AUGUST 30-31

Proverbs 30:24-28 - Lessons From Nature (in this case, creatures that are small but wise)

Verse 24: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding
[very] wise:"

Verse 25: "The ants are a people not strong
[they're weak], yet they prepare their meat [gather their food] in the summer [to eat in the fall and spring, since they sleep during the winter] [in other words, they plan ahead, like Joseph did, during Bible times, when he stockpiled grain in Egypt for seven years of famine];"

Verse 26: "The conies
[small animals, similar to rabbits, large mouse-like creatures, or groundhogs, that evidently don't dig] are but a feeble [weak and helpless] folk, yet make they their houses in the [little caves (holes) and crags (rough, jagged sections) of] rocks;"

Verse 27: "The locusts
[flying grasshoppers] have no king [or leader], yet go they forth all of them by bands [in orderly groups, like armies];"

Verse 28: "The spider taketh hold
[of walls, etc.] [and also spins webs] with her hands, and is in kings' palaces."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, these verses teach that "wisdom is superior to strength." His Bible studies on the book of Proverbs contain commentaries on the above verses. Their links are as follows:

-- Ants (verses 24-25): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_24-25/
-- Conies (verse 26): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_26/
-- Locusts (verse 27): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_27/
-- Spiders (verse 28): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_28/

Here are excerpts from each commentary:

-- In the commentary on verse 25, we learn the following things:

"1. Ants are wise enough to plan ahead."

"2. Ants are wise enough to take personal responsibility."

"3. Ants are wise enough to be diligent [hard-working]."

"4. They are wise enough to seize a window of opportunity."

-- The commentary on verse 26 tells us what conies are (summarized in "Verse 26" above) and what lessons we can learn from them:

"1. Don't be proud and foolish; be humble and wise."

"2. Acknowledge our own spiritual weakness. Have no confidence in our flesh."

"3. Take refuge in the ROCK that God has provided for us."

"4. Stay close to the Rock [i.e., Jesus]."

"5. Turn your weaknesses into strength by resting in the ROCK of Ages."

"6. Don't lament your weakness. See it as an opportunity to rely upon the infinite power of God."

"7. There is no need to fear our enemies when we take refuge in God's provision for safety."

"8. We too have an enemy that is much stronger than we are. But when we rest in the safety of our Rock of Ages, we are safe and secure and nothing can harm us."

"9. Don't trust in self and assume that we can handle our adversary on our own."

"10. Thank God for the 'cleft of the Rock' He has provided."

"11. Today, it is also true among humans, that the unclean creature (a sinful man) who runs to Christ in faith will find safety and security in Him… our Rock of Ages."

-- In the commentary on verse 27, we learn some interesting facts about locusts:

"3. Locust swarms devastate crops and cause major agricultural damage. (information taken from the National Geographic.)

"a. This often causes human misery--famine and starvation. They occur in many parts of the world, but today locusts are most destructive in sustenance farming regions of Africa.

"b. The desert locust is notorious. Found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth's land surface. Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's humans.

"c. A desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile (one square kilometer).

"d. Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day, so a swarm of such size would eat 423 million pounds of plants every day.

"e. When they connect up with a wind current, they can fly over 300 miles in one night!"

And here (from paragraph 6 of the commentary) are the lessons that we (members of the local church) can learn from the locust:

"a. … they function as a unit… with orderly divisions."

"b. They function in great order."

"c. When the serotonin is released, it causes the locusts to be extremely social and to stay close to each other."

"d. They function as a unit for the good of the whole swarm."

"e. They function as an army on a mission."

"f. They are small and weak individually, but when they swarm almost nothing can stop them."

"g. They realize that there is strength in unity."

"h. And they do so without a king or ruler."

-- In the commentary on verse 28 (toward the end, under "Applications), Pastor Delany summarizes the above verses (24-28) as follows:

"d. All four of the "small but wise" creatures have lessons to teach us.
" They all teach us that our perceived disabilities (small; weak; etc.) need not be cause for defeat. If we use the abilities God has given us wisely, we can do quite well--in spite of our infirmities.
" The ant is small but stores food for the winter; their foresight and diligence makes up for their weakness.
" The coney is small and weak but lives in rocks which provide protection against larger and stronger predators; his wise choice of the rocks makes up for what he lacks in strength.
" The spider is small and generally hated--yet they reside in palaces. The spider can't jump like a grasshopper; he can't fly like a bird; but he does know how to make 'rope' and uses it for his advantage. He is not big and strong but he does have a fascinating and effective means of transportation. He gets around quite well considering his so called disability.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 22:29 -- The spider is diligent and ends up in king's palaces. We could learn from her diligence.
" All of these creatures do very well.
" They do not gripe, complain, or fret over the qualities they don't have; instead they use to the fullest the qualities they do have.
" And as a result, they have plenty to eat; they are safe from their enemies; and they live in beautiful dwellings. They have food; shelter; and safety. They have all their needs met. What more could they want?
" God takes care of them. He will take care of us.

"e. We would do well to learn from these little creatures."
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Another Bible commentator summarized Proverbs 30:24-28 as follows:

"We should not overlook the lesson here. Although the creatures mentioned here are very small and weak, God has endowed them with instinctive wisdom that perpetuates them. In contrast with that, man himself, who is also week [weak] and small, has been endowed with reason and intelligence; and if he would be guided by true wisdom `from God' as faithfully as these exceedingly small creatures are guided by what God gave them, the happiness and continuity of man would be prolonged."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/30-24.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

AUGUST 28-29

Psalm 150:1-6 - Praising God

Verse 1: "Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary
[i.e., wherever we worship him--in temples, churches, etc.]: praise him in the firmament of his power [meaning both on earth and in heaven]."

Verse 2: "Praise him
[God] for his mighty acts [for all of the wonderful things he has done]: praise him according to his excellent greatness."

Verses 3-5: "Praise him
[God] with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery [an ancient stringed musical instrument, similar to a violin or guitar] and harp. Praise him with the timbrel [tambourine] and dance [dancing]: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon [with] the loud cymbals: praise him upon [with] the high sounding [the larger and louder] cymbals."

Verse 6: "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."

AUGUST 27

Psalm 116:15: "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints
[referring to born-again Christians, or people who are saved--see note below*]."

Explaining this verse, one Bible commentator wrote:

"THE meaning of these words will be best marked from the occasion on which we suppose them to have been uttered. The psalm appears to have been written after Absalom's rebellion. Most imminent were the dangers from which [King] David had been delivered. For this mercy he renders thanks: and acknowledges, to the praise of his heavenly Protector [God], that, whilst his own son [Absalom] had sought his [David's] life, and instigated multitudes to seek his destruction, God had interposed for his deliverance, and had inflicted merited judgments on his enemies. So precious had God accounted his [David's] death, that he would make those to pay dearly who had laboured to effect it …

"From the words which I [Charles Simeon, the commentator] have read [in the above verse], I shall take occasion to shew [show],

"I. In what light God regards the death of the saints--

"We are not to understand that the death of his saints is pleasing to God, but rather, that he places a high value on them, and that he will suffer none to accomplish their death with impunity. So precious is their death, that,

"1. He watches over them [his saints] to prevent it-- …

"2. He will come forth to avenge it-- …

"3. He will never suffer [allow] it, till he has accomplished his good work within them [his saints]-- …"

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/116-15.html, "Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae")
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*For the biblical definition of saints and to learn more about them, see the following articles:

-- "Are Christians sinners, saints, or both?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/sinners-saints.html

-- "What are Christian saints according to the Bible?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html

AUGUST 26

Isaiah 40:22: "It is he
[God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth [which indicates that the earth is round, not flat--see note below*], and the inhabitants thereof [the people of earth] are as [small and powerless (weak and helpless) in God's sight as] grasshoppers [or locusts] [are to us]; [it is he (God)] that stretcheth [stretches] out the heavens as [like] a curtain [or canopy or awning], and spreadeth [spreads] them out as a tent [for the inhabitants of earth] to dwell [live] in:"
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*GotQuestions.org wrote "Does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?" to explain why some people mistakenly believe that the earth is flat. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/flat-earth-Bible.html.

AUGUST 23-25

John 6:24-29 - How to Please God

Verses 24-25: "When the people
[who had been following Jesus around and listening to him preach] therefore saw that Jesus was not there [at the seaside], [and] neither [were] his disciples, they also took shipping ['took ships,' or got into boats], and came to Capernaum [where Jesus had been living after he left Nazareth], seeking [searching, looking] for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi [teacher, master], when camest thou hither [when did you come here]?"

Verse 26: "Jesus answered them
[the people] and said, Verily, verily [truly, truly], I say unto you, Ye [you] seek me, not because ye saw the miracles [that I performed, including the miracle of the loaves, in which Jesus multiplied five barley loaves and two small fish to feed 5,000 men and their families--see note below*], but because ye did eat of the loaves [of bread], and [therefore your stomachs] were filled."

Verse 27: "Labour not
[don't work only] for the meat [i.e., food for the body] which perisheth [spoils, rots, decays], but [also work] for that meat [spiritual food] which endureth unto [leads to] everlasting life [in heaven], which the Son of man [Jesus, referring to himself,] shall give unto you: for [because] him [Jesus] hath God the Father sealed [put his 'stamp of approval' on, which means that God confirmed that he sent Jesus to earth as the Messiah and Savior of mankind and approved of his teachings]."

Verses 28-29: "Then said they
[the people] unto him [Jesus], What shall we do, that we might work the works of God [or 'what shall we do that will be acceptable to God']? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work [will] of God [the Father], that ye believe on him [Jesus] whom he [God] hath sent [to earth] [to save sinners from hell]."

In other words (according to verse 29), in order to please God, we must do the following:

1. Have faith that Jesus Christ (who is God's Son, the Messiah, and Savior of the world) died on the cross to pay for our sins.

2. 'Believe on him' (trust in Jesus) for eternal life.
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*You can read about the miracle of the loaves in this article: "What can we learn from Jesus' feeding of the 5,000?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/feeding-the-5000.html.

AUGUST 22

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

In his commentary on the above verse, Albert Barnes says that the term double-minded man "… is applicable to a man who has no settled principles; who is controlled by passion; who is influenced by popular feeling; who is now inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/james-1.html, "Verse 8")

AUGUST 21

Psalm 118:8: "It is better to trust in the LORD
[to help us, guide us, protect us, and do what is right] than to put confidence in man [mankind, people, human beings]."

According to Albert Barnes:

"… It is better [to trust in the Lord],

"(1) because man is weak - but God is Almighty;

"(2) because man is selfish - but God is benevolent [kind];

"(3) because man is often faithless and deceitful - God never [is];

"(4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be - but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and

"(5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to this present life - the power of God will be commensurate with eternity."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-118.html, "Verse 8")

AUGUST 17-20

Revelation 3:14-20 - Jesus' Message to Lukewarm Churches
Laodicea was an actual place in Bible times. This letter was written to the Christian church there, but it applies universally to all churches that are in the same condition as the Laodicean church.

Verse 14: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans [referring to people in the Laodicean church who were professed Christians, or who claimed to be saved (born again),] [the apostle John was directed to] write; These things saith the Amen [the Lord Jesus Christ], [who is] the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God [or 'the king of creation'] [i.e., in addition to being Creator of the universe, Jesus has purchased our salvation by dying on the cross and paying our sin debt, and he is head of the Christian church]; "

Verses 15-16: "I
[Jesus] know [from] thy [your] works [i.e., the things that you do and have done], that thou art [you are] neither cold nor hot [spiritually]: I would [prefer that] thou wert [you were] cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm [indifferent to the things of God], and neither cold nor hot, I [Jesus] will spue thee [vomit you] out of my mouth." [In other words, many members of the Laodicean church (and others like it) were (and are) in danger of being rejected and cast aside by God.]

Verse 17: [The reason I (Jesus) will 'spue thee out of my mouth' is] "Because thou sayest, I am rich [with worldly things], and increased with goods [possessions], and have need of nothing; and [because you] knowest not [do not know] that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked [all in a spiritual sense]:"

Verse 18: "I
[Jesus] counsel thee to buy of [from] me[,] [with (or through) faith,] [pure] gold [that has been] tried [refined] in the fire [meaning 'true and undefiled religion'], [so] that thou mayest be rich [you may have spiritual riches]; and white raiment [white robes, or garments of salvation], [so] that thou mayest be clothed [with my (Jesus') righteousness, or the righteousness of Christ], and [so] that the shame of thy [your soul's] nakedness do not appear [in heaven]; and [I (Jesus) also counsel you to] anoint thine [your] [spiritually blind] eyes with eyesalve, [so] that thou mayest see [the truth, and understand the gospel]."

Verse 19: "As many as I
[Jesus] love, I rebuke [criticize, reprimand] and chasten [discipline]: be zealous [enthusiastic, full of zeal] therefore, and repent [change your thinking]."

Verse 20: "Behold, I
[Jesus] stand at the door [to your heart], and knock: if any man [or woman or child] hear my voice, and open the door [of his (or her) heart] [to me (Jesus), through prayer, and invites me in], I will come in to him [or her] [and will save him (or her)--from hell], and will sup [dine, or have fellowship/companionship,] with him [or her], and he [or she] [will sup] with me."

If you are lukewarm and/or unsaved, Jesus may be knocking at the door of your heart right now. Won't you please let him in?

AUGUST 16

Proverbs 16:16: "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding
[is] rather to be chosen than silver!" [That's because, in God's view, wisdom and understanding are more valuable than silver and gold.]

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Near the end, it says:

"6. Practically, this [verse] should affect our every day lives.

"a. Where do we obtain God's wisdom and understanding? From God's Word…

"b. Thus, wisdom is obtained by spending TIME in His Word…

"c. The local church is the place where God's Word is taught…

"d. Personal devotion time in the word each day is also essential in obtaining wisdom.

"e. Silver and gold can sometimes pull us AWAY from obtaining God's wisdom…

"f. Silver and gold… and the OTHER things of the world vie [compete] for our affection and our time.

"g. We have to LOVE wisdom before we will seek it. It IS a matter of the heart."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_16/

AUGUST 15

John 14:6: "Jesus saith
[said] unto him [Thomas, the disciple], I am the way [to heaven], the truth [God's truth], and the life [eternal life]: no man [or woman or child] cometh unto the Father [i.e., to God the Father, in heaven,] [physically or spiritually], but by [except through] me."

This verse is saying that the only way we can have our sins forgiven and our fellowship with God restored is by receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. If you would like to do that, and if you believe that Jesus 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 on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. If you want to read them, here's the link:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

AUGUST 10-14

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments were written on two stone tablets by the finger of God and delivered to Moses when he appeared before God on Mount Sinai. They were part of the comprehensive system of laws (moral, ceremonial, and judicial) that God specifically gave to the Jewish nation, but these ten moral laws also applied (and still do apply) to everyone else in the world.

[Introduction:] "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee [you, the children of Israel,] out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage [because they had been slaves in Egypt, and God rescued them].

[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me [God, meaning they were only to worship Almighty God, the one true God].

[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [referring to idols made of wood, metal, and stone], or any likeness [such as pictures and statues] of any thing that is in heaven above [including God], 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, statues, etc.] [in worship], nor serve them: for [because] 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 [referring to the descendants] of them that hate me; And shewing [showing] mercy unto thousands [or 'unto the thousandth generation'] of them [the people] that love me, and keep my commandments.

[3] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him [or her] guiltless [innocent] that taketh his name in vain. [This includes false oaths, unkept promises to God, common swearing where the name of God is used, jokes about God, etc.]

[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [i.e., Saturday in the Old Testament, and Sunday in the New Testament] is the sabbath [the day of rest after labor] of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, [nor] 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] Honour [love, respect, and obey] thy [your] father and thy mother: [so] that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

[6] Thou shalt not kill [intentionally murder someone due to hatred or revenge].

[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery[,] [which is voluntary intercourse between a married person and someone who is not his or her spouse].

[8] Thou shalt not steal.

[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour [meaning you shall not give false testimony in court, spread gossip, tell lies about someone, etc.].

[10] Thou shalt not covet [yearn to possess or have] thy neighbour's house [or land or possessions], thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass [donkey], nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

Commandments 1-4 concern our duty to God; the last six concern our duty to ourselves and mankind.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus summed up all of these commandments as follows: "… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

AUGUST 7-9

Genesis 9:18-29 - After the Flood--Noah Curses Canaan (Son of Ham)

Verses 18-19: "And the sons of Noah, that went forth of
[from] the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of [from] them was the whole earth overspread [covered, meaning populated, or filled with people--see note below*]."

Verses 20-22: "And Noah began to be an husbandman
[a farmer], and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine [that was made from the grapes], and was drunken; and he was uncovered [wearing no clothes] within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren [brothers] [who were] without [outside the tent]."

Verse 23: "And Shem and Japheth took a garment
[a piece of clothing], and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went [walked] backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not [did not see] their father's nakedness."

Verse 24: "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him
[see note below**]."

Verse 25: "And he
[Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan [and his descendants]; a servant of servants shall he [and his descendants] be unto his brethren [brothers] [and their descendants]. "

Verses 26-27: "And he
[Noah] said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his [Shem's] servant. God shall enlarge Japheth [in regard to land that his people would occupy and their intellectual faculties (i.e., their ability to reason and understand objectively)], and he [Japheth] shall dwell in the tents of Shem [meaning their people would live near one another]; and Canaan shall be his [Japheth's] servant."

Verses 28-29: "And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died."
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*An article entitled "The Table of Nations" explains in detail who the descendants of Noah's sons were and where they settled (Shem in Asia, Ham and Canaan in Africa, Japheth in Europe). It is very easy to read and includes a map. Here's the link, if you want to check it out: https://www.bible-history.com/maps/2-table-of-nations.html.

**According to John Gill's commentary on Genesis 9:22: "… what Noah's younger son did unto him, besides looking on him, we are not told, yet it was such as brought a curse on Canaan; and one would think it would be more than bare sight, nay, it is expressly said there was something done, but what is not said, (Genesis 9:24) ."

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/genesis-9-22.html)

Note: GotQuestions.org has several articles regarding the above story:

-- "What is the biblical account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/Shem-Ham-Japheth.html)

-- "Why did Noah curse Ham / Canaan?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-Ham-Canaan.html)

-- "Are black people cursed?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/black-people-cursed.html)

AUGUST 6

2 Timothy 2:15
[In a letter, the apostle Paul told Timothy, a minister of the gospel]: "Study [the Bible] to shew thyself [show yourself] approved unto God [or 'to prove yourself acceptable to God'], a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [see explanation below*]."
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*According to Adam Clarke's commentary, " … by rightly dividing the word of truth, we are to understand his [Timothy's, or a Christian minister's,] continuing in the true doctrine, and teaching that to every person; and … giving each his portion of meat in due season - milk to babes, strong meat to the full grown, comfort to the disconsolate [unhappy, depressed people], reproof to the irregular and careless; in a word, finding out the necessities of his hearers, and preaching so as to meet those necessities."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/2-timothy/2-15.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

Albert Barnes gives the same meaning but states it a little differently. According to him, a minister's job is "… rightfully and skillfully teaching the word of truth. The idea seems to be, that the minister of the gospel is to make a proper distribution of that word, adapting his instructions to the circumstances and wants of his hearers, and giving to each that which will be fitted to nourish the soul for heaven."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-timothy-2.html, "Verse 15")

AUGUST 5

Luke 17:3-4 - Forgiveness
To his disciples (followers), Jesus said:

Verse 3: "Take heed to yourselves [carefully consider this]: If thy brother [or sister--in this case, meaning a fellow Christian] [shall] trespass [sin] against thee [you], rebuke him [or her; i.e., tell that person (preferably in private) what he (or she) did, and ask for an explanation]; and if he [or she] [shall] repent [be truly sorry for what he (or she) did to you*], forgive him [or her]."

Verse 4: "And if he
[or she--the person you have already forgiven for sinning against you] [shall] trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day [shall] turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him [or her]."

According to the Bible, when people who have offended or hurt us say "I'm sorry" and ask for forgiveness, we should not hesitate to accept their apology and forgive them, even if it (the same sin and apology) happens repeatedly (over and over again).
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*Biblical definition of repent: a change of mind that results in a change of action. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/repentance.html.

AUGUST 1-4

Matthew 19:16-26 - Riches Can be a Hindrance (Obstacle) to Salvation

Verse 16: "And, behold, one
[young man, who was a ruler,] came [to Jesus as he was preaching and teaching and healing people along the coasts of Judea] and said unto him [Jesus], Good Master [teacher], what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

Verses 17-20: "And he
[Jesus] said unto him [the young man], Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt [if you want to] enter into life [have eternal life in heaven], keep [obey] the [ten] commandments. He [the young man] saith [said] unto him [Jesus], Which [commandments]? Jesus said,

[No. 6] Thou shalt do no [you shall not commit] murder,
[No. 7] Thou shalt not commit adultery,
[No. 8] Thou shalt not steal,
[No. 9] Thou shalt not bear false witness [shall not lie about others, publicly or privately],
[No. 5] Honour thy father and thy mother [by giving them love, respect, obedience, etc.]:
and
[,] [in summary], Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[Notice that in the above list, Jesus did not mention the commandments about idolatry, covetousness, and loving God.]

The young man saith unto him, All these things [the commandments listed above] have I kept [obeyed] from my youth up [since I was a child]: what lack I yet [what else do I need to do]?"

Verses 21-22: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect
[if your obedience to God will be complete], go and sell that thou hast [what you have, or 'your possessions'], and give to the poor [people], and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me [obey my commandments, follow my example, and live like I do]. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful [filled with sadness]: for he had great possessions [he was very rich--and, unfortunately, loved his money and possessions more than he loved God]."

Verses 23-24: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily
[truly] I say unto you, That a rich man [or woman or child] shall hardly [with difficulty] enter into the kingdom of heaven [which means that it's very hard to get rich people to realize that they must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ--not their money and possessions--if they want to be saved and have eternal life]. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of [or hole in] a needle, than for a rich man [or woman or child] to enter into the kingdom of God [i.e., heaven]."

Verses 25-26: "When his disciples heard it
[what Jesus said], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved [from hell]? But Jesus beheld [looked at] them, and said unto them, With men [human beings] this [thing, meaning salvation,] is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

As is shown by the above story, nobody can obey all of God's commandments all of the time, we can't work our way to heaven, and pride and love of money have prevented many people from being saved in the past and will prevent many people from being saved in the future.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." This means that the only way we can get to heaven is through faith--by believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, and that he was buried and rose again, and by trusting him as our personal Savior.

If you want to be saved (born again) but aren't sure what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
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GotQuestions.org has an article about these verses. It's called "What did Jesus mean when He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven?" and can be found here: https://www.gotquestions.org/camel-eye-needle.html.


Previous Verses
August 2019
AUGUST 30-31

Proverbs 30:24-28 - Lessons From Nature (in this case, creatures that are small but wise)

Verse 24: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding
[very] wise:"

Verse 25: "The ants are a people not strong
[they're weak], yet they prepare their meat [gather their food] in the summer [to eat in the fall and spring, since they sleep during the winter] [in other words, they plan ahead, like Joseph did, during Bible times, when he stockpiled grain in Egypt for seven years of famine];"

Verse 26: "The conies
[small animals, similar to rabbits, large mouse-like creatures, or groundhogs, that evidently don't dig] are but a feeble [weak and helpless] folk, yet make they their houses in the [little caves (holes) and crags (rough, jagged sections) of] rocks;"

Verse 27: "The locusts
[flying grasshoppers] have no king [or leader], yet go they forth all of them by bands [in orderly groups, like armies];"

Verse 28: "The spider taketh hold
[of walls, etc.] [and also spins webs] with her hands, and is in kings' palaces."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, these verses teach that "wisdom is superior to strength." His Bible studies on the book of Proverbs contain commentaries on the above verses. Their links are as follows:

-- Ants (verses 24-25): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_24-25/
-- Conies (verse 26): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_26/
-- Locusts (verse 27): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_27/
-- Spiders (verse 28): https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_28/

Here are excerpts from each commentary:

-- In the commentary on verse 25, we learn the following things:

"1. Ants are wise enough to plan ahead."

"2. Ants are wise enough to take personal responsibility."

"3. Ants are wise enough to be diligent [hard-working]."

"4. They are wise enough to seize a window of opportunity."

-- The commentary on verse 26 tells us what conies are (summarized in "Verse 26" above) and what lessons we can learn from them:

"1. Don't be proud and foolish; be humble and wise."

"2. Acknowledge our own spiritual weakness. Have no confidence in our flesh."

"3. Take refuge in the ROCK that God has provided for us."

"4. Stay close to the Rock [i.e., Jesus]."

"5. Turn your weaknesses into strength by resting in the ROCK of Ages."

"6. Don't lament your weakness. See it as an opportunity to rely upon the infinite power of God."

"7. There is no need to fear our enemies when we take refuge in God's provision for safety."

"8. We too have an enemy that is much stronger than we are. But when we rest in the safety of our Rock of Ages, we are safe and secure and nothing can harm us."

"9. Don't trust in self and assume that we can handle our adversary on our own."

"10. Thank God for the 'cleft of the Rock' He has provided."

"11. Today, it is also true among humans, that the unclean creature (a sinful man) who runs to Christ in faith will find safety and security in Him… our Rock of Ages."

-- In the commentary on verse 27, we learn some interesting facts about locusts:

"3. Locust swarms devastate crops and cause major agricultural damage. (information taken from the National Geographic.)

"a. This often causes human misery--famine and starvation. They occur in many parts of the world, but today locusts are most destructive in sustenance farming regions of Africa.

"b. The desert locust is notorious. Found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth's land surface. Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's humans.

"c. A desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile (one square kilometer).

"d. Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day, so a swarm of such size would eat 423 million pounds of plants every day.

"e. When they connect up with a wind current, they can fly over 300 miles in one night!"

And here (from paragraph 6 of the commentary) are the lessons that we (members of the local church) can learn from the locust:

"a. … they function as a unit… with orderly divisions."

"b. They function in great order."

"c. When the serotonin is released, it causes the locusts to be extremely social and to stay close to each other."

"d. They function as a unit for the good of the whole swarm."

"e. They function as an army on a mission."

"f. They are small and weak individually, but when they swarm almost nothing can stop them."

"g. They realize that there is strength in unity."

"h. And they do so without a king or ruler."

-- In the commentary on verse 28 (toward the end, under "Applications), Pastor Delany summarizes the above verses (24-28) as follows:

"d. All four of the "small but wise" creatures have lessons to teach us.
" They all teach us that our perceived disabilities (small; weak; etc.) need not be cause for defeat. If we use the abilities God has given us wisely, we can do quite well--in spite of our infirmities.
" The ant is small but stores food for the winter; their foresight and diligence makes up for their weakness.
" The coney is small and weak but lives in rocks which provide protection against larger and stronger predators; his wise choice of the rocks makes up for what he lacks in strength.
" The spider is small and generally hated--yet they reside in palaces. The spider can't jump like a grasshopper; he can't fly like a bird; but he does know how to make 'rope' and uses it for his advantage. He is not big and strong but he does have a fascinating and effective means of transportation. He gets around quite well considering his so called disability.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 22:29 -- The spider is diligent and ends up in king's palaces. We could learn from her diligence.
" All of these creatures do very well.
" They do not gripe, complain, or fret over the qualities they don't have; instead they use to the fullest the qualities they do have.
" And as a result, they have plenty to eat; they are safe from their enemies; and they live in beautiful dwellings. They have food; shelter; and safety. They have all their needs met. What more could they want?
" God takes care of them. He will take care of us.

"e. We would do well to learn from these little creatures."
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Another Bible commentator summarized Proverbs 30:24-28 as follows:

"We should not overlook the lesson here. Although the creatures mentioned here are very small and weak, God has endowed them with instinctive wisdom that perpetuates them. In contrast with that, man himself, who is also week [weak] and small, has been endowed with reason and intelligence; and if he would be guided by true wisdom `from God' as faithfully as these exceedingly small creatures are guided by what God gave them, the happiness and continuity of man would be prolonged."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/30-24.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

AUGUST 28-29

Psalm 150:1-6 - Praising God

Verse 1: "Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary
[i.e., wherever we worship him--in temples, churches, etc.]: praise him in the firmament of his power [meaning both on earth and in heaven]."

Verse 2: "Praise him
[God] for his mighty acts [for all of the wonderful things he has done]: praise him according to his excellent greatness."

Verses 3-5: "Praise him
[God] with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery [an ancient stringed musical instrument, similar to a violin or guitar] and harp. Praise him with the timbrel [tambourine] and dance [dancing]: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon [with] the loud cymbals: praise him upon [with] the high sounding [the larger and louder] cymbals."

Verse 6: "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."

AUGUST 27

Psalm 116:15: "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints
[referring to born-again Christians, or people who are saved--see note below*]."

Explaining this verse, one Bible commentator wrote:

"THE meaning of these words will be best marked from the occasion on which we suppose them to have been uttered. The psalm appears to have been written after Absalom's rebellion. Most imminent were the dangers from which [King] David had been delivered. For this mercy he renders thanks: and acknowledges, to the praise of his heavenly Protector [God], that, whilst his own son [Absalom] had sought his [David's] life, and instigated multitudes to seek his destruction, God had interposed for his deliverance, and had inflicted merited judgments on his enemies. So precious had God accounted his [David's] death, that he would make those to pay dearly who had laboured to effect it …

"From the words which I [Charles Simeon, the commentator] have read [in the above verse], I shall take occasion to shew [show],

"I. In what light God regards the death of the saints--

"We are not to understand that the death of his saints is pleasing to God, but rather, that he places a high value on them, and that he will suffer none to accomplish their death with impunity. So precious is their death, that,

"1. He watches over them [his saints] to prevent it-- …

"2. He will come forth to avenge it-- …

"3. He will never suffer [allow] it, till he has accomplished his good work within them [his saints]-- …"

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/116-15.html, "Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae")
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*For the biblical definition of saints and to learn more about them, see the following articles:

-- "Are Christians sinners, saints, or both?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/sinners-saints.html

-- "What are Christian saints according to the Bible?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html

AUGUST 26

Isaiah 40:22: "It is he
[God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth [which indicates that the earth is round, not flat--see note below*], and the inhabitants thereof [the people of earth] are as [small and powerless (weak and helpless) in God's sight as] grasshoppers [or locusts] [are to us]; [it is he (God)] that stretcheth [stretches] out the heavens as [like] a curtain [or canopy or awning], and spreadeth [spreads] them out as a tent [for the inhabitants of earth] to dwell [live] in:"
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*GotQuestions.org wrote "Does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?" to explain why some people mistakenly believe that the earth is flat. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/flat-earth-Bible.html.

AUGUST 23-25

John 6:24-29 - How to Please God

Verses 24-25: "When the people
[who had been following Jesus around and listening to him preach] therefore saw that Jesus was not there [at the seaside], [and] neither [were] his disciples, they also took shipping ['took ships,' or got into boats], and came to Capernaum [where Jesus had been living after he left Nazareth], seeking [searching, looking] for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi [teacher, master], when camest thou hither [when did you come here]?"

Verse 26: "Jesus answered them
[the people] and said, Verily, verily [truly, truly], I say unto you, Ye [you] seek me, not because ye saw the miracles [that I performed, including the miracle of the loaves, in which Jesus multiplied five barley loaves and two small fish to feed 5,000 men and their families--see note below*], but because ye did eat of the loaves [of bread], and [therefore your stomachs] were filled."

Verse 27: "Labour not
[don't work only] for the meat [i.e., food for the body] which perisheth [spoils, rots, decays], but [also work] for that meat [spiritual food] which endureth unto [leads to] everlasting life [in heaven], which the Son of man [Jesus, referring to himself,] shall give unto you: for [because] him [Jesus] hath God the Father sealed [put his 'stamp of approval' on, which means that God confirmed that he sent Jesus to earth as the Messiah and Savior of mankind and approved of his teachings]."

Verses 28-29: "Then said they
[the people] unto him [Jesus], What shall we do, that we might work the works of God [or 'what shall we do that will be acceptable to God']? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work [will] of God [the Father], that ye believe on him [Jesus] whom he [God] hath sent [to earth] [to save sinners from hell]."

In other words (according to verse 29), in order to please God, we must do the following:

1. Have faith that Jesus Christ (who is God's Son, the Messiah, and Savior of the world) died on the cross to pay for our sins.

2. 'Believe on him' (trust in Jesus) for eternal life.
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*You can read about the miracle of the loaves in this article: "What can we learn from Jesus' feeding of the 5,000?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/feeding-the-5000.html.

AUGUST 22

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

In his commentary on the above verse, Albert Barnes says that the term double-minded man "… is applicable to a man who has no settled principles; who is controlled by passion; who is influenced by popular feeling; who is now inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/james-1.html, "Verse 8")

AUGUST 21

Psalm 118:8: "It is better to trust in the LORD
[to help us, guide us, protect us, and do what is right] than to put confidence in man [mankind, people, human beings]."

According to Albert Barnes:

"… It is better [to trust in the Lord],

"(1) because man is weak - but God is Almighty;

"(2) because man is selfish - but God is benevolent [kind];

"(3) because man is often faithless and deceitful - God never [is];

"(4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be - but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and

"(5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to this present life - the power of God will be commensurate with eternity."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-118.html, "Verse 8")

AUGUST 17-20

Revelation 3:14-20 - Jesus' Message to Lukewarm Churches
Laodicea was an actual place in Bible times. This letter was written to the Christian church there, but it applies universally to all churches that are in the same condition as the Laodicean church.

Verse 14: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans [referring to people in the Laodicean church who were professed Christians, or who claimed to be saved (born again),] [the apostle John was directed to] write; These things saith the Amen [the Lord Jesus Christ], [who is] the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God [or 'the king of creation'] [i.e., in addition to being Creator of the universe, Jesus has purchased our salvation by dying on the cross and paying our sin debt, and he is head of the Christian church]; "

Verses 15-16: "I
[Jesus] know [from] thy [your] works [i.e., the things that you do and have done], that thou art [you are] neither cold nor hot [spiritually]: I would [prefer that] thou wert [you were] cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm [indifferent to the things of God], and neither cold nor hot, I [Jesus] will spue thee [vomit you] out of my mouth." [In other words, many members of the Laodicean church (and others like it) were (and are) in danger of being rejected and cast aside by God.]

Verse 17: [The reason I (Jesus) will 'spue thee out of my mouth' is] "Because thou sayest, I am rich [with worldly things], and increased with goods [possessions], and have need of nothing; and [because you] knowest not [do not know] that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked [all in a spiritual sense]:"

Verse 18: "I
[Jesus] counsel thee to buy of [from] me[,] [with (or through) faith,] [pure] gold [that has been] tried [refined] in the fire [meaning 'true and undefiled religion'], [so] that thou mayest be rich [you may have spiritual riches]; and white raiment [white robes, or garments of salvation], [so] that thou mayest be clothed [with my (Jesus') righteousness, or the righteousness of Christ], and [so] that the shame of thy [your soul's] nakedness do not appear [in heaven]; and [I (Jesus) also counsel you to] anoint thine [your] [spiritually blind] eyes with eyesalve, [so] that thou mayest see [the truth, and understand the gospel]."

Verse 19: "As many as I
[Jesus] love, I rebuke [criticize, reprimand] and chasten [discipline]: be zealous [enthusiastic, full of zeal] therefore, and repent [change your thinking]."

Verse 20: "Behold, I
[Jesus] stand at the door [to your heart], and knock: if any man [or woman or child] hear my voice, and open the door [of his (or her) heart] [to me (Jesus), through prayer, and invites me in], I will come in to him [or her] [and will save him (or her)--from hell], and will sup [dine, or have fellowship/companionship,] with him [or her], and he [or she] [will sup] with me."

If you are lukewarm and/or unsaved, Jesus may be knocking at the door of your heart right now. Won't you please let him in?

AUGUST 16

Proverbs 16:16: "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding
[is] rather to be chosen than silver!" [That's because, in God's view, wisdom and understanding are more valuable than silver and gold.]

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Near the end, it says:

"6. Practically, this [verse] should affect our every day lives.

"a. Where do we obtain God's wisdom and understanding? From God's Word…

"b. Thus, wisdom is obtained by spending TIME in His Word…

"c. The local church is the place where God's Word is taught…

"d. Personal devotion time in the word each day is also essential in obtaining wisdom.

"e. Silver and gold can sometimes pull us AWAY from obtaining God's wisdom…

"f. Silver and gold… and the OTHER things of the world vie [compete] for our affection and our time.

"g. We have to LOVE wisdom before we will seek it. It IS a matter of the heart."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_16/

AUGUST 15

John 14:6: "Jesus saith
[said] unto him [Thomas, the disciple], I am the way [to heaven], the truth [God's truth], and the life [eternal life]: no man [or woman or child] cometh unto the Father [i.e., to God the Father, in heaven,] [physically or spiritually], but by [except through] me."

This verse is saying that the only way we can have our sins forgiven and our fellowship with God restored is by receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. If you would like to do that, and if you believe that Jesus 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 on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. If you want to read them, here's the link:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

AUGUST 10-14

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments were written on two stone tablets by the finger of God and delivered to Moses when he appeared before God on Mount Sinai. They were part of the comprehensive system of laws (moral, ceremonial, and judicial) that God specifically gave to the Jewish nation, but these ten moral laws also applied (and still do apply) to everyone else in the world.

[Introduction:] "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee [you, the children of Israel,] out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage [because they had been slaves in Egypt, and God rescued them].

[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me [God, meaning they were only to worship Almighty God, the one true God].

[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [referring to idols made of wood, metal, and stone], or any likeness [such as pictures and statues] of any thing that is in heaven above [including God], 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, statues, etc.] [in worship], nor serve them: for [because] 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 [referring to the descendants] of them that hate me; And shewing [showing] mercy unto thousands [or 'unto the thousandth generation'] of them [the people] that love me, and keep my commandments.

[3] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him [or her] guiltless [innocent] that taketh his name in vain. [This includes false oaths, unkept promises to God, common swearing where the name of God is used, jokes about God, etc.]

[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [i.e., Saturday in the Old Testament, and Sunday in the New Testament] is the sabbath [the day of rest after labor] of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, [nor] 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] Honour [love, respect, and obey] thy [your] father and thy mother: [so] that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

[6] Thou shalt not kill [intentionally murder someone due to hatred or revenge].

[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery[,] [which is voluntary intercourse between a married person and someone who is not his or her spouse].

[8] Thou shalt not steal.

[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour [meaning you shall not give false testimony in court, spread gossip, tell lies about someone, etc.].

[10] Thou shalt not covet [yearn to possess or have] thy neighbour's house [or land or possessions], thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass [donkey], nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

Commandments 1-4 concern our duty to God; the last six concern our duty to ourselves and mankind.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus summed up all of these commandments as follows: "… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

AUGUST 7-9

Genesis 9:18-29 - After the Flood--Noah Curses Canaan (Son of Ham)

Verses 18-19: "And the sons of Noah, that went forth of
[from] the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of [from] them was the whole earth overspread [covered, meaning populated, or filled with people--see note below*]."

Verses 20-22: "And Noah began to be an husbandman
[a farmer], and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine [that was made from the grapes], and was drunken; and he was uncovered [wearing no clothes] within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren [brothers] [who were] without [outside the tent]."

Verse 23: "And Shem and Japheth took a garment
[a piece of clothing], and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went [walked] backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not [did not see] their father's nakedness."

Verse 24: "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him
[see note below**]."

Verse 25: "And he
[Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan [and his descendants]; a servant of servants shall he [and his descendants] be unto his brethren [brothers] [and their descendants]. "

Verses 26-27: "And he
[Noah] said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his [Shem's] servant. God shall enlarge Japheth [in regard to land that his people would occupy and their intellectual faculties (i.e., their ability to reason and understand objectively)], and he [Japheth] shall dwell in the tents of Shem [meaning their people would live near one another]; and Canaan shall be his [Japheth's] servant."

Verses 28-29: "And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died."
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*An article entitled "The Table of Nations" explains in detail who the descendants of Noah's sons were and where they settled (Shem in Asia, Ham and Canaan in Africa, Japheth in Europe). It is very easy to read and includes a map. Here's the link, if you want to check it out: https://www.bible-history.com/maps/2-table-of-nations.html.

**According to John Gill's commentary on Genesis 9:22: "… what Noah's younger son did unto him, besides looking on him, we are not told, yet it was such as brought a curse on Canaan; and one would think it would be more than bare sight, nay, it is expressly said there was something done, but what is not said, (Genesis 9:24) ."

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/genesis-9-22.html)

Note: GotQuestions.org has several articles regarding the above story:

-- "What is the biblical account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/Shem-Ham-Japheth.html)

-- "Why did Noah curse Ham / Canaan?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-Ham-Canaan.html)

-- "Are black people cursed?"
     (https://www.gotquestions.org/black-people-cursed.html)

AUGUST 6

2 Timothy 2:15
[In a letter, the apostle Paul told Timothy, a minister of the gospel]: "Study [the Bible] to shew thyself [show yourself] approved unto God [or 'to prove yourself acceptable to God'], a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [see explanation below*]."
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*According to Adam Clarke's commentary, " … by rightly dividing the word of truth, we are to understand his [Timothy's, or a Christian minister's,] continuing in the true doctrine, and teaching that to every person; and … giving each his portion of meat in due season - milk to babes, strong meat to the full grown, comfort to the disconsolate [unhappy, depressed people], reproof to the irregular and careless; in a word, finding out the necessities of his hearers, and preaching so as to meet those necessities."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/2-timothy/2-15.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

Albert Barnes gives the same meaning but states it a little differently. According to him, a minister's job is "… rightfully and skillfully teaching the word of truth. The idea seems to be, that the minister of the gospel is to make a proper distribution of that word, adapting his instructions to the circumstances and wants of his hearers, and giving to each that which will be fitted to nourish the soul for heaven."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-timothy-2.html, "Verse 15")

AUGUST 5

Luke 17:3-4 - Forgiveness
To his disciples (followers), Jesus said:

Verse 3: "Take heed to yourselves [carefully consider this]: If thy brother [or sister--in this case, meaning a fellow Christian] [shall] trespass [sin] against thee [you], rebuke him [or her; i.e., tell that person (preferably in private) what he (or she) did, and ask for an explanation]; and if he [or she] [shall] repent [be truly sorry for what he (or she) did to you*], forgive him [or her]."

Verse 4: "And if he
[or she--the person you have already forgiven for sinning against you] [shall] trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day [shall] turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him [or her]."

According to the Bible, when people who have offended or hurt us say "I'm sorry" and ask for forgiveness, we should not hesitate to accept their apology and forgive them, even if it (the same sin and apology) happens repeatedly (over and over again).
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*Biblical definition of repent: a change of mind that results in a change of action. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/repentance.html.

AUGUST 1-4

Matthew 19:16-26 - Riches Can be a Hindrance (Obstacle) to Salvation

Verse 16: "And, behold, one
[young man, who was a ruler,] came [to Jesus as he was preaching and teaching and healing people along the coasts of Judea] and said unto him [Jesus], Good Master [teacher], what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

Verses 17-20: "And he
[Jesus] said unto him [the young man], Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt [if you want to] enter into life [have eternal life in heaven], keep [obey] the [ten] commandments. He [the young man] saith [said] unto him [Jesus], Which [commandments]? Jesus said,

[No. 6] Thou shalt do no [you shall not commit] murder,
[No. 7] Thou shalt not commit adultery,
[No. 8] Thou shalt not steal,
[No. 9] Thou shalt not bear false witness [shall not lie about others, publicly or privately],
[No. 5] Honour thy father and thy mother [by giving them love, respect, obedience, etc.]:
and
[,] [in summary], Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[Notice that in the above list, Jesus did not mention the commandments about idolatry, covetousness, and loving God.]

The young man saith unto him, All these things [the commandments listed above] have I kept [obeyed] from my youth up [since I was a child]: what lack I yet [what else do I need to do]?"

Verses 21-22: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect
[if your obedience to God will be complete], go and sell that thou hast [what you have, or 'your possessions'], and give to the poor [people], and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me [obey my commandments, follow my example, and live like I do]. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful [filled with sadness]: for he had great possessions [he was very rich--and, unfortunately, loved his money and possessions more than he loved God]."

Verses 23-24: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily
[truly] I say unto you, That a rich man [or woman or child] shall hardly [with difficulty] enter into the kingdom of heaven [which means that it's very hard to get rich people to realize that they must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ--not their money and possessions--if they want to be saved and have eternal life]. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of [or hole in] a needle, than for a rich man [or woman or child] to enter into the kingdom of God [i.e., heaven]."

Verses 25-26: "When his disciples heard it
[what Jesus said], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved [from hell]? But Jesus beheld [looked at] them, and said unto them, With men [human beings] this [thing, meaning salvation,] is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

As is shown by the above story, nobody can obey all of God's commandments all of the time, we can't work our way to heaven, and pride and love of money have prevented many people from being saved in the past and will prevent many people from being saved in the future.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." This means that the only way we can get to heaven is through faith--by believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, and that he was buried and rose again, and by trusting him as our personal Savior.

If you want to be saved (born again) but aren't sure what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
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GotQuestions.org has an article about these verses. It's called "What did Jesus mean when He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven?" and can be found here: https://www.gotquestions.org/camel-eye-needle.html.


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