DECEMBER 31

Galatians 3:13: "
[Jesus]  Christ hath redeemed us [set us free] from the curse of the law [God's law; it's called a curse because our punishment for disobeying God's law is never-ending torment in the lake of fire], [by] being made a curse for us [this happened (i.e., Christ was made a curse and redeemed us) when Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins--the sinless Son of God paying the sin debt for all mankind]: for it is written [in the Bible], Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [in this case, referring to Jesus' crucifixion]:"

DECEMBER 30

John 14:2-3 - Your Future Home in Heaven
During the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples:

Verse 2: "In my Father's [God's] house [in heaven] are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go [there] to prepare a place for you."

Verse 3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come
[back] again [referring to what is known as the second coming of Christ], and receive you unto myself; [so] that where I am, there ye [you] may be also."

DECEMBER 29

John 10:27-28
[In the temple at Jerusalem, Jesus (the 'good shepherd') said to the Jews:]: "My sheep [meaning born-again Christians] hear my voice [hear and obey my commandments], and I know them, and they follow me [follow my leadership or guidance]: And I give unto them eternal life [in heaven]; and they shall never perish [be sent to hell], neither shall any man [anyone--people or devils] pluck them out of my hand [remove them from my protection]."

DECEMBER 28

Proverbs 28:5: "Evil men
[referring to people with evil natures and immoral lifestyles] understand not judgment [what is just and right] [in other words, they have a twisted sense of right and wrong because they don't understand justice and won't obey the law--ours and/or God's]: but they that seek the LORD [referring to saved people, or born-again Christians] understand all things [regarding spiritual matters and morality]."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-28-index/proverbs-28_5/.

DECEMBER 27

Isaiah 26:3
[This is part of a song in the Bible of praise to God]: "Thou [you, God] wilt [will] keep him [or her] in perfect peace, [i.e., the person] whose mind is stayed [fixed, focused] on thee [you]: because he [or she] trusteth in thee [you]."

According to Albert Barnes, "… the mind that has confidence in God shall not be agitated [troubled, disturbed] by the trials to which it shall be subject; by persecution, poverty, sickness, want, or bereavement." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-26.html, "Verse 3: In perfect peace")

DECEMBER 26

Proverbs 26:17: "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him
[the person who interferes in arguments or conflicts that do not involve him or her], is like one that taketh [grabs] a dog by the ears [and gets bitten]."

In other words, it's best to mind your own business.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_17/.

DECEMBER 25

Luke 2:8-14 - Birth of Jesus:

Verses 8-9: "And there were in the same country
[where Mary and Joseph went; i.e., Judea, the area around Bethlehem] shepherds abiding [dwelling, living, residing] in the field, keeping watch over their flock [of sheep] by night [to keep them from straying (wandering) and to protect them from harm]. And, lo, the angel of the Lord [perhaps Gabriel] came upon [appeared to] them, and the glory of the Lord [an extremely bright light] shone round about them: and they were sore afraid [frightened, terrified, filled with fear]."

Verses 10-12: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not
[don't be afraid]: for, behold, I bring you good tidings [news] of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David [i.e., Bethlehem] a Saviour, which is [Jesus] Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe [baby, infant] wrapped in swaddling clothes [see note below*], lying in a manger [a feeding trough for horses and cattle]."

Verses 13-14: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
[large number] of the heavenly host [angels] praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heavens], and on earth peace, [and] good will toward men."
_________________________

*Definition of swaddling clothes, according to online dictionaries: Narrow bands of cloth formerly wrapped around a newborn child to restrain its movements and quiet it.

The following article explains why Mary wrapped her son in swaddling clothes: "What does it mean that baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/swaddling-clothes.html.

DECEMBER 24

John 1:14
[The apostle John wrote]: "And the Word [the living Word--Jesus Christ, Son of God (or God the Son), who is the second person of the Trinity)] was made flesh [became a man], and dwelt [lived] among us, (and we [Peter, James, and John, when they witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus--see note below*] beheld [observed, saw] his [Jesus'] glory, the glory as of the only [person who was] begotten of [brought forth from] the Father [God]--meaning Jesus was God's only child (having the same nature as his Father) and took on human form (became both God and man) when he was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary,) [and who (referring to Jesus) was] full of grace and truth."
_________________________

*For information about the transfiguration, read "What is the meaning and importance of the transfiguration?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/transfiguration.html.

DECEMBER 23

Psalm 95:1-6:

Verses 1-2: "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock
[source] of our salvation. Let us come before his presence [before him] with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms [songs of praise]."

Verse 3: "For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods
[i.e., he is greater than everyone and everything else that is worshiped]."

Verses 4-5: "In his hand
[under his control] are the deep [unseen, underground] places of the earth: the strength of the hills is [the hills and mountains, all the way to the top, including everything within them (precious metals, etc.), are] his also. The sea [and everything in it] is his, and [i.e., because] he made it: and his hands formed the dry land."

Verse 6: "O come, let us worship
[Almighty God] and bow down [our heads, to show respect for him]: let us kneel before the LORD [who is] our maker [creator]."

Regarding the phrase let us kneel before the LORD our maker in verse 6, Albert Barnes says:

"All the expressions here employed [in verse 6--i.e., worship, bow down, and kneel] denote a posture of profound reverence in worship, and the passage is a standing rebuke of all irreverent postures in prayer; of such habits as often prevail in public worship where no change of posture is made in prayer, and where a congregation irreverently sit in the act of professedly worshipping God. People show to their fellowmen the respect indicated by rising up before them: much more should they show respect to God - respect in a posture which will indicate profound reverence, and a deep sense of his presence and majesty. Reverently kneeling or standing 'will' indicate this; sitting does not indicate it."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-95.html, "Verse 6)

DECEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:7: "The rich
[people] ruleth over the poor [people], and the borrower is servant to the lender."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse.

According to Pastor Delany, money puts people in powerful positions and buys influence, political clout, "justice" in the court system, and superior military might. In addition, when people are rich, they are able to take advantage of poor people by lending them money. Home loans, credit cards, and the national debt are several examples of how people and countries can become slaves to creditors (or "servants to lenders").

Pastor Delany says it is okay to borrow money as long as we make the payments on time and pay off the loan as soon as possible, and in the commentary, he gives some guidelines we should follow before signing on the dotted line. According to him, the above verse "neither condemns nor condones borrowing. It is simply a WARNING about the danger of borrowing money: you could become a slave!"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_7/.

DECEMBER 21

Matthew 18:6
[Comparing Christians to little children, Jesus said]: "But whoso [whoever] shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me [referring to born-again Christians, and meaning that for the person who harms them in any way or causes them to stumble and sin, be misled, lose hope, etc.], it were [would be] better for him [or her] that a millstone [one of a pair of large, heavy, circular stones used for grinding grain] were hanged about his [or her] neck, and that he [or she] were drowned in the depth [deepness] of the sea."

Regarding the last part of the verse, Albert Barnes said:

"It were better for him that a millstone …  Mills, anciently, were either turned by hand … or by beasts, chiefly by mules. These last were of the larger kind, and the original words denote that it was this kind that was intended. This was one mode of capital punishment practiced by the Greeks, Syrians, Romans, and by some other nations. The meaning is, it would be better for him to have died before he had committed the sin. To injure, or to cause to sin, the feeblest Christian, will be regarded by Christ as a most serious offence, and will be punished accordingly."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-18.html, "Verses 1-6")

DECEMBER 20

Proverbs 20:11: "Even a child is known by his
[or her] doings [actions--what he or she does], whether his [or her] work [behavior] be pure [clean, acceptable, good], and whether it be right."

By observing children's behavior, we can usually determine what kind of adults those children will grow up to be.

Albert Barnes explained the verse like this: "The graces or the faults of children are not trifles. 'The child is father of the man;' and the earliest actions are prophecies of the future, whether it will be pure and right, or unclean and evil." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-20.html, "Verse 11")

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

DECEMBER 19

Proverbs 19:17: "He that hath pity upon the poor
[everyone who is compassionate (caring) and kind to poor people and helps meet their needs] lendeth unto the LORD [makes a loan to God]; and that which he [or she] hath given [to poor people--money, food, clothing, assistance, etc.] will he [God] pay him again [repay, or reward him or her for--either now or in heaven]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. Here are some excerpts from it about giving to the poor:

"We are not only showing mercy and love to the poor man, but we are demonstrating love to the Lord! … If you want to honor God-show mercy to His people in need!"

"It's for the Lord, not man … That means that we can minister to men we may not actually LIKE … Even if we later discover that the people we ministered to were just taking advantage of us, it does not detract from our ministry to the Lord."

"And be careful about groups who show pitiful pictures of starving children who claim to be Christian. Make sure you know what KIND of Christian testimony they hold to."

"Another abuse of the concept in this passage comes from the charismatic movement … They teach that if you give to their ministry, then God will pay you back! … They even say that God will pay you back 10 fold … Our adversary [Satan] is clever isn't he? He can twist a passage designed to teach God's people to express selfless generosity for God's glory into an expression of greed and selfishness!"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_17/.

DECEMBER 18

Acts 20:35
[The apostle Paul said to the elders of the church at Ephesus]: "I have shewed [shown] you [by instruction and example, regarding] all things, how that [by] so labouring [ministering to the needs of others, as I have done] ye ought to support [help] the weak [members of your congregation--those who are old, sick, poor and needy, etc.] [with prayer, money, assistance, etc.], and [for encouragement] to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give [to others] than to receive [from others] [because, when giving is done willingly and 'from the heart' (with kindness and for the right reasons), the giver ends up being more blessed, or happier, than the receiver]."

Here's a good illustration of the meaning of "It is more blessed to give than to receive":

"Little Robert Manly thought a great deal about pleasing himself, and this is not at all the best way to be happy. One day a poor woman came to Robert's mother to beg a little new milk for her sick baby. Mrs. Manly had none to spare, except what she had saved for her Robert's supper; and at supper time his mother told him how she had given away his milk for the poor sick baby. Robert didn't like this at all, and kept muttering about the milk being his, and nobody else having any right to it. The next day Robert was taken to see this poor family, and it made him shiver to look round on that cheerless home. The poor woman thanked Mrs. Manly over and over again for the new milk. 'It kept the baby still all night,' she said. As they walked home, Robert did not say a word, though he was generally very talkative. At supper time his bowl of milk was set by his plate, but in a few minutes he went to his mother's side and said in a whisper, 'Mother, may I take my milk to the poor sick baby?' 'Yes, my son,' said his mother. By and by he came bounding into the room covered over with snowflakes, and shouting cheerfully, 'Mother, the baby's got the milk. Her mother said, 'God bless you, my child!' and, mother, my milk tastes very good tonight (smacking his lips); I mean my no milk.' Yes, little Robert was proving the truth of our Saviour's words."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/acts/20-35.html, "The Biblical Illustrator": "The blessedness of giving," paragraph III)

DECEMBER 17

Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed
[by God] unto men [and women and children] once to die [to die only once], but after this [occurs, then comes] the judgment [by God, in heaven; i.e., the White Throne judgment for those who are unsaved, and the Judgment Seat of Christ for those who have been born again according to the Bible]:"

In other words, if you want to be saved (and live in heaven when you die), you must do it now--before it's too late.

Note: For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them here: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

DECEMBER 16

John 1:3: "All things
[in the universe] were made [created] by him [Jesus Christ, the Son of God (also known as God the Son)]; and without [apart from] him was not any thing made that was made [i.e., nothing came into existence without the exertion of Jesus' power]."

DECEMBER 15

Psalm 119:11
[This prayer to God was probably written by King David]: "Thy word [referring to God's word, as contained in the Bible; specifically, Bible verses] have I hid in mine heart [memorized], [so] that I might not sin against thee [you]."

Jesus quoted scripture when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. (See "What was the meaning and purposes of Jesus' temptations," https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-temptations.html, for details.) By memorizing God's word, we learn what we should do and not do, and we can follow Jesus' example whenever we are faced with temptation in our daily lives.

DECEMBER 14

Matthew 9:35-38 - Soul Winning

Verse 35: "And Jesus went about
[traveled to] all the cities and villages [of Galilee], teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom [of God; i.e., heaven], and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Verse 36: "But when he saw the multitudes
[crowds--large number of people who had followed him], he was moved with compassion on [sympathy, pity, and concern for] them, because they fainted [not only from weakness, exhaustion, hunger, thirst, etc., but also from spiritual burdens], and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

Verses 37-38: "Then saith he
[Jesus] unto his disciples, The harvest [people seeking spiritual guidance and salvation] truly is plenteous [abundant, plentiful], but the labourers are few [in number]; Pray ye therefore [to] the Lord of the harvest [God], that he will send forth labourers [Christian workers, missionaries, soul winners, etc.] into his harvest [to teach those people about the Bible and show them how to be saved]."

DECEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:7: "There is
[the person] that maketh himself rich [acts like he or she is rich], yet hath nothing [but is really poor]: there is [the person] that maketh himself poor [acts like he or she is poor], yet hath [has] great riches."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this verse is about people who pretend to be what they're not (i.e., rich when poor, poor when rich).

In his commentary, Pastor Delany provides many examples of the ways in which greedy, covetous people live beyond their means in order to make others believe that they're rich, and he tells what can happen to them as a result. He also shows how misers (selfish, cheap, stingy, penny-pinching people) might pretend to be poor in order to keep more of their money. Both cases illustrate the meaning of "the love of money is the root of all evil" in 1 Timothy 6:10.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-1_37/.

DECEMBER 12

James 1:8: "A double minded man
[or woman or child--someone who is confused and full of doubts and consequently can't make up his or her mind] is unstable [wavering, changeable, unreliable] in all [of] his [or her] ways [in everything that he or she says and does]."

DECEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:22: "As
[like] a jewel of gold in a swine's snout [a pig's nose], so is a fair [attractive, beautiful, good-looking] woman [or man or child] which is without discretion [good taste and judgment, common sense]."

Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse is entitled "An Attractive Pig?" In it, we learn not to "judge a book by its cover," or be fooled by a person's outward appearance. Just as a pig dressed up in fine jewelry is still a pig, a person without discretion may be beautiful (or handsome or cute) on the outside but have a nasty and repulsive personality.

Under the section of the commentary labeled "The Four Comparisons," Pastor Delany says:

"5. The little piece of jewelry is grossly insufficient to overshadow the pig's real problem: he's dirty and ugly and disgusting.

"a. So too with the woman without discretion. Her looks and clothes will never overshadow her real problem: she's ugly on the inside!

"b. Nothing will change that but the new birth-or if she is saved and has an ugly spirit-repentance!

"c. This proverb illustrates a truth about human nature. We are inclined to try to cover up… and make self LOOK good… rather than BE good. Good looks, fancy clothes, or expensive jewelry will never overshadow an ugly heart."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_22.

DECEMBER 10

1 John 1:9-10 - God Forgives Sin

Verse 9: "If we confess our sins
[to God through prayer], he [God] is faithful and just [he keeps his promise] to forgive us [of] our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [to purify our hearts and remove the guilt]."

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him
[God] a liar, and his word [his truth; i.e., the fact that 'man' is a fallen being and needs a Savior] is not in us [and, consequently, we are not true Christians]."

God has promised to forgive our sins. All we need to do is ask.

Your first prayer should be to admit that you're a sinner and to ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from hell. You only have to do this once. After that, you should get in the habit of asking for God's forgiveness on an ongoing or daily basis--whenever you realize that you've done something wrong.

DECEMBER 9

1 Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offence
[don't say or do anything that might lead others to sin], neither to the Jews [the unbelieving Jewish people], nor to the Gentiles [the unconverted (unsaved) non-Jewish people], nor to the church of God [born-again Christians]:"

In other words, we should always try to not offend anyone.

Regarding the apostle Paul's advice, in the above verse, to [g]ive none offense, Dr. Thomas Constable said: "Giving no offense means putting no obstacle in the path of a person be he Jew … or Gentile … so that he might come to faith in Christ. If he is already a believer, it means putting nothing in his way that would hinder his growth in Christ … It is not a matter of simply 'hurting someone's feelings.'" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-corinthians/10-32.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

DECEMBER 8

Matthew 18:21-22 - Jesus Teaches About Forgiveness

Verse 21: "Then came Peter to him
[Jesus], and said, Lord, how oft [often] shall my brother [or sister, or any other person] sin against me, and I forgive him [or her]? till [until] seven times?"

Verse 22: "Jesus saith unto him
[Peter], I say not unto thee, Until seven times [7 × 7 = 49]: but, Until seventy times seven [70 × 7 = 490, but by saying this, Jesus meant an unlimited amount]."

Albert Barnes has a good commentary on verse 22. Here's what it says:

"Till seven times? - The Jews caught that a man was to forgive another three times, but not the fourth. Peter more than doubled this, and asked whether forgiveness was to be exercised to so great an extent.

"I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven - The meaning is, that we are not to limit our forgiveness to any fixed number of times … As often as a brother injures us and asks forgiveness, we are to forgive him. It is, indeed, his duty to ask forgiveness … If he does this, it is our duty to declare that we forgive him, and to treat him accordingly. If he does not ask us to forgive him, yet we are not at liberty to follow him with revenge and malice, but are still to treat him kindly and to do him good."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-18.html, "Verse 22")

DECEMBER 7

Genesis 12:1-3 - God Loves Israel

Verse 1: "Now the LORD had said unto Abram
[Abraham], Get thee out of thy country [the land where you were born (Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia)], and [away] from thy kindred [relatives], and from [out of] thy father's house, unto a land [Canaan] that I will shew thee [show you]:"

Verse 2: "And I will make of thee
[from you] a great nation [Israel], and I will bless thee [you], and make thy [your] name great [important, special, well-known]; and thou [you] shalt be a blessing [to many people]:"

Verse 3: "And I will bless them that bless thee
[referring to the nation of Israel], and curse him [them] that curseth thee [i.e., Israel]: and in thee [referring to Abraham's seed, or offspring, meaning through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Son of God, Messiah, Savior) and our resulting access to God's free gift of eternal life] shall all families of the earth be blessed."

DECEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:32-33 - Adultery

Verse 32: "But whoso committeth adultery
[whoever has sexual relations] with a woman [he is not married to, meaning another man's wife] lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul."

Verse 33: "A wound and dishonour
[disgrace, shame] shall he get; and his reproach [expressions of disapproval and/or disappointment from others for what he has done] shall not be wiped away [from their memories]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, verses 30-35 in Chapter 6 of Proverbs are grouped together in his commentary because they all address the subject of adultery. In them, King Solomon "… teaches his son about long lasting consequences of the sin of adultery. His hope is that his son will listen and spare himself from guilt and shame."

If you want to read the rest of Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_30-35/.

In addition, a good article about adultery is entitled "What is the biblical punishment for adultery?'" Here's the link, if you want to read it: https://www.gotquestions.org/punishment-for-adultery.html

DECEMBER 5

Leviticus 19:12
[These were God's instructions, through Moses, to the children of Israel (Jewish people)]: "And ye shall not swear by my name falsely [for example, by lying on the witness stand in court after taking an oath to tell the truth], neither shalt thou [and also you shall not] profane [dishonor, treat with irreverence or contempt, use in an unholy way] the name of thy God: I am the LORD."

In other words, we should always treat God's name with respect.

A good article about this subject is "What does it mean to take the Lord's name in vain?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html.

DECEMBER 4

Isaiah 55:6: "Seek ye
[search or look for] the LORD [Jesus Christ] while he may be found, call ye upon him [in prayer, for salvation] while he is near:"

In other words, don't procrastinate. Ask Jesus to save you now, before it's too late.

Note: For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them here:
www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

DECEMBER 3

Malachi 3:8-12 - Tithes and Offerings
Speaking to the nation of Israel through his prophet Malachi, God said:

Verses 8-9: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye [you] have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee [you]? In tithes and offerings [see note below*]. Ye [you] are cursed with a curse [i.e., no rain will fall, and as a result, there will be a shortage of food in the land]: for [because] ye have robbed me [you have withheld (not given me) your tithes and offerings], even this whole nation [of Israel] [is cursed]."

Verse 10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse
[in Bible times, it meant the treasury, which was located in the temple in Jerusalem], that there may be meat in mine [my] house [so there will be food for the priests and Levites to eat], and prove [try, test] me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, [to see] if I will not open [for] you the windows of heaven [I will make it rain to water your crops], and pour you out a blessing [in the form of abundant food], [so much food, in fact] that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Verses 11-12: "And I will rebuke
[restrain, hold back] the devourer [locusts, caterpillars, etc.] for your sakes, and he [the devourer] shall not destroy the fruits of your ground [your crops]; neither shall your vine [grapevine] cast [throw down, drop] her fruit [grapes] before the time in the field [before it becomes ripe], saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome [very pleasing, delightful] land, saith the LORD of hosts [God]."

In this verse, we see that God blesses people who obey his commands.
_________________________

*Word definitions:

-- Tithe: A tenth of everything that was earned and grown, which was needed to support the temple and feed the priests and their families in Old Testament times.

-- Offering: Money that was given willingly to the Lord's work in addition to the tithe.

Tithing was mandatory (required) in Old Testament times, but free-will offerings are the preferred method of giving today. For more on this subject, you may want to read one or more of the following articles:

-- "What is the difference between tithes and offerings?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithes-and-offerings.html)

-- "Does the teaching on tithing in Malachi 3:9-10 apply to us today?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/Malachi-tithing.html)

-- "Should a Christian tithe off miscellaneous income?
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithe-miscellaneous.html)

-- "Does our tithe all have to go to our church or can part of it go to a Christian ministry?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithes-church-ministry.html)

DECEMBER 2

Ephesians 4:15
[the apostle Paul's advice to Christians]: "But speaking the truth [regarding all things, especially when preaching and teaching about the Bible] in love [with kindness], [so that] [we] may grow up into [complete (spiritually mature) people, deeply rooted in] him [Jesus Christ] in all things [i.e., faith, truth, knowledge, love, and all the parts of the 'new man'*], which [who, referring to Jesus] is the head [meaning leader, of the 'body' of Christians (i.e., members of the true Christian church)], even Christ:"
_________________________

*According to the Bible, a new man is a born-again Christian:

-- 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

DECEMBER 1

Luke 6:36-37 - Jesus' Advice to His Followers During the Sermon on the Mount

Verse 36: "Be ye therefore merciful
[compassionate, tender, kind] [to others], as your Father [in heaven, referring to God] also is merciful [to you]."

Verse 37: "Judge not
[don't judge others in a rash (reckless, impulsive), censorious (severely critical), and unjust way], and ye [you] shall not be judged [unfairly] [by others or God]: condemn not [don't condemn (express complete disapproval of) others], and ye shall not be condemned [by others or God]: forgive [others], and ye shall be forgiven [by others and God]:"

In regard to judging and condemning others, Albert Barnes says:

"… Christ does not condemn judging as a magistrate, for that, when according to justice, is lawful and necessary. Nor does he condemn our 'forming an opinion' of the conduct of others, for it is impossible 'not' to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil. But what he refers to is a habit of forming a judgment hastily, harshly, and without an allowance for every palliating circumstance, and a habit of 'expressing' such an opinion harshly and unnecessarily when formed. It rather refers to private judgment than 'judicial,' and perhaps primarily to the customs of the scribes and Pharisees."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-7.html, "Verse 1")


Previous Verses
December 2017
DECEMBER 31

Galatians 3:13: "
[Jesus]  Christ hath redeemed us [set us free] from the curse of the law [God's law; it's called a curse because our punishment for disobeying God's law is never-ending torment in the lake of fire], [by] being made a curse for us [this happened (i.e., Christ was made a curse and redeemed us) when Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins--the sinless Son of God paying the sin debt for all mankind]: for it is written [in the Bible], Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [in this case, referring to Jesus' crucifixion]:"

DECEMBER 30

John 14:2-3 - Your Future Home in Heaven
During the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples:

Verse 2: "In my Father's [God's] house [in heaven] are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go [there] to prepare a place for you."

Verse 3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come
[back] again [referring to what is known as the second coming of Christ], and receive you unto myself; [so] that where I am, there ye [you] may be also."

DECEMBER 29

John 10:27-28
[In the temple at Jerusalem, Jesus (the 'good shepherd') said to the Jews:]: "My sheep [meaning born-again Christians] hear my voice [hear and obey my commandments], and I know them, and they follow me [follow my leadership or guidance]: And I give unto them eternal life [in heaven]; and they shall never perish [be sent to hell], neither shall any man [anyone--people or devils] pluck them out of my hand [remove them from my protection]."

DECEMBER 28

Proverbs 28:5: "Evil men
[referring to people with evil natures and immoral lifestyles] understand not judgment [what is just and right] [in other words, they have a twisted sense of right and wrong because they don't understand justice and won't obey the law--ours and/or God's]: but they that seek the LORD [referring to saved people, or born-again Christians] understand all things [regarding spiritual matters and morality]."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-28-index/proverbs-28_5/.

DECEMBER 27

Isaiah 26:3
[This is part of a song in the Bible of praise to God]: "Thou [you, God] wilt [will] keep him [or her] in perfect peace, [i.e., the person] whose mind is stayed [fixed, focused] on thee [you]: because he [or she] trusteth in thee [you]."

According to Albert Barnes, "… the mind that has confidence in God shall not be agitated [troubled, disturbed] by the trials to which it shall be subject; by persecution, poverty, sickness, want, or bereavement." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-26.html, "Verse 3: In perfect peace")

DECEMBER 26

Proverbs 26:17: "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him
[the person who interferes in arguments or conflicts that do not involve him or her], is like one that taketh [grabs] a dog by the ears [and gets bitten]."

In other words, it's best to mind your own business.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_17/.

DECEMBER 25

Luke 2:8-14 - Birth of Jesus:

Verses 8-9: "And there were in the same country
[where Mary and Joseph went; i.e., Judea, the area around Bethlehem] shepherds abiding [dwelling, living, residing] in the field, keeping watch over their flock [of sheep] by night [to keep them from straying (wandering) and to protect them from harm]. And, lo, the angel of the Lord [perhaps Gabriel] came upon [appeared to] them, and the glory of the Lord [an extremely bright light] shone round about them: and they were sore afraid [frightened, terrified, filled with fear]."

Verses 10-12: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not
[don't be afraid]: for, behold, I bring you good tidings [news] of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David [i.e., Bethlehem] a Saviour, which is [Jesus] Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe [baby, infant] wrapped in swaddling clothes [see note below*], lying in a manger [a feeding trough for horses and cattle]."

Verses 13-14: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
[large number] of the heavenly host [angels] praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heavens], and on earth peace, [and] good will toward men."
_________________________

*Definition of swaddling clothes, according to online dictionaries: Narrow bands of cloth formerly wrapped around a newborn child to restrain its movements and quiet it.

The following article explains why Mary wrapped her son in swaddling clothes: "What does it mean that baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/swaddling-clothes.html.

DECEMBER 24

John 1:14
[The apostle John wrote]: "And the Word [the living Word--Jesus Christ, Son of God (or God the Son), who is the second person of the Trinity)] was made flesh [became a man], and dwelt [lived] among us, (and we [Peter, James, and John, when they witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus--see note below*] beheld [observed, saw] his [Jesus'] glory, the glory as of the only [person who was] begotten of [brought forth from] the Father [God]--meaning Jesus was God's only child (having the same nature as his Father) and took on human form (became both God and man) when he was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary,) [and who (referring to Jesus) was] full of grace and truth."
_________________________

*For information about the transfiguration, read "What is the meaning and importance of the transfiguration?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/transfiguration.html.

DECEMBER 23

Psalm 95:1-6:

Verses 1-2: "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock
[source] of our salvation. Let us come before his presence [before him] with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms [songs of praise]."

Verse 3: "For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods
[i.e., he is greater than everyone and everything else that is worshiped]."

Verses 4-5: "In his hand
[under his control] are the deep [unseen, underground] places of the earth: the strength of the hills is [the hills and mountains, all the way to the top, including everything within them (precious metals, etc.), are] his also. The sea [and everything in it] is his, and [i.e., because] he made it: and his hands formed the dry land."

Verse 6: "O come, let us worship
[Almighty God] and bow down [our heads, to show respect for him]: let us kneel before the LORD [who is] our maker [creator]."

Regarding the phrase let us kneel before the LORD our maker in verse 6, Albert Barnes says:

"All the expressions here employed [in verse 6--i.e., worship, bow down, and kneel] denote a posture of profound reverence in worship, and the passage is a standing rebuke of all irreverent postures in prayer; of such habits as often prevail in public worship where no change of posture is made in prayer, and where a congregation irreverently sit in the act of professedly worshipping God. People show to their fellowmen the respect indicated by rising up before them: much more should they show respect to God - respect in a posture which will indicate profound reverence, and a deep sense of his presence and majesty. Reverently kneeling or standing 'will' indicate this; sitting does not indicate it."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-95.html, "Verse 6)

DECEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:7: "The rich
[people] ruleth over the poor [people], and the borrower is servant to the lender."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse.

According to Pastor Delany, money puts people in powerful positions and buys influence, political clout, "justice" in the court system, and superior military might. In addition, when people are rich, they are able to take advantage of poor people by lending them money. Home loans, credit cards, and the national debt are several examples of how people and countries can become slaves to creditors (or "servants to lenders").

Pastor Delany says it is okay to borrow money as long as we make the payments on time and pay off the loan as soon as possible, and in the commentary, he gives some guidelines we should follow before signing on the dotted line. According to him, the above verse "neither condemns nor condones borrowing. It is simply a WARNING about the danger of borrowing money: you could become a slave!"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_7/.

DECEMBER 21

Matthew 18:6
[Comparing Christians to little children, Jesus said]: "But whoso [whoever] shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me [referring to born-again Christians, and meaning that for the person who harms them in any way or causes them to stumble and sin, be misled, lose hope, etc.], it were [would be] better for him [or her] that a millstone [one of a pair of large, heavy, circular stones used for grinding grain] were hanged about his [or her] neck, and that he [or she] were drowned in the depth [deepness] of the sea."

Regarding the last part of the verse, Albert Barnes said:

"It were better for him that a millstone …  Mills, anciently, were either turned by hand … or by beasts, chiefly by mules. These last were of the larger kind, and the original words denote that it was this kind that was intended. This was one mode of capital punishment practiced by the Greeks, Syrians, Romans, and by some other nations. The meaning is, it would be better for him to have died before he had committed the sin. To injure, or to cause to sin, the feeblest Christian, will be regarded by Christ as a most serious offence, and will be punished accordingly."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-18.html, "Verses 1-6")

DECEMBER 20

Proverbs 20:11: "Even a child is known by his
[or her] doings [actions--what he or she does], whether his [or her] work [behavior] be pure [clean, acceptable, good], and whether it be right."

By observing children's behavior, we can usually determine what kind of adults those children will grow up to be.

Albert Barnes explained the verse like this: "The graces or the faults of children are not trifles. 'The child is father of the man;' and the earliest actions are prophecies of the future, whether it will be pure and right, or unclean and evil." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-20.html, "Verse 11")

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

DECEMBER 19

Proverbs 19:17: "He that hath pity upon the poor
[everyone who is compassionate (caring) and kind to poor people and helps meet their needs] lendeth unto the LORD [makes a loan to God]; and that which he [or she] hath given [to poor people--money, food, clothing, assistance, etc.] will he [God] pay him again [repay, or reward him or her for--either now or in heaven]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. Here are some excerpts from it about giving to the poor:

"We are not only showing mercy and love to the poor man, but we are demonstrating love to the Lord! … If you want to honor God-show mercy to His people in need!"

"It's for the Lord, not man … That means that we can minister to men we may not actually LIKE … Even if we later discover that the people we ministered to were just taking advantage of us, it does not detract from our ministry to the Lord."

"And be careful about groups who show pitiful pictures of starving children who claim to be Christian. Make sure you know what KIND of Christian testimony they hold to."

"Another abuse of the concept in this passage comes from the charismatic movement … They teach that if you give to their ministry, then God will pay you back! … They even say that God will pay you back 10 fold … Our adversary [Satan] is clever isn't he? He can twist a passage designed to teach God's people to express selfless generosity for God's glory into an expression of greed and selfishness!"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_17/.

DECEMBER 18

Acts 20:35
[The apostle Paul said to the elders of the church at Ephesus]: "I have shewed [shown] you [by instruction and example, regarding] all things, how that [by] so labouring [ministering to the needs of others, as I have done] ye ought to support [help] the weak [members of your congregation--those who are old, sick, poor and needy, etc.] [with prayer, money, assistance, etc.], and [for encouragement] to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give [to others] than to receive [from others] [because, when giving is done willingly and 'from the heart' (with kindness and for the right reasons), the giver ends up being more blessed, or happier, than the receiver]."

Here's a good illustration of the meaning of "It is more blessed to give than to receive":

"Little Robert Manly thought a great deal about pleasing himself, and this is not at all the best way to be happy. One day a poor woman came to Robert's mother to beg a little new milk for her sick baby. Mrs. Manly had none to spare, except what she had saved for her Robert's supper; and at supper time his mother told him how she had given away his milk for the poor sick baby. Robert didn't like this at all, and kept muttering about the milk being his, and nobody else having any right to it. The next day Robert was taken to see this poor family, and it made him shiver to look round on that cheerless home. The poor woman thanked Mrs. Manly over and over again for the new milk. 'It kept the baby still all night,' she said. As they walked home, Robert did not say a word, though he was generally very talkative. At supper time his bowl of milk was set by his plate, but in a few minutes he went to his mother's side and said in a whisper, 'Mother, may I take my milk to the poor sick baby?' 'Yes, my son,' said his mother. By and by he came bounding into the room covered over with snowflakes, and shouting cheerfully, 'Mother, the baby's got the milk. Her mother said, 'God bless you, my child!' and, mother, my milk tastes very good tonight (smacking his lips); I mean my no milk.' Yes, little Robert was proving the truth of our Saviour's words."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/acts/20-35.html, "The Biblical Illustrator": "The blessedness of giving," paragraph III)

DECEMBER 17

Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed
[by God] unto men [and women and children] once to die [to die only once], but after this [occurs, then comes] the judgment [by God, in heaven; i.e., the White Throne judgment for those who are unsaved, and the Judgment Seat of Christ for those who have been born again according to the Bible]:"

In other words, if you want to be saved (and live in heaven when you die), you must do it now--before it's too late.

Note: For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them here: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

DECEMBER 16

John 1:3: "All things
[in the universe] were made [created] by him [Jesus Christ, the Son of God (also known as God the Son)]; and without [apart from] him was not any thing made that was made [i.e., nothing came into existence without the exertion of Jesus' power]."

DECEMBER 15

Psalm 119:11
[This prayer to God was probably written by King David]: "Thy word [referring to God's word, as contained in the Bible; specifically, Bible verses] have I hid in mine heart [memorized], [so] that I might not sin against thee [you]."

Jesus quoted scripture when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. (See "What was the meaning and purposes of Jesus' temptations," https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-temptations.html, for details.) By memorizing God's word, we learn what we should do and not do, and we can follow Jesus' example whenever we are faced with temptation in our daily lives.

DECEMBER 14

Matthew 9:35-38 - Soul Winning

Verse 35: "And Jesus went about
[traveled to] all the cities and villages [of Galilee], teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom [of God; i.e., heaven], and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Verse 36: "But when he saw the multitudes
[crowds--large number of people who had followed him], he was moved with compassion on [sympathy, pity, and concern for] them, because they fainted [not only from weakness, exhaustion, hunger, thirst, etc., but also from spiritual burdens], and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

Verses 37-38: "Then saith he
[Jesus] unto his disciples, The harvest [people seeking spiritual guidance and salvation] truly is plenteous [abundant, plentiful], but the labourers are few [in number]; Pray ye therefore [to] the Lord of the harvest [God], that he will send forth labourers [Christian workers, missionaries, soul winners, etc.] into his harvest [to teach those people about the Bible and show them how to be saved]."

DECEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:7: "There is
[the person] that maketh himself rich [acts like he or she is rich], yet hath nothing [but is really poor]: there is [the person] that maketh himself poor [acts like he or she is poor], yet hath [has] great riches."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this verse is about people who pretend to be what they're not (i.e., rich when poor, poor when rich).

In his commentary, Pastor Delany provides many examples of the ways in which greedy, covetous people live beyond their means in order to make others believe that they're rich, and he tells what can happen to them as a result. He also shows how misers (selfish, cheap, stingy, penny-pinching people) might pretend to be poor in order to keep more of their money. Both cases illustrate the meaning of "the love of money is the root of all evil" in 1 Timothy 6:10.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-1_37/.

DECEMBER 12

James 1:8: "A double minded man
[or woman or child--someone who is confused and full of doubts and consequently can't make up his or her mind] is unstable [wavering, changeable, unreliable] in all [of] his [or her] ways [in everything that he or she says and does]."

DECEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:22: "As
[like] a jewel of gold in a swine's snout [a pig's nose], so is a fair [attractive, beautiful, good-looking] woman [or man or child] which is without discretion [good taste and judgment, common sense]."

Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse is entitled "An Attractive Pig?" In it, we learn not to "judge a book by its cover," or be fooled by a person's outward appearance. Just as a pig dressed up in fine jewelry is still a pig, a person without discretion may be beautiful (or handsome or cute) on the outside but have a nasty and repulsive personality.

Under the section of the commentary labeled "The Four Comparisons," Pastor Delany says:

"5. The little piece of jewelry is grossly insufficient to overshadow the pig's real problem: he's dirty and ugly and disgusting.

"a. So too with the woman without discretion. Her looks and clothes will never overshadow her real problem: she's ugly on the inside!

"b. Nothing will change that but the new birth-or if she is saved and has an ugly spirit-repentance!

"c. This proverb illustrates a truth about human nature. We are inclined to try to cover up… and make self LOOK good… rather than BE good. Good looks, fancy clothes, or expensive jewelry will never overshadow an ugly heart."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_22.

DECEMBER 10

1 John 1:9-10 - God Forgives Sin

Verse 9: "If we confess our sins
[to God through prayer], he [God] is faithful and just [he keeps his promise] to forgive us [of] our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [to purify our hearts and remove the guilt]."

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him
[God] a liar, and his word [his truth; i.e., the fact that 'man' is a fallen being and needs a Savior] is not in us [and, consequently, we are not true Christians]."

God has promised to forgive our sins. All we need to do is ask.

Your first prayer should be to admit that you're a sinner and to ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from hell. You only have to do this once. After that, you should get in the habit of asking for God's forgiveness on an ongoing or daily basis--whenever you realize that you've done something wrong.

DECEMBER 9

1 Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offence
[don't say or do anything that might lead others to sin], neither to the Jews [the unbelieving Jewish people], nor to the Gentiles [the unconverted (unsaved) non-Jewish people], nor to the church of God [born-again Christians]:"

In other words, we should always try to not offend anyone.

Regarding the apostle Paul's advice, in the above verse, to [g]ive none offense, Dr. Thomas Constable said: "Giving no offense means putting no obstacle in the path of a person be he Jew … or Gentile … so that he might come to faith in Christ. If he is already a believer, it means putting nothing in his way that would hinder his growth in Christ … It is not a matter of simply 'hurting someone's feelings.'" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-corinthians/10-32.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

DECEMBER 8

Matthew 18:21-22 - Jesus Teaches About Forgiveness

Verse 21: "Then came Peter to him
[Jesus], and said, Lord, how oft [often] shall my brother [or sister, or any other person] sin against me, and I forgive him [or her]? till [until] seven times?"

Verse 22: "Jesus saith unto him
[Peter], I say not unto thee, Until seven times [7 × 7 = 49]: but, Until seventy times seven [70 × 7 = 490, but by saying this, Jesus meant an unlimited amount]."

Albert Barnes has a good commentary on verse 22. Here's what it says:

"Till seven times? - The Jews caught that a man was to forgive another three times, but not the fourth. Peter more than doubled this, and asked whether forgiveness was to be exercised to so great an extent.

"I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven - The meaning is, that we are not to limit our forgiveness to any fixed number of times … As often as a brother injures us and asks forgiveness, we are to forgive him. It is, indeed, his duty to ask forgiveness … If he does this, it is our duty to declare that we forgive him, and to treat him accordingly. If he does not ask us to forgive him, yet we are not at liberty to follow him with revenge and malice, but are still to treat him kindly and to do him good."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-18.html, "Verse 22")

DECEMBER 7

Genesis 12:1-3 - God Loves Israel

Verse 1: "Now the LORD had said unto Abram
[Abraham], Get thee out of thy country [the land where you were born (Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia)], and [away] from thy kindred [relatives], and from [out of] thy father's house, unto a land [Canaan] that I will shew thee [show you]:"

Verse 2: "And I will make of thee
[from you] a great nation [Israel], and I will bless thee [you], and make thy [your] name great [important, special, well-known]; and thou [you] shalt be a blessing [to many people]:"

Verse 3: "And I will bless them that bless thee
[referring to the nation of Israel], and curse him [them] that curseth thee [i.e., Israel]: and in thee [referring to Abraham's seed, or offspring, meaning through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Son of God, Messiah, Savior) and our resulting access to God's free gift of eternal life] shall all families of the earth be blessed."

DECEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:32-33 - Adultery

Verse 32: "But whoso committeth adultery
[whoever has sexual relations] with a woman [he is not married to, meaning another man's wife] lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul."

Verse 33: "A wound and dishonour
[disgrace, shame] shall he get; and his reproach [expressions of disapproval and/or disappointment from others for what he has done] shall not be wiped away [from their memories]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, verses 30-35 in Chapter 6 of Proverbs are grouped together in his commentary because they all address the subject of adultery. In them, King Solomon "… teaches his son about long lasting consequences of the sin of adultery. His hope is that his son will listen and spare himself from guilt and shame."

If you want to read the rest of Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_30-35/.

In addition, a good article about adultery is entitled "What is the biblical punishment for adultery?'" Here's the link, if you want to read it: https://www.gotquestions.org/punishment-for-adultery.html

DECEMBER 5

Leviticus 19:12
[These were God's instructions, through Moses, to the children of Israel (Jewish people)]: "And ye shall not swear by my name falsely [for example, by lying on the witness stand in court after taking an oath to tell the truth], neither shalt thou [and also you shall not] profane [dishonor, treat with irreverence or contempt, use in an unholy way] the name of thy God: I am the LORD."

In other words, we should always treat God's name with respect.

A good article about this subject is "What does it mean to take the Lord's name in vain?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html.

DECEMBER 4

Isaiah 55:6: "Seek ye
[search or look for] the LORD [Jesus Christ] while he may be found, call ye upon him [in prayer, for salvation] while he is near:"

In other words, don't procrastinate. Ask Jesus to save you now, before it's too late.

Note: For a detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them here:
www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

DECEMBER 3

Malachi 3:8-12 - Tithes and Offerings
Speaking to the nation of Israel through his prophet Malachi, God said:

Verses 8-9: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye [you] have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee [you]? In tithes and offerings [see note below*]. Ye [you] are cursed with a curse [i.e., no rain will fall, and as a result, there will be a shortage of food in the land]: for [because] ye have robbed me [you have withheld (not given me) your tithes and offerings], even this whole nation [of Israel] [is cursed]."

Verse 10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse
[in Bible times, it meant the treasury, which was located in the temple in Jerusalem], that there may be meat in mine [my] house [so there will be food for the priests and Levites to eat], and prove [try, test] me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, [to see] if I will not open [for] you the windows of heaven [I will make it rain to water your crops], and pour you out a blessing [in the form of abundant food], [so much food, in fact] that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Verses 11-12: "And I will rebuke
[restrain, hold back] the devourer [locusts, caterpillars, etc.] for your sakes, and he [the devourer] shall not destroy the fruits of your ground [your crops]; neither shall your vine [grapevine] cast [throw down, drop] her fruit [grapes] before the time in the field [before it becomes ripe], saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome [very pleasing, delightful] land, saith the LORD of hosts [God]."

In this verse, we see that God blesses people who obey his commands.
_________________________

*Word definitions:

-- Tithe: A tenth of everything that was earned and grown, which was needed to support the temple and feed the priests and their families in Old Testament times.

-- Offering: Money that was given willingly to the Lord's work in addition to the tithe.

Tithing was mandatory (required) in Old Testament times, but free-will offerings are the preferred method of giving today. For more on this subject, you may want to read one or more of the following articles:

-- "What is the difference between tithes and offerings?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithes-and-offerings.html)

-- "Does the teaching on tithing in Malachi 3:9-10 apply to us today?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/Malachi-tithing.html)

-- "Should a Christian tithe off miscellaneous income?
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithe-miscellaneous.html)

-- "Does our tithe all have to go to our church or can part of it go to a Christian ministry?"
(https://www.gotquestions.org/tithes-church-ministry.html)

DECEMBER 2

Ephesians 4:15
[the apostle Paul's advice to Christians]: "But speaking the truth [regarding all things, especially when preaching and teaching about the Bible] in love [with kindness], [so that] [we] may grow up into [complete (spiritually mature) people, deeply rooted in] him [Jesus Christ] in all things [i.e., faith, truth, knowledge, love, and all the parts of the 'new man'*], which [who, referring to Jesus] is the head [meaning leader, of the 'body' of Christians (i.e., members of the true Christian church)], even Christ:"
_________________________

*According to the Bible, a new man is a born-again Christian:

-- 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

DECEMBER 1

Luke 6:36-37 - Jesus' Advice to His Followers During the Sermon on the Mount

Verse 36: "Be ye therefore merciful
[compassionate, tender, kind] [to others], as your Father [in heaven, referring to God] also is merciful [to you]."

Verse 37: "Judge not
[don't judge others in a rash (reckless, impulsive), censorious (severely critical), and unjust way], and ye [you] shall not be judged [unfairly] [by others or God]: condemn not [don't condemn (express complete disapproval of) others], and ye shall not be condemned [by others or God]: forgive [others], and ye shall be forgiven [by others and God]:"

In regard to judging and condemning others, Albert Barnes says:

"… Christ does not condemn judging as a magistrate, for that, when according to justice, is lawful and necessary. Nor does he condemn our 'forming an opinion' of the conduct of others, for it is impossible 'not' to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil. But what he refers to is a habit of forming a judgment hastily, harshly, and without an allowance for every palliating circumstance, and a habit of 'expressing' such an opinion harshly and unnecessarily when formed. It rather refers to private judgment than 'judicial,' and perhaps primarily to the customs of the scribes and Pharisees."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-7.html, "Verse 1")


Previous Verses: