Jesus At The Temple

Matthew 21.pngJesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, “but you are making it a den of robbers.” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them, But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.                         Matthew 21:12-15

It was Passover week. The Passover was the highlight of the Jewish calendar. People came from all regions and many countries to be present for the celebration. Upon arriving, they were obligated to meet two requirements. First, an animal sacrifice, usually a dove. The dove had to be perfect, without blemish. If you brought a sacrifice from your won source, it would be considered insufficient by the authorities in the temple. So under the guise of keeping the sacrifice pure, the sellers sold doves at their price. Second, the people had to pay a yearly temple tax. During Passover, the tax had to be rendered in local currency. Knowing many foreigners would be in Jerusalem to pay the tax, money changers conveniently set up tables and offered to exchanged the foreign money for local for a modest fee, of course. It is not difficult to see what angered Jesus. Pilgrims journeyed days to see God, to witness the holy, to worship his majesty. But before they were taken into the presence of God, they were taken to the cleaners.

So I often wonder if Christians today take the time on a Sunday morning to just worship God,  one of the ten commandments is this Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy, or are we too busy conducting other business instead of doing what we are called to do. To be able to spend sometime on a Sunday morning worshipping God should be an honor for all, to give thanks for all He has done this past week. In order for all of us to have a walk with our Risen Lord we need to take the time in getting to know the “Great I Am”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Walking Humbly With God

Micah 6.pngWith what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good And what does the Lord require you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.                 Micah 6:6-8

Micah exposed corruption in Judah on every level of society. The rulers, prophets and priests were unjust, the people oppressed the poor and worshipped idols. Micah alternates between words of judgement and words of forgiveness and restoration. Micah is telling the people of Judah what God requires his people to do. To give God His due. God is deserving of our heart, body, soul, and spirit; our wisdom, understanding, judgment. Jesus tells us (Mk. 12:28-30) that the first commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Because He created us in His own image, God rightly and justly deserves all of our worship and adoration. “This is the first commandment.” To give your neighbor his due. Jesus continues (Mk 12:31) His discussion of the greatest commandments with the second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Can we sin against someone we truly love? Perhaps we might momentarily sin against a loved one, but not continually. True love desires to bless and not to injure. Note however that we are not to give that which is due to God to any man – neighbor or self .To give to yourself what you are due. According to Paul, we are not our own but instead our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). So what we have coming must be tempered by what we must avoid. Paul reminds us first of all to “flee sexual immorality.” Elsewhere Paul gives us lists of characteristics to avoid and attain (Gal. 5:19-25)

To Love Mercy

God realized what man has come to know; justice, while necessary, can be cold and unfeeling. (Micah 7:18.) To do justly alone is not sufficient for a child of God; we must love mercy and do what it requires. Mercy comes from characteristics that include kindness, benevolence, and charity. Part of what mercy requires is to be willing to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to forgive our sins. It is this aspect of mercy through which our own salvation comes (Titus 3:5).

To Walk Humbly

But how are we to do this? We must first acknowledge our sins and then be willing to submit to God’s mercy. It is only through a humbling of ourselves that we will be allowed to walk with God. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5.) Paul points out that it is high-mindedness that leads to unbelief and lack of faith in the power of God (Rom. 11:20; 12:3). The humble attitude required by the Lord will make itself manifest in a life of prayer, contrition, and service. There is no “Christian To Do List.” It is just not that simple. And yet we know that living Christ-like is not impossible (Mt. 11:29,30). But we must be mindful it is a “life” and not a series of accomplishments.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

 

Passion

Luke 24.png

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along? They stool still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas asked him. “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem  who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” What things? he asked. About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. He was  prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of the women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told is that they had seen a vision of angles, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus. He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if they were going father. But they urged him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Were not our hearts burning within while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?                               Luke:24:13-32

When we begin to read the scriptures over time God open our hearts, mind, and eyes to his word. It is truly amazing to come to understand how much we are truly love by our creator. There have been times in my life that someone ask me what my passion is, and that is my faith in Christ. When I serve Christ is someway through ministry it is wonderful to share with others how much God loves you, and their is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor death, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

As I spend some part of my day everyday with God I come to realize that through the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet God unfailing love for you and me will not be shaken nor his covenant of peace be removed. Nothing on earth seems as enduring or immovable as huge, majestic mountains. When you stand on their heights breathing in that air, you can almost smell eternity. Yet God’s love and Peace are even more enduring than the greatest mountain on earth! Regardless of the sins of my past or any sins in my future his love and grace for me is incredible to even understand. Think deeply about God’s unfailing love for his children. One of the meanings of unfailing is inexhaustible. No matter how needy we are or how many times we may fail God, his supply of his love will never run low. Another meaning of unfailing is constant. God does not love us more on the days that we perform well, nor does he loves us less when we may fail miserable. God’s love is more persistent, invariable and steadfast that we can comprehend. Open your hearts to received this amazing gift in full measure, and through his wonderful gift to me my passion is to serve him everyday in ministry to love and serve him and others.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Being Humble

Micah.jpgAS we read in the book of Micah he exposed corruption in Judah on every level of society. The rulers, prophets and priests were unjust; the people oppressed the poor and worshipped idols. Micah alternates between judgement and words of forgiveness and restoration.  Micah tells us in chapter 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with offerings with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand river of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you O mortals, what is good. And what does the Lord requires of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

As we read thru the Bible both Old and New testament the people of long ago sound a lot like us today. So many people feels that if they do enough good deeds they will get into heaven, or another saying is I am a good person. News flash everyone, we are all sinners in this world and our sins have separated us from our Creator, God Himself.  But because of his great love for us God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believers in him shall never perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (John 3:16-17) Wow! what a gift that God has given to all of us. Could you do the same sacrifice your own child, but God did. After the news a few years ago from doctors that my oldest daughter has lupus I was so angry at God, I sat in my car and yelled at him (boy I thought I let him have it, so to speak) I kept asking why my child what did she ever do to deserve this and then when I become quite I hear the following then Eileen why my son in your place at Calvary (wow). From that point on I knew that God understands the pain a mom goes thru watching her child suffers from this disease and others. I can not explain why he is allowing this for her because I don’t see the full picture of her life, however God does. For me I grew up as a Christian but it has been thru all of the doctors, hospital visits, being admitted, testing and more I have grown closer to my Lord. I continue to study his words to go deeper in my faith journey and I am allowing him to use me to be able to minister to others. Before every time we see a doctor or my daughter has a test done we go to God in pray for him to guide the doctors. I have shared my faith journey with anyone who has a listening ear, and when I am ask how to I get thru my difficult times with my daughter I tell them these words from Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. My daughter Victoria’s faith has always been strong however now I am seeing how God is using her thru a page on face book called Chronically Hopeful and a blog as well as leading woman Bible study on line for other women (older than her) who suffers from something, like illness, depression and more. She even started a blog about what she goes thru as well as educating about other illness, and her page on face book Victoria has more than 13,700 followers, what an awesome way God is using her in spite of having lupus. God wants us to continue to walk with him, to continue to be humble and help one another. We are all his children wouldn’t it be nice if we all act like we are children of the most high King Jesus Christ, and to think of others before ourselves. I always love teaching children and doing vacation Bible school for more than 15yrs now and next week I am leading once again ( at my church I have been a member 20yrs now ) besides being the interim pastor of another church, and the one true reason I always love to is this, children hearts are pure, they already know God does exist, and for the ones who are not aware as of yet, the staff and myself are able to share God’s love and believe me it  is a beautiful thing to see it all unfold and to allow God to use you, and the only way to do this is to continue to stay humble.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends