SEPTEMBER 30

John 13:34
[Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper]: "A new commandment I [Jesus] give unto you, That ye [you] love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

In addition to other things, Jesus was unselfish and helpful, and he always treated others with kindness, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. Like the disciples were commanded to do, Christians should follow Jesus' wonderful example of brotherly love.

The following story illustrates:

"The victorious power of love

"A lady brought a little ragged orphan girl to her house for a playmate for her three daughters. But the little thing would venture no further than the lobby, where she sat crying as if her heart would break. The lady said to her daughters there was one secret of four letters she thought would win the little one. The eldest girl tried her doll, the second her new muff, but still the little stranger kept on weeping. At length the youngest sister ran into the lobby, sat down beside her, began to weep with her, and then put her arms about her neck and kissed her, till at last she easily got her into the room; and then it was found that the secret was love …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/13-34.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

SEPTEMBER 29

1 Peter 3:12: "For the eyes of the Lord are
[watching] over the righteous [referring to born-again Christians--those who have received Jesus' righteousness through faith (see Philippians 3:9)], and his [God's] ears are open unto [to hearing] their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil [things]."

God watches over Christians, and when we are obedient to his word, he hears and answers our prayers.

SEPTEMBER 28

Psalm 56:3
[Because he had many enemies, King David prayed to God]: "What time [whenever] I am afraid, I will trust in thee [you] [for protection and help]."

Following David's example, Christians can look to God for help, especially when we find ourselves in danger and afraid.

Albert Barnes commented on this verse as follows:

"… I will trust in thee - As one that is able to save, and one that will order all things as they should be ordered. It is only this that can make the mind calm in the midst of danger:

" (a) the feeling that God can protect us and save us from danger, and that he 'will' protect us if he sees fit;

"(b) the feeling that whatever may be the result, whether life or death, it will be such as God sees to be best - if 'life,' that we may be useful, and glorify his name yet upon the earth; if 'death,' that it will occur not because he had not 'power' to interpose [intervene] and save, but because there were good and sufficient reasons why he should 'not' put forth his power on that occasion and rescue us.

"Of this we may be, however, assured, that God has 'power' to deliver us always, and that if not delivered from calamity it is not because he is inattentive, or has not power. And of this higher truth also we may be assured always, that he has power to save us from that which we have most occasion to fear - a dreadful hell. It is a good maxim with which to go into a world of danger; a good maxim to go to sea with; a good maxim in a storm; a good maxim when in danger on the land; a good maxim when we are sick; a good maxim when we think of death and the judgment - 'What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.'

(Source for Barnes quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-56.html, "Verse 3")

SEPTEMBER 27

Acts 13:38-39 - We're Saved by Faith, Not Works
While preaching to Jews in the synagogue at Antioch, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 38: "Be it known unto you therefore [see note below*], men and brethren [brothers] [referring to everyone he was preaching to, regardless of their ages], that through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins [by God … because Jesus willingly shed his blood on the cross, sacrificing his life, to pay for their sins--and also for the sins of everyone else in the world]:"

Verse 39: "And by him
[Jesus--through his suffering and death] all that believe [the gospel; i.e., that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4] are justified [made righteous in God's sight] from all things [sins], from which ye [you] could not be justified by [obeying] the law of Moses."

According to verse 39 above (Acts 13:39), we're saved by faith, not works. Ephesians 2:8-9 has a similar teaching.
_________________________

*In his commentary, Albert Barnes said: "… Paul, having proved his [Jesus'] resurrection, and shown that he was the Messiah, now states the benefits that were to be derived from his death …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/acts-13.html, "Verse 38")

SEPTEMBER 26

1 John 3:5-6 - God Hates Sin, and We Should, Too

Verse 5: "And ye
[you born-again Christians] know that he [the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son of God)] was manifested [appeared among people, became a man] to take away our sins [by dying on the cross]; and in him is no sin [because he never sinned while on earth--not even once!]."

Verse 6: "Whosoever
[whoever] abideth [abides] in him [Jesus] [referring to people who are genuinely saved and consequently are united with Jesus in heart and mind and have a desire to please him] sinneth not [do not commit habitual and willful sin]: whosoever sinneth [whoever deliberately and intentionally continues to sin, with no desire for repentance or feelings of remorse] hath [has] not seen him [Jesus--spiritually], neither [and has not] known him [as Savior, meaning they are not true Christians]."

Regarding the concept that born-again Christians do not sin, Albert Barnes said:

"… he who is born again does not do wrong deliberately and by design. He means to do right. He is not willfully and deliberately a sinner. If a man deliberately and intentionally does wrong, he shows that he is not actuated by the spirit of religion. It is true that when one does wrong, or commits sin, there is a momentary assent of the will; but it is under the influence of passion, or excitement, or temptation, or provocation, and not as the result of a deliberate plan or purpose of the soul. A man who deliberately and intentionally does a wrong thing, shows that he is not a true Christian; and if this were all that is understood by "perfection," then there would be many who are perfect, for there are many, very many Christians, who cannot recollect an instance for many years in which they have intentionally and deliberately done a wrong thing. Yet these very Christians see much corruption in their own hearts over which to mourn, and against which they earnestly strive; in comparing themselves with the perfect law of God, and with the perfect example of the Saviour, they see much in which they come short …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-3.html, "Verse 6")

SEPTEMBER 25

Colossians 2:8
[In this verse, the apostle Paul warns Christians about false teachers]: "Beware lest any man [or person, or 'be careful not to let anyone'] spoil you [pervert your mind, rob you of your faith and hope] through philosophy and vain deceit [false teachings], after the tradition of men [referring to customs handed down from age to age through oral communication, or by word of mouth], after the rudiments [basic principles, beliefs, rules] of the world [of mankind] [concerning religion, as in the ceremonial laws of the Jews], and not after Christ [or 'instead of what Jesus taught']."

SEPTEMBER 24

Deuteronomy 5:18
[Moses reminded the children of Israel (the Jewish people--and us, too) of the seventh commandment when he said]: "Neither shalt thou [you shall not] commit adultery."

Dictionary.com's definition of adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.

GotQuestions.org has written an article to answer the following question: "Why is 'You shall not commit adultery' in the Ten Commandments?" If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-commit-adultery.html.

SEPTEMBER 23

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

Commenting on this verse, Justin Edwards wrote: "… Not the professions but the practices of men are the index of their true character."

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/titus/1-16.html, "Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament")


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

"… Verse sixteen may be the key to a question that plagues people in our day. Let me illustrate the person for you, by telling you of a person that I once met. He told me that he was a believer; he told me that he knew the Lord, but in his life, he drank, smoked, and swore like a sailor. No offence to the Navy - just the way he was. He would stand around telling dirty jokes after work and make fun of the ministry and ministers. When talking to me the language was quite a little better and he seldom drank in front of me.

"I have no idea if he was a believer or not, but based on this verse, I have the Biblical right and responsibility to question him about the reality of his salvation. He professed, but his works seemed to be reprobate or worthless for God. He did some good things for people outside of our work place, but the majority of the time he was living like a reprobate - lost person rather than a child of the King.

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

"It is our place to exhort those that say they are believers and challenge them to good living lest they disgrace God …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/titus/1-16.html, bottom of the page [i.e., commentary by Stanley Derickson])

SEPTEMBER 22

1 John 3:14 - Evidence of Salvation: Do you love the brethren?

"We know that we have passed from
[spiritual] death unto [spiritual] life [or that we have been born again, or saved], because we love [are fond of, have affection for] the brethren [i.e., other Christians, who (according to Galatians 3:26) are our 'brothers and sisters in Christ']. He [or she] that loveth not [does not love] his [or her] [Christian] brother [or sister] abideth [abides] in death [which means that he (or she) is still unsaved, or remains spiritually dead]."

In this verse, the apostle John says that true Christians will love one another.

SEPTEMBER 17-21

Matthew 25:1-13 - Parable of the Ten Virgins
Jesus is coming back soon to take his "bride" (i.e., born-again Christians who are members of his church, which is known as "the bride of Christ") to heaven. In this story, he tells us how to be prepared for that day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you waiting and watching for--and looking forward to--Jesus' return?

In the above story:

-- The kingdom of heaven is the church.
-- The bridegroom is Jesus.
-- The oil represents the Holy Spirit.
-- The ten virgins represent professing Christians.
-- The wise virgins are true Christians (who are born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and members of God's church).
-- The foolish virgins are false believers (or unsaved people, who are not born again and are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit).

For more information on the above verses, read:

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

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

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

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

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

*  *  *  *  *

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 16

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Companions Are Good

Verse 9: "Two
[people together--friends, marriage partners, etc.] are better than one [person alone]; because they have a good reward for their labour."

Verse 10: "For if they
[or one of them] [should] fall [down, or into trouble], the one [person] will lift up [or assist] his [or her] fellow [companion] [by offering comfort, advice, encouragement, etc., to him (or her)]: but woe [great sorrow or distress] [will come] to him [or her] that is alone when he [or she] falleth [falls--into danger, temptation, sin, etc.]; for he [or she] hath not [does not have] another [person] to help him [or her] up."

SEPTEMBER 15

Psalm 91:9-12 - Christians are Protected by Guardian Angels
This is a message from the psalmist (writer of this psalm) to believers (saved people, born-again Christians):

(Psalm 91:9-10)
Verses 9-10: "Because thou [you Christians] hast [have] made the LORD, which is my [the psalmist's] refuge [place of shelter], [and because you have made the LORD, who is] even the most High [God], thy habitation [your home]; There shall no evil [thing] befall thee [happen to you], neither shall any plague [any type of punishment (disease, pain, suffering, etc.) sent from God] come nigh [near] thy dwelling [your residence, the place where you live]."

(Psalm 91:11-12)
Verses 11-12: "For [because] he [the Lord God Almighty] shall give his angels charge over thee [you], to keep thee [to keep you safe, to guard and protect you] in all thy [your] ways [meaning wherever you go, in whatever you do]. They [the angels] shall bear thee up in their hands [lift you up, hold your hand, or carry you], lest thou dash thy foot against a stone [so you won't stumble and fall--into sin, trouble, danger, etc.]."

In other words, God sends his angels to protect Christians who love him and obey his word.

According to James Burton Coffman:

"… The following things which angels do for the redeemed are mentioned in the Bible (please note that I started each item on a separate line to make the list easier to read):

(1) They bear away the souls of the righteous in death (Luke 16:22).
(2) They oppose purposes and designs of Satan, not in their own names, but in the name of the Lord (Jude 1:1:6 [Jude 1:9?]).
(3) They execute God's judgments upon the incorrigibly wicked (2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23).
(4) They exert influence upon rulers and governments (Daniel 10:20.
(5) They aid providentially in bringing the unsaved to hear the saving gospel of Christ (Acts 10:3).
(6) They exercise watchful care over little children (Matthew 18:10).
(7) They maintain perpetually the availability of the Word of God for the human race. The Rainbow Angel stands upon the land and the sea, having in his hand 'a little book, OPEN.' That little BOOK is the New Testament (Revelation 10) …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/91-9.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 14

Luke 11:9-10 - The Power of Prayer
In these verses, Jesus encouraged his disciples (followers) to pray:

Verse 9: "And I [Jesus] say unto you [who are born-again Christians], Ask [God for what you need or want; i.e., pray in faith, in Jesus' name, according to the will of God], and it shall be given [to] you; seek, and ye [you] shall find; knock, and it [the door] shall be opened unto you."

Verse 10: "For every one
[every true Christian--see note below*] that asketh [asks--for something from God] receiveth [receives--it]; and he [or she] that seeketh [seeks--something] findeth [finds--it]; and to him [or her] that knocketh [knocks, or continues knocking--on the door of God's heavenly house] it [the door] shall be opened."
_________________________

*For the definition of true Christian, please read the following article: "What is a true Christian" (https://www.gotquestions.org/true-Christian.html).

SEPTEMBER 13

Psalm 40:8
[In this psalm, referring to the prayer of Jesus (God the Son) to God the Father in heaven, King David wrote]: "I delight to do thy will [I take pleasure in doing what you want me to do], O my God: yea [yes], thy [your] law is within [written in] my heart."

This was Jesus' prayer, but it should be the prayer of Christians as well.

SEPTEMBER 12

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

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

SEPTEMBER 10-11

1 Timothy 4:10: "For therefore
[for that reason, referring to 'exercising godliness' as mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:7] we [do] both [things:] [1] labour [work--to spread the gospel,] and [2] suffer reproach [disgrace, shame--for trying to serve God], because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men [people], specially [especially] of those that believe [the gospel and are saved--see note below*]."
_________________________

*Although Jesus died on the cross to pay for everyone's sins, salvation is only promised to those who believe the gospel and accept God's free gift of eternal life (see "Note" below).

To illustrate this point, one Bible commentator wrote:

"St. Paul calls Him [Jesus] 'the Saviour of all men'! Are all men, then, His people? Are not multitudes His enemies? Which witness shall I believe--the apostle, or the angel? Both of them! They do not gainsay [contradict] each other. When you tell me that Dr. D. is the physician of this Poor-law District, you do not mean that he heals all the poor residing within his district, but only that he is appointed to heal them. His commission includes them all. Some may neglect to come to him, and others may prefer another doctor; but, if they will, they all may come to him, and have the benefit of his skill. In the same sense 'Jesus is the Saviour of all men.' He is appointed to save all men--'Neither is there salvation in any other'! …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-timothy/4-10.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Jesus the Saviour of all men")

*  *  *  *  *

Note: In case you're interested, this is how to accept God's free gift of eternal life: If you believe that Jesus Christ (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is sincerely ask him (through prayer, either silently or out loud) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

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

*  *  *  *  *

As an example of "exercising godliness," the following copyrighted material is a made-up conversation that God might have with a Christian who routinely repeats "The Lord's Prayer" but doesn't really understand or mean what he or she is saying. It should give us all something to think about.

"A Very Special Lord's Prayer From Ray Heistand

"If God Should Speak . . . A different look at The Lord's Prayer
"'Our Father which art in heaven.....'

"---Yes?

"Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

"---But you called me.

"Called you? I didn't call you. I'm praying. 'Our Father which art in heaven.....'

"---There you did it again.

"Did What?

"---Called me. You said, 'Our Father which art in heaven.' Here I am.....What's on your mind?

"But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done.

"---All right. Go on.

"'Hallowed be thy name.....'

"---Hold it. What do you mean by that?

"By what?

"---By 'hallowed be thy name'?

"It means.....it means.....Good grief, I don't know what it means. How should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

"---It means honored, holy, wonderful.

"Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.'

"--Do you really mean that?

"Sure, why not?

"---What are you doing about it?

"Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.

"---Have I got control of you?

"Well, I go to church.

"---That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money---all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?

"Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.

"---Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

"Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.

"---So could I.

"I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free.

"---Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together, you and I. Some victories can truly be won. I'm proud of you.

"Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. 'Give us this day, our daily bread.'

"---You need to cut out the bread. You"re overweight as it is.

"Hey, wait a minute! What is this, "Criticize me day"? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.

"---Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know.

"That's what I'm trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying, I'm interested in the next part of your prayer.....(pause). Well, go on.

"I'm scared to.

"---Scared? Of what?

"I know what you'll say.

"---Try me and see.

"'Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.'

"---What about Ann?

"See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!

"---But your prayer? What about your prayer?

"I didn't mean it.

"---Well, at least you're honest. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

"No. But I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She'll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.

"---You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that.

"You can? How?

"---Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann's problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.

"Oh, you're right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. Ann, I want to be right with you ..... (pause) ..... (sigh). All right. All right. I forgive her. Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She's bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.

"---There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

"Hmmmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on because I'm not getting enough rest.

"---You're not through with your prayer. Go on.

"Oh, all right. 'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'

"---Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

"What do you mean by that?

"---Don't turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend coffeeing with your friends, if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn't be your standard for 'keeping up'. And please don"t use me for an escape hatch.

"I don"t understand the last part.

"---Sure you do. You've done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me, 'Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I'll never do it again.' You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

"Yes and I'm ashamed, Lord. I really am.

"---Which bargain are you remembering?

"Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, 'Oh God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again.'

"---I protected you, but you didn't keep your promise, did you?

"I'm sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did.

"---Go ahead and finish your prayer.

"'For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.'

"Amen

"---Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

"No, but I'd like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I've made of my life. And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.

"---You just answered the question.

"I did?

"---Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.

"Lord, let's see what we can make of me, O.K.?

"---Yes, let"s see...."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-timothy/4-10.html, bottom of the page [i.e., commentary by Stanley Derickson])

SEPTEMBER 8-9

Galatians 3:24-25 - Purpose of God's Law:

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

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

NOTE 1:

In his commentary on verse 24, Albert Barnes said:

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

"(1) It restrains us and rebukes us, and keeps us as the ancient pedagogue did his boys.

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

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

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

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


NOTE 2:

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

For your convenience, the commandments are listed below:

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them 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 guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[5] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[6] Thou shalt not kill.
[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[8] Thou shalt not steal.
[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[10] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."


NOTE 3:

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 7

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
The Jewish people thought that strict obedience to ceremonial laws (i.e., the Mosaic laws having to do with religious ceremonies) would make them acceptable to God, but that's not true. Consequently, Jesus said:

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

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

Verse 30: "
[We are encouraged by Jesus to take his yoke upon us] For [because, as he says,] my yoke [living the Christian life, with his help] is easy [to handle, or 'manageable'], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."

Jesus' words also apply to us.
________________________

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

"… In general," according to Peter Pett, "a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load …" (Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

1 Chronicles 16:25-26: "For great
[in importance] is the LORD [the one true God], and [he is] greatly [very much] to be praised: he also is to be feared above all [other] gods. For [because] all the gods of the people are idols [false gods]: but the LORD [Almighty God] made the heavens [created the universe]."

Regarding the above verses, here are links to two articles you may be interested in reading:

-- "Who is the one true God?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html)

-- "What is the definition of idolatry?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html)

SEPTEMBER 1-5

Revelation 21:9-22:5 - New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City
In these verses, the apostle John describes his vision of future events:

Chapter 21

(Revelation 21:9)
Verse 9: "And there came unto me [John] one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither [here], I will shew thee [show you] the bride [of Christ (referring to the 'church of God,' which is made up of all born-again Christians), who is], the Lamb's wife [note: Jesus is sometimes called the 'Lamb of God' because he died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins]."

(Revelation 21:10, 11)
Verses 10-11: "And he [the angel] carried me [John] away in the spirit [or 'spiritually'] to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending [coming down] out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her [the city's] light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;"

(Revelation 21:12, 13, 14)
Verses 12-14: "And [the city] had a wall [that was] great and high, and had twelve gates [three on each side], and at the gates [stood] twelve angels [as guards], and names [were] written thereon [i.e., on the gates], which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel [Jacob]: On the east [side of the city] [were] three gates; on the north [were] three gates; on the south [were] three gates; and on the west [were] three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them [were written] the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [of God--Jesus]."

(Revelation 21:15, 16, 17)
Verses 15-17: "And he [the angel] that talked with me [John] had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare [meaning  it was a perfect cube], and the length is as large as the breadth [width]: and he [the angel] measured the city with the reed, [and it was] twelve thousand furlongs [1500 miles]. The length and the breadth and the height of it [the city] are equal. And he [the angel] measured the wall thereof [the wall of the city], [which was] an hundred and forty and four cubits [216 feet], according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel."

(Revelation 21:18)
Verse 18: "And the building [material] of the wall of it [the city] was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."

(Revelation 21:19, 20)
Verses 19-20: "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished [decorated] with all manner [kinds] of precious stones [gemstones--see note below*]. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst."

(Revelation 21:21)
Verse 21: "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate [each gate] was of one [gigantic] pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as [if] it were transparent [see-through] glass."

(Revelation 21:22)
Verse 22: "And I [John] saw no temple therein [i.e., in the city]: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus] are the temple of it."

(Revelation 21:23, 24, 25)
Verses 23-25: "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [Jesus] is the light thereof [or 'the light of the city']. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it [the city]: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."

(Revelation 21:26, 27)
Verses 26-27: "And they [the kings of the earth] shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise [in no way] enter into it [the city] any thing that defileth [defiles], neither whatsoever worketh [works] abomination [or 'does bad things'], or maketh [makes, tells] a lie: but [only] they which [those whose names] are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Chapter 22

(Revelation 22:1, 2)
Verses 1-2: "And he [the angel] shewed me [John] a pure river of water of life, [as] clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst [middle] of the street of it [the city], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner [kinds] of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

(Revelation 22:3, 4)
Verses 3-4: "And there shall be no more curse [referring to the curse placed on the earth by God in the Garden of Eden--see note below**]: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the city]; and his [God's] servants shall serve him [God]: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be [written] in their foreheads."

(Revelation 22:5)
Verse 5: "And there shall be no night there [in New Jerusalem]; and they [the city's inhabitants] need no candle [no lamp or artificial light], neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they [God's servants--born-again Christians] shall reign [as kings] for ever and ever."

There is additional information on this subject in the article entitled "What is the New Jerusalem?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/new-jerusalem.html.
_________________________

*The foundations of the wall surrounding New Jerusalem consist of 12  precious stones. You can read about these gemstones and see pictures of them in the following articles:

-- "New Jerusalem Gemstones"
    (https://www.biblestudy.org/bible-study-by-topic/gemstones-in-the-bible/gems-in-new-jerusalem.html)

-- "Heaven's New Jerusalem and Birds -- Foundation Stones"
    (https://leesbird.com/2019/02/22/heavens-new-jerusalem-and-birds-foundation-stones/)

**The curse referred to in verse 3 refers to the things that God cursed after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

According to Albert Barnes: "The earth will be no more cursed, and will produce no more thorns and thistles; man will be no more compelled to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; woman will be no more doomed to bear the sufferings which she does now; and the abodes of the blessed will be no more cursed by sickness, sorrow, tears, and death."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-22.html, "Verse 3")


Previous Verses
September 2020
SEPTEMBER 30

John 13:34
[Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper]: "A new commandment I [Jesus] give unto you, That ye [you] love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

In addition to other things, Jesus was unselfish and helpful, and he always treated others with kindness, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. Like the disciples were commanded to do, Christians should follow Jesus' wonderful example of brotherly love.

The following story illustrates:

"The victorious power of love

"A lady brought a little ragged orphan girl to her house for a playmate for her three daughters. But the little thing would venture no further than the lobby, where she sat crying as if her heart would break. The lady said to her daughters there was one secret of four letters she thought would win the little one. The eldest girl tried her doll, the second her new muff, but still the little stranger kept on weeping. At length the youngest sister ran into the lobby, sat down beside her, began to weep with her, and then put her arms about her neck and kissed her, till at last she easily got her into the room; and then it was found that the secret was love …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/13-34.html, "The Biblical Illustrator")

SEPTEMBER 29

1 Peter 3:12: "For the eyes of the Lord are
[watching] over the righteous [referring to born-again Christians--those who have received Jesus' righteousness through faith (see Philippians 3:9)], and his [God's] ears are open unto [to hearing] their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil [things]."

God watches over Christians, and when we are obedient to his word, he hears and answers our prayers.

SEPTEMBER 28

Psalm 56:3
[Because he had many enemies, King David prayed to God]: "What time [whenever] I am afraid, I will trust in thee [you] [for protection and help]."

Following David's example, Christians can look to God for help, especially when we find ourselves in danger and afraid.

Albert Barnes commented on this verse as follows:

"… I will trust in thee - As one that is able to save, and one that will order all things as they should be ordered. It is only this that can make the mind calm in the midst of danger:

" (a) the feeling that God can protect us and save us from danger, and that he 'will' protect us if he sees fit;

"(b) the feeling that whatever may be the result, whether life or death, it will be such as God sees to be best - if 'life,' that we may be useful, and glorify his name yet upon the earth; if 'death,' that it will occur not because he had not 'power' to interpose [intervene] and save, but because there were good and sufficient reasons why he should 'not' put forth his power on that occasion and rescue us.

"Of this we may be, however, assured, that God has 'power' to deliver us always, and that if not delivered from calamity it is not because he is inattentive, or has not power. And of this higher truth also we may be assured always, that he has power to save us from that which we have most occasion to fear - a dreadful hell. It is a good maxim with which to go into a world of danger; a good maxim to go to sea with; a good maxim in a storm; a good maxim when in danger on the land; a good maxim when we are sick; a good maxim when we think of death and the judgment - 'What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.'

(Source for Barnes quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-56.html, "Verse 3")

SEPTEMBER 27

Acts 13:38-39 - We're Saved by Faith, Not Works
While preaching to Jews in the synagogue at Antioch, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 38: "Be it known unto you therefore [see note below*], men and brethren [brothers] [referring to everyone he was preaching to, regardless of their ages], that through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins [by God … because Jesus willingly shed his blood on the cross, sacrificing his life, to pay for their sins--and also for the sins of everyone else in the world]:"

Verse 39: "And by him
[Jesus--through his suffering and death] all that believe [the gospel; i.e., that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4] are justified [made righteous in God's sight] from all things [sins], from which ye [you] could not be justified by [obeying] the law of Moses."

According to verse 39 above (Acts 13:39), we're saved by faith, not works. Ephesians 2:8-9 has a similar teaching.
_________________________

*In his commentary, Albert Barnes said: "… Paul, having proved his [Jesus'] resurrection, and shown that he was the Messiah, now states the benefits that were to be derived from his death …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/acts-13.html, "Verse 38")

SEPTEMBER 26

1 John 3:5-6 - God Hates Sin, and We Should, Too

Verse 5: "And ye
[you born-again Christians] know that he [the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son of God)] was manifested [appeared among people, became a man] to take away our sins [by dying on the cross]; and in him is no sin [because he never sinned while on earth--not even once!]."

Verse 6: "Whosoever
[whoever] abideth [abides] in him [Jesus] [referring to people who are genuinely saved and consequently are united with Jesus in heart and mind and have a desire to please him] sinneth not [do not commit habitual and willful sin]: whosoever sinneth [whoever deliberately and intentionally continues to sin, with no desire for repentance or feelings of remorse] hath [has] not seen him [Jesus--spiritually], neither [and has not] known him [as Savior, meaning they are not true Christians]."

Regarding the concept that born-again Christians do not sin, Albert Barnes said:

"… he who is born again does not do wrong deliberately and by design. He means to do right. He is not willfully and deliberately a sinner. If a man deliberately and intentionally does wrong, he shows that he is not actuated by the spirit of religion. It is true that when one does wrong, or commits sin, there is a momentary assent of the will; but it is under the influence of passion, or excitement, or temptation, or provocation, and not as the result of a deliberate plan or purpose of the soul. A man who deliberately and intentionally does a wrong thing, shows that he is not a true Christian; and if this were all that is understood by "perfection," then there would be many who are perfect, for there are many, very many Christians, who cannot recollect an instance for many years in which they have intentionally and deliberately done a wrong thing. Yet these very Christians see much corruption in their own hearts over which to mourn, and against which they earnestly strive; in comparing themselves with the perfect law of God, and with the perfect example of the Saviour, they see much in which they come short …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-3.html, "Verse 6")

SEPTEMBER 25

Colossians 2:8
[In this verse, the apostle Paul warns Christians about false teachers]: "Beware lest any man [or person, or 'be careful not to let anyone'] spoil you [pervert your mind, rob you of your faith and hope] through philosophy and vain deceit [false teachings], after the tradition of men [referring to customs handed down from age to age through oral communication, or by word of mouth], after the rudiments [basic principles, beliefs, rules] of the world [of mankind] [concerning religion, as in the ceremonial laws of the Jews], and not after Christ [or 'instead of what Jesus taught']."

SEPTEMBER 24

Deuteronomy 5:18
[Moses reminded the children of Israel (the Jewish people--and us, too) of the seventh commandment when he said]: "Neither shalt thou [you shall not] commit adultery."

Dictionary.com's definition of adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.

GotQuestions.org has written an article to answer the following question: "Why is 'You shall not commit adultery' in the Ten Commandments?" If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-commit-adultery.html.

SEPTEMBER 23

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

Commenting on this verse, Justin Edwards wrote: "… Not the professions but the practices of men are the index of their true character."

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/titus/1-16.html, "Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament")


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

"… Verse sixteen may be the key to a question that plagues people in our day. Let me illustrate the person for you, by telling you of a person that I once met. He told me that he was a believer; he told me that he knew the Lord, but in his life, he drank, smoked, and swore like a sailor. No offence to the Navy - just the way he was. He would stand around telling dirty jokes after work and make fun of the ministry and ministers. When talking to me the language was quite a little better and he seldom drank in front of me.

"I have no idea if he was a believer or not, but based on this verse, I have the Biblical right and responsibility to question him about the reality of his salvation. He professed, but his works seemed to be reprobate or worthless for God. He did some good things for people outside of our work place, but the majority of the time he was living like a reprobate - lost person rather than a child of the King.

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

"It is our place to exhort those that say they are believers and challenge them to good living lest they disgrace God …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/titus/1-16.html, bottom of the page [i.e., commentary by Stanley Derickson])

SEPTEMBER 22

1 John 3:14 - Evidence of Salvation: Do you love the brethren?

"We know that we have passed from
[spiritual] death unto [spiritual] life [or that we have been born again, or saved], because we love [are fond of, have affection for] the brethren [i.e., other Christians, who (according to Galatians 3:26) are our 'brothers and sisters in Christ']. He [or she] that loveth not [does not love] his [or her] [Christian] brother [or sister] abideth [abides] in death [which means that he (or she) is still unsaved, or remains spiritually dead]."

In this verse, the apostle John says that true Christians will love one another.

SEPTEMBER 17-21

Matthew 25:1-13 - Parable of the Ten Virgins
Jesus is coming back soon to take his "bride" (i.e., born-again Christians who are members of his church, which is known as "the bride of Christ") to heaven. In this story, he tells us how to be prepared for that day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you waiting and watching for--and looking forward to--Jesus' return?

In the above story:

-- The kingdom of heaven is the church.
-- The bridegroom is Jesus.
-- The oil represents the Holy Spirit.
-- The ten virgins represent professing Christians.
-- The wise virgins are true Christians (who are born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and members of God's church).
-- The foolish virgins are false believers (or unsaved people, who are not born again and are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit).

For more information on the above verses, read:

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

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

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

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

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

*  *  *  *  *

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 16

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Companions Are Good

Verse 9: "Two
[people together--friends, marriage partners, etc.] are better than one [person alone]; because they have a good reward for their labour."

Verse 10: "For if they
[or one of them] [should] fall [down, or into trouble], the one [person] will lift up [or assist] his [or her] fellow [companion] [by offering comfort, advice, encouragement, etc., to him (or her)]: but woe [great sorrow or distress] [will come] to him [or her] that is alone when he [or she] falleth [falls--into danger, temptation, sin, etc.]; for he [or she] hath not [does not have] another [person] to help him [or her] up."

SEPTEMBER 15

Psalm 91:9-12 - Christians are Protected by Guardian Angels
This is a message from the psalmist (writer of this psalm) to believers (saved people, born-again Christians):

(Psalm 91:9-10)
Verses 9-10: "Because thou [you Christians] hast [have] made the LORD, which is my [the psalmist's] refuge [place of shelter], [and because you have made the LORD, who is] even the most High [God], thy habitation [your home]; There shall no evil [thing] befall thee [happen to you], neither shall any plague [any type of punishment (disease, pain, suffering, etc.) sent from God] come nigh [near] thy dwelling [your residence, the place where you live]."

(Psalm 91:11-12)
Verses 11-12: "For [because] he [the Lord God Almighty] shall give his angels charge over thee [you], to keep thee [to keep you safe, to guard and protect you] in all thy [your] ways [meaning wherever you go, in whatever you do]. They [the angels] shall bear thee up in their hands [lift you up, hold your hand, or carry you], lest thou dash thy foot against a stone [so you won't stumble and fall--into sin, trouble, danger, etc.]."

In other words, God sends his angels to protect Christians who love him and obey his word.

According to James Burton Coffman:

"… The following things which angels do for the redeemed are mentioned in the Bible (please note that I started each item on a separate line to make the list easier to read):

(1) They bear away the souls of the righteous in death (Luke 16:22).
(2) They oppose purposes and designs of Satan, not in their own names, but in the name of the Lord (Jude 1:1:6 [Jude 1:9?]).
(3) They execute God's judgments upon the incorrigibly wicked (2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23).
(4) They exert influence upon rulers and governments (Daniel 10:20.
(5) They aid providentially in bringing the unsaved to hear the saving gospel of Christ (Acts 10:3).
(6) They exercise watchful care over little children (Matthew 18:10).
(7) They maintain perpetually the availability of the Word of God for the human race. The Rainbow Angel stands upon the land and the sea, having in his hand 'a little book, OPEN.' That little BOOK is the New Testament (Revelation 10) …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/91-9.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 14

Luke 11:9-10 - The Power of Prayer
In these verses, Jesus encouraged his disciples (followers) to pray:

Verse 9: "And I [Jesus] say unto you [who are born-again Christians], Ask [God for what you need or want; i.e., pray in faith, in Jesus' name, according to the will of God], and it shall be given [to] you; seek, and ye [you] shall find; knock, and it [the door] shall be opened unto you."

Verse 10: "For every one
[every true Christian--see note below*] that asketh [asks--for something from God] receiveth [receives--it]; and he [or she] that seeketh [seeks--something] findeth [finds--it]; and to him [or her] that knocketh [knocks, or continues knocking--on the door of God's heavenly house] it [the door] shall be opened."
_________________________

*For the definition of true Christian, please read the following article: "What is a true Christian" (https://www.gotquestions.org/true-Christian.html).

SEPTEMBER 13

Psalm 40:8
[In this psalm, referring to the prayer of Jesus (God the Son) to God the Father in heaven, King David wrote]: "I delight to do thy will [I take pleasure in doing what you want me to do], O my God: yea [yes], thy [your] law is within [written in] my heart."

This was Jesus' prayer, but it should be the prayer of Christians as well.

SEPTEMBER 12

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

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

SEPTEMBER 10-11

1 Timothy 4:10: "For therefore
[for that reason, referring to 'exercising godliness' as mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:7] we [do] both [things:] [1] labour [work--to spread the gospel,] and [2] suffer reproach [disgrace, shame--for trying to serve God], because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men [people], specially [especially] of those that believe [the gospel and are saved--see note below*]."
_________________________

*Although Jesus died on the cross to pay for everyone's sins, salvation is only promised to those who believe the gospel and accept God's free gift of eternal life (see "Note" below).

To illustrate this point, one Bible commentator wrote:

"St. Paul calls Him [Jesus] 'the Saviour of all men'! Are all men, then, His people? Are not multitudes His enemies? Which witness shall I believe--the apostle, or the angel? Both of them! They do not gainsay [contradict] each other. When you tell me that Dr. D. is the physician of this Poor-law District, you do not mean that he heals all the poor residing within his district, but only that he is appointed to heal them. His commission includes them all. Some may neglect to come to him, and others may prefer another doctor; but, if they will, they all may come to him, and have the benefit of his skill. In the same sense 'Jesus is the Saviour of all men.' He is appointed to save all men--'Neither is there salvation in any other'! …"

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-timothy/4-10.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Jesus the Saviour of all men")

*  *  *  *  *

Note: In case you're interested, this is how to accept God's free gift of eternal life: If you believe that Jesus Christ (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is sincerely ask him (through prayer, either silently or out loud) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

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

*  *  *  *  *

As an example of "exercising godliness," the following copyrighted material is a made-up conversation that God might have with a Christian who routinely repeats "The Lord's Prayer" but doesn't really understand or mean what he or she is saying. It should give us all something to think about.

"A Very Special Lord's Prayer From Ray Heistand

"If God Should Speak . . . A different look at The Lord's Prayer
"'Our Father which art in heaven.....'

"---Yes?

"Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

"---But you called me.

"Called you? I didn't call you. I'm praying. 'Our Father which art in heaven.....'

"---There you did it again.

"Did What?

"---Called me. You said, 'Our Father which art in heaven.' Here I am.....What's on your mind?

"But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done.

"---All right. Go on.

"'Hallowed be thy name.....'

"---Hold it. What do you mean by that?

"By what?

"---By 'hallowed be thy name'?

"It means.....it means.....Good grief, I don't know what it means. How should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

"---It means honored, holy, wonderful.

"Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.'

"--Do you really mean that?

"Sure, why not?

"---What are you doing about it?

"Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.

"---Have I got control of you?

"Well, I go to church.

"---That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money---all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?

"Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.

"---Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

"Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.

"---So could I.

"I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free.

"---Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together, you and I. Some victories can truly be won. I'm proud of you.

"Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. 'Give us this day, our daily bread.'

"---You need to cut out the bread. You"re overweight as it is.

"Hey, wait a minute! What is this, "Criticize me day"? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.

"---Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know.

"That's what I'm trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying, I'm interested in the next part of your prayer.....(pause). Well, go on.

"I'm scared to.

"---Scared? Of what?

"I know what you'll say.

"---Try me and see.

"'Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.'

"---What about Ann?

"See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!

"---But your prayer? What about your prayer?

"I didn't mean it.

"---Well, at least you're honest. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

"No. But I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She'll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.

"---You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that.

"You can? How?

"---Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann's problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.

"Oh, you're right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. Ann, I want to be right with you ..... (pause) ..... (sigh). All right. All right. I forgive her. Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She's bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.

"---There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

"Hmmmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on because I'm not getting enough rest.

"---You're not through with your prayer. Go on.

"Oh, all right. 'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'

"---Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

"What do you mean by that?

"---Don't turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend coffeeing with your friends, if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn't be your standard for 'keeping up'. And please don"t use me for an escape hatch.

"I don"t understand the last part.

"---Sure you do. You've done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me, 'Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I'll never do it again.' You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

"Yes and I'm ashamed, Lord. I really am.

"---Which bargain are you remembering?

"Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, 'Oh God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again.'

"---I protected you, but you didn't keep your promise, did you?

"I'm sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did.

"---Go ahead and finish your prayer.

"'For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.'

"Amen

"---Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

"No, but I'd like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I've made of my life. And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.

"---You just answered the question.

"I did?

"---Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.

"Lord, let's see what we can make of me, O.K.?

"---Yes, let"s see...."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-timothy/4-10.html, bottom of the page [i.e., commentary by Stanley Derickson])

SEPTEMBER 8-9

Galatians 3:24-25 - Purpose of God's Law:

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

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

NOTE 1:

In his commentary on verse 24, Albert Barnes said:

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

"(1) It restrains us and rebukes us, and keeps us as the ancient pedagogue did his boys.

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

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

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

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


NOTE 2:

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

For your convenience, the commandments are listed below:

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them 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 guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[5] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[6] Thou shalt not kill.
[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[8] Thou shalt not steal.
[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[10] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."


NOTE 3:

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 7

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
The Jewish people thought that strict obedience to ceremonial laws (i.e., the Mosaic laws having to do with religious ceremonies) would make them acceptable to God, but that's not true. Consequently, Jesus said:

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

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

Verse 30: "
[We are encouraged by Jesus to take his yoke upon us] For [because, as he says,] my yoke [living the Christian life, with his help] is easy [to handle, or 'manageable'], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."

Jesus' words also apply to us.
________________________

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

"… In general," according to Peter Pett, "a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load …" (Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

1 Chronicles 16:25-26: "For great
[in importance] is the LORD [the one true God], and [he is] greatly [very much] to be praised: he also is to be feared above all [other] gods. For [because] all the gods of the people are idols [false gods]: but the LORD [Almighty God] made the heavens [created the universe]."

Regarding the above verses, here are links to two articles you may be interested in reading:

-- "Who is the one true God?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html)

-- "What is the definition of idolatry?"
    (
https://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html)

SEPTEMBER 1-5

Revelation 21:9-22:5 - New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City
In these verses, the apostle John describes his vision of future events:

Chapter 21

(Revelation 21:9)
Verse 9: "And there came unto me [John] one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither [here], I will shew thee [show you] the bride [of Christ (referring to the 'church of God,' which is made up of all born-again Christians), who is], the Lamb's wife [note: Jesus is sometimes called the 'Lamb of God' because he died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins]."

(Revelation 21:10, 11)
Verses 10-11: "And he [the angel] carried me [John] away in the spirit [or 'spiritually'] to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending [coming down] out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her [the city's] light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;"

(Revelation 21:12, 13, 14)
Verses 12-14: "And [the city] had a wall [that was] great and high, and had twelve gates [three on each side], and at the gates [stood] twelve angels [as guards], and names [were] written thereon [i.e., on the gates], which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel [Jacob]: On the east [side of the city] [were] three gates; on the north [were] three gates; on the south [were] three gates; and on the west [were] three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them [were written] the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [of God--Jesus]."

(Revelation 21:15, 16, 17)
Verses 15-17: "And he [the angel] that talked with me [John] had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare [meaning  it was a perfect cube], and the length is as large as the breadth [width]: and he [the angel] measured the city with the reed, [and it was] twelve thousand furlongs [1500 miles]. The length and the breadth and the height of it [the city] are equal. And he [the angel] measured the wall thereof [the wall of the city], [which was] an hundred and forty and four cubits [216 feet], according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel."

(Revelation 21:18)
Verse 18: "And the building [material] of the wall of it [the city] was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."

(Revelation 21:19, 20)
Verses 19-20: "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished [decorated] with all manner [kinds] of precious stones [gemstones--see note below*]. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst."

(Revelation 21:21)
Verse 21: "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate [each gate] was of one [gigantic] pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as [if] it were transparent [see-through] glass."

(Revelation 21:22)
Verse 22: "And I [John] saw no temple therein [i.e., in the city]: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus] are the temple of it."

(Revelation 21:23, 24, 25)
Verses 23-25: "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [Jesus] is the light thereof [or 'the light of the city']. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it [the city]: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."

(Revelation 21:26, 27)
Verses 26-27: "And they [the kings of the earth] shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise [in no way] enter into it [the city] any thing that defileth [defiles], neither whatsoever worketh [works] abomination [or 'does bad things'], or maketh [makes, tells] a lie: but [only] they which [those whose names] are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Chapter 22

(Revelation 22:1, 2)
Verses 1-2: "And he [the angel] shewed me [John] a pure river of water of life, [as] clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst [middle] of the street of it [the city], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner [kinds] of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

(Revelation 22:3, 4)
Verses 3-4: "And there shall be no more curse [referring to the curse placed on the earth by God in the Garden of Eden--see note below**]: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the city]; and his [God's] servants shall serve him [God]: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be [written] in their foreheads."

(Revelation 22:5)
Verse 5: "And there shall be no night there [in New Jerusalem]; and they [the city's inhabitants] need no candle [no lamp or artificial light], neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they [God's servants--born-again Christians] shall reign [as kings] for ever and ever."

There is additional information on this subject in the article entitled "What is the New Jerusalem?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/new-jerusalem.html.
_________________________

*The foundations of the wall surrounding New Jerusalem consist of 12  precious stones. You can read about these gemstones and see pictures of them in the following articles:

-- "New Jerusalem Gemstones"
    (https://www.biblestudy.org/bible-study-by-topic/gemstones-in-the-bible/gems-in-new-jerusalem.html)

-- "Heaven's New Jerusalem and Birds -- Foundation Stones"
    (https://leesbird.com/2019/02/22/heavens-new-jerusalem-and-birds-foundation-stones/)

**The curse referred to in verse 3 refers to the things that God cursed after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

According to Albert Barnes: "The earth will be no more cursed, and will produce no more thorns and thistles; man will be no more compelled to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; woman will be no more doomed to bear the sufferings which she does now; and the abodes of the blessed will be no more cursed by sickness, sorrow, tears, and death."

(Source for above quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-22.html, "Verse 3")


Previous Verses: