MARCH 30-31

Proverbs 30:6: "Add thou not unto his
[God's] words [i.e., don't add to, subtract from, or change the meaning of God's words, as recorded in the Bible], lest he [otherwise, God will] reprove thee [accuse you of wrongdoing, express strong disapproval for what you have done, charge you with a crime or offense], and thou [you] [will] be found [to be] a liar."

As usual, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has done a good job explaining this verse in his commentary. Here's part of what it says:

"1. The first command Agur gives is 'add not thou unto His Words.'

"a. It should go without saying, but evidently God knows that it needs to be said. God knows human nature.

"b. Adding unto God's Word was part of the original temptation in the Garden of Eden. Satan added to what God said.
" God said: 'But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it.' (Gen.2:17)
" Satan said: 'Ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' (Gen.3:3)
" Gen. 3:5 - Clearly Satan's purpose was to confuse Eve into adding to God's Word and to cause her to think ill of God. (He's too restrictive! He doesn't want me to know good and evil; He doesn't want me to become a god like Him.'

"c. Satan's ministers (false teachers) have been adding to and subtracting from God's Word ever since.

"d. The Jews added the Talmud -- doctrines and commandments of men!

"e. Then there are the pseudo-gospels added to the New Testament.

"f. The Mormons added the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price.

"g. The Catholics added the 15 books of the Apocrypha to the Scriptures between the Testaments.

"h. The 7th Day Adventists have added the writings of Ellen White.

"i. The cults love to add to God's Word.

"j. Even the charismatics today add to God's Word by asserting that God is still revealing truth to modern-day prophets.

"2. This command does not forbid any future GENUINE revelation from God.

"a. At the time of the writing of Proverbs, the canon of Scripture was not yet complete.

"b. There were more books to be added.

"c. There were many more prophets and prophetesses who would receive additional revelation from the Lord.

"d. There was a whole New Testament to be written.

"e. The command is for the readers not to add to the revelation God has already given.

"f. In other words, no one was to add to the writings of Moses or to David's Psalms. They were part of the Word of God and were not to be altered.

"g. But in the future, God would reveal new truth to other prophets and apostles as part of the progress of revelation.

"h. But once God's Word is recorded--it is pure -- perfect--and it is not to be tampered with.

"i. Man's responsibility is not to fix God's word or to try to improve it. Our job is to teach it as is and to obey it!"

At the end of the commentary, explaining the last part of the verse, Pastor Delany says:

"And thou be found a liar.

"1. Those arrogant men who dare to put their thoughts on par with God's thoughts (by adding to His Word) are called 'liars' by God Himself.

"2. Those who attempt to add to God's Word with new thoughts, new visions, new revelations, or new and fresh ideas also open the door to endless error.

"3. They are guilty of forgery and counterfeiting the Word of God; they are cheaters--liars!"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_6/.

MARCH 29

Psalm 4:1 - Asking for God's Help
King David needed protection from his enemies, so he turned to God and said:

"Hear [respond to, answer] me when I call [upon you in prayer], O God of my righteousness [meaning either 'my righteous God' or that God was the foundation, source, and author of David's righteousness, or the good things that he did]: thou hast enlarged me [you have helped me] [in the past] when I was in distress [trouble]; [so please] have mercy upon me, and hear [and answer] my prayer [today, because I need your help again]."

When God has answered our prayers in the past (as he did for King David), it is likely that he will continue do so in the future.

MARCH 28

James 2:13 - Judgment Day
In a letter, while discussing faith and works, the apostle James wrote:

For he [or she] shall have judgment [from God] without mercy [pity, compassion], that hath shewed [who has shown] no mercy [to others during his (or her) lifetime on earth] [i.e., unmerciful people, if unsaved, will be sent to hell on judgment day]; and mercy [from God] rejoiceth [prevails] against [or 'triumphs over'] judgment [for born-again Christians; these people have accepted Jesus' death on the cross as payment for their sins and have received him as Savior, and as a result, they will go to heaven, not hell, on judgment day]."

A true Christian will be kind to others.

MARCH 26-27

Matthew 10:24-26 - Persecution and Judgment Day
Most followers of Jesus can expect to be treated like he was treated. This is what Jesus told his disciples (and all Christians) about persecution and judgment day:

Verse 24: "The disciple [student] is not above [or greater than] his [or her] master [teacher], nor [is] the servant above his [or her] lord [master, ruler]."

Verse 25: "It is enough for the disciple
[in this case, a born-again Christian] that he [or she] be as [like] his [or her] master [Jesus], and [it is enough for] the servant [referring, again, to a born-again Christian] [that he (or she) be] as [like] his [or her] lord [Jesus]. If they [i.e., unsaved people in general] have called the master of the house [in this case, Jesus] Beelzebub [which literally meant 'the god of flies,' referring to an Ekronite idol, but it also meant 'the god of filth' and consequently was a name that was commonly given by the Jews to the 'prince of devils,' or Satan], how much more shall they call them of his [Jesus'] household [i.e., Christians] [names]?"

Verse 26: "Fear them not therefore
[don't fear people who persecute you (see note below*) or call you names]: for there is nothing covered [there are no secrets], that shall not be revealed; and [there is nothing] hid [hidden], that shall not be known [someday--if not during our lifetimes here on earth, then certainly in heaven on judgment day--see note below**]."

In other words, no matter how hard people may try to destroy your reputation by calling you names, the truth will eventually come out.
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*Definition of persecute, according to online dictionaries: To treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly, especially because of race or religious or political beliefs.

**Here's how Charles Spurgeon paraphrased Jesus' statement in verse 26 above (Matthew 10:26): "'They will misrepresent you, slander you, and speak evil of you; but if your good name be covered up now, it shall be revealed one of these days, perhaps in this life; but if not in this life, certainly at the day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known.'" (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-10.html, "Verses 24-42")

MARCH 21-25

Acts 17:22-31 - An Altar Dedicated to "The Unknown God"
When the apostle Paul noticed that the Greeks had an altar dedicated to "The Unknown God," he told them whom they were really worshiping.

Verse 22: "Then [the apostle] Paul stood in the midst [middle] of Mars' hill [where the highest court in Greece for civil, criminal, and religious matters was located] [i.e., he was forced to appear before the court that was held there--see note below*], and said, Ye [you] men of Athens, I perceive [understand, have come to realize] that in all things ye are too superstitious [in the case, meaning very pious or devout, or more religious than most people]."

Verse 23: "For as I passed by
[through] [your city], and beheld [saw, observed] your devotions [the places and things that are involved in your worship activities--temples, altars, statues, etc.], I found an altar with this inscription [containing these words], TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly [unknowingly (without knowledge, instruction, or information)] worship [i.e., the person you worship without knowing his name], him [the one true God--see note below**] declare I unto you [I reveal (make known) to you]."

Verses 24-25: "
[Almighty] God that made [who created] the world and all things therein [in it], seeing that he is Lord [ruler] of heaven and earth, dwelleth not [does not live] in temples made with hands; Neither is [he] worshipped with [served by] men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all [people, or 'everyone'] life, and breath, and all things [everything that is needed to sustain (support, maintain) life];"

Verses 26-27: "And
[God] hath [has] made of one blood [from one bloodline (Adam's)] all nations of men [the whole human race] for to dwell [live] on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds [limits and boundaries] of their habitation [where they should live] [i.e., God decided when and where each country would be settled]; [so] That they [the people] should seek the Lord, if haply [perhaps] they might feel after him [search for him diligently or earnestly (with purpose)], and find him [i.e., proof of his existence], though he be not far from every one of us:"

Verses 28-29: "For in
[by] him [God] we live, and move, and have our being [i.e., God is the source of our existence]; as certain also [or 'as some'] of your own [Greek] poets have said, For we are also his offspring [we were made in God's image]. Forasmuch then [assuming that what the poets have said is true] as [since] we are the offspring [children] of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead [the one true God, consisting of three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] is like unto [represented by] [idols (images or statues of gods) made of] gold, or silver, or stone, graven [carved or sculptured (i.e., formed or shaped by cutting with a chisel)] by art and man's device [referring to artists' thinking or thoughts]."

Verses 30-31: "And the times of this ignorance
[lack of knowledge] God winked at [overlooked, did not punish]; but now [he] commandeth [commands] all men [and women and children] every where to repent [change their minds and believe the gospel]: Because he hath appointed [determined, decided on] a day [in the future], in the which he will judge the world [all people] in righteousness [according to the strict rules of justice] by that man [Jesus] whom he hath ordained [appointed as Judge]; whereof he [God] hath given assurance [provided evidence or proof] unto all men [all people] [that Jesus is, and is qualified to be, the Judge], in that [because] he [God] hath raised him [Jesus] from the dead."
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*For more information about Mars Hill and what happened there, I recommend the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What happened at Mars Hill in the Bible?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Mars-Hill.html.

**GotQuestions.org answers the question "Who is the one true God?" in their article by the same name. If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html.

MARCH 18-20

Matthew 7:7-11 - God Answers Prayer
During his sermon on the mount, Jesus encouraged his disciples (followers) to pray because God wants to answer their prayers. He said to them--and to us (born-again Christians):

Verses 7-8: "Ask [God (in prayer)] [for something that you need], and it shall be given [to] you; seek [search for something (such as something that is lost)], and ye shall find [it]; knock [on the door], and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh [asks] receiveth [receives]; and he [or she] that seeketh [seeks] findeth [finds]; and to him [or her] that knocketh [knocks,] it [the door] shall be opened."

Verses 9-10: "Or what man
[or woman] is there of you [people in the crowd], whom if his [or her] son [or daughter] ask[s] [for] bread, will he [or she] give him [or her] a stone? Or if he [or she--the son or daughter] ask[s] [for] a fish, will he [the 'man' (or woman)] give him [or her] a serpent [snake]?"

Verse 11: "If ye
[you parents] then, being evil [not literally--but 'imperfect,' having been born with a tendency to sin], know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven [referring to Almighty God] give good things to them that ask him?"

Regarding the above verses, Albert Barnes wrote:

"Ask, and it shall be given you … - There are here three different forms presented of seeking the things which we need from God - asking, ‹seeking, and knocking. The latter is taken from the act of knocking at a door for admittance. See Luke 13:25; Revelation 3:20. The phrases signify to seek with earnestness [sincerity], diligence [carefulness], and perseverance [persistence]. The promise is, that what we seek shall be given us. It is of course implied that we seek with a proper spirit, with humility, sincerity, and perseverance. It is implied, also, that we ask the things which it may be consistent for God to give - that is, things which he has promised to give, and which would be best for us, and most for his own honor, 1 John 5:14. Of that God is to be the judge. And here there is the utmost latitude which a creature can ask. God is willing to provide for us, to forgive our sins, to save our souls, to befriend us in trial, to comfort us in death, to extend the gospel through the world. Man 'can' ask no higher things of God; and these he may ask, assured that he is willing to grant them.

"Christ encourages us to do this by the conduct of parents. No parent turns away his child with that which would be injurious. He would not give him a stone instead of bread, or a serpent instead of a fish. God is better and kinder than the most tender earthly parents; and with what confidence, therefore, may we come as his children, and ask what we need! Parents, he says, are evil; that is, are imperfect, often partial, and not unfrequently passionate; but God is free from all this, and therefore is ready and willing to aid us.

"Every one that asketh receiveth - That is, every one that asks aright; that prays in faith, and in submission to the will of God. He does not always give the very thing which we ask, but he gives what would be better. A parent will not always confer the 'very thing' which a child asks, but he will seek the welfare of the child, and give what he thinks will be most for its good …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-7.html, "Verses 7-11")


Another commentator wrote: "… This wonderful verse is easily memorized by aid of the acronym formed by the letters A-S-K. A-sk, and ye shall receive ... S-eek, and ye shall find ... K-nock, and it shall be opened ..."

(Source for "A-S-K" quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-7.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")


A third commentator wrote, "… all who rightly ask, receive either what they ask or something better in its place."

(Source for third quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-8.html, "Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament")

MARCH 17

Isaiah 41:13
[This was God's promise to the nation of Israel]: "For I the LORD thy [your] God will hold [strengthen] thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not [don't be afraid]; I will help thee [you]."

The above promise to the Jewish people also applies to born-again Christians. God will help us whenever we are sad or worried or need assistance to vanquish (defeat, conquer) our enemies, make wise decisions, find a good job, fight a disease, etc.

MARCH 16

2 Timothy 1:7
[In a letter to Timothy, a minister of the gospel, the apostle Paul wrote]: "For God hath [has] not given us [Paul, Timothy, and all born-again Christians] the spirit of fear; but [instead, he has given us the spirit] of power [courage], and of love [for God and mankind], and of a sound mind [i.e., one that is well balanced (not confused) and has self-control]."

MARCH 14-15

Revelation 20:11-15 - The Apostle John's Vision of Judgment Day
This is also called the "great white throne judgment" (see Note 1 below).

Verse 11: "And I [John] saw a great white throne [in heaven], and [I saw] him that sat on it [the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, or God the Son], from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away [vanished, disappeared from view]; and there was found no place for them [the earth and heaven]."

Verse 12: "And I saw the dead
[people--who had been resurrected, or brought back to life], small and great [little and big, young and old, good and bad, rich and poor, etc.], stand before God [the Son--Jesus]; and the books [containing the record of human deeds and sins] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [containing the names of those who had been born again (saved) and were allowed to enter into heaven]: and the dead [people] were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [what they thought, said, and did during their lifetime on earth]."

Verse 13: "And the sea
[and oceans and other large bodies of water] gave up the dead [bodies] which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them [referring to bodies that were in graves, and souls that were in hell]: and they [all of those dead people] were judged every man [and woman and child] according to their works."

Verse 14: "And death and hell
[personified, or represented as people] were cast [thrown] into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Verse 15: "And whosoever
[everyone whose name] was not found written in the book of life [see Note 2 below] was cast [thrown] into the lake of fire [see Note 3 below]."
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NOTE 1: John's vision is explained in detail in the article entitled "What is the Great White Throne Judgment?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/great-white-throne-judgment.html.

NOTE 2: You can only go to heaven if your name is written in the book of life, so I'm wondering:

-- Is your name written in the book of life? If not, it can be! 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.

(If needed, detailed explanations of the plan of salvation, along with many Bible verses, can be found in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html).

NOTE 3: Have you ever seen a lake of fire? There are many pictures and videos of "lava lakes" on the Internet. In 2014, I found a very graphic video of a volcano filled with vigorously boiling lava that looked just like a lake of fire. I posted the link to that video, along with some background information, in the "Salvation" section of my Christian forum under the heading "Lake of Fire." The article is entitled "WARNING! You must be saved God's way or you'll end up in the lake of fire!" and can be found here:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=58.

MARCH 12-13

Mark 2:14-17 - Jesus Eats With Publicans and Sinners

Verse 14: "And as he
[Jesus] passed by [the seaside], he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom [toll booth], and said unto him, Follow me. And he [Levi--also known as Matthew, the tax collector, who wrote the gospel of Matthew,] arose [stood up] and followed him [Jesus]."

Verse 15: "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat
[sat down to eat] in his [Levi's, or Matthew's] house, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many [publicans and sinners], and they followed him [Jesus]."

Verse 16: "And when the scribes
[religious teachers] and Pharisees [members of a Jewish sect (religious group) within Judaism that gave oral tradition equal authority with the written word of God] saw him [Jesus] eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he [Jesus] eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?"

Verse 17: "When Jesus heard it
[the question], he saith unto them [the scribes and Pharisees], They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician [medical doctor], but they that are sick [do need one]: I [Jesus--a spiritual physician] came not to call the righteous [people], but sinners to repentance [or 'to have a change of mind concerning sin and salvation']."

GotQuestions.org has an article that answers this question: "What is the significance of Jesus eating with sinners?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-with-sinners.html.

MARCH 11

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

To summarize the above verse, in Albert Barnes' words, "… It would be an honor and a privilege to be anywhere about the place of public worship, rather than to be the occupant of a dwelling-place of sin." Hopefully, many Christians feel the same way.

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-84.html, "Verse 10")

MARCH 10

Titus 1:2
[In the beginning of a letter to Titus (a born-again Gentile, or non-Jewish, Christian, who was led to faith in Christ by Paul), the apostle Paul wrote]: "In hope [expectation] of [receiving] eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

In his letter, Paul assured Titus (and us) that God can't lie. Consequently, we can be sure that all of God's promises, as recorded in the Bible, have been fulfilled (accomplished, realized) in the past or will be fulfilled in the future.

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

MARCH 9

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 - The Importance of Forgiveness
In a letter to the Corinthian church, while discussing the discipline of one of its members, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verse 10: "To whom ye [the church leaders and members] forgive any thing, I [Paul] forgive [that person] also: for if I forgave any thing [probably, in this case, referring to what the church member who was being disciplined did], to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it [I forgave it] in the person [or sight, or 'as a representative'] of [Jesus] Christ;"

Verse 11: "
[We must be able to forgive] Lest Satan should get an [or 'so the devil won't be able to take'] advantage of us: for we [Christians] are not ignorant [unaware] of his devices [evil intentions, plans, schemes] [i.e., to destroy us and/or our churches]."

MARCH 7-8

Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus Warns Peter About Temptation and Helps Strengthen His Faith

Verse 31: "And the Lord
[Jesus Christ] said [to Simon Peter (one of the apostles) during the Lord's supper], Simon, Simon, behold [look, see], Satan hath desired to have you [and the other apostles--and all born-again Christians, too] [under his control], [so] that he may sift you as wheat [or 'place trials and temptations before you to test your faith']:"

Verse 32: "But I
[Jesus] have prayed for thee [you, Peter], that thy [your] faith fail not [i.e., Jesus had prayed that Peter wouldn't completely lose, or abandon, his faith--see note below*]: and when thou [you, Peter] art [are] converted [in this case, referring to the time in the near future when Peter will 'turn back from' (or 'repent of') his sin of denying that he knows Jesus, which he will do three times before Jesus is taken to the cross to be crucified], strengthen thy brethren [your fellow Christians] [spiritually, or warn them about temptation and sin and encourage them in their faith]."

From these verses, according to Albert Barnes, we learn:

"1.That one design of permitting Christians to fall into sin is to show their own weakness and dependence on God; and,

"2.That they who have been overtaken in this manner should make use of their experience to warn and preserve others from the same path."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-22.html, "Verse 32")
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*Some people may think that Peter's denial that he knew Jesus proves that God didn't answer Jesus' prayer, but that's not true. Here's what Albert Barnes said in his commentary about the phrase that thy faith fail not:

"That thy faith fail not - The word 'faith,' here, seems to be used in the sense of religion, or attachment to Christ, and the words 'fail not' mean 'utterly fail' or fail altogether - that is, apostatize. It is true that the 'courage' of Peter failed; it is true that he had not that immediate confidence in Jesus and reliance on him which he had before had; but the prayer of Jesus was that he might not altogether apostatize from the faith. God heard Jesus 'always' John 11:42; it follows, therefore, that every prayer which he ever offered was answered; and it follows, as he asked here for a specific thing, that that thing was granted; and as he prayed that Peter's faith might not utterly fail, so it follows that there was no time in which Peter was not really a pious man. Far as he wandered, and grievously as he sinned, yet he well knew that Jesus was the Messiah. He 'did know' the man; and though his fears overcame him and led him to aggravated sin, yet the prayer of Christ was prevalent, and he was brought to true repentance."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-22.html, "Verse 32")

MARCH 5-6

Psalm 138:1-2 - The Bible is Very Important to God
In prayer, King David told God why he wanted to worship and praise him:

Verse 1: "I will praise thee [you (Almighty God)] with my whole heart: before the gods [of this world] [including idols, and people who act like gods] will I sing praise unto thee."

Verse 2: "I will worship
[bow down] toward thy [your] holy temple [referring to the tabernacle, which contained the Ark of the Covenant--see note below*], and [I will] praise thy name for thy lovingkindness [goodness, kindness, and love] and for thy truth [truthfulness, and faithfulness in keeping your promises]: for [because] thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name [you (God) have put greater importance on your written word (i.e., what you say and said) than on your reputation]."

In verse 2, when David commented that "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name," he meant that God has made it possible for us to learn more by reading his words, as found in the Bible, than by observing or studying his works (things he has done or created), through science, philosophy, nature, etc.

Regarding the phrase thou has magnified thy word above all thy name, this is what Matthew Henry said in his commentary on Chapter 138:

"… God has made himself known to us in many ways in creation and providence, but most clearly by his word. The judgments of his mouth are magnified even above those of his hand, and greater things are done by them. The wonders of grace exceed the wonders of nature; and what is discovered of God by revelation is much greater than what is discovered by reason …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/138.html, "Verses 1-5")
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*GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question "What is the Ark of the Covenant?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/ark-of-the-covenant.html.

MARCH 4

James 5:7-8 - The Second Coming of Christ
Some Jewish Christians were suffering due to unbelieving and ungodly rich people who were abusing their power and position (see James 5:1-6), so the apostle James sent the Christians a letter containing these encouraging words, which also apply to us:

Verse 7: "Be patient therefore, brethren [fellow Christians] [regarding your suffering and oppression], unto [until] the coming of the Lord [Jesus Christ] [see note below*]. Behold, the husbandman [farmer] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth [referring to his crops] [to ripen], and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain [see note below**]."

Verse 8: "
[Like the farmer who is waiting for his crops to ripen,] Be ye also patient [you should also be patient]; stablish [establish, strengthen] your hearts [i.e., don't be discouraged]: for the coming of the Lord [Jesus Christ] [back to earth] draweth nigh [near]."

Judgment day is coming soon. It will be a horrible time for unbelievers but a wonderful time for born-again Christians.
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*Bible commentators have differing opinions about the meaning of the phrase the coming of the Lord in the above verse. Here's a good explanation from one of those commentaries:

"… Two different meanings have been attached to the phrase 'coming of the Lord.' Some understand by it the coming of Christ in spirit to destroy Jerusalem, when the Romans were employed as the instruments of His vengeance upon the unbelieving Jews, and to which reference is made in the previous verses [i.e., James 5:1-6]. Others, with greater probability, understand by it His coming in person to judge the world, or what is usually termed the second advent. How far the sacred writers distinguished between the destruction of Jerusalem and the future judgment--the type and the antitype--we have no means of ascertaining [determining, knowing for sure] …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/james/5-7.html, "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament")

**According to most commentaries, the early rain occurs in autumn (October/November) in Israel and the surrounding areas, and the latter rain occurs in the spring (March/April), which is when the people normally plant and harvest their crops. Rain is rare during the summer months.

MARCH 3

1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing
[for everything that you have (and even for things that you don't have--see note below*) and for whatever happens to you, good and bad] give thanks [to God, in prayer]: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus [i.e., in him, through him, and for his sake] concerning you [or 'because that's what God wants you to do']."
_________________________

*The following story illustrates how a little girl was able to thank God for something that she had loved and lost:

"Thanksgiving with prayer

"A child knelt at the accustomed time to thank God for the mercies of the day, and pray for His care during the coming night. Then, as usual, came the 'God bless mother and--' But the prayer was stilled, the little hands unclasped, and a look of sadness and wonder met the mother's eye, as the words of helpless sorrow came from the lips of the kneeling child, 'I cannot pray for father any more.' Since her lips had been able to form the dear name, she had prayed for a blessing upon it. It had followed close after her mother's name. But now he was dead. I waited for some moments, and then urged her to go on. Her pleading eyes met mine, and with a voice that faltered, she said, 'Oh, mother, I cannot leave him out all at once; let me say, "Thank God that I had a dear father once," so I can still go on and keep him in my prayers.' And so she still continues to do, and my heart learned a lesson from the loving ingenuity of my child. Remember to thank God for mercies past as well as to ask blessings for the future …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-thessalonians/5-18.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

MARCH 2

1 Peter 2:17
[In a letter, the apostle Peter told Christians to]: "Honour [respect] all men [all people]. Love the brotherhood [referring to members of the Christian community; in other words, Peter wants us to have brotherly love for our fellow Christians]. Fear God [regard him with fear (of doing wrong), mixed with respect and love]. Honour the king [show respect for those who hold positions of authority--see note below*]."
_________________________

*Here's what Adam Clarke says about honoring the king in his commentary on the above verse:

"Honour the king - Pay that respect to the emperor which his high authority requires, … and … if the man ['the emperor'] be even bad, and as a man be worthy of no reverence, yet he should be respected on account of his office. If respect be banished [done away with], subordination will flee with it, and anarchy [lawlessness] and ruin will rise up in their place. Truly religious persons are never found in seditions [uprisings, riots] …"

(Source for Adam Clarke quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/2-17.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

Another commentator offers a good explanation of the difference between respect and honor:

"Respect is not the same as honor. We may not respect someone, but we can and should still honor him or her. For example, I have a friend whose father was an alcoholic. My friend did not respect his father who was frequently drunk, often humiliated his wife and children, and failed to provide for his family adequately. Nevertheless my friend honored his father because he was his father. He demonstrated honor by taking him home when his father could not get home by himself. He sometimes had to defend him from people who would have taken advantage of him when he was drunk.

"Similarly we may not be able to respect certain government officials because of their personal behavior or beliefs. Still we can and should honor them because they occupy an office that places them in a position of authority over us. We honor them because they occupy the office; we do not just honor the office. Peter commanded us to honor the king and all who are in authority over us, not just the offices they occupy. We may not respect someone, but we can and should honor them by treating them with respect. Respecting people and treating them with respect are two different things. Feeling respect for someone is different than showing respect for someone. Honoring others is our responsibility; earning our respect is theirs. This is especially difficult when those in authority are persecuting us."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/2-17.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

MARCH 1

Hebrews 2:3: "How shall we escape
[the wrath (anger) and judgment of God, with punishment in hell], if we neglect [ignore, pay no attention to--see note below*] so great salvation [God's plan of salvation--see note below**] [or "if we don't get saved, or become born again"]; which [referring to salvation] at the first [at the beginning of Jesus' ministry] began to be spoken by the Lord [Jesus Christ], and [this fact] was confirmed unto us [as being true] by them that heard him [Jesus] [preach];"
_________________________

*This is what Albert Barnes, in his commentary, said about neglecting salvation:

"If we neglect - It is not merely if we commit great sins. Not, if we are murderers, adulterers, thieves, infidels, atheists, scoffers. It is, if we merely 'neglect' this salvation - if we do not embrace it - if we suffer it to pass unimproved. 'Neglect' is enough to ruin a man. A man who is in business need not commit forgery or robbery to ruin himself; he has only to 'neglect' his business, and his ruin is certain. A man who is lying on a bed of sickness, need not cut his throat to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' the means of restoration, and he will be ruined. A man floating in a skiff [a type of boat] above Niagara [Falls], need not move an oar or make an effort to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' using the oar at the proper time, and he will certainly be carried over the cataract [waterfall]. Most of the calamities of life are caused by simple 'neglect.' By neglect of education children grow up in ignorance; by neglect a farm grows up to weeds and briars [plants with thorny stems]; by neglect a house goes to decay; by neglect of sowing, a man will have no harvest; by neglect of reaping, the harvest would rot in the fields. No worldly interest can prosper where there is neglect; and why may it not be so in religion? There is nothing in earthly affairs that is valuable that will not be ruined if it is not attended to - and why may it not be so with the concerns of the soul? Let no one infer, therefore, that because he is not a drunkard, or an adulterer, or a murderer, that, therefore, he will be saved. Such an inference would be as irrational as it would be for a man to infer that because he is not a murderer his farm will produce a harvest, or that because he is not an adulterer therefore his merchandise will take care of itself. Salvation would be worth nothing if it cost no effort - and there will be no salvation where no effort is put forth."

(Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-2.html, "Verse 3")

**If you want to go to heaven someday but don't know what to do, please read my "Mansion in Heaven" tract. It follows the "Romans Road," which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans to explain the plan of salvation. You can find it in either of these two places:

--
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
--
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html, "Mansion Tract" (read and/or print)


Previous Verses
March 2020
MARCH 30-31

Proverbs 30:6: "Add thou not unto his
[God's] words [i.e., don't add to, subtract from, or change the meaning of God's words, as recorded in the Bible], lest he [otherwise, God will] reprove thee [accuse you of wrongdoing, express strong disapproval for what you have done, charge you with a crime or offense], and thou [you] [will] be found [to be] a liar."

As usual, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has done a good job explaining this verse in his commentary. Here's part of what it says:

"1. The first command Agur gives is 'add not thou unto His Words.'

"a. It should go without saying, but evidently God knows that it needs to be said. God knows human nature.

"b. Adding unto God's Word was part of the original temptation in the Garden of Eden. Satan added to what God said.
" God said: 'But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it.' (Gen.2:17)
" Satan said: 'Ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' (Gen.3:3)
" Gen. 3:5 - Clearly Satan's purpose was to confuse Eve into adding to God's Word and to cause her to think ill of God. (He's too restrictive! He doesn't want me to know good and evil; He doesn't want me to become a god like Him.'

"c. Satan's ministers (false teachers) have been adding to and subtracting from God's Word ever since.

"d. The Jews added the Talmud -- doctrines and commandments of men!

"e. Then there are the pseudo-gospels added to the New Testament.

"f. The Mormons added the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price.

"g. The Catholics added the 15 books of the Apocrypha to the Scriptures between the Testaments.

"h. The 7th Day Adventists have added the writings of Ellen White.

"i. The cults love to add to God's Word.

"j. Even the charismatics today add to God's Word by asserting that God is still revealing truth to modern-day prophets.

"2. This command does not forbid any future GENUINE revelation from God.

"a. At the time of the writing of Proverbs, the canon of Scripture was not yet complete.

"b. There were more books to be added.

"c. There were many more prophets and prophetesses who would receive additional revelation from the Lord.

"d. There was a whole New Testament to be written.

"e. The command is for the readers not to add to the revelation God has already given.

"f. In other words, no one was to add to the writings of Moses or to David's Psalms. They were part of the Word of God and were not to be altered.

"g. But in the future, God would reveal new truth to other prophets and apostles as part of the progress of revelation.

"h. But once God's Word is recorded--it is pure -- perfect--and it is not to be tampered with.

"i. Man's responsibility is not to fix God's word or to try to improve it. Our job is to teach it as is and to obey it!"

At the end of the commentary, explaining the last part of the verse, Pastor Delany says:

"And thou be found a liar.

"1. Those arrogant men who dare to put their thoughts on par with God's thoughts (by adding to His Word) are called 'liars' by God Himself.

"2. Those who attempt to add to God's Word with new thoughts, new visions, new revelations, or new and fresh ideas also open the door to endless error.

"3. They are guilty of forgery and counterfeiting the Word of God; they are cheaters--liars!"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_6/.

MARCH 29

Psalm 4:1 - Asking for God's Help
King David needed protection from his enemies, so he turned to God and said:

"Hear [respond to, answer] me when I call [upon you in prayer], O God of my righteousness [meaning either 'my righteous God' or that God was the foundation, source, and author of David's righteousness, or the good things that he did]: thou hast enlarged me [you have helped me] [in the past] when I was in distress [trouble]; [so please] have mercy upon me, and hear [and answer] my prayer [today, because I need your help again]."

When God has answered our prayers in the past (as he did for King David), it is likely that he will continue do so in the future.

MARCH 28

James 2:13 - Judgment Day
In a letter, while discussing faith and works, the apostle James wrote:

For he [or she] shall have judgment [from God] without mercy [pity, compassion], that hath shewed [who has shown] no mercy [to others during his (or her) lifetime on earth] [i.e., unmerciful people, if unsaved, will be sent to hell on judgment day]; and mercy [from God] rejoiceth [prevails] against [or 'triumphs over'] judgment [for born-again Christians; these people have accepted Jesus' death on the cross as payment for their sins and have received him as Savior, and as a result, they will go to heaven, not hell, on judgment day]."

A true Christian will be kind to others.

MARCH 26-27

Matthew 10:24-26 - Persecution and Judgment Day
Most followers of Jesus can expect to be treated like he was treated. This is what Jesus told his disciples (and all Christians) about persecution and judgment day:

Verse 24: "The disciple [student] is not above [or greater than] his [or her] master [teacher], nor [is] the servant above his [or her] lord [master, ruler]."

Verse 25: "It is enough for the disciple
[in this case, a born-again Christian] that he [or she] be as [like] his [or her] master [Jesus], and [it is enough for] the servant [referring, again, to a born-again Christian] [that he (or she) be] as [like] his [or her] lord [Jesus]. If they [i.e., unsaved people in general] have called the master of the house [in this case, Jesus] Beelzebub [which literally meant 'the god of flies,' referring to an Ekronite idol, but it also meant 'the god of filth' and consequently was a name that was commonly given by the Jews to the 'prince of devils,' or Satan], how much more shall they call them of his [Jesus'] household [i.e., Christians] [names]?"

Verse 26: "Fear them not therefore
[don't fear people who persecute you (see note below*) or call you names]: for there is nothing covered [there are no secrets], that shall not be revealed; and [there is nothing] hid [hidden], that shall not be known [someday--if not during our lifetimes here on earth, then certainly in heaven on judgment day--see note below**]."

In other words, no matter how hard people may try to destroy your reputation by calling you names, the truth will eventually come out.
_________________________

*Definition of persecute, according to online dictionaries: To treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly, especially because of race or religious or political beliefs.

**Here's how Charles Spurgeon paraphrased Jesus' statement in verse 26 above (Matthew 10:26): "'They will misrepresent you, slander you, and speak evil of you; but if your good name be covered up now, it shall be revealed one of these days, perhaps in this life; but if not in this life, certainly at the day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known.'" (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-10.html, "Verses 24-42")

MARCH 21-25

Acts 17:22-31 - An Altar Dedicated to "The Unknown God"
When the apostle Paul noticed that the Greeks had an altar dedicated to "The Unknown God," he told them whom they were really worshiping.

Verse 22: "Then [the apostle] Paul stood in the midst [middle] of Mars' hill [where the highest court in Greece for civil, criminal, and religious matters was located] [i.e., he was forced to appear before the court that was held there--see note below*], and said, Ye [you] men of Athens, I perceive [understand, have come to realize] that in all things ye are too superstitious [in the case, meaning very pious or devout, or more religious than most people]."

Verse 23: "For as I passed by
[through] [your city], and beheld [saw, observed] your devotions [the places and things that are involved in your worship activities--temples, altars, statues, etc.], I found an altar with this inscription [containing these words], TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly [unknowingly (without knowledge, instruction, or information)] worship [i.e., the person you worship without knowing his name], him [the one true God--see note below**] declare I unto you [I reveal (make known) to you]."

Verses 24-25: "
[Almighty] God that made [who created] the world and all things therein [in it], seeing that he is Lord [ruler] of heaven and earth, dwelleth not [does not live] in temples made with hands; Neither is [he] worshipped with [served by] men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all [people, or 'everyone'] life, and breath, and all things [everything that is needed to sustain (support, maintain) life];"

Verses 26-27: "And
[God] hath [has] made of one blood [from one bloodline (Adam's)] all nations of men [the whole human race] for to dwell [live] on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds [limits and boundaries] of their habitation [where they should live] [i.e., God decided when and where each country would be settled]; [so] That they [the people] should seek the Lord, if haply [perhaps] they might feel after him [search for him diligently or earnestly (with purpose)], and find him [i.e., proof of his existence], though he be not far from every one of us:"

Verses 28-29: "For in
[by] him [God] we live, and move, and have our being [i.e., God is the source of our existence]; as certain also [or 'as some'] of your own [Greek] poets have said, For we are also his offspring [we were made in God's image]. Forasmuch then [assuming that what the poets have said is true] as [since] we are the offspring [children] of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead [the one true God, consisting of three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] is like unto [represented by] [idols (images or statues of gods) made of] gold, or silver, or stone, graven [carved or sculptured (i.e., formed or shaped by cutting with a chisel)] by art and man's device [referring to artists' thinking or thoughts]."

Verses 30-31: "And the times of this ignorance
[lack of knowledge] God winked at [overlooked, did not punish]; but now [he] commandeth [commands] all men [and women and children] every where to repent [change their minds and believe the gospel]: Because he hath appointed [determined, decided on] a day [in the future], in the which he will judge the world [all people] in righteousness [according to the strict rules of justice] by that man [Jesus] whom he hath ordained [appointed as Judge]; whereof he [God] hath given assurance [provided evidence or proof] unto all men [all people] [that Jesus is, and is qualified to be, the Judge], in that [because] he [God] hath raised him [Jesus] from the dead."
_________________________

*For more information about Mars Hill and what happened there, I recommend the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What happened at Mars Hill in the Bible?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Mars-Hill.html.

**GotQuestions.org answers the question "Who is the one true God?" in their article by the same name. If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html.

MARCH 18-20

Matthew 7:7-11 - God Answers Prayer
During his sermon on the mount, Jesus encouraged his disciples (followers) to pray because God wants to answer their prayers. He said to them--and to us (born-again Christians):

Verses 7-8: "Ask [God (in prayer)] [for something that you need], and it shall be given [to] you; seek [search for something (such as something that is lost)], and ye shall find [it]; knock [on the door], and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh [asks] receiveth [receives]; and he [or she] that seeketh [seeks] findeth [finds]; and to him [or her] that knocketh [knocks,] it [the door] shall be opened."

Verses 9-10: "Or what man
[or woman] is there of you [people in the crowd], whom if his [or her] son [or daughter] ask[s] [for] bread, will he [or she] give him [or her] a stone? Or if he [or she--the son or daughter] ask[s] [for] a fish, will he [the 'man' (or woman)] give him [or her] a serpent [snake]?"

Verse 11: "If ye
[you parents] then, being evil [not literally--but 'imperfect,' having been born with a tendency to sin], know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven [referring to Almighty God] give good things to them that ask him?"

Regarding the above verses, Albert Barnes wrote:

"Ask, and it shall be given you … - There are here three different forms presented of seeking the things which we need from God - asking, ‹seeking, and knocking. The latter is taken from the act of knocking at a door for admittance. See Luke 13:25; Revelation 3:20. The phrases signify to seek with earnestness [sincerity], diligence [carefulness], and perseverance [persistence]. The promise is, that what we seek shall be given us. It is of course implied that we seek with a proper spirit, with humility, sincerity, and perseverance. It is implied, also, that we ask the things which it may be consistent for God to give - that is, things which he has promised to give, and which would be best for us, and most for his own honor, 1 John 5:14. Of that God is to be the judge. And here there is the utmost latitude which a creature can ask. God is willing to provide for us, to forgive our sins, to save our souls, to befriend us in trial, to comfort us in death, to extend the gospel through the world. Man 'can' ask no higher things of God; and these he may ask, assured that he is willing to grant them.

"Christ encourages us to do this by the conduct of parents. No parent turns away his child with that which would be injurious. He would not give him a stone instead of bread, or a serpent instead of a fish. God is better and kinder than the most tender earthly parents; and with what confidence, therefore, may we come as his children, and ask what we need! Parents, he says, are evil; that is, are imperfect, often partial, and not unfrequently passionate; but God is free from all this, and therefore is ready and willing to aid us.

"Every one that asketh receiveth - That is, every one that asks aright; that prays in faith, and in submission to the will of God. He does not always give the very thing which we ask, but he gives what would be better. A parent will not always confer the 'very thing' which a child asks, but he will seek the welfare of the child, and give what he thinks will be most for its good …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-7.html, "Verses 7-11")


Another commentator wrote: "… This wonderful verse is easily memorized by aid of the acronym formed by the letters A-S-K. A-sk, and ye shall receive ... S-eek, and ye shall find ... K-nock, and it shall be opened ..."

(Source for "A-S-K" quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-7.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")


A third commentator wrote, "… all who rightly ask, receive either what they ask or something better in its place."

(Source for third quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/7-8.html, "Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament")

MARCH 17

Isaiah 41:13
[This was God's promise to the nation of Israel]: "For I the LORD thy [your] God will hold [strengthen] thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not [don't be afraid]; I will help thee [you]."

The above promise to the Jewish people also applies to born-again Christians. God will help us whenever we are sad or worried or need assistance to vanquish (defeat, conquer) our enemies, make wise decisions, find a good job, fight a disease, etc.

MARCH 16

2 Timothy 1:7
[In a letter to Timothy, a minister of the gospel, the apostle Paul wrote]: "For God hath [has] not given us [Paul, Timothy, and all born-again Christians] the spirit of fear; but [instead, he has given us the spirit] of power [courage], and of love [for God and mankind], and of a sound mind [i.e., one that is well balanced (not confused) and has self-control]."

MARCH 14-15

Revelation 20:11-15 - The Apostle John's Vision of Judgment Day
This is also called the "great white throne judgment" (see Note 1 below).

Verse 11: "And I [John] saw a great white throne [in heaven], and [I saw] him that sat on it [the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, or God the Son], from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away [vanished, disappeared from view]; and there was found no place for them [the earth and heaven]."

Verse 12: "And I saw the dead
[people--who had been resurrected, or brought back to life], small and great [little and big, young and old, good and bad, rich and poor, etc.], stand before God [the Son--Jesus]; and the books [containing the record of human deeds and sins] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [containing the names of those who had been born again (saved) and were allowed to enter into heaven]: and the dead [people] were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [what they thought, said, and did during their lifetime on earth]."

Verse 13: "And the sea
[and oceans and other large bodies of water] gave up the dead [bodies] which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them [referring to bodies that were in graves, and souls that were in hell]: and they [all of those dead people] were judged every man [and woman and child] according to their works."

Verse 14: "And death and hell
[personified, or represented as people] were cast [thrown] into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Verse 15: "And whosoever
[everyone whose name] was not found written in the book of life [see Note 2 below] was cast [thrown] into the lake of fire [see Note 3 below]."
_________________________

NOTE 1: John's vision is explained in detail in the article entitled "What is the Great White Throne Judgment?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/great-white-throne-judgment.html.

NOTE 2: You can only go to heaven if your name is written in the book of life, so I'm wondering:

-- Is your name written in the book of life? If not, it can be! 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.

(If needed, detailed explanations of the plan of salvation, along with many Bible verses, can be found in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html).

NOTE 3: Have you ever seen a lake of fire? There are many pictures and videos of "lava lakes" on the Internet. In 2014, I found a very graphic video of a volcano filled with vigorously boiling lava that looked just like a lake of fire. I posted the link to that video, along with some background information, in the "Salvation" section of my Christian forum under the heading "Lake of Fire." The article is entitled "WARNING! You must be saved God's way or you'll end up in the lake of fire!" and can be found here:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=58.

MARCH 12-13

Mark 2:14-17 - Jesus Eats With Publicans and Sinners

Verse 14: "And as he
[Jesus] passed by [the seaside], he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom [toll booth], and said unto him, Follow me. And he [Levi--also known as Matthew, the tax collector, who wrote the gospel of Matthew,] arose [stood up] and followed him [Jesus]."

Verse 15: "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat
[sat down to eat] in his [Levi's, or Matthew's] house, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many [publicans and sinners], and they followed him [Jesus]."

Verse 16: "And when the scribes
[religious teachers] and Pharisees [members of a Jewish sect (religious group) within Judaism that gave oral tradition equal authority with the written word of God] saw him [Jesus] eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he [Jesus] eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?"

Verse 17: "When Jesus heard it
[the question], he saith unto them [the scribes and Pharisees], They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician [medical doctor], but they that are sick [do need one]: I [Jesus--a spiritual physician] came not to call the righteous [people], but sinners to repentance [or 'to have a change of mind concerning sin and salvation']."

GotQuestions.org has an article that answers this question: "What is the significance of Jesus eating with sinners?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-with-sinners.html.

MARCH 11

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

To summarize the above verse, in Albert Barnes' words, "… It would be an honor and a privilege to be anywhere about the place of public worship, rather than to be the occupant of a dwelling-place of sin." Hopefully, many Christians feel the same way.

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-84.html, "Verse 10")

MARCH 10

Titus 1:2
[In the beginning of a letter to Titus (a born-again Gentile, or non-Jewish, Christian, who was led to faith in Christ by Paul), the apostle Paul wrote]: "In hope [expectation] of [receiving] eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

In his letter, Paul assured Titus (and us) that God can't lie. Consequently, we can be sure that all of God's promises, as recorded in the Bible, have been fulfilled (accomplished, realized) in the past or will be fulfilled in the future.

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

MARCH 9

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 - The Importance of Forgiveness
In a letter to the Corinthian church, while discussing the discipline of one of its members, the apostle Paul wrote:

Verse 10: "To whom ye [the church leaders and members] forgive any thing, I [Paul] forgive [that person] also: for if I forgave any thing [probably, in this case, referring to what the church member who was being disciplined did], to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it [I forgave it] in the person [or sight, or 'as a representative'] of [Jesus] Christ;"

Verse 11: "
[We must be able to forgive] Lest Satan should get an [or 'so the devil won't be able to take'] advantage of us: for we [Christians] are not ignorant [unaware] of his devices [evil intentions, plans, schemes] [i.e., to destroy us and/or our churches]."

MARCH 7-8

Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus Warns Peter About Temptation and Helps Strengthen His Faith

Verse 31: "And the Lord
[Jesus Christ] said [to Simon Peter (one of the apostles) during the Lord's supper], Simon, Simon, behold [look, see], Satan hath desired to have you [and the other apostles--and all born-again Christians, too] [under his control], [so] that he may sift you as wheat [or 'place trials and temptations before you to test your faith']:"

Verse 32: "But I
[Jesus] have prayed for thee [you, Peter], that thy [your] faith fail not [i.e., Jesus had prayed that Peter wouldn't completely lose, or abandon, his faith--see note below*]: and when thou [you, Peter] art [are] converted [in this case, referring to the time in the near future when Peter will 'turn back from' (or 'repent of') his sin of denying that he knows Jesus, which he will do three times before Jesus is taken to the cross to be crucified], strengthen thy brethren [your fellow Christians] [spiritually, or warn them about temptation and sin and encourage them in their faith]."

From these verses, according to Albert Barnes, we learn:

"1.That one design of permitting Christians to fall into sin is to show their own weakness and dependence on God; and,

"2.That they who have been overtaken in this manner should make use of their experience to warn and preserve others from the same path."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-22.html, "Verse 32")
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*Some people may think that Peter's denial that he knew Jesus proves that God didn't answer Jesus' prayer, but that's not true. Here's what Albert Barnes said in his commentary about the phrase that thy faith fail not:

"That thy faith fail not - The word 'faith,' here, seems to be used in the sense of religion, or attachment to Christ, and the words 'fail not' mean 'utterly fail' or fail altogether - that is, apostatize. It is true that the 'courage' of Peter failed; it is true that he had not that immediate confidence in Jesus and reliance on him which he had before had; but the prayer of Jesus was that he might not altogether apostatize from the faith. God heard Jesus 'always' John 11:42; it follows, therefore, that every prayer which he ever offered was answered; and it follows, as he asked here for a specific thing, that that thing was granted; and as he prayed that Peter's faith might not utterly fail, so it follows that there was no time in which Peter was not really a pious man. Far as he wandered, and grievously as he sinned, yet he well knew that Jesus was the Messiah. He 'did know' the man; and though his fears overcame him and led him to aggravated sin, yet the prayer of Christ was prevalent, and he was brought to true repentance."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-22.html, "Verse 32")

MARCH 5-6

Psalm 138:1-2 - The Bible is Very Important to God
In prayer, King David told God why he wanted to worship and praise him:

Verse 1: "I will praise thee [you (Almighty God)] with my whole heart: before the gods [of this world] [including idols, and people who act like gods] will I sing praise unto thee."

Verse 2: "I will worship
[bow down] toward thy [your] holy temple [referring to the tabernacle, which contained the Ark of the Covenant--see note below*], and [I will] praise thy name for thy lovingkindness [goodness, kindness, and love] and for thy truth [truthfulness, and faithfulness in keeping your promises]: for [because] thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name [you (God) have put greater importance on your written word (i.e., what you say and said) than on your reputation]."

In verse 2, when David commented that "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name," he meant that God has made it possible for us to learn more by reading his words, as found in the Bible, than by observing or studying his works (things he has done or created), through science, philosophy, nature, etc.

Regarding the phrase thou has magnified thy word above all thy name, this is what Matthew Henry said in his commentary on Chapter 138:

"… God has made himself known to us in many ways in creation and providence, but most clearly by his word. The judgments of his mouth are magnified even above those of his hand, and greater things are done by them. The wonders of grace exceed the wonders of nature; and what is discovered of God by revelation is much greater than what is discovered by reason …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/138.html, "Verses 1-5")
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*GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question "What is the Ark of the Covenant?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/ark-of-the-covenant.html.

MARCH 4

James 5:7-8 - The Second Coming of Christ
Some Jewish Christians were suffering due to unbelieving and ungodly rich people who were abusing their power and position (see James 5:1-6), so the apostle James sent the Christians a letter containing these encouraging words, which also apply to us:

Verse 7: "Be patient therefore, brethren [fellow Christians] [regarding your suffering and oppression], unto [until] the coming of the Lord [Jesus Christ] [see note below*]. Behold, the husbandman [farmer] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth [referring to his crops] [to ripen], and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain [see note below**]."

Verse 8: "
[Like the farmer who is waiting for his crops to ripen,] Be ye also patient [you should also be patient]; stablish [establish, strengthen] your hearts [i.e., don't be discouraged]: for the coming of the Lord [Jesus Christ] [back to earth] draweth nigh [near]."

Judgment day is coming soon. It will be a horrible time for unbelievers but a wonderful time for born-again Christians.
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*Bible commentators have differing opinions about the meaning of the phrase the coming of the Lord in the above verse. Here's a good explanation from one of those commentaries:

"… Two different meanings have been attached to the phrase 'coming of the Lord.' Some understand by it the coming of Christ in spirit to destroy Jerusalem, when the Romans were employed as the instruments of His vengeance upon the unbelieving Jews, and to which reference is made in the previous verses [i.e., James 5:1-6]. Others, with greater probability, understand by it His coming in person to judge the world, or what is usually termed the second advent. How far the sacred writers distinguished between the destruction of Jerusalem and the future judgment--the type and the antitype--we have no means of ascertaining [determining, knowing for sure] …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/james/5-7.html, "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament")

**According to most commentaries, the early rain occurs in autumn (October/November) in Israel and the surrounding areas, and the latter rain occurs in the spring (March/April), which is when the people normally plant and harvest their crops. Rain is rare during the summer months.

MARCH 3

1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing
[for everything that you have (and even for things that you don't have--see note below*) and for whatever happens to you, good and bad] give thanks [to God, in prayer]: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus [i.e., in him, through him, and for his sake] concerning you [or 'because that's what God wants you to do']."
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*The following story illustrates how a little girl was able to thank God for something that she had loved and lost:

"Thanksgiving with prayer

"A child knelt at the accustomed time to thank God for the mercies of the day, and pray for His care during the coming night. Then, as usual, came the 'God bless mother and--' But the prayer was stilled, the little hands unclasped, and a look of sadness and wonder met the mother's eye, as the words of helpless sorrow came from the lips of the kneeling child, 'I cannot pray for father any more.' Since her lips had been able to form the dear name, she had prayed for a blessing upon it. It had followed close after her mother's name. But now he was dead. I waited for some moments, and then urged her to go on. Her pleading eyes met mine, and with a voice that faltered, she said, 'Oh, mother, I cannot leave him out all at once; let me say, "Thank God that I had a dear father once," so I can still go on and keep him in my prayers.' And so she still continues to do, and my heart learned a lesson from the loving ingenuity of my child. Remember to thank God for mercies past as well as to ask blessings for the future …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-thessalonians/5-18.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

MARCH 2

1 Peter 2:17
[In a letter, the apostle Peter told Christians to]: "Honour [respect] all men [all people]. Love the brotherhood [referring to members of the Christian community; in other words, Peter wants us to have brotherly love for our fellow Christians]. Fear God [regard him with fear (of doing wrong), mixed with respect and love]. Honour the king [show respect for those who hold positions of authority--see note below*]."
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*Here's what Adam Clarke says about honoring the king in his commentary on the above verse:

"Honour the king - Pay that respect to the emperor which his high authority requires, … and … if the man ['the emperor'] be even bad, and as a man be worthy of no reverence, yet he should be respected on account of his office. If respect be banished [done away with], subordination will flee with it, and anarchy [lawlessness] and ruin will rise up in their place. Truly religious persons are never found in seditions [uprisings, riots] …"

(Source for Adam Clarke quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/2-17.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

Another commentator offers a good explanation of the difference between respect and honor:

"Respect is not the same as honor. We may not respect someone, but we can and should still honor him or her. For example, I have a friend whose father was an alcoholic. My friend did not respect his father who was frequently drunk, often humiliated his wife and children, and failed to provide for his family adequately. Nevertheless my friend honored his father because he was his father. He demonstrated honor by taking him home when his father could not get home by himself. He sometimes had to defend him from people who would have taken advantage of him when he was drunk.

"Similarly we may not be able to respect certain government officials because of their personal behavior or beliefs. Still we can and should honor them because they occupy an office that places them in a position of authority over us. We honor them because they occupy the office; we do not just honor the office. Peter commanded us to honor the king and all who are in authority over us, not just the offices they occupy. We may not respect someone, but we can and should honor them by treating them with respect. Respecting people and treating them with respect are two different things. Feeling respect for someone is different than showing respect for someone. Honoring others is our responsibility; earning our respect is theirs. This is especially difficult when those in authority are persecuting us."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/2-17.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")

MARCH 1

Hebrews 2:3: "How shall we escape
[the wrath (anger) and judgment of God, with punishment in hell], if we neglect [ignore, pay no attention to--see note below*] so great salvation [God's plan of salvation--see note below**] [or "if we don't get saved, or become born again"]; which [referring to salvation] at the first [at the beginning of Jesus' ministry] began to be spoken by the Lord [Jesus Christ], and [this fact] was confirmed unto us [as being true] by them that heard him [Jesus] [preach];"
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*This is what Albert Barnes, in his commentary, said about neglecting salvation:

"If we neglect - It is not merely if we commit great sins. Not, if we are murderers, adulterers, thieves, infidels, atheists, scoffers. It is, if we merely 'neglect' this salvation - if we do not embrace it - if we suffer it to pass unimproved. 'Neglect' is enough to ruin a man. A man who is in business need not commit forgery or robbery to ruin himself; he has only to 'neglect' his business, and his ruin is certain. A man who is lying on a bed of sickness, need not cut his throat to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' the means of restoration, and he will be ruined. A man floating in a skiff [a type of boat] above Niagara [Falls], need not move an oar or make an effort to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' using the oar at the proper time, and he will certainly be carried over the cataract [waterfall]. Most of the calamities of life are caused by simple 'neglect.' By neglect of education children grow up in ignorance; by neglect a farm grows up to weeds and briars [plants with thorny stems]; by neglect a house goes to decay; by neglect of sowing, a man will have no harvest; by neglect of reaping, the harvest would rot in the fields. No worldly interest can prosper where there is neglect; and why may it not be so in religion? There is nothing in earthly affairs that is valuable that will not be ruined if it is not attended to - and why may it not be so with the concerns of the soul? Let no one infer, therefore, that because he is not a drunkard, or an adulterer, or a murderer, that, therefore, he will be saved. Such an inference would be as irrational as it would be for a man to infer that because he is not a murderer his farm will produce a harvest, or that because he is not an adulterer therefore his merchandise will take care of itself. Salvation would be worth nothing if it cost no effort - and there will be no salvation where no effort is put forth."

(Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-2.html, "Verse 3")

**If you want to go to heaven someday but don't know what to do, please read my "Mansion in Heaven" tract. It follows the "Romans Road," which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans to explain the plan of salvation. You can find it in either of these two places:

--
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
--
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html, "Mansion Tract" (read and/or print)


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