We Withhold From Ourselves

We Withhold From Ourselves

Matthew 13:10-15

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

 

The Disciples of Christ asked why he was teaching the masses in parables, which for many, were difficult to understand.  They wondered why Christ did not tell all the followers and all the leaders of his coming, his purpose, and the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. Continue reading

Lift The Yoke

Lift The Yoke

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

This verse follows the verses that I wrote about in a previous post, These Things Are For Children.   In that post I wrote about the Kingdom of God being in our hearts, and how the world comes along and fills our hearts with worldly things.  We then allow these things to push out the Kingdom of God.  Once this is done we burden ourselves with worldly desires and these burdens wear us down.  Sometimes the burdens don’t allow us to realize the Kingdom of God was in our hearts and it is really still there if we just make the room for it.  Tragically, sometimes they wear us down to the point of denying the existence of God. Continue reading

These Things Are For Children

These Things Are For Children

Matthew 11:25

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Jesus was preaching to the crowd that gathered to hear the discussion he was having with the disciples of John the Baptist.  Christ was condemning the cities that had failed to repent even after having witnessed the works of Christ.

I would assume the cities that Christ was referring to in the earlier verses, considered themselves to be an epicenter of intellect and enlightenment.  But Christ is telling them they will pay the price for their arrogance, stiff necks and harden hearts.  This is just as the great prophets of the Old Testament had preached to metropolises of their time.

After denouncing these worldly centers, Christ then speaks the words in verse 25. Continue reading

Doing Good

Doing Good

1 Peter 3:17

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

I read this verse and the first thing that came to mind was one of my favorite old sayings; “No good deed goes unpunished.”

There is no known origin for this phrase, although it’s been attributed to the likes of Billy Wilder, Andrew Mellon and Oscar Wilde. Continue reading

Treasures In Heaven

Treasures In Heaven

Matthew 6:19-21

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

My post, Living In Your Paneled House, dealt with the words of the prophet Haggai. He was addressing the people of Israel after their return from captivity in Babylon.  The Old Testament Book of Haggai starts by him admonishing the Jews for taking care of their personal homes while neglecting the rebuilding of the Lord’s temple.  Haggai was letting all people who hear his words know that they must take care of their spiritual house, which is our spiritual self, which is the house of the Lord. Continue reading

Slave To The World

Slave To The World

Galatians 4:8-9

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Paul is writing about the worldly and the spiritual, and how we allow the world to dictate our lives.

…when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

This verse is written in the past tense, but rewrite it in the present tense, and you can see how timeless these words can be. Continue reading

True Power

True Power

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

When I read this, I had to write myself a note.  I knew this verse was one I wanted to write about, as writing helps me understand. I have read different opinions about this verse, but as I start writing my thoughts, I’m still not sure I fully understand the implications of it. Continue reading

Apples to Oysters

Apples to Oysters

 

2 Corinthians 10:12

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

In this verse, Paul tells us that we are all individuals.  Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, to compare each other and make judgements about individuals as compared to others or the group, well that’s just vanity. It’s folly, like the old phrase apples to oranges. Continue reading

The Spirit Within

The Spirit Within

1 Corinthians 2:10 -11

…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

God is within each of us.  We do not have to search the world for God, we only have to look no further than our hearts. That is where God dwells within each and every individual.

Paul confirms this in the verses above. Continue reading

Abandon The Spirit To Please The Flesh

Abandon The Spirit To Please The Flesh

Micah 6:13-15

Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
    making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
    and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
    and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
    you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
    you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.

Micah is explaining to Israel the consequences of their actions.  They have abandoned God and forsaken righteousness for the pleasures and treasures of the world.  Israel did in ancient times as we do today.  We abandon the spirit to please the flesh.  For the want of simple worldly things, we bypass righteousness and the work involved, and we do what we rationalize as necessary to make our existence comfortable and easy. Continue reading