Posted by: robert0199 | April 1, 2020

The Authority of Jesus

The Authority of Jesus
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
(Matthew 7:28-29 ESV)

As I imagine myself being with Jesus as one of His disciples listening to the sermon He had just finished I realize that this Jesus teaches like no other teacher in Israel. His teaching has an authentic authority that the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees lack. It is very different and more challenging to our daily life than theirs will ever be. I understand that worshiping the Father requires more than following a set of rules, it actually requires repentance and a change of heart.

Heavenly Father, As I wrestle with understanding what Jesus is teaching in the Sermon on the Mount send Your Spirit to me to give me guidance and wisdom not only to follow His teaching but to share it with others. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 31, 2020

Build Your House

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

Here Jesus is very clear. He tells us that those who hear His words and do them are like a man who builds his house on the rock. When the rains come, and there is a flood and the wind blows and beats on that house it will stand because it is built on rock. However, He said that those who hear his words and do not do them are like the unwise man who built his house on sand. The rain fell and floods came and the wind blew and beat against the house and great was its collapse. 

Heavenly Father, May those who hear your word and the words of Jesus do them that they may be like the man who built his house on the rock. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 28, 2020

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

This is a very disturbing passage for many Christians, Jesus is saying that only those who do the will of the Father will enter heaven. Those who come to Him saying but Lord I prophesied, did healings and cast out demons in your name are told that He will tell them to depart from Him because He never knew them for they were workers of evil.

Heavenly Father, In the world around us we see many ministers doing mighty works supposedly in Jesus’ name but when we investigate further they are not doing Your will but promoting and enhancing themselves. May those who are truly doing your will not be fooled by these charlatans and may they be protected till Jesus returns. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 27, 2020

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
(Matthew 7:15-20 ESV)

In our world, at this time, there are many making claims to be Christian, but when we look at the fruit of their ministry it comes wide of the mark. Some are preaching that when you give to them you will become very prosperous and that is not always true. Others are taking the morality that is in the Bible and saying that in our time it does not apply. We can see the chaos that this teaching is causing regularly in the daily news. There are also those who are proclaiming the morality found in the Bible and clearly stating that those who do not follow it are sinning and apart from God. They are calling for repentance and renewal of life for those who have sinned, and declare that those who repent are forgiven and have fellowship with God.

Heavenly Father, May those who use your word to promote their own prosperity, or to promote an agenda that is not in agreement with Your word be seen for what they are, and may those who are proclaiming the truth of Your word be lifted up that they may bring all who You have called into Your kingdom. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 26, 2020

The Golden Rule

12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy1 that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
(Matthew 7:12-14 ESV)

This seems to be a very simple thing to do, but there are times in our lives when it is actually very difficult. It is hard to stay home to protect others from this virus. It is hard for us to keep our distance from others to protect ourselves and them. But, during this time that is what doing unto others means and we are to do it.

Another thing that is hard is to believe that there are actually very few who will find the way of life. We want everyone to find their way into the kingdom, but too often people will listen to what they want to hear and do what they want to do rather than follow the teaching of the Lord and seek to be righteous. The evidence of this is all around us today. Will we make sure to live our lives in such a way that others will see our righteousness and wish to join us because what we are doing is more attractive than the things they are doing? I hope so.

Heavenly Father, As we live each day may we truly seek to follow Your will and Your ways that we may be a light to those who are living in ways that only lead to darkness and despair. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 25, 2020

Ask and It Will Be Given

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)

Here Jesus states three different ways that when we pray according to God’s will our prayer will be answered. He points out that if as parents we give good gifts to our children, God will surely give food gifts to those who ask Him.

In this time of pandemic are you praying that your friends and neighbors will be spared or properly treated if they catch this disease? Are you praying that God will give wisdom and enlighten the minds of the researchers and physicians that they will find ways to heal those who have the disease and that they will be able to develop a vaccine for it? Are you praying that those who need to go out will be protected as they do what they need to do? Are you praying that the caregivers will be protected and not be overwhelmed by the number of cases they are having to deal with? Are you praying that God will intervene and slow the spread of Covid 19 to a halt?

Heavenly Father, As this disease spreads across the world and in our land may you be with all who contract the disease. May you protect the caregivers and make sure they are not overwhelmed. May you give insight into the researchers and help them to find the means of healing the disease and to develop a vaccine for it. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 24, 2020

Judging Others

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
(Matthew 7:1-5 ESV)

We are not called to judge our brothers in the faith. That is something Jesus will do at the end of time. Should we judge our brothers the measure we use will be returned to us. When we see the small problem our brother has, why do we not see the huge problem we have. How can we say to our brother let me help you with that problem when we have not dealt with our own huge problem. You are to deal with your problem first, and then you will be able to help your brother with his problem. 

Heavenly Father, Often when we see something that our brother is doing that is not helpful to him we want to help him, but we have not dealt with the things that hinder us so we cannot fully understand what the best way to help him will be. May we deal with our own shortcomings and then we will be able to better understand how to help our brother. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 21, 2020

Therefore Do Not Be Anxious

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
(Matthew 6:31-34 ESV)

If we seek first the kingdom of God we have no need to be anxious because we will lack nothing. In this troubling time, the last verse in this segment seems to me to be especially pertinent. It is reminding us that the trouble or graces of today are sufficient to the day and that tomorrow will take care of itself. Do not be anxious about whether you will become ill tomorrow. Instead, as the day ends give God praise that you are well and depend on Him to keep you well each and every day. Do your part to follow the suggestions that have been put out to keep you healthy by the medical professionals.

Heavenly Father, You are the creator and sustainer of all things. It is You who provides us with all things and who gives us the wisdom to do those things that will maintain our health. May we listen to and follow the advice of those who are professions to do our part in maintaining our health. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 20, 2020

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(Matthew 6:25-30 ESV)

Here Jesus is telling us not to worry about food or clothing, or about our bodies. He notes that the Father provides for the birds who neither sow nor reap, and He clothes the lilies of the field more splendidly than Solomon. I would add do not be anxious about your health for in all of your days the Father is providing what you need to be healthy and he has tasked those who are caregivers to provide when you become ill. 

Heavenly Father, At present, we are in a time of great anxiety over this new virus that is infecting people all around the world. Help us to remember that you are in control and that being true we need not be anxious for you are giving wisdom to those who are best equipped to find a vaccine and treatment for it. Help them to quickly find the means to defeat this virus and allow all to remain healthy. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | March 19, 2020

Psalm 91

1. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say1 to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
(Psalm 9:1-6 ESV)

In this time when there is a disease that could be a deadly pestilence for many, I thought that it would be well to remind us of who is our protector and who is really in charge. With a lot of the news speaking what the national, state and local governments are doing and suggesting we do to slow the virus I suggest that we pray this Psalm daily as a reminder that it is ultimately our God that is in charge of the pandemic.

Heavenly Father, In times like this we need a reminder daily that you are in charge of this world and what happens in it. We also need to be reminded that you are our protector and will protect us. May we depend on you each day until this disease is defeated. Let us be wise in preventing its spread by doing the things that our leaders are recommending. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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