It’s Time for You To Rise and Shine!

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
— Matthew 5:14

Just a three-mile walk from the town of Nazareth is an ancient city called Sepphoris — a city so elegant in ancient times that it was known as the ornament of Galilee. Although it dates to Greek times, the city of Sepphoris was enhanced at the orders of Herod Antipas concurrent to the time Jesus was growing up three miles away in Nazareth. Many people from Nazareth were engaged in rebuilding this fabulous, wealthy city that was the northern home and administrative center for Herod Antipas.

The remarkable city of Sepphoris also became the center of trade and commerce in the northern region of Israel, and it was one of the largest banking centers of the Middle East. Because of the extreme wealth of this city, it had facilities that would normally be associated only with larger cities, such as a huge theater that had a constant array of dramatic presentations. The city had scores of beautiful upper-class villas to accommodate the wealthy people who lived there, and it was adorned with some of the finest mosaics that existed in the First Century. In fact, even today one can see some of the finest examples of early mosaics lying in the ancient ruins of Sepphoris.

This city was exquisite in every way. Sophisticated and wealthy, it attracted visitors from around the world. Every day one could experience a wide range of different cultures, ethnic groups, and customs. People could be heard speaking Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic in the streets. It was a tri-lingual city known for being open-minded and for having an emphasis on learning, education, and business. This city was so splendid that it influenced the entire region of Galilee.

Three miles away was Nazareth, a small village occupied mostly by workers who were employed in the enhancement of Sepphoris. It was here that Jesus grew up with His parents. Jesus’ father was a carpenter, from the Greek word teknos — a term that describes not a carpenter as we think of that profession, but a highly skilled craftsman who works in stone. Or it could even be used to depict a construction-site supervisor. Considering the likelihood that a little town such as Nazareth would not have much work available for a man with these skills, it is likely that Joseph was involved in the high level of construction taking place in nearby Sepphoris.

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Sparkling Gems 2 by Rick RennerAuthor and Bible teacher Rick Renner invested thousands of hours into prayer and study in the writing of Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2. It is his sincere prayer that God will use this book and all the time invested into it to help you go deeper and rise higher than ever before in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Rick delves deep into God’s Word to unveil hidden riches from the Scriptures that will help you build your life daily upon a solid foundation. Through sound doctrine and empowering insights, Rick clarifies the path to an intimate and uncompromising walk with God. You will also receive vital equipment to cultivate your character and ignite your passion for Jesus so you can stand strong and victorious in the pursuit of His purposes in these uncertain times.

Although this book is designed as a daily devotional, Rick has included Greek-English indices at the back, along with more than 1,000 new Greek word studies, to make Sparkling Gems 2 a useful Greek reference tool for your own personal study.

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