Monday, June 6, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
Jesus in Matthew 23, speaks directly to the religious leaders of the day. Taunting or calling out of the issues of the day; namely a wrong message of what makes one righteous. Jesus gives an example of direct confrontation of the battle that is fought with men that are in conflict with the will of the Father. The recorded word is given to combat pride, greed, self-will and sin in light of the provision and providence of God.
Jesus speaks the Seven Woes against the Pharisees and Scribes; the commanding rulers of the day. Jesus challenged the norms of society and desired to confront and give direction to the people of the Jerusalem that the pathway being preached was leading them to a false doctrine of God’s love and will for them. This conversation happened in a public forum and the gathering crowd existed of Scribes and Pharisees, in addition to the common Jews of the city. Jesus is publicly calling out the teaching of the leaders for their contradiction with God’s Word.
Jesus is preaching the gospel that love of God is imperative and that belief in the Messiah offers everlasting life for every Jew. It is love and grace, not law. The Pharisees are in direct contrast to this:
In the case of the Pharisees and their scribes there is the very serious accusation that they shut up the kingdom of heaven before men. They were in reality effectively shutting people out of God’s kingdom at the same time that they claimed they were helping them into it; in that lay their hypocrisy
Jesus baits the Pharisees to call them out, for the purpose of truth. Christ knew the plan and the consequence of His actions. Jesus was going to the cross to pay the price that could not be paid by anyone other than the perfect Lamb of God. There was no other option. Truth needed spoken; hypocrisy needed called out and the position of God and His will need to be completed. Jesus calls the Pharisees and Scribes out for what they were; self-serving hypocrites. This preaching from our Lord was meant to redirect the purposes of man to serve the righteous purpose of God.
 Life Application Study Bible (p. 1583). Wheaton, IL:Tyndale House Publishers. 2005
 Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (p. 579). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Friday, December 4, 2015
As the exam was being administered my mind wandered to the things of God. Maybe we should have an I-exam regularly. Are we seeing things 20/20 in God's view or do we need some assistance? There is a Spirit inside of every believer that directs our paths, yet there can be a failure to see properly. Proverb 3:5-6 teaches that we are to trust in God, and not lean on our own understanding. I problem. Do you see it?
As a young man, far younger than I am now, there really wasn't an I-problem in my mind. Understand that my whole life existed completely for me and my happiness; there wasn't much I worried about but myself. No problem, that was who and what I was at the time.
I wanted to improve myself, self-examine myself, please myself, grow myself, and tell others how great myself was in all things in all ways. Unfortunately, that also included a time factor most, if not all, of the time. I, I , I all the time.
At about 25 years old, the I was not producing the happiness factor to the degree that I, myself, desired and in fact there was disappointment and a feeling of being lost. A mentor lead me to accept Christ. Please understand there wasn't much room in my heart for Christ at this time. There was a lot of self-love and it was seeking to starve the new found Holy Spirit in me.
Hebrews 12:2 states, "... fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."(NIV) If we are honest with ourselves we all have I-problems, our I's are usually fixated on self. We all need to accept the corrective lens of the Holy Spirit and submit our pride to Jesus.
The simple fact is that once we accept the lack of focus, and move the I out of our heart and mind, the Spirit is able to grow and change us. Ephesians 4:30 tells us "do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (NIV) We need to focus on Him alone. Seek His ways and die to the I's.
My prayer for you (for me) is that we are able to see better the work of Christ. To see that we all have an I-problem, and need to go to another and have it evaluated regularly. Then we can accept the prescription and improve our God view and allow it to be our only view.
So get the I out of your eye, and let your heart fully and completely belong to God.