NOVEMBER 21

Habakkuk 2:15: "Woe
[great sorrow or distress] unto him [or her] that giveth his [or her] neighbour [neighbor, friend, acquaintance, etc.] [alcoholic beverages to] drink, that puttest thy bottle to him [or her], and makest him [or her] drunken also, [so] that thou mayest look [with devilish pleasure] on their nakedness!"

NOVEMBER 20

Psalm 34:7: "The angel of the LORD
[an angel sent by God to protect his people] encampeth round about ['pitches his tent' around] them that fear him [those who fear God, referring to born-again Christians], and [the angel] delivereth them [the Christians] [from evil, harm, danger]."

According to this verse, when his people are in trouble, God  sends one or more of his angels to rescue them.

NOVEMBER 19

1 Thessalonians 5:22: "Abstain from
[avoid] all appearance of evil."

In other words, if we have to ask ourselves whether something is right or wrong, we shouldn't do it, because some, or even many, people might view it as bad, even though our intentions in doing it are not.


Albert Barnes has a good commentary on this verse. It says:

"Abstain from all appearance of evil - Not only from evil itself, but from that which seems to be wrong. There are many things which are known to be wrong. They are positively forbidden by the laws of heaven, and the world concurs in the sentiment that they are wicked. But there are also many things about which there may be some reasonable doubt. It is not quite easy to determine in the case what is right or wrong. The subject has not been fully examined, or the question of its morality may be so difficult to settle, that the mind may be nearly or quite balanced in regard to it. There are many things which, in themselves, may not appear to us to be positively wrong, but which are so considered by large and respectable portions of the community; and for us to do them would be regarded as inconsistent and improper. There are many things, also, in respect to which there is great variety of sentiment among mankind - where one portion would regard them as proper, and another as improper.

"There are things, also, where, whatever may be our motive, we may be certain that our conduct will be regarded as improper. A great variety of subjects, such as those pertaining to dress, amusements, the opera, the ball-room, games of chance and hazard, and various practices in the transaction of business, come under this general class; which, though on the supposition that they cannot be proved to be in themselves positively wrong or forbidden, have much the 'appearance' of evil, and will be so interpreted by others. The safe and proper rule is to lean always to the side of virtue. In these instances it may be certain that there will be no sin committed by abstaining; there may be by indulgence. No command of God, or of propriety, will be violated if we decline complying with these customs; but on the other hand we may wound the cause of religion by yielding to what possibly is a mere temptation. No one ever does injury or wrong by abstaining from the pleasures of the ball-room, the theater, or a glass of wine; who can indulge in them without, in the view of large and respectable portions of the community, doing that which has the 'appearance' at least of 'evil?'

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-thessalonians-5.html, "Verse 22")


In addition, Matthew Henry tells us that:

"
Corrupt affections indulged in the heart, and evil practices allowed of in the life, will greatly tend to promote fatal errors in the mind; whereas purity of heart, and integrity of life, will dispose men to receive the truth in the love of it. We should therefore abstain from evil, and all appearances of evil, from sin, and that which looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He who is not shy of the appearances of sin, who shuns not the occasions of sin, and who avoids not the temptations and approaches to sin, will not long abstain from the actual commission of sin."

(Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/1Thess.5.16-1Thess.5.22)

NOVEMBER 18

1 John 5:11-13 - Assurance of Salvation
In a letter to born-again Christians, the apostle John wrote:

Verse 11: "And this is the record, [in the Bible, of the message] that God [the Father] hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in [obtained through] his Son [Jesus Christ]."

Verse 12: "He that hath
[he or she who has] the Son [of God (Jesus) in his or her heart, referring to all who have accepted / received / trusted Jesus as Savior] hath [eternal] life; and he [or she] that hath not [does not have] the Son of God [Jesus--in his or her heart] hath not [does not have] [eternal] life."

Verse 13: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God
[referring to born-again Christians, or those who trust in Jesus alone for salvation]; that ye may know [be assured] that ye have eternal life, and that ye may [continue to] believe on the name of the Son of God [in other words, John is saying that assurance of salvation should strengthen our faith]."

NOVEMBER 17

James 4:7
[Excellent advice from James for Christians]: "Submit yourselves [be obedient] therefore to God. Resist the devil [when he tempts you to sin; for example, say (out loud) something like this: 'Go away, Satan, in Jesus' name--leave me alone!'], and he will flee [run away] from you."

NOVEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant
[kind, thoughtful, helpful, encouraging] words are as an [like a] honeycomb, [because they are] sweet to the soul [meaning they can bring comfort and joy to the mind], and health to the bones [and they can also be healing to the body]."

Hopefully, pleasant words can be heard in our daily conversations with others. They can also be found in the Bible (God's word).

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_24/.

NOVEMBER 15

Philippians 2:9-11 - Someday, We'll
All Worship the Lord Jesus Christ

Verse 9: "Wherefore
[for the reasons described in the preceding verses; i.e., as a reward for the humiliation and suffering that Jesus endured when he became a man and died on the cross to pay for our sins] God [the Father] also hath highly exalted [honored] him [Jesus], and [has] given him a name which is above [greater or more excellent than] every [other] name:"

Verses 10-11: "
[so] That at the name of Jesus [in recognition of his authority] every knee should bow [bend] [in worship of him], of things [referring to the bowing knees, belonging to all beings, including people and angels] in heaven, and things [all beings] in earth, and things [all beings] under the earth; And that every tongue [mouth] should confess [either willingly or unwillingly] that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [thus honoring God]."

Many people refuse to do so now, but someday in the future, everyone in heaven, and everyone on and under the earth (living and dead), will "bow the knee" and call Jesus "Lord."

NOVEMBER 14

Proverbs 14:4: "Where no oxen
[cattle] are, the crib [or manger or feeding trough--where the oxen feed, or eat] is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox."

In other words, it takes money and effort to have oxen (i.e., to purchase the animals, buy their food, clean their stalls, feed them, etc.), but the benefits are great (faster plowing, more crops, increased profit, etc.).


Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, which (as usual) contains many examples of the subject being discussed. Applications for this verse include: young people going to college, homemakers baking pies from scratch, factory owners buying newer and more efficient equipment, and small business owners paying for advertising. Toward the end of the commentary, Pastor Delany says, "In every area of life-the strength of the ox is by FAR worth the extra expense and effort required to maintain the ox. … This is especially so in our spiritual lives." Then he also lists some spiritual applications.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_4/.


Here is some interesting information about oxen, according to Adam Clarke:

"The ox is the most profitable of all the beasts used in husbandry. Except merely for speed, he is almost in every respect superior to the horse.

"1. He is longer lived.

" Scarcely liable to any diseases.

" He is steady, and always pulls fair in his gears.

" He lives, fattens, and maintains his strength on what a horse will not eat, and therefore is supported on one third the cost.

" His manure is more profitable.

" When he is worn out in his labor his flesh is good for the nourishment of man, his horns of great utility, and his hide almost invaluable.

"It might be added, he is little or no expense in shoeing, and his gears are much more simple, and much less expensive, than those of the horse. In all large farms oxen are greatly to be preferred to horses. Have but patience with this most patient animal, and you will soon find that there is much increase by the strength and labor of the ox."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-4.html,"Adam Clarke Commentary")

NOVEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred
[postponed] maketh the heart sick [discouraged] [i.e., when we don't get what we hoped for--or want--right away, we can become discouraged]: but when the desire cometh [as when our prayers are answered and/or our desires are fulfilled], it is a tree of life [a source of joy]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. It is filled with examples of hope and hope deferred. Here are some of them:

Section A - "Hope":

"3. We all have hopes… hopes that keep us going… hopes of a better tomorrow…

"a. hopes for our kids… to have wisdom; to walk with the Lord; to make sensible decisions; to turn out right; to find a godly spouse; to do well in their careers…

"b. hopes for this assembly [referring to Pastor Delany's congregation, but the comment is applicable to any Christian church]… for unity; growth; spiritual strength;

"c. hopes for the salvation of souls… friends; family; neighbors; spouse; co workers;

"d. hopes for doing well at school…

"e. for promotion at work…

"f. hopes of finding a mate…

"g. for others, their hope is having a baby…

"h. for buying a house… to fix up a house; to pay off a house…

"i. for losing weight…for getting physically fit… for a disease to remain in remission…

"j. for finishing college… for landing a good job

"k. for restoring a broken relationship…

"l. Hope for a backslidden believer to return to the Lord…

"m. hopes for getting victory over a besetting sin…

"n. Hopes for getting out of debt…"

Section B - "Hope Deferred":

"3. Examples of hope deferred…

"a. We had our heart set on getting that big promotion at work… and Fred got the job instead of you…

"b. We had hoped and dreamed that this certain relationship would develop into marriage… and our hopes are dashed… she goes off with someone else…

"c. We had hoped for our son to do well at college, and after his first year he quits…

"d. We had hoped that this new medication would put our disease into remission-only to discover that it didn't work and the disease has returned…

"e. We had hoped that our wayward son would return to the Lord, but instead he moves in with his girlfriend and becomes a Unitarian…

"f. Perhaps a woman had longed to have a child and is told that she will not be able to…

"g. We had hoped to pay off our loans and get out of debt, but another huge, unexpected expense comes along…

"h. All too often in life we discover that the things we had such bright and vibrant hope for… after time, seem so elusive."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_12/
.

NOVEMBER 12

Matthew 25:41: "Then
[on judgment day] shall he [the Lord Jesus Christ] say also unto them on the left hand [i.e., all unsaved people (everyone who has not been born again according to the Bible)--see note below*], Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire [referring to the lake of fire], [which was originally] prepared for the devil and his angels:"

In his commentary on this verse, James Burton Coffman wrote:

"A number of years ago, a flood carried away one of the bridges over the Brown River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. A salesman, taken unaware, was able to halt his car only on the last few feet of pavement that remained. In a state of shock, he got out of his car and stood a few moments transfixed by the boiling flood he had so narrowly escaped. Approaching headlights warned him of the danger to others, and he frantically tried to halt the drivers as several cars, one after another, ignored his desperate signals and plunged to destruction. A total of eight persons lost their lives before he could turn his car and blockade the road. Now was that salesman to be blamed for the death of those motorists who ignored his warnings and plunged into the river? No! And in exactly the same way, God cannot be blamed for the eternal punishment men shall certainly incur who ignore the divine warnings, reject the Saviour's sacrifice, and plunge headlong into eternal death. Let the Saviour's words be viewed in such a light, and men will avoid the temptation to "humanize" the gospel. There are dark and terrible realities confronting the race of Adam, and no blind and prejudiced rejection of the divine Saviour's admonitions will remove them. 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/25-41.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")
________________________

*If you don't want to be on Jesus' left hand on judgment day, you must be born again. Just follow the instructions in any of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link:
www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

NOVEMBER 11

Deuteronomy 31:6
[Moses said this to the Jewish people when he told them to cross over the Jordan River without him]: "Be strong [in the Lord, and in the power of his might] and of a good courage [be brave, courageous], fear not, nor [and don't] be afraid of them [i.e., their enemies, the Canaanites--people who lived in the land of Canaan]: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth [does] go with thee [you]; he will not fail thee [let you down], nor forsake [leave] thee."

This verse also applies to all Christians.

NOVEMBER 10

1 Samuel 12:23
[Addressing the people of Israel, the prophet Samuel said]: "Moreover as for me, God forbid [i.e., let it not be] that I should sin against the LORD [God] in ceasing to pray [by no longer praying] for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way [to go, or path to take, in life]:"

Christians should follow Samuel's example and pray for other people on an ongoing basis. This includes our family members, relatives, and friends; other Christians (those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation); our country; and the world.

NOVEMBER 9

Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ
[both the living Word (Jesus) and written word (the Bible)] dwell in you [in your heart and mind] richly [abundantly] in all wisdom [which happens, after salvation, when we memorize scripture and try to obey God's commands]; [and use this wisdom when] teaching [one another--about the Bible] and admonishing one another [as in Christian counseling; i.e., when warning, advising, or correcting fellow believers, in order to assure their spiritual well-being] [and] in [singing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace [thanks] in your hearts to the Lord."

Besides Proverbs, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has done Bible studies on the book of Colossians. His commentary on the above verse is separated into eight parts (each of which, apparently, was a sermon). If you want to read some or all of them, here are the links:

-- 3:16a - Indwelt by the Word of Christ
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16a/
-- 3:16b - Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16b/ 
-- 3:16c - The First Effect of the Indwelling Word
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16c/
-- 3:16d - Singing: The Second Effect of the Indwelling Word
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16d/
-- 3:16e - Music That Pleases the Lord
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16e/
-- 3:16f - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16f/
-- 3:16g - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16g/
-- 3:16h - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16h/

NOVEMBER 8

Leviticus 18:22
[Directed toward men]: "Thou shalt not lie [down and have sex] with mankind [males], as [is normally done] with womankind [females]: it is abomination [a disgusting thing--to God]."

This verse refers to the sin of Sodom, a city that was destroyed by God because its inhabitants openly engaged in homosexuality--something that God hates. It means that sexual relations are supposed to occur only between men and women--not men (or boys) with men (or boys), and women (or girls) with women (or girls).

NOVEMBER 7

Psalm 111:10: "The fear of the LORD
[reverencing and fearing God, which means having a deep respect for God and not wanting to offend him] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [obey] his commandments: his [God's] praise endureth [endures, lasts, will remain in existence] for ever [i.e., God will always deserve our praise]."

NOVEMBER 6

2 Peter 1:20-21 - The Bible is the Word of God
Why the apostle Peter said that we should read and trust the Bible:

Verse 20: "Knowing this first [as a very important truth], that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [i.e., the Bible contains the 'mind of God,' so its words are God's actual words, not the writers' interpretation (explanation) of what God said]."

Verse 21: "For the prophecy
[everything that the prophets taught, including prediction of future events] came not [didn't come] in old time [in the Old Testament] by the will [suggestion] of man: but holy men of God [prophets, etc.] spake [spoke and wrote] as they were moved [inspired, influenced, guided] by the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]."

NOVEMBER 1-5

Proverbs 1:10-19 - Stay Away From Troublemakers
Although intended for King Solomon's son, this is good advice for all people.

Verse 10: "My son, if sinners entice thee [try to lure you into a life of crime, tempt you to join them in doing bad things, persuade you to become a member of a gang, etc.], consent thou not [don't say yes]."

Verses 11-12: "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait
[lie in wait] for blood [let us ambush, rob, and murder people], let us lurk privily [hide, wait in secret] for the innocent [people--travelers, etc.] without cause [for no reason]: Let us swallow them up alive as [does] the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit [with both grave and pit probably referring to Sheol--the underworld, or abode of the dead] [in other words, let us destroy them suddenly and leave no clues behind (so we won't get caught), as when people are 'swallowed up alive' by an earthquake]:"

Verses 13-14: "We shall find all precious substance
[valuables], we shall fill our houses with spoil [stolen goods, loot]: Cast in thy lot among us [join us]; let us all have one purse [or bag (to store money), meaning we'll share the wealth equally]:"

Verses 15-16: "My son, walk not thou in the way with them
[don't associate with those people]; refrain [restrain, keep] thy foot from their path: For their feet run to [do] evil [things], and make haste [hasten, hurry] to shed [pour out, spill] [other people's] blood."

Verse 17: "Surely in vain
[for no purpose, without success] the net is spread [out] in the sight of any bird." [This verse can have more than one meaning--see note below.*]

Verses 18-19: "And they [the 'sinners,' criminals, bad people] lay [in] wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives [meaning that someday they'll pay the price for their actions]. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain [i.e., covetous people--those who are not satisfied with what they have and try to get more, sometimes by violence]; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof [referring to those who are 'greedy of gain']."

You have a much better chance of staying out of trouble if you keep away from bad people. If someone from 'the wrong crowd' invites you to join their group, follow Nancy Reagan's advice (during her anti-drug campaign) and "just say no."
________________________

*According to various Bible commentators, verse 17 ("Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird") can have more than one meaning, depending on whether it is connected to the verse just before or after  it.

Regarding verse 17, Albert Barnes says :

"Strictly speaking, this is the first proverb … which has received a variety of interpretations. The true meaning seems to be as follows: 'For in vain, to no purpose, is the net spread out openly. Clear as the warning is, it is in vain. The birds still fly in. The great net of God's judgments is spread out, open to the eyes of all, and yet the doers of evil, willfully blind, still rush into it.' Others take the words as pointing to the failure of the plans of the evil-doers against the innocent (the 'bird'): others, again, interpret the proverb of the young man who thinks that he at least shall not fall into the snares laid for him, and so goes blindly into them."

Source: (https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-1.html, "Verse 17")


Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church goes into much more detail with his explanation of verse 17:

'1. There are two interpretations to this verse. It is hard to tell for sure which one the author intended.

'FIRST INTERPRETATION…

"a. Here Solomon compares the criminals to birds about to be trapped in a net… a snare.

"b. Birds have a bad reputation in the Bible. They are spoken of as foolish, silly creatures… stupid! (Ephraim is like a silly dove without heart)

"c. Here Solomon states that even a stupid bird seems to have more sense than these criminals!

"d. Criminals must KNOW that there are consequences to their sin… they must know that eventually they are going to get caught… yet they STILL not only commit crimes, they make HASTE to run to evil and shed blood!

"2. It would be vain to spread a net or a trap in the sight of a bird. If an animal knows he is going to be trapped, he will avoid the trap!

"a. As silly as birds might be-they have enough sense to avoid a trap when they see it.

"b. Not so with the criminals. They KNOW that their crime is a trap ready to catch them at any moment, yet they RUN to evil!

"SECOND INTERPRETATION…

"3. It also possible to understand vs.17 another way. Some see vs.17 as a comparison of a bird not to the criminals but to the son Solomon is warning.
"a. In this view, Solomon has just warned his son about the TRAP that the criminals have set for him. They have allured the young man into a life of crime… but a life of crime is a snare… a trap. They have used sport and riches as bait to lure him into their trap.

"b. The point would be that Solomon's son has been warned about the trap that is being set for him.

"c. Even a silly bird wouldn't walk into a trap if he knew it was a trap… therefore, Solomon expects that his son will NOT follow these criminals and enter the trap they have set for him!

"d. In other words, Solomon is saying: Son, you have been warned! You know full well that their enticing words are nothing but a trap which will destroy you! Don't enter it!"

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentaries on the other verses, they can be found here:

http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_10/
http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_13-19/

Previous Verses
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NOVEMBER 21

Habakkuk 2:15: "Woe
[great sorrow or distress] unto him [or her] that giveth his [or her] neighbour [neighbor, friend, acquaintance, etc.] [alcoholic beverages to] drink, that puttest thy bottle to him [or her], and makest him [or her] drunken also, [so] that thou mayest look [with devilish pleasure] on their nakedness!"

NOVEMBER 20

Psalm 34:7: "The angel of the LORD
[an angel sent by God to protect his people] encampeth round about ['pitches his tent' around] them that fear him [those who fear God, referring to born-again Christians], and [the angel] delivereth them [the Christians] [from evil, harm, danger]."

According to this verse, when his people are in trouble, God  sends one or more of his angels to rescue them.

NOVEMBER 19

1 Thessalonians 5:22: "Abstain from
[avoid] all appearance of evil."

In other words, if we have to ask ourselves whether something is right or wrong, we shouldn't do it, because some, or even many, people might view it as bad, even though our intentions in doing it are not.


Albert Barnes has a good commentary on this verse. It says:

"Abstain from all appearance of evil - Not only from evil itself, but from that which seems to be wrong. There are many things which are known to be wrong. They are positively forbidden by the laws of heaven, and the world concurs in the sentiment that they are wicked. But there are also many things about which there may be some reasonable doubt. It is not quite easy to determine in the case what is right or wrong. The subject has not been fully examined, or the question of its morality may be so difficult to settle, that the mind may be nearly or quite balanced in regard to it. There are many things which, in themselves, may not appear to us to be positively wrong, but which are so considered by large and respectable portions of the community; and for us to do them would be regarded as inconsistent and improper. There are many things, also, in respect to which there is great variety of sentiment among mankind - where one portion would regard them as proper, and another as improper.

"There are things, also, where, whatever may be our motive, we may be certain that our conduct will be regarded as improper. A great variety of subjects, such as those pertaining to dress, amusements, the opera, the ball-room, games of chance and hazard, and various practices in the transaction of business, come under this general class; which, though on the supposition that they cannot be proved to be in themselves positively wrong or forbidden, have much the 'appearance' of evil, and will be so interpreted by others. The safe and proper rule is to lean always to the side of virtue. In these instances it may be certain that there will be no sin committed by abstaining; there may be by indulgence. No command of God, or of propriety, will be violated if we decline complying with these customs; but on the other hand we may wound the cause of religion by yielding to what possibly is a mere temptation. No one ever does injury or wrong by abstaining from the pleasures of the ball-room, the theater, or a glass of wine; who can indulge in them without, in the view of large and respectable portions of the community, doing that which has the 'appearance' at least of 'evil?'

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-thessalonians-5.html, "Verse 22")


In addition, Matthew Henry tells us that:

"
Corrupt affections indulged in the heart, and evil practices allowed of in the life, will greatly tend to promote fatal errors in the mind; whereas purity of heart, and integrity of life, will dispose men to receive the truth in the love of it. We should therefore abstain from evil, and all appearances of evil, from sin, and that which looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He who is not shy of the appearances of sin, who shuns not the occasions of sin, and who avoids not the temptations and approaches to sin, will not long abstain from the actual commission of sin."

(Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/1Thess.5.16-1Thess.5.22)

NOVEMBER 18

1 John 5:11-13 - Assurance of Salvation
In a letter to born-again Christians, the apostle John wrote:

Verse 11: "And this is the record, [in the Bible, of the message] that God [the Father] hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in [obtained through] his Son [Jesus Christ]."

Verse 12: "He that hath
[he or she who has] the Son [of God (Jesus) in his or her heart, referring to all who have accepted / received / trusted Jesus as Savior] hath [eternal] life; and he [or she] that hath not [does not have] the Son of God [Jesus--in his or her heart] hath not [does not have] [eternal] life."

Verse 13: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God
[referring to born-again Christians, or those who trust in Jesus alone for salvation]; that ye may know [be assured] that ye have eternal life, and that ye may [continue to] believe on the name of the Son of God [in other words, John is saying that assurance of salvation should strengthen our faith]."

NOVEMBER 17

James 4:7
[Excellent advice from James for Christians]: "Submit yourselves [be obedient] therefore to God. Resist the devil [when he tempts you to sin; for example, say (out loud) something like this: 'Go away, Satan, in Jesus' name--leave me alone!'], and he will flee [run away] from you."

NOVEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant
[kind, thoughtful, helpful, encouraging] words are as an [like a] honeycomb, [because they are] sweet to the soul [meaning they can bring comfort and joy to the mind], and health to the bones [and they can also be healing to the body]."

Hopefully, pleasant words can be heard in our daily conversations with others. They can also be found in the Bible (God's word).

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_24/.

NOVEMBER 15

Philippians 2:9-11 - Someday, We'll
All Worship the Lord Jesus Christ

Verse 9: "Wherefore
[for the reasons described in the preceding verses; i.e., as a reward for the humiliation and suffering that Jesus endured when he became a man and died on the cross to pay for our sins] God [the Father] also hath highly exalted [honored] him [Jesus], and [has] given him a name which is above [greater or more excellent than] every [other] name:"

Verses 10-11: "
[so] That at the name of Jesus [in recognition of his authority] every knee should bow [bend] [in worship of him], of things [referring to the bowing knees, belonging to all beings, including people and angels] in heaven, and things [all beings] in earth, and things [all beings] under the earth; And that every tongue [mouth] should confess [either willingly or unwillingly] that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [thus honoring God]."

Many people refuse to do so now, but someday in the future, everyone in heaven, and everyone on and under the earth (living and dead), will "bow the knee" and call Jesus "Lord."

NOVEMBER 14

Proverbs 14:4: "Where no oxen
[cattle] are, the crib [or manger or feeding trough--where the oxen feed, or eat] is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox."

In other words, it takes money and effort to have oxen (i.e., to purchase the animals, buy their food, clean their stalls, feed them, etc.), but the benefits are great (faster plowing, more crops, increased profit, etc.).


Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, which (as usual) contains many examples of the subject being discussed. Applications for this verse include: young people going to college, homemakers baking pies from scratch, factory owners buying newer and more efficient equipment, and small business owners paying for advertising. Toward the end of the commentary, Pastor Delany says, "In every area of life-the strength of the ox is by FAR worth the extra expense and effort required to maintain the ox. … This is especially so in our spiritual lives." Then he also lists some spiritual applications.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_4/.


Here is some interesting information about oxen, according to Adam Clarke:

"The ox is the most profitable of all the beasts used in husbandry. Except merely for speed, he is almost in every respect superior to the horse.

"1. He is longer lived.

" Scarcely liable to any diseases.

" He is steady, and always pulls fair in his gears.

" He lives, fattens, and maintains his strength on what a horse will not eat, and therefore is supported on one third the cost.

" His manure is more profitable.

" When he is worn out in his labor his flesh is good for the nourishment of man, his horns of great utility, and his hide almost invaluable.

"It might be added, he is little or no expense in shoeing, and his gears are much more simple, and much less expensive, than those of the horse. In all large farms oxen are greatly to be preferred to horses. Have but patience with this most patient animal, and you will soon find that there is much increase by the strength and labor of the ox."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-4.html,"Adam Clarke Commentary")

NOVEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred
[postponed] maketh the heart sick [discouraged] [i.e., when we don't get what we hoped for--or want--right away, we can become discouraged]: but when the desire cometh [as when our prayers are answered and/or our desires are fulfilled], it is a tree of life [a source of joy]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. It is filled with examples of hope and hope deferred. Here are some of them:

Section A - "Hope":

"3. We all have hopes… hopes that keep us going… hopes of a better tomorrow…

"a. hopes for our kids… to have wisdom; to walk with the Lord; to make sensible decisions; to turn out right; to find a godly spouse; to do well in their careers…

"b. hopes for this assembly [referring to Pastor Delany's congregation, but the comment is applicable to any Christian church]… for unity; growth; spiritual strength;

"c. hopes for the salvation of souls… friends; family; neighbors; spouse; co workers;

"d. hopes for doing well at school…

"e. for promotion at work…

"f. hopes of finding a mate…

"g. for others, their hope is having a baby…

"h. for buying a house… to fix up a house; to pay off a house…

"i. for losing weight…for getting physically fit… for a disease to remain in remission…

"j. for finishing college… for landing a good job

"k. for restoring a broken relationship…

"l. Hope for a backslidden believer to return to the Lord…

"m. hopes for getting victory over a besetting sin…

"n. Hopes for getting out of debt…"

Section B - "Hope Deferred":

"3. Examples of hope deferred…

"a. We had our heart set on getting that big promotion at work… and Fred got the job instead of you…

"b. We had hoped and dreamed that this certain relationship would develop into marriage… and our hopes are dashed… she goes off with someone else…

"c. We had hoped for our son to do well at college, and after his first year he quits…

"d. We had hoped that this new medication would put our disease into remission-only to discover that it didn't work and the disease has returned…

"e. We had hoped that our wayward son would return to the Lord, but instead he moves in with his girlfriend and becomes a Unitarian…

"f. Perhaps a woman had longed to have a child and is told that she will not be able to…

"g. We had hoped to pay off our loans and get out of debt, but another huge, unexpected expense comes along…

"h. All too often in life we discover that the things we had such bright and vibrant hope for… after time, seem so elusive."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_12/
.

NOVEMBER 12

Matthew 25:41: "Then
[on judgment day] shall he [the Lord Jesus Christ] say also unto them on the left hand [i.e., all unsaved people (everyone who has not been born again according to the Bible)--see note below*], Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire [referring to the lake of fire], [which was originally] prepared for the devil and his angels:"

In his commentary on this verse, James Burton Coffman wrote:

"A number of years ago, a flood carried away one of the bridges over the Brown River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. A salesman, taken unaware, was able to halt his car only on the last few feet of pavement that remained. In a state of shock, he got out of his car and stood a few moments transfixed by the boiling flood he had so narrowly escaped. Approaching headlights warned him of the danger to others, and he frantically tried to halt the drivers as several cars, one after another, ignored his desperate signals and plunged to destruction. A total of eight persons lost their lives before he could turn his car and blockade the road. Now was that salesman to be blamed for the death of those motorists who ignored his warnings and plunged into the river? No! And in exactly the same way, God cannot be blamed for the eternal punishment men shall certainly incur who ignore the divine warnings, reject the Saviour's sacrifice, and plunge headlong into eternal death. Let the Saviour's words be viewed in such a light, and men will avoid the temptation to "humanize" the gospel. There are dark and terrible realities confronting the race of Adam, and no blind and prejudiced rejection of the divine Saviour's admonitions will remove them. 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!'"

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/25-41.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")
________________________

*If you don't want to be on Jesus' left hand on judgment day, you must be born again. Just follow the instructions in any of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link:
www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

NOVEMBER 11

Deuteronomy 31:6
[Moses said this to the Jewish people when he told them to cross over the Jordan River without him]: "Be strong [in the Lord, and in the power of his might] and of a good courage [be brave, courageous], fear not, nor [and don't] be afraid of them [i.e., their enemies, the Canaanites--people who lived in the land of Canaan]: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth [does] go with thee [you]; he will not fail thee [let you down], nor forsake [leave] thee."

This verse also applies to all Christians.

NOVEMBER 10

1 Samuel 12:23
[Addressing the people of Israel, the prophet Samuel said]: "Moreover as for me, God forbid [i.e., let it not be] that I should sin against the LORD [God] in ceasing to pray [by no longer praying] for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way [to go, or path to take, in life]:"

Christians should follow Samuel's example and pray for other people on an ongoing basis. This includes our family members, relatives, and friends; other Christians (those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation); our country; and the world.

NOVEMBER 9

Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ
[both the living Word (Jesus) and written word (the Bible)] dwell in you [in your heart and mind] richly [abundantly] in all wisdom [which happens, after salvation, when we memorize scripture and try to obey God's commands]; [and use this wisdom when] teaching [one another--about the Bible] and admonishing one another [as in Christian counseling; i.e., when warning, advising, or correcting fellow believers, in order to assure their spiritual well-being] [and] in [singing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace [thanks] in your hearts to the Lord."

Besides Proverbs, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has done Bible studies on the book of Colossians. His commentary on the above verse is separated into eight parts (each of which, apparently, was a sermon). If you want to read some or all of them, here are the links:

-- 3:16a - Indwelt by the Word of Christ
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16a/
-- 3:16b - Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16b/ 
-- 3:16c - The First Effect of the Indwelling Word
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16c/
-- 3:16d - Singing: The Second Effect of the Indwelling Word
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16d/
-- 3:16e - Music That Pleases the Lord
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16e/
-- 3:16f - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16f/
-- 3:16g - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16g/
-- 3:16h - Music That Pleases the Lord (Continued)
    http://www.salembible.org/colossians-3-index/colossians-3_16h/

NOVEMBER 8

Leviticus 18:22
[Directed toward men]: "Thou shalt not lie [down and have sex] with mankind [males], as [is normally done] with womankind [females]: it is abomination [a disgusting thing--to God]."

This verse refers to the sin of Sodom, a city that was destroyed by God because its inhabitants openly engaged in homosexuality--something that God hates. It means that sexual relations are supposed to occur only between men and women--not men (or boys) with men (or boys), and women (or girls) with women (or girls).

NOVEMBER 7

Psalm 111:10: "The fear of the LORD
[reverencing and fearing God, which means having a deep respect for God and not wanting to offend him] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [obey] his commandments: his [God's] praise endureth [endures, lasts, will remain in existence] for ever [i.e., God will always deserve our praise]."

NOVEMBER 6

2 Peter 1:20-21 - The Bible is the Word of God
Why the apostle Peter said that we should read and trust the Bible:

Verse 20: "Knowing this first [as a very important truth], that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [i.e., the Bible contains the 'mind of God,' so its words are God's actual words, not the writers' interpretation (explanation) of what God said]."

Verse 21: "For the prophecy
[everything that the prophets taught, including prediction of future events] came not [didn't come] in old time [in the Old Testament] by the will [suggestion] of man: but holy men of God [prophets, etc.] spake [spoke and wrote] as they were moved [inspired, influenced, guided] by the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]."

NOVEMBER 1-5

Proverbs 1:10-19 - Stay Away From Troublemakers
Although intended for King Solomon's son, this is good advice for all people.

Verse 10: "My son, if sinners entice thee [try to lure you into a life of crime, tempt you to join them in doing bad things, persuade you to become a member of a gang, etc.], consent thou not [don't say yes]."

Verses 11-12: "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait
[lie in wait] for blood [let us ambush, rob, and murder people], let us lurk privily [hide, wait in secret] for the innocent [people--travelers, etc.] without cause [for no reason]: Let us swallow them up alive as [does] the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit [with both grave and pit probably referring to Sheol--the underworld, or abode of the dead] [in other words, let us destroy them suddenly and leave no clues behind (so we won't get caught), as when people are 'swallowed up alive' by an earthquake]:"

Verses 13-14: "We shall find all precious substance
[valuables], we shall fill our houses with spoil [stolen goods, loot]: Cast in thy lot among us [join us]; let us all have one purse [or bag (to store money), meaning we'll share the wealth equally]:"

Verses 15-16: "My son, walk not thou in the way with them
[don't associate with those people]; refrain [restrain, keep] thy foot from their path: For their feet run to [do] evil [things], and make haste [hasten, hurry] to shed [pour out, spill] [other people's] blood."

Verse 17: "Surely in vain
[for no purpose, without success] the net is spread [out] in the sight of any bird." [This verse can have more than one meaning--see note below.*]

Verses 18-19: "And they [the 'sinners,' criminals, bad people] lay [in] wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives [meaning that someday they'll pay the price for their actions]. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain [i.e., covetous people--those who are not satisfied with what they have and try to get more, sometimes by violence]; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof [referring to those who are 'greedy of gain']."

You have a much better chance of staying out of trouble if you keep away from bad people. If someone from 'the wrong crowd' invites you to join their group, follow Nancy Reagan's advice (during her anti-drug campaign) and "just say no."
________________________

*According to various Bible commentators, verse 17 ("Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird") can have more than one meaning, depending on whether it is connected to the verse just before or after  it.

Regarding verse 17, Albert Barnes says :

"Strictly speaking, this is the first proverb … which has received a variety of interpretations. The true meaning seems to be as follows: 'For in vain, to no purpose, is the net spread out openly. Clear as the warning is, it is in vain. The birds still fly in. The great net of God's judgments is spread out, open to the eyes of all, and yet the doers of evil, willfully blind, still rush into it.' Others take the words as pointing to the failure of the plans of the evil-doers against the innocent (the 'bird'): others, again, interpret the proverb of the young man who thinks that he at least shall not fall into the snares laid for him, and so goes blindly into them."

Source: (https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-1.html, "Verse 17")


Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church goes into much more detail with his explanation of verse 17:

'1. There are two interpretations to this verse. It is hard to tell for sure which one the author intended.

'FIRST INTERPRETATION…

"a. Here Solomon compares the criminals to birds about to be trapped in a net… a snare.

"b. Birds have a bad reputation in the Bible. They are spoken of as foolish, silly creatures… stupid! (Ephraim is like a silly dove without heart)

"c. Here Solomon states that even a stupid bird seems to have more sense than these criminals!

"d. Criminals must KNOW that there are consequences to their sin… they must know that eventually they are going to get caught… yet they STILL not only commit crimes, they make HASTE to run to evil and shed blood!

"2. It would be vain to spread a net or a trap in the sight of a bird. If an animal knows he is going to be trapped, he will avoid the trap!

"a. As silly as birds might be-they have enough sense to avoid a trap when they see it.

"b. Not so with the criminals. They KNOW that their crime is a trap ready to catch them at any moment, yet they RUN to evil!

"SECOND INTERPRETATION…

"3. It also possible to understand vs.17 another way. Some see vs.17 as a comparison of a bird not to the criminals but to the son Solomon is warning.
"a. In this view, Solomon has just warned his son about the TRAP that the criminals have set for him. They have allured the young man into a life of crime… but a life of crime is a snare… a trap. They have used sport and riches as bait to lure him into their trap.

"b. The point would be that Solomon's son has been warned about the trap that is being set for him.

"c. Even a silly bird wouldn't walk into a trap if he knew it was a trap… therefore, Solomon expects that his son will NOT follow these criminals and enter the trap they have set for him!

"d. In other words, Solomon is saying: Son, you have been warned! You know full well that their enticing words are nothing but a trap which will destroy you! Don't enter it!"

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentaries on the other verses, they can be found here:

http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_10/
http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_13-19/


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