Monday, March 30, 2015

Matthew 24:30-31

30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

When Jesus returns there will be no celebration for those who are not members of His family. They will be mourning that they are not a part of the family.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Matthew 24:23-25

23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.

There are many things that could take the place of Christ in my life and there are even some that closely resemble the manor in which I worship or are flashy enough to catch my attention. When confronted by someone's beliefs or actions that come against what I know is the truth, I am to examine it carefully and cling only to what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Matthew 23:25-28

25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.

27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

I have many rituals in my life that revolve around keeping myself and my things in good working order. It took the breaking of the hollow shell that I had built around myself before I was able to see who I really am and hand that over to God to do what He wants to.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Matthew 23:1-4

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden."

"Do as I say, not as I do." Jesus says basically this against current leaders of the people. The law at that time was the Isrealites only hope of pleasing God, but Jesus was setting the example for us to follow and He is the only thing about us that is pleasing to God.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Given Over to My Sins

Three times in the opening chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul uses the expression, "God gave them over." When we don't honor God, God also responds. When we sin in our hearts toward Him, refusing to be dependent on Him, He gives us over to the control of the sinful things we prefer more than Himself. When God gives us over, He turns us over to the darkness of our hearts, which creates deeper darkness. He gives us over to our own cravings allowing us to be controlled, literally, by those desires.

Therefore, moral perversion is the result of God's wrath, not the reason for it. God's action is severe in that He gives us over not only to our desires but to a condition of ungovernable desires. We demand; God steps back. We choose to regulate our lives rather than honoring and obeying God; we lose the ability to regulate our desires. In The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis states that people will "enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved." 

Our Sinful Condition is terminal. We can't extricate ourselves from sin. We can't transform our sinful condition by determination, treatment, or will power. We are "spiritually dead" without Christ. We don't just commit evil acts; we have a propensity to commit evil. Paul warned, "People will be lovers of themselves ... abusive ... without love ... without self-control ... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:2-4). - "False Intimacy" by Henry Schaumburg

Matthew 22:35-39

35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

It seems that my life has been backwards most of the time and I have completely ignored the two greatest commandments from the God of the universe. God is jealous for my love (Deuteronomy 4:24) and even pursues me for it (Luke 15:3-7). As I get to know Him, my heart will be humbled and I can take on the role of a servant just as Jesus did (Philippians 2:7).

Monday, March 16, 2015

Matthew 22:11-14

11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Even though God has His favorites (the Isrealites were the first invited to the feast) they refuse to come to the feast when the time came. So then God extended the invitation to the Gentiles so that everyone was given the call to come to the feast. All we are asked to do is show up dressed for the party in the "righteous deeds of the saints." (Revelation 19:7-9)