachest thou not thyself [don't you also teach yourself] [to do or not do the same]? thou that preachest [that] a man should not steal, dost thou [do you] steal?"

Verse 22: "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery
[have sex with another man's wife], dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest [hates] idols, dost thou commit sacrilege [violate or misuse things that are considered sacred (dedicated to God); take things that belong to God]?"

Verse 23: "Thou that makest thy boast of the law
[you who teach the importance of obeying God's law, as found in the Bible and the Ten Commandments], through breaking the law [by not obeying the law] dishonourest thou God [do you dishonor or insult God--see note below*]?"

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

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

(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/romans/2-23,"Barnes' Notes")

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