My Morning Prayer

by tkbrown
Thank You, Jesus
for bringing me through this night to another day.
Show me the things you would have me do and say.
Give me opportunity to help another along the way.
Be my sunshine when skies look dreary and grey.
Touch your healing hand to ailments producing fray.
Whisper love to family and friends when troubles weigh
upon their lives, seeming to unbearably lash and flay.
Allow me to touch someone as I bow my head and pray.
In Jesus name,
Amen.

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As I begin each morning, I thank God and Jesus for the restful night and a brand new day. As the Apostle Paul instructed the New Testament Christians in Thessalonica:

“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

I try to continually engage a prayerful attitude about all that I do, think, and, say. I am far from perfect, and I need His help every step of the way. There is no sweeter way to progress through life than in prayerful supplication of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul traveled much, taught God and Christ daily, wrote epistles to a number of New Testament churches, and edified Christians in every possible way. He enjoined the followers at Philippi to:

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Philippians 4:6 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

Here, he offered encouragement to not worry regarding the needs of this life, but rather to let God know what we need every hour of every day.

God will provide if we but heed His command as Jesus–in His Sermon on the Mount–instructed:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV).

If our thoughts are centered upon God and His kingdom, if we focus on these things — we will not have time to look at the world and those in it. We will be given more than our feeble minds could ever conjure.

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 KJV “Pray without ceasing.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Philippians 4:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). PHILIPPIANS 4:6 KJV “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 6:33. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). MATTHEW 6:33 KJV “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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Picture above: reene black @pixabay.com.

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My Morning Prayer

by tkbrown
Thank You, Jesus
for bringing me through this night to another day.
Show me the things you would have me do and say.
Give me opportunity to help another along the way.
Be my sunshine when skies look dreary and grey.
Touch your healing hand to ailments producing fray.
Whisper love to family and friends when troubles weigh
upon their lives, seeming to unbearably lash and flay.
Allow me to touch someone as I bow my head and pray.
In Jesus name,
Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I begin each morning, I thank God and Jesus for the restful night and a brand new day. As the Apostle Paul instructed the New Testament Christians in Thessalonica:

“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

I try to continually engage a prayerful attitude about all that I do, think, and, say. I am far from perfect, and I need His help every step of the way. There is no sweeter way to progress through life than in prayerful supplication of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul traveled much, taught God and Christ daily, wrote epistles to a number of New Testament churches, and edified Christians in every possible way. He enjoined the followers at Philippi to:

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Philippians 4:6 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

Here, he offered encouragement to not worry regarding the needs of this life, but rather to let God know what we need every hour of every day.

God will provide if we but heed His command as Jesus–in His Sermon on the Mount–instructed:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV).

If our thoughts are centered upon God and His kingdom, if we focus on these things — we will not have time to look at the world and those in it. We will be given more than our feeble minds could ever conjure.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 KJV “Pray without ceasing.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Philippians 4:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). PHILIPPIANS 4:6 KJV “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 6:33. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). MATTHEW 6:33 KJV “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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Picture above: reene black @pixabay.com.

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Centering on Eternity

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:18Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

If we wish to center ourselves upon God and His Son, Jesus Christ, we must remove our minds from the concerns of daily living and focus upon those things which are eternal. We cannot focus upon material or relationship concerns and focus upon those things eternal at the same time. It is necessary that we remove our minds from the here and now in order that we might focus on the eternal order of things. What is happening in my earthly life at any given time must be secondary to that which is happening in my eternal focus.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told those in attendance:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

If I am focused upon what I will eat, or what I will wear, I cannot truly focus upon God and His righteousness. However, if I am truly focused upon God and His righteousness, He provides what I will eat and what I will wear. Centering my thoughts and my life upon Him and His Son takes me away from my worries over daily concerns and places Him in charge of those things.

This does not mean there will be nothing for me to do in order to arrive at those needs. It means, if I am focused upon Him, I prioritize my actions so they are in line with his directives. He will guide me to His desires for my life, if I allow it.

When I open myself to God’s guidance, oftentimes I “just happen upon” the very thing I am needing or pondering. How does this happen? By freeing my mind from worry and daily strife, I am able to follow in His footsteps. I am living my life in a manner pleasing unto Him, and He places answers to my questions and needs in my path, if I am searching in His righteousness.

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  • 5 — “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
  • 6 — “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
  • 7 — “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • 8 — “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
  • 9 — “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
  • 10 — “But I rejoiced in the Lord Greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again, wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.”
  • 11 — “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Philippians 4:5-11Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul is telling them how to center themselves upon God, His Son, and all things eternal. He implores them to worry and fret over nothing, but in all things to give thanks in prayer and supplication. When they practiced this in their daily lives, he told them, they would have a peace beyond their understanding because their hearts and minds would be in Christ Jesus.

If I focus upon doing, thinking, and saying those things that will be pleasing unto God and Christ Jesus, I will have no cause for concern about what the day may require. All things, will fall into place when my focus is “eternity with God and His Son.” I must stress, however, I must do the deeds He would have me to do in order for this to occur. If I am a homemaker, I must do those things necessary to ensure my home runs smoothly. If I am employed outside the home, I must do those things required of me upon that job. If I am a public servant, I must do those things needed to meet the needs of the public. Whatever my lot in life, I must be actively pursuing the needs of that lot. I cannot sit idly by, doing nothing, for things to fall into place. This is not what God’s righteousness is about. God cares for us, when we free Him up to do so. We free Him up to do so by doing the things needed here on earth–but our minds and hearts should ever be in tune to Him and Christ Jesus.

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  • 11 — “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
  • 12 — “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
  • 13 — “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”
  • 14 — “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
  • 15 — “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
  • 16 — “Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
  • 17 — “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”

Philippians 3:11-17Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Paul says in these verses, he has not yet attained the resurrection unto Christ, but is constantly reaching for that goal in thought, in mind, in action, and in purpose. He acknowledges that he has done things in the past for which most people would cast him to the devil and never allow him to enter heaven. But he must forget about those things. Christ has “apprehended him” to serve God in every endeavor. He has been forgiven those sinful acts and is commanded to set an example for others to follow. Thus, he reaches for those things which Christ holds in heaven for him, and he presses onward toward that mark–“the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He then turns to the recipients of his epistle and reminds them to join with him in being thus minded. When he refers to “as many as be perfect,” he is not meaning without fault. The word “perfect” here means “mature.” So, if we are mature in Christ, and our minds are focused amiss, he tells us, “God shall reveal even this unto you.”

I was in conversation with my brother a while back when he stated, “Sometimes God tells us what He wants us to know through the mouths of those with whom we are speaking.” I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes, in our daily conversations, we will “hear” exactly what God wants us to “hear.” The question is, “Are we listening?” This is where our “focus” comes into play. If my mind is where it should be as a Christian, if it is focused on doing, thinking, saying, and purposing according to God’s righteous guidance, I will be shown. Sometimes, I will be shown through something I “read.” Sometimes, I may be on an errand out and about when I am guided to where I will “see” what God wants to happen in my life. “Am I watching?

My part in “pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” is to be “tuned in” to God and Christ Jesus. Then I can know God’s will and receive the “peace that passeth understanding.” This is how I know I am “centered on eternity.”

Where is your “center” today? Is it on earthly matters and concerns, or is it wrapped around God, His Son, and their will for you? May He heap blessings upon you in untold number when you “focus” upon Him and His righteousness–when you are “centered on eternity.”

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Corinthians 4:18. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Corinthians-4-18/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 6:33. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-6-33/.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Philippians 4:5-11. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 August 2021). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians%204%3A5-11&version=KJV.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Philippians 3:11-17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 August 2021). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians%203%3A11-17&version=KJV.

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Photo Above: by Samuel McGarrigle @Unsplash.com.

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Blessed are the poor. . .

“. . . the poor in spirit. . . .”

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Oftentimes, when we read the Bible, we do so with our mind somewhere else. For example, how often have we read The Beatitudes with our thoughts truly centered on the meaning of those words. Today, I decided to center my devotional upon one scripture, separated from The Beatitudes and viewed in detail according to the scriptures. For this purpose, I chose:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Matthew and Luke present scriptures that say something a bit different from the other–even though both are relating a scripture from the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. While Matthew (above) refers to “. . . poor in spirit . . .,” Luke, in chapter 6 and verse 20, says:

And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

Luke 6:20 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Granted, most who are poor are also poor in spirit because the poor are usually the downtrodden, those who are accustomed to doing without. When a poor person does without, there is usually no repercussions to anyone for allowing this to be–no one suffers other than the person who is poor. Thus, both presentations are correct. One does not detract from the other.

I decided to see what the Old Testament (Old Covenant) says about the “poor” or the “poor in spirit.”

For all those things hath mine hand made,and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Isaiah 66:2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament (KJV)

Here, God–Himself–acknowledges that the poor person is much more likely to “fear the Lord” and strive to live according to the Lord’s word. The wealthy are typically much more inclined to focus upon the fortune amassed and the means necessary to keep it. However, being poor by itself does not grant an eternal home with God. Rather, God said, “. . . even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.”

If we are contrite in spirt, God is able to mold and shape us according to His will. Thus, the “poor” must also be “poor in spirit.” He or she must have “a contrite spirit and tremble at [His] word.” Here, I must ask myself: Do I have a contrite spirit? Do I tremble at God’s word? Even if I think the answer is “Yes,” I must study on it to know the truth. The Beatitudes are a small portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which tells us “the spirit” of those who will go to heaven. How often–when we recite these in worship services–do we look at ourselves to determine if our spirit is right with God?

In Luke 18: 9-14, Jesus tells a parable regarding differences between the haughty, self-righteous man and one with a contrite heart.

  • 9 — “And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:”
  • 10 — “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”
  • 11 — “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”
  • 12 — “I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess.”
  • 13 — “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote 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 every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Thus, Jesus said, those who are haughty in spirit will be least in heaven–if they even make it there–and those who are of a contrite, repentant spirit will be in heaven.

Have we ever TRULY REPENTED of something specific we have done? Have we talked to God about it as if He were a long-lost friend whom we had wronged and were begging their forgiveness?

Each of us has, or have had, something for which we should repent with such a spirit! Others may not be aware of this sin, but WE ARE! WE know what we have done, and we know it is wrong–even if it is not wrong in the eyes of man. Are we willing to humble ourselves as this publican did–as the apostle Matthew must have done? Matthew was a publican when Jesus called him to be His disciple. Have we ever declared ourselves to be a sinner” because of our sin whether it be past or present? The cleansing such a prayer provides is beyond the imagination of most.

Reading on in the same chapter, Luke 18: 15-17,

  • 15 — “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.”
  • 16 — “But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
  • 17 — “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Infants have no sin. They are pure of heart. If they do wrong, they do not realize it is wrong, thus it is forgiven. Jesus goes on in Luke chapter 18 to show that even those who have done good all their lives may be lacking what it takes to make it into God’s kingdom and into heaven. The parable of the ruler shows how a “good person” may not have a “contrite spirit.”

Luke 18: 18-25

  • 18 — “And a certain ruler asked him saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
  • 19 — “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.”
  • 20 — “Thou knowest the commandments. Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother.”
  • 21 — “And he said, ‘All these have I kept from my youth up.'”
  • 22 — “Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, ‘Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.”
  • 23 — “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”
  • 24 — “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, ‘How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
  • 25 — “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

From an early age, this parable was powerful to me. I began sewing by hand at about the age of seven or eight. So, I knew how tiny is the eye of a needle! I knew, if this man had been good all his life, yet lacked the contrite spirit required to be a child of God, I must change my ways. For, while I rarely disobeyed, I was far from sinless; and it was time I look that sin in the eye.

There have been times throughout my life when I had to look deep into my soul and come face to face with God about something I had done which was keeping me apart from Him. My prayer, now, is: if anyone reading this devotional has been pricked in the heart and has need for a session of supplication unto you, God–give him or her the strength to humble self before you.

Here in the United States, we are beginning to see the first days of spring–signs of “life renewed,” which has been our subject today. Not all days here are pleasant–some reap harvests filled with pain. On those days, I try to remember–“This, too, shall pass. — Anonymous.

I hope, wherever you are, you can–at least–enjoy some of the weather bestowed upon you. Blessings!

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Matthew 5:3 KJV – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Isaiah 66:2. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Isaiah 66:2 KJV – For all those things hath mine hand – Bible Gateway

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Luke 18. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Luke 18 KJV – And he spake a parable unto them to – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: by geralt @pixabay.com.

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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!

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Photo Above: by Daniel_Mingook_Kim@Unsplash.com.

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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).

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All Things Work Together . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Romans 8:24-39

  • 24 — “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees?”
  • 25 — “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
  • 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.”
  • 28 — “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
  • 29 — “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
  • 30 — “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified, and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
  • 31 — “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
  • 32 — “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
  • 33 — “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
  • 34 — “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
  • 35 — “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
  • 36 — “As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'”
  • 37 — “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
  • 38 — “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come,”
  • 39 — “nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Source: Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV).

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Notes:

In the eighth chapter, twenty-eighth verse of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us to keep uppermost in our mind the promise: “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Oftentimes, we tend to become discouraged by all the negatives in our lives, and we might complain there are not enough positives happening. The past year is one of the times this might be more apt to occur. Is this something you struggle with? Are you discouraged by all that has happened to you, your loved ones, your family, and your country during the past year? If so, you are not alone. Many others struggle with the same spiritual ailment. Furthermore, it is not a new trial faced by modern-day Christians. It has been here since the inception of Christ’s life on earth and before.

When we are tempted by Satan or one of his many demonic slaves, we can rest assured that nothing they do can harm our soul–unless we allow it. There is an old saying my Mama often quoted: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” (Anonymous). As many have pointed out, words can and do hurt, often for a lifetime. However, Paul is telling the Romans, “If you are one of those who have been called according to His purpose, Jesus life, death, resurrection, and ascension offers hope for life after death through Him becoming “sin”–all of the world’s sin–and the sacrifice of His life in place of ours. All who hear His calling, obey His commands, and continue in His Light have this “hope,” and those who abide in His Way can be assured of eternal life with Him and God the Father.

When we mess up, if we have heard and obeyed the requirements He sets forth in the New Testament, Christ and the Spirit make intercession for us with God the Father. Christ determines who is abiding Him and who is not. If I abide in His Way unto death, I not only have the hope of that gift, He assures me I will receive that gift, and I will be in heaven after I die. If I know I am abiding in Him, I no longer have to hope for eternal life, I can know I will receive it–I can “see” it.

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I am a sinner. Because of my sin, I deserve eternal damnation, not eternal life with God and Christ. When I sin, I have the assurance, as God’s child, Christ will make intercession and insure that sin is wiped from my slate IF I repent of that sin and go back to living the way He has instructed. He also has assured me–as Paul states in Romans 8:28–I can know that whatever happens to me in “this life,” it all works together for my good.

Each trial and tribulation we endure–and remain in Him as we endure–works with all other events in my life for my good. If I learn from my mistakes, I can also learn from the mistakes of others. I can ask (pray) for guidance when I do not know what I should do in a specific situation. He will guide me to the answer in some way. I may read the answer in something I come across. I may hear someone talking and “say” the answer even though that person is talking to someone else. I can even “know” His will by the fact that I have no choice as to what I do. Someone or some statute tells me what I “must” do. Even when what I am doing appears to be sin to others, if I learn from it and address it through prayer, He makes intercession for me. If the prophets of old were hindered from attending tabernacle by being cast into a dungeon–or by some other means–it was not held against them when they addressed it through prayer to God.

Again, whatever life throws at us, we can know it will work to our ultimate good if we abide in the way Christ set forth. No one else can do it for me, and no one else can offer me forgiveness for my sin unless that sin involved that person in some way. We can rest in peace with the assurance that everything we experience and endure will work together for our good. This is faith in His promise. He said it–albeit through His apostle–but He said it; so, it is true.

God knew before we were ever birthed on this earth, what our response would be to His calling. He is omnipotent. He was, and is, and always will be. His Son is basically His apology to mankind for not having a plan for “all” to be forgiven and live eternally with Him in heaven.

I, personally, appreciate His sacrifice. What more can one do to let another know he/she loves that person? God’s Son died on the cross for MY SIN– not His sin–MINE! How can I ever justify not abiding in His Way? How can I ever “not” want to spend eternity with God and Jesus Christ?

If you heed Christ’s calling and obey the instructions He set forth, you too can be assured of your home in heaven. So, whatever happens here on earth–know there is a purpose for it in God’s great plan for things. Know, that everything will work together for your good, too–if you heed and abide in His Way!

In the book, Acts of the Apostles, chapter 10, verses one through five tell of Cornelius, an Italian centurion. He and his whole house were good people; they gave alms and prayed for guidance. Their faith and Christ-like actions came to God’s attention. As a result, God maneuvered events in Cornelius’ life so he and his house could know what they must do to be a part of Christ’s church and abide in heaven forever. Thus, Cornelius and his whole house immediately became Christians–in the middle of the night–and they became the first “Gentiles” to be added to Christ’s church.

Prior to this time, God’s plan of salvation had only been available to those of the Jewish nation. If a Gentile wanted to be the recipient of that salvation, he/she had to first become a part of the Jewish nation. Then they could be offered God’s plan. Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension changed this. He freely “gave” so that we might “freely live.”

So, if a person iis truly searching for answers, as we see in the example of Cornelius and his household, God will guide that person to the answers, or He will guide others to that person to provide those answers. Then, the choice lies with that person. He/She has the choice to obey or to reject Christ’s teachings. So, the choice that person makes determines their eternal destiny.

I pray that all will want to live with God and Christ in heaven throughout eternity. However, His Word tells me this will not be the case. Many will not believe or obey Christ’s teachings. Even so, I continue to pray all will obey Him.

My hope and prayer is that each of you will have a peaceful and blessed day amid all the turmoil in the world about you. Be Blessed and Stay Safe!

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Photo Above: by Jasmin Ne @Unsplash.com.

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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.

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Photo Above: by reenablack @pixabay.com.

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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.

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Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

a quindecim triad
~~ by tkbrown ~~
As Thanksgiving Day approaches our minds reflect
upon those things for which we can be thankful.
This year, in particular, as we attempt to deflect
some of the year's more unpleasant, distasteful
aspects recently passed, perhaps our thought
might linger on those very things we would rather
forget. The coronavirus, for instance, has wrought
havoc on the entire world, and still it grows . . . stronger.
Many have lost loved ones as it ravaged our homes,
our lives, our nations, our world. Has it beleaguered
our universe too? Our losses seem greater in domes
fabricated by the quarantines and other featured
components of our lives. Can we see--e'en for a moment
that we are blessed to be alive and able to ruminate
and to formulate gratitude in the losses we repudiate.

E'en through the unpleasant times and events
occurring throughout the year, our world has paused
to focus upon giving medical care in hospital tents
erected by the armed forces, necessitated and caused
by a desire to save lives. In countries large and small,
pharmaceutical teams have hovered over petri dishes,
laboring hours upon end, striving to answer the call
for vaccine and treatment options to grant wishes
and supply clinical trials. The scientific world
pulls together, competing to be the frontrunner
in this race with death after being hurled
headfirst into a wall toward which time's gunner
attempts to take away more precious lives.
Children are losing parents, and husbands are losing wives,
hospitals are losing the battle in which each strives.

As we approach this special Day of Thanksgiving,
I implore the world to join with us in prayer--
bowed heads and humble hearts of the living.
While we collectively ask for strength to care
about the needs of those who are hurting,
and join together in prayers of uplifting praise,
offering thanks for the resources relieving
limitations on production, mending the frays
of education, entertainment, and self-care.
Technology, far more advanced than ever before,
has opened doors and built bridges o'er
land and sea to bring a hurting world together.
Let us bow our heads in a world-wide prayer
thanking God for bringing us together
and for the support we receive from each other.

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Photo Above: by Tom Barret @ Unsplash.com.

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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”

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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.'”

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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.'”

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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.”

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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!”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.'”

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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.'”

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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.'”

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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.

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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)

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @ pixabay.com.

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Jesus Begins His Ministry – Part 3

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Sermon on the Mount

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 5:21-48

21 — “‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.””

22 — “‘But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Ra ca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.'”

23 — “‘Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,'”

24 — “‘leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.'”

25 — “‘Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.'”

26 — “‘Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there ’til you have paid the last penny.'”

27 — “‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.'”

28 — “‘But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'”

29 — “‘If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell,'”

30 — “‘And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for you whole body to be cast into hell.'”

31 — “‘Furthermore it has been said whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'”

32 — “‘But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.'”

33 — “‘Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.'”

34 — “‘But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne,'”

35 — “‘nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.'”

36 — “‘Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.'”

37 — “‘But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.'”

38 — “‘You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'”

39 — “‘But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.'”

40 — “‘If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.'”

41 — “‘And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.'”

42 — “‘Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.'”

43 — “‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.‘”

44 — “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.'”

45 — “‘that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.'”

46 — “‘For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?'”

47 — “‘And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?'”

48 — “‘Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.'”

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Lesson Scripture, cont. Mark 3:13-16

Mark’s Presentation of Jesus’ Disciple / Apostle Selection

13 — “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.”

14 — “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,”

15 — “and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:”

16 — “Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter,”

17 — “James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, ‘Sons of Thunder’;”

18 — “Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thadaeus, Simon the Cananite,”

19 — “and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.”

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Lesson Scripture, cont. — Luke 6:24-36

Sermon on the Mount,”

24 — “‘But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.'”

25 — “‘Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.'”

26 — “‘Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.'”

27 — “‘But I say to you who hear; love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.'”

28 — “‘bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.'”

29 — “‘To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.'”

30 — “‘Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.'”

31 — “‘And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.'”

32 — “‘But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.'”

33 — “‘And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.'”

34 — “‘And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.‘”

35 — “‘But love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.'”

36 — “‘Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.'”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Matthew 5:21-48

v21Exodus 20:13 — “You shall not murder.”

v21Deuteronomy 5:17 — “You shall not murder.”

v24 Job 42:8 — “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”

v25Isaiah 55:6 — “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”

v27Exodus 20:14 — “You shall not commit adultery.”

v27 Deuteronomy 5:18 — “You shall not commit adultery.”

v28Proverbs 6:23-26

23 — “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life,”

24 — “to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress.”

25 — “Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids,”

26 — “For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.”

v31Deuteronomy 24:1-4

1 — “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,”

2 — “when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife,”

3 — “if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife,”

4 — “then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

v33Leviticus 19:12 — “‘And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.'”

v33 Deuteronomy 23:23 — “That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.”

v34Isaiah 66:1 — “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build me? And where is the place of My rest?'”

v35 Psalm 48:2 — “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”

v38Exodus 21:23-25

23 — “But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.”

24 — “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,”

25 — “burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

v38Leviticus 24:19, 20

19 — “If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him–

20 — “fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused disfigurement of a man so shall it be done to him.”

v38 — Deuteronomy 19:21 — “Your eye shall not pity; life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

v39Isaiah 50:6 — “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.”

v43Leviticus 19:18 — “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

v43 Deuteronomy 23:3-6

3 — “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord forever,”

4 — “because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.”

v45 — “Job 25:3 — “Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not rise?”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 5:21-48

v22John 3:15 — “‘that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.'”

v22James 2:20 — “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

v22James 3:6 — “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell.”

v23 Matthew 8:4 — “And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.”

v25Luke 12:58, 59

58 — “‘When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.'”

59 — “‘I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.'”

v29Mark 9:43 — “‘If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–‘”

v29Colossians 3:5 — “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

v32Luke 16:18 — “‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.'”

v33Matthew 23:16 — “‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.'”

v34James 5:12 — “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes,” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.”

v37Colossians 4:6 — “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

v39Luke 6:29 — “‘To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.'”

v42Luke 6:30-34

30 — “‘Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.'”

31 — “‘And just as you want ment to do to you, you also doe to them likewise.'”

32 — “‘But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.'”

33 — “‘And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.'”

34 — “‘And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.'”

v44Luke 6:27 — “‘But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.'”

v44 Romans 12:20 — “Therefore ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.'”

v46Luke 6:32 — “‘But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.'”

v48Colossians 1:28 — “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

v48 Colossians 4:12 — “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you always laboring fervently for your prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

v48Ephesians 5:1 — “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.”

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New Testament Scripture Related to Mark 3:13-16

v13 — Luke 9:1 — “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.”

v16 — John 1:42 — “And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas‘ (which is translated, A Stone).”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Luke 6:24-36

v25Isaiah 65:13, 14

13 — “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;”

14 — “behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.”

v25 Proverbs 14:13 — “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief.”

v30Deuteronomy 15:7, 8

7 — “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,”

8 — “but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.”

v35Psalm 37:25, 26

25 — “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”

26 — “He is ever merciful, and lends, and his descendants are blessed.”

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New Testament Scripture Related to Luke 6:24-36

v24 — James 5:1-6

1 — “Come now, you rich, weep and howl, for your miseries that are coming upon you!”

2 — “Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.”

3 — “Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.”

4 –“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

5 — “You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury, you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.”

6 — “You have condemned, you have murdered the just, he does not resist you.”

v24 — Luke 12:21 — “‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.'”

v24 — Luke 16:25 — “‘But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and you are tormented.'”

v25 — James 4:9 — “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”

v26 — John 15:19 — “‘If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.'”

v27 — Romans 12:20 — “Therefore ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.'”

v28 — Romans 12:14 — “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

v29 — Matthew 5:39-42

39 — “‘But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.'”

40 — “‘If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.'”

41 — “‘And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.'”

42 — “‘Give to him who asks from you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.'”

v29 — I Corinthians 6:7 — “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?”

v31 — Matthew 7:12 — “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.'”

v32 — Matthew 5:46 — “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?'”

v34 — Matthew 5:42 — “‘Give to him who asks from you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.'”

v35 — Romans 13:10 — “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

v35 — Hebrews 13:16 — “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

v35 — Matthew 5:46 — “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?'”

v36 — Matthew 5:48 — “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.'”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

The Sermon on the Mount provides a guideline, rulebook, blueprint for living the Christian life. Jesus frequently refers to working toward the goal of being ‘perfect’ like God the Father. God treasures righteousness above all else. He knows, and Jesus knew, it is impossible for mankind to achieve perfection. The word ‘perfect’ in the New Testament can be translated to the English word ‘mature’ for better understanding of what is expected. There is not one of us without sin, but maturity — exhibiting behavior free of sin — should always be our goal. We will never achieve ‘complete maturity’ in all areas, but we should always be working on overcoming our sinful nature. Here, I attempt to summarize Jesus’ message in the scriptures above. As always, be sure to check behind me and verify that I have summarized it correctly. Your salvation and eternal home in heaven depends upon it.

— We begin this lesson continuing with Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” The beginning segment in Matthew Chapter Five, versus 21 through 24 addresses the commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” Jesus takes this even further. He said cursing your brother puts you in danger of judgment and calling your sibling a fool puts you in danger of hell itself. He cautions those who have anything against a sibling — or if a sibling has anything against you — it is damnation to your soul if you partake of the Lord’s Supper. When this is the case, one should leave the worship service to go make things right with the sibling. Only when you have atoned or attempted to resolve the rift can you partake of the Holy Sacraments. This approach to differences between brethren can — and should — also be applied to relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

— His instruction then addresses the case of an problem with an adversary. You should not disagree or debate the concern. If this is done, the foe may file charges and imprison you. Then, freedom will not be regained until the other has received payment for all the courts say you owe. Sometimes the courts allow you to remain free in order to do this very thing. The court record imprisons one in the community at large until the debt is paid. This would be when the courts require a period of parole and/or house arrest.

— The question of divorce was as prevalent during the time of Jesus’ life on earth as it is today. Addressing this, Jesus said if one ‘looks at another with lust in the heart,’ adultery is being committed. If a divorce is secured for any reason other than adultery, He said the one seeking the divorce causes the other to commit adultery, and anyone marrying the person who is divorced for reasons other than adultery is committing adultery.

— Then, He cautions about the tendency to repeatedly commit the same offense. “If any part of your body causes you to sin, it is better to cut it off and live without it rather than face damnation in the judgment because of that sin.”

— Old School teachings tell us to never swear, and to never take God’s name in vain. Rather, we should make oaths of affirmation to God. Jesus said we are not to swear at all: neither by God, by heaven, by the earth, by Jerusalem, nor even by our own head — “because we are not truthfully able to change one hair on our head to white or black.” His command is for us to see that our “Yes” means “Yes,” and our “No” means “No.”

The form of discipline put forth under the Hebrew Law in the Old Testament was “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This was the guidelines in the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. This is the way the Hebrew Nation dealt with infractions causing harm against other people. Jesus said if someone slaps us, we are to turn the other cheek so the person can slap that one too. If someone asks for our jacket, give our clothing also. If someone asks us to go with them one mile, go two. In other words, if someone has need and asks for our help, we are to give it without expectation of a return.

— The Laws under which Jesus grew to maturity said, “love your neighbor, hate your enemy.” Jesus said we are to love our enemies too. We are to bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and spitefully use you. He said it is nothing for us to love those who love us and do good to those who do good to us. The true test of our devotion to God is for us to extend that love to those who set about harming us as well. This is God’s way. He sends blessings to the evil and to the good, to the just and the unjust–and we are to work toward the goal of doing the same.

— In Mark Chapter Three verses 13 through 19, Jesus appoints The Twelve as Apostles and bestowed upon them power over demons and illness. Thus, we see He begins training them for the ministry they will continue after His Ascension back to heaven.

Related Scriptures in the Book of Luke are a bit scattered throughout the book rather than grouped together as they are in Matthew and Mark. Therefore, I have referenced them in the ‘Related Scriptures’ section above.

If you ever have questions about any of the information presented, please feel free to ask or comment in the section below the ‘Like’ button. I appreciate you reading the lessons. Please continue to come back. Your feedback means much to me. Blessings upon all! May God meet your daily needs and ‘pat you on the back’ after you have successfully cleared a hurdle in life.

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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 I)
Lesson Eleven -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry -- Sermon on the Mount -- Part 1
Lesson Twelve -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry -- Sermon on the Mount -- Part 2
Lesson Thirteen -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry -- Sermon on the Mount -- Part 3

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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