"Verse of the Day" Bible Verses - January 2024
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Notes from Linda:

12/1/22: I just found out that most of the commentaries on the Bible Study Tools website are no longer free. That's where most of the quotes that appear on the "Verse of the Day" and "Previous Verses" pages of my website are taken from, so from now on, many of the "Source:" links that I provide on those pages will not contain the quoted text.

I was disgusted to read about the organization's new "PLUS" membership, and the only thing I can say about it is that the Bible has this warning in 1 Timothy 6:10 for the owner of Bible Study Tools: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
____________________

8/8/21:
Something is wrong with my Christian forum. Everything seems to be working normally (i.e., the articles are there, and the links work), but for some reason, the forum's format has changed slightly, and I am currently unable to post anything new.

I'm really sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully, the problem is only temporay and will be fixed soon.
"Verse of the Day"
Bible Verses

"Verse of the Day"
Bible Verses

Previous Verses
January 2024
JANUARY 27-31

Parable of the Ten Virgins

Jesus is coming back soon to take his "bride" (i.e., born-again Christians who are members of his church, which is known as "the bride of Christ") to heaven. In this story, he tells us how to be prepared for that day:

Matthew 25:1: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto
[compared to] ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth [went out] to meet the bridegroom."

Matthew 25:2-4: "And five of them
[five of the virgins] were wise, and five were foolish [unwise, lacking good judgment]. They that were foolish took their lamps [torches], and took no oil with them: But the wise [virgins] took oil in their vessels [containers that were being used to hold the oil] [along] with their lamps."

Matthew 25:5-6: "While the bridegroom tarried
[was delayed], they [the wise and foolish virgins] all slumbered [nodded off, dozed, napped] and slept [soundly]. And at midnight there was a cry [or shout] made [by those who had accompanied (gone with) the bridegroom], Behold, the bridegroom cometh [is coming]; go ye [you] out to meet him."

Matthew 25:7-8,9: "Then all those virgins arose
[got up], and trimmed [adjusted the wicks in] their lamps. And the foolish [virgins] said unto the wise [virgins], Give us [some] of your oil; for [because] our lamps [referring to the lights in them] are gone [going] out. But the wise [virgins] answered, saying, Not so [or 'no']; lest there be not [otherwise, there will not be] enough for [both] us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell [oil], and buy [some] for yourselves."

Matthew 25:10: "And while they
[the foolish virgins] went to buy [oil], the bridegroom came; and they [the wise virgins] that were ready went in with him to the marriage [feast (a celebratory meal)]: and the door was shut."

Matthew 25:11-12: "Afterward
[i.e., after the door was shut] came also the other virgins [the foolish ones], saying, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us. But he [the bridegroom] answered and said [to the foolish virgins], Verily [truly,] I say unto you, I know you not [or 'I don't know you']."

Matthew 25:13: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein
[in which] the Son of man [the Lord Jesus Christ] cometh [will come] [for his 'bride']."
_______________

Are you waiting and watching for--and looking forward to--Jesus' return? Judging from how quickly biblical prophecy is currently being fulfilled (see note below**), it may be very soon.

*  *  *  *  *

In the above story:

-- The kingdom of heaven is the church.

-- The bridegroom is Jesus.

-- The oil represents the Holy Spirit.

-- The ten virgins represent professing (i.e., people who say they are) Christians.

-- The wise virgins are true Christians--who are born again, are indwelt by (or filled with) the Holy Spirit (see note below*), and are members of God's church.

-- The foolish virgins are false believers (or unsaved people, who are not born again and are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit).

*  *  *  *  *

*GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question "What is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/indwelling-of-the-Holy-Spirit.html.

*  *  *  *  *

**Another article you may be interested in is entitled "Have any aspects of end times prophecy been fulfilled?" Click here to read it: https://www.gotquestions.org/fulfilled-prophecy.html.

*  *  *  *  *

For more information on the above verses, read:

-- "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-ten-virgins.html)

-- "Are there parallels between Jewish wedding traditions and our relationship to Christ?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/Jewish-wedding-traditions.html)

-- "What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html)

-- "How can I be ready to be caught up in the rapture?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/ready-rapture.html)

-- "What is the marriage supper of the Lamb?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/marriage-supper-Lamb.html)

*  *  *  *  *

Hopefully, like the wise virgins who had oil in their lamps and were waiting for the bridegroom, you are saved and ready for the rapture or death, whichever comes first. If not, you still have time.

Basically, if you believe that Jesus Christ (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is sincerely ask him (through prayer, either silently or out loud) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

Detailed instructions for the plan of salvation can be found in most of the tracts in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. If you want to read one or more of them, here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

JANUARY 26

In a letter to Titus (who was "an early church leader, a trusted companion of the apostle Paul, and a faithful servant of the Lord," as explained in the article referred to below--see note*), the apostle Paul wrote:

Titus 1:16: "They
[unbelievers (unsaved people, especially religious leaders) who are false Christians] profess [declare publicly] that they know God [personally]; but in works [things that they do] they deny [knowing] him [God], being [or 'because they are'] abominable [hateful, detestable] [in their conduct], and disobedient [both to God and to people in charge], and unto every good work [good deed] [they are] reprobate [meaning they are unprincipled or unapproved or fail to pass the test]."
_______________

*Background information on Titus can be found in the article entitled "Who was Titus in the Bible." If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Titus.html.

*  *  *  *  *

Commenting on Titus 1:16, Justin Edwards wrote:

"… Not the professions
[i.e., what they say] but the practices of men [i.e., what they do] are the index [indicator] of their true character."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/titus-1.html, "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament," "Verse 16")

*  *  *  *  *

Another Bible commentator, Stanley Derickson, wrote this, from personal experience:

"… Verse sixteen
[Titus 1:16] may be the key to a question that plagues [troubles, annoys, torments] people in our day. Let me illustrate the person for you, by telling you of a person that I once met. He told me that he was a believer [born-again Christian]; he told me that he knew the Lord [Jesus Christ] [as his personal Savior], but in his life, he drank, smoked, and swore like a sailor. No offence to the Navy - just the way he was. He would stand around telling dirty jokes after work and make fun of the ministry and ministers. When talking to me the language was quite a little better and he seldom [hardly ever] drank [alcoholic beverages] in front of me.

"I have no idea if he was a believer or not, but based on this verse
[Titus 1:16], I have the Biblical right and responsibility to question him about the reality of his salvation. He professed [claimed] [that he was saved], but his works [deeds] seemed to be reprobate or worthless for God. He did some good things for people outside of our work place, but the majority of the time he was living like a reprobate - lost [unsaved] person rather than a child of the King [i.e., Jesus Christ] [or 'rather than a true Christian'].

"When wondering if a person is a Christian you need to understand several things, including their testimony and their
[manner of] living. If they have a good testimony of salvation, but live a life of a pagan [a non-Christian person], you may question their salvation. Not judge them, but question, beware of them and their testimony. God will be the Judge, but we need to evaluate people now and then. There is the possibility that the person is saved and has not started to grow [in the Christian faith]. Others may have grown but just gotten away from holy living.

"It is our place
[duty, responsibility] to exhort [encourage] those that say they are believers [Christians] and challenge them to good living lest they [or 'so they don't'] disgrace God …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sdn/titus-1.html, "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books," "Verse 16")

JANUARY 24-25

The author of this psalm prayed to God:

 Psalm 94:19: "In the multitude
[great number] of my thoughts within me [including anxious, nagging, troublesome thoughts caused by grief, fear, disappointment, etc.] thy [your] comforts [i.e., comforting thoughts … about God, Jesus, heaven, hope, faith, love, etc.] delight my soul [bring me much joy]."
_______________

Hopefully, most Christians are able to pray a similar prayer.

JANUARY 20-23

Purpose of God's Law (as Recorded in the Ten Commandments):

Galatians 3:24: "Wherefore the law
[of God, as given to the Jewish nation through the prophet Moses] was our schoolmaster [pedagogue (tutor, guardian, guide)--see Note 1 below] to bring us unto Christ [i.e., to make us realize that we have sinned (disobeyed God's commandments--see Note 2 below) and need a Savior (in this case, Jesus Christ, who became the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins)], [so] that we might be justified [made righteous before God] by [through] faith."

Galatians 3:25: "But after that
[saving] faith is come [i.e., after we have been born again, or saved], we are no longer under a schoolmaster [we no longer need a pedagogue and are free from the ceremonial parts of the Mosaic law, meaning we are no longer in bondage to religious ceremonies and rites--see Note 3 below]."
_______________

Hopefully, you're already saved, or born again. If not, and you would like to be, you'll find detailed instructions in the gospel tracts that are located in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

*  *  *  *  *

NOTE 1:

In his commentary on Galatians 3:24, Albert Barnes said:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster - The word rendered schoolmaster (… 'pedagogue'), referred originally to a slave or freedman, to whose care boys were committed, and who accompanied them to the public schools. The idea here is not that of instructor, but there is reference to the office and duty of the 'paedagogus' among the ancients. The office was usually intrusted to slaves or freedmen
[men who were freed from slavery]. It is true, that when the 'paedagogus' was properly qualified, he assisted the children committed to his care in preparing their lessons. But still his main duty was not instruction, but it was to watch over the boys; to restrain [keep] them from evil and temptation; and to conduct [lead] them to the schools, where they might receive instruction … In the passage before us, the proper notion [understanding] of pedagogue is retained. In our sense of the word schoolmaster, Christ is the schoolmaster, and not the Law. The Law performs the office of the ancient pedagogue, to lead us to the teacher or the instructor. That teacher or instructor is [Jesus] Christ. The ways in which the Law does this may be the following:

"(1) It
[the Law] restrains us [keeps us under control] and rebukes [warns] us, and keeps us as the ancient pedagogue did his boys.

"(2) The whole law was designed to be introductory to Christ. The sacrifices and offerings were designed to shadow forth the Messiah
[Jesus Christ], and to introduce him to the world.

"(3) The moral law - the Law of God - shows people their sin and danger, and thus leads them to the Saviour
[Jesus Christ]. It condemns them, and thus prepares them to welcome the offer of pardon through a Redeemer [Jesus Christ].

"(4) It
[the Law] still does this. The whole economy of the Jews was designed to do this and under the preaching of the gospel it is still done. People see that they are condemned; they are convinced by the Law that they cannot save themselves, and thus they are led to the Redeemer. The effect of the preached gospel is to show people their sins, and thus to be preparatory to the embracing of the offer of pardon [by receiving God's gift of eternal life, per Ephesians 2:8-9]. Hence, the importance of preaching the Law still; and hence, it is needful that people should be made to feel that they are sinners, in order that they may be prepared to embrace the offers of mercy …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-3.html, "Verse 24")

*  *  *  *  *

NOTE 2:

The Bible says: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." In that verse (James 2:10), the phrase keep the whole law refers to obeying the moral law, including the Ten Commandments. It means that, in God's eyes, if you break one of his commandments, you have broken them all.

For your convenience, those commandments (as recorded in the 20th chapter of Exodus), along with some related articles by GotQuestions.org, are listed below:

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:2: "I am the LORD thy [your] God, which have brought thee [you, Israel] out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

[1]  Exodus 20:3: "Thou [you] shalt [shall] have no other gods before [besides] me."

[2]  Exodus 20:4,5,6: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven [carved, sculptured] image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [the idols], nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity [sins] of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing [showing] mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

[3]  Exodus 20:7: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him [or her] guiltless [without guilt, innocent] that taketh [takes] his name in vain."

[4]  Exodus 20:8,9,10,11: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour [labor], and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it [made it holy]."

[5]  Exodus 20:12: "Honour [honor, respect] thy father and thy mother: [so] that thy days [or 'your life'] may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth [gives] thee."

[6]  Exodus 20:13: "Thou shalt not kill [commit murder]."

[7]  Exodus 20:14: "Thou shalt not commit adultery [have sexual relations with someone you are not married to]."

[8]  Exodus 20:15: "Thou shalt not steal."

[9]  Exodus 20:16: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against [tell lies about] thy neighbour [neighbor, friend, or anyone else]."

[10]  Exodus 20:17: "Thou shalt not covet [desire to have] thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass [in this case, donkey (a member of the horse family)], nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
____________________

You may have questions about the meaning of some of the above commandments, If so, these articles may be of help:

-- "What are the Ten Commandments?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/Ten-Commandments.html)

-- "Are the Ten Commandments repeated in the New Testament?"
    (https://www.gotquestions.org/Ten-Commandments-New-Testament.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall have no other gods before me' in the Ten Commandments?
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/no-other-gods.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall not murder' in the Ten Commandments?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-murder.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall not commit adultery' in the Ten Commandments?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-commit-adultery.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall not steal' in the Ten Commandments?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-steal.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall not give false testimony' in the Ten Commandments?"
    (https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-give-false-testimony.html)

-- "Why is 'You shall not covet' in the Ten Commandments?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-covet.html)

*  *  *  *  *

NOTE 3:

I found two good articles that explain what the apostle Paul meant when he said, in Galatians 3:25, that we are no longer under a schoolmaster. They are as follows:

-- "What does it mean that Christians are not under the law?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/not-under-the-law.html)

-- "What is antinomianism?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/antinomianism.html)

JANUARY 17-19

Comfort and Peace Result From Salvation and Obedience to God

The Jewish people thought that strict obedience to ceremonial laws (i.e., the Mosaic laws having to do with religious ceremonies) would make them acceptable to God, but that's not true. Consequently, Jesus said:

Matthew 11:28: "Come unto me
[Jesus--for salvation and comfort], all ye that labour [or 'all of you who are trying to obey the law of Moses and keep the traditions of the elders (church leaders)'] and [you who] are heavy laden [overwhelmed, oppressed, burdened--by sin, sorrow, trouble, etc.], and I [Jesus] will give you rest [or, in this case, relief from worldly cares]."

Matthew 11:29: "Take my yoke upon you
[in other words, allow Jesus to help you live the Christian life, similar to the way in which two oxen, joined by a yoke, are able to work together to accomplish a goal--see note below*], and learn of me [Jesus]; for I [Jesus] am meek [kind, gentle] and lowly in heart [humble]: and [by letting me help you carry the load,] ye [you] shall find [spiritual] rest unto [for] your souls."

Matthew 11:30: "
[We are encouraged by Jesus to take his yoke upon us] For [because, as he says,] my yoke [living the Christian life, with Jesus' help] is easy [to handle, or manageable], and my burden [or load] is light [in weight, or not heavy]."
_______________

What Jesus said to the Jewish people in the above verses also applies to Christians.

*  *  *  *  *

*Dictionary.com's definition of yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.
____________________

"… In general," according to Peter Pett, "a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pet/matthew-11.html, "Verse 29")

JANUARY 14-16

Preaching the Gospel

Acts 18:5: "And when Silas and Timotheus
[Timothy] were come [to Corinth] from Macedonia, Paul [the apostle] was pressed in the spirit [or 'had a strong desire to preach'], and [so he] testified to the Jews that Jesus [of Nazareth] was Christ [the Messiah]."

Acts 18:6: "And when they
[the Jews] opposed themselves [to the truth, meaning they objected to Paul's preaching and the message of salvation], and blasphemed [took God's name in vain, swore], he [Paul] shook his raiment [clothing--as if it had dust on it], and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads [i.e., you are responsible for the result of your actions]; I am clean [innocent of your fate (not to blame for your destruction), because I have given you a warning]: from henceforth [from now on,] I will go [and preach the gospel] unto the Gentiles [non-Jewish people] [in Corinth]."

Acts 18:7: "And he
[Paul] departed thence [from there, meaning he left the synagogue], and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God [and was probably a Christian], whose house joined hard to [was located near] the synagogue [or Jewish place of worship]."

Acts 18:8: "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord
[Jesus Christ] [along] with all his house [referring to everyone in his household, or 'with the rest of his family'--see note below*]; and many of the Corinthians hearing [the gospel being preached by Paul] believed [on Jesus; which means they trusted him alone for salvation], and were baptized [by immersion (i.e., by going down into the water)--see note below**]."

Acts 18:9-10: "Then spake
[spoke] the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid [do not be afraid], but speak [continue to preach], and hold not [do not hold] thy [your] peace [i.e., don't be silent]: For I am with thee [you], and no man [or woman or child] shall set on thee [attack you] to hurt thee: for I have much people [many who will be saved] in this city [Corinth]."

Acts 18:11: "And he
[Paul] continued [remained, stayed] there [in Corinth] [for] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them [the people]."
_______________

Moral of the story for Christians: You may occasionally encounter opposition while sharing the gospel. If that happens, please don't let it keep you from sharing the gospel with other people in the future.
____________________

Note:
An article entitled "How can a Christian overcome the fear of witnessing?" has helpful tips about sharing your faith. If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-witnessing.html.

*  *  *  *  *

*The phrase believed on the Lord with all his house in Acts 18:8 can be confusing, so GotQuestions.org wrote the following article: "What does the Bible say about household salvation?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/household-salvation.html.

*  *  *  *  *

**Baptism by immersion is explained in this article: "What is the proper mode of baptism?" (https://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-mode.html)

JANUARY 13

Colossians 3:2: "Set your affection [focus your mind, thoughts, love] on things above [the earth, meaning heavenly things, including eternal life], not on things on the earth [i.e., worldly things, like riches, honor, and pleasure]."

JANUARY 11-12

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous [person] [referring to good deeds done by born-again Christians] is [like] a tree of life [when our 'fruit' is a blessing to others]; and he [or she] that winneth [wins] souls [to God; i.e., the person who tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."
_______________

Matthew Henry explained the first part of the verse as follows:

"The righteous are as trees of life; and their influence upon earth, like the fruits of that tree, support and nourish the spiritual life in many
[people]."

(Source: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Proverbs-11-30_meaning/, "Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary")

*  *  *  *  *

We can influence others and be a blessing to them by providing such things as sound [reliable and sensible] advice, love, comfort, hope, help, encouragement, instruction, guidance, and protection--and (if we're wise, like the second part of the above verse teaches) by telling them how to be saved.

*  *  *  *  *

Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon on Proverbs 11:30. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: https://archive.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.php.
____________________

 A second article, containing Spurgeon's lectures on soul winning, is entitled "What Is It to Win a Soul?" and can be found here:
http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/misc/sw01.htm.

*  *  *  *  *

Most Bible commentators agree with Charles Spurgeon that the phrase he that winneth souls in Proverbs 11:30 refers to soul winning, but Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, although agreeing that the verse does have an application to evangelism, or spreading the gospel, has a slightly different take (opinion) on its primary meaning.
____________________

Near the end of his commentary on Proverbs 11:30, Pastor Delany writes the following:

"Winning souls refers here to the believer
[born-again Christian] who… through his righteous [morally right] life is a tree of life to others… and takes hold of a person's hand… and leads them along… leads them to God's wisdom… becomes a source of guidance, hope, help, wisdom, admonition [warning], and inspiration for others… a tree of life!"
____________________

A little farther down in the commentary, he adds: "The context here is sinning BROTHER
[i.e., fellow Christian] (one of you) who sins… and needs to be converted (turned around)…"

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_30/.

JANUARY 10

Ecclesiastes 12:14: "[We should 'Fear God, and keep his commandments' (as stated in the previous verse--Ecclesiastes 12:13)] For [because] God shall bring every work [word and deed] into judgment, [along] with every secret [hidden] thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
_______________

A good reason to obey God's word (as recorded in the Bible) is because someday soon (on judgment day in heaven), God will judge everything that was said and done on earth, both good and bad, including our thoughts, words, and actions that were previously unknown to, and unheard and unseen by, others. You may be able to hide the truth from some people, but you can't hide anything from God.

JANUARY 7-9

Living the Christian Life

Comparing the Christian life to running a race, as in the Olympics, the author of Hebrews (probably the apostle Paul) wrote this in his letter to the Hebrew Christians in Palestine.

Hebrews 12:1: "Wherefore
[referring to the lives of famous Christians ('heroes of the faith') mentioned in the preceding chapter--see note below*] seeing [that] we [born-again Christians] also are compassed about with [surrounded by] so great a cloud of witnesses [or 'because there are many people watching us'], let us lay aside every weight [everything that holds us back], and the sin which doth [does] so easily beset us [i.e., the sin that tempts us the most--see note below**], and let us run with patience [perseverance, persistence, determination] the race that is set before us [referring to the Christian life],"

Hebrews 12:2: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
[as an example of someone who has 'run the race with patience']; who for the joy that was set before him [or 'because of the joy that he knew he would experience after the resurrection, since it was God's will for him to die for our sins and purchase the gift of eternal life for us'] [Jesus] endured [suffered without resisting] the [excruciating (unbearable) pain of the] cross, despising the shame [or 'hating the humiliation of being treated like a criminal and being nailed to a cross'], and [he] is [now] set [sitting] down at the right hand of the throne of God [in heaven] [which is the highest place of dignity and honor in the universe]."
_______________

*Click here if you want to read about the "heroes of the faith" in Chapter 11 of Hebrews: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+11&version=KJV.

*  *  *  *  *

**In his commentary on Hebrews 12:1, Albert Barnes explains that the sin which doth so easily beset us refers to those sins "… to which we are particularly liable [susceptible]. They are such sins as the following:

"(1) Those
[sins] to which we are particularly exposed by our natural temperament, or disposition. In some [people,] this is pride, in others [it is] indolence [laziness], or gaiety [a fun-loving personality], or levity [lacking appropriate seriousness], or avarice [greediness], or ambition, or sensuality [pursuit of pleasure].

"(2) Those
[sins] in which we freely indulged [were involved in] before we became Christians. They will be likely to return with power, and we are far more likely from the laws of association, to fall into them than into any other [sin]. Thus, a man who has been intemperate [lacking self-control] is in special danger from that quarter [or thing]; a man who has been an infidel [unbeliever, non-Christian], is in special danger of scepticism [doubt]: [some]one who has been avaricious [greedy], proud, frivolous [lighthearted], or ambitious, is in special danger, even after conversion [salvation], of again committing these sins.

"(3) Sins to which we are exposed by our profession
[job], by our relations to [associations with] others, or by our situation in life. They whose condition will entitle them to associate with what are regarded as the more elevated [or 'upper'] classes of society, are in special danger of indulging in the methods of living, and of amusement that are common among them; they who are prospered [successful] in the world are in danger of losing the simplicity and spirituality of their religion; they who hold a civil [government] office are in danger of becoming mere [nothing more than] politicians, and of losing the very form and substance of piety [religion, reverence (deep respect) for God].

"(4) Sins to which we are exposed from some special weakness in our character. On some points we may be in no danger. We may be constitutionally so firm as not to be especially liable to certain forms of sin. But every man has one or more weak points in his character; and it is there that he is particularly exposed. A bow may be in the main
[for the most part] very strong. All along its length there may be no danger of its giving way - save [except] at one place where it has been made too thin, or where the material was defective - and if it ever breaks, it will of course be at that point. That is the point, therefore, which needs to be guarded and strengthened. So [it is] in reference to character. There is always some weak point which needs specially to be guarded, and our principal [most important, greatest] danger is there. Self-knowledge, so necessary in leading a holy life, consists much in searching out those weak points of character where we are most exposed; and our progress in the Christian course [life] will be determined much by the fidelity [faithfulness] with which we guard and strengthen them …"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-12.html, "Verse 1")

JANUARY 6

One day, while teaching about discipleship, Jesus said:

Mark 8:38: "Whosoever
[whoever] therefore shall be ashamed of me [Jesus] and of my words [i.e., things that he had said and taught] in this adulterous [unfaithful] and sinful generation [referring to the kind of people who were alive when he was preaching]; of him [or her] also shall the Son of man [Jesus] be ashamed, when he cometh [comes] [back to earth the second time] in the glory [magnificence, splendor] of his Father [God] with the holy angels [to judge mankind]."
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Although Mark 8:38 applied specifically to people who were alive when Jesus preached, it also applies generally to everyone who ever lived, including us. Jesus' words are recorded in the Bible.

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According to Albert Barnes:

"… The meaning of this verse is, Whosoever shall refuse, through pride or wickedness, to acknowledge and serve
[Jesus] Christ here [on earth], shall be excluded from his kingdom hereafter [i.e., in heaven]. He [Jesus] was lowly [low in status or importance, humble], meek [gentle, kind], and despised [hated]; yet there was an inimitable [unique, special] beauty in his character even then [during his time on earth]. But he will come again in awful grandeur [awesome splendor]; not as the babe [baby] of Bethlehem, not as the man of Nazareth, but as the Son of God, in majesty and glory. They that would not acknowledge him here [on earth] must be rejected by him there [in heaven]; they that would not serve him on earth will not enjoy his favor in heaven; they that would cast [forcefully throw] Him out [now] and despise him must be cast out by him [later], and consigned [assigned] to eternal, hopeless sorrow [in hell]."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/mark-8.html, "Verses 27-38")

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GotQuestions.org has some articles about discipleship. Here is one of them:

-- "What is Christian discipleship?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-discipleship.html)

JANUARY 5

Responding to his friends' accusations that he had done something bad that deserved to be punished by God (which was a lie--see note below*), Job said:

 Job 27:4: "My lips shall not speak wickedness
[or 'say things that I know are wrong'], nor [shall] my tongue utter [speak] deceit [i.e., words meant to make people believe something that is not true]."
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Like Job, we should always try to tell the truth--about others and about ourselves.

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In his commentary, Matthew Poole said that in the above verse, Job was telling his friends, "I will speak nothing but the truth with all plainness and impartiality [fairness], neither defending myself and cause by vain [useless] and false professions of those virtues or graces which I know I have not [or 'do not have']; nor yet, in compliance with your desire and design, falsely accusing myself of those crimes wherewith you charge me, whereof [of which] I know myself to be innocent."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/job-27.html, "Verse 4")

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Likewise, in "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible," Charles Spurgeon wrote:

"Remember that Job's friends had accused him of having committed some great sin; which would account for his great sorrows … He felt that; it would be wicked for him to confess to what he had never done; it would be deceit
[deception] for him to acknowledge crimes which he had never committed. Therefore he most solemnly asseverates [emphatically declares], by the living God, that he never will permit the falsehood [lie] to pass his lips. He had not transgressed [sinned] against God in the way his friends insinuated [suggested, implied], and he would not own [admit, acknowledge] that he had …"

(Source: https://truthaccordingtoscripture.com/commentaries/spe/job-27.php, "Verses 1-23")

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*For background information on Job, read "Who was Job in the Bible?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Job.html.

JANUARY 4

In Old Testament times, God told his prophet Zechariah to say this to the nation of Israel:

Zechariah 7:13: "Therefore it is come to pass, that
[just] as he [God, through his prophets] cried [out to the Jewish people and told them what he wanted them to do], and they would not hear [or, in this case, 'listen and obey']; so they [the people] cried [out to me (God) for help], and I would not hear [their prayers], saith [says] the LORD of hosts [which means 'God of the armies of heaven'--see note below*]:
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Apparently, for Jewish people (in the Old Testament) and Christians (in the New Testament), obedience plays an important part in having God hear--and answer--our prayers.

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*In the Bible, God is called by various names, one of which is explained in the following article: "What does the Bible mean when it calls God the 'LORD of hosts'?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Lord-of-hosts.html.

JANUARY 1-3

2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man [or woman or child] be in Christ [or 'is united to Jesus Christ by faith,' which means the person has been saved, or born again, according to the Bible--see important note below*], he [or she] is a new creature [created being, creation--in a moral sense]: old things are passed away; behold, all things [in regard to the mind; i.e., thoughts, principles, and practices] are [or 'have'] become new."
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Albert Barnes has a good commentary on this verse. Here are some excerpts:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ - … The affirmation
[declaration, statement] here is universal [meaning it applies to everyone], 'if any man be in Christ;' that is, all who become true Christians - undergo such a change in their views and feelings as to make it proper to say of them that they are new creatures. No matter what they have been before, whether moral or immoral; whether infidels [unbelievers] or speculative [not based on fact] believers; whether amiable [friendly], or debased [corrupt], sensual [devoted to pleasures of the senses] and polluted [unclean or impure] yet if they become Christians they all experience such a change as to make it proper to say they are a new creation.

"A new creature - … It means, evidently, that there is a change produced in the renewed heart of man
[mankind, human beings] that is equivalent [equal] to the act of creation, and that bears a strong resemblance [likeness] to it - a change, so to speak, as if the man was made over again, and had become new. The mode or manner in which it is done is not described, nor should the words be pressed to the quick, as if the process were the same in both cases - for the words are here evidently figurative [not literal, but used as an illustration]. But the phrase implies evidently the following things:

"(1)That there is an exertion of divine power in the conversion of the sinner
[in other words, God uses his power to save the sinner] as really as in the act of creating the world out of nothing, and that this [thing, referring to the exertion of divine power] is as indispensable [necessary] in the one case [i.e., salvation] as in the other [i.e., creation].

"(2)that a change is produced so great as to make it proper to say that he
[or she--the saved person] is a new man [or woman or child]. He [or she] has new views [opinions], new motives, new principles [beliefs], new objects and plans of life. He [or she] seeks new purposes, and he [or she] lives for new ends.

"If a drunkard becomes reformed, there is no impropriety
[incorrectness] in saying that he is a new man. If a man who was licentious [promiscuous, sexually unrestrained] becomes pure, there is no impropriety in saying that he is not the same man that he was before. Such expressions are common in all languages, and they are as proper as they are common. There is such a change as to make the language proper. And so in the conversion [salvation] of a sinner. There is a change so deep, so clear, so entire, and so abiding [long-lasting], that it is proper to say, here is a new creation of God - a work of the divine power as decided and as glorious as when God created all things out of nothing. There is no other moral change that takes place on earth [that is] so deep, and radical [extreme], and thorough as the change at conversion. And there is no other where there is so much propriety in ascribing [crediting] it to the mighty power of God.

"Old things are passed away - … It was true of all
[people] who were converted [saved, born again] that old things had passed away. And it may include the following things:

"(1) In regard to the Jews - that their former prejudices against Christianity, their natural pride, and spirit of seducing
[attracting, luring] others; their attachment to their [religious] rites and ceremonies, and dependence on them for salvation had all passed away. They now renounced [abandoned, rejected] that independence, relied on the merits [worthiness] of the Saviour [Jesus Christ], and embraced all [people] as brethren [brothers, relatives] who were of the family of Christ [referring to all who were Christians].

"(2) in regard to the Gentiles
[non-Jewish people] - their attachment to idols, their love of sin and degradation [disrespectful things], their dependence on their own works [good deeds], had passed away, and they had renounced [rejected] all these things, and had come to mingle [mix] their hopes with those of the converted [saved, born-again] Jews, and with all who were the friends of the Redeemer [Jesus].

"(3) in regard to all
[saved people], it is also true that old things pass away. Their [the new Christians'] former prejudices, opinions, habits, attachments pass away. Their supreme love of self passes away. Their love of sins passes away. Their love of the world [i.e., worldly pleasures] passes away. Their supreme attachment to their earthly friends rather than God passes away. Their love of sin, their sensuality [love of pleasurable things], pride, vanity [conceit], levity [lack of seriousness], ambition, passes away. There is a deep and radical [complete] change on all these subjects - a change which commences [begins, starts] at the new birth [i.e., salvation]; which is carried on by progressive sanctification [see note below**]; and which is consummated [completed] at death and in heaven.

"Behold, all things are become new - That is, all things in view of the mind. The purposes of life, the feelings of the heart, the principles of action, all become new. The understanding is consecrated
[set apart for, devoted] to new objects, the body is employed [engaged] in new service, the heart forms new attachments. Nothing can be more strikingly. descriptive of the facts in conversion than this; nothing more entirely accords [is consistent] with the feelings of the newborn soul. All is new. There are new views of God, and of Jesus Christ; new views of this world and of the world to come [i.e., heaven]; new views of truth and of duty; and everything is seen in a new aspect and with new feelings. Nothing is more common in young converts [or new born-again Christians] than such feelings, and nothing is more common than for them to say that all things are new. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though they may have often read it before, yet there is a beauty about it which they never saw before, and which they wonder [why or that] they have not before perceived [understood]. The whole face of nature seems to them to be changed, and they [these Christians] seem to be in a new world. The hills, and vales [valleys], and streams; the sun, the stars, the groves [small wooded areas or groups of trees], the forests, seem to be new. A new beauty is spread over them all; and they now see them to be the work of God, and his glory is spread over them all, and they can now say:

"'My Father
[God] made them all.'

"The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. Even the very countenances
[faces] of friends seem to be new; and there are new feelings toward all people; a new kind of love to kindred [relatives] and friends; and a love before unfelt for enemies; and a new love for all mankind [human beings]."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-corinthians-5.html, "Verse 17")

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Today is January 1st, so if you're a Christian, here's an article you may be interested in: "What sort of New Year's resolution should a Christian make?" (https://www.gotquestions.org/new-years-resolution.html)

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*Note: Unless you're already a Christian, a wonderful way to start the new year would be to get saved.

If you believe that Jesus Christ (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him, through prayer (either silently or out loud), to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die. If your prayer is sincere (i.e., if you really mean what you pray), you will be the "new creature" described above.
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For a more detailed explanation of the plan of salvation, please read one or more of my gospel tracts. You'll find them on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

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**Progressive sanctification is explained in the following article: "What is progressive sanctification?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html.