A Purpose? A Place? Take Life Seriously V

Friday, July 8, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 07/08/2022 8:00am

25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;

    look again—it leads straight to hell.

26 Appetite is an incentive to work;

    hunger makes you work all the harder.

27 Mean people spread mean gossip;

    their words are wise and burn.

28 Troublemakers start fights;

    gossips break up friendships.

29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;

    they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.

30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;

    a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.

31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,

    the award for a God-loyal life.

32 Moderation is better than muscle,

    self-control better than political power.

33 Make your motions and cast your votes,

    but God has the final say.

-Proverbs 16:22-33 The Message

25 There is a way that seems right to a man,

    but its end is the way to death.

26 A worker’s appetite works for him;

    his mouth urges him on.

27 A worthless man plots evil,

    and his speech is like a scorching fire.

28 A dishonest man spreads strife,

    and a whisperer separates close friends.

29 A man of violence entices his neighbor

    and leads him in a way that is not good.

30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;

    he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.

31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;

    it is gained in a righteous life.

32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap,

    but its every decision is from the Lord.

Verse 26 study: “The worker’s appetite works for him” means no matter how hard our work is, our appetite keeps us going. Hunger makes us work to satisfy our needs. Self-interest is an excellent motive for us all.

Verse 31 study: God’s blessing is a sign of long life according to the Hebrews. Gray hair and old age are good. Young people are glorified for their strength, while older people can rejoice in their years of experience and practical wisdom. Gray hair is not a sign of disgrace; it’s a crown of splendor. When you deal with older people, treat them with respect. Remember that age is an honor if it s reached by righteousness.

Verse 32 study: Self-control is the ruler of conquest. Success in school or at home can be ruined by someone who can’t control their temper. So it is a great victory to control your anger. When you are ready to get mad and explode, think about your self-control and how that can cost you the things you want. Self-discipline> physical prowess. (Self-discipline is better than physical prowess)

Verse 33 study: The lot mainly was used as formal settings and standards for determining God’s will. Several important events occurred at the lot, including identifying Achan as a man who sinned, dividing the promised land among the tribes, and selecting the first king for the nation. God can exercise his will in everything.

14 In the morning, therefore, you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man.

-Joshua 7:14 ESV
2 Their inheritance was by lot, just as the Lord had commanded by the hand of Moses for the nine and one-half tribes.

-Joshua 14:2 ESV
16 And Saul said to his uncle, "He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found." But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.
Saul Proclaimed King
17 Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah. 18 And he said to the people of Israel, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.' 19 But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, 'Set a king over us.' Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands."
20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrices was taken by lot; and Saul, the son of Kish, was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found.22 So they inquired again of the Lord, "Is there a man still to come?" and the Lord said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage." 23 Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people." And all the people shouted, "Long live the king!"
25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched.

-1 Samuel 10:16-26 ESV

The Eye of the Betrayer

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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43-44 When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.

45-46 When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.”

-Matthew 26:43-46 The Message

Verse 43: And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

Verse 44: So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.

Verse 45: Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Verse 46: Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

More On Jesus’ Return

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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36 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.

-Matthew 24:36-44 The Message

Verse 36: “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Verse 36 study: This verse is good for us to not know when Jesus will come. If we knew, we might become complacent with our work, or we could sin right up to the end and then turn to God. Instead, we should continue to do the work of the Lord because Heaven is not our only goal. We have to stay working until the day comes for our unmistakable Savior’s return.

Verse 37: For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

Verse 38: For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

Verse 39: and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Verse 40: At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

Verse 41: Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Be Ready for His Coming

Verse 42: “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

Verses 40-42 studies: Christ’s second coming will be quick. At that point, there are no second thoughts or bargaining, or last-minute repentance. The choice we make will be our eternal destiny.

Verse 43: But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

Verse 44: For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Verse 44 study: The purpose of Jesus telling about his return is not about predictions. It is about preparedness. That is his warning to us. Will you be ready? The safest choice is to obey him today.

Signs? What Signs?

Thursday, March 24, 2022

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Routine History

24 1-2 Jesus then left the Temple. As he walked away, his disciples pointed out how very impressive the Temple architecture was. Jesus said, “You’re not impressed by all this sheer size, are you? The truth of the matter is that there’s not a stone in that building that is not going to end up in a pile of rubble.”

3 Later, as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”

4-8 Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.

-Matthew 24:1-8 The Message

Signs of Christ’s Return

24 Verse 1: Jesus left the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

Verse 2:, But He responded and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

Verses 1-2 studies: No one knew what the temple looked like in its entirety, but it is said to be beautiful. Herod had helped the Jews remodel and beautify it and also stay friendly to his subjects. Next to the inner temple, where the sacred objects were kept and the sacrifices offered, was a large area called the court of the Gentiles. A reminder that this is where moneychangers and merchants kept their booths. Outside the courts were porches. Solomon’s was 1,562 feet long; the royal portico was accurate, with 160 columns stretching its 921-foot length. Looking at this fantastic and massive structure, the disciples found Jesus’ words about its destruction difficult to believe. But the temple was destroyed 40 years later when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Verse 3: And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Verse 3 study: The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would stand when he came to establish his kingdom, in which Jesus was at the Mount of Olives, the same place Zechariah made his prediction.

4 On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split [a]in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south.

-Zechariah 14:4 NASB

It’s fitting because the disciples wanted to ask Jesus when he would come in power and what they could expect from them. Jesus’ reply emphasized the events that would take place before the end of the age. However, he also mentioned that his disciples should be less concerned with knowing the exact date and more concerned with being prepared. Living God’s way consistently so that no matter when Jesus came to glory, he would claim them as his own.

Verse 4: And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.

Verse 4 study: The disciples asked Jesus for the sign of his coming and the end of the age. Jesus’ first response was, “see to it that no one misleads you.” The fact is that when we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. For example, there are many “false power of authority” around the counterfeit signs of spiritual power and authority.

11 And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people.

-Matthew 24:11 NASB

24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

-Matthew 24:24 NASB

The only sure way to keep from being deceived is to say focus on Christ and his words. Don’t look for unique signs, don’t spend time looking at other people; look at Christ.

Verse 5: For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people.

Verse 6: And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

Verse 7: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Verse 8: But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.

Guilty Conscious

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

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29-32 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You build granite tombs for your prophets and marble monuments for your saints. And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. You protest too much! You’re cut from the same cloth as those murderers, and daily add to the death count.

33-34 “Snakes! Cold-blooded sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It’s on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation, you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.

35-36 “You can’t squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I’m telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.

-Matthew 23:29-36 The Message

Verse 29: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,

Verse 30: and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Verse 31: So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 

Verse 32: Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

Verse 33: You snakes, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

Verse 34: “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

Verse 35: so that upon you will fall the guilt of all the righteous bloodshed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Verse 35 study: Jesus gave a brief history of all the Old Testament martyrdom. Abel was the first in Genesis 4; Zechariah was the last mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, ending with 2 Chronicles. Zechariah is an example of a man of God who was killed by those who claimed to be God’s people.

20 Then the Spirit of God covered Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest like clothing; and he stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God has said, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, He has also abandoned you.’” 21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the house of the Lord.

-2 Chronicles 24:20-21 NASB

Verse 36: Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Verses 34-36 studies: These were scribes, wise men, and prophets that may have been leaders in the early church who were persecuted, scourged, and killed, just as Jesus predicted. The generation of Jesus’ people said they would not act as their fathers did in killing prophets God sent to them (23:30),

and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Matthew 23:30 NASB

but they were about to kill the Messiah himself and his faithful followers. They eventually became guilty of all righteous bloodshed through centuries.

Forgive!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

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A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got underway, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

-Matthew 18-21-35 The Message

Forgiveness

Verse 21: Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I still forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Verse 22: Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times.

Verse 22 study: The rabbis taught people that you should forgive those who offend them, but only three times. Peter, being generous, asked if the perfect number seven times was enough to forgive someone. But Jesus said, “seventy times seven.” This means we should not keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many times they ask.

Verse 23: “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.

Verse 24: And when he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.

Verse 25: But since he did not have the means to repay, his master commanded that he be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment is made.

Verse 26: So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’

Verse 27: And the master of that slave felt compassion, and he released him and forgave him the debt.

Verse 28: But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe!’

Verse 29: So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’

Verse 30: But he was unwilling, and went and threw him in prison until he would pay back what was owed.

Verse 30 study: In bible times, there were all kinds of actions the lender could take to the debtor. A person lending money could seize the borrower who couldn’t pay and force his or her family to work until the debt was paid off. The debtor could be thrown into prison, or his family could be sold into slavery to help pay off the debts. The debtor hoped while in prison, would sell off his landholdings, or maybe a relative(s) would pay off the debt. If that didn’t happen, the debtor could be in prison for life.

Verse 31: So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their master all that had happened.

Verse 32: Then summoning him, his master *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

Verse 33: Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way, that I had mercy on you?’

Verse 34: And his master, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he would repay all that was owed him.

Verse 35: My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Verse 35 study: God has forgiven our sins. We should make it a habit to forgive others. Realizing how completely Christ has forgiven us should produce a free and generous attitude of forgiveness towards others. When we don’t forgive others, we are setting ourselves outside and above Christ’s law of love.

John’s Death

Friday, January 28, 2022

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The Death of John

14 1-2 At about this time, Herod, the regional ruler, heard what was being said about Jesus. He said to his servants, “This has to be John the Baptizer come back from the dead. That’s why he’s able to work miracles!”

3-5 Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.

6-12 But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias’s daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.” That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.

-Matthew 14:1-12 The Message

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 Verse 1: At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,

Verse 2: and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he himself has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Verse 1 study: Herod was a tetrarch, one of four rulers over four districts of Palestine. His territory included the region of Galilee and Perea. He was the son of Herod the Great; he ordered the killing of babies in Bethlehem (2:16). He is also known as Herod Antipas. He heard Jesus’ case before his crucifixion (Luke 23:6-12).

Verse 3: For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.

Verse 3 study: Herod’s half-brother Philip was another of Palestine’s four rulers. His territories were Itvraea and Trachonitis, which is Northeast of the sea of Galilee (Luke 3:1) Herodias, Philip’s wife, left Philip to live with Herod Antipas. John the Baptist condemned them for living together; immorally (Mark 6:17-18).

Verse 4: For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”

Verse 5: Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.

Verse 6: But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,

Verse 7: so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.

Verse 8: And after being prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”

Verse 9: And although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths and his dinner guests.

Verse 9 study: Herod didn’t want to kill John the Baptist, but he gave orders so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of guests. How easy it is to give in to a crowd to be pressured into doing the wrong thing. Don’t put yourself in that situation where it is too embarrassing to do what is right. Be the determined person to do what is right, regardless of how embarrassing or painful it may be.

Verse 10: He sent word and had John beheaded in the prison.

Verse 11: And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

Verse 12: John’s disciples came and took away the body and buried it; they went and reported to Jesus.

Satan’s Residence

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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43-45 “When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.

“That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.”

-Matthew 12:43-45 The Message

Verse 43: “Now when the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.

Verse 44: Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.

Verse 45: Then it goes and brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Verses 43-45 studies: Jesus describes the behavior of the nation of Israel and religious leaders. Cleaning up life without filling it with God leaves a lot of room for Satan to take residence. In the book of Ezra, it is recorded how people rid themselves of idolatry but failed to replace it with the love of God, and obedience to him. The first step is ridding ourselves of sin; the second step is filling our lives with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Vacant and complacent people are easy targets for Satan.

Cross References

12:43

Luke 11:24-26

12:45

Mark 5:9; Luke 11:26; Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:20

Father, let me be transparent. I am one of those people who don’t fill up enough of you, which is why Satan entered in some dark times. I pray that I continue to read your Word in other ways. I failed to do that the last couple of weeks, especially during the holiday weeks. I pray we can stay on your Word for those in my shoes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Healing of the Withered Hand

Monday, January 10, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/10/2022

11-14 He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out, and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.

-Matthew 12:11-14 The Message

Verse 11: But He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?

Verse 12: How much more valuable then is a person than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Verse 13: Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.

Verse 14: But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him as to how they might destroy Him.

Verses 10-12 studies: The Pharisees placed their law above human need. The situation showed that Jesus performed a miracle, and the miracle he performed was to a man with a withered hand. Which did the Pharisees care about? They didn’t care about the withered hand; they cared about Jesus possibly breaking the law. So that’s what the Pharisees did, place their law over human need. What’s your attitude toward others? If your convictions don’t allow you to help people, your convictions may not be in line with God’s Word. Don’t allow dogma to blind you to human needs.

Verse 14 study: The Pharisees plotted Jesus’ death because they were angry. Jesus overruled their authority (Luke 6:11) and exposed their evil attitudes in front of a crowd in the synagogue. Jesus showed them that the Pharisees were more loyal to the religious system than God.

Cross References

12:11

Luke 14:5

12:12

Matthew 10:31; Luke 14:1-6

12:13

Matthew 8:3; Acts 28:8

12:14

Matthew 26:4; Mark 14:1; Luke 22:2; John 7:30, 44; 8:59; 10:31, 39; 11:53

All of these miracles should give us hope and reason to believe in you. It should also provide us with reason to share the Word with others. So, father, I pray that we help others when it is time and teach others that wrong your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Better Spiritual Heritage?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/04/2022 8:00am

7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’

11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer, but in the kingdom, he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.

-Matthew 11:7-14 The Message

Jesus’ Tribute to John

Verse 7: As these disciples of John were going away, Jesus began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

Verse 8: But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!

Verse 9: But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.

Verse 10: This is the one about whom it is written:

‘Behold, I am sending My messenger ahead of You,

Who will prepare Your way before You.’

Verse 11: Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Verse 11 study: John is known to have really fulfilled his God-given purpose. But, in God’s kingdom, all members will have a more extraordinary spiritual heritage than John because they will have known and seen Christ and finished his work on the cross.

Verse 12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been treated violently, and violent men take it by force.

Verse 12 study: There are three common views of this verse.

  1. Jesus refers to a vast movement towards God, the momentum that began John’s preaching.
  2. He may have reflected the Jewish activists’ expectation that God’s kingdom would come through a violent overthrow of Rome.
  3. He may have meant that entering God’s kingdom takes courage, unwavering faith, determination, and endurance because of the growing opposition leveled at Jesus’ followers.

Verse 13: For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

Verse 14: If you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.

Verse 14 study: John is not a resurrected Elijah, but he did take on Elijah’s prophetic role as boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God (Malachi 3:1).

Cross References

11:7

Matthew 3:1

11:9

Matthew 14:5;21:26; Luke 1:76; 20:6

11:10

Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:2

11:12

Luke 16:16

11:14

Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:17; John 1:21

Father, we know John as to be the person to be the only person to fulfill the God-given purpose. So, therefore, I pray that even if we don’t know our purpose, you will give it to us. I pray we are open-minded and are willing to fulfill it with the preparations you give us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.