Adam and Eve

I — God’s Fortitude

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“So He drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

We tend to not give much thought to God’s character traits, His personal strengths, even His weaknesses. Perhaps we should take a few days to look at these aspects of God and Jesus. We might, then, understand the two of them a bit more.

A few of the words that come to mind when I think of God are compassion, strength, godliness, cleanliness, love, honour, devotion, and fortitude. While each of these are important–and we will look in depth at each–I think the word “fortitude” describes so many facets of both God the Father and God the Son.

When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden in which He had planted every good and beautiful tree and trees with fruit for them to eat. He formed a river which ran out of Eden by which He watered the garden.

~~~~~~~~~~

8 — “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.”

9 — “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

10 — “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Genesis 2:8-10–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.'”

Genesis 2:18–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

21 — “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;”

22 — “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

23 — “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'”

24 — “‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'”

25 — “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:21-25–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

How difficult it must have been for God when Adam and Eve committed the first sin–eating of the forbidden fruit. He had provided much good food for their consumption. Yet, they gave in to temptation and ate the fruit of the one tree from which He had forbidden them to eat. How heartbroken He must have been when He went to the garden for their daily walk together and could not find them.

~~~~~~~~~~

7 — “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”

8 — “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”

9 — “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?‘”

10 — “And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.'”

11 — “And He said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?'”

12 — “And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.'”

13 — “And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?‘ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.'”

14 — “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:'”

15 — “‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'”

16 — “Unto the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'”

17 — “And unto Adam He said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it:’ cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;'”

18 — “‘Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;'”

19 — “‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'”

20 — “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”

21 — “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

22 — “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.'”

23 — “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

24 — “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:7-24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

Much like we as parents must deal with disobedient children, God had to deal with a disobedient creation. Then, each pointed the finger of blame toward another before admitting personal guilt as well. The man and woman who were made after His own image, were cast from the garden due to their disobedient acts.

When God entered the garden looking for Adam and Eve and was unable to find them, He knew something was amiss. How many of us, as parents, would have similar hunches upon being unable to find our children? When He called for them, and Adam responded with fear due to them being ashamed because they were naked, God knew of their disobedience already. Putting a disobedient child out to fend for him-/her- self is one of the most difficult tasks a parent must face. The fact that God had to walk in these shoes first with His own creation tells us it is due to the child’s choices these steps had to be taken. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God; so, He had to put them out of their beautiful garden He created just for them. From that day forth, they were to fend for themselves. Pain, sweat, and death would be served as punishment for their disobedience.

This took “fortitude” for God to take this stand with Adam and Eve. In this one sequence of events, we can see the strength, the courage, the bravery it took for God to stand up to Adam and Eve with a love that did not cast them away from Him–rather it cast them out of the luxurious life He had created for them.

Thus, when you are tempted to ask, “How can a loving God be so cruel as to punish us when we have done wrong?” remember, it was Adam and Eve who punished you. As their seed, we reaped the consequences of their actions along with them. This is why we now have the New Testament plan of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord–God’s Son. This is why we have full freedom to choose to be a recipient of this salvation, or we can choose to ignore it and experience life separate and apart from God. It is not God who punishes us! It is our choice; therefore, it is “we” who punish ourselves.

~~~~~~~~~~

16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

17 — “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”

18 — “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

19 — “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

John 3:16-19–“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)”

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:8-10. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:8 – 2:10 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:18. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). GENESIS 2:18 KJV “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 2:21-25. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:21-25 KJV – And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 3:7-24. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 3:7-24 KJV – And the eyes of them both were opened, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). John 3:16-19. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). John 3:16-19 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he – Bible Gateway.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Roman Grac @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

II — Faith: God Made All Things

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

The hand that made this earth was a very intelligent hand. The land masses consist of soil, rocks, ores, and minerals–most of which are essential to man’s life on earth. In the beginning when God performed His handiwork, this land was “without form and void.” The water, according to Genesis 1:2, was dark and deep.

~~~~~~~~~~

“The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

As the sun shines upon the water–whether the ocean or the rain–evaporation rises into the atmosphere. Then it comes back to the earth in the form of dew, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. This allows for a constant recycling of moisture. God planned all of this so you and I might live in relative comfort upon this earth. According to Morris and Woolfenden (2018), vegetation inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. This is done during the daytime as a part of photosynthesis. The plant uses water in combination with the carbon dioxide to complete photosynthesis. Oxygen is a by-product of this process. Thus, we humans are supplied with the oxygen needed to live here on earth (Stancil, 2019). No one person could have thought of all the necessary components to create our functional universe. In my opinion, whether or not science believes it, science itself is daily proving the Holy Bible to be true.

At this point I feel I must ask: Why is Creationism not given equal time in our science texts alongside the Big Bang Theory — Darwinism — Evolution? Maybe because it makes far more sense; it just requires a little bit of faith. There are some major components missing from those theories. For example, what caused the Big Bang? Where did the components that created the Big Bang come from? How did the Big Bang create conditions conducive to life and to evolution? From my point of view, current scientific explanations leave much to be explained and the answers to the queries I just put forth can never satisfy a truly curious mind.

What caused Evolution to begin, and then to continue? All conditions had to be just right for everything to happen at just the right time. My faith tells me Creationism is the most valid theory out there. God has planned the beginning of this universe, and He tells us the earth and all the elements will burn up with a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10); so, he also knows how and why the earth will be destroyed.

~~~~~~~~~~

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

2 Peter 3:10 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

My faith assures me, God made all things. It is an event I did not see, but I read about it in Genesis chapter 1 of the Old Testament and in other scriptures throughout the Bible. So, I believe what I am told therein. Hebrews 11:1 says:

~~~~~~~~~~

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 1:1 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

My evidence is before my eyes every waking moment. As I said earlier, I did not see God create this universe, but I am told of His handiwork in His Word. Since it exists and I am a part of it, His Word is sufficient to convince me. Thus, my substance is also found in God’s Word. Even today, science debates the life-giving element in our bodies.

~~~~~~~~~~

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

Genesis 2:7 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

According to the Holy Bible, God breathed life into Adam. Subsequently, He has breathed life into every living thing since then. So, according to God’s Word, our breath is the life-giving substance in our bodies. Science cannot explain it, but my faith says “God’s Word does explain it!”

The first five books of the Holy Bible: Old Testament–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy–contain the “Law of Moses” which was inspired by God as Moses wrote it. The detail in this law would be impossible for one man to conjure. This says God is a very intelligent being.

~~~~~~~~~~

1 — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

2 — “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:1, 2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version

~~~~~~~~~~

David’s faith assured him God created the earth. He writes about it in the book of Psalms. In chapter 33, David tells us, God formed the heavens, He gathered the waters together as a heap and lays up the excess in storehouses. Could these storehouses be the underground rivers known as table-waters. These underground rivers are the sorce form whence water has traditionally been tapped for drinking, cooking, and other home uses. Today, much of the underground storehouses has been depleted. Now, cities need such large quantities of water that most resort to lakes and above-ground rivers to supply the needs demanded by those living within their limits. This water is then passed through water treatment plants to remove impurities and make it safe for human consumption. God has also provided other “storehouses” filled with crude oil, coal, iron, and a host of other ores, minerals, etc to be tapped in order to provide for our needs.

David went on to say the entire earth and everyone who is a part of this world should fear and stand in awe of God. The reason he gives is, “He spoke and it was done, He commanded, and it stood fast.” I know–personally, I stand in awe of what God has done, is doing, can do, and will do. I stand in awe of his knowledge and his power.

~~~~~~~~~~

6 — “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”

7 — “He gathers the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses.”

8 — “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”

9 — “For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

Psalms 33:6-9 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

We have seen evidence, in previous discussions, showing Jesus is the Word (mentioned in John 1:1-3). The Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word was/is God. Therefore, Jesus was a participant in the world’s creation. Then, He came to earth in fleshly form to die for my sins–and for your sins. Do you know anyone else who would die for your sins? I can assure you, I do not know anyone else who would die for my sins. But, Jesus did just that. He died for our sins that we might have an eternal home with Him in heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~

1 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

2 — “The same was in the beginning with God.”

3 — “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

John 1:1-3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

When things get rough in my life, I turn to God and Jesus. I tell them, in prayer, what is happening and describe the troubles I am having with the events taking place. I ask for their assistance, guidance, and protection. Then, my faith assures me they will respond in like manner–and they do! Just as David said in Psalms chapter 9, verses 9 and 10, the Lord is my refuge. I can always trust God and Jesus to be there when I need Them, and I know They will never forsake me.

~~~~~~~~~~

9 — “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”

10 — “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Psalms 9:9, 10 — Holy Bible, Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

In Psalms chapter 119, verse 105, David said:

~~~~~~~~~~

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Psalms 119:105 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

So, as we saw above, the first three verses of John, chapter 1, tell us Jesus is the Word of God, the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was God. Then the next verse, John 1:4, tells us He is also the “Light of men.”

~~~~~~~~~~

“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

John 1:4 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

Are we beginning to see that Jesus coming to earth in fleshly form to die for our sins was already planned when “God” created this universe?

~~~~~~~~~~

“And God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light.”

Genesis 1:3 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 1:1, 2. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 Jun 2021). Genesis 1:1 – 1:2 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 1:3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). GENESIS 1:3 KJV “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:7. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). GENESIS 2:7 KJV “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 1:1-3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). John 1:1 – 1:3 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 1:4. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). JOHN 1:4 KJV “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Hebrews 11:1. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). HEBREWS 11:1 KJV “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Hebrews 11:3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). HEBREWS 11:3 KJV “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Peter 3:10. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). 2 PETER 3:10 KJV “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 9:9, 10. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). Psalms 9:9 – 9:10 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 33:6-9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). PSALMS CHAPTER 33 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 119:105. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). PSALMS 119:105 KJV “NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Morris, Richard J, and Woolfenden, Hugh. (17 January 2018). How do plants breathe? John Innes Centre; Norwich, UK. (8 Jun 2021). How do plants breathe? | John Innes Centre (jic.ac.uk).

Stancil, Joanna Mounce. (3 June 2019). “The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. (8 June 2021). The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe | USDA.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: The Universe by beate bachmann @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

April 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

April Showers

April showers may cause the creeks to rise
and oft produce stormy clouds in the skies.
The rain comes down, soaks into earth
giving surroundings brilliant rebirth.
Flowering trees, plants nigh to us
get into the act--glorious!
How does God know when to provide
a boost to spirits 'round the world.
Greening the trees and grass to mow.
planting the seeds in rows to hoe,
helping the victims of flooding--
we stay busy all through the Spring.
Re-cooping from Covid-19,
we rebuild lives somewhere between
where they once were and visions seen.

Watching the ripples as they grow
touching more lives than we can know.
We are oft engrossed in our world,
paying no heed to what is hurled
away toward others losing all
when storms and flooding come to call.
Some suffer--reeling in silence--
others will wail, seek recompense,
but some will look up, try to help
heal the pain of another's whelp--
knowing healing comes from giving
to those about who are grieving.
Always look outward and you'll see
the love you give comes back to thee
in many ways, but always free!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Clem Onojeghuo @Unsplash.

~~~~~~~~~~

Peace . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Philippians 4:6, 7 (NKJV)

  • 6 — “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
  • 7 — “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These are trying times. The coronavirus pandemic has been with us now for one year, and with the new variants cropping up around the globe, predictions of another year are being tossed around–even as new vaccines are being approved. The recent snowstorms, Uri and Viola, blanketed the lower forty-eight of the United States more completely than any in recorded history. Only three states escaped being covered completely. We know the world is sharing our experience with Covid-19 and its variants. We also know the weather over the past year has presented many trials and tribulations around the world. Our daily prayers include YOU along with people in the United States.

Economies are suffering with no definitive relief in sight, and the home fires seem to be dimming for many. It is during times like these, God can work in our hearts and bring us closer to Him–if we let Him. The scripture above, Philippians 4:6, tells us to “be anxious for nothing, . . . ” This may seem a difficult task when we are uncertain what the months ahead hold, but with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving we can tell God what we need, and He can lay upon us “His peace,” which “surpasses all understanding.” He “will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The final phrase tells how God can fill us with peace during times like these. It says, “through Christ Jesus.” Thus, if we have put on Christ Jesus, we can be blessed with the peace that passeth understanding.

As a child, I remember singing a song in Summer Bible School and feeling my heart lifted from any sadness it might hold. The first verse of the song, “Down in My Heart” by George William Cooke, amplifies the “joy” we can hold inside if Jesus lives in our hearts. The second verse says, “I’ve got the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.” Thus, if we love Jesus and He loves us, and if He lives in our hearts, with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving we can plea with God for this peace, and Jesus will provide it to us. In times of sadness, sorrow, and hardship, He will carry us–if we let Him.

My prayer today is that all will heed His calling and allow Him to provide the peace that passeth understanding in these trying times. I ask that He Bless YOU personally and guide you to this peace. Have a “peaceful” day! Stay well and Be safe!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Daniel_Mingook_Kim@Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Source:

Courtney. (8 September 2019). Write On My Heart Every Word. writeonmyhearteveryword.com. (28 February 2021). “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart” – Write On My Heart Every Word.

Holy Bible. New King James Version (NKJV). Philippians: by the Apostle Paul. (28 February 2021).

~~~~~~~~~~

I — The Way He Should Go . . .

~~ a multiple stanza quindecim

by tkbrown
I
A parent gives name to a newborn child
hoping for temperament low-key and mild.
Impossible to foresee the path trod,
they--two--prayerfully implore most high God:
Watch over and keep him on the right track;
when in smelting fire, please hold to his back.
Help him to learn the pathway he should choose
with plenty of room and nothing to lose
so long as he looks for the Lighted Path
and seeks to help others avoid God's wrath.
When he grows weary give lift to his wings,
replenish his strength,  give voice as he sings.
Help him tune in to your heavenly voice;
as he ponders  the way, then makes his choice
give mom and dad a vision to rejoice.
(Written: 10 February 2021 by tkbrown.)

~~~~~~~~~~

(To be continued: Please tune in again next week for the second quindecim.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture Above: by Bessi @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture Above: by Bessi @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Charity

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

I Corinthians 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The word “charity,” in the New King James Version (NKJV), is translated “love.” Thus, in this passage written by Paul to the Corinthians, the two words might be used interchangeably. Apparently, there were many issues concerning the Christians at Corinth. In chapter 13, Paul addresses the need for love to abound. He notes a number of achievements to be worked toward as Christians in Christ’s church; then he cautions that without “charity” or “love” none of these is worth anything in Christ’s church. Though one may attain a high level of honor, without love, that person is nothing in God’s eyes.

How often do we, today, teach the importance of “charity” or “love?” Love, or charity, should be a frequent topic of our Bible lessons. It takes extensive study on the topic to exhibit the love Christ had, and has, for His church.

Love is one character trait deserving of frequent address. Too often we “go through the motions” but they mean nothing to us. Verse 2 says:

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”–I Corinthians 13:2–NKJV.

Though it is possible to have faith enough to accomplish any feat—with God’s help–if I have not ”charity” or “love,” faith profits me nothing.

Faith, hope, and love are the three most essential characteristics of a Christian. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17–NKJV). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1—NKJV) Faith is instilled by hearing, reading, and learning the word of God. It is important to follow hearing with study in order to learn the true meaning of the scripture presented. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15–KJV). When we hear the Word, that hearing must be followed by our own private study to ensure we understand what is being said, when it was said, to whom, and about what. Thus, we learn the true meaning of the scripture uttered in our hearing.

The more we study God’s Word, the more it impresses upon us the need for love in our own character. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-47

43 — “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy,”

44 – “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;”

45 – “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

46 – “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?”

47 – “And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?”

 The more we try to emulate Christ, the more love we will extend love to others. It is a tall order to “love our enemies and do good to them.” This tells us, if we have not love we are not emulating Christ—we are but pretenders. This pretense means nothing to God and will not ensure entry into heaven. We must grow as Christians if we are to hold the love for others that Jesus requires.

A new Christian has learned to love him-/herself enough to want to spend eternity with God and Christ. A mature Christian has grown in the emulation of Christ so that love is evident. Christ laid down His life to save us. How many of us would do the same?

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by reenablack @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. biblegateway.com. (2021). Holy Bible – New King James Version (NKJV). 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

Eds. Biblegateway.com (2021). Holy Bible – King James Version (KJV). 1987 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Complaining and Disputing

            ~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Philippians 2:14-16

  • 14 – “Do all things without complaining and disputing,”
  • 15 – “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”
  • 16 – “holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

As Christians, our attitude toward daily life sets us apart from the world and from those who follow Satan. In Philippians Chapter 2, Paul tells us to “Do all things without complaining and disputing . . . .” An attitude of complaint works against our becoming emulators of Christ.

To be a Christian means to be “emulators of Christ.” In I Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV), Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Was Christ ever complaining about His mission as God’s Son here on earth. No, even in the throes of death, He merely asked God “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46 (NKJV) says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘E’li, E’li, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ and the King James Version says ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ But He never complained.

When He prayed on the mount during the night preceding his arrest, Jesus asked for “His cup” to pass from Him adding, “but thy will, not mine be done.” Matthew 26:39 gives an account of this: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” With Christ as our Mediator with God, we are not expected to accept everything without questioning ‘why’, but we are asked to do even that without complaint or dispute. If we manage our attitude, we will be shown the ‘why’ of those things expected of us. However, even if we are not shown the ‘why’, we are still asked to do without complaint or dispute.

How many times do we catch ourselves complaining about our ‘due’ in life? Even complaining in thought can be destructive to a “Christ attitude.” It is imperative that we review our thoughts in a prayerful attitude, as Christ did daily, to prevent the attitude of those thoughts from spilling into our actual interactions with others. To attempt living our daily interactions without guidance from God and Christ is to make our souls vulnerable to Satan and his wiles.

“Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17 – KJV), Paul tells us. Jesus obviously prayed without ceasing. In studying His life, we often see Him retreating from the world to pray – often praying all night and into the next morning. In our studying of His life, we have already seen this to be true: “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (Luke 5:16 NKJV). If even He did so, why should we not do the same? To pray without ceasing does not necessarily mean on bended knee all of the time. If I am to emulate the life of Christ, all that I do must be done with a prayerful attitude. If I am engaging in some activity that challenges my ability to emulate Christ in His life here on earth, I should be uttering prayers for guidance “under my breath” the whole time. Thus, even in times of trial, we are open to God’s guidance. If we ever believe we have arrived at a place where we can achieve this without a prayerful attitude, we have just given our souls over to Satan who deceives us into believing we can do it on our own.

The events of this world today are presenting trying times, and many of us may soon be faced with choices as to whom we follow in life. Are we ready for such challenges? Can we do it alone? Indeed not! We can only meet these challenges with a prayerful attitude.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by reenablack @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. biblegateway.com. (2021). Holy Bible – New King James Version (NKJV). 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

Eds. Biblegateway.com (2021). Holy Bible – King James Version (KJV). 1987 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Calendar Quindecims — December 2020

~~ by tkbrown
December is moving in fast,
and Thanksgiving is barely past--
or, is it? Travel, families,
Black Friday fare--those online venues--
shopping with masks, social distance--
greatly reduced deals, now's your chance!
Buy now, pay later--give better
for Christmas than ever before.
Material flare--girls and boys
each year get more expensive toys.
This year will be no different,
I'm sure--packages and love sent
to those afar off. Would I could
be there with you--for now we should
be thankful for the things we have
and for the family to love.
God, please send it o'er air by dove!

My Morning Do . . . Creative Minds

~~ by tkbrown

I have read a number of posts recently on the topics of hope and gratitude. During times like the world has been experiencing through the Covid19 pandemic, it is important to keep fueling both. It may take some effort to do, but the end result is worth far more than any wrangling we may encounter during our endeavor. Making a daily effort to review our sources of hope and the things we have to be grateful for helps too. Faith, too, helps give the strength and resolve needed during times of trial and adversity. My faith in God and Jesus Christ has pulled me through much in the past; so, I can and do always pull strength from the spiritual resources and values in my life.

It is difficult when jobs are lost, income is non-existent or mostly so. Oftentimes, we do not think to be grateful for our work, but it provides much hope in our lives. Subconsciously, we know, so long as we are able to work or have a job to go to, we can get through most anything. When the monetary needs are met in our lives, it reduces the stress level astronomically.

Sometimes school is our main activity. When this is the case, it is important to view it as our job. Our attendance and learning are fuel for our future work lives. School attendance helps one to be in the habit of getting up and getting out–typically on a daily basis. This prepares one for the daily attendance required in work schedules. Lack of attendance in either results in failure.

Even though the need for some required classes cannot be seen, each has a reason for its inclusion. The most prevalent example I saw during my college years was a lack of understanding for the need to take Algebra. Oftentimes, I heard classmates say it would never be used, but its value is in day to day activities. Most never relate the two, but: 2(a+b) = 2ab is nothing more than, (a = the cost of a can of corn, b= the price of a loaf of bread). When these are added together then multiplied by 2, perhaps we are looking at the cost of our weekly need for these items. Algebra is utilized in budgeting among other things. So, it is important to realize that even though school can be humdrum, it is necessary to future needs.

Hobbies are also a source of strength during times of trial. I love to knit and crochet. The idea of taking a straight piece of string and creating something beautiful and lasting has always been intriguing to me. Sewing has a similar effect. Taking a flat piece of cloth and creating a beautiful dress, blouse, shirt, pants, or suit–even something for the home–is a skill to be extolled. Creativity has no bounds in the needlework hobbies. This also rings true of playing a musical instrument, reading, researching, cooking, painting, photography, and the list goes on.

Having something one values in life makes times like these bearable because the voids can be filled with something vital and useful via our hobbies, work, school, faith, family, etc. If one does not stay busy doing something, the desire to live slowly drains from us. This is seen in severe depression. The hopefulness and helpfulness has been lost and must be found again if the desire to live is to be regained.

If you, or someone you love has lost hope due to the downside of the lockdowns and shelter at home orders, seek help from a professional who is trained to help you through this. Above all, do not lose gratitude for what you have. Most cannot honestly say they have nothing for which they can be grateful. If this is one’s view of things, it is time to make a conscious effort to regain gratitude for what is in our grasp. Make it a part of the daily routine to name things for which you can be grateful. Then, it is important to reach out and engage whatever is within your grasp to fuel a new hope for the future. Don’t give up, keep putting one foot in front of the other until you are through the swamp and can see the other side.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Jesus Begins His Ministry — Part 4

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

“Sermon on the Mount”

~~~~~~~~~~

Lesson Scripture — Matthew 6:1-34

1 — “‘Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.'”

2 — “‘Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.'”

3 — “‘But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,'”

4 — “‘that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.'”

5 — “‘And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.'”

6 — “‘But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.'”

7 — “‘And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.'”

8 — “‘Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.'”

9 — “‘In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.'”

10 — “‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'”

11 — “‘Give us this day our daily bread.'”

12 — “‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.'”

13 — “‘And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'”

14 — “‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.'”

15 — “‘But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.'”

16 — “‘Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.'”

17 — “‘But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,'”

18 — “‘so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.'”

19 — “‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;'”

20 — “‘but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.'”

21 — “‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'”

22 — “‘That lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.'”

23 — “‘But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!'”

24 — “‘No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.'”

25 — “‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?'”

26 — “‘Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?'”

27 — “‘Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?'”

28 — “‘So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin;'”

29 — “‘and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.'”

30 — “‘Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?'”

31 — “‘Therefore do not worry saying: What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?'”

32 — “‘For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.'”

33 — “‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.'”

34 — “‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.'”

~~~~~~~~~~

Lesson Scripture — Luke 18:1-14

1 — “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,”

2 — “saying, ‘There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.'”

3 — “‘Now there was a widow in that city, and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.'”

4 — “‘And he would not for a while, but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,'”

5 — “‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continued coming she weary me.'”

6 — “‘Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said,'”

7 — “‘And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?'”

8 — “‘I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?'”

9 — “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.”

10 — “‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.'”

11 — “‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.'”

12 — “‘I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'”

13 — “‘And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!'”

14 — “‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'”

~~~~~~~~~~

Lesson Scripture — John 1:4-9

4 — “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

5 — “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

6 — “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John”

7 — “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”

8 — “He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”

9 — “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Old Testament Prophecy Related to Matthew 6:1-34

v 22 Kings 4:32, 33

32 — “When Elisha came into the house, there was the child lying dead on his bed.”

33 — “He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.”

v 7Ecclesiastes 5:2 — “Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore, let your words be few.”

v 71 Kings 18:25, 26

25 — “Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.'”

26 — “So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, ‘O Baal, hear us!’ But there was no voice, no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.”

v 9 Malachi 1:11 — “‘For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name. And a pure offering, for My name shall be great among the nations,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

v10 Psalms 103:20 — “Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.”

v11Proverbs 30:8 — “Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches–feed me with the food allotted to me;”

v16Isaiah 58:3-7

3 — “‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice? In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.'”

4 — “‘Indeed you fast for strife and debate and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high.'”

5 — “‘Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?'”

6 — “‘Is this not the fast that I have chosen; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?'”

7 __ “‘Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?'”

v17Ruth 3:3 — “‘Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.'”

v19Proverbs 23:4 — “Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!”

~~~~~~~~~~

New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 6:1-34

v 2Romans 12:6-8

6 — “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them; if prophecy, let us prophecy in proportion to our faith,”

7 — “or ministry, let us use it in our ministering, he who teaches, in teaching;”

8 — “he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives with liberality, he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

v 4Luke 14:12-14

12 — “Then He also said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.'”

13 — “‘But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.'”

14 — “‘And you will be blessed because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid in the resurrection of the just.'”

v 8Romans 8:26, 27

26 — “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

27 — “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

v 9Luke 11:2-4

2 — “So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'”

3 — “‘Give us day by day our daily bread.'”

4 — “‘And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.'”

v 9Matthew 5:9 — “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

v 9Matthew 5:16 — “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

v10 Matthew 26:42 — “Again a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.'”

v12Matthew 18:21-35

21 — “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'”

22 — “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'”

23 — “‘Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.'”

24 — “‘And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.'”

25 — “‘But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.'”

26 — “‘The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'”

27 — “‘Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.'”

28 — “‘But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!'”

29 — “‘So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'”

30 — “‘And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.'”

31 — “‘So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.'”

32 — “‘Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.'”

33 — “‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'”

34 — “‘And his master was angry and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.'”

35 — “‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.'”

v132 Peter 2:9 — “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

v13John 17:9 — “‘I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given Me, for they are Yours.'”

v13John 17:15 — “‘I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.'”

v13John 17:20, 21

20 — “‘I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;'”

21 — “‘that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.'”

v14Mark 11:25 — “‘And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive your trespasses.'”

v15Matthew 18:35 — “‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart does not forgive his brother his trespasses.'”

v22 — Luke 11:34-36

34 — “‘The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.'”

35 — “‘Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.'”

36 — “‘If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.'”

v24 Luke 16:9 — “‘And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.'”

v24Luke 16:11 — “‘Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?'”

v24Luke 16:13 — “‘No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.'”

v24Galatians 1:10 — “For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

v25Luke 12:22-23

22 — “‘Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.'”

23 — “‘Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.'”

v26 Luke 12:24 — “‘Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?'”

v33I Timothy 4:8 — “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Old Testament Prophecy Related to Luke 18:1-14

v11Psalm 135:2 — “You who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.”

v11Isaiah 1:15 — “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.”

v11Isaiah 55:2 — “Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God.”

~~~~~~~~~~

New Testament Scripture Related to Luke 18:1-14

v 1Luke 11:5-10

5 — “And He said to them, ‘Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves.'”

6 — “‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him.'”

7 — “‘and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed, I cannot rise and give to you?'”

8 — “‘I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.'”

9 — “‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.'”

10 — “‘For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.'”

v 5Luke 11:8 — “‘I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is is friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.'”

v 7Revelation 6:10 — “And they cried with a loud voice saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'”

v 8Hebrews 10:37 — “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.'”

v 9Luke 10:29 — “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'”

v14 Luke 14:11 — “‘For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'”

v 9Luke 16:15 — “And He said to them, “‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.'”

~~~~~~~~~~

Old Testament Prophecy Related to John 1:4-9

v 8Isaiah 9:2 — “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”

v 8, 9Isaiah 49:6 — “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

v11 Isaiah 53:3 — “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

v14Isaiah 40:5 — “‘The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”

~~~~~~~~~~

New Testament Scripture Related to John 1:4-9

v 4I John 5:11 — “And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life; and this life is in His Son.”

v 4John 8:12 — “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.'”

v 4John 9:5 — “‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'”

v 4John 12:46 — “‘While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.'”

v 5John 3:19 — “‘And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.'”

v 6Matthew 3:1-17

1 — “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea.”

2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

3 — “‘For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness prepares the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'”

4 — “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.”

5 — “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him”

6 — “and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

7 — “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

8 — “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,'”

9 __ “‘and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.'”

10 — “‘And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'”

11 — “‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

12 — “‘His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.'”

13 — “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.”

14 — “And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

15 — “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.‘ Then he allowed Him.”

16 — “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”

17 — “And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

v 7 John 3:25-36

25 — “Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.”

26 — “And they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified–behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!'”

27 — “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.'”

28 — “‘You yourselves hear me witness that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.'”

29 — “‘He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.'”

30 — “‘He must increase, but I must decrease.'”

31 — “‘He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.'”

32 — “‘And when He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.'”

33 — “‘He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.'”

34 — “‘For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.'”

35 — “‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.'”

36 — “‘He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.'”

v 7John 5:33-35

33 — “‘You have sent to John, and he has born witness to the truth.'”

34 — “Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.'”

35 — “‘He was the burning and shifting lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.'”

v 7John 3:16 — “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'”

v10Hebrews 1:1-3

1 — “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,”

2 — “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, who He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”

3 — “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

v11Luke 19:14 — “‘But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.'”

v12Galatians 3:26 — “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

v13I Peter 1:22-25

22 — “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.”

23 — “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”

24 — “because: ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away.'”

25 — “‘But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

v14Galatians 4:4, 5

4 — “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”

5 — “to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

v14Hebrews 2:11, 12

11 — “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,”

12 — “saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.'”

v14John 8:32 — “‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'”

v14John 14:6 — “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

v14John 18:37 — “Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'”

~~~~~~~~~~

Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

During Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” He instructed us to lay up our treasures in heaven rather than here on earth. When we do for others who have need, as Christians we are laying up treasures in heaven. However, these charitable deeds for others are to be done in secret. They are not to be discussed with others. Jesus said we should not even let our left hand know what the right is doing that “your Father who sees in secret may reward you openly.”

When we pray, we should not pray in vain repetitions. God knows our needs even before we ask of Him; so, there is no need to repeat the same thing day in and day out. Say what is pressing at the time. Sometimes we may be able to utter no more than, “Help me,” which is sufficient because Jesus Christ is our High Priest. As such, He mediates for us with the Holy Spirit, making intercession to clarify those things for which we can find no utterance.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He prayed and exemplary prayer. Today, we know this prayer as “The Lord’s Prayer.” These are some specifics to remember, if you choose to use this as your prayer:

  1. We are taught to not make vain repetitions in our prayers. Thus, even this prayer should not become a vain repetition. It is to be used as a guide for our prayers, not as a replacement for them.
  2. This prayer was taught the disciples prior to Christ’s crucifixion and death. In this prayer, Jesus refers to the kingdom as yet to come. We must remember His kingdom was established before Christ’s ascension into heaven. So, today we would pray regarding an existing kingdom.
  3. The Lord’s Prayer focuses on generalities rather than specifics. This indicates that prayers for specifics are not typically necessary.
  4. Jesus told us not to worry about our food, our body or what to wear. God provides for the birds of the air without them having to put up in store. If He provides for the birds of the air, will He not provide for us too?
  5. The lilies of the field are beautiful. Jesus said even Solomon was not arrayed as one of those. If God arrays them so beautifully, will he not provide for us too?
  6. In I Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle Paul told them to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.” Thus, even when things are not going good, we should rejoice and thank God for helping us to learn from what we are going through, asking that he help us through trials and tribulations that we might be stronger after they are over. That we are told to pray without ceasing indicates that we should utter our requests as the need arises. Praying throughout the day keeps one much more in tune with our need for God to help us through each day.

Jesus said, if we choose to fast as part of our spiritual routine, we should not let others know we do so. He fasted many times–sometimes at great length–during His life here on earth. In Matthew Chapter 6, He said when we fast we should not present as fasting to others. We are not to go around with a sad, downtrodden countenance when we fast. We should get up, comb our hair, wash our face and go about our business as if nothing is different from any other day. It is an individual choice as to the need for fasting. However, if we choose to fast, we are not to tell others verbally, via body language or through their observation of our countenance. Fasting is a communion with God and Christ. It is never to be discussed with anyone. Fasting can greatly enrich our relationship with God if properly engaged.

Christ told the multitudes listening to His Sermon on the Mount that we are not to be concerned with building up treasures here on earth, but rather to concentrate on building up treasures in heaven by seeking to become more Godlike. As we seek Him and His righteousness, we are presented situations to make us stronger as Christians. Part of this involves doing for others who are in need here on earth. If we do this, He will see that we have what we need (i.e., food, clothing, a roof over our head). We are not to worry about what we will eat, wear or where we will lay our head. God will provide. Worrying will not add anything to our stature physically or spiritually. The more we do for others who have need, the closer we grow to God. Jesus said we are not to worry about tomorrow. This day will have sufficient trials of its own without worry about tomorrow being added to it. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33).

As Christians, we are to let our lights shine before men that they may know by our actions and countenance that there is something different about us. The peace and serenity we portray should make others want to know what we have. He said our light will shine from our eyes as a beacon to others. If we do not have this light, then “how great is our darkness.”

As Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters. We cannot serve both God and Satan. We cannot be lukewarm in our service to God. In Revelation 3:15 and 16, Jesus says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Finally, forgive others when they do you wrong because it is the right thing to do, and so the Father in heaven will forgive you the things you do wrong. In order to have an eternal home in heaven, we must hold no malice in our hearts toward others — even those who have wronged us.

~~~~~~~~~~

Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three - - Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four - - Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . . 
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan
Lesson Ten -- Scripture: Jesus begins His Ministry (Part 1)
Lesson Eleven -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2) -- Sermon on the Mount (Part 1)
Lesson Twelve -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 3) -- Sermon on the Mount (Part 2)
Lesson Thirteen -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 4) -- Sermon on the Mount (Part 3)
Lesson Fourteen -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 5) -- Sermon on the Mount (Part 4)

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @ pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~