In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
When God called Gideon to lead Israel against their enemies, He wanted to show that a small army empowered by God was more effective than the largest armies. But notice how they fought – without weapons that an army would normally use. They fought with shofars and lamps! They fought with weapons that the world would consider ineffective, yet triumphed mightily over their enemies. They shouted as loud as they could, sounded the shofar, and broke the vessels that held the fire so that their lamps burst through with brightness.
This parable in Matthew 25 is a warning to the entire body — be ready with your oil! Each of these virgins was anticipating the Lord's return; none were atheists, or non-believers. They were all virgins who claimed to be awaiting the Bridegroom's arrival. But notice carefully that only half of them were truly ready.
During the feast of Tabernacles in Yeshua's (Jesus') day, the temple priests would set up four great lampstands with golden lampholders, which they would light with the aid of enormous ladders in the Temple courtyard. The lighting of these lamps began the celebration of the "Great Hosannah" (Hoshannah Rabbah, in Hebrew). The celebration went on in to the wee hours — with music and dancing and rejoicing, while the beautiful lights lit up the night. Jerusalem was a breathtaking, illuminated city on a hill.
Yesterday Israel celebrated Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day. It marked the 45th year of the restoration of Jerusalem back into Israeli hands. Hundreds of thousands of tourists have come to participate in the various celebrations going on in this beautiful city today.
The Bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2) before the end of the age arrives, and it seems that we’re seeing it on a grand scale all around us. Virtually everywhere we look we're watching the decline of morality and ethics — in government, entertainment, and social culture. It seems hard to deny…
D. L. Moody told the story of a man who was crossing the Atlantic by ship. He was terribly seasick and confined to his cabin. One night he heard the cry "Man overboard!" But he felt that there was nothing he could do to help. Then he said to himself, "I can at least put my lantern in the porthole." He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.
It's good to bring those things in our lives, which are hidden in the darkness, to the light. Many times we are slaves to them and we don't even realize it! We will go through a few devotions on this topic this week. God wants us to be free, so that we can be available for Him!
D. L. Moody told the story of a man who was crossing the Atlantic by ship. He was terribly sick and confined to his cabin. One night he heard the cry “Man overboard!” He felt that there was nothing he could do to help, but at second thought, he said to himself, “I guess I can at least put my lantern in the porthole.” He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it shined out into the darkness.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory [...]
Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. The other day, I had the great pleasure of getting our vehicle inspected in Israel. According to Israeli law, you need to [...]