Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ACTS 22:17-22

In the end times we will be persecuted for standing up for Godly values. It will be hard to judge good from evil unless we base everything on the WORD OF GOD. We need to read the New Testament and take it literally to heart. Keep in mind that it was God’s chosen people, the religious right, who condemned Paul for speaking the truth. 

Pray for discernment! 

In speaking to a hostile Jewish audience, Paul uses old testament imagery as he seeks to show that his message is not an abandonment of his Jewish heritage. He explains his message via his own encounter with Jesus. Faithlife Bible.

The Jews did not hate all Gentiles. In fact, they permitted God-fearing Gentiles to worship in the Court of the Gentiles. A Gentile could even become a proselyte, recognized as a Jew, by being circumcised and obeying the laws of Moses. Thus the Jews in this passage were not upset about allowing Gentiles to worship God, but at the idea that Gentiles could be on an equal footing with them before God without being proselytes. The fact that the Gentiles could come to God directly by faith in Jesus Christ was offensive to them. NKJ Bible.

Acts 22:17–22 (NKJV)
17 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”

Matthew 10:17 (NKJV)
17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.

Luke 11:48 (NKJV)

48 In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Matthew 27:41-43

Being faithful in the trials and tribulations in this life is what matters to the Father. 

GOD will work them out for our good and for the testimony we will  have after they pass. Look at Job…faithful to the very end through the loss of everything. Job knew that GOD would restore all that Satan was allowed to steal, kill and destroy in his life, if not in this life, in eternity.

 JESUS willingly gave His life for ours. He had no need to prove His deity. He only wanted to please the FATHER by fulfilling His plan for salvation.

The religious leaders assume that God would not let His Son be executed. Faithlife Bible.

Jesus would not come down from the Cross because He was the Son of God and the King of Israel. He was obediently following God’s plan for Him; His obedience would lead to His exaltation as King over all. NKJ Bible.

Matthew 27:41–43 (NKJV)
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”

Matthew 18:11 (NKJV)
11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

John 3:14 (NKJV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

John 3:15 (NKJV)

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ezekiel 35:10-13

God sees the whole of a situation. You and I do not. But one thing we can depend upon His will will be done in heaven and on earth. Pray for discernment.

The people of Edom wanted to take possession of what they saw as abandoned land. Yahweh condemns their claim and affirms that Israel has not been abandoned. Faithlife Bible.

Ezekiel 35:10–13 (NKJV)
10 “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the Lord was there, 11 therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. 12 Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’ 13 Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.”

1 Samuel 2:3 (NKJV)
3 Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.

Psalm 9:16 (NKJV)
16 The Lord is known by the judgment He executes;
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

Meditation. Selah

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Luke 15:28-32

Much has been written about the prodigal son and the grace and forgiveness shown him by his father but very little about the reaction of the elder son. Sometimes it may seem that the perfectionist tendencies of the firstborn child are overlooked. We need to please! But if we look deeper into this parable pride is the very thing that stops us from maturing into a compassionate and forgiving adult. The father reminds his son that there is a reward for striving to do good but in the end it is much more important to show mercy to all those who come to their senses and return to the GOD of their youth. 

In Christ what was lost is found and what was dead and without hope has been given a new beginning and everlasting life with His Creator.

Instead of rejoicing that his lost brother was found, the older brother responds with resentment. This attitude reflects the scribes (teachers of the law) and Pharisees’ complaint about Jesus’ fellowship with sinners. Faithlife Bible.

The father responded to his disgruntled older son by explaining that just because someone receives a blessing, that does not mean there is no blessing for others. The father also implied that the older son always had the opportunity to celebrate with a fattened calf, since the animals were his. NKJ Bible.

Luke 15:28–32 (NKJV)
28 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Matthew 4:12-17

The Kingdom of heaven planted itself on this earth when Jesus began His ministry.

Following His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returns to the region of Galilee and begins His ministry. This is approximately ad 28. Luke estimates that Jesus was around 30 when He began His public ministry.

The age for priestly jobs: Num 4:2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, Num 4:3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation. See also Num 4:23 , Num 4:30, Num 4:35, Num 4:39. 

This is the reason Jesus waited till he was 30. (Luke 3:23) to enter public life.

These tribes were allotted territory in what became known as Galilee, but the Jewish population was largely displaced during the Persian period (ca. 550–330 bc). The inhabitants of Jesus’ day were mostly Gentiles (non-Jewish people) or descendants of Jews who had resettled in the region.

The Greek word used here, kēryssō, connotes a different sort of proclamation than the modern verb “preach” expresses. It often was used to describe official pronouncements of sovereigns, such as declarations of state visits or changes in taxation. Faithlife Bible.

The phrase from that time Jesus began occurs twice in the Book of Matthew (16:21). Each reference marks a crucial direction in the book. This one looks to the beginning of His earthly ministry, while 16:21 anticipates His crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus’ exhortation was identical to that of John the Baptist (3:2). NKJ Bible.

Matthew 4:12–17 (NKJV)
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.”

Mark 1:15 (NKJV)
15 and saying,  “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Isaiah 9:1 (NKJV
9 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her 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.

Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)
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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Daniel 9:16-19

PRAY FOR AMERICA… Love for our fellow man has grown cold and the pursuit of money has become our god. We need to acknowledge our sins, repent and change. Then the GOD of our fathers can restore us in CHRIST and in the peace that He alone can give.

If the temple associated with the God of Israel has been disgraced, so too has God and the nation to whom it belonged. Daniel’s prayer reaches its peak with four imperatives asking Yahweh to forgive and take swift action. Faithlife Bible.

It is important to note that the only basis for Daniel’s appeal was the grace of God.

Daniel 9:16–19 (NKJV)
16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Exodus 20:5 (NKJV)you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Monday, August 7, 2017

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul wanted to reach all men with the good news of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. He became like them in order to serve them where they were at spiritually. We would do well to remember this in our ministries…GOD meets us where we are but never leaves us there. His indwelling HOLY SPIRIT changes us from the inside out once we believe in Him. Spread the Word and let God do the rest. 

Faith alone pleases God.

My father is nearing 90 with moderate alzheimer I have started either taking him to and from Mass or attending with him weekly. 15 years ago i went every Wednesday with him for a year to saint Bernadette’s Church for adoration of the eucharist. he has been an outstanding example of a true believer and has raised all six of his children in the Catholic Church. He has lived out his faith and will one day hear “Well done My good and faithful servant”. Although I attend a protestant Church and have for over 20 years I find the HOLY SPIRIT abides in any Church where the faithful worship! 

Paul put himself at the service of others in order that God may use him to bring people to Jesus. He does not regard himself as a “savior,” but as an instrument through which someone might hear the gospel and be saved. He adapts to his audience (but not by compromising the gospel or his message) to remove any obstacles to their acceptance of the gospel message. Paul is not advocating syncretism or compromise of the gospel message. Rather, he is promoting a considerate evangelistic approach—one that accounts for different social circumstances, ethnicities, and religious convictions. Faithlife Bible.

Paul put his ministry of the gospel above his personal desires. He was willing to conform to the customs of other people, whether Jew or Gentile, in order to bring them to Christ. For example, in order to relate to the Jews in Jerusalem he made a Nazirite vow in the temple (Acts 21:23, 24). Around those who were under the Law—the Jews—Paul obeyed the Law. Around those who were outside the Law—the Gentiles—Paul did not observe Jewish custom. Paul clarified this, however, lest anyone misunderstand his actions. He obeyed God’s law through obedience toward Christ. This was a broader law than the Mosaic legislation; this was the fulfillment of Christ’s will. NKJ Bible.

1 Corinthians 9:19–23 (NKJV)
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

Acts 16:3 (NKJV)
Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.

Acts 21:24 (NKJV)

24 Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.