Walking in the Spirit

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

22 — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

23 — “meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,”

24 — “and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

25 — “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In Galatians 5:22-25, Paul tells the church at Galatia, the Spirit works to increase love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those who live and walk in the Spirit. Based on this text, Paul tells us it is possible to “live in the Spirit” but not “walk in the Spirit.” Some might differ with this interpretation of these words. However, I would direct your attention to the last part of verse 25. There Paul says, “let us also walk in the Spirit.” Since the first part of the verse notes, “If we live in the Spirit,” Paul is telling us we can “live in the Spirit” and not “walk in the Spirit.” Thus, if we “walk in the Spirit,” others can see a difference in the pre-Christian person we were and the Christian person we are continually becoming.

Let’s look back up to verses 22 and 23. Here, we see, “the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Then in verse 24, Paul says, “”and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. ” Thus, if we ‘walk in the Spirit,’ we belong to Christ and have ‘crucified’ our “fleshly affections and lusts.” This does not mean we will automatically exhibit the traits associated with walking in the Spirit. It means we must do something to achieve those traits as a part of whom we are becoming. We must crucify the cravings and fruit of the flesh in order that we might “walk in the Spirit.” Looking at verse 16 of Galatians chapter 5, Paul states, “if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh” — in other words, we will “crucify the flesh.”

16 — “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

17 — “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Galatians 5:16, 17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In verse 17, we read: the flesh and the Spirit engage in behaviors contrary one to the other. Thus, if we belong to Christ, we cannot do the things that we would in the flesh–we will “walk in the Spirit.” As we continue to “walk in the Spirit,” we will see an increase in the “fruit of the Spirit” in our own behavior and a decrease in the affections and lusts of the flesh displayed in our lives.

These verses tell us: belonging to Christ means we will strive to emulate Him in our daily living. The term, “American,” means I am a citizen–a member, if you will–of the United States of America. When we look at the word, “Christian,” in this same light, being a Christian means we are a citizen of–a member, if you will–of the kingdom of Christ, (Acts 11:26). As such, we strive to abide by the laws, guidelines, and statutes set forth by Christ for the New Testament churches of Christ. Paul established churches of Christ among the Gentiles; there were seven churches of Christ in Asia. The other apostles established churches in the area where Christ lived, taught, healed, and preached. Each church was taught, by the apostles, to emulate the life of Christ as they grew in the faith.

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Acts 11:26 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, as we grow in the faith, we will see our lives increase in: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” We will begin by “crawling,” as newborn babes in Christ. Then–just as a babe must grow from toddler to young child, older child, pre-teen, teen, young adult, and finally to adulthood–we must grow as Christians. It will be a life-long endeavor if we continue in the faith and hope of an eternal life in heaven with God and Jesus Christ–God’s Son.

1 — “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

3 — “if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:1-3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

First, we nurture a babe with milk, then with puree of solid foods, and finally he/she is able to digest solid food. In like manner, we must also nurture our Spiritual Self by “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.” Then, “as newborn babes [in Christ], desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby [in Christ].” In 1 Peter 2, verses one through three, we see: “if we are able to lay aside these fleshly affections and lusts,” then we “have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

My daily prayer is that I might continue to lay aside my worldly lusts and affections of the flesh and grow in the nurture, the admiration, and the wisdom of the Lord. I ask that God strengthen me in the faith, hope, knowledge, goodness, and graciousness of Christ Jesus that I might live a life pleasing unto Him and ultimately be granted an eternal home in heaven.

May God be with all who endeavor to live for Him through the name of Christ Jesus.

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Source:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Acts 11:26. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Acts 11:26 KJV – And when he had found him, he brought – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Galatians 5:16-25. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Galatians 5:16-25 KJV – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). 1 Peter 2:1-3. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” bible gateway.com. (25 April 2021). 1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV – Wherefore laying aside all malice, and – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: By Ferhat Deniz Fors @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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Blessed are the peacemakers . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”

Matthew 5:9 — “Holy Bible: King James Version” (KJV)

I grew up going to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Worship Services from the age of two. So, by the time I was a Freshman in High School (1st year), I was well versed in the Bible. After my fourteenth birthday, I was asked to teach the Sunday night Bible Class for children. There were five ranging in age from five to twelve.

At one point in Physical Science class during my Freshman year, we were studying the Big Bang Theory versus Creationism. I was the only person in the room who supported Creationism. The teacher and all other students in the room supported the Big Bang Theory. Subsequently, I was the recipient of jeers and ridicule from all others in the room–including the teacher. After that–through my High School years–I did not like science and took no more science classes throughout. I never complained to anyone about the incident. In fact, I was in undergraduate studies seventeen years later (1985) when I first mentioned it to anyone. However, I launched extensive Bible Study–personal and group–because I wanted to be able to respond intelligently to questions about the topic.

When my youngest child was a toddler, one Wednesday night in Bible Class we were discussing scientific evidence against Creationism and how to discuss it with others. I asked the preacher (who was teaching the class) how to explain–when engaged in house-to-house Bible Study with someone–the earth’s age when the Bible indicates an age of 6,000 to 7,000 years, and science has unearthed dinosaur and other fossils which are said to be millions of years old. I was convinced by his answer.

He responded, “There is nothing in the Bible that says there were not other worlds before this Earth was created.” He was right! No where does the Bible even hint there were no worlds before this one. Genesis 1:2 says, “And the earth was without form, and void; . . . ” (Eds. Bible Gateway, 1993). This indicates elements existed from which God “formed” the earth. Who can say those elements did not include dinosaur fossils from the remnants of previous worlds?

As I went through Undergraduate and Graduate classes in college, I never had that dilemma again. During undergraduate Physical Science classes, I talked with the instructor after class one night about what had happened in High School. She said, “I will never do that to you or any other student. That teacher was wrong for allowing the other students to ridicule you, and he was wrong for joining them. There was no excuse for his behavior.” Immediately, I knew this instructor knew what she was made of and what other instructors should be made of. After that, I was never afraid to engage as an equal, and the ridicule never again occurred. I grew to really enjoy my science classes because they presented ideas that stimulated my desire to study both sides–Creationism and Scientific Theory.

I do believe there were other worlds that existed before this one. Science is now proving this to be possible by the evidence being amassed to support past life on other planets. Now, as the asteroid flew past our planet in 2018 (Earl, 2018; George, 2018), a meteorite from another asteroid recently fell to a driveway in England (Lewis, 2021), and just last week, one flew past Vermont so closely it “shook and rattled buildings” (Eds. Associated Press, 2021; Eds. CBS Boston, 2021: Hall, 2021), divergent scientific theories attempt to explain the cosmic events. One theory regarding the 2018 meteorite noted the similarities between it and comets sailing through outer space. It was quite long and would have done much damage if it had hit the earth. It probably would have severed a part of the earth which would then have joined it traipsing around through space. Was it perhaps a fossilized portion of another word?

Through the years, I never created a scene about any incident related to the topic of Biblical Creationism Theory versus Scientific Theory of Earth’s beginnings. I peacefully said what needed to be said and exited the topic. I was never one who enjoyed heated disagreements. I have always preferred to calmly discuss concerns to resolve any disagreement. I have continually prayed about this and other related and similar concerns. I have noted much by way of scientific research supporting rather than disproving Biblical Creationism. I have seen the truth of 2 Peter 3:16 which says, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of things in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,” (Eds. King James Bible Online, 2007). As much as I wish it were otherwise, I can do or say nothing to change the beliefs of those so hardened against the scriptures. I must accept it and move on. I will say, though, my extensive studies on the topics have only served to strengthen my beliefs in God, Christ, and the Creation.

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Sources:

Earl, Jennifer. (16 April 2018). Asteroid the size of a football field makes ‘surprise’ flyby close to Earth. “Fox News.” foxnews.com. (21 March 2021). Asteroid the size of a football field makes ‘surprise’ flyby close to Earth | Fox News.

Eds. Associated Press, Wire Service Content. (8 March 2021). Meteor Spotted Over Northern New England and Canada. “U.S. News.” The Associated Press: apnews.com. (21 March 2021). Meteor spotted over northern New England and Canada (apnews.com).

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993) Genesis 1 “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (21 March 2021). Genesis 1 KJV – In the beginning God created the heaven – Bible Gateway.

Eds. CBS Boston. (9 March 2021). Meteor Over Northern Vermont Seen By People Around New England. “CBS Boston.” Microsoft News: msn.com. (21 March 2021). Meteor Over Northern Vermont Seen By People Around New England – CBS Boston (cbslocal.com).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Peter 3:16. “[Holy Bible] King James Bible Online.” kingjamesbibleonline.org. (21 March 2021). 2 PETER 3:16 KJV “As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

George, Steve, CNN. (6 November 2018). Cigar-Shaped Interstellar Object May Have Been Alien Probe, Harvard Paper Claims. “WBZ 04.” CBS Boston: boston.cbslocal.com. (21 March 2021). Cigar-Shaped Oumuamua May Have Been Alien Probe, Harvard Paper Claims – CBS Boston (cbslocal.com).

Hall, Louise. (9 March 2021). Meteor tears across Vermont sky: ‘Extremely bright and absolutely spectacular.’ “Independent.” Microsoft News: msn.com. (21 March 2021). Meteor tears across Vermont sky: ‘Extremely bright and absolutely spectacular’ (msn.com).

Lewis, Sophie. (9 March 2021). Extremely rare meteorite found in wake of spectacular U.K. fireball may contain the “building blocks of life.” “CBS News.” cbsnews.com. (21 March 2021). Extremely rare meteorite found in wake of spectacular U.K. fireball may contain the “building blocks of life” – CBS News.

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Photo Above: by Daniel_Mingook_Kim@Unsplash.com.

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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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The Healing Power of Faith

~~ a devotional ~~

~~ by tkbrown — ≥∑

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you.'”

Holy Bible (New King James Version)Matthew 17:20

If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, what can faith do for us in our daily lives? How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just _____.” Fill in the blank with whatever you may have desired. This is not to say if we ask for a million dollars with an undying faith, we will receive it. We probably won’t, but not because we didn’t have adequate faith.

Perhaps when we do not get the object of our prayers, we ask in the wrong spirit, or we ask for the wrong thing, or maybe we just are not ready for that prayer to be answered. For example, if I ask for something that will lead me astray, I may or may not get it. If I do get it, it will test my resolve to serve God and Jesus. Perhaps God is using my prayer and the object of my desire to refine my faith, making it purer by skimming off the sin associated with that request. The refinement will only occur if I survive the “smelting process,” remaining true to my faith in God throughout or–if I have given in to temptation–returning to that faith at some point in a spirit of repentance.

Sometimes, when we are “too sure of our faith,” we stray because our faith has been placed in ourselves instead of in Jesus Christ and God in heaven above. Sometimes–during this “faith in ourselves”–we fail the refinement process because we have placed our faith in another person or persons rather than in Jesus Christ’s ability to carry us through any storm.

Putting our faith in another follower of Christ–or group of followers– can take the wind from beneath our wings if those brothers and sisters in Christ fail us in a time of true need. It is during such times that we must keep our “eye” on Christ in order to receive His guidance and strength. If I have never truly strayed before, this might be just what is needed for me to realize the depth of my sin and my need for forgiveness. Sometimes, when we are too certain of our faith, we have to fall hard before we can renew that faith by repenting and begging God’s forgiveness.

Then again, there are times when the sin in our lives prior to repentance and the receiving of God’s forgiveness was so great there is no doubt in our mind of our need. Prior to his conversion, Paul (then Saul) of Tarsus had set about destroying the followers of Christ. Truly believing he was doing what God wanted, Paul put everything he had into the effort. Then, he was stricken blind when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. This gave him a few days to think about his past and what he had been doing.

When Ananias came to him and instructed Paul in what he must do, he repented and was baptized immediately (Acts 9:1-22).

Acts 9:1-22 (NKJV)

  • 1 — “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest”
  • 2 — “and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
  • 3 — “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.”
  • 4 — “Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'”
  • 5 — “And he said, “Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'”
  • 6 — “So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do‘”
  • 7 — “And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”
  • 8 — “Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.”
  • 9 — “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”
  • 10 — “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.'”
  • 11 — “So the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus for behold, he is praying.'”
  • 12 — “‘And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.'”
  • 13 — “Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.'”
  • 14 — “‘And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.'”
  • 15 — “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.'”
  • 16 — “‘For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My names sake.'”
  • 17 — “And Ananias wen his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'”
  • 18 — “Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
  • 19 — “So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.”
  • 20 — “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
  • 21 — “Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?'”
  • 22 — “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”

After this time, Paul was even more zealous for Christ’s cause than he had been against it prior to the forgiveness received when he was appointed the replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot. Later, in Chapter One, Verse Fifteen of Paul’s First Letter of instruction to Timothy, he said: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” In this statement, Paul told Timothy he had “seen the light” regarding the ill-founded reasoning of his past and was not ashamed to admit his wrongdoing because his forgiveness proved Jesus purpose for coming to this earth.

The devotional scripture I have chosen today (below) reveals a faith that would move mountains. This woman had suffered female problems for twelve years. She and been to doctor after doctor and had suffered many treatments–some of them apparently quite painful–to no avail. The only thing she had to represent her faith in doctors was destitute poverty.

When this woman heard about Jesus healing the sick, the maimed, and the demon possessed, she knew she would be healed if it were possible to merely touch the garment He wore. She knew she would not need Him to touch her, she would be healed by the power in the garment He wore. Upon learning Jesus was in the area, she pressed through the crowds surrounding Him and . . . finally . . . she managed to touch the hem of His garment. Immediately, she was healed. Immediately the flow of blood stopped!

When Jesus turned and asked, “Who touched Me?” she just knew she was in trouble. She tried to shrink away and hide–then, He looked here in the eye. She knew, He knew it had been her. So, she went forward and fell at His feet. Tearfully she told of her lengthy plight and her faith she would be healed if she could only touch His garment. She needed not disturb Him, she would be healed by the power in His garment.

When Jesus heard her reasoning behind touching His robe, He said “her faith had healed her,” and He told her to “go in peace.” Can you imagine her relief at the understanding of His forgiveness and of the fact that her faith in Him had saved her? What an example for those of us looking for a source of strength in this day and time! We need look no further than the example this woman provides. Whatever our need, whatever our ailment, whatever our weakness, He will heal us if only we believe.

I pray our hearts will always be open to the guidance and strength Jesus provides if only we believe He can and will. I cannot count the times this has been proven in my life, and I am thankful for each. I know I have sinned and come short of God’s glory. I know Jesus forgiveness for that sin and His guidance will pull me through and into heaven at day’s end. It is my prayer that each person reading this devotional can see the same in his or her life. For those who are not quite there yet, I pray somehow the path can be seen and followed before it is too late.

Blessings, and for those in America and those who join us in spirit this week, Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for Christ, for His forgiveness, and for His loving guidance when I get out of my own way. For what are you thankful this holiday week? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Mark 5:25-34 (NKJV)

  • 25 — “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years.”
  • 26 — “and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.”
  • 27 — “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.”
  • 28 — “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.”
  • 30 — “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?'”
  • 31 — “But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?””
  • 32 — “And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.”
  • 33 — “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
  • 34 — “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.'”

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Wind Beneath My Wings – lyrics – BETTE MIDLER

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I know this song may not have been written to reflect faith in Jesus Christ, but it perfectly describes my faith in Him. He is “everything I would like to be” and He is “the wind beneath my wings.” Only with His love, support, strength, and guidance will I be able to be true to my quest of serving God. Listen to the song and apply the words to a faith in Jesus Christ. Let me know what you think. Do you think they can describe faith in Jesus Christ?

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Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

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Photo Above: by Brigitte @ Unsplash.com.

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Jesus and Jairus’ Daughter

John 12:26

“‘If anyone serves me, let him follow Me, and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.'”

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 9:1-38

  • 1 — “So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.”
  • 2 — “Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.'”
  • 3 — “And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes!'”
  • 4 — “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?‘”
  • 5 — “‘For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?””
  • 6 — “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins‘–then He said to the paralytic, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.'”
  • 7 — “And he arose and departed to his house.”
  • 8 — “Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.”
  • 9 — “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.‘ So, he arose and followed Him.”
  • 10 — “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.”
  • 11 — “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'”
  • 12 — “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.'”
  • 13 — “‘But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.'”
  • 14 — “Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?'”
  • 15 — “And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.'”
  • 16 — “‘No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.'”
  • 17 — “‘Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.'”
  • 18 — “While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.'”
  • 19 — “So, Jesus arose and followed him and so did His disciples.”
  • 20 — “And suddenly a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.”
  • 21 — “For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.'”
  • 22 — “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour.”
  • 23 — “When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,”
  • 24 — “He said to them, ‘Make room for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed Him.”
  • 25 — “But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.”
  • 26 — “And the report of this went out into all that land.”
  • 27 — “When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!'”
  • 28 — “And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them. ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord'”
  • 29 — “Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.'”
  • 30 — “And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.'”
  • 31 — “But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.”
  • 32 — “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed.”
  • 33 — “And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘It was never seen like this in Israel!'”
  • 34 — “But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.'”
  • 35 — “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
  • 36 — “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”
  • 37 — “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.'”
  • 38 — “‘Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

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Lesson Scripture — Mark 5:21-43

  • 21 — “Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.”
  • 22 — “And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet,”
  • 23 — and begged Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.'”
  • 24 — “So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”
  • 25 — “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,”
  • 26 — “and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.”
  • 27 — “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.”
  • 28 — “For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.'”
  • 29 — “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.”
  • 30 — “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?'”
  • 31 — “But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'”
  • 32 — “And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.”
  • 33 — “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
  • 34 — “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.'”
  • 35 — “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘ Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?'”
  • 36 — “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid, only believe.'”
  • 37 — “And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.”
  • 38 — “Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.”
  • 39 — “When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.'”
  • 40 — “And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.”
  • 41 — “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.'”
  • 42 — “Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.”
  • 43 — “But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it and said that something should be given her to eat.”

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Lesson Scripture — Luke 5:27-39

  • 27 — “After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.'”
  • 28 — “So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.”
  • 29 — “Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.”
  • 30 — “And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, ‘Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • 31 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.'”
  • 32 — “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.'”
  • 33 — “Then they said to Him, ‘Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?'”
  • 34 — “And He said to them, ‘Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?'”
  • 35 — “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.'”
  • 36 — “Then He spoke a parable to them; ‘No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.'”
  • 37 — “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled. and the wineskins will be ruined.'”
  • 38 — “But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.'”
  • 39 — “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'”

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Lesson Scripture — Luke 8:41-56

  • 41 — “And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house,”
  • 42 — “for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.”
  • 43 — “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,”
  • 44 — “came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.”
  • 45 — “And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’ When all denied it, Peter and those with Him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched me?'”
  • 46 — “But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.'”
  • 47 — “Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.”
  • 48 — “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.‘”
  • 49 — “While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.'”
  • 50 — “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him saying. ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.'”
  • 51 — “When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.”
  • 52 — Now all wept and mourned for her, but He said, ‘Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.'”
  • 53 — “And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.”
  • 54 — “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.'”
  • 55 — Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.”
  • 56 — “And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Matthew 9:1-26

v13Hosea 6:6 — “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

v232 Chronicles 35:25 — “Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed, they are written in the Laments.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 9:1-38

v 1Matthew 4:13 — “And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,”

v 1Matthew 11:23 — “‘And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done to you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.'”

v 2Luke 5:18-26

  • 18 – “Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, who they sought to bring in and lay before Him.”
  • 19 – “And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.”
  • 20 – “When He saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’”
  • 21 – “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”
  • 22 – “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts?’”
  • 23 – “’Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’?’”
  • 24 – “’But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say  to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’”
  • 25 – “Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.”
  • 26 – “And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today!’”

v 2Matthew 8:10 – “When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’”

v 4Matthew 12:25 – “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them; ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’”

v 8John 7:15 – “And the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?’”

v 9Luke 5:27 – “After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”

v10Mark 2:15 – “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there wre many, and they followed Him.”

v11Matthew 11:19 – “’The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! But wisdom is justified by her children.’”

v11Galatians 2:15 – “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,”

v131 Timothy 1:15 – “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”

v14 – Luke 5:33-35

  • 33 – “Then they said to Him, ‘Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?’”
  • 34 – “And He said to them, ‘Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?’”
  • 35 – “’But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.’”

v14Luke 18:12 – “’I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’”

v15John 3:29 – “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.”

v15Acts 13:2, 3

  • 2 – “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”
  • 3 – “Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”

v15Acts 14:23 – “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”

v18Luke 8:41-56

  • 41 – “And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house,”
  • 42 – “for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.”
  • 43 – “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,”
  • 44 – “came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.”
  • 45 – “And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’ When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’’”
  • 46 – “But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.’
  • 47 – “Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.”
  • 48 – “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer: your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’”
  • 49 – “While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’”
  • 50 – “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.’”
  • 51 – “When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.”
  • 52 – “Now all wept and mourned for her, but He said, ‘Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.’”
  • 53 – “And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.”
  • 54 – “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’”
  • 55 – “Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.”
  • 56 – And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.”

v19Matthew 10:2-4

  • 2 – “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;”
  • 3 – “Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;”
  • 4 – “Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.”

v20Luke 8:43 – “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,”

v20Matthew 14:36 – “and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as t ouched it were made perfectly well.”

v20Matthew 23:5 – “’But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.’”

v22Luke 7:50 – “Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’”

v22Luke 8:48 – “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’”

v22Luke 17:19 – “So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?’”

v22Luke 18:42 – “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’”

v23Mark 5:38 – “Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.”

v24Acts 20:10 – “But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.’”

v25Mark 1:31 – “So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.”

v26Matthew 4:24 – “Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.”

v27Matthew 20:29-34

  • 29 – “Now as they weren’t out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.”
  • 30 – “And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!’”
  • 31 – “Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!’”
  • 32 – “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’”
  • 33 – “They said to Him, ‘Lord, that our eyes may be opened.’”
  • 34 – “So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

v27Luke 18:38, 39

  • 38 – “And he cried out, saying, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’”
  • 39 – “Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”

v30Matthew 8:4 – “And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”

v31Mark 7:36 – “Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.”

v32Matthew 12:22-24

  • 22 – “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.”
  • 23 – “And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’”
  • 24 – “Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’”

v34Luke 11:15 – “But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’”

v35Matthew 4:23 – “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”

v36Mark 6:34 – “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”

v37Luke 10:2 – “Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

v382 Thessalonians 3:1 – “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Mark 5:21-43

v25Leviticus 15:19 – “If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.”

v25Leviticus 15:25 – “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean.”

v33Psalms 89:7 – “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints. And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”

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New Testament Scripture Related to Mark 5:21-43

v21Luke 8:40 – “So it was, when Jesus returned that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.”

v22Matthew 9:18-26

  • 18 – “While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.’”
  • 19 – “So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.”
  • 20 – “And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.”
  • 21 – “For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’”
  • 22 – “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’” And the woman was made well from that hour.”
  • 23 – “When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,”
  • 24 – “He said to them, ‘Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed Him.”
  • 25 – “But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.”
  • 26 – “And the report of this went out into all that land.”

v23Acts 9:17 – “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’”

v23Acts 28:8 – “And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery, Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.”

v27Matthew 14:35, 36

  • 35 – “And when the men of that place recognized Him, they went out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick.”
  • 36 – “and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.”

v30Luke 6:19 – “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

v30Luke 8:46 – “But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.’”

v34Matthew 9:22 – “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour.”

v34Luke 7:50 – “Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’”

v34Luke 8:48 – “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’”

v35Luke 8:49 – “While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’”

v36John 11:40 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’”

v38Acts 9:39 – “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.”

v39John 11:4 – “When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’”

v39John 11:11 – “These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’”

v40Acts 9:40 – “But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.”

v42Mark 1:27 – “Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’”

v42Mark 7:37 – “And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’”

v43Matthew 8:4 – “And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”

v43Matthew 12:16-21

  • 16 – “Yet he warned them not to make Him known,”
  • 17 – “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:”
  • 18 – “’Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.’”
  • 19 – “’He will not quarrel nor cry out. Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.’”
  • 20 – “’A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench. Till He sends forth justice to victory;’”
  • 21 – “’And in His name Gentiles will trust.’”

v43Matthew 17:9 – “Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, ‘Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.’”

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New Testament Scripture Related to — Luke 5:27-39

v27Matthew 9:9-17

  •  9 – “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So, he arose and followed Him.”
  • 10 – “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.”
  • 11 – “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’”
  • 12 – “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.’”
  • 13 – “’But go and learn what this means. ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’”
  • 14 – “Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’”
  • 15 – “And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’”
  • 16 – “’No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.’”
  • 17 – “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’”

v27John 12:26-28

  • 26 – “’If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.’”
  • 27 – “’Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose, I came to this hour.’”
  • 28 – “’Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’”

v27John 21:19 – “This He spoke, signifying by what death He would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”

v27John 21:22 – “Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?’”

v28Mark 10:28 – “Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’”

v29Matthew 9:9, 10

  •  9 – “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So, he arose and followed Him.”
  • 10 – “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.”

v29Luke 15:1 – “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.”

v30Luke 15:2 – “And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’”

v321 Timothy 1:15 – “’This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’”

v33Matthew 9:14 – “Then the disciples of John came to Him saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’”

v34John 3:29 – “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.”

v36Mark 2:21, 22

  • 21 – “’No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse.’”
  • 22 – “’And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.’”

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New Testament Scripture Related to — Luke 8:41-56

v41Mark 5:22-43

  • 22 – “And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet.”
  • 23 – “and begged Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.’”
  • 24 – “So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”
  • 25 – “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,”
  • 26 – “and had suffered many things from physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.”
  • 27 – “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.”
  • 28 – “For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’”
  • 29 – “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.”
  • 30 – “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
  • 31 – “But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’’”
  • 32 – “And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.”
  • 33 – “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
  • 34 – “And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.’”
  • 35 – “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’”
  • 36 – “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid, only believe.’”
  • 37 – “And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.”
  • 38 – “Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.”
  • 39 – “When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’”
  • 40 – “And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.”
  • 41 – “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’”
  • 42 – “Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.”
  • 43 – “But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it and said that something should be given her to eat.”

v42Luke 7:2 – “And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die.”

v43Matthew 9:20 – “And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of his garment.”

v43Luke 15:18-22

  • 18 – “’I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,’”
  • 19 – “’and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’”
  • 20 – “’And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.’”
  • 21 – “’And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’’”
  • 22 – “’But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.’”

v44Mark 6:56 – “Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.”

v46Mark 5:30 – “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’”

v48Luke 7:50 – “Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’”

v48John 8:11 – “She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’”

v49Mark 5:35 – “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’”

v50Mark 11:22-24

  • 22 – “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.’”
  • 23 – “’For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.’”
  • 24 – “’Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.’”

v52Luke 7:13 – “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”

v52John 11:11-13

  • 11 – “These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’”
  • 12 – “Then His disciples said, ‘Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.’”
  • 13 – “However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.”

v54John 11:43 – “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’”

v56Matthew 8:4 – “And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”

v56Matthew 9:30 – “And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.’”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Jesus selected two tax collectors to be among His twelve disciples: Matthew and Levi (also known as James the son of Alphaeus). He chose both in almost the same way. Whether or not He chose them on the same day is not stated, that I can find. The major difference in His manner of choosing the two was that Levi gave a big feast for Jesus which many tax collectors and others attended.

In Luke 5:27, we see Jesus was walking by the tax office when He saw one of the tax collectors sitting at the office, whose name was Levi. He said to Levi, “Follow Me.” Levi immediately left the tax office, all who were there, and followed Jesus. Then, in Luke 5:29, we are told he gave a big feast for Jesus.

In Matthew 9:9, we see Jesus walking by a tax office and seeing a man named Matthew sitting there. We are not told whether Levi and Matthew were seen sitting in the same tax office but on separate occasions. We are merely given enough information to know the two apostles were called to follow Jesus in much the same manner. It is also not made known whether the meal was in the same house at the same time, or in two separate houses, but we are shown that the Pharisees’ responses were identical. Thus, I am guessing the meal referenced was the one where Levi gave a big feast for Jesus.

When the scribes and Pharisees learned of this, they complained, and said: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’”

After this the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” To this, Jesus replied, telling them while the friends are with the bridegroom there is no need to fast, but when the bridegroom is ‘taken away’—then they will fast also.

He followed up with a parable in which he reminded them, a new piece of cloth is never put on an old garment to patch it for it would pull loose and make the tear worse. Likewise, new wine is never put into old wineskins, for as the wine expands during fermentation, it would burst the old wineskins and both would be wasted. Thus, new wine is put into new wineskins and both are preserved. He added that no one prefers new wine to old wine, for the old wine is better.

This parable was to explain to the scribes and Pharisees that the Old Covenant (Testament) and the New Covenant (Testament) are not the same. In the Old Testament, God visited specific men to direct them in the manner they were to lead His people – the Israelites. In the New Testament, Jesus came to earth as a Man so He might understand the struggles of man in meeting the requirements Christ set forth for His church. The Old Testament required sacrificial blood be shed for the forgiveness of sins and for various cleansings. These were done on a yearly basis to roll the sins forward a year. In the New Testament, Jesus was the “sacrificial lamb” whose blood was shed to wash away the sins of all who would believe on His name and follow His teachings.  The Old Covenant was a sacrificial one. The New Testament is a forgiveness based on mercy because the blood has already been shed.

So, in answer to the Pharisees’ question, Jesus explained: As long as He was with his followers, there would be no need for them to fast. Only when He left would there be a need for his disciples to fast. Thus, the old fabric and the new fabric as well as the old wine and the new wine illustrated the scribes and Pharisees followed one path and would not be well served by expecting Jesus followers to worship in the old way for they now worshiped with Jesus in the new way. He was telling them, you do your fasting as you always have if you so choose. His followers would fast when He was no longer there and they would continue to worship him in the same manner as when he was with them..

Jairus,’ a ruler of the synagogue, had a daughter who was very sick and about to die. He went to Jesus and fell at His feet begging that He come to his house and heal her. When Jesus heard his plight, He went with Jairus to his house.

On the way to Jairus house, Jesus felt power leaving his body, going into someone who touched Him. He turned to the crowed who thronged Him and asked, “Who touched Me?” His disciples apparently were incredulous at this question. Peter said, “Master, see how many people are thronging around and against You—and You ask who touched You?” Jesus replied, “I felt power leaving My body.”

Then a woman stepped forth and admitted she had touched the hem of His garment, believing it could heal her if only she could touch His clothing. Immediately, she had felt the healing; the blood flow from which she had suffered for twelve years had stopped. She had seen many doctors about the problem and had exhausted all resources trying to find a treatment for the ailment which continued to grow worse. Then Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go, in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

About that time, one from the house of Jairus, came and said to him, “Your daughter is dead. Trouble the Teacher no more.” Then Jesus said to Jairus, “Only believe! Your daughter is not dead,” and they continued to his house. Upon arrival, there was a crowd already there lamenting his daughter’s death—weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus said, “Why do you make this commotion? She is not dead but sleeping.” Then the crowd ridiculed Him.

Jesus only allowed Peter, James, and John to accompany Him to Jairus’ house. He took them–Jairus and Jairus’ wife–with Him in to where the girl was lying. Then, when He took her hand and told her to arise, she arose and walked. All were amazed. Jesus instructed them to tell no one of these happenings, but word spread like a wildfire throughout the region.

When Jesus left Jairus’ house, two blind men followed Him calling out to Him, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Those who were around Jesus tried to quiet them, but they kept crying and calling. Jesus turned to them and asked them what they wanted. They told Him if He would lay his hands upon them, they would be able to see. Jesus asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” To this, they replied, “Yes, Lord!” So, Jesus touched them, and they were able to see. Then He instructed them to tell no one of this event. But, when they left, they told everyone they saw.

Then a demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus. When He cast out the demons, the people marveled at His power. The Pharisees, on the other hand, said He could only cast out demons by the power of the ruler of the demons. This did not stop Jesus from healing the sick and tormented. Everywhere He went, the sick, the maimed, and the tormented were brought to Him, and He had compassion on them—healing everyone—because He saw them as being like sheep with no shepherd to care. He told His disciples the harvest was plentiful but laborers were few, and He instructed them to pray for God to send laborers to reap the harvest for Him.

Every time Jesus healed someone and told them not to tell anyone of the miracle, the region knew of it in rapid form. This seems to be human nature. As sure as we are told not to tell or do something, usually we do just what we have been instructed not to do. I wonder, if Jesus were on earth today healing all who were brought to Him, what would the response of the multitudes be? Would they welcome Him and bring the sick, the maimed, and the tormented for His healing, or would they question and ridicule Him?

As for me, I am thankful Jesus came to earth and died for my sins. Never am I worthy of such love, but I am grateful to my dying day for the grace He has bestowed upon me.

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  • Lesson One: Zacharias to Have Son
  • Lesson Two: Jesus Birth Foretold
  • Lesson Three: Zacharias’ Son, John, is Born
  • Lesson Four: Jesus is Born
  • Lesson Five: And Jesus Grew . . .
  • Lesson Six: John Begins His Ministry
  • Lesson Seven: Jesus is Introduced to the World
  • Lesson Eight: Jesus’ Ancestral Lineage
  • Lesson Nine: Jesus is Tempted by Satan
  • Lesson Ten: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)
  • Lesson Eleven: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 1)
  • Lesson Twelve: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 3) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 2)
  • Lesson Thirteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 4) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 3)
  • Lesson Fourteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 5) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 4 — Conclusion)
  • Lesson Fifteen: Jesus Turns Water to Wine — The Wedding at Cana
  • Lesson Sixteen: Jesus Heals the Sick, Casts Out Demons
  • Lesson Seventeen: Jesus Talks With Nicodemus
  • Lesson Eighteen: Jesus and Jairus’ Daughter

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Photo Above: from http://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/.

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Living in Today

a devotional

~~ by tkbrown ~~

Scripture Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

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Matthew 6:34 — “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

So often we hear someone refer to tomorrow and what it may bring, or another may rue something that happened a year ago. Do we not realize that when we are worried and fretting about what has already passed or what will happen in the future, we are forgetting–even neglecting–what is happening right now?

For those familiar with the 12-Step Program, the phrase, “One Day at a Time,” is heard often. It is a reminder to quit worrying about what is over and cannot be changed or what has not even arrived yet. It is a reminder to focus on “today” and the events occurring “right now.”

Some, who prefer a more crass reference to the thought might say:

“If ye have one foot in yesterday and ye other in tomorrow, ye are a-peeing all over today.”

Michael J Fox

When you think about it–crass or not–there is much truth in this saying. We simply cannot address, enjoy the events of, or resolve the problems of today, if we are rolling around on the ground wailing about yesterday or tomorrow. “. . . Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present,” Alice Morse Earle.

“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Alice Morse Earle — as per Travis Dultz (below).

So, in this light, I would like to bring our attention to the woes presented in the media today. Each–and every–day, the media complains about what one politician or the other has been doing or saying. If not about what has been done or said, then about what will be done or said. We cannot do anything about the many speculations and even falsehoods found in modern media, but we can change our response to it. While it may be important to be aware of what is being touted as real in the media, it is also important to realize most of it has either already happened or is yet to occur–if it does present itself. So, worrying and fretting about what the media says does no one any good.

  • It can raise your blood pressure. — Not good for you!
  • It can cause a heart attack or stroke. — Not good for you!
  • It can drive you to drinking or doing drugs, if you are so prone. — Not good for you!
  • It can make you depressed. — Not good for you!
  • It can lead you into actions you might never consider if you had not read it or heard it on the news.

So, why does the media have such power over our lives in this day? Perhaps because we have lost the ability to focus on those thoughts, events and concerns of “this day.” When we lose this perspective, today becomes “lost” in the quagmire. Are you guilty of this?

If so, I challenge you to “grab hold” of your focus and shift it back to its intended position. Practice focusing on what is happening right now. Give “it–right now” your undivided attention! You cannot change what happened yesterday, and you cannot do anything about what may or may not happen tomorrow. So, focus on what you can do something about–whatever is happening “right now.” Only when you regain control over your focus can you do anything about the concerns that are most important–the people, places, and things in your life right now.

Yes, sometimes it is important to remember the positive events of the past to help us through the trials and tribulations of the present, but we must limit our past focus to those memories we can utilize to improve the present.

Regarding what the media is saying in reference to this or that politician, I would refer you to the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV), verses one through seven:

Romans 13:1-7
  • 1 — “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
  • 2 — “Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
  • 3 — “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”
  • 4 — “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
  • 5 — “Therefore, you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”
  • 6 — “For because of this, you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.”
  • 7 — “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

As we, here in America–and in other parts of the world–adapt to new leadership styles in new governing authorities over the next months, many are predicting failure and trepidation. Others are touting the reduction of governmental authority and power. Which will it be? Only time can tell the true tale of what lies ahead. One thing is certain, living in a mode of fear and dread will only exacerbate the situation and make it worse. Therefore, I would caution against deciding now what next month, or next year, will hold. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Sometimes we make the events of our lives worse than they would normally be by worrying and creating a “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.” Sometimes we actually create the very problem we worry might occur.

“In 1948, Robert K Merton coined the term, “self-fulfilling prophecy” to describe a false definition of the situation evoking a behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. . . . “

Derek Schaedig.

It will help us to remember, God says He put the current leaders into power, and we are to be subject to them. We are not to denigrate and denounce the powers that be. We are not to oppose the powers that be. That does not say we cannot work for change, but if we do, we must do it in a respectful manner toward the present powers that be–because those powers are ordained of God.

Hopefully, the thoughts presented in today’s devotional will help with some problem you are facing today. If it does, please let me know that in the comments section below. Just a general summary statement is good–do not feel you are being asked to give personal details. This might make you uncomfortable, and I would never intentionally do that. If you like what has been presented here, click the “Like” button and share it forward. Thank You Much!

I pray that we might always be reminded to keep life as simple as possible by focusing on the “right here, right now” instead of allowing the past or the future to complicate things. May we always look to God, His Son, and His Word for guidance in coping with concerns of this day! Blessings!

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Sources:

Dultz. Travis. (27 August 2015). “Who said ‘Yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery today is a gift?'” Yesterday Tomorrow Today Phrase Origin. yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com. (15 November 2020). http://yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com/2015/08/yesterday-tomorrow-and-today-phrase.html.

Schaedig, Derek. (24 August 2020). “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and The Pygmalion Effect. Simply Psychology. simplypsychology.org. (15 November 2020). https://www.simplypsychology.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy.html#:~text=A%20self%2Dfulfilling%20prophecy%20is,ways%20which%20confirm%20the%20expectations.

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Photo Above: from Public Domain Images @ pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . Milk of the Word

~~ by tkbrown

1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 (NKJV)

  • 1 — “And I , brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal , as to babes in Christ.”
  • 2 — “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;”

23 September 2020 — While working on posts for the “Greek Words for ‘love’ in the New Testament” series, I have thought much on my Biblical studies through the years. During my younger years, I studied mostly by verse and by topic. When I needed spiritual strengthening, I would search out scriptures on a particular topic and study it. The scripture was indeed food for my soul.

I grew up in a rural area, so our church family was small. When I was fourteen, I began teaching the Sunday night Children’s Class. There were five children in the class, ages five to twelve. We could not afford the purchase cost of lesson materials, so I started with the four Gospels, and we would take a few verses each week. I would write out the lesson sheets for each child.

The lessons consisted of scripture, copied word for word, with blanks to be filled in. During class, we would read the lesson scripture and fill in the blanks. The youngest could not write, but his siblings helped him fill in the blanks on his sheets. I knew from when I was younger, he could remember what we talked about, especially with two siblings who probably talked with mom and dad about what had been studied. During the two years I taught the class, we digested many morsels as they began being introduced to solid spiritual food.

As I have pondered the purpose for my reminiscing, I realized, the study of Greek words for “love” began in my teen years. The minister taught the teen / adult class. We did much the same as I did with the children, except we did not have fill-in-the-blank sheets. We studied directly from the scripture–a few verses a night. It was during my teen years, in these classes where I learned to study more in depth. The minister spoke of the Greek words for “love” occasionally during these classes, as he did for other words when he thought we could benefit from the learning.

I awoke this morning with understanding of why I had been pondering my younger days. I was being shown, during my teen years, how to study as a mature Christian. In order to do this, we begin as babes in Christ needing the “sincere milk of the word,” referenced by Peter in 1 Peter 2:2:

  • “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (King James Version — KJV).
  • “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (New King James Version — NKJV).

The King James Version (KJV) of the New Testament uses the wording, “sincere milk . . .,” whereas, the New King James Version (NKJV) has changed “sincere” to “pure.” Personally, I prefer the “sincere milk . . .” for this thought process. Just as I fed my babies “milk” in their early days in order to aid their healthy growth — especially bone and teeth growth needing much calcium, we as new Christians need the “milk” of the scriptures to form a firm foundation for our Spiritual growth. As we grow, we are introduced to the more mature instruction so we can develop strength in other areas as we also continue consuming the “milk” to aid continued strengthening of the foundation.

As I pondered this, I realized my attention was being brought to the “solid food” aspect of scriptural study. When I prepare an especially savory meal for physical nutrition, I savor every morsel. This savoring is part of the spiritual growth process too. It is necessary, at times, to take a scripture word by word to learn the true meaning behind the original Greek text in the New Testament. It is necessary to chew it slowly, try to discern which spices were added during preparation. What were the other solid foods added to the dish? Our spiritual study must be taken just as slowly at times.

I said all of the above to say this: The series on Greek words used for “love” in the New Testament is a word by word type of study. We are taking each word as a single morsel of solid food and savoring each flavor (meaning) in order to absorb the most nutrition (understanding) from the food. By learning the various words used in the original Greek text, we are sorting through the flavors of Greek nutrition in order to truly understand what the English version says when it only uses one word, “love,” in its translation.

It was necessary for me to step back and explain this before progressing any further with the Greek words for “love” study in order for you, the readers, to understand the importance of knowing the original Greek term. Just as a chef must know exactly which flavors are needed to achieve a certain flavor, it is necessary for us to know what words added to the flavor of the original text. This is what is meant by the apostle Paul’s reference to “solid food” in 1 Corinthians.

I hope this little aside helps you to understand the “why” behind the “what” of what we are doing with this study. This is my prayer! Blessings to all!

My Morning Do . . . “Blessings”

~~ by tkbrown

20 September 2020 — This morning, I decided to do a search for scriptures related to blessings we are to give others. This is the flip side of receiving blessings from God through Jesus Christ. The scriptures abound regarding blessings from God–a topic of which I needed no convincing. God Blesses me daily in some way–at least once a day! I am ever thankful to Him for that! The convincing I needed was regarding my certainty I had seen scriptures depicting ‘our blessings granted to other people.’

Thus, my reasoning for searching out scriptures related to blessings from us to others is based on the topic of us receiving Blessings from God. When Jesus came to earth, through His life, He left an example of how we are to live. Since He regularly proffered blessings upon others, it seemed to me we must proffer blessings upon others. After all, to be a “Christian” means to be “like Christ,” “Christ like,” etc. Christ was always in prayer to God, thus I try to “pray without ceasing” as the apostle Paul taught us. So, I began my search . . . .

I found three New Testament scriptures related to us offering blessings to others. What intrigues me, is: We are to bless “those who curse us, those who render us evil, and those who revile us.” This is so very intriguing to me. I would have thought we should bless those needing encouragement. Then, when I thought on it, these would be precisely the ones needing encouragement in order to learn to live like Christ lived. This says, I am to bless those who practice witchcraft. I am to bless those who practice all manner of evil–which is Satanic, and I am to bless those who revile me. In other words, whatever the form of persecution directed toward me, I am to deflect it with a blessing in return. This would say, too, when someone does or does not agree with me, I should bless them. So, I believe my tendency to end my comments and responses with “Blessings!” is not a put-down or telling you I am being persecuted. I believe it is to be received in the Spirit intended–which is: “I care about you and any sufferings you may be going through, thus, I am blessing you in hopes of minimizing any suffering you may be receiving. When I do this, God Blesses me! Amazing! Simply Amazing!

Thank You, Jesus, for such a simple message in a world of such complexity!

Below, I leave you with the three New Testament Passages I found related to us giving blessings to others. If you know of any I missed, please comment and let me know their location. Also, please comment below and let me know what you thing of “Blessings” extended as a Sign-off Salutation.

Blessings to all!

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

Luke 6:27, 28

  • 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.'”

1 Peter 3:8, 9

  • 8 — “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous,”
  • 9 — “not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

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Photo Above: by sachbearbeitung at pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Pleasant Words”

~~ by tkbrown

12 September 2020 — Soft words spoken, when harsh words are expected, are often visibly appreciated. The look of surprise alone can be fuel to continue using soft words rather than berating the offender. I have always been one to readily forgive an offence. It just was not typically worth the effort or the time it took to argue the issue. Now, I am not always the best of persons when it comes to my words of offense. There have been times when I argued the point to the nth degree, but mostly I have always tended to allow the other person his or her view on the topic.

One day, I was reading in Proverbs and came across some scripture to support this approach. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (NKJV). It is so true. I thought on the times when I had argued the point. Either I or the other person left the discussion upset. Untended anger can be a detriment to health. It can cause elevated blood pressure, which in turn can cause myriad other problems if it is a frequent occurrence.

On the other hand, Proverbs 16:24 says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” (NKJV). When I read these scriptures, I began making a conscious effort to not get angry without a truly just reason, and I began checking myself to ensure I replied with pleasant words. This scripture prompted a more in-depth study of problems associated with off-the-cuff comments and the unbridled tongue in general. One can create so many problems for self and others simply because the tongue is left unchecked. If a wholesome tongue is “a tree of life,” I wonder that this lesson is not taught more often.

Needless to say, these and other scriptures have taught me the importance of “thinking before I speak.” The good news is I do not have to make amends by apologizing for an errant tongue as often as before. This is a “major blessing” because I am so ashamed when I have to atone for this or that pain caused by my mouth. Also, others are not angry with me when I speak with pleasant words. Earlier in the week, I wrote about “gossip” and the harm done by it. Have you ever dealt with this in yourself or someone else? If so, would you please comment below and let us know how you approached the situation?

Just some food for thought as social distancing continues, and we are inside with family more.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scriptures above are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: by kangbch @ pixabay.com.

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