Monthly Archives: December 2013

Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1 — Loved by the Father, Filled with the Spirit

During the time that John was baptizing multitudes of people, Jesus also came up to him to be baptized.  I wonder just how well John knew Jesus and exactly who he was when he did.  How much did his parents … Continue reading

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Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1 — Telling it like it is

Just a few notes.  First, as I’m on vacation and am staying at my in-laws’ house, my ability to get on the internet is a tad restricted, so I may or may not be able to blog every day this … Continue reading

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Luke 2:41-52 — Misunderstood

I suppose that one thing that most people would like is to be understood.  And it can be hurtful when those whom we love don’t understand us. Jesus certainly understood that feeling.  His disciples often didn’t understand him.  The people … Continue reading

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Matthew 2 — Troubled by the coming of a King

I think at Christmas time, the one image that people have of Jesus is of the baby in the manger.  Perhaps one reason why people like that scene is because Jesus is so non-threatening.  He makes no demands on you. … Continue reading

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Luke 2:36-40 — A heart prepared for the King

Every Christmas, we sing a song that says, Joy to the World, The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room. And in this passage, we see a woman who did just that.  She … Continue reading

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Luke 2:22-35 — The One who causes many to fall

Merry Christmas to the rest of you celebrating Christ’s birth in the world!  (It’s already the 26th in Japan…and all Christmas decorations are already gone). Anyway, this passage strikes me, because the words that were spoken by Simon are just … Continue reading

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Luke 2:15-20 — Spreading the Joy

Merry Christmas all!  I trust you’ll forgive this short, but sweet blog on this Christmas day (in Japan). When the shepherds heard the news that a Savior was born, they immediately raced down to Bethlehem to find him.  And when … Continue reading

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Luke 2:8-14 — When Joy came

As I write this, it is Christmas Eve.  And as I reflect on that first Christmas night, it’s hard to truly fathom.  For it was on that day that joy truly did come to the world. When the angel appeared … Continue reading

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Luke 2:1-7 — The One who is truly in control

When Luke gave his account of the birth of Jesus, he gave us some historical context.  It happened during the time of Caesar Augustus, who was the emperor of the Roman Empire. Augustus had taken compete control over the Roman … Continue reading

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Matthew 1:18-25 — A selfless life

“It’s my life.” “My  rights.” “My happiness.” How often do we hear those words from those around us.  How often do they come out of our mouths? But as one author put it, “It’s not about you.” Rather, this life … Continue reading

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Luke 1:57-80 — Salvation

One wonders all that Zechariah thought during the nine months his mouth was stopped due to his unbelief.  Somehow, one gets the feeling that while he regretted his unbelief, it nevertheless didn’t put a damper on his spirit, because his … Continue reading

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Luke 1:39-56 — Blessed

When Mary heard that her relative Elizabeth was pregnant, she quickly hurried down to see her.  This is quite understandable considering Mary’s own unusual circumstances.  She probably wanted to confirm that this wasn’t just some kind of delusion or dream. … Continue reading

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Luke 1:26-38 — Surrendered

If one wonders why an ordinary teenage girl like Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, it can be summed up in one word:  Surrendered.  She was a woman completely surrendered to the will of God in her … Continue reading

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Luke 1:1-25 — Disappointment

We start the book of Luke with a prologue talking about why it was written.  Luke was a doctor who had become a Christian when the church first began.  He was a learned man, and here he writes to a … Continue reading

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Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-37 — Identifying with a fallen people

As we look at the genealogies of Jesus, there are a couple of things that should be noted.  First, the genealogy in Matthew is clearly incomplete as several kings are skipped over (e.g. Joash, Amaziah, and Jehoiakim).  So when you … Continue reading

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John 1:1-18 — Light in a darkened world

I once read about a young teenage girl in the United States.  She had perfect grades in high school.  She had a perfect score for the SAT.  She had a perfect score for the University of California acceptance exam.  She … Continue reading

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John 1:1-18 — When God became flesh

For those wondering how I’m going to tackle the Gospels, I’m going to do it as I did the Old Testament, that is, chronologically.  I’m going to use a harmony of the Gospels to do this, and weave between the … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 8:5-14 — Sealed

And so after over 900 posts, and 2 and a half years, we come to the end of the Old Testament. In this final passage, the lovers are coming back from their short trip together, and it’s evident to all … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 7-8 — Making time to be with your spouse

In this passage, we see Solomon and his wife spending time together.  In chapter 7, verses 1-10, we see Solomon expressing his delight in his wife, and how beautiful she is.  He also expresses how much he desires her sexually, … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 6 — Still captivated

As I look at these passages, I can’t help but think of the words of Solomon when he wrote, May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3 — Anger, hurt, reconciliation

Marriage relationships don’t always go swimmingly.  In this world broken by sin, anger and hurt between husband and wife are a given.  The question is, how do we respond to it? That’s what we see in this passage. Most commentators … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 3:6-5:1 — Wedding Day

I’ve been married for 8 years now, and I still remember my wedding day very well.  I remember how beautiful my wife looked that day, and to this day, she is still beautiful in my eyes. In chapter 3, you … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 2:3-3:5 — Keeping ourselves pure

We live in a culture where purity is hard to come by.  How many husbands and wives come into their marriages sexually pure? Everything in our culture seems to fight against it.  TV dramas constantly depict sex before marriage, and … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon 1-2 — A love song

And so we hit the final book of the Old Testament.  It’s very interesting to me that I ended Proverbs with two posts, “To be a man,” and “To be a woman.” For in this book, we find what it … Continue reading

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Proverbs 31:10-31 — To be a woman

In this passage, we find out what it means to be the ideal woman.  As with men, too often, this world has a warped view of what a woman should be.  Much of it is focused on her appearance.  Being … Continue reading

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Proverbs 31:1-9 — To be a man

I suppose I could have called this post, “to be a king,” but I don’t think too many kings are reading this blog.  Maybe zero? But there are many men out there, and what King Lemuel’s  mother said to him … Continue reading

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Proverbs 30:29-33 — To be a leader

What does it mean to be a leader?  I think that we can get some clues from this passage. Agur writes, There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:  a lion, mighty … Continue reading

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Proverbs 30:24-28 — Learning from the small and weak

It’s very easy for us to look down on people or things that appear small or weak.  But Agur was not one who would make that mistake.  He looked at four small creatures, and from them found wisdom. From the … Continue reading

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Proverbs 30:11-23 — A corrupt generation

In this passage, Agur talks about the generation he saw in his own time.  (The word translated “those” in this passage, is actually most often translated “generations” throughout the Old Testament.  I suppose it was translated “those” to soften the … Continue reading

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Proverbs 30:1-9 — Humble before God

We go now the words of a man named Agur.  Who he was, no one knows.  But in his words, we find not only wisdom, but humility. Verse 1 is  bit obscure in its meaning.  A possible meaning (and held … Continue reading

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Proverbs 28-29 — Though we live in the midst of evil

It used to be that you could call the United States a Christian country.  But though there are many people that still claim to believe in God and even claim to be Christians, I doubt you could say that anymore. … Continue reading

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