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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Jesus Begins His Ministry – Part 3

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Sermon on the Mount

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 5:21-48

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lesson Scripture, cont. Mark 3:13-16

Mark’s Presentation of Jesus’ Disciple / Apostle Selection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sermon on the Mount,”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Matthew 5:21-48

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

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

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

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

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

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

v28Proverbs 6:23-26

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

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

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

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

v31Deuteronomy 24:1-4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v38Exodus 21:23-25

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

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

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

v38Leviticus 24:19, 20

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

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

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

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

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

v43 Deuteronomy 23:3-6

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

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

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

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 5:21-48

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

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

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

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

v25Luke 12:58, 59

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v42Luke 6:30-34

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Testament Scripture Related to Mark 3:13-16

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

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

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to Luke 6:24-36

v25Isaiah 65:13, 14

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

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

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

v30Deuteronomy 15:7, 8

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

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

v35Psalm 37:25, 26

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

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

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New Testament Scripture Related to Luke 6:24-36

v24 — James 5:1-6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v29 — Matthew 5:39-42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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