Devotion for Advent: The Word Became Flesh

word became flesh“. . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1

An excellent devotion for Advent, is Athanasius On The Incarnation.

C. S. Lewis wrote the Preface for this edition, advising us to not read another new book until we have read an old one. And if we have not time for both, to read the old.

Thanksgiving Day: God Was the Focus

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Psalm 50–“Offer to God thanksgiving,…”

Psalm 92–It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;…”

1 Thessalonians 5–Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Thanksgiving Day has lost its biblical context in American society. That word “to” has been censored from our lexicon. This week, for millions of Americans, there will be little or no mention of God. Most people will talk of this Thanksgiving holy day with little knowledge of its meaning.

Thanksgiving is “the act of giving thanks” and Thanksgiving Day is “a day appointed for giving thanks for divine goodness” (Webster). Giving thanks is an action which has an object. In this case, it is giving thanks to God for his gracious goodness to us.

For millions, this will be reduced to “for what are you thankful?” The key point of to Whom we give thanks will be squelched by illiterate educators and others.

In the beginning, the scene focused on God. For the Pilgrim’s first thanksgiving feast in 1621, “Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer to God.”

Again in 1623, Governor Bradford proclaimed, “Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn… on Thursday, November ye 29th…listen to ye Pastor and render Thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings.”

George Washington’s proclamation for a day of thanksgiving in 1789 began, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…”

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation marked the beginning of Thanksgiving Day as an annual, federal holiday. It begins: The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God….”

May our insensible hearts be revived. Psalm 50 concludes:

“Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces,
And there be none to deliver:Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”

thanksgiving

Context Is King

3 Ways Not to Use Greek in Bible Study

From the Gospel Coalition blog:

‘The path is littered with what D. A. Carson has called “exegetical fallacies” (a book I was assigned three times in school). This brief article is my effort to condense a couple of Carson’s lessons, in order to help us learn how not to use Greek in Bible study. …’

Continued here

reading-the-scripturesAlso, see Scribblepreach

Dispensationalism & the rapture

Michael Snow:

Dr. Ben Witherington is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. This is an excellent synopsis of where “Left Behind” came from, and it is NOT the Bible. For the exegesis of the supposed ‘Rapture’ passage in 1 Thessalonians see: http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/second-coming-rapture-vs-scripture-christian/

Originally posted on Coffee with the King:

See this excellent 7-minute video discussing the origins of Dispensationalism and the idea of a secret rapture, from NT Professor Ben Witherington III.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2014/10/08/the-rapture-uncaged/

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I want to be LEFT BEHIND

Michael Snow:

I want to be Left Behind, by James Michael Jones–reblogged below this text and my comments.

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.  Matthew 24

[Text highlighted to show the parallel: …took…taken…]

Yes, some scholars see the “taken” as being “to judgment.”  Robert H. Mounce (New International Biblical Commentary), sees this as parallel with the ‘”taken away” by the flood’ (v. 39). Others think it is ‘left for judgment (e.g. NICNT). But the two differing views do not detract from the key point–“The coming of Jesus marks a complete and permanent division” (Leon Morris) “. . . the decisive moment.” “The sayings emphasize the completely unexpected nature of the Man’s coming” (AB).
THIS is the Parousia, the Second Advent, the final judgment, (vv. 27, 29-31, 44), not some secret “beam me up Scotty!” fiction. This context leaves “Left Behind” out in the cold. [The enigmatic saying about the vultures receives a variety of educated guesses.] And the context of the primary passage which is distorted to fit the modern “Rapture” doctrine also leaves the fiction behind. http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/second-coming-rapture-vs-scripture-christian/

Originally posted on Forgiveness Factor:

left

Left Behind will be released in theaters soon. One of the verses used to describe the Rapture is Matthew 24:40. It states: “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.” According to supporters of the Left Behind series of books and films, no one wants to be ‘left behind’.

If you read Tim LaHaye’s book “Left behind” and watch the first “Left Behind” film, you do NOT want to be left behind. However, did Jesus believe the ones left behind had it bad? Read Jesus’ remarks in Luke 17:34-37 and you tell me. “‘I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.’ And they said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ He said to them, ‘Where the corpse…

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LOVE AS COMMANDED

Originally posted on OPEN BOOK :

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you
must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my
disciples, if you love one another.”

This new commandment speaks the truth in love. Loving one another as Jesus
loved us is the gospel, because it communicates that we are His, that He is
worthy, and that we are changed because He first loved us. Loving someone
begins with selflessness and surrender. We surrender to God because we know
we cannot love others like this without His help, without being loved this
way by Him. It is selfless because to love others like this, we must set
ourselves aside and deny ourselves daily. This is like Jesus laying down
His authority and power and choosing to die on a cross so that we may truly
live because of that…

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