All Articles For Slopsema, James D

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And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. —Genesis 33:5 Jacob was returning to Canaan after twenty years with his uncle Laban. He had fled Canaan because of the wrath and threats of his brother Esau. Having learned that Jacob had stolen the birthright blessing by deceiving his father, Esau vowed to kill Jacob. Jacob had fled to his uncle Laban alone and empty. He returned twenty year later full. He had large herds of sheep,...

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Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. Luke 24:5–7 Early Sunday morning a small group of women left the city of Jerusalem. This group included Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Solome, Joanna, and others—all followers of Jesus. On Friday, they had witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Now, on the third day, they set out at...

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Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous. Proverbs 3:31–32 Have you ever envied the ungodly? They have little concern to keep the Sabbath day, to be honest in business, to keep their word, or to care for the needy. This opens the door for riches and a lifestyle that many of us would like to have but are denied as we strive faithfully to serve the Lord. This envy is addressed in the proverb before us. There are several elements found...

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“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13–14 First there was but one angel who appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem as they kept watch over their flocks by night. Seeing the glory of the Lord shining round about them, the shepherds shrank back in fear. “Fear not,” said the angel, “for I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Then the angel proceeded to...

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“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 Psalm 27 was written by David. From the psalm itself it is evident that David was facing great danger from his enemies. Some see a connection between this psalm and Psalm 3, which was written in connection with David’s flight from Absalom. In verse 5 of that psalm David wrote, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” Others suggest that verse 10 of Psalm 27 links...

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“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1 It was common in the Bible lands to come across vendors selling water. Water was often scarce in the Bible lands. And so venders would sell water, calling out to those who were thirsty to come and buy their water. The word of God before us compares the Lord to such a vendor selling water. “Ho, every one that thirsteth.” This is what the ven­dors would...

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“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10 Earlier in this chapter the apostle Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to avoid the abominable sins of the pagan Gentile community. He mentions such sins as fornication, covetousness or greed, and obscene language. The apostle also warns the saints against being deceived with vain words so as to participate in these evils. He cites two reasons for this...

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“Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye...

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“Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5b This meditation deals with the second part of a verse. The first part of the verse is addressed to a specific element in the church: “Ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder.” Although there are differing opinions as to the meaning of these words, they are most likely directed to the younger element of the congregation in their relationship to those who hold the office of elder. The younger with their enthusiasm,...

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“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp… for here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Hebrews 13:13-14 One year comes to an end and another year begins. The ending of the year reminds us of the end of all things and the final judgment. And we are instructed to be ready for the day of the Lord. The beginning of the New Year also instructs us to look ahead. And it is well that we look beyond the final judgment all the way into eternity. In eternity we have a city that...

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