OYB January 13

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 28-29
NT: Matthew 9:18-38
Ps: Psalm 11
Pr: Proverbs 3:11-12

Gospel Thread - OT:

11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Genesis 28:11-12 (NIV)

This dream has messianic undertones. Bereans Online explains:

Y’shua is pictured in Jacob’s dream by the imagery of the Ladder and the anointed Stone. He is the Place. He is the means of descending and ascending. He descended, and has ascended. He will descend again that we might ascend into the Presence of HaShem.

Jacob then extends the imagery by setting up the stone upon a pillar, and anointing it with oil (Messiah or Christ come from Annointed One).

Gospel Thread - NT:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Matthew 9:35 (NIV)

Today's passage represents more fulfillment of prophecy that the Messiah would heal the sick and blind (see Isaiah 53:4 and Isaiah 35:5).

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel/messianic references in today’s Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB January 12

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 26:17-35, Genesis 27
NT: Matthew 9:1-17
Ps: Psalm 10:16-18
Pr: Proverbs 3:9-10

Gospel Thread - OT:

Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?"

Genesis 27:36 (NIV)

Matthew Henry's commentary on this chapter gives great insight into its connection with the gospel.

Gospel Thread - NT:

5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 And the man got up and went home.

Matthew 9:5-7 (NIV)

Jesus came to earth to overcome sin. He has that authority because he lived a sinless life. This exchange illustrates that Jesus is concerned both with our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.

Psalm 10:16 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is Lord - the King over the earth for ever and ever!

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Top Chef 2: Episode 10

Filed in ReviewsTags: Food/Wine, Top Chef, TV/Cable

Episode 10: Michael Gets The Shaft

In the Quickfire challenge, in which the chefs were asked to prepare a snack from a variety of foods and a selection of Kraft condiments, guest judge Mike Yakura chose Marcel's Lamb Kebab with Curried Kraft Mayo, Endives & Tomatoes and Sam's Southern Kraft Sandwich with Tempura Shrimp Pickled Peaches & BBQ Aioli. As a reward, both winners were allowed to choose teams for the Elimination challenge: to design a restaurant from concept to menu and serve customers within 24 hours.

Sam's team of Ilan and Michael opened Lalalina, a rustic Italian restaurant. Marcel's team of Elia and Cliff opened M.E.C., an up-scale diner. The judges deemed both efforts so poor that no winner was declared, and both teams would be at the judges' table.

Episode 10 Judges Table

Judges' Table: No Winner

Marcel, Elia, and Ilan were excused from the judges' table, and the elimination decision came down to Cliff, Sam, and Michael. Of the remaining three: Cliff bombed horribly in his attempt at front service, contributed almost nothing to the food production effort, and displayed disrespect and arrogance that seemed even out of his normal rude, self-confident manner; Sam created and produced what may be the single worst dish in all of Season Two and spent more time taking over Michael's work than stepping up as the team leader he was designated to be; and Michael made no obvious mistakes for which he was solely or uniquely responsible.

In the end, the judges eliminated Michael for failing to purchase side plates for bread and olive pits and for making no obvious contribution to the cooking efforts. Both charges are specious.

On the former, Michael simply purchased supplies from a list that the team as a whole put together based on their chosen dishes. If anything, lack of foresight of the need for side plates should fall on the team leader, not the person simply purchasing supplies on the list. This failure was a team failure, not an individual one. In the worst bit of irony, had Michael realized the omission and bought the dishes on his own, the judges would not have credited him with the effort; they simply would never have realized that anything was ever amiss. The judges erred miserably in making Michael the scapegoat for the missing plates. For that matter, the judges noted the egregious lack of wine served at Lalalina's Italian restaurant, yet completely overlooked that Sam and Cliff (who purchased food while Michael purchased supplies) were solely responsible for the omission. Which is worse: an Italian restaurant that offers no wine or fails to provide a plate to discard olive pits?

On the latter, considering the disaster of a dish that Sam concocted, the raw chicken Marcel served, the bacon that Colicchio himself observed Ilan burning, and the over-cooked hamburgers Elia served (thanks to Cliff's inability to serve them in a timely manner), and Cliff's apparent lack of doing, well, anything in the kitchen, the judges again made the wrong decision. Their critique of Michael was not entirely incorrect; he was the least talented of the remaining chefs. However, if the chefs are judged based on current performance, then Michael had no business being eliminated this round. Clearly, either Sam (for poor team leadership and a horrendous dish) or Cliff (for complete failure in front service, lack of contribution in the kitchen, and utter boorishness at the judges' table) should have been eliminated.

Michael's downfall began as early as the Quickfire challenge, when the guest judge inexplicably bemoaned Michael's use of seafood and cheese in his Brie & Crab Quesadilla with Chipotle & Mayo Salad:

Episode 10: Michael Quickfire

Mr. Mohawk blatantly dismissed Michael's dish simply because he disagreed with pairing seafood with cheese. Yakura must have shaved off some brain cells when he gave himself that ridiculous 'do; regardless, he unfairly biased himself against Michael in the Quickfire, and that bias undoubtedly bore itself out in the judges' elimination decision.

Tom Colicchio didn't address the elimination decision, but discussed at length his disappointment with the overall effort. Key points:

I was truly disappointed to see that none of the chefs stepped up with a deeply personal vision of their food, and the environment that could showcase them to the judges and to the world. We’re down to only six chefs, and its safe to say that each of the six hopes to win and use the victory as a stepping stone for their own culinary career. Here, at last, they were given a chance to show who they were. If even one of the three on each team had done this, and the other two had provided support, it would have been a revealing window into the soul of these chefs and a chance to see who led and who followed.

But for reasons I can’t even fathom, Lalalina, Sam, Ilan and Michael’s “rustic Italian” restaurant and Marcel, Elia and Cliff’s M.E.C. Diner seemed like theme restaurants -- each representing an idea devoid of the personal connection that a real chef needs to bring to his work to make it unique. And on top of this, neither one was done particularly well.

He's right, but not addressing the judges' elimination decision in the post-episode blog was as much of a cop-out was was the decision to eliminate Michael for failing to purchase olive-pit plates.

In contrast the Colicchio's blog, Gail Simmons epitomizes the ridiculous rationalization of the judges in hers. She spends one page discussing the unacceptability at this point in the competition of producing bad-quality food and lack of people skills or charisma - which she somehow segues into her critique of Michael. Here is her explanation for the decision:

We decided to eliminate Michael this week for the same reasons. We no longer doubted his passion or his basic ability, after all he did set a record by winning both the Quickfire and the Elimination round in the same episode, but when placed in a team environment Michael did not attempt any kind of leadership role or show resourcefulness at all. This was apparent in both his purchasing of equipment (over $100 leftover in his budget and no bread plates or bowl for olive pits! No wine glasses! No wine!), as well as how he worked under Sam in the kitchen. None of us could be sure what, if anything, he actually contributed to the meal. He was at times infuriating but always fun to see on set, cheerful and positive. Maybe he should have been doing the serving at Lalalina that night? At least then we would have laughed a little.

She actually blames Michael for Lalalina failing to serve wine - something he had absolutely no control over and for which Sam and Ilan were completely responsible! The rationale for eliminating Michael was a complete non sequitur with the overall criticism of the teams' efforts. Michael didn't fail as a front man. Michael didn't serve under-cooked or horribly created food. Michael didn't overspend on food and decide not to purchase wine.

Gail's blog demonstrates that the judges were - for whatever reason - looking for an excuse to eliminate Michael, and found one suitable enough to justify the decision in their own minds.

Padma Lakshmi's blog echoes the judges' sentiment:

Sam’s team had bigger problems with stray olive pits, no bread plates and no wine; their team was the worse of two losing teams. Their biggest weakness was Mike. Finally Mike’s lackadaisical attitude caught up with him. Relying on his list, he failed to think on his own and take responsibility for at least the shopping. He kept saying he followed the list, I think "Top Chef" is looking for leaders, not followers.

Again, which is worse, a team player who follows more than leads, or a leader who fails miserably on all fronts? Were not Lalalina's failures a direct reflection on Sam? Utterly ridiculous reasoning.

Overall, the Episode 10 blogs were as disappointing as the show itself. The only redeeming entry was from Harold Dieterle, who appropriately bagged on Yakura for being a complete jerk.

OYB January 11

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 24:52-67, Genesis 25, Genesis 26:1-16
NT: Matthew 8:18-34
Ps: Psalm 10:1-15
Pr: Proverbs 3:7-8

Gospel Thread - OT:

The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

Genesis 25:23 (NIV)

Separation: the result of the gospel. As a result of salvation through the gospel, not only are we separated from the slavery and wages of sin but we are also set apart from those still under sin's curse. God desires for a people who emulate His Holiness, and thanks to the Gospel we are free to pursue that holiness. God demonstrates this separation in the Genesis story of Abraham and his descendants: first, calling Abraham to leave the land of his fathers, then choosing the line of Isaac rather than the line of Ishmael, and in today's reading choosing the line of Jacob-Israel rather than the line of Esau. Just as these lines of descendency are set apart from their bretheren, so also are we set apart when we are grafted into the line of Abraham through Christ.

Gospel Thread - NT:

"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"

Matthew 8:29 (NIV)

Those who exist in the spiritual realm - even the rebellious ones - know that the day will come when Jesus Christ reclaims His rightful position of authority over all creation, and on that day those judged to be unrighteous will face eternal suffering. Perhaps it is to this day of ultimate judgement to which the demons refer here? While it is not wise to dwell upon hell being the just reward for those judged to be unrighteous, it is equally unwise not to recognize that the righteous and unrighteous will come to opposite ends at the day of judgement.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:7-8 (NIV)

We are created in God's image, meaning that we are spiritual beings; we are spiritual beings living (to borrow Paul's analogy from II Corinthians 5:1-10) in tents of flesh (see also I Corinthians 15:42-48). Our flesh is sustained by our spirit. When we are reborn in Christ, we have a new spirit - the Holy Spirit living within - that literally sustains our flesh.

OYB Photo of the Day:

Oaxaca2006_306

Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26)
Photo © Chip Bennett. All rights reserved.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Top Chef 2: Episode 9

Filed in ReviewsTags: Food/Wine, Top Chef, TV/Cable

When we moved into our new place, I decided to get cable - mainly, for Steph since she is home all day. One of the unintended consequences of that decision is that we are now both hooked on Top Chef: Season 2. Steph has been reading the chefs' blogs, but I've not really had the time to read them. So, as dinner is finishing and we're waiting for tonight's episode, I decided to have a look.

In Episode 9, Michael won both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges, and Betty was eliminated. The Quickfire challenge featured colors, with each chef creating a dish around a designated color. The Elimination challenge featured the Seven Deadly Sins, with the chefs serving a seven-course meal, and each chef's course created around a designated Deadly Sin.

Michael won the Quickfire with a salmon-and-carrot-chip dish (for the color orange) and the Elimination challenge with Trout and Salmon with Basil Aioli and Asparagus (for Envy):

Envy

Envy: Trout and Salmon with Basil Aioli and Asparagus
Photo © Bravo

As the episodes have progressed, Steph and I both began to sympathize for Michael for being the underdog, and to despise Betty for her treatment of Marcel. We were both rooting for her to be the next one eliminated, but I would have been equally happy if Ilan had been eliminated for his complete lack of professionalism in this episode.

Colicchio summarized the Marcel situation well:

Marcel is the kind of guy who has probably pissed people off his whole life -- dating back to the playground -- without really understanding why or how. Faced with people’s negative reactions he lashes back in even more annoying ways, creating a cycle. Under ordinary circumstances, the others may have been willing to brush off Marcel’s irritating behavior, but with little sleep and mounting pressure, they’re regressing instead into a group of petty sixth-graders. This reached a head for me when I saw the group decide not to serve his dish during the dinner party (Elia was the lone dissenter in this). I replayed the episode to see what Marcel had done to spark this little mob mentality, and realized he hadn’t done much, other than speak forcefully. Obviously, the group was primed to be angry with him over the slightest infraction. I wanted to see some leadership -- someone who would step up and say, "Marcel may be the most annoying guy in the world, but the show must go on. Let’s put our heads down and get this meal over with." Imagine if a restaurant line came to a screeching halt every time some cook pissed off another? Trust me; it would be the end of restaurant dining as we know it.

I can empathize with Marcel here; growing up, I had the same problem: I could annoy (or worse) people just by my personality, and not even know it. The problem is, the workplace is no place for personality conflicts. Of all the contestants, Marcel is the one that most models the professionalism required especially for a chef. Regardless of personality issues, he is the one always trying to help out his fellow chefs - trying to see that the show goes on.

I still think Cliff and Sam are the strongest two competitors, but I would love to see Marcel outlast both Ilan and Sam.

Episode 10 Prediction:

Despite his Episode-9 sweep, Mike is still the underdog in terms of talent. He showed that he can hang with the rest, but he is the one most likely to falter of the remaining six competitors. If he does, he will be done. If he doesn't, he has an equal shot of seeing Episode 11.

Cliff and Sam are the two strongest, followed (in no particular order) by Ilan, Elia, and Marcel. I don't forsee either of the top two being eliminated this week, and I think Michael has a decent enough follow-up to last week's sweep not to get eliminated. One of Ilan, Elia, or Marcel will go this week. I'm rooting for Ilan, but my instinct tells me it will be Elia (unfortunately, as she has been the lone supporter of Marcel).

We find out in about an hour!

OYB January 10

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 23, Genesis 24:1-51
NT: Matthew 8:1-17
Ps: Psalm 9:13-20
Pr: Proverbs 3:1-6

Gospel Thread - OT:

I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.

Genesis 23:4 (NIV)

Faith: the vehicle through which the believer receives salvation. Abraham demonstrates his faith in chapter 22, by requesting a burial place in the land of Caanan, in which he was still an alien and stranger. Paul explains Abraham's faith in Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV):

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Abraham believed that the nation he would beget would one day possess the land in which he lived in tents - and he believed so much so, that he bought land in which he and Sarah could be buried. We are called to this kind of faith: to call things that are not, as though they are (Romans 4:17).

Gospel Thread - NT:

8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

Matthew 8:8-10 (NIV)

The ultimate purpose of the gospel is not merely the salvation of the individual, but the restoration of Christ's rightful place of authority over all creation. Jesus realized that the centurion not only understood the principle of authority in the spiritual realm, but also recognized Jesus as the rightful, sovereign ruler of that realm. Jesus credits that understanding and recognition as the greatest faith He has observed in all of the land of Israel.

This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."

Matthew 8:17 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes, this verse fulfills Isaiah 53:4.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

For the believer, the gospel doesn't just mean salvation from sin and its wages. The believer also has access to the will and direction of the Father, who desires to guide each of us in His perfect plan for our lives. Once we are released from our slavery to sin, we have the freedom to pursue God's holiness, and His plan.

OYB Photo of the Day:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6
Photo © Inspirational Bible Verse. Used with permission.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB January 9

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 20-22
NT: Matthew 7:15-29
Ps: Psalm 9:1-12
Pr: Proverbs 2:16-22

Gospel Thread - OT:

7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" 8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

Genesis 22:7-8 (NIV)

Isaac is another type of Christ (miraculous birth, son through whom God's redemption would come, offered in sacrifice by his father, called his "only son", etc.). Also, Abraham - called a prophet by God earlier in chapter 20 - foreshadows God's eventual provision of The Lamb whose sacrifice took away the sins of the world.

Gospel Thread - NT:

17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Matthew 7:17-18 (NIV)

The seal of the gospel is the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer. The unregenerate person bears unregenerate fruit: that is, evil. The redeemed person bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit borne of one's life testify to the condition of salvation.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.

Psalm 9:7-8 (NIV)

Jesus Christ has been given this authority; He will occupy the Judgement Seat, and He will govern with justice. I'm not sure David intended an explicit reference to the Messiah here, but certainly one can infer an implicit reference.

OYB Photo of the Day:

Psalm 9:9-10

Psalm 9:9-10
Photo © God's Wonders

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB January 8

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 9 January 2007; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 18:16-33, Genesis 19
NT: Matthew 6:25-34, Matthew 7:1-14
Ps: Psalm 8
Pr: Proverbs 2:6-15

Gospel Thread - OT:

Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

Genesis 18:32 (NIV)

Mercy: perhaps God's second greatest gift to mankind, behind only His gift of grace. Grace and mercy go hand-in-hand: grace is getting that which we do not deserve, and mercy is not getting that which we do deserve. It is because of God's freely given grace that He also extends to us His mercy. It is because God poured out His wrath onto Jesus Christ on the Cross that we are spared the just recompense for our sin. We see in this exchange between Abraham and the Lord the near-limitless extent of our Lord's mercy.

Gospel Thread - NT:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

Here we see again the way in which Christ's covenant surpasses all other covenants. Again, it is not enough merely not to mistreat others; rather, we are to treat them in the same way would would have ourselves be treated. In other words, we are to hold others in the same esteem in which we hold ourselves; we are to love others to the same extent as we love ourselves.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet

Psalm 8:4-6 (NIV)

This passage has dual meaning. On one level, David is praising God for the honor he has bestowed upon humanity in creation. On another level, David is speaking of the Messiah: God, taking on humanity, and then being elevated again. Throughout Scripture, often the term "son of man" refers to Christ. Paul understands this very passage to be such a reference. After quoting these very verses, Paul writes in Hebrews 2:9 (NIV):

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

That Jesus was the "son of man" indicates that He is both the Messiah and that He came in human flesh.

OYB Photo of the Day:

Psalm 8:1

Psalm 8:1
Photo © Stone Soup Music. Used with permission.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB January 7

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 16-17, Genesis 18:1-15
NT: Matthew 6:1-24
Ps: Psalm 7
Pr: Proverbs 2:1-5

Gospel Thread - OT:

10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

Genesis 17:10-11 (NIV)

Today we read the next major weave of the gospel thread: circumcision! The physical circumcision by the hands of men was a sign of God's covenant with Abraham, and served as a symbol and foreshadow of the spiritual circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel prophesies about this truth in Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV):

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Paul explains in Romans 2:28-29 (NIV):

28 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

Paul later makes a very important point, that God credited Abraham's faith as righteousness long before the establishment of the covenant of circumcision. Here is excerpted from Romans 4:9-25 (NIV):

9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Gospel Thread - NT:

3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV)

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

I once heard my pastor in a sermon preach that the gospel can be summarized as "give and forgive": God gave (His only Son, to die), and then He forgave (us of our sins, because of the atoning sacrifice of His Son); likewise, we are to give (our lives to God), and then forgive (others who have sinned or will sin against us). I don't necessarily think Jesus' intent in this part of the Sermon on the Mount was to summarize the gospel directly; however, reading these two statements so close together evoked the words of that sermon. And "give and forgive" is an accurate summary of the gospel. Because God gave and forgave, we likewise have an obligation to give and to forgive.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow.

Psalm 7:12 (NIV)

Repentance is a pillar of the gospel - an outward manifestation of inward conviction of sin and submission to the will of God. Salvation does not come through repentance, but rather repentance is evidence of the saving work of Christ in the life of the believer. As John explains in I John 3:7-10 (NIV):

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

OYB Image of the Day:

Matthew 6:14

Matthew 6:14
Image © Sue. Used with permission.

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OYB January 6

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 13:5-18, Genesis 14-15
NT: Matthew 5:27-48
Ps: Psalm 6
Pr: Proverbs 1:29-33

Gospel Thread - OT:

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Genesis 14:18-20 (NIV)

The mysterious Melchizedek! Melchizedek is another type of Christ, which Paul explains:

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

Hebrews 7:1-3 (NIV)

15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.

Hebrews 7:15-16 (NIV)

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 (NIV)

The bedrock of Christianity: righteousness credited by God through the faith of the one who believes (see Romans 4:18-25).

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

Genesis 15:17-21 (NIV)

And here is the fourth of six Old-Testament covenants. The Abrahamic covenant confirms God's promise and blessing to Abram (whose name is very soon to be changed to Abraham) - a promise that, through Christ extends to all believers.

Gospel Thread - NT:

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48 (NIV)

In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is explaining the more complete/more perfect understanding of Mosaic laws concerning adultery, divorce, making oaths, vengance, and loving one's neighbors and enemies. In so doing, Christ demonstrates that the Mosaic law was a shadow of God's ultimate law and standard. The Mosaic law intended to show man how not to sin; Christ shows man how to be holy.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel/messianic references in today’s Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.