14 May 2020

A Few Thoughts About the Crosses

of Golgotha

John 19:16-18 NRSV Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

From what we read in Scriptures:
B1 Three men were crucified that day.
B2 Three men were crucified at The Place of the Skull (Golgotha).
B3 Two were sinners. One was sinless.
B4 Two deserved to die.
B5 One was declared by a governor, a king, and others as not worthy of death.
B6 Two men, who deserved death, mocked the middle man who did not deserve death.
B7 Two men, who deserved death, with one man who repented and called on the name of the Lord and one who rejected.
B8 One man died by giving up His life. Two men died after the Romans smashed their feet with a hammer.
B9 Two men are in heaven.
B10 One man is in Hades awaiting final judgment (Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15).

The non-repentant criminal/bandit
B1 He was a sinner.
B2 We sin by thoughts, desires, words, and deeds
C1 Thoughts and desires: Genesis 27:41 NRSV Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
C2 Words: Psalms 78:36 NRSV But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
C3 Deeds: Jeremiah 22:17 NRSV But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.
B3 Opportunity to repent but refused: Revelation 9:20-21 NRSV The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their fornication or their thefts.
B4 Why don’t people repent and call on the name of the Lord?
C1 Pride: 2 Timothy 3:4 NLT They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
C2 Love of sin: Psalm 52:3 NLT You love evil more than good and lies more than truth.

The repentant criminal/bandit
B1 Same as above but did repent and call of the name of the Lord.
C1 His attitude at first: Matthew 27:44 NRSV The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
C2 His attitude at salvation: Luke 23:39-41 NRSV One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."
C3 Calling on the name of the Lord: Luke 23:42 NRSV Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
C4 Salvation promised: Luke 23:43 NRSV He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
B2 Why did he believe and the other didn’t? Why didn’t is answered above.
C1 Humbled himself: James 4:6 NRSV But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
C2 Wanted salvation, thus a desire to have forgiveness and fellowship with God: Psalms 42:2 NRSV My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

The sinless one
B1 Without sin: Hebrews 4:15 NRSV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
B2 Voluntary substitute: Romans 5:6 NRSV For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
B3 Suffered for our sins: Hebrews 13:12 NRSV Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.
B4 Paid penalty for our sins: 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NRSV For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.
B5 Laid down His life (the crucifixion did not kill Him, He willed death after finishing His ministry): 1 John 3:16 NRSV We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
B6 Buried: 1 Corinthians 15:4 NRSV and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
B7 Rose for our justification: 1 Thessalonians 4:14 NRSV For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.
B8 Ascended into heaven for His heavenly ministry for the believers:
C1 Ephesians 4:8 NRSV Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.
C2 Hebrews 7:25 NRSV Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
B9 Will return: Acts 1:10-11 NRSV While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
B10 Will set up His kingdom: Daniel 2:44 NRSV And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.
B11 Will reign in Jerusalem, then forever:
C1 Psalms 146:10 NRSV The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!
C2 Revelation 11:15 NRSV Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.

All humans (except Messiah)
B1 Deserve death
B2 Deserve Hades
B3 Deserve the Lake of Fire
B4 Deserve eternal torment
B5 Deserve this judgment, sentencing, and punishment because we have sinned in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.

We can follow the actions of two men
B1 One in acceptance
B2 One in rejection

Which will we be the one who believes or the one who does not believe?

2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

13 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 133+John 21

Psalm 133
B1 What does this mean?
C1 The beauty of Christian unity.
D1 John 10:16 GNB There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
D2 John 17:11 GNB And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one.
C2 A unity with God Himself regarding God, God’s kingdom, God’s doctrine, God’s character, God’s lifestyle, God’s worldview, and God’s rules for believers.
C3 It is compared to
D1 The oil of anointing on Aaron, the High Priest:
E1 The oil itself: Exodus 30:23-24 BSB Take the finest spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil.
E2 This is the special oil of consecration.
D2 The dew upon Mt Zion:
E1 Constable mentions: Mt. Hermon to the north of Israel was the highest mountain in the land. As such it enjoyed unusually heavy dew. Dew was a great blessing in the parched land of Israel. As the dew freshened and invigorated Mt. Hermon, so the blessing of unity among believing Israelites would refresh and invigorate Mt. Zion as they gathered for worship there.
E2 Zion was the earthly dwelling of Yahweh. Psalms 2:6-7 GNB "On Zion, my sacred hill," he says, "I have installed my king." 7 "I will announce," says the king, "what the LORD has declared. He said to me: 'You are my son; today I have become your father.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Romans 12:1-2 WEL I implore you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present yourselves as a holy, living sacrifice [which is] acceptable to God [and] your rational service [to Him]. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what [is] the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

John 21
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus At the Sea of Galilee
D1 A principle: God delegates the mission, we do the mission, and God blesses the mission.
D2 Verse 14, John states that this is the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples.
C2 Jesus Encourages Peter
D1 Peter probably was despondent, because he spoke of great dedication but failed. The Lord Jesus wanted to be clear that Peter is restored. So too for us. What Peter did was not a reason to never be an Apostle and pastor. Sexual abuse, abuses of power by pastors, etc. do disqualify them forever.
D2 Feed my sheep refers to Jesus’s calling and commission for Peter to teach. Peter did teach. He taught the Gospel, the Resurrection, the Christian life, etc.
C3 Many Things Jesus That Did Not Get Recorded
D1 The Scriptures are the truth: Psalms 119:160 WEB All of your words are truth. Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.
D2 We have a reasonable faith. John states: 1 John 1:1-4 WEB That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life 2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us); 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 And we write these things to you, that our joy may be fulfilled.
D3 We have more than one witness: Acts 1:1-2 GNB Dear Theophilus: In my first book I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time he began his work 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before he was taken up, he gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men he had chosen as his apostles.
D4 Let us be committed as the Apostle Paul: 2 Timothy 1:12 AMPC And this is why I am suffering as I do. Still I am not ashamed, for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him Whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? We have a most reasonable faith.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

12 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 132+John 20

Psalm 132
B1 What does this mean?
C1 David’s care of the Ark
D1 Hardships Compare 1 Samuel 17-30.
E1 Promises in hardship See 2 Samuel 7.
E2 Desire for proper worship
F1 In the days prior to Messiah coming, proper worship was in Jerusalem.
F2 When Messiah came even now, worship is not at a physical place but with the heart.
F3 John 4:20-24 NRSV Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." 21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
D2 Dedication
E1 Proverbs 16:3 NRSV Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
E2 Psalms 119:38 NRSV Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.
D3 A desire for doing God’s will is nice, but our actions express our true beliefs. God’s promises are not just words but will be fulfilled.
C2 God’s promises
D1 At the present day, it seems if these promises have been unfulfilled. The time is coming when all will be fulfilled. Jesus will reign in Jerusalem, Jerusalem will be safe, and worshipers will worship in peace.
D2 2 Peter 1:3-4 EMTV As His divine power has granted to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 through which have been given to us precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through these we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Realize hardship will come but hope in God. Dedicate ourselves to God and His ways.

John 20
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Witnesses Come to Jesus’s Empty Tomb
D1 A number of witnesses testify that the tomb was empty even though it was guarded by the Roman soldiers.
D2 Verse 2, they might refer to the Jewish authorities or the Romans. John and Peter were suspicious of the women’s testimony or so it appears.
D3 One thing we can learn is that the tomb was empty. For a more detailed offering of proof, see Gary Habermas site.
C2 Mary Magdalene Is Witness to Jesus Alive
D1 Jesus didn’t reveal Himself at first as a teaching point. He knew what Mary believed but wanted her to know and to reinforce the information of everything to her.
D2 Some see an error in verse 12 because Matthew and Mark state only one angel. It is suggested that only one is mentioned because he was the one who spoke.
D3 Some see an error in verse 14, too. If she knew what Jesus looked like, why didn’t she recognize Him now? Most likely she was in grief and thought He was dead. She simply was not expecting a live Jesus there talking to her.
D4 Verse 17 is another puzzling event. Why couldn’t she touch Him? The Greek word for touch is ἅπτομαι háptomai and doesn’t mean to just lightly touch but to firmly touch as grasp, hold, cling, etc. John 20:17 GW Jesus told her, "Don't hold on to me. I have not yet gone to the Father. But go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.
C3 The Disciples Are Witness to Jesus Alive
D1 Note Jesus says, “Peace to you,” two times. Jesus is not coming to frighten them, judge them, scold them, but brings peace to them. Peace with God.
E1 John 16:33 GW I've told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you'll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world."
E2 It is available for all if one repents and believes: Matthew 11:28-29 EMTV Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
D2 Jesus remains the God/man (God the Son and the Son of Man) eternally.
D3 Verse 23 also causes false ideas that people can forgive sins in God’s name or authority. Steven J. Cole says: “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” The gospel that we proclaim is not so much about Jesus helping people with their personal problems but rather about God forgiving their sin through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. G. Campbell Morgan (The Gospel According to John Revell], p. 321) wrote, “The ultimate reason of the mission of the Church in the world, is to deal with sin.” Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus didn’t die to save us from personal failure or shortcomings, but from the just wrath of God against our rebellion and sin. [It is worth reading the whole comment].
C4 Thomas Is Witness to Jesus Alive
D1 Thomas did not believe all the witnesses had seen and heard about the Lord Jesus (verse 25). He declares the conditions for his belief (verse 26). He is shocked but now believes (verse 27). All of which leads the Lord Jesus to declare: 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, you have believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe.”
D2 We have a reasonable faith, not a blind faith. The Scriptures wrote about the resurrection, the faithful men and women who had seen and heard declared the resurrection, and Jesus had prophesied His resurrection. It would be most reasonable to believe that Jesus was alive.
C5 The Goal of John’s Gospel
D1 Regarding verses 30-31: J. C. Ryle in his expository thoughts mentions 2 possible interpretation. The first would be that John refers to all that Jesus did in His ministry, while the second would be all the miracles after His resurrection proving that He was alive.
D2 Regarding the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ one can begin by reading 1 Corinthians 15.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Christian belief is most reasonable.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

11 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 131+John 19

Psalm 131
B1 What does this mean?
C1 This is a Psalm of honesty.
C2 He is not bragging about doing or being right. He is just telling the truth. People can use the same words but have a different attitude and motive for those words. Telling the truth with a humble attitude is important.
C3 He has quieted himself. This is because of his hope in God to help him. Psalms 42:5 NRSV Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help
C4 Because God has helped him, the Psalmist (David) urges others to do the same.
C5 Matthew 11:29-30 NRSV Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Be honest. Have the right attitude and motives. Give God the credit for His help. Tell others how God has helped us.

John 19
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus and Pilate
D1 Note how Jesus does not retaliate.
D2 Note how Pilate mistakenly thought that if Jesus was abused, beat, whipped, mocked, etc., the Jews would think that would be enough.
D3 Note how the Jewish leaders, etc. only wanted to kill God.
D4 Note how Pilate declared Jesus not having committed any crime that would justify being whipped or killed.
D5 Note how the Jewish leaders and their followers lust for blood.
D6 Note the absence of truth and justice.
D7 Note how the government, religion, and society was corrupt. They were not following God’s ways.
D8 Verse 11, Jesus teaches that some sins are more evil than others and that God considers the motives as well.
D9 Verse 14, the Preparation Day before the Passover was Friday. The sixth hour was approximately 0600.
D10 Note how these Jew gave their final rejection of Messiah. They hated God, God’s ways, God’s beliefs, God’s laws, God’s worldview, God’s lifestyle, God’s plans, God’s promises, etc.
C2 Jesus Is Crucified
D1 Verse 20, note near the city, not in the city.
D2 Note how they still hated Jesus in their complaining about the sign over Jesus’s head.
D3 After Jesus was dead, I wonder if the people rejoiced as will happen in the future when the 2 witnesses were dead? Revelation 11:7-10 LEB And when they have completed their testimony, the beast that comes up from the abyss will make war with them and will conquer them and will kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is called symbolically Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 And those from peoples and tribes and languages and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and they will not allow their dead bodies to be placed in a tomb. 10 And those who live on the earth will rejoice over them, and will celebrate and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who live on the earth.
D4 I wonder too if the Jewish leaders and their followers had great fear after the report came that Jesus was gone from the tomb just as He prophesied. He is risen. Revelation 11:11 LEB And after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
D5 Verse 25, note who are the witnesses.
C3 Jesus Dies
D1 Verse 28, all things have been completed. Jesus in the midst of suffering for our sins still keeps His composure to know the Scriptures and fulfill them.
D2 Verse 29, vinegar without myrrh or gall which had been refused already.
D3 Verse 30, a shout of victory. Compare: Matthew 27:50 HCSB Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. His victory is our victory, too. Thank you, Lord Jesus for being our Passover Lamb.
D4 Jesus had to yield His spirit to die, because He is sinless and not deserving. Clarke adds:
Every man, since the fall, has not only been liable to death, but has deserved it; as all have forfeited their lives because of sin. Jesus Christ, as born immaculate, and having never sinned, had not forfeited his life, and therefore may be considered as naturally and properly immortal. No man, says he, taketh it, my life, from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again, John 10:17-18,. Hence we rightly translate Matthew 27:50, αφηκε το πνευμα, he gave up the ghost; i.e. he dismissed his spirit, that he might die for the sin of the world.
D5 Verse 31, Barnes writes: Was an high day. It was,
1st. The Sabbath.
2nd. It was the day on which the paschal feast properly commenced. It was called a high day because that year the feast of the Passover commenced on the Sabbath. Greek, "Great day."
D6 Note that John is an eye witness
C4 Jesus Is Buried
C5 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 NRSV For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
C6 Colossians 2:12-14 GNB For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from death. 13 You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins; 14 he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Let us be careful not to reject God’s ways today.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

08 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 130+John 18

Psalm 130
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Prayer
D1 The Hebrew word depths is מַעֲמָק maʻămâq. It means here the depths of distress (TWOT). Compare: Psalms 69:2 NRSV I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
D2 This life is one of distress for many reasons.
D3 The first person we should call on for help is God, the Counselor of counselors.
E1 God does make a way.
E2 Sometimes it seems that there is no deliverance. Why?
F1 Sometimes other people get in the way.
F2 Sometimes fear.
F3 Sometimes being unsure.
F4 Sometimes other people wreck the chance. When we asked God for help, God commissioned someone to be the deliverer (helper, assistant), but that person/s refused or ignored it.
D4 Verse 3, sin will be punished.
D5 Verse 4,
E1 Translations:
F1 Psalm 130:4 NLT But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
F2 Psalm 130:4 NIV But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
E2 Spurgeon writes:
Ver. 4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. One would think that punishment should procure fear, and forgiveness love; but nemo majus diligit, quam qui maxime veretur offendere —no man more truly loves God than he that is most fearful to offend him. "Thy mercy reacheth to the heavens, and thy faithfulness to the clouds" —that is, above all sublimities. God is glorious in all his works, but most glorious in his works of mercy; and this may be one reason why St. Paul calls the gospel of Christ a "glorious gospel": 1 Timothy 1:11.
C2 Waiting and hoping
D1 Hope is expectation. We don’t know when, but we hope it happens today.
D2 Psalms 147:11 GW The LORD is pleased with those who fear him, with those who wait with hope for his mercy.
D3 Psalms 27:14 GW Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.

B2 How do I apply this to my life? Seek God first, watch for opportunities, wait with expectant hope. Be a listener and helper if able to help others in difficult situations.

John 18
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus Is Arrested
D1 Jesus knew everything when He approached Judas and those coming to arrest Him.
D2 Verse 6 was a warning and testimony of Jesus’s power, but it was ignored. They pressed on with determination to arrest Jesus.
D3 Verse 11, Jesus had to suffer first then enter His glory.
D4 Verse 14, Clarke notes: Caiaphas was he which gave counsel, was an improper person to sit in judgment on Christ, whom he had prejudged and precondemned: see on John 11:50-52. But Christ must not be treated according to the rules of justice: if he had, he could not have been put to death.
C2 Peter Denies Jesus
D1 Let us be careful of being over confident.
D2 Fear and panic can affect our judgment.
C3 High Priest Interrogates Jesus
D1 Jesus being slapped was illegal. He had not been condemned yet. He answered truly. If justice had prevailed, Jesus would never have been condemned, but they had in their counsels already condemned Him.
E1 Isaiah 50:6 NIV I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
E2 Compare: Acts 23:2-3 GW The chief priest Ananias ordered the men standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you hypocrite! You sit there and judge me by Moses' Teachings and yet you break those teachings by ordering these men to strike me!"
D2 Compare: Jeremiah 26:15 NKJV But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.
C4 Peter Denies Jesus For the Second and Third Time
C5 Jesus Stands Before Pilate
D1 Verse 32, Jewish death penalty was stoning, but for the Romans, it was crucifixion.
D2 Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges comments on verse 32:
As already stated, S. John omits both the examination before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin at an irregular time and place, at midnight and at ‘the Booths’ (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65), and also the formal meeting of the Sanhedrin after daybreak in the proper place (Matthew27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71), at which Jesus was sentenced to death. He proceeds to narrate what the Synoptists omit, the conference between Pilate and the Jews (John 18:28-32) and two private examinations of Jesus by Pilate (18:33-38 and 19:8-11). Here also we seem to have the evidence of an eyewitness. We know that S. John followed his Lord into the high-priest’s palace (18:15), and stood by the Cross (19:26); it is therefore probable enough that he followed into the Procurator’s court.
D3 Jesus didn’t come to reign; He came to be our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). The crucifixion was another testimony to the Jews, who should have known the Scriptures well enough.
D4 Verse 38, truth is reality. Herod was just disgusted.
[What is truth?] Christ had said, "For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth": q.d. "I will not deny but that I am a king, as thou hast said; for for this end I came, that I should bear witness to the truth, whatever hazards I should run upon that account." Upon this Pilate asks him, What is truth? that is, "What is the true state of this affair? that thou, who art so poor a wretch, shouldst call thyself a king, and at the same time that thou callest thyself a king, yet sayest thy kingdom is not of this world? Where lies the true sense and meaning of this riddle?"

But supposing when Christ said, he came "that he should bear witness to the truth," he meant in general the gospel; then Pilate asks him, What is that truth? However, the evangelist mentions nothing, either whether our Saviour gave him any answer to that question, or whether indeed Pilate stayed in expectation of any answer from him.
E2 An interesting devotion from Our Daily Bread that should be read. I’ll just quote a portion: It was the closest Pilate would come to life’s greatest discovery. Jesus had just told him that He had come into the world to bear witness to the truth. This prompted Pilate to ask, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).
D5 Verse 40
E1 This is so hard to believe.
F1 What did Barabbas give? Violence and robbery.
F2 What did Jesus give? Physical healing and food and, much more importantly, spiritual healing and food.
E2 These Jews chose Barabbas, one like themselves.
E3 Handful of Purpose on this passage has this comment:
VI. Questioned by the Ambitious. Pilate asked three questions of Jesus, and profited nothing by them: (1) "Art Thou the King of the Jews?" (John 18:33); (2) "What is truth?" (John 18:38); (3) "Whence art Thou?" (chap. John 19:9). By such questions the Christ was "oppressed and afflicted," so He "opened not His mouth." Men animated by selfish and impure motives still oppress Him, whose Divinity is clear as the sun, by their questionings regarding His character and teaching. He that doeth His will shall know of the teaching whether it be of God (John 7:17).
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Believe John testimony about Jesus, Jesus’s testimony of Himself, and be thankful.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

07 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 129+John 17

Psalm 129
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Persecution
D1 This refers mainly to Israel but can be applied to all believers.
D2 God takes note of this persecution and punishes justly: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 ESV2011 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
D3 The example of Jesus: 1 Peter 2:23 ESV2011 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
D4 Our response should be: 1 Peter 3:14-16 ESV2011 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
D5 A summary from Dake (beware):
Six Things To Do In View Of Suffering:
1 Be happy in suffering (1 Peter 3:14; Matthew 5:10).
2 Be not afraid of man (1 Peter 3:14; Matthew 10:28).
3 Be not troubled by trouble (1 Peter 3:14).
4 Take suffering as unto God and hold Him sacred in your heart (1 Peter 3:15).
5 Be ready to give an account of your life, conduct, and hope (1 Peter 3:15).
6 Maintain a good conscience by good behavior (1 Peter 3:16).
C2 The need to thank God for deliverance. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 HCSB Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Realize troubles and sorrows will come. Be thankful for help in these things and His deliverance when it comes.

John 17
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus’s Prayer—For Himself
D1 To know is both a reasonable faith of knowing and the experience of knowing.
D2 Verse 5 makes it clear that Jesus existed before creation.
C2 Jesus’s Prayer—For His Disciples
D1 Verse 6, Jesus witnessed and made known the true God, so should we. Ryle writes on this passage: The sentence before us means, "I have made known Thyself, Thy character, and Thine attributes to my disciples." The word "name" is continually used in this sense in the Bible. Thus: Psalm 22:22; Psalm 52:9; Psalm 119:55; Isaiah 26:8; Acts 9:14; Proverbs 18:10. A right knowledge of God the Father was the first thing which Christ revealed and taught to His disciples.
D2 15 “I am not asking that you would take them out of the world, but that you would keep them safe from the evil. Whedon writes in his commentary:
Not… take … out of the world—Peter was ready (John 13:37) to follow his Lord out of the world. Wearied Christians often would sigh to depart and be with Christ. But that aspiration must be checked within the most reverent limits. What could the world’s great carcass do if the salt should all depart? What but suffer the fate of Sodom for want of ten righteous men? The good men hated by the world are the world ’s preservers.
Keep them from the evil—For how easy is it for them to assimilate by gentle shadings with the world. The world, then, will no longer hate, however much they will despise them for the compromise. God keeps them, not merely for themselves, but for the honour of his own name, and from mercy to the world that hates them.
D3 Verse 17, truth is sanctifying.
E1 It separates from lies.
E2 It frees from lies.
E3 It gives us the words of truth to tell to others.
E4 Psalms 119:160 GW There is nothing but truth in your word, and all of your righteous regulations endure forever.
E5 Proverbs 12:19 GW The word of truth lasts forever, but lies last only a moment.
E6 Truth is a character trait of God.
D4 Verse 19, Jesus didn’t sanctify Himself because He had a flaw, but because He was separated from sin, consecrated for sacrifice, entered the Holy of Holies in heaven’s Temple, and secured our salvation.
C3 Jesus’s Prayer—For All Believers
D1 One refers to one agreement in goals, purpose, and action.
D2 Verse 24, note how the Lord Jesus asks for us to be with Him. One of the reasons humans were created was for fellowship with God. He does not need it but enjoys it.
D3 Philippians 3:20-21 GNB We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.

B2 How do I apply this to my life? Let us praise God and thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

06 May 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 128+John 16

Psalm 128
B1 What does this mean?
C1 The fear of the Lord
D1 Most say this is to respect Him, not be afraid of Him, but the word fear is the word to be afraid.
D2 Two things about the fear of God.
E1 It refers to the fear of judgment.
F1 Those who do not believe and do not obey have one type of fear.
G1 Unclean, evil spirits: Matthew 8:28-29 NKJV When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"
G2 Unclean, evil people: Acts 24:25 EMTV And as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment which is going to be, Felix became afraid and answered, "Go away for now; but when I have opportunity I will summon you.
F2 Those who do believe and do obey. This is a different type of fear.
G1 Isaiah, the prophet: Isaiah 6:5 NKJV So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."
H1 Note what happened though: Isaiah 6:6-7 NRSV Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out."
G2 John, the Apostle: Revelation 1:17 NRSV When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
G3 All people: Luke 12:5 EMTV But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who after He kills, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
G4 Perfect love drives out fear. Note how this was true with both Isaiah and John. It is also true for you and me. 1 John 4:18 NRSV There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
C2 The blessings in this Psalm refer to God’s blessing of children. The PRINCIPLE taught though is there is blessings to fear God in the correct way. He tells us to not fear.
C3 We also need to walk in His ways. This means to obey the rules the Lord Jesus gave us in the New Testament in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds, have a godly lifestyle, have a godly worldview, etc.
C4 Some other blessings in this Psalm. God gives
D1 Financial stability. This is true if governments, etc. obey God’s rules too. Most never have.
D2 Happiness and joy. This is the idea of the word well.
D3 Family stability. This is true when all live God’s ways.
D4 Peace. This is inner peace with God and outer peace with all we meet. Sad, isn’t it, that most will not live God’s ways, so those ungodly choices lead to sorrow and pain for others?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Fear God.

John 16
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus Tells Disciples He Is Leaving But the Comforter Will Come
D1 Jesus foretells persecution. This is because others will not live God’s ways. The choices they make are evil. Because of this they hate God and those who follow God. Their solution is to cause pain for God’s followers and even death. They do these things to God’s people because they did not know God.
D2 Note how Jesus tells us these things so we will be aware and not turn away from God (stumble, offended, fall away).
D3 Note how it bothers Jesus when He detects their sorrow.
D4 The Counselor (Advocate, Comforter, etc.) is the blessing of Jesus to us. The Holy Spirit is this counselor. There is no better Counselor. He is the Counselor of all counselors. He will listen to us and intercedes for us. You can tell Him anything. Tell Him your pains and sorrows. He will listen. Why doesn’t He deliver? It is because of the freedom of humans to do things God’s ways or some other way. The evil choices of others affect all of us.
D5 The Holy Spirit has 3 other ministries: to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit convicts us that we are not good in God’s sight, that we will be judged and sentenced to eternal punishment, and that we can distinguish between righteousness and not unrighteousness.
D6 Verse 13 is primarily for the Apostles and disciples hearing Jesus but is to be applied to all of us.
C2 Jesus Tells the Disciples of Their Coming Sorrow
D1 Verse 16 primarily refers to Jesus being absent from death (gone) and His resurrection (present with them again, though for a short time).
D2 Verse 26 might be primarily referring to the time that Jesus was present with the believers from His resurrection to ascension.
D3 Verse 32, of course, was fulfilled when Jesus was arrested. Jesus in wisdom, love, and holiness, showing compassion for His followers wanted to warn them what lied ahead.
D4 Overcome the world. Bible Illustrator NT has this comment on verse 33:
1. He overcame the world's falsehood by the power of His truth. Others were sent to denounce the falsehood, but the world smiled or frowned on them, and silenced them by its seductions or threats, and many of them learned to repeat the wicked shibboleths. The faithful were murdered, one after another, and finally Christ came, born to this end to bear witness to the truth, and sealed His testimony with His blood, and by so doing won a victory such as the Church does not need to win again.
2. He overcame the world's wickedness by His holiness. Till He came, the idea of absolute holiness was never presented to the mind of man. But He presented to the end an image of perfect purity.
3. He overcame the world's malice by His infinite love. Only love can be victorious. The measure of malignity is the measure of defeat. Animosity is only roused by those who have in some sense gained an advantage over us. Here, then, is the peculiarity of the Lord's triumph. He was at war with the world openly and persistently, but the world never had a better friend; and He turned its murderous rage into an occasion for manifesting His most benignant gifts.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Beware of sorrows and persecution.

I hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.