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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My Morning Do . . . “Acceptance of Others”

~~ by tkbrown

10 September 2020 — Acceptance seems to be shunned in this day and time. The “going thing” seems to be disagreement, protests, and persecution. There seems to be a tendency to equate acceptance with agreement. This perception is not reality based. Acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.

The news today is filled with disagreement. From domestic disputes to world organizations, disagreement seems to be the norm. While some disagreement is a part of everyday life, and while harmful values are never to be condoned, we–as Christians–are to accept the right of others to be different from us and to believe differently from us. During His life here on earth, Jesus encountered many who were different from Him, but He never ridiculed, persecuted, or punished anyone for being on a different path. He did express rage toward the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple because they were defiling His Father’s house. He did not disagree with “what” they were doing. He disagreed with “where” they were engaging that activity (John 2:13-16 — NKJV).

When He met the Samaritan woman at the well, He discussed aspects of her life–apparently in depth–but He never once ridiculed or persecuted her because of who she was. If He had gone off on a tangent, ranting, raving, and destroying her property, would He have made a positive impression upon her? Would He have made a positive impression upon any of her acquaintances whom she brought back to the well to meet Him? Through the entire event, no one fought anyone to get a point across. Jesus impressed the Samaritan woman and her acquaintances with His acceptance of who they were, not with anger and malice toward them. John 4:39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (NKJV) Jesus impressed upon her that He did not agree with or condone her way of life, but He never harmed her in any way.

My mother frequently referenced the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” — Anonymous. She was right! That is what Jesus was impressing upon the multitudes as He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” (Matthew 7:12 — NKJV). During His time here on earth, Jesus had many differences of opinion and fact with others, but He never once addressed the issue in a harmful, ridiculing, or disrespectful manner. His responses were always short, kind, and to the point.

In today’s world, there are many different cultures–much the same as the world was in Jesus’ time. As Christians, what is the best way to lead someone to Christ: By lashing out, ranting, and raving at the difference with which we do not agree, or by quietly discussing the difference in what we believe and what the other person(s) believe? Christianity is a program of attraction, not of repulsion. Violence, ranting, and raving does not attract those who love God. We, as Christians, are instructed never to treat someone differently than we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed (John 2:13-16 — NKJV). We are also instructed to love our enemies. Again, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'” (Matthew 5:44 — NKJV). The news today is filled with difference being addressed in many ways. The question we, as Christians, hold in our heart is: How would I want someone else to deal with me in this same situation? Food for thought in today’s world.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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My Morning Do . . . “Coffee and Gossip”

~~ by tkbrown

9 September 2020 — Good Morning, I hope you had a Blessed and Peaceful day since our last communication. I was reading a peer blogger’s site this morning and the three words below popped out! So, let’s look at them and see what this is about.

“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “

. . . coffee break
a haiku ~~ by tkbrown

Morning coffee break,
water fountain milieu crowd
gossip and banter.
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“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “ said a blogging peer, and I knew what the topic of “My Morning Do . . . ” must be. I had already debated whether to write about this and was still unsure. After reading the comment, I knew–Yes, this is today’s topic!

In my haiku, I mention the water fountain, but coffee and gossip can be brought together in most any place and in most any time. The effect and the affect are still the same. Medical science has now shown that coffee is good for the health in some persons–so long as you do not partake of more than four cups per day. (Always check with your doctor before you imbibe.) When I was told to increase from one to two cups a day. I rejoiced because there was a time, I drank much more coffee per day than that, but I had been advised to cut it out completely. I did cease consumption for a few years, but eventually added one cup per day back. The gossip part–I tried not to engage; however, I am human and must enter the guilty plea for occasional infraction.

Today, I would like us to think on gossip a bit. I would like to engage your minds a bit with some questions about gossip and you:

  • Do you enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip?
    • I once thought long and hard on this question. The answer: No, I do not enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip. If they cannot–or will not–say it to me, I believe they should not say it. So, I should not engage in gossip about someone–anyone–else. Jesus said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” Matthew 7:12. Personally, I believe gossip is a form of bullying. Gossip is never of the positive nature; thus it is always harmful to someone.
  • Do you ever engage in idle gossip about others?
    • While it is easy to say a particular negative behavior is never engaged, in all likelihood, it is engaged at some point–simply because we are human. We can never get it right one hundred percent of the time. I try extremely hard not to talk about others if I am not talking to that person. It is exceedingly difficult to maintain. I sometimes do not even realize I am gossiping about someone, then I catch myself–and I am so ashamed. I have prayed and asked God to help me not do this. So, I am sure it is He who shows me what I am doing–so I can learn to stop.
  • Do you believe your gossip has ever been harmful to another?
    • For much of my life, I never thought about this. Although I was never one to talk about others intentionally, I did engage this behavior from time to time. I am sad to say on this day: Looking back, my discussions about others–that I do remember–were never of the positive nature; so, yes, they were harmful to others. Regardless of how innocently we engage the behavior, it harms another because gossip is never in the positive or affirmative realm of discussion.
  • Do you know what God says about “gossip”?
    • Gossip is a topic rarely discussed in church settings. I wonder why. As Christians, it should always be foremost in our mind as a behavior to avoid. It is never pleasing to God.
      • Firstly, it does not please God because it is not what we would want others to do regarding us.
      • Secondly, Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” Thus, any repeat of a transgression to another is harmful. I am separating myself from a friend when I do this. In many instances, the friendship will be no more.

I want to leave you with this thought: If you truly want to act as a Christian, ask yourself–“What would Jesus do?”–and ask God to show you how often you talk “about” others rather than “to” them. You might be surprised! I was!

A few other scriptures for your perusal at your own pace:

  • Proverbs 18:18 — “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 — “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
  • James 1:26 — “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
All scripture above is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

I hope all who are reading have a wonderful and blessed day! Be safe!

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Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2)

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Sermon on the Mount

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 5:1-20

1 — “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.”

2 — “Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:”

3 — “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

4 — “‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.'”

5 — “‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.'”

6 — “‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.'”

7 — “‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.'”

8 — “‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'”

9 — “‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.'”

10 — “‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

11 — “‘Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.'”

12 — “‘Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'”

13 — “‘You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.'”

14 — “‘You are the light of the world, A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.'”

15 — “‘Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.'”

16 — “‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.'”

17 — “‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.'”

18 — “‘For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot of one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.'”

19 — “‘Whosoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.'”

20 — “‘For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

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Apostle Selection Completed

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:12-15

12 — “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”

13 — “And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:”

14 — “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”

15 — “Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot, Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.”

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Luke’s Description of the Sermon on the Mount

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:17-23

17 — “And He came down with them and stood on the level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,”

18 — “as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.”

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

20 — “Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: ‘Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

21 — “‘Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.'”

22 — “‘Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.'”

23 — “‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.'”

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Prophecy Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v5 — Psalm 37:11 — “But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

v6 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v6 — Isaiah 65:13, 14

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

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

v7 — Psalm 41:1 — “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

v8 — Psalm 15:1-5

1 —Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?”

2 —He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;”

3 —He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”

4 —In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;”

5 —He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.”

v8 — Psalm 24:3-5

3 —Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or, who may stand in His holy place?”

4 —He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

5 —He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

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Prophecy Related to Luke 6:17-23

v21 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the wters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v21 — Isaiah 65:13

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

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

v21 — Isaiah 61:2, 3

2 —To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,”

3 — to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

v21 — Psalm 126:5, 6

5 —Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

6 —He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v1 — Mark 3:13 — “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.”

v2 — Matthew 7:28, 29

28 — “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,”

29 — “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

v3 — Luke 6:20-23 — (See above.)

v4 — Revelation 21:4 — “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

v5 — Romans 4:13 — “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

v6 — Luke 1:53 — “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.”

v8 — I Corinthians 13:12 — “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

v10 — I Peter 3:14-16

14 — “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled (Isaiah 8:12).'”

15 — “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who askes you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

16 — “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

v11 — Luke 6:22 (See above.)

v12 — I Peter 4:12-14

12 — “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;”

13 — “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed you may also be glad–with exceeding joy.”

14 — “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

v12 — Acts 7:52

52 — “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,”

53 —who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Exodus 20:1).'”

v13 — Luke 14:34 — “Salt is good, but if the salt lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?'”

v14 — John 8:12 — “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.'”

v15 — Luke 8:16 — “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.'”

v16 — I Peter 2:11, 12

11 — “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

12 — “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

v16 — John 15:8 — “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be my disciples.'”

v17, 20 — Romans 10:3, 4

3 — “For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

4 — “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

v18 — Luke 16:17 — “‘And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.'”

v19 — James 2:10 — “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Luke 6:17-23

v17 — Mark 3:7, 8

7 — “But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea”

8 — “and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they hard how many things He was doing, came to Him.”

v19 — Matthew 9:21 — “For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.'”

v19, 20 — Matthew 11:4-6

4 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see.'”

5 — “‘The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them,'”

6 — “‘and blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'”

v20 — Matthew 5:3-12 — (See above.)

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

I apologize for the absence of a post last week. Sometimes things happen and prevent me from completing a post. I do hope you will forgive me when that happens. Thank You!

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As we begin studying the Sermon on the Mount, I would like to note, I have included Jesus’ selection of His additional six apostles as depicted in Luke Chapter 6. Luke’s presentation shows this was immediately followed by the Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount covers much territory and lays the foundation for Christ’s ministry here on earth. For this reason, I will divide it into several parts in order to not overwhelm you, the reader, with too much information to be digested at one time. It is important to understand how Christ’s words tie-in to other Scripture in both the Old and the New Testament.

Christ’s ministry took place under the Old Covenant until His death, we will see the vail protecting the Ark of the Covenant rent into two pieces–top-to-bottom. On the day of Pentecost, Christ’s church was established with form. Prior to this time, His kingdom is always referenced as being ‘at hand.’ After the day of Pentecost, His kingdom is always noted ‘in the present form.’ This means His kingdom was publicly established on the Day of Pentecost — when His church was established with the baptizing of three thousand souls.

Hopefully, this information will help you to ‘rightly divide the word of truth’ as we study the course of Christ’s ministry. However, do your own studying to verify whatever I mention in my notes. Do not ever take another person’s word for what the Bible says. Your salvation depends upon this one factor. The scriptures I present above are directly from the Holy Bible (NKJV). When I make a comment in my notes, verify it in the scriptures. Events noted regarding the vail and Christ’s death will be reviewed as we come to them. Study for yourself and prove all that I put forth in my writing.

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In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus’ teachings show the underdog as more likely to go to heaven than the upper crust. The underdog’s tendency is to present as more meek and merciful and to have faith that studying God’s Word and applying it to daily life leads to purer hearts and righteousness.

Jesus alerts those in his hearing of other people’s tendency to persecute and revile those who follow God–just as they persecuted the prophets. Christ suffered during His life here on earth, and many persecute Him now and deride His teachings and life as untrue. Jesus assures you, when someone persecutes you because you are patterning your life after Him and His teachings, they have their reward already.

These trials are God’s method of refining our Christian hearts and skimming off the impurities each time suffering occurs and is met with a Christ-like attitude. Just as gold must be molten, allowing impurities to rise to the top to be skimmed off, we as Christians must also be refined. We must grow in Christ, increasing in our ability to forgive and move on. This is how maturity in Christ is attained–one trial at a time. This is also how our lives become a living example amidst a sea of worldly souls. Our lives become the light–beacon, if you will–leading others to Christ. This is why we are the salt of the earth.

Never be ashamed to stand up for what is right and be different. This is what Christianity promotes. This, and our faith, is what makes us Christlike–awaiting a home with Him in heaven.

There are those who, even today, say Jesus came to destroy the Old Covenant. He assured the crowd and His apostles this was not so. He came to fulfill the Old Covenant, and until all is fulfilled and heaven and earth pass away, not one iota of the law is destroyed. Anyone who breaks the commandments set forth by the law and by Jesus will never be great in heaven. In order to see heaven, Jesus said our righteousness must be greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees.

Moving on to Luke’s presentation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we see that just prior to this sermon, Jesus chose six more disciples to be a part of His twelve apostles. All followers of Christ were, and still are, known as His disciples. However, only thirteen have been called apostles of Christ. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he revealed his enslavement to Satan, with whom he will spend eternity. Saul of Tarsus was subsequently appointed as the replacement apostle. We know Saul as Paul. He was one of the most grateful, for his sins prior to conversion had been great, and he was the first to admit this. Thus, he worked hard to teach others about Christ and His salvation.

Luke words his portrayal of the Sermon on the Mount a bit different, as we have seen in previous lessons, but it means much the same. He shows that those who have little are more likely to seek God through Christ and to be blessed. Those who have much are not interested in God’s blessings.

In the next lesson, we will continue reviewing the Sermon on the Mount. This is where the parables begin. Each teaches a valuable lesson for living the Christian life. Come back and join us in the feast God’s Word and Christ’s teachings provide, leading to the ultimate reward of a home with Them in heaven. Have a Blessed Week in Christ’s love!

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

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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