Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ephesians 2:1-10 (DB of 28/12/2017)

key verse: 10
We ares His workmanship
Paul describes here the process of faith through which the pagans are saved. Many boasted in their works, but salvation comes only through grace. But this salvation from God has a reason for existing (10).

1. Among whom we once lived (1-3)

The Pharisees pretended they were different from other people and pointed accusingly at tax collectors who prayed next to them. Yet, this is an error made by men who are tempted to distinguish themselves. Paul's gospel begins by recognizing that we were once among those cursed by God. The pagans followed the course of this world, which was the way of Satan. They worshipped idols. Yet the Jews also lived according to the desires of the flesh. Thus they were all children of wrath, without distinction, because of their rebellion against God.

2. We are His workmanship (4-10)

Through God's mercy, we sinners are saved. All men were dead because of sin, but God reached out his hand to save them. Men are saved by believing in Jesus, His Son. People justify themselves through works, but these works are dead and much like dirty rags. If works make one just, it is as though God needed our help, as though He were not really so strong. But God is powerful enough to save men without needing their help. Through grace only is man saved, so the glory goes to God alone. He who has saved us in great mercy also reveals His will concerning the purpose of this salvation. It's not for living a comfortable life or for our well-being, but rather, for His future work of salvation. God wants to use our salvation to show in the coming ages the hope of being saved by the unchanging immesurable riches of His divine grace. We are his workmanship and destined to do good works. In man's life and concerning salvation, these works are not the cause, but the result. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ephesians 1:1-14 (Daily Bread of 26/12/2017)

Ephesians (Introduction)
This letter is written in an impersonal style and it seems to have circulated quite a bit amongst the churches. The main idea is God's grace by which He created a united Church wherein the Greeks and the Jews could find their place. The author's greatest concern was that on the principle of "one new man" (2:15), the Jews and the Greeks (two groups with very different backgrounds) would become perfectly united as brothers in God's family through the universal reconciliation in Christ. Date: 60-61 A.D. by Paul in Rome. There are several points in common with the Colossians. The similar ideas complete one another. Tychique carried both letters to each respective Church.

Key verse 1:7
Paul sent a letter to the Ephesians and to other churches in the area. First of all he saluted them, then he told them about God's plan for lost and divided humanity. A plan that will be accomplished in His son Jesus.
1) May the grace and the peace of God be with you (1-2)
It was his tradition. Paul always greeted those to whom he sent his letter by their call. "Saints and faithful ones of Jesus Christ". Thereafter he talked about the double blessing of grace and of peace which are the gifts of the Father and the Son respectively (2)
2. All reunited under one leader (3-14)
In the beginning of this epistle, whose principle point is being united in the faith, Paul starts by speaking about the Trinity : the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who are perfectly united as one person. However, each one of them has His fonction: the Father chose His people (3-5), the Son saved them by sacrificing His own life (7) and the Holy Spirit applies this work go the Church and concretely in the hearts of men. This is the plan of the Trinity (13-14). Here Paul is considering God's redemption plan on a whole. He therefore starts looking into eternity to concentrate on the formation of such a plan and then he looks at how it was realised. One does not exclude the other but they go hand in hand and their culmination point is verse 7. Becoming a child and a member of God's family is possible through redemption (7) Christ delivered His people from evil and gave them the assurance of their salvation by His blood offered for them as a sacrifice (Dt 15:15). The Creator's plan was to "unite under one leader, the Christ". In other words, in Christ the entire Universe finds and understands its reason for existing. Christ gives meaning to the World from the day that we are born(Col 1:15) but also He shows us where creation needs to turn.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Luke 1:67-80 (DB of 23/12/2017)

key verse: 68


Compared to Mary's song, Zechariah's is long and particularly reveals the person and work of the future Messiah who will be born. This song complements Mary's poem, and he speaks little of his son. 

1. Complete delivery (67-73)

Life is a battle against our enemy Satan, for he tempted the earth, made it fall and become his slave. Yet, Jesus' coming is a sign of God's visit to fallen men and his will to save them. Underlying this gracious visit is a battle. Jesus would die on the cross and be resurrected from the dead to crush Satan's head. Thus, he will deliver men from their sins. God has sent Jesus, the horn of salvation for men suffering in slavery. Man was impaled by Satan's horn, but the horn of Jesus destroys it and saves man entirely. This redemption was prophesized many times by God's servants, starting with Abraham. Even in the beginning, God promised to send his Son to crush Satan's head through the wound of woman's offspring. Our God is a God of promise without fail. 

2. A rising sun (74-80)

If God has delivered us, it's not for our personal well-being. It's so that we would be able to serve Him without fear all our days. Until now, we served other gods in fear that they would become angry and punish us. Yet, our God who sacrificed his Son is not one of anger, but a God of goodness. He covers our faults and sins and makes us new creatures. Because a relationship of love is established with God, we can approach His throne and call Him "Abba! Father!" We can serve Him freely. Zechariah grants two versets to his own son, whose mission is to prepare the way of the Lord through preaching repentance. He then returns quickly to worshiping the Son of God, Jesus. He is the rising sun who shines on those living in darkness. He vainquishes death and gives peace in the hearts of those who serve Him.

Luke 1:57-66 (DB of 22/12/2017)

key verse: 63


The birth of John the Baptist is described here. It is the arrival of the the Messiah's precursor, and the author wishes to tell us something important. 

1. They shared her joy (57-58)

Here, the people express their joy, for the grace of God makes us forget the pains of life. This elderly couple had suffered long due to the lack of children. Sometimes we are compassionate and sometimes we accuse, but when blessing falls, everything is calmed and all bitterness wiped away. This is the power of God's grace. Every wall and barrier is demolished so that men can have peace and perfect reconciliation. In the midst of others, a Christian's actions must always be motivated by grace. In this fallen world, all people are in a way similar in their misery. However, the people who now saw an elderly woman give birth to a son were now filled with joy and thankfulness, praising God who is merciful.

2. The time to name has come (59-66)

At last, it was time to name the child. Since the father was mute, people asked the mother first for the child's name. Despite her mute husband, she was already informed of God's will concerning this. Thus, Elizabeth says he is to be called John. It's possible this elderly woman had long since been ignored, even if she didn't worry about what others said. She was not stuck in tradition, but rather, she walked in personal faith in God. The world is not worthy of such a woman. ¨People brought the problem of naming before the husband, but there was already a kind of conspiracy going on between the couple, so it was a lost cause. During the time he was mute, Zecharaiah's faith matured. During that time, he learned to silence the negative voices in him and express only words of faith. Writing "John" on a tablet was an expression of his faith in God. It was also his decision to obey God's command to raise his son not as he liked, but according to God's absolute will to prepare the way for the Lord. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Luke 1:26-38 (DB of 19/12/2017)

Key verse 1:38
The Word helped Marie to see who Jesus was and Marie submitted herself to God.
1. Let it be done unto me according to your Word. (26-30 ; 36-38)
Jésus was born in a town in Judea called Bethlehem. His birth was previously announced to the virgin Mary by Angel Gabriel. His first words were "grace has been given unto you" What does that mean? The word grace is something really comfortable and pleasurable, the original meaning being something beautiful. This means that God will be with he whom He has bestows His grace and He will give them many material and spiritual blessings. However, the grace bestowed unto Mary was rather the opposite. It was very unpleasant and awkward. She had to give birth to a child before her mariage. Therefore, she was obviously going to lose her husband's love and be either lapidated or banished. However, Marie accepted God's will by pure obedience. What was humanly impossible became possible because God is the souverain over everyhthing including the hearts of men.
2. He will be great (31-35)
He will be called Jesus because, according to Matthew commentary, he will save his people from their sins. He is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. However, He came down to Earth as the Son of Man. He covered his face during sometime. However, the Son of God is above all the carnal and the spiritual beings without mention of the inanimated and material things. He is the King who governs the World with His eternal power. His sceptre has been passed down from generation to generation and His reign will last forever. His power will never sucuumb whereas the powers of the Earth rise and fall. Marie's pregnancy was made possible by the Holy Spirit who was working strongly in her favour. When the Holy Spirit is at work there is no room foor the evil one.This is especially so as the Holy Spirit has the born of rebirth wherein He can create thing from nothing. He is also very graceful as He can cover like a shadow even when the summer's heat breaks out or when the rain beats down on us.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Luc 1:18-25 (daily bread of 18/12/17)

Key verse: 1:20


The long-awaited subject was answered. Now it's the time of joy and gratitude. But the human's heart is very wavering. However God loves the old Zechariah and his wife, in spite of his sadness.

1. You will be silent (18-20)

Zechariah received the good new not only of the birth of a son during his advanced age but also of God full of mercy who bowed towards him to choose him and use him to God's redemptive work. But instead of be happy Zechariah inevitably fell. His thought turned to the human and not the divine. He became wraped by reasonable and incredulous thought and very quickly he moved away the thought of the faith in God. Because he allowed incredulous thought, even after having served God during a long period of time, Zechariah became like a tree without roots. Like the ordinary people of the world, forgetting his spiritual position, his soul was persuaded by human reason about his age and the physical condition of his wife, what very offends God. Even if we are living if we are incredulous our soul is in the darkness. All joy disappeared. Nevertheless God loved this couple and gave a training of faith. The high priest became silent before his people. He couldn't pronounce incredulous words.

2. Elisabeth's faith (21-25)

The people asked what had happened because Zechariah delayed to go out. When he arrived he had to make signs to express his thought. Zechariah can't speak, even his repentent heart can't express itself. God's training towards disbelief is harder than a rock. We must spar ourselves in ordinary time so that when the time will come we will not comit the same error than him. But, fortunately there was his wife. Elisabeth confessed her faith in God with full of gratitude. God taken his shame of among the people and manifested his mercy for an old woman. She gave his five first month of pregnancy to God. We can't be grateful enough for God's mercy when it visits us.

Luke 1: 1-17 (DB of 16/12/2017)

key verse: 6


Let's prepare our hearts for Christmas with a study of Luke. A doctor and historian, he wrote his gospel for the pagans, as he himself was a pagan. He was converted and worked with Paul, serving the mission with him. He was a seeker of truth, like we find in Matthew 2. Verse 4 indicates the purpose of his writing.

1. They were both righteous and upright (1-12)

Luke's first words refer to the time of Herod. It was a time of darkness. As Matthew recorded, King Herod killed all children in Bethlehem under two years of age in hopes of eliminating Jesus, whom the wise men had called king of the Jews. Moreover, he killed his wife Mariam and his own sons after suspecting a political plot. So, in these dark times, it seemed God had forgotten them. The people felt they were so unworthy that God had abandonned them. However, there was in the priestly order a righteous and upright couple. Yet, their life's great sorrow was the absence of children, especially as they approached old age. But God saw their hearts and decided to intervene on their behalf. God never abandons those who love Him.

2. The birth of John the Baptist is announced (13-17)

When Zechariah, in a rare moment, was chosen to offer incense in the temple, it was God's will revealed. God wants to give them a child, and it will not be an ordinary child. He will go on before the Messiah who is to come. He will be great in the sight of the Lord, and his mission will make him great. In a person's life, nothing can make him really great, except the mission. Abraham's departure was for the mission of blessing the world. God promised to make him great. John the Baptist's way of life would be humble and modest, which would make him powerful. He would not take pleasure in the world or in fermented drink. He would be filled with the Holy Spirit, which would also make him powerful. His message would be so powerful that the rebellious, children and adults would decide to return to God through the repentance of their sins. His sole purpose was to prepare men's hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ the Savior. Thereon, the help of the Holy Spirit will be imperative.

Psalm 57:1-11 (DB of 14/12/2017)

key verse: 10


Paul says that all things work for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His plan (Romans 8:28). However, all things work for misfortune of those who despise God. Psalm 57 talks about this.

1. Have mercy on me (1-7)

David experienced discouraging disasters, yet he never lost faith that God was on his side and protected him. Though the times were hard, all worked for his good (2). His faith is astonishing. By asking for mercy, he found continual refuge under God's wings. God sent his protective angel from Heaven, though it wasn't an angel with six wings, it was God's word (3), which inspired hope, vision and faith. His word sufficiently encouraged David so that he had the strength to continue on his way. His situation was so dangerous that it was like prey falling into the lion's claws. Yet, his humble prayer went up to God, as well as his heart to glorifier God in every way. We must know that God is above the heavens and His name is glorious, while man is but a mortal. We have the duty to elevate divine majesty.

2. Faithfulness and love (7-11)

Two word groups appear twice in this psalm. First, the psalmist tells of the greatness of faithfulness and love, two representative attributes of God who revealed his thoughts (3,10). Through these, God consoles men and lights their way. These two attributes are very spirituel and reach to the heavens. The philosophies of the world, though exquisit, are only a chasing after the wind. People who meditate these philosophies are ephemeral. Then, the psalmist tells of the elevation of God's name and how His glory fills the earth. This is the purpose of a Christian's life. In this impious world, it seems that God's name has long since fallen to the ground, which is why the psalmist wanted to sing aloud in the early morning God's attributes. He wanted to rise early and wake the dawn since it was the best moment of the day to meditate God's glory. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Psalm  57 :2-12 (Daily Bread of 14/12/2017)

Psalm 57:2-12
Key verse 57:11
Paul said that everything works together for the good of them that love the Lord, called according to His purpose (Rm8:28). On the other hand, all things work together for the bad of those who look down on God. This pslam explains this truth. 
1. Have mercy on me (1-7)
David had to undergo terrible calamities. Despite this, he did not lose faith in God and God protected him even though that those were some difficult times (3). Everything worked out for Daniel's good. Daniel's faith is astonishing. He always sought his refuge in God and he always asked Him for His mercy. God sent him the protecting angel. However, it was not an angel with six wings but the Word of God (4) that gave him hope, vision and faith. God's Word gave him sufficient strength to pursue his path. Daniel was in such a terrible situation that it was like a prey that was in a lion's claws. However, his humble prayer rose up to God because he wanted to please Him with all his heart. We need to know that God is above all and that His name is glorious while man is mortal. Man has to lift up His name.
2. God's goodness and His truth (7-12)
Two group of words appear very often his Pslam. First of all, the pslamist spoke about God's goodness and His truth. These two attributes reveal God's thoughts (4,11). God uses them to console them and to show them the way. These things are really spiritual and they reach the sky. The philosophies of the World are all useless despite their wonderful appearance. Those who study them are ephermal.Then David said that lifting God's name up and making His glory spread all over the World constitute man's goal. We Christians have to pursue this goal despite the fact that it apprears that God's name is burried in this World. For this reason the pslamist wanted to shout God's attributes and from the morning to the night. Therefore, he wanted to wake up early in the morning and even before the coming of dawn. This is the best time of the morning to meditate God's glory.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Psalms 55 :1-24 (Daily Bread 12/12/2017)


Key verse 55:23
The pslamist is suffering in his soul due the infidelity of God's people towards Him. It's not his enemies but his friends who are against him. However, when he prays God restores his soul and he confirms this by putting his trust in Him.

1. Harken to my prayer (1-8)
David was in such a terrible situation that he wanted to flee far away from the world. He wanted to go hide in the desert so that no one would see him. Even though he prayed God to save him, he could not stop himself from feeling an enormous pressure on his soul. He confessed that if God gave his wings, he would flee far from the town. However, the pslamist finally realised that fleeing was not the solution. Had it been his enemies then he could have fled but given that it was his friends who were flowing him like white on rice, he had to stay.

2. My friends turn against me (9-24)

Had it been his enemy, david would have already fled far away without any hesitation. However, given that it was his friends  who were chasing him, he could not do anything. If he went into the desert, they would follow him whilst smiling and hiding their true colours. Their real weapon was their tongue that was like a sort of poison (Rm 3:13,14). They had very gentle and milky tongues that were useful to beguile others. Truly their dail bread was trickery, fraud and fraud (11,12). However, suddenly in the midst of this terrifying situation, God came to help him. God gave him an inner peace. David's friends acted very harmfully and destructively agaist him. However, God listens to the just man's prayer and He punishes the wicked who lie and break His alliance. Their fondamental problem was in the 20. They are not afraid of God and thus their behaviour does not change given that they know not how to repent. That is very discouraging. However, the pslamist advises us to put our hope in the Lord. the Lord never abandons the just. He is his stronghold. For God punishes the wicked and rewards the just. Let us put our hope in the Lord.                          

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Psalm 56:1-14 (daily bread of 13/12/17)

Key verse: 5


The psalmist moans day and night because of the hunt of the enemies (1 Sa 21:11-15). The Gittites waged war without cause blaming he. But at that time the psalmist trusted the Lord and praise God's word. It was his only valid refuge and rescue. 

1. Be merciful to me (1-7)

David called God's mercy (2). The haunting weapon of the enemy was his tongue, which was like poison and like a viper. They unscrupulous blamed the innocents. They ploted to kill David. But the confession of fear progressively made way to confidence (4,5). Human being is weak on the physical and moral level so he finds an help in God who is strong and who has eternal life. David does an act of perfect faith in God's word. God's word merits praise (5a). The word is the promise from God to protect and defend his faitful as reminds it the psalm 119: 41: "Be merciful to me Yahweh, give me your salvation according to your words!", and psalm 119:65 "you benefited your servant, Yahweh, according to your word". In deep anguish the psalmist discovers that the one who trust in God has nothing to fear from human dealings.

2. O Lord, I want to pay my vows (8-14)

The psalmist cries "O Lord". He really wanted to pay his vows before God that he done in the past (13). But he needs help to that (8,9) because the situation was very hostile. The psalmist expresses his tears as his human fragility knowing that God took his sufferings into account. The psalmist praises the divine word of salvation because God surely delivers the poors. The proof and the suffering led him to have a certainly of faith, confidence, and helped him to completely rely on God. In front of danger and harassment by his enemies, he fell back on God, implored God and he abandoned himself to Yahweh, being fortified in his word. The pleading psalmist glimpsed a perspective of victory and collapse of evil, here called "the peoples" (8b) and "death" (114a), and he engages himself in gratitude toward God (13b).

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Psalm 54:1-9 (daily bread of 12/12/17)

Key verse: 3


God is just, he takes the side of the righteous and protects him. Therefore he is only worthy of confidence.

1. O Lord save me (1-5)

After a treachery, the heart is broken. Those who are trusted turned their back on us because of a petty gain, so haunting evil penetrates our heart. But at that time, the psalmist turned his eyes to God and contemplated his virtue. Then, he revealed his heart and his situation just as it is. God is the one who listens to the prayer. He is faithful. He is merciful. The traitors are heartless, violent and cruel. Above all, there isn't God in them (53:2).

2. By your truth (6-9)

So the psalmist goes to war. War isn't against the enemy but against the accuser. The spirit vengeance can possibly penetrate in his heart, doing damage. It's the work of the malignant Satan. We must overcome this kind of feeling going to God. When the psalmist meditates God's word day and night, finally he found that in the word of truth there is the solution. Therefore the psalmist prays that God bring justice to his critics, not by strength and calamity but by truth. Truth has a power to destroy the enemy. In others words he prays that the word of truth act in them so that they will be shattered. A man can't do nothing against truth says the Bible. Even is he seems power and strong, is a man acts against truth he is powerless, because truth acts in his conscience and accuses him before God. They were traitors but they also were people who supported the psalmist. He give thanks to God and prays that God supports them. Then, God rescued him and issued him, so that he can praise and offer sacrifices to God.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Exodus 9: 1-35 (Daily Bread of 30/11/2017)

Key verse 9:3

God sent the fifth and the sixth plagues in the form of illnesses. The seventh plague came in the form of a natural disaster. Pharaoh's heart remained unchanged.

1.      The plague that touched the cattle’s health (9:1-17)

God pushed Moses to go before Pharaoh again. God send a plague that attacked the animals in the fields in Egypt. There was always a clear distinction between the Egyptians field and the Israelites field. This time it was Jehovah who set the time limit for Pharaoh’s decision before sending the plague. Pharaoh asked his servants how bad the damage was and he took note of the difference made between the two fields. Nevertheless, he did not change his mind.

2.      The plague of ulcers (9:8-12)

God send this plague giving the Pharaoh's stubbornness. He told Moses to take some dust from the ground and throw it in the air so that it would become ulcers on the skin of men and on that of the cattle. The magicians were unable to mimic Moses and come before the Pharaoh this time as their faces were very badly deformed. As God rightly said, it was not the Pharaoh that hardened his own heart but God himself hardened it. His servants therefore had no need to become discouraged, they just needed to remember what He had predicted : His Word. When faced with a hardened heart, sometimes we imagine that Satan is behind it but in reality it's the work of God. Therefore, we need not fear. Satan, however, works to weaken us by making fear death and failure. We can therefore have no other supporting rock besides God's Word.

3.      The plague of hail (9:13-35)
God said that in the midst of all these plagues, He would let Pharaoh live. God owns all lives. Pharaoh who kept on resisting Him could have been gone in the blink of an eye. God let him live so that the World would see Him and glorify His name (16). God let hail mixed with fire rain down to destroy everything. During an entire day God had the choice between the two : hail and fire. Those who received the warning were saved but those who did not suffered great losses. This time Pharaoh said “I have sinned”. However, this was simply an expression of his regret and not one of true penitence. He hardened his heart once again and Moses feared that he would never change. However, he interceded for his people once more.