July 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

The Heat of July

July arrives with a sweltering heat,
bringing depressions, storms, torrential rains
to southern states--historical repeat
of bygone seasons with their hurricanes.
The Pacific northwest with record highs
installs rolling outages in Spokane;
while California's veins are parched and dry,
volcanic lava is Hawaii's bane.
Will the northeastern states escape the wrath
being spewed midst July's incoming days,
or will birds there need water in each bath
just to survive heated summertime rays?
We can hope the burn of the scorching sun
by end of month will be seen on the run
as the virus and it leave room for fun.

The new virus variant taking hold
is putting a chill on planned summer fun.
The worldwide spike is becoming quite bold
but not cooling us down via "chill" pun.
The play on words is easier to take
than the virus or heat of July days
typically graced with vacation break
which may slip past us due to viral frays.
While choosing to break with normal routine,
keep a thought to health for others and you;
use sense and caution, keep enjoyment clean
to prevent a new surge when summer's through.
Don't forget the healthy ways you have learned,
practice safe sunning so you don't get burned,
and you'll enjoy home more when you've returned.

Predictions border on dire once again
from many health pros for the months ahead.
Each new variant sets off a new spin
as the vaccines work to capture the spread.
As return to work seeks to create new norms
of work from home and higher rates of pay
we will surely see new variant swarms
in spite of cares we take along the way.
With schools restarting in-person classes,
students will be busy with music, sports,
and studies galore requiring passes
for halls and busses engaged for transports.
Don't store safety precautions on a shelf,
actions are not protected by an elf
negating practicing safety yourself.

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Photo Above:

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Peace . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Philippians 4:6, 7 (NKJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo Above: by Daniel_Mingook_Kim@Unsplash.com.

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Source:

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

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

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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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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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Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Disciple Selection Begins

Lesson Scripture — Matthew 4:12-25

12 — “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.”

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

14 — “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying:”

15 — “‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.'”

16 — “‘The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.'”

17 — “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

18 — “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.”

19 — “Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'”

20 — “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

21 — “Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,”

22 — “and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”

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.”

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.”

25 — “Great multitudes followed Him–from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.”

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Prophecy

v15 — Isaiah 9:1, 2

1 — “Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles.”

2 — “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v12 — John 4:43 — “Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”

v16 — Luke 2:32 — “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

v17 — Mark 1:14, 15 — (See below.)

v17 — Matthew 3:2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

v18 — Mark 1:16-20 — (See below.)

v18 — John 1:40-42 — (See below.)

v23 — Matthew 24:14 — “‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.'”

v23 — Mark 1:34 — (See below.)

v24 — Luke 4:40 — “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”

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Lesson Scripture — Mark 1:14-20

14 — “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,”

15 — “and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.'”

16 — “And as He walked by t he Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.”

17 — “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'”

18 — “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

19 — “When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.”

20 — “And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and went after Him.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v14 — Matthew 4:12 — (See above.)

v14 — Matthew 4:23 — (See above.”

v15 — Galatians 4:4 — “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”

v15 — Matthew 3:2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

v15 — Matthew 4:14 — (See above.)

v16 -- Luke 5:2-11
2 -- "and saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets."
3 -- "Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's and asked him to put out a little from the land, And He sat down and taught the multitude from the boat."
4 -- "When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'"
5 -- "But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing, nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.'"
6 -- "And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking."
7 -- "So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink."
8 -- "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'"
9 -- "For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken."
10 -- "and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
11 -- "So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him."

v17 — Matthew 13:47, 48

47 — “‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,'”

48 — “‘which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels but threw the bad away.'”

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Lesson Scripture — John 1:35-51

35 — “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.”

36 — “And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!'”

37 — “The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”

38 — “Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi’ (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), ‘where are you staying?'”

39 — “He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where He was staying and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).”

40 — “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”

41 — “He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ).”

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).”

43 — “The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow Me.'”

44 — “Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.”

45 — “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'”

46 — “And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.'”

47 — “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!'”

48 — “Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.‘”

49 — “Nathanael answered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!'”

50 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.'”

51 — “And He said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Sun of Man.'”

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Prophecy

v47 — Psalm 32:2 — “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

v47 — Psalm 73:1 — “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.”

v51 — Genesis 28:12 — “Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v36 — John 1:29 — “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'”

v37 — Matthew 4:20, 22 — (See above.)

v40 — Matthew 4:18 — (See above.)

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Here in these four sets of Lesson Scriptures–from Matthew, Mark, (Luke as it is connected to Mark’s depiction via the Related New Testament Scriptures), and John–we are shown how Jesus began selecting his disciples as he set about preaching, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” These four presentations vary slightly as one might expect the testimony of four witnesses in a court of law to vary. Human nature is such that each of the four saw slightly different things taking place. Luke presents his in slightly more detail as an adjunct to Mark’s. In these four presentations, Jesus selects the brothers Andrew and Simon Peter, the brothers James and John — sons of Zebedee and partners with Simon Peter in the fishing industry, Philip, and Nathanael–both of Bethsaida.

Simon Peter doubted the likelihood of a successful cast after toiling all night and catching nothing but agreed to cast anyway at Jesus’ request, only to bring up nets so full of fish the nets were breaking. They summoned partners to assist in saving the catch. Then Simon Peter, ashamed at his lack of faith, tells Jesus to depart from his sinful self. Jesus assured Simon Peter that he would need only catch men in the future. In the Related New Testament Scriptures, we see Matthew13:47 and 48 connected to Mark 1:17 as an example of Jesus–in later sermons–reminding Simon of this catch.

Almost instantaneously, as Jesus begins to preach, people are drawn to Him. His command of the Word, the authority with which He casts out demons who readily obey Him, and the compassion evidenced in His ready willingness to heal the sick spoke to their hearts, and the multitudes flocked to Him wherever He went.

The beginning of Jesus’ ministry will be divided into several lessons due to the extensive and varied aspects of His interactions. Next week, we will look at the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus lays the groundwork for all His teachings while living here on earth.

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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 -- Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part I)

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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Jesus’ Ancestral Lineage

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

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Matthew 1:1-17

 1 -- "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham."
 2 -- "Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers."
 3 -- "Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram."
 4 -- "Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nashon, and Nashon begot Salmon."
 5 -- "Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,"
 6 -- "and Jesse begot David the king.
         David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah."
 7 -- "Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa,"
 8 -- "Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah."
 9 -- "Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah."
10 -- "Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah."
11 -- "Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon."
12 -- "And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel."
13 -- "Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor."
14 -- "Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud."
15 -- "Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob."
16 -- "And Jacob begot Joseph,  the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ."
17 -- "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations."

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth . . .

Here, in the first chapter of Matthew, we are presented the ancestral lineage of Joseph–husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This lineage is inclusive back to Abraham in three sets of fourteen generations. The first set presents the line from Abraham to king David. The second set includes those generations from king David to the capture by Babylon, and the third set presents those from Babylon to Jesus.

It is interesting that there are fourteen generations between each division. When we look at Mary’s ancestry (below), we see that the lineage from Adam to Abraham is twenty-one generations–another multiple of seven. This first phase is the pre-Jewish lineage when God dealt with and communicated directly to the heads of family and with prophets. He chose each of these for specific reasons. This process was continued to some degree during the fourteen generations spanning Abraham to king David. He also chose specific leaders–such as Moses and Aaron, then Joshua, followed by the judges–to replay details of the law to His people and to lead them through certain trials.

When king David was a young lad, God’s people had become disgruntled with the ‘leader’ format. They had been clamoring for a king. Finally, God granted their request, and king Saul was appointed the first king. David was chosen as Saul’s successor. Thus, we complete the first fourteen generations and move into the second set when God communicated to His people through the kings and the prophets. This form of leadership was dismantled when they were carried away to Babylon.

The final set of fourteen generations, which takes us to the birth of Jesus, covers the first Jewish dispersion during which about five million Jews were deported to Babylon and then began to spread over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. There are those who believe some were also able to inhabit the Americas, intermarrying with the natives in the western hemisphere. This final phase before Christ’s birth leads to the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant. During this time, God’s people were under the direction of kings and other leaders of each country in which they resided. Each phase is governed very differently from the phase before and after. This shows us when the Old Covenant ended, a new phase began. The Old Covenant is no longer in effect.

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Galatians 3:22-26

22 -- "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."
23 -- "But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed."
24 -- "Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
25 -- "But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
26 -- "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."

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Notes on Scripture, cont.: by tkbrown

The original King James Version of the Holy Bible used the word ‘schoolmaster’ where the word ‘tutor’ is used in the New King James Version. God has done everything, including the divisions of time and leadership, to lead us to the New Covenant. At the instant Christ died on the cross, the veil was rent twain (torn into two pieces–top to bottom) between the outer tabernacle and the most holy of holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (and where God resided in the tabernacle). At that instant, the Old Covenant officially ended, and the New Covenant began.

We notice in Mary’s ancestral lineage, below, it goes all the way back to Adam. This too is done with purpose, for we see “God begot Adam” (v. 38). Thus, we are told, God is the Father of mankind. When He created Adam, He created mankind. We also see, in Luke 3:23, that Joseph–husband of Mary–was ‘the supposed father’ of Jesus. In actuality, he was the ‘step-father’ or ‘legal father’ of Jesus. God was Jesus’ father.

Under the Old Covenant, God dealt almost completely with the men. Very few women are exemplified. We are introduced to Eve, Ruth, Esther, Deborah and a few others, but mostly men are introduced. In the New Covenant, women are exemplified in much larger number, and women determine their own salvation through obedience of Christ’s commands. No individual can obey Christ’s commands for another person. That decision is strictly the choice of each.

That each set of generations presents with a different form of leadership is no accicent. The fact that they, and the period from Adam to Abraham, are all divisible by seven alludes to God’s use of numbers throughout the Bible. When a specific day was given in the Old Covenant to observe a specific feast or sacrifice, it was to be done on ‘that day,’ not another day of His people’s choosing. The same holds true under the New Covenant. There are those who say the Scriptures contradict themselves. If one takes the time to ‘rightly divide the Word’ there is no contradiction.

I hope these two genealogies now present as much more interesting and with much more meaning for application today. I pray that these lessons are beginning to clarify the meaning of ‘rightly dividing the Word of Truth.’ The next lesson will cover Satan’s temptation of Christ in the Wilderness. I invite you back for another morsel of nutrition from God’s Word.

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Luke 3:23-38

23 -- "Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,"
24 -- "the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph,"
25 -- "the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,"
26 -- "the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,"
27 -- "the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,"
28 -- "the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,"
29 -- "the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,"
30 -- "the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Johan, the son of Eliakim,"
31 -- "the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,"
32 -- "the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,"
33 -- "the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,"
34 -- "the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 -- "the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah"
36 -- "the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,"
37 -- "the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan,"
38 -- "the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."

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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

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Strength and Refuge

~~ by tkbrown
I cannot imagine what it must be like
to be in his position, having lost so much . . . 

How does one rebuild after such devastation?
. . . after seeing so much suffering and misery?
. . . after opening eyes to the cruelest of cruel
and the most surreal of the most beautiful?

The pain in his facial expression, his eyes,
brings tears to mine that won't blink back.
So much planning! Will it be enough
to bring life to a town so marred by death?
Can any amount of planning or effort
to jumpstart life -- after so much death --
ever diminish or take away the pain?

The stress of shouldering so much responsibility
must overwhelm even the strongest of men at times.
One must respect, if not admire, the tenacity
of those in public office, muddling through the mire
that life has suddenly wrought -- with no warning --
no time to prepare for the insurmountable struggles
faced by all during these uncharted times.

These are the times when I look to the scriptures
for guidance and for resolution within myself.
Many specific passages come to the front of my mind,
but for this day, one can take comfort in the message
meted out in the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV).
To those in positions of power during this time
of foreboding, each is to be subject and to give honor.
He or she has been burdened with the greatest load
any leader has ever known. Even war does not
wreak the havoc, pain and loss of incurable illness.
In the end, each of us, whether stricken or not,
whether impoverished or not, must answer
for deeds directed toward those in power --
for each is appointed that power by the Lord God.
Let me never forget, if characteristics needed
to address the burdens of the time were mine,
I would be there; but, I do not have what it takes
to meet today's challenges head-on --
most of us do not . . ..
Thus, I must respect those whom God deems
able to fill whatever needs arise on this day,
and on every day throughout this time of trial.
May God Bless and Keep Each of Them,
and May He Be Their Strength and Refuge!

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

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Photo by: Steve Halama on Unsplash.com

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