"Verse of the Day" Bible Verses - August 2021
Note from Linda:
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"Verse of the Day"
"Verse of the Day"
The Apostle Paul's Dilemma: Deciding Which is Better--To Live or Die?
In a letter to members of the Philippian church, during one of his imprisonments, Paul wrote:
Philippians 1:21: "For to me to live [my purpose for living] is [to serve and glorify (give praise and honor to) my Lord and Savior, Jesus] Christ, and to die is gain [meaning it will be advantageous (beneficial) to me, because I'll have a wonderful new home in heaven, where there is no more sin, sorrow, suffering, etc.]."
Philippians 1:22: "But if I [Paul] live in the flesh [here on earth, in my physical body], this [thing; i.e., glorifying God and helping his church grow and thrive--by preaching, teaching, telling people how to be saved, etc.] is the fruit [result] of my labour: yet what I shall choose [or prefer to do--live or die] I wot [know] not [or 'do not know']."
Philippians 1:23-24: "For I am in a strait [a narrow place, like a fork in a road] betwixt [between] two [things--life and death], having a desire to depart [leave this world], and to be with [Jesus] Christ [in heaven]; which is far [much] better [and would bring me greater joy]: Nevertheless to abide [remain here on earth,] in the flesh [in my body, as a preacher and teacher,] is more needful [necessary, beneficial] for you [Christians]."
Paul was saying that if he had to decide whether to live or die, he wouldn't know which to choose, since he believed that being in heaven with Jesus would be so much better than living on earth.
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In his commentary, Matthew Henry said:
"… Paul's strait was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison: but his strait was between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another …"
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/philippians/1.html, "Verses 21-26," "(v. 24)")
During the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples:
John 15:7: "If ye [you] abide in me [or 'if you are born again and stay close to me (Jesus) by faith'], and [if] my words abide in you [or 'if you obey my commandments'], ye shall ask [God, through prayer] what ye will [have, or 'what you want, need, or desire to have happen'], and it shall be done unto you [which means that your prayers will be answered]."
The above verse also applies to us.
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In his commentary on John 15:7, Charles Spurgeon said:
"… Do not take that verse as a promise of unlimited answers to prayer, for it is nothing of the kind. Remember the 'if' that qualifies it: 'If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,' for a man who is truly in Christ, as the branch is in the vine, and who is feeding upon Christ's words, will be so influenced by the Holy Spirit that he will not ask anything which is contrary to the mind of God. Consequently, his prayers, though in one sense unrestricted, are really restricted by the tenderness of his conscience, and the sensitiveness of his spirit to the influence of the mind of God. There are some Christians who do not get their prayers answered, and who never will as long as they do not comply with this condition, 'If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.' If you do not take notice of Christ's words, he will not take notice of your words. He is not going to open his door to every stranger who chooses to give a runaway knock at it, but he will pay attention to his own children who pay attention to him …"
(Source: The Complete Works of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 47: Sermons 2708 to 2759. (n.d.). (n.p.): Delmarva Publications, Inc. Quoted from "Exposition on John 15:1-11 - Verse 7," which is located between Sermon Nos. 2715 and 2716)
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Spurgeon also said:
"… This is the secret of successful prayer. Christ listens to your words because you listen to his words. If you are conformed to his will, he will grant you your will. Disobedient children, when they pray, may expect to get the rod for an answer. In true kindness, God may refuse to listen to them until they are willing to listen to him …"
(Source: The Complete Works of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 52: Sermons 2968-3019. (n.d.). (n.p.): Delmarva Publications, Inc. Quoted from "Exposition on John 15 - Verse 7," which is located in the section just after Sermon No. 2990)
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James Burton Coffman, another Bible commentator, said:
"Whatsoever ye will ... is not a promise that anything that might be asked of God by any person will be done, but means that a person truly 'in Christ,' and asking in harmony with the Father's will, will have his prayers answered. This is one of the great promises."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/15-7.html, "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible")
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GotQuestions.org has written an article to answer the question "What does it mean to abide in Christ?" Near the end, it says: "Proofs of abiding in Christ (i.e., proofs that one is truly saved and not just pretending) include obedience to Christ's commands … following Jesus' example … living free from habitual sin … and the awareness of a divine presence within one's life …"
If you want to read the entire article, including many Bible references (which have been omitted in the quoted material above), here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/abide-in-Christ.html.
In a farewell sermon to his disciples at the Last Supper, before his crucifixion, Jesus said:
John 16:33: "These things [referring to what Jesus had told his disciples (apostles) to help them withstand the troubles of life, especially the ones that they would soon endure] I have spoken unto you, [so] that in [through] me [Jesus] ye might have peace [both an inner peace and peace with God]. In the [this] world ye [you (disciples)--and all born-again Christians] shall have tribulation [trouble or suffering]: but be of good cheer [be joyful, glad, happy] [because]; I [Jesus] have overcome the world [by being victorious over worldly things, including anxieties and cares, hatred and persecution, sin and temptation, spiritual forces, and sorrow and death--see note below*]."
Commenting on the above verse, in regard to tribulation, Matthew Henry said:
"… It has been the lot of [Jesus] Christ's disciples [followers] to have more or less tribulation in this world. Men persecute them because they are so good, and God corrects them because they are no better. Men design to cut them off from the earth, and God designs by affliction to make them meet [acceptable] for heaven; and so between both they shall have tribulation …"
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/john/16.html, "(v. 33)"
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Concerning Jesus having "overcome the world," Albert Barnes said:
"… He [Jesus] overcame the prince of this world [Satan, the devil] by his death … He vanquished [defeated] the great foe [enemy] of man [mankind], and triumphed over all that would work our ruin. He brought down aid and strength from above [from heaven] by his death; and by procuring [obtaining] for us the friendship of God and the influence of the [Holy] Spirit; by his own instructions and example; by revealing to us the glories of heaven, and opening our eyes to see the excellence of heavenly things, he has furnished us with the means of overcoming all our enemies, and of triumphing in all our temptations …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-16.html, "Verse 33")
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*For specific ways in which Jesus has "overcome the world," read "What did Jesus mean when He said, 'I have overcome the world,' in John 16:33?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/I-have-overcome-the-world.html.
Jesus Dines With a Religious Leader and Teaches a Lesson About Charity
Luke 14:12: "Then said he [Jesus] also to him [one of the chief Pharisees, a member of the Sanhedrin,] that bade him [had invited Jesus] [to his house to eat], When thou makest [when you plan to have] a dinner or a supper [party], call not thy [don't just invite your] friends, nor thy brethren [brothers, family members], neither thy kinsmen [relatives], nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again [because they'll probably do the same thing back to you; i.e., invite you to their 'party'], and a recompence [return favor will] be made thee [to you]."
Luke 14:13-14: "But when thou makest a feast [or banquet, or when you have a dinner party], call [invite] the poor [people], the maimed [i.e., people with severe injuries or missing limbs (arms, legs)], the lame [people who limp or walk with difficulty], the blind [people]: And thou shalt be blessed [both by God on judgment day and in the happiness you receive here on earth by doing good]; for they [those who are poor, maimed, lame, and blind] cannot recompense [repay] thee: for thou shalt be recompensed [rewarded] at the resurrection [rising up from the dead] of the just [or 'righteous people'-- in this case, referring to born-again Christians]."
Luke 14:15: "And when one of them [one of the other guests] that sat at meat [who sat at the table to eat] with him [Jesus] heard these things [that were said], he said unto him [Jesus], Blessed is he [or she] that shall eat bread [enjoy a good meal] in the kingdom of God [or 'in heaven']."
Regarding the above verse, one Bible commentator wrote:
"The passage begins with Jesus suggesting to His host … that when next time he makes a supper or dinner he should not invite those who will return his invitation and thus recompense [repay] him for what he has done. For there is no goodness in that. It is simply a part of the social round. It may earn him a reputation as being a good host, but it will earn no plaudits [applause] from God.
"Jesus is not, of course, discouraging family gatherings. He is rather using them to get over His point that the poor and needy should not be overlooked, and that what we do for them counts even more than what we do in this way for our families …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/14-12.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")
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In addition, John Gill wrote that the phrase call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind in Luke 14:13 means:
"… the poor maimed, the poor lame, and the poor blind; otherwise it is possible that rich men may be maimed, lame, and blind; whereas these are not intended, but such who are in indigent circumstances [or who are unable to afford the necessities of life], that stand in need of a meal, and to whom it is welcome."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/14-13.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")
Jesus said this to the crowd after Zacchaeus, a publican (tax collector), got saved:
Luke 19:10: "For the Son of man [referring to himself--Jesus, who is both the 'Son of man' and 'Son of God'--see note below*] is [has] come [to earth, in human form] to seek [go in search of, look for] and to save [from hell, or to give eternal life to] that which was lost [spiritually, meaning all sinners--everyone who was, and is, 'lost in sin']."
The first people that God created were Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, their connection with God was broken when they deliberately disobeyed his command, in the garden of Eden, to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result, Adam and Eve's descendants--all human beings--were and are "born in sin" and "lost in sin" because we have all inherited a sinful nature from them (see Romans 5:12).
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*GotQuestions.org has an article that addresses the question "What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Son-of-Man.html.
Genesis 2:7: "And the LORD God formed man [Adam, the first man] of the dust of the ground [from the soil … or clay, since the dust (dirt) was probably moistened (made slightly wet) by the mist that went up from the earth in the garden of Eden], and breathed into his nostrils [his nose] the breath of life; and man [Adam] became a living soul [person]."
This was one of God's instructions, through Moses, to the children of Israel (Jewish people):
Leviticus 19:28: "Ye [you] shall not make any cuttings in your flesh [your skin] for the dead [people--see note below*], nor [shall you] print any marks [tattoos] upon you: I am the LORD."
Tattoos are not mentioned in the New Testament, so if you're wondering if born-again Christians should get them, the following articles may provide some guidance:
-- "What does the Bible say about tattoos?"
-- "Is it okay to get tattoos if they are of a Christian nature?"
-- "Should a Christian get a henna tattoo?"
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*According to a Bible commentator named John Gill:
"… It was a custom among some nations in Bible times, when someone died and the people were in mourning, to cut themselves with their fingernails or some type of instrument (knife, razor, etc.) to appease (pacify, calm the anger) of their deities (gods). Most of the time, they would tear their hair, cheeks, and/or mouths and beat their breasts. Sometimes, when a king died, they even "cut off a part of the ear, shaved the hair round about, cut the arms about, wounded the forehead and nose, and transfixed [pierced] the left hand with arrows …" Regarding tattoos, or printing marks on people, this "… was usually done as an idolatrous practice …"
To his disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus said:
John 13:35: "By this shall all men [people] know that ye [you] are my disciples [followers], if ye have love [brotherly love, affection, goodwill] one to another [or 'for other Christians']."
Proverbs 20:3: "It is an honour [an honorable thing, worthy of respect and admiration] for a man [or woman or child] to cease from strife [or to refuse to become involved in arguments and quarrels about unimportant matters]: but every fool will be meddling [interfering, or taking part, in situations, other than his (or her) own, involving controversy and strife]."
Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that strife in the above verse does not apply to normal, everyday disagreements or differences of opinion between individuals or groups of people, but to what happens when someone tries to stir up trouble because of those disagreements. In his commentary, Pastor Delany gives examples of normal differences of opinion and how they can develop into heated arguments, and he tells what the people involved can do to act as peacemakers and cease from strife.
If you want to read the pastor's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_3/.
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In another commentary on the same verse, Matthew Poole says:
"To cease from strife; either to prevent it, or, if it be begun, to put an end to it …
"Will be meddling, to wit, with matters of strife; he is always ready to begin strife, and obstinate in the continuance of it."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/20-3.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible," "Verse 3")
Proverbs 19:1: "Better is the poor [person] that walketh [walks, acts, behaves] in his [or her] integrity [referring to someone who is honest and has a good moral compass and consequently lives a good, wholesome, moral lifestyle], than he [or she] that is perverse [corrupt] in his [or her] lips [which means that when the person speaks, he (or she) distorts the truth, or that what he (or she) says shows a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion], and is a fool."
According to Pastor Jim Delany, of Salem Bible Church, a poor person of integrity is better than a rich person without integrity. His commentary tells why. Here's an excerpt:
"6a. … Some wealthy men are fine, moral citizens… and today some are even fine, godly Christians.
"b. However, Solomon saw MANY wealthy men in his day.
"c. He noticed that wealth was not always accompanied by good manners… by a good, wholesome, moral lifestyle.
"d. Solomon noted that many wealthy men are perverse fools.
"e. Solomon saw a side of the wealthy that man OTHER people never saw.
"f. The poor people only saw their earthly glory and splendor.
"• Poor men were often jealous of the rich… jealous of their lifestyle…
"• The poor often LONGED to trade places with the rich.
"• Perhaps some of US have those same feelings. It is part of our nature.
"g. As a king, having to deal with Kings, nobility, and wealthy landowners on a daily basis, Solomon also knew all about the ugly side of wealth.
"h. Thus, Solomon writes this proverb to let the poor men in his kingdom know that things aren't always as they seem.
"i. Poor men had one snapshot of the wealthy… and it seemed SO appealing and attractive.
"j. Solomon wanted to broaden their perspective of wealth and the wealthy… so he gives them another view…
"k. He gives them another view of the wealthy nobles AND another view of their own humble circumstances.
"• Solomon wants his readers to know that the wealthy might SEEM to be in an enviable position… looks are deceiving!
"• Solomon also wants his readers to know that the poor aren't in such a bad position after all…
"• Not once they broaden their perspective and look at the WHOLE LIFE of the man."
Then, in the commentary, Pastor Delany shows the lives of the rich people and poor people from an earthly and heavenly perspective and comes to the following conclusions:
"• We look at the glorious side of wealth and envy it.
"• We ought to look at the ugly side too--hatred, bitterness, envy, trouble, pressure, etc.
"• When we widen our angle to see the whole picture--we're not so bad off after all!
"• We may not have the big fancy house… the gold and rubies… or the jet set lifestyle…
"• But Solomon wants us to know that our little can actually be BETTER than their much…
"• A man of integrity has a clean conscience. He can sleep at night… and have peace of mind… and experience rest.
"• His friends like him because of his character-not for his money. That is priceless.
"• The true measure of a man is his character-not his outward circumstances."
If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_1/.
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Matthew Henry's commentary says:
"… Let [a poor man] be honest and walk in integrity, let him keep a good conscience and make it appear that he does so, let him always speak and act with sincerity when he is under the greatest temptations to dissemble [hide his true feelings] and break his word, and then let him value himself upon that, for all wise and good men will value him. He is better, has a better character, is in a better condition, is better beloved, and lives to better purpose, than many a one that looks great and makes a figure. What will be the shame of a rich man, notwithstanding all his pomp [show of magnificence]. If he have a shallow head and an evil tongue, if he is perverse [corrupt, contrary to what is right and good] in his lips and is a fool, if he is a wicked man and gets what he has by fraud [deceit] and oppression, he is a fool, and an honest poor man is to be preferred far before him."
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/19.html, "Verse 1")
Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withereth [withers, dries up], the flower fadeth [fades, loses its color and dies]: but the word of our God [as recorded in the Bible] shall stand [strong, reliable, and true … and its wisdom, promises, etc., may be counted on and trusted in] for ever."
Earthly things are just temporary, but spiritual things are eternal.
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Commenting on the flowers from her daughter's wedding, which had begun to wither and fade, Karol Ladd wrote on her blog:
"… Certainly flowers are wonderful to enjoy, but they are also a reminder of how temporary most things are in life. We need to build our lives on what is lasting. The principles in God's word will never fade away, and when we walk according to His ways we experience beauty in life. In our current culture some of God's principles are frowned upon, yet their truth stands the test of time …"
Leviticus 19:31: "Regard not [turn away from] them that have familiar spirits [people who have demonic (evil) spirits that serve them (which are also known as 'spirit guides'), especially when they (the people with 'familiar spirits') are in the business of contacting the dead], neither [and don't] seek after wizards [don't associate or consult with people, such as magicians, sorcerers, fortune tellers, etc., who use supernatural power to influence the course of events or predict the future], to be defiled [corrupted, polluted, or made dirty or unclean] by them: I am the LORD your God."
According to Matthew Henry, this verse is "… [a] caution against all communion with witches, and those that were in league with familiar spirits: 'Regard them not, seek not after them, be not in fear of any evil from them nor in hopes of any good from them. Regard not their threatenings, or promises, or predictions; seek not to them for discovery or advice, for, if you do, you are defiled by it, and rendered abominable [detestable] both to God and your own consciences.' This was the sin that completed Saul's wickedness, for which he was rejected of [by] God …"
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/leviticus/19.html, "Verses 30-37")
Proverbs 16:5: "Every one that is proud in heart [meaning haughty, arrogant, full of pride] is an abomination [an object of disgust or extreme hatred] to the LORD: though hand join in hand [i.e., although the proud person may 'hold hands' with other sinners (as when forming a 'human chain') in opposition to God], he [or she--the person who is 'proud is heart'] shall not be unpunished [or 'will be punished'] [by God]."
Matthew Henry summarized the verse as follows:
"… Though [sinners] may … [join] forces against God, they shall not escape his righteous judgment …"
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/16.html, "Verse 5")
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Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse has many examples, both from the Bible and from everyday life, of situations involving strength in numbers. It shows how people can escape punishment because of, or can be punished in spite of, their large numbers.
Excerpts from the commentary include the following:
"A2d. A proud heart is something we too can and DO manifest.
"• Pride over our accomplishments; looks; intelligence; spirituality; wisdom; possessions; talents; position; good deeds; popularity; etc…"
"• Pride is a nasty sin we ALL have to deal with… for it can easily be HIDDEN under a guise of humility… a false humility…
"• God hates pride and sees right through our masks when we try to conceal it."
"B1b. WICKED men [for example, people in the cities of Babel and Sodom, the wicked in the days of Noah, people who don't believe in Jesus, and members of mobs during riots] … will not escape punishment simply by virtue of their numbers." Neither will they escape judgment for their sins because "everyone's doing it" or because sin is not judged immediately.
The commentary ends with this:
"5e. It is as easy for God to break a cord of 6 billion as it is to break a cord of 6… or even a single cord."
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_5/.
Proverbs 15:25: "The LORD [God] will destroy the house [household (family) and/or house] of the proud [person]: but he will establish the border [or 'protect the property'] of the widow [and of others who are unable to defend, or protect, themselves]."
Regarding the above verse, Albert Barnes said:
"The widow - Here, … the widow, as the most extreme type of desolation, stands as the representative of a class safer in their poverty under the protection of the Lord, than the proud in the haughtiness [arrogance, attitude of superiority] of their strength."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-15.html, Verse 25")
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Matthew Henry added:
"… It is the honour of God to protect the weak and appear for those that are oppressed [burdened by abuse of power or authority, subject to cruel or unjust treatment]."
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/15.html, "Verse 25")
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There is no commentary for this verse on the Salem Bible Church website.
Proverbs 14:13: "Even in laughter [sometimes when a person appears to be happy and having fun] the heart is sorrowful [full of grief]; and the end of that mirth [laughter, cheerfulness--referring, in this case, to the person's true, hidden feelings] is heaviness [sadness]."
Sometimes true feelings are hidden by forced (or fake) smiles.
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According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Solomon's point in this proverb is that laughter isn't always what it seems." In his commentary, he says, "Solomon observed that often times people attempt to cover up their deep inner grief with the outward appearance of laughter" and that "clowns [and comedians, too] are often very sad people."
Pastor Delany says, "the very thing we try to block out [in public] [i.e., sorrow] is GOOD for us!" That's because:
"• God uses sorrow to get our attention… to cause us to look to Him… to stop and think…
"• God uses sorrow to strengthen the inner man. It is in a time of grief that we take the time to reflect upon life… on the important things…
"• This sorrow and sober reflection often leads to repentance… a change of mind followed by a turning in the right direction.
"• People are much more likely to think soberly about the real issues of life at a funeral than at a party."
The commentary ends with:
"• So there is no point in covering up sorrow… or pretending to be always happy.
"• If you are going through a period of grief or sorrow… let God USE that period for good in your life."
If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_13/.
How God Wants Christians to Live
Titus 2:11: "For the grace [kindness, unmerited (undeserved) favor] of God that bringeth [brings] [the plan of] salvation hath [has] appeared [been revealed] to all men [to all people or classes of people--Jews/gentiles, males/females, masters/servants, old/young, rich/poor, wise/foolish, etc.],"
Titus 2:12: "Teaching us [born-again Christians] [or 'the grace of God teaches us'] that, denying [renouncing, rejecting, giving up, refusing to be associated with] ungodliness [all things contrary to God, including atheism, idolatry, and false religions] and worldly lusts [such as ambition, pride, and/or a desire for riches, pleasure, honor, etc.], we should live soberly [calmly, seriously--by exercising self-control], righteously [justly, fairly--by treating people in a way that is considered morally right)], and godly [by honoring and obeying God], in this present world;"
We Must All be Saved God's Way
The apostle Paul wrote this in his letter to the Christians in Rome:
Romans 10:1: "Brethren [fellow Christians], my heart's desire [sincere wish] and prayer to God for Israel [the Jewish nation] is, that they might be saved [from the sin of unbelief and the consequences of sin (i.e., punishment in hell)--in other words, Paul wants them to be 'born again']."
Romans 10:2, 3: "For I [Paul] bear them record [bear witness, or give evidence] that they [the Jewish people] have a zeal of [great energy and enthusiasm for] God, but not according to [true and correct] knowledge. For they [the Jews] being ignorant of God's righteousness [not understanding the gospel (God's simple plan of salvation), i.e., that sinners are justified (made righteous, or acceptable, in God's sight) by grace through faith in Jesus Christ], and going about to establish their own righteousness [through good works and obedience to the law of Moses], have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
Romans 10:4: "For [faith in] Christ [Jesus] is the end of the [moral] law [referring to the Ten Commandments] [see note below*] for righteousness [justification, or acceptance by God] to every one that believeth [to everyone who believes on, or trusts in, him--Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God--for salvation]."
We should follow Paul's example and pray for the salvation of Israel, and also for our own country and the people we love.
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*According to Albert Barnes, the phrase Christ is the end of the law in verse 4 means that "… perfect obedience to the Law [which is an impossible thing to do, as we gave all sinned at least once, per Romans 3:23] would accomplish justification before God, secure his favor and eternal life. The same end is now accomplished by faith in Christ …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-10.html, "Verse 4")
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If you want to be saved God's way but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website, which can be found here: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
This was written by an unknown author, perhaps King David, to the people of God (i.e., the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, and born-again Christians in the New Testament).
Psalm 33:20: "Our soul waiteth for [we wait for, or depend on,] the LORD [God]: he is our help [or helper, because he provides aid and assistance when necessary] and our shield [because he defends us from our enemies and protects us from harm]."
Ecclesiastes 7:8: "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof [i.e., sometimes bad things that happen turn into good]: and the [person who is] patient in spirit is better than the [person who is] proud in spirit [which means that it's better to be patient than proud]."
One Bible commentator told the following story to illustrate the above verse:
"The lion was caught in the toils of the hunter. The more he tugged, the more his feet got entangled; when a little mouse heard his roaring, and said that if his majesty would not hurt him, he thought he could release him. At first the king of beasts took no notice of such a contemptible ally; but at last, like other proud spirits in trouble, he allowed his tiny friend to do as he pleased. So one by one the mouse nibbled through the cords till he had set free first one foot and then another, and then all the four, and with a growl of hearty gratitude the king of the forest acknowledged that the patient in spirit is sometimes stronger than the proud in spirit …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ecclesiastes/7-8.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "The power of patience")
A Tale of Two Sisters: Martha (the Worrier) and Mary (the Worshiper)
Luke 10:38: "Now it came to pass, as they [Jesus and his disciples] went [on their way to Jerusalem], that he [Jesus (and his disciples)] entered into a certain village [called Bethany]: and a certain woman named Martha [who was probably a widow and who had a sister, named Mary, and a brother, named Lazarus] received him [Jesus (and his disciples), kindly and hospitably,] into her house [as a guest]."
Luke 10:39: "And she [Martha] had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word [or 'listened to Jesus' preaching and teaching']."
Luke 10:40: "But Martha was cumbered about much serving [meaning she was very busy preparing food for her guests and making sure that they were comfortable], and [she] came to him [Jesus], and said, Lord, dost thou not care [do you not care] that my sister [Mary] hath [has] left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me [or 'please ask her to come and help me']."
Luke 10:41-42: "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art [you are] careful [anxious, full of care] and troubled [worried, distracted] about many things [i.e., providing 'food for the body']: But one thing is needful [needed]: and Mary hath chosen that good part [i.e., 'food for the soul,' referring to salvation, plus a love for God and his word, and an interest in his kingdom], which shall not be taken away from her."
Regarding the above verses, James Burton Coffman said:
"… Much of the failure of modern Christianity lies in the fact that Christians are busy with all kinds of things, many of them important and necessary, of course; but yet they have no time for the word of the Lord [i.e., studying the Bible]."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/10-41.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")
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In addition, Albert Barnes ended his commentary on this story by saying:
"… From this interesting narrative we learn:
"1. That the cares of this life are dangerous, even when they seem to be most lawful and commendable. Nothing of a worldly nature could have been more proper than to provide for the Lord Jesus and supply his wants. Yet even 'for this,' because it too much engrossed her mind, the Lord Jesus gently reproved Martha. So a care for our families may be the means of our neglecting religion and losing our souls.
"2. It is of more importance to attend to the instructions of the Lord Jesus than to be engaged in the affairs of the world. The one will abide [continue] forever; the other will be but for a little time.
"3. There 'are' times when it is proper to suspend worldly employments, and to attend to the affairs of the soul. It 'was' proper for Mary to do it. It would have been proper for Martha to have done it. It 'is' proper for all on the Sabbath and at other occasional seasons - seasons of prayer and for searching the word of God - to suspend worldly concerns and to attend to religion.
"4. If attention to religion be omitted at 'the proper time,' it will always be omitted. If Mary had neglected to hear Jesus 'then,' she might never have heard him.
"5. Piety [reverence for God] is the chief thing needed. Other things will perish [come to an end]. We shall soon die. All that we can gain we must leave. But the 'soul' will live. There is a judgment-seat; there is a heaven; there is a hell; and 'all' that is needful to prepare us to die, and to make us happy forever, is to be a friend of Jesus, and to listen to his teaching.
"6. Piety is the chief ornament in a female. It sweetens every other virtue; adorns every other grace; gives new loveliness to the tenderness, mildness, and grace of the female character. Nothing is more lovely than a female sitting at the feet of the meek and lowly [humble and gentle] Jesus, like Mary; nothing more unlovely than entire absorption in the affairs of the world, like Martha. The most lovely female is she who has most of the spirit of Jesus; the least amiable [the least friendly and sociable] [female is], she who neglects her soul - who is proud, frivolous [carefree], thoughtless, envious, and unlike the meek and lowly Redeemer [Jesus]. At his [Jesus'] feet are peace, purity, joy. Everywhere else an alluring [strongly attractive, seductive] and wicked world steals the affections and renders us vain [useless, unsuccessful], frivolous, wicked, proud, and unwilling to die."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html, "Verse 42")
Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt communication [obscene, filthy, offensive words] proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good to [for] the use of edifying [instructing or benefiting (especially morally and/or spiritually), uplifting, encouraging] [others], [so] that it [what you say] may minister [give, supply] grace [kindness, goodwill] unto the hearers."
This is what several well-known Bible commentators said about corrupt communication:
"… Filthy and unclean words and discourse [conversations] are poisonous and infectious, as putrid [foul-smelling] rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse …"
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ephesians/4.html, "Verses 17-32," "v. 29")
"I have heard unthinking people say, 'Well, if it is in your heart, you may as well speak it--it is better out than in.' I do not agree with them! If you had a barrel of whiskey in your house, that would certainly be a bad thing to be in your possession, but it would not do any hurt so long as you kept it unopened, so that nobody could get at it! The mischief arises when people begin to drink it. Undoubtedly, it is an evil thing for you to have anything that is corrupt in your heart, but it will not be mischievous to other people until it begins to come out. So, 'let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth …'"
(Source: Commentary on Ephesians. (2014). (n.p.): Ravenio Books, quoted from Google Books preview: https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/yye8CwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=ephesians%204:29, "29-31")
"… (3) Its importance [referring to the admonition (advice or warning) to not say bad things] will be seen from the 'influence' of such corrupt communications. 'The passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it;' the expression of such a thought deepens the pollution on the soul, and corrupts others. It is like retaining an offensive carcase [carcass--dead body of an animal] above ground, to pollute the air, and to diffuse [spread] pestilence [disease] and death, which [carcass] should at once be buried out of sight. A Christian should be pure in his conversation. His Master [the Lord Jesus Christ] was pure. His God is pure. The heaven to which he goes is pure. The religion which he professes is pure. Never should he indulge himself in an obscene allusion [i.e., an implied or indirect reference to something obscene]: never should he retail [relate] anecdotes [stories] of an obscene character, or smile when they are retailed [related] by others. Never should he indulge in a jest [joke] having a double meaning; never should be listen to a song of this character. If those with whom he associates have not [do not have] sufficient respect for themselves and him to abstain [refrain, stay away] from such corrupt and corrupting allusions, he should at once leave them [the disrespectful people he associates with] …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-4.html, "Verse 29")
Before his crucifixion (death on the cross), Jesus said to his twelve disciples during the Last Supper, after Judas (the traitor) had left the room:
John 14:15: "If ye [you] love me [Jesus], keep [obey] my commandments."
The above statement applies not only to the apostles but to all Christians.
By reading the Bible, we learn what Jesus said to do and not do. We prove our love for him by readily (willingly) following his teachings.
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Regarding the above verse, Albert Barnes wrote:
"If ye love me - Do not show your love by grief at my departure merely; or by profession, but by obedience.
"Keep my commandments - This is the only proper evidence of love to Jesus, for mere profession is no proof of love; but that love for him which leads us to do all his will, to love each other, to deny ourselves, to take up our cross, and to follow him through evil report and through good report, is true attachment. The evidence which we have that a child loves its parents is when that child is willing, without hesitation, gainsaying [contradiction, denial], or complaining, to do all that the parent requires him to do. So the disciples [followers] of Christ [i.e., born-again Christians] are required to show that they are attached to him [Jesus] supremely by yielding to all his requirements, and by patiently doing his will in the face of ridicule and opposition, 1 John 5:2-3."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/john-14.html, "Verse 15")
The Most Important Commandments
While Jesus was preaching to his followers, one of the Pharisees (a lawyer, or interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law) asked him:
Matthew 22:36: "Master [a title commonly used for Jesus], which is the great [greatest] commandment in the law [of Moses, including the Ten Commandments]?"
Matthew 22:37-38: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt [you shall] love the Lord thy [your] God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind [quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5, which means that we should love God supremely--above everything else]. This is the first and great [most important] commandment [of God]."
Matthew 22:39: "And the second [commandment of God, quoted from Leviticus 19:18,] is like unto it [the first commandment (stated above), and it says], Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself [i.e., you should love everyone else as much as you love yourself]."
Matthew 22:40: "On these two commandments [regarding loving God and loving others] hang all the law and the prophets [in other words, love is the basis of the teachings, in the Old Testament, of Moses and the prophets]."
This event took place one day, soon after Jesus had cast an evil spirit out of a man's son and had taught his apostles about children and greatness.
Luke 9:49: "And John [the apostle] answered [Jesus] and said, Master, we saw one [person] casting out devils in thy [your] name [perhaps he was one of John the Baptist's disciples, or one of the seventy men whom Jesus had sent out to perform miracles]; and we forbad him [told him not to do it], because he followeth not with us [he doesn't follow, or associate with, us and is not part of our group]."
Luke 9:50: "And Jesus said unto him [John], Forbid him not [to do that, or 'don't tell the man that he can't cast out devils (demons)']: for he [or she] that is not against us is for us."
Regarding the above verses, one Bible commentator wrote:
"… Disciples need to be aware of their attitude toward believers who are outside their circle of fellowship as well as their attitude toward those within that circle …
"This incident exposed an attitude of rivalry among the Twelve that existed toward other disciples of Jesus. This was not a problem of orthodoxy [conforming to established doctrine, or religious beliefs]; the exorcist believed in Jesus. It was rather a problem of fellowship or association; he was not one of the Twelve. He appears to have been on the fringe of Jesus' followers. The Twelve wanted to exclude him, but Jesus wanted to include him. Jesus' reply was proverbial. He had stated the reverse truth earlier (Matthew 12:30). Disciples should regard people who do not oppose them as associates rather than as enemies …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/9-49.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")