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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Matthew

Invited to Follow

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi (also known as Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him. – (Luke 5:27-28)

 

There are several really remarkable steps to Matthew’s story. First, he was a tax collector, and therefore, no friend to the Jews. Additionally, his position had likely been a very lucrative one for him, yet at Jesus’ invitation, he willingly walked away from it all, to faithfully follow Him. Even more than Matthew’s willingness to leave his life of luxury behind, He desperately wanted others to discover what he had found in Christ, so he held a great banquet, inviting all his friends, so that they too, might meet Jesus and choose to follow Him. Matthew laid down his material possessions to gain spiritual wealth, as he was overjoyed to be associated with Jesus.

 

Each of us has a story; a moment in time when we heard Him whisper an invitation to come and follow Him. What have we set aside to serve Him? Do we go out of our way to share the joy that we have found with those whom we care most about? May our stories each include passion, promise, and pride in He who grants us new life, as we willingly set aside whatever He asks, and choose to follow Him with all that we are.

 

When Christ comes along,MSH29

and calls us by name;

what will we lay down?

Money? Fortune? Fame?

Where He asks we go,

requires us move;

giant steps of faith,

our fears He’ll remove.

All trust is needed,

as are faithful steps;

when we go in peace,

we’re His righteous reps.

Help our hearts let go,

of temporal things;

and to You, Lord God,

we forever cling.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the remarkable examples of men and women that have gone before us, that willingly walked away from what was comfortable and known, into the unknown, as they trusted in You. Thank You that the benefits far outweigh the burdens for all of eternity, no matter what the cost seems to be in the here and now. Forgive us for our hesitation when we hear You call, and help us to move immediately, just as Matthew did. May our willing obedience be a blessing to all whom we encounter, and may many come to know of Your loving kindness as a result. Help us to love as You love us, and keep our hearts tender to hear from You. Be glorified, O God, as we faithfully follow You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

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An Attitude Adjustment

Though the story of Peter being called to go and share the good news in the home of Cornelius has an overarching theme that the gospel is for everyone, the thing that struck me as I read the account in Acts this morning, was Peter’s attitude adjustment, in such a short time.

Back in Matthew 18:1-6, as the disciples were traveling with Jesus, and learning and growing beside Him as He led them, they were arguing one day, about which among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Somehow, in all of the attention, their priorities had become askew. Jesus quickly set the record straight, “And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -(Matthew 18:3-4)

Fast forward past Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. While in Joppa, Peter had been assured in a vision that he was to go to the home of Cornelius, to share the good news of Christ. He willingly went with the men Cornelius had sent, when they had arrived to lead him. “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.” – (Acts 10:25-26) Peter was quick to humble himself and point Cornelius to Christ. Despite the potential draw of being adored by such a powerful person, Peter prioritized the presentation of truth, and maintained his position of humility as a servant of Christ. Because of Peter’s willing submission to God’s call, Cornelius and his entire household came to Christ. Being a man of high position, I imagine Cornelius had a tremendous impact on many people.

Be humble and kind,An Attitude Adjustment

allow the Lord lead;

be willing to give,

as we see a need.

Trust Him to show us,

what we’re meant to do;

listen to His voice,

faithfully pursue.

Seek not position,

of honor, nor fame;

and if it’s given,

point straight to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and the reason we are able to do anything good in this life. Thank You for such great examples of change, as You show us how to be more like Christ in what we say and do. Forgive us for not walking in humility, or for not giving credit where credit is due. Thank You that all good that we do, is done in Your strength, and that the life You are calling us to, is only possible in You. May we be invested in You, so that Your light shines through us. May many come to see Your light through our love, and ultimately, come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted, our great and mighty God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; … my hope is in You all day long.

- Psalm 25:4-5


Light

Light of the World

Light of the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 1
King James Version (KJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Light!!!   Did you ever consider the meaning of light and how it is used in the Bible? There are three different ways you can use light in the English language, as a noun, a verb and an adjective.

Definition of Light
noun:1) the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.
2) understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment.
verb: 1) provide with light or lighting; illuminate.
2) make (something) start burning; ignite.
adjective: 1) having a considerable or sufficient amount of natural light; not dark.
2) (of a color) pale.

Even with the definition you can break it down even further to types of light from natural to man-made, from terrestrial to celestial. Here are just a few:

Man made:

Fire
Acetylene/Carbide
Argand
Candle
Diya
Gas
Kerosene
Lantern
Limelight
Oil
Rushlight

Torch

Natural

Astronomical objects
Sun (sunlight, solar radiation)
Sunset & sunrise
Diffuse sky radiation
Corona
Photosphere
Starlight (Stars forming groups such as star clusters and galaxies and indirectly lighting nebulae)
Bright star (list)
Deep sky objects including quasars, accretion discs around black holes, blazars, magnetars, misc. nebulae, pulsars
Supernova / nova / hypernova
Milky Way
Atmospheric entry (via ionization and/or heating; can be man-made, also)
Meteors
Meteor showers
Bolide
Earth-grazing fireball
Lightning (Plasma (physics))
Sprite (lightning)
Ball lightning
Upper-atmospheric lightning
Dry lightning

A large list I know, but this is just a portion of the different types of light! Amazing isn’t it? I didn’t even begin with the different uses of light! In the King James Version of the Bible light is mentioned 272 times. The first time is in the very first chapter of Genesis and in the third verse where God says “let there be light!”

God said that light was good! And divided it from darkness. He gave us the light of the sun, put the stars in the heavens, and gave us the moon for when the night brought darkness to the face of the earth. He gave us all the materials we needed to make our own light and we have covered the world with it to the point that when you look at it from space, you can easily see where the people are concentrated.

God Himself is our light: 2 Samuel 22:29 For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Even the stars praise Him with their light:

Psalm 148:3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

We can have light in us:

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

He has promised our burden to be light:

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God sent a certain man to introduce the true Light of the world:

John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Those that do evil, hate the light:

John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Jesus is the light of the world and if we follow Him we have the promise of life:

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the lightof life.

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 12:36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

We are instructed to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light:

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

God is light and in Him there is no darkness:

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Someday soon our reward will be here if we accept Jesus as our Savior and the light of our world:

Revelation 21:23-25 King James Version (KJV)

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

God bless you and I hope that you found this small work of light, enlightening!

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False Prophets and the True Way

Matthew 7:15-23

King James Version (KJV)

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Isaiah 8:20

King James Version (KJV)

20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them

Galatians 1:6-8

King James Version (KJV)

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

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Take Heed

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Matthew 16

King James Version (KJV)

16 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Is your church more interested in rote and ritual than it is the glory and worship of God? Do you find your self going through motions or doing things because you feel it is required? Are you listening to your Pastor, but not feeling the love that you felt in the beginning? Beware the leaven of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.  You will miss God if you rely on all those things and don’t reach out and give Him worship and praise. He wants more than anything for you to look for Him, he is that jealous lover that must be first, not the afterthought of some ritual that is empty of desire! If you are feeling lost and empty, reach out to Him! Prayer and fasting are wonderful and what Jesus Himself did when He wanted to be closer with God. Would you be happy with a cold and distant spouse? Or would you rather have joy and praise relished upon you? Take heed!

PTG

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Son of Man via Days of Praise

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Revelation 14:14)

This is the last of some 87 New Testament references (84 in the four gospels, one in Acts, none in the epistles, two in Revelation) to Christ as the Son of man. Here we see the Son of man coming on a white cloud from heaven (just as He had ascended into heaven after His resurrection) as the conquering King of all the earth.

What a contrast is this to the first New Testament reference to the Son of man. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). From humility and poverty on Earth to power and riches in heaven, and for all eternity—this was His journey when Christ left His heavenly glory to join the human family.

In between the poverty and the power lay the whole human experience, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Finally, as Son of man He must die for man’s sin, for “the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7). Even in heaven He is still the Son of man, for Stephen saw Him thus: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).

There is, indeed, a great man in the glory! Christ called Himself “the Son of man” much more often than “the Son of God,” though He will eternally be both, the God/man. He delights to identify with those whom He has redeemed, for He “is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11). “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” asked Jesus. Then we say, with Peter, “Thou art . . . the Son of the living God” (Matthew16:13, 16). HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

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Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32
King James Version (KJV)
31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof

English: Mustard seeds by David Turner Februar...

English: Mustard seeds by David Turner February 23, 2005 Edited by Consequencefree to replace the coin with an SI measurement reference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Parable of the Wheat and Tares

The weeds or "tares" were probably d...

The weeds or “tares” were probably darnel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew 13:24-30

King James Version (KJV)

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

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That it Might be Fulfilled

Matthew 13:34-35

King James Version (KJV)

34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

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Why Do You Speak to Them in Parables?

Matthew 13:10-17

King James Version (KJV)

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

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