Crowns Of Honor

The soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head. —John 19:2

The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are stored securely and protected within the Tower of London under 24-hour guard. Each year, millions visit the display area to “ooh and aah” over these ornate treasures. The Crown Jewels symbolize the power of the kingdom, as well as the prestige and position of those who use them.

Part of the Crown Jewels are the crowns themselves. There are three different types: the coronation crown, which is worn when an individual is crowned monarch; the state crown (or coronet), which is worn for various functions; and the consort crown worn by the wife of a reigning king. Different crowns serve different purposes.

The King of heaven, who was worthy of the greatest crown and the highest honor, wore a very different crown. In the hours of humiliation and suffering that Christ experienced before He was crucified, “the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe” (John 19:2). That day, the crown, which is normally a symbol of royalty and honor, was turned into a tool of mockery and hate. Yet our Savior willingly wore that crown for us, bearing our sin and shame.

The One who deserved the best of all crowns took the worst for us. By Bill Crowder

Crown Him the Lord of life:
Who triumphed o’er the grave;
Who rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save. —Bridges/Thring

Without the cross, there could be no crown.

Overcoming Distractions

Nehemiah 4:1-20

On a daily basis, we are faced with distractions. Things like gossip, criticism, financial pressure, poor health, conflict, personal desires, and effusive praise from others bombard us. Any of these can influence us to turn away from God’s perfect plan. But today’s passage shows us the value of . . .

Single-mindedness. Nehemiah feared the Lord and conscientiously applied himself to His work. His mind was not divided. If we set our attention solely on God’s plan, our minds will stay fixed on the task, regardless of the difficulties.

God’s favor. The Lord’s blessing is always upon us when we’re obedient to Him. This knowledge gave Nehemiah confidence, and it should do the same for us, even in hard times.

Accountability. Nehemiah had to give a progress report to the king about what had been accomplished. One day we’ll stand before Jesus and account for how we used resources and gifts (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Consistency in our prayer life. When the Israelites were ridiculed, they were helpless to stop their opponents’ speech. So Nehemiah prayed, and the people received strength to continue. As the plotting worsened, Nehemiah and his fellow workers cried out to God, who not only frustrated their enemies’ plans but also provided His people with discernment about how to avoid traps.

Nehemiah completed the ambitious project in just 52 days (Neh. 6:15). When we follow his example, God can achieve great things in and through us. Which of the above points from Nehemiah’s life can help you overcome your distractions?

Inerrancy According to Christ

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18)

Here is the commentary of the Lord Jesus on the doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration. Not only were the words of the Bible divinely inspired, but even the very letters! The “jot” was the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet (yod, the tenth letter). The “tittle” was a small horn-like appendage which transformed one Hebrew letter into another. Thus, a stronger statement of absolute verbal inspiration than this could hardly be imagined.

Further, the phrase “in no wise” is actually a double negative in Greek. In New Testament Greek it was used for strong emphasis. According to none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, every word—even every letter—of the “law” must be fulfilled. This certainly includes the books of the Pentateuch—including even the often-maligned and distorted opening chapters of Genesis!

He applied the same principle to other parts of Scripture as well. “The scripture cannot be broken,” He said (John 10:35) in the course of an exposition of Psalm 82:6, based on one single word used in the verse, supporting the vital doctrine of His own deity.

It is clear that Christ taught the doctrine of full, verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. It is sad and inexcusable that so many today who call themselves Christians repudiate this vital teaching of the Lord Jesus by rejecting, diluting, or “interpreting” the plain statements of the Word of God. And, lest anyone equivocate by suggesting that, since the original writings have all been lost, we no longer can know what the divinely given words may have been, we should remember Christ’s promise: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). HMM

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.—Romans 15:13.

DO, I entreat you, drive away all these anxious thoughts which hinder your soul, and try to serve God cheerfully. Be resolute in overcoming self, and in bearing with your mental troubles whatever they be, leaving all to God, and doing whatever you know to be His will, quickly and heartily; be gentle, patient, humble, and courteous to all, but especially be gentle and patient with yourself. I think that many of your troubles arise from an exaggerated anxiety, a secret impatience with your own faults, and this restlessness, when once it has got possession of your mind, is the cause of numberless trifling faults, which worry you, and go on adding to your burden until it becomes unbearable. I would have you honest in checking and correcting yourself, but at the same time patient under the consciousness of your frailty, Remember that Jesus our Lord loves to dwell within a quiet heart, and to come to those who are at peace with themselves; restlessness and anxiety hinder our seeing Him, even when He is beside us and speaking to us. PÈRE HYACINTHE BESSON.

As Christ forgave you, so also do ye

As Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13

There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. — I forgave thee all that debt; shouldest not thou also have had compassion on
thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee?

When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. — Put on as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any.

How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Charity … is the bond of perfectness.

Luke 7:41,42. Matthew 18:32,33. Mark 11:25,26. Colossians 3:12,13. Matthew 18:21,22. Colossians 3:14.

The younger son took his journey into a far country, and wasted his substance with riotous living

The younger son took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. Luke 15:13

Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. — We … were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his
great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

1 Corinthians 6:11. Ephesians 2:3-6. 1 John 4:10. Romans 5:8,10.