Posts Tagged With: Matthew


Brown bears at Brooks Falls Katmai National Park. Photograped by Brocken Inaglory in July of 1998

Good morning, beloved,

Sunday, the Lord”s day, a day of rest, a day of peace, or supposedly such, we forget what God‘s original design. We forget He designed us to work for six days and on the seventh, we rest. I am grateful, grateful for God’s design. It is flawless, it is beautiful and to this daughter, necessary.

However, can I just get some agreement here? Even if I cut out everything outside of our home on Sunday afternoons, things still creep in. Even if our goal is rest, the house still needs to be picked up. Dishes still need to be done. We have to start packing, as our floors will be torn up soon. We are painting a bathroom. Time to spend with the family that can be fun. So my quiet is now, before I open my email, read my messages on Facebook, and today, remember, Your will be done, Lord, on earth as it is in heaven.

Your will- from Blue Letter Bible’s Lexicon:

1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done

a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ

b) of what God wishes to be done by us

1) commands, precepts

2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

Oh, we must see this word, thelēma, in action in other parts of the Word. Come with me, and let’s dive in. ;)

Matthew 7: 21 “Not all those who say [L to me] ·‘You are our Lord’ [L ‘Lord! Lord!’] will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].

So, the first thing to remember about God’s will, those who do what the Father wants will enter the kingdom. That word only interests me but as my family likes to call it..this becomes a rabbit trail.

Matthew 12: 50 My true brother and sister and mother are those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].”

Jesus calls His family those who do the will of His Father in heaven. We are His family! What a blessed thought.

Matthew 26:42 Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for ·this painful thing [L this thing; C the cup of suffering; v. 39] to be taken from me, and if I must ·do [drink] it, ·I pray that what you want [L may your] will be done.”

Jesus, twice asked the Father, to be taken from the cup of suffering, and yet, Jesus, of course, did take the cup, asking the Father for His will be done. Whatever we face today, we face it with the knowledge, that  the One who drank from this horrible cup, can give us the strength to cope with it .

Psalm 40:8 My God, I ·want [delight; take pleasure] to do ·what you want [your pleasure].

    Your ·teachings [instructions; laws] are in my heart.”

I will tell ·about your goodness [the good news] in the great ·meeting of your people[assembly].
Lord, you know ·my lips are not silent [L I have not restrained my lips].

May this be our prayer today. Our desire to take delight in doing His pleasure. To hold to His teachings in our hearts and proclaim the good news.

Romans 12:2 Do not be ·shaped by [conformed to; pressed into a mold by] this ·world [age]; instead be ·changed within [transformed] by ·a new way of thinking [orchanging the way you think; L the renewing of your mind]. Then you will be able to ·decide [discern; test and approve] what ·God wants for you [is God’s will]; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

This culture, this world we live in has a powerful hold and strength. As Paul says, this mold of this age kills. The world holds nothing but death. Instead, let us be changed, transformed into a new way to think. Asking the Lord, with Your teachings, instructions in my heart; with the example of Christ; with knowing we are family then please, change us. Transform us. We want to know Your will. We want transformation. Lord, we seek You to know what is good, what is pleasing and what is perfect.

Oh, I could go on with this one. Join me again tomorrow, when I work through more of the Word of God with this one phrase: Will of God.

My thankfuls today:

257. Laughter, what a precious gift, to laugh.

258. A new day, provisions, hope.

259. Watching our son play basketball with a smile on his face.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Sermon on the Mount, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment


Good morning, beloved,

A Winter Landscape by George Smith (1714 – 1776)

We haven’t seen the sun around here for a long time. I look, I gaze, I wait and long for the beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets. I know that behind the blanket of clouds, the sun shines. It will come back. I will see it again. You will see it again.

Sunrise from Pine Springs Campground in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. by Fredlyfish4

I love my Father in heaven. I love how He uses word pictures to aid His sheep in understanding. (See? ;) ) You and I can look at the cloudy skies and remember the sun shines behind it. We can link that truth with our understanding of the Word.

Malachi 4: For behold, the day comes that shall burn like an oven, and all the proud and arrogant, yes, and all that do wickedly and are lawless, shall be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

He has come. He is coming. We have hope, we have comfort in knowing, expecting Jesus’ return…I think what means the most to me is the healing that is coming. Healing from the inside out. Do you long for healing? From physical or emotional pain? I do, friends. I hope and long for the touch of Jesus on this body.

Hearing the heartaches of dear friends yesterday, I long for their burdens to be lifted. This morning I woke thinking and praying for the burdens and I opened biblegateway.com and saw these verses:

Matthew 11:

27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows andaccurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows andaccurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known.

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

When I have looked at these verses in years past, I have always focused on the yoke. I have always focused on who is encouraged to come. I’ve never really focused on this phrase: Learn of Me…

The word learn:

(a) “to learn” (akin to mathetes, “a disciple”), “to increase one’s knowledge,” or “be increased in knowledge,” frequently “to learn by inquiry, or observation,” e.g., Mat 9:13; 11:29; 24:32; Mar 13:28; Jhn 7:15; Rom 16:17; 1Cr 4:6; 14:35; Phl 4:9; 2Ti 3:14; Rev 14:3; said of “learning” Christ, Eph 4:20, not simply the doctrine of Christ, but Christ Himself, a process not merely of getting to know the person but of so applying the knowledge as to walk differently from the rest of the Gentiles;

Hey, doctrines are great. We need to know the doctrines of our faith. This passage suggests that understanding Jesus more, discovering Him results in rest, refreshment, blessed quiet. (I think that is my favorite, the concept of blessed quiet). What is He asking us to understand?

Gentle (praus) : denotes “gentle, mild, meek;” for its significance see the corresponding noun, below, B. Christ uses it of His own disposition, Mat 11:29; He gives it in the third of His Beatitudes, Mat 5:5; it is said of Him as the King Messiah, Mat 21:5, from Zec 9:9; it is an adornment of the Christian profession, 1Pe 3:4. Cp. epios, “gentle, of a soothing disposition,” 1Th 2:7; 2Ti 2:24.

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).
 
Humble (tapeinos): primarily signifies “low-lying.” It is used always in a good sense in the NT, metaphorically, to denote humble in spirit, Mat 11:29
 The more we understand who He is, the more we can find blessed rest. Peace. In Jeremiah 6, we find the verse Jesus was quoting when He said, you will find rest for your souls. Look with me:
 
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
Friends, may this be an encouragement for you!! God be praised. We can know Him, we can ask for the hope of Jesus which by His death and His resurrection we have the hope of eternal paths. We can know the good, old way! We can walk in the truth and find rest for our souls. Our weary, tired, sad souls…
 
I have to include some more verses about our Jesus. Please read them out loud with me.
 

Isaiah 42: Behold my [a]Servant, Whom I uphold, My elect in Whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice and right and reveal truth to the nations.He will not cry or shout aloud or cause His voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will bring forth justice in truth.

He will not fail or become weak or be crushed and discouraged till He has established justice in the earth; and the islands and coastal regions shall wait hopefully for Him and expect His direction and law.

Thus says God the Lord—He Who created the heavens and stretched them forth, He Who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it, He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:

I the Lord have called You [the Messiah] for a righteous purpose and in righteousness; I will take You by the hand and will keep You; I will give You for a covenant to the people [Israel], for a light to the nations [Gentiles],

To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness from the prison.

I am the Lord; that is My name! And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Take a moment and just dwell in His plan. His wonderful, beautiful plan for our freedom…we are those Gentiles. He is our light. He has set us free. The God who created the heavens and the earth, oh my, has given us breath. Given us spirit!

Who is this Jesus? He is the Servant. He is our justice. When life has struck hard blows, when it seems like we have no options, we can remember He will prevail. He will have the victory.

I needed to remember this today. I needed to remember who my Jesus is today.

That’s my King. Inhale. Exhale.

My thankfuls today:

75. I’m so thankful for friends who understand.

76. I’m so thankful that this is not the best.

77. I’m so incredibly thankful for Jesus today.

78. I’m thankful for the audio Bible.

79. I’m thankful for snow that has come. Not much, but it put a smile on my kiddos faces.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Bickering and resolution…


 

Panoramic image of Santa Severina village, Calabria, Italy. by Ggia

Good morning, beloved,

Labor day..history, there ya go,  interesting to me that we celebrate work by taking a day off. Yet, the Blue Better Bible has a terrific post on rest…read on!

I wanted to share the verses of the day…then dive in.

Isaiah 48:

16 Come near to me and listen to this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent His Spirit in andwith me.

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go.

18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.

We have been struggling with bickering siblings in our household lately. Ok, not lately, always. And I have always had different techniques for coping with the fighting. Trying different ways to deal with the little sinners saved by grace..ahem. Well, last night I walked each of my kids separately (except for the eldest) through Matthew 18..after reading another book, this time, though, I kinda felt this family had an edge on the advice market. The Duggars. I have been very blessed by reading these two books they have authored.

One thing has been how they teach their children to do chores. It has helped my stress level tremendously. The other has been this teaching. Matthew 18 was memorized by their whole family with hand signs and repetition and as they meet sibling “controversy” they walk through the verses.

So I began this last night, and realized something very profound to me. It is one thing for me to teach the children not to bicker because it is the wrong thing to do, it is quite another when we are speaking Jesus’ words to one another and He is doing the teaching. Aha.

Matthew 18:

15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (then a bunch about bringing in the church…ahem.)

19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [g]everything] they may ask, it will come to passand be done for them by My Father in heaven.

20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.

So we went phrase by phrase together, how does this look?

If your brother wrongs you, go show him his fault, between you and him privately. 

So your brother wrongs you, in our family it’s not an “if”, it’s a “when”. Jesus finishes Matthew 18 with 35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses. Brothers, sisters wrongs you. Offense. Our first response has to be..yep, I’ve been wronged. What does God expect? A free forgiveness…no chains. However, it is our responsibility to go show him his fault. For as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:12 And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Sin against Christ? I think it is so critical we remember who our sin is actually against. The Lord Jesus. A bit of perspective, wouldn’t you say? Colossians 3:13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. We are a forgiven people. The Lord has freely forgiven us! We can do NO better.

And how do we show our brother his fault? Ah, yes, the critical part in our family…you did this, you are wrong, you! you! you! The pointed index finger also is a big help over here. Leviticus 19: 17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart; but you shall surely rebuke your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. The sin is on us if we do not rebuke our neighbor, if we harbor hatred.  Psalm 141: 5 Let the righteous man smite and correct me—it is a kindness. Oil so choice let not my head refuse or discourage; for even in their evils or calamities shall my prayer continue. We are righteous when we correct one another with kindness…that of course can be misconstrued. Please don’t…at this point, a discussion of how wrongly the church can interpret is not my focus. We are to treat one another with kindness.

What do we gain when we obey this? Our brother!! Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity]. By allowing forgiveness, kindness and hope to flow through our speech, we are wise, righteous, life flows through us. And we gain unity with our brothers and sisters! What hope! Not to give in to the whispers of the evil one, but to say yes to life. Romans 12: 21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. James 5:1[My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God],20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [[a]procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].

This is Jesus’ cry to us! We have a responsibility to live our life overcoming evil. How? Mastering it with good! We turn our brother or sister towards life instead of death.

So, part one. I’m going to watch the Odd Couple now. LOL. Have a wonderful day…of rest. :) Pray on, pray on.

 

 

 

 

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Asking


 

A sunrise in Zwickau (Saxony, Germany) by André Karwath

Good morning, beloved!

My girl is walking around! No brace! I am So thankful for this gift from God. It still twinges when she turns or twists..but it is so much better! Praise God. He raises us up. He lifts us on high. The only downside I see is now she is a dedicated Barbie fan. ;) Noah did get his stitches out and he is in good shape. The doctor was thrilled with his leg’s healing.  Yet, she did say he is unable to run or jump for two months since the surgery. This should be interesting. Ahem. He received his gift from his grandparents last night as well. My dad made him an amplifier for his guitar. Very, very fun stuff. :)

Let’s begin our study for the day! Matthew 7

Keep on asking and it will be given you;  keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent?

11 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and ]advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!

Zeroing in on verse seven, Jesus has some specific instructions:

  • Keep on asking
  • Keep on seeking
  • Keep on knocking

Why? You will receive, you will find and the door will be opened! (He repeats these phrases twice in two verses! Remember repetition means the Lord wants you to get it!) It would be unimaginable to me as a parent to give my child a stone or a serpent when he/she asks for food. Unthinkable! That is, of course, Jesus’ point here. We give good gifts to our children but I’m not perfect. I don’t see as my God sees. He is in heaven, perfect, willing to give good gifts to those who keep on asking. :)

I will admit to you what comes first to my mind is asking for things like a car for Joshua, or financial security enough to cover our med bills  or a Vitamix with all the smoothies we are eating…yet, this chapter is the culmination of a Sermon and if we look back through the chapters, Jesus is teaching us to trust Him above all else and everything we need will be provided. Walking in the Spirit, fleeing evil, holding tight to the will of God in our lives…so even if i don’t “get” these things, I trust in Him, I hold tight to Him and He will provide. He will care for us. Are we making it just as He promised? In the palm of His hand, we have joy and peace. No matter if we stay at one car, live paycheck to paycheck and have no Vitamix :)!

Matthew 7:12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

Our example in life is our Father in how we treat others. Knowing we are not perfect, Jesus commands us to treat those around us as we desire to be treated. We cannot give those who God has placed in our lives stones or serpents. Jesus tells us this sums up the law and prophets..let’s look into this deeper.

Romans 3: 

20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believingwith personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

Matthew 5: 

17 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus has begun to summarize what He began in Chapter 5. Do you see?

Matthew 22: 

35 And one of their number, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.

36 Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]

37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).

38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

40 These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Well, I need to get moving. Love Him totally and completely and love those God has put in your life. Pray on, pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dogs and swine ?


 

No dogs allowed; Pigs guard houses on Aitutaki by Ciell

Good morning, beloved,

This is a first. Choosing a picture of pigs, it has to be a first. Matthew 7:6 records a verse that “…at first glance seems totally unrelated to the Sermon on the Mount. ” (SOTM, pg. 109) I hear people quote this verse and I am always stuck on the swine and can’t ever seem to get to what Jesus is teaching us here. So let’s look together.

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.” Psalm 149:4 AMP

I do have a praise to share first. I took off Ella’s knee immobilizer yesterday. She swam in the lake yesterday and requested we not put the brace back on. She isn’t willing to bend it all the way, she says it hurts too much yet she isn’t walking a little better and bending it a bit. Huge. So thankful for that! I think we may head to the lake again today to see if we can continue to loosen it up. Thank you for your prayers. Noah gets his stitches out this afternoon and hopefully he will be able to take the boot off.  Yesterday I heard Kay Arthur’s message on chapter 6 of Matthew. And I want to share that with you, it was as if Kay was speaking just to me. God is good. :)

I’m also reading a wonderful book right now that I got on my Kindle.  This man hiked the Appalachian Trail soon after he lost his wife to cancer. This is the story of how God revealed Himself to the author. Powerful book…if you need a reminder that God is always in the business of rehabilitating hearts. Hiking Through by Paul V. Stutzman..

Here we go! Matthew 7:6 Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Let’s look through the Scriptures and get some clues to this verse!

Philippians 3:2 Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

Well, this verse contains a warning, isn’t it?

The dogs as we can see are those who: kyōn of those whose moral impurity will exclude them from the New Jerusalem. The Jews used the term of Gentiles, under the idea of ceremonial impurity. Among the Greeks it was an epithet of impudence. Lat., canis, and Eng., “hound” are etymologically akin to it.

Moral impurity…what’s a Judaizer, tho? One who conforms to the religion of the Jews. So one who follows the customs and laws of the Jews that were no longer required under the New Covenant. There was a religion formed that combined the faith of Jesus but held people to the laws of Jews. Unnecessary!

2 Peter 2:22 There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.

Chapter 2 of 2 peter talks about the ungodly, the unrighteous. So this ending verse repeats a proverb. All of the desires of the wicked and their fate are listed. I have to tell you it makes me so sad to see our country falling to this in so many ways.  Ugh. Such sadness. Their eyes have become dark  and the Spirit of God is nowhere to be found as our country continues to deny the Lord.

Revelation 22: 

14 Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.

15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating).

Dogs: those who practice sorceries, the lewd, the adulterers, murders, idolaters, and the liars.  Friends, it seems pretty clear who are the dogs. Yet how is this principle lived out?

Matthew 10: 

11 And into whatever town or village you go, inquire who in it is deserving, and stay there [at his house] until you leave [that vicinity].

12 As you go into the house, give your greetings and wish it well.

13 Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your peace [that is, freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your peace return to you.

14 And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet.

15 Truly I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Freedom from all the distressed that are experienced as the result of  sin: peace. You. Free. Unchained.

If you are not accepted, welcome and finally do not listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet. Interesting. There is not a time frame given. Or a patience…for the ungodly. Hmmm..let’s look further with Paul..

Acts 18:

After this [Paul] departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,

And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked [together], for they were tentmakers by trade.

But he discoursed and argued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over [both] Jews and Greeks.

By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.

But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it]. From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen).

Now, here is some more guidance. This looks like weeks and weeks of Paul discoursing and arguing in the synagogue.  He was preaching, testifying BUT they kept opposing, abusing and reviling him. So, he did exactly what Jesus instructed and shook the dust off. Now, here’s one more:

Titus 3: 

10 [As for] a man who is factious [a heretical sectarian and cause of divisions], after admonishing him a first and second time, reject [him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],

11 Well aware that such a person has utterly changed (is perverted and corrupted); he goes on sinning [though he] is convicted of guilt and self-condemned.

Here is another layer: men who are:

  • factious
  • heretical sectarian
  • cause of divisions

Admonishing at least twice, right? Reject him then. When you see that the person is perverted and corrupted, yet he continues to sin. Well, he is convicted. Let me add one more quote, now this is from Chuck Smith, pastor and commentator:

Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and they turn again and rend you (Mat 7:6).

There are some people with which you just cannot share the things of God. You just shouldn’t even try to share the things of God with them. They will not respect them. They’ll just make fun of them. They will just trample them under their feet and then they’ll return to tear you. Now, how am I to know then who I can share and who I should not be sharing the truths of God with unless I make some kind of a judgement?

Now Peter was there listening to the Lord and it is interesting that he picks this up in his epistle, in his second epistle of Peter, he talks about as it has happened according, he’s talking about the false teachers and the wicked people and the false prophets and all. And he said, “And it is happen to them according to the true proverb, The dog has returned to his vomit; and the pig to his wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22) They’ve turned back to their old natures and he uses the same dog and pig kind of a concept.

There are some people that just mock and ridicule the things of the spirit. And for me to take the precious things of God, those beautiful things that God’s done to my life and start relating them to him it’s, it’s just — you’re just taking pearls and casting them before swine. You are not to do that. Oh, but how in the world can I know? How can I walk that narrow without judging and yet not being a fool in taking the pearls and giving them to the swine? How in the world can I walk that? Well, the good Lord tells us in the next verse.

Ask, and it shall be given you (Mat 7:7);

I’m sorry this hasn’t gotten posted yet today. I’ve actually had a day at home and am getting back on track with my cleaning schedule. My life has not given me many chances to stay put. :) God bless you and keep you and may His beautiful face shine upon you this day!

 

 

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To judge or not to judge…


 

Heartleaf Iceplant (Aptenia cordifolia) by Jj Harrison

Good morning, beloved!

It is so good to be in His presence this morning, surrounded by my boys and hubby. We are looking through the paper, shocked at more violence and mayhem in Wisconsin yesterday.  We are enjoying the quiet of a beautiful morning. The sun streaming through the windows. Starburst trying to find bones and balls to throw in our laps. She has a ball (she’s really not supposed to have) so it’s close to her mouth and she’s trying to sneaky by touching the ball lightly with her front paw to bring it to her mouth. We are all having a good laugh. It feels good to laugh.

Our hope does not rest in our circumstances. Our hope is not in what society can offer. Our hope can only be found in Him. Proclaim it this morning. God has blessed you. He has blessed me, my family. No matter our circumstances we look to faithful God to supply all our needs. When people ask how I doing, it’s hard for me to answer. Our circumstances overwhelm me and I don’t know how to start the conversation. Yet, I don’t lose hope and I know people care. My faith is buoyed by people’s care.  So as I turn to our study this morning, I thank you, once again, for reading these words, praying for us and if I can ever pray for you, please share.

Matthew 7: 

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged andcriticized and condemned yourselves.

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticizedand condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

Let’s remember Jesus’ audience here.  Matthew 5: 1

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Jesus is speaking to the multitudes. This message is for all who hear.  So is he calling us a hypocrite? We have to be careful when we are speaking not to judge a situation, give our opinion and think that our words helped another. Ahem. Rather, in our conversation, should it not always start with the Spirit‘s guidance and prayer for words that glorify the King?

Hypocrite (hypokritēs); corresponding to the above, primarily denotes “one who answers;” then, “a stage-actor;” it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.

When we wear our masks, pretending everything is okay and pronounce judgement on others, we are in sin. Plain and simple.

Judge(krino): primarily denotes “to separate, select, choose;” hence, “to determine,” and so “to judge, pronounce judgment.” “The uses of this verb in the NT may be analyzed as follows: (a) to assume the office of a judge

Goodness, what qualifies me to judge? Nothing. Nothing at all. When I get to the end of my life and I meet my maker, my desire, my goal is to walk through my life with Him and we see together that through the power of His Spirit, I fought the urge to judge or condemn others. It has never been my place. Lord, forgive me!

Jesus knows our timbers. He knows the logs. Our eyes are not pure without the Spirit’s guidance and influence. The Word should be our guide in our conversations.

Alright, beloved, my day calls to me. Think, pray on. Pray on.

 

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The light on the horizon is a fishing boat, and the smaller one behind, the entrance to the fjord into Tasiilaq by Nick Russill

Good morning, beloved,

Well, we officially have a teenager in our house..Noah is a birthday king today. ;) So we were already out at the store this morning picking up all the necessities for a happy boy. Our blessings, as we say, outweigh all the stress and worry of the circumstances that swirl around us. Yesterday, friends came from our church to help me clean our house. What a blessing. So grateful for a boost and for the kindness of the body of Christ. Peoples’ prayers, help, kindness just lifts us up. When we are weak, He is strong. And able. And full of grace and mercy. When we  began going to a small church, we had no idea the intricacies of blessing upon blessing as we can serve and the body of Christ is stepping in to help us carry on.

Lord, as we study Your beautiful Word today, may we glorify You and give You our time, Spirit-filled. Direct, lead, guide our paths.

We are going to break down more of Matthew 6 today in greater detail. Here’s the verses:

Matthew 6:19 Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal.

20 But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal;

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light.

23 But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness!

24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).

1 John 2:15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.

The world’s offering:

  • love for the Father is not in him
  • lust of the flesh
  • lust of the eyes
  • pride of life
  • passes away, temporal

God’s offering: carry out His purposes in your life and you will abide forever.

2 Corinthians 4:18 Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

Seen: temporal, brief, fleeting: keep your eyes off of this.

Unseen: deathless (what a word!, everlasting AND look to it, consider it!

Hebrews 12: Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

World’s offering:

  • strip it off
  • throw aside unnecessary weight
  • sin that cleverly clings and entangles
  • distracts us from Jesus

God’s offering

  • a cloud of witnesses who have testimony to the Truth!
  • A race set before us that we need to run with endurance, persistence
  • Jesus: Leader, Source of faith and Finisher
  • Jesus: endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame…ALL FOR THE JOY OF OBTAINING THE PRIZE
  • Jesus: seated at the right hand of God

Hebrews 11: 24 [Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

25 Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life.

26 He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward (recompense).

27 [Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.

Example of Moses for us:

  • Even tho Moses was great in the eyes of people, refused to be Pharaoh’s daughter’s son., refused to have enjoyment of sin
  • Preferred to share suffering, bear the shame of people of God
  • Greater wealth found: contempt, abuse, shame that Christ would endure
  • Faith took him out of Egypt
  • Faith kept Pharaoh in his place
  • Never flinched in purpose
  • Endured steadfastly who gazed on the Invisible God

 

Beloved, pray on. Pray on!

 

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Release


 

Matanuska River Valley; by Walter Siegmund

Good morning!

Let the games begin! Well, still haven’t figured out how I’m watching the games..but it sure is fun when I can. The spirit of the games inspires our whole family, the dreams begin and the confident comments begin. I could do that. I would like to be on the swim team. I could run like that. And so forth. Can’t get in the way of the dreams to be scientists, basketball stars, dressmaker (Ella!)…but we could certainly add that in.

Dreams are a beautiful thing. Aren’t they? As adults, do we dream like we did as children? I can’t say I spend a ton of time hoping to be a Olympian, it’s a shame, because God has such great plans for me. For you. Praying in His will, abiding in His will and riding the waves of life with God as your pilot can bring your imagination and dreams to the surface once again.

So, to review, we have researched the first half of the Lord’s prayer. Now we are  moving to forgiveness, cleansing..before the Lord.

Burney Falls, California by Agreene12

Matthew 6: 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([e]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [f]given up resentment against) our debtors.

1John 1:9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Admit, confess freely we have sinned. Yet, what is spectacular about this verse is what God is doing here!

  • He is faithful, true to His own nature and promises
  • Will forgive…
  • Continuously cleanse us from all that does not conform to His will

Proverbs 28: 13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy.

We are back to freely confessing, not hiding! God knows it anyway, but the freedom comes with honesty and a frank appraisal of our life. God will give mercy. Mercy..to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their[j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Freedom from sin, confessing, praying continually, letting people go..giving up resentment. All about freedom for us, isn’t it? When we hold to anger, hold to bitterness..we lose.

Biblegateway‘s verse of the day: “I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” Philippians 3:14 AMP

We can’t press on towards the goal with bags of bitterness and anger on our back. Holding  sacks of rage from crimes committed against us…the outfits these Olympic athletes wear do not allow for packs. The swimmers shave their bodies of all hair to create a more fluid movement in the water. There’s a lot of spandex going on and not a lot of bags. Same for us, we have to get rid of all that encumbers us.

That we can move and live and have our being in Him, we are free to press on. Forgiveness sets the bags down. Forgiveness removes chains.

Well, I’m going to get back into the Olympics. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

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You resemble Him…


Seascape at Bicheno, Australia by JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com)

Good morning, beloved,

We are home. It is so good to be home. Home. We have got back into some kind of normal, enjoying a bit of rain and resting. I find that strange. Daniel and I rested for four straight days. He couldn’t leave his bed and I couldn’t leave his side. We both could take short breaks but our home base was a hospital bed. We have a list of more doctors to visit, more calls to make, more things to do. And last night and this morning as we prayed over our boy, we began to wonder about more radical ideas with his food. I got an email yesterday that sent me on a voyage of discovery…raw food and green smoothies…well, before I trail on and on, I don’t know much about it. I just know that medical science is wanting to put him on more meds with many scary side effects. They don’t know why he is having the problems. So, Joshua and I began to think through more changing our diet and Daniel’s for a month…

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) in flight, East of the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia

Well, I need to dive into His Word. God has more answers and more hope and greater love. So want to join me? We are starting a new week! :)

Our context is Matthew 5:

21 You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court.

22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

23 So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you,

24 Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.

25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

Now let’s get the context, because Jesus’ audience heard it said but let’s read it from Exodus 20:13You shall not commit murder.  Clearly, law was and is murder was against Law. Now there was a cost for breaking this law. So let’s read the following and find out!

Pied Oystercatchers, Austin’s Ferry, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. by JJ Harrison

Genesis 9: 

And surely for your lifeblood I will require an accounting; from every beast I will require it; and from man, from every man [who spills another’s lifeblood] I will require a reckoning.

Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man.

God considers life to be precious. We are, well, the image comes from a rarely used root word to shade. We are a shade of God.  We resemble Him. So to take the blood of another, to hold the life of another image of God…it is not at all meant to be.

Exodus 21:

12 Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.

13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God allowed him to fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee [for protection until duly tried].

14 But if a man comes willfully upon another to slay him craftily, you shall take him from My altar [to which he may have fled for protection], that he may die.

Our God is full of mercy and grace. I heard in my Pastor’s sermon today..it was beautiful…Grace and peace to you…it is enough. You need no more than that! I’ll add His mercy.  Look at this passage in Chapter 21…God is providing His people with boundaries. He sees all and knows all. It is a beautiful thing. Our God didn’t leave them with just those few sentences tho, He fleshed it out in these verses. It is so fascinating. He knows man’s heart and friends, He loves us still.

Deuteronomy 19: 

When the Lord your God has cut off the nations whose land the Lord your God gives you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses,

You shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land which the Lord your God gives you to possess.

You shall prepare the road and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the Lord your God gives you to possess, so that any manslayer can flee to them.

And this is the case of the slayer who shall flee there in order that he may live. Whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally, for whom he had no enmity in time past—

As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand strikes with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips off the handle and lights on his neighbor and kills him—he may flee to one of those cities and live;

Gordon Da m, Southwest National Park, Tasmania, Australia. by JJ Harrison

Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer while his [mind and] heart are hot with anger and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him even though the slayer was not worthy of death, since he had not been at enmity with him previously.

Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three [refuge] cities.

And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as He has sworn to your fathers to do, and gives you all the land which He promised to your fathers to give,

If you keep all these commandments to do them, which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to walk always in His ways, then you shall add three other cities to these three,

10 Lest innocent blood be shed in your land, which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and so blood guilt be upon you.

11 But if any man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, and attacks him and wounds him mortally so that he dies, and the assailant flees into one of these cities,

12 Then the elders of his own city shall send for him and fetch him from there and give him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die.

13 Your eyes shall not pity him, but you shall clear Israel of the guilt of innocent blood, that it may go well with you.

Are you still with me?  Are you getting with the blood? Are you understanding how God understands man? People may read this and think, God is so cruel! NO WAY! Rather read this and think, God is saving families. Keeping blood feuds from beginning. Keeping the anger at bay. Unforgiveness from unleashing its ugly head in the families of Israel.

Let’s bring it back to Jesus, Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

Do you see the beauty of forgiveness? The alternative is frightening! Startling and not something we want to even allow our brains to settle on even for a moment. Harboring malice, speaking insultingly makes us liable. Swearing at people, calling names brings this next sentence to our awareness. Hell of fire. These are not phrases that reflect any, any, anything to do with God’s heart.

Romans 5

While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

Abutilon ×hybridum cultivar ‘Patrick Synge’ by JJ Harrison

Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life.

We shall be saved, daily delivered from sin’s dominion through His resurrection life…

So, when Jesus said…(Matt.5)

23 So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you,

24 Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.

Peace, peace with your brother, sister. Is there anyone in your life needing to hear I’m sorry from you? Please forgive me. Have you gone before the altar with grievances held against you? Don’t let another day go by. Or maybe you need to forgive. I could write a sermon on forgiveness, but I’ve written much on this, and I’ll just say, spend some time with the Lord on this. Let Him speak to you on this. He is your Shepherd. He’ll guide ya.

God bless you. Peace. Pray on.

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Peace MAKER


The caterpillar of Ardices canescens eating a Jap pumpkin leaf in suburban Sydney, NSW, Australia.by Toby Hudson

Good morning, beloved,

A new morning, a new day, a new start! We are back in the Sermon on the Mount. :) My nieces and nephew are back in Iowa in their schedule and now we must get back into our own routine.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers andmaintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

So let’s first look through the Sermon for references that apply to peacemakers. Now, you may catch some that we don’t.

Matthew 5: 22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

Matthew 5: 38 You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

39 But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too.

40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also.

41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles].

42 Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you.

43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;

44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?

47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?

48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Matthew 6:

14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Matthew 7:

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticizedand condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to andfor them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

Sons of God, a peacemaker, Jesus calls these two synonymous. We look through the Sermon and at first glance it may seem a list of dos and don’ts but look closer, friend, and you will find a guidebook for life. Jesus was an amazing man to follow along in His dust, to travel the road with Him, to hear Him teach and heal and love and live out all that He spoke.

Peace-

2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

4) of the Messiah’s peace

a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

Maker-to do

a) to act rightly, do well

1) to carry out, to execute

Sons-c) of those whom God esteems as sons, whom he loves, protects and benefits above others

1) in the OT used of the Jews

2) in the NT of Christians

3) those whose character God, as a loving father, shapes by chastisements (Heb. 12:5-8)

d) those who revere God as their father, the pious worshippers of God, those who in character and life resemble God, those who are governed by the Spirit of God, repose the same calm and joyful trust in God which children do in their parents (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 3:26 ), and hereafter in the blessedness and glory of the life eternal will openly wear this dignity of the sons of God. Term used preeminently of Jesus Christ, as enjoying the supreme love of God, united to him in affectionate intimacy, privy to his saving councils, obedient to the Father’s will in all his acts

So put this all together, with all the definitions and we realize that God is calling His sons to respond to His love by living our lives in peace. I’m sure you’ve noticed that we don’t seem to be living in times of peace, people don’t seem to be walking towards the peace of God. In fact, our world seems to be the opposite of peace.

Yet, God in His great love and mercy:

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.

Romans 5:1Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life.

And then, a large chunk from 2 Corinthians 5:

(I’m marking reconciled01) to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value

a) to reconcile (those who are at variance)

b) return to favour with, be reconciled to one

c) to receive one into favour!)

14 For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinionand conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died;

15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.

16 Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].

17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].

19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

Have you ever spent much time in this passage? Mercy, this is amazing truth and I need to memorize this! Paul could not have sat down when he was dictating these amazing truths. God be praised that we have His Word and that it is life and we can open it when we want. May I never forget what a sweet gift I have in having the Bible readily available to me anytime.

Now, if you have noticed, um, I’m a little late and running long. I need to get moving. Part two tomorrow! Pray on. Pray on!!

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., New Testament | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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