Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jesus and the New Testament Passover. God’s Harvest Festivals. The Days They Changed, But Couldn’t Kill. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Here is one of the series for children which can be printed, colored and learn the stories of the Bible.

Jesus and the New Testament Passover

“Every year baptized members of the Church of God meet together to observe the Passover in a particular way. Here is why and the Bible story behind it.

PDF to print for family reading with coloring page

Jesus and the New Testament Passover coloring page Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet

At first Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet.

Jesus and His family had always kept the Passover, as well as all of God’s annual festivals. But the last Passover Jesus kept was quite different.

First, He shocked His disciples by performing an act of humble service. Then He introduced symbols to remind them of the meaning behind His coming sacrifice.

Three new things

Here are three new things that He did:

He washed their feet. Jesus and the disciples gathered together in a special room at the beginning of the 14th of Abib at twilight. Jesus knew that He would soon be killed, and He said to them, “I have really wanted to eat this Passover with you before I die. I won’t eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

After they had finished eating, Jesus got up and took a towel. He poured water into a basin and began to wash and wipe dry the disciples’ feet. Peter stopped Him and said, “You will never wash my feet.”

Peter was upset because foot washing was a job for the lowest of servants—not for Jesus, the great Teacher. Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash your feet, then you are not a part of Me or the work I am doing.”

Peter loved Jesus and didn’t want to displease Him, so he said, “Then wash my hands and head too!”

Jesus loved Peter too, and He patiently explained, “If I wash your feet, you are clean all over.”

Jesus continued until He had washed each disciple’s feet—even the feet of Judas, the man who would betray Him. Then He said, “I have given you an example. Now you are to do just as I have done.”

He had just introduced the first change of the Passover service. He had shown them that they were to serve one another. (You can read this in John 13:1-20.)

He introduced the symbolic reminders of bread and wine. Then Jesus took some bread. He said a prayer over it and broke it into small pieces. “This is My body which is broken for you. Take a piece, and when you eat it, remember Me.”

After each disciple had eaten his piece of the bread, Jesus took a cup of wine. He prayed over it and offered it to each man. “All of you must drink of this, because this is My blood, which will soon be shed for you. It’s My blood that will let you be forgiven of your sins.”

Just as the Passover lamb’s blood saved the children of Israel from the destroyer (Exodus 12:23), now the blood of the Lamb of God was going to save people from the second death that comes from breaking God’s commandments without being forgiven. (The full account is found in Luke 22:14-23.)

Some of Jesus’ last words

Then Jesus spent time talking to them about God and the wonderful plans He has for those who really believe and obey Him. He told them that they were His friends and that He loved them. And He also warned them that following Him would not be easy, but that He would always be there for them.

After they sang a song, they walked over to the Mount of Olives. Only Jesus knew what lay in store that night, and the pain He would soon suffer.

Awful events followed

Religious leaders and others wanted Jesus dead. They didn’t believe He was the Son of God. One of His own disciples betrayed Him to them.

Soldiers beat Him until He was bloodied. They made fun of Him in front of people. The leaders accused Him when He was innocent. And finally the rulers pressured the Roman governor to crucify Him, causing a very painful death normally reserved for criminals.

Jesus offered forgiveness

After all that had been done to Him, some of His last words were amazing: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). He loved them and gave His life for them—and for all the rest of us.

The miracle of the resurrection

Three days and three nights after Christ died and was buried, God brought Him back to life again. (He was “resurrected.” You can read about this in Matthew 28.) His disciples saw Him several times before He went to stay with God the Father. Jesus told them what He wanted them to do. He also gave them a promise:

“Go and teach all nations, baptize them, and teach them to do what I have told you to do,” He said to them. “And I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”

The Church of God today

The Church of God, a Worldwide Association, today observes the Passover (and all the other festivals) just as Jesus and the disciples did so long ago. Baptized members meet together on the beginning of the Passover in the evening. They wash each other’s feet. They eat a small piece of unleavened bread and remember Christ’s beaten body. And they sip a tiny cup of wine that symbolizes Christ’s shed blood.

This is God’s way of reminding His people each year that we need to repent when we disobey Him. Christ’s sacrifice makes it possible for God to forgive us. And it’s His sacrifice that gives us a continuing opportunity to learn to love and obey God.

Questions

Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:

  1. Why did Jesus wash the disciples’ feet?
  2. What do the unleavened bread and wine mean at the New Testament Passover service?

Read more about this story in the articles “A Story of the First Passover” and “Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/bible-stories/jesus-and-the-new-testament-passover/

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God’s Harvest Festivals

Exodus 23:14-16

“Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.”

God’s seven annual festivals listed in Leviticus 23 are several times grouped together as three main festival seasons of the year.

  • Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread fall in an eight-day period in the spring.
  • The Feast of Harvest, called Pentecost in the New Testament, falls in late spring or early summer.
  • And the Feast of Ingathering, better known as the Feast of Tabernacles, comes in the fall, along with the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Eighth Day/Last Great Day.

For an overview of God’s festivals and God’s plan of salvation, see “Festival Meaning: What Are the Meanings of Each of God’s Festivals?

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The Days They Changed, But Couldn’t Kill

“Jesus and the early Church did things that would seem very odd today. How—and why—did people stop doing what Jesus did? And what should you do about it?

If you belong to a typical mainstream church today and could somehow be transported back nearly 2,000 years to the time of the New Testament Church, wouldn’t that be exciting?

Actually, you might find it rather disturbing! If you talked with anyone then about your religious doctrines and practices of today, they would quickly characterize you as a heretic! You would be lost, confused, out of place and considered, well … odd!

On the other hand, if members of the early Church could be resurrected and placed into a conventional church today, they, too, would find it completely foreign. That’s because the practices of Christianity today have virtually nothing in common with those of Jesus and the Church He founded.

Continuing your imaginary trip back to the first century, the people of the New Testament Church would be perplexed if you brought up the Trinity, immortal soul, rapture, baptizing infants or baptizing by sprinkling, going to heaven or hell when you die, or a myriad of other doctrines commonly accepted today.

And perhaps your first surprise would be when you showed up on Sunday to worship with them—no one would be there! Easter services—what are you talking about?

Why would the Church of the first century seem so bizarre? It’s because the core teachings of Jesus and the apostles were systematically dismantled and replaced over time with other ideas.

What happened? And why?

Jesus knew that His adversaries would first kill Him, and then others would follow trying to obliterate or reinterpret His teachings and practices.

In Matthew 24 He spared no words, warning, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (verses 4-5) and, “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (verse 11).

It didn’t take long. A common theme in Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s and Jude’s writings is their fight against the heretical changes assailing the early Church. Ironically, in some instances they found their own words were being distorted by these deceivers!

Note Peter’s stunning statement about Paul’s epistles: “Speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16).

Paul wouldn’t recognize the teachings and practices of most churches today, and it’s easy to think he’d be appalled to see how his words have been twisted to justify many of today’s doctrines. But then again, maybe he wouldn’t be surprised.

How the faith slipped away

History is clear on how the faith once delivered was quickly slipping away. Less than a hundred years after Christ, Bishop Sixtus of Rome pushed the Church to rid itself of “Jewish” customs and substitute new ones.

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On his heels Bishop Victor of Rome sparked a huge controversy by pressing the Church to switch from observing the Passover to Easter Sunday. Victor's agenda eventually prevailed as the Council of Nicea settled the issue in A.D. 325.

Another driving force had begun heavily influencing people: anti-Semitism. Of course, Jesus was a Jew, as were the apostles! They never thought of the Passover and other biblical holy days as Jewish—they were God’s! But anything related to what some viewed as Jewish would now be targeted.

Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, brought his hatred of anything Jewish with him, as he revealed in his letter to the delegates at Nicea:

“It was decreed unworthy to observe that most sacred festival [Passover] in accordance with the practice of the Jews; having sullied their own hands with a heinous crime, such bloodstained men are as one might expect mentally blind. … Let there be nothing in common between you and the detestable mob of Jews! We have received from the Saviour another way. … Let us with one accord take up this course … and so tear ourselves away from that disgusting complicity. For it is surely quite grotesque for them to be able to boast that we would be incapable of keeping these observances without their instruction” (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 3.18.2-3).

Constantine was wrong. They had not “received from our Saviour another way.” Paul had written in detail about the observance and meaning of the Passover, stating, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). But these church leaders preferred to receive their direction from a Roman emperor rather than a New Testament apostle, and thus institutionalized Easter as “Christian” and marginalized Passover as “Jewish.”

The Sabbath suffered a similar fate, from a similar motive, as church leaders changed to Sunday observance.

The Catholic Virginian offered this admission: “All of us believe many things in regard to religion that we do not find in the Bible. For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday.  We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible.”

It’s refreshingly honest, but honesty still doesn’t substitute for godly authority.

Today Easter is the holiest time of the year for Christianity, but most worshippers are unaware that their only authority for that day and doctrine is the word of men, not God. Jesus and His apostles’ warnings came true—men did “rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves,” as Paul told the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:30).

Some of them changed the days Jesus and the Church kept, but they couldn’t fully eradicate them.

Complete article at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/days-they-changed/

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Update:

Every day I thank the LORD for my health and strength, I have so much to do and like everyone, I don’t know how much longer I have to do it.  Let’s face it, I am usually the oldest wherever I go, so the odds are not on my side.

This week again, four times my helper and I have been filling bags for the four trash pick-ups.  Twice a week at Roni’s place (now mine) and then we bring some bags of that trash up here for my twice a week pick-up.  We are gradually getting the hoarder’s place cleared out of all that junk. 

A friend who has horses brought us a bunch of big plastic feed sacks to use for trash bags and they are so much stronger than regular trash bags and don’t puncture.  A lot of Roni’s books and a bunch of clothes were donated to a woman’s shelter near here.  Most of the books were DIY books so full of information that hopefully these women and their children can put to good use. If not, this shelter has a resale shop down near the county line.  (Montgomery and Harris counties, TX) 

Some more paneling has been reinstalled in the mini-house, (guest house), we were hoping to install the Formica on the kitchen cabinets, but that day it was damp and cold, so we put up more paneling. 

A friend from church came over to see if he could get any of my three old mowers going, but they were all worn out, so we just did a quick lick and a promise with a Weedeater on the worst parts.  Hopefully I will have another mower soon.

Passover will soon be upon us, so we are getting ready for it at the church.  Two batches of lamb were bought, and one of the elders is going to cook one and I am to cook the other.  I have found some delicious crock pot lamb recipes and they all include rosemary, so I will have to get some.  Lamb is a popular dish in Britain, and they serve it with a mint sauce made of fresh mint chopped up with vinegar and sugar.  My grandmother always had mint growing in her garden, just for the lamb.

It is at this time of the year that people do spring cleaning, this comes from the old custom that we are supposed to make sure that there is no leaven in our houses for Passover.  About now is when I remember to pull my refrigerator out and vacuum under it!

For the church potluck I made a chcken, cabbage, and veggie stir fry with a pot of buttered, seasoned rice on the side.

The Bible readings were Exo. 35:1-38:20, 1 Kings 7:40-50, and Heb. 9:1-14.  Before the Teaching there were announcements about the anticpation of the Passover in a couple of weeks, spring cleaning, the Biblical New Year and to look for the New Moon which determines when the Passover should be held.  The Teaching was about the Deceitfulness of Sins.

It was another enjoyable, warm day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You? Why Jesus Had to Die. The Timeline of Events for Jesus' Death. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:   Sorry late again, as it is Monday today.

Jesus’ Early Years: The Passover

Luke 2:41-42

“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.

The festival of Passover and the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that followed it were important annual feasts that brought thousands to Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary brought their family to the festivals every year, and this passage gives a rare glimpse of Jesus’ childhood.

imageEven at the age of 12, He was deeply interested in the temple and the teachers there. “And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:47).

The Passover serves as a major milestone throughout the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, and it remains a meaningful festival for the Church of God today. For more about the Passover, see below:  “Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?

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Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?

Jesus knew what He would face: “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” (Matthew 26:2).

Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?

“Just before His betrayal and crucifixion, Jesus asked His disciples to prepare for His final Passover (Matthew 26:18-20). This evening, commemorated since the time of the Exodus from Egypt, involved the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb whose blood protected the Israelites while the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain (Exodus 12:5-7, 12-14). The New Testament makes clear that this lamb represented Jesus Christ. As John the Baptist had announced about Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

This last Passover was special, and Jesus taught His disciples new elements that would become the basis of the New Testament Passover service.

First, Jesus Christ set the example of love and service through washing His disciples’ feet (John 13:4-13). Then He told them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

Rest of article at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/passover/

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Why Jesus Had to Die

“Why did the only Being who has ever lived a perfect human life have to experience such a horrible death? An often-overlooked festival of God helps us understand the deep significance of Christ’s crucifixion for our lives.

Why Jesus Had to Die

[From the March/April 2014 issue of Discern.]

Thousands of Jesus Christ’s countrymen had crowded into Jerusalem for the Passover festival—one of the most important events of the year. Jesus had warned His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to be killed; but not understanding or believing, they chided Him for saying something like that!

Yet it was all happening just as He—and the Old Testament prophets—had predicted. The only truly innocent Man in history, Jesus the Christ, was falsely arrested, unjustly tried and sentenced to a horrific scourging and death.

His blood, like that of the Passover lambs that symbolized His sacrifice, would be shed during this momentous festival.

A terrible death

The Roman soldier assigned to scourge Jesus before His crucifixion had to be extraordinarily callous. After all, viciously flogging someone with a leather whip entwined with chunks of metal and bone designed to rip open the victim’s flesh is simply heartless. His job wasn’t to actually kill the person. He was to torture, to inflict excruciating pain prior to the victim’s ultimate suffering—being nailed to a stake to die a slow death.

He knew the signs of a victim nearing death; so just short of killing Jesus, he stopped the scourging. Yet he had inflicted so much pain and trauma that Jesus was too weak to carry His wooden stake the entire way to “the Place of a Skull,” where He would spend His final agonizing hours nailed to the instrument of shame. So the soldiers compelled a surrogate—a Cyrenian named Simon—to carry the beam (compare John 19:16-17; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26).”     Rest of article at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/passover/why-jesus-had-to-die/

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What does the Bible really say about the timeline of events for Jesus' death?

Tuesday

Jesus Christ ate an evening Passover meal with His disciples (at the beginning of Nisan 14, Jewish reckoning) and instituted the New Covenant symbols (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus was then betrayed by Judas, arrested and during the night brought before the high priest.

Wednesday

Jesus was crucified and died around 3 p.m. (Matthew 27:46-50). This was the preparation day for the annual —not weekly—Sabbath, which began at sunset (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31). Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb just before sunset (Matthew 27:57-60).

Thursday ~ High Sabbath

This was the high-day Sabbath, the first day of the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31; Leviticus 23:4-7). It is described as the day after the “Day of Preparation”(Matthew 27:62). Wednesday night and the daylight portion of Thursday were the first of three days and nights Jesus’ body was in the tomb.

Friday

The high-day annual Sabbath now past, the women bought and prepared spices for anointing Jesus’ body before resting on the weekly Sabbath day, which began at Friday sunset (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56). Thursday night and the daylight portion of Friday marked the second of three days and nights Jesus’ body was entombed.

Saturday ~ Weekly Sabbath

The women rested on the weekly Sabbath day, according to the Fourth Commandment (Luke 23:56; Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus rose near sunset, exactly three days and three nights after His body was placed in the tomb, fulfilling the sign of Jonah and authenticating the sign He gave of His messiahship.

Sunday

The women brought the prepared spices early in the morning while it was still dark (Luke 24:1; John 20:1). Jesus had already risen (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-6; Luke 24:2-3; John 20:1). He did not rise on Sunday morning, but near sunset the day before— three days and three nights after being put in the tomb, just as He foretold.”

From: https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/the-chronology-of-the-crucifixion-and-resurrection-of-jesus-christ

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Update:

Talk about hoarders, that is what Roni was!  Driving down there each morning and trying to keep up with four trash pick-ups a week is getting the trash discarded at Roni’s place (now mine), but it means a lot of work before my helper and I even start on the repairs to my guest house.  The shed floor is now visable and all that trash has been bagged up or burned. 

We put a big pile of metal, including a rusty old metal cupboard, by the side of the road, hoping that someone will want it.  Now, we have finally started getting all the trash from the inside of the shack that Roni called home.  The electricity has been changed into my name, but the wiring is so screwed up that none of the switches work the light fixtures which are dangling, but some outlets do work.  I took a clamp-light and plugged it in, so that I could venture into her dark bathroom.  There was a lot to clean up in there, including buckets of nasty trash.  The toilet flange must have been leaking, because when we flushed it, water ran out from under the toilet.  Maybe someone re-installed it without a wax ring.   So she had just laid a bunch of clothes around it as she was so weak at the end and couldn’t fix the leak.  She had paid people to repair it, but they conned her, pretended to do it and just took the money.  How disgraceful is that?

I am so thankful to our LORD that I have my health and strength even though I am 22 years older than Roni was. 

The mini-house (guest house) is coming along slowly.   We have half the paneling back up, two walls of it.  The big stack of it that was taken down for the renovations was blocking a door and just getting in our way.  Real WOOD paneling is an expensive scarcity these days, so as I have it, I am going to flaunt it.  It will all be painted a really pale yellow, as it needs to be a light color to keep the place bright.  We had already installed 1/2 foamboard on all the walls for extra insulation and stabilty.

We had trouble with a beautiful and very unusual chrome ceiling fan.  The bulbs were black florescent lights which put out hardly any light and after talking to the makers we found out that it would take a whole new light kit to change out the bulbs.  Then one of the blade brackets broke, so the fan was taken down and another ceiling fan will have to be installed.

I made a beef, veggie and quinoa dish for the potluck, and then quickly made a chicken (canned chicken breast) and potato salad with apples, onions, spices and organic mayo.  The pastor’s wife was still not able to attend the services as her knee is still hurting her, so I had to ramrod the potluck again.   Even though the Teaching (sermon) is coming over the speakers in the kitchen/dining hall, I still can’t really concentrate on it when I am trying to make sure that all the salad is made and everything will be the right temperature at the right time.  I miss being able to watch and listen to the Teaching in the chapel and to look up the Bible verses with everyone else.

The Bible readings were Exo. 30:11-34:35, 1 Kings 18:1-39, Acts 7:35-53. The Teaching was about “Divine Fellowship”.  But I didn’t hear much of it.

As usual the time spent fellowshipping, discussing and talking while we are eating together is so precious to us all, and we even had the doors of the dining hall open as it was such a lovely day.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What Do You Do With All Your Time? Wise In Our Own Eyes! The Righteousness of God. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL YOUR
TIME?

“How sad it would be to have God say, “That’s all you accomplished with the years of life I gave you?”

Our time is our life, and how we spend it shapes our character, our happiness, our success and our future. How does God want us to spend our time?

A few years ago an African friend making her first trip to a Western nation visited our home. She observed my wife working in the house and preparing dinner. She was amazed to see one labor-saving device after the other: an electric stove, a large refrigerator and freezer, a microwave oven, a garbage disposal, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, and a vacuum cleaner.

Finally, she turned to my wife in astonishment and asked, “What do you do with all your time?” Most of our friend’s day, every day, was taken up with performing by hand the tasks accomplished by our appliances. She couldn’t imagine having so much free time.

All our time?

It’s an interesting question to consider: What do we do with all our time?

We may not feel like it, but people today have more free time than ever before. For most of human history, people had to spend almost every waking moment providing food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families. It is still that way in much of the world.

Yet, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans over the age of 15 average more than five hours of free time a day. That’s almost a third of the time we’re awake! And, according to the same report, most of that unprecedented leisure time is used for entertainment: television, surfing the Web, video games and so on.

Free time: a blessing or a curse?

The way some people use their free time gets them into trouble. Geoffrey Chaucer, in the 14th century, is credited with being the first to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” The more modern expression that someone has “too much time on his hands” usually indicates he’s done or is going to do something stupid or wrong.

It’s important to carefully consider how we use our free time and on what we should spend it. Our lives are composed of time, so how we spend our time is how we spend our lives. How does our use of free time affect us? Are there leisure activities a Christian should avoid? Does the Bible give any guidance on how we should use our free time?

What entertains us, changes us

Jesus corrected the Pharisees many times for their hypocrisy—attempting to appear good on the outside while their hearts were corrupt.

He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26).

We learn from this strong statement that what happens in our minds counts more with God than the way we appear on the outside.

Jesus also explained that desiring something illicit in our minds is a transgression of God’s law even if we don’t act on the thought: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

So it is vital to keep our minds and hearts clean and pure. This means a Christian should avoid any kind of entertainment that would cause him or her to desire to violate God’s law and way of life.

Today people who wouldn’t dream of consorting with drug dealers, assassins and prostitutes spend hundreds of hours simulating that kind of life in extremely realistic games, movies or books. They listen to catchy song lyrics that unconsciously imprint their minds with wrong ideas about sexuality. Even bad virtual company can corrupt good habits.

Almost all the young barbarians who have committed school shootings, from Columbine to Sandy Hook, were frequent players of graphically violent video games called first-person shooters, where the players practice shooting lifelike people over and over. This doesn’t mean everyone who plays such games will actually kill, but it does indicate the games have a definite and negative psychological impact on players.

God set the pattern by mandating one day of rest time each week, the Sabbath day, for us to deepen our relationship with Him, with our family and with other Christians. This shows the importance of taking time to reflect on life, to take stock and to verify that we are pursuing what is most important in life.

The Bible tells us to use our time wisely and with great care. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To redeem the time means to make the most of it, to invest each minute in quality activities, not junk. It means to understand that our life is composed of time and we have a limited amount of it available to us during which we have important spiritual goals to achieve.”    Complete article at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/christian-conversion/what-do-you-do-with-all-your-time/

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Wise in our own eyes

An Amazing Fact: “Everyone has a blind spot in their field of vision because of how nerve fibers pass through the retina and out of the eye. The octopus has no blind spot since the nerve fibers pass behind the retinas of their eyes.

The third chapter of Proverbs lists six commands for us to follow. It also gives us reasons for obeying these instructions. The fourth exhortation in our text for this morning starts with, “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” This same directive can be found in several places in Proverbs, most often in reference to fools (Proverbs 12:15; 26:5, 12). What does it mean to be wise in your own eyes?

Those who are wise in their own eyes have a spiritual blind spot. They can be arrogant and have an inflated estimation of their own opinions. Such people are proud, overconfident, and closed to input from others. Solomon’s admonition really builds on what comes before in verse 5—“Trust in the Lord.” In other words, don’t trust in your own wisdom. Acknowledge God in everything you do and He will bless you.

Our text promises health and strength when we seek the Lord’s ways. Saul, the first king of Israel, is a prime example of someone who was wise in his own eyes. His position as leader of God’s people went to his head. He began to believe that his opinions were always right … and woe to anyone who would dare cross him! This is why he tried to kill David.

When the Lord instructed Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, the arrogant king did not follow God’s command. When Samuel confronted the king for disobeying, he insisted he had not transgressed the order. Saul thought so much of himself that he became blind to his own sins—and he ultimately fell on his own sword

The end result of being wise in our own eyes leads us to separate ourselves from God and, therefore, to self-destruction. When we are independent of the Lord, it ends in detachment from the One who gives life. Because of his blind spots, Saul died tragically. We do not need to follow the same path. Humbly heed God’s commands “for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.”

“Dear Lord, thank you for your commands. Help me see clearly where I diverge from them. Today I commit to obey your Word and receive the blessings of acknowledging you in all my choices.”          Additional reading: Proverbs 3:1–18
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

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The Righteousness of God

Romans 3:21-22

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.

In the first part of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul showed that both gentiles (Greek ethnos, other nations) and Jews were guilty before God, having broken God’s holy laws and having earned the death penalty. Since God’s laws are good and for our benefit, breaking them is self-destructive and causes us to fall far short of God’s glory. (See more about the fact that “All Have Sinned” in our commentary on Romans 3:23.)

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/the-righteousness-of-god/

For more on sin and its cure, see our free booklet Change Your Life!

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Update:

Another busy week.  A lot more trash has been hauled off the two lots of Roni’s that I inherited, and a lot of things could be burned in the burn pile.   Then a bit of cleaning up and repair work done around here.  My helper and I moved some things out of the old storeroom and moved a great big filing cabinets in there.  This is the kind that has five wide sideways metal drawers.  I had acquired two of them and had them stored in one of the guest house carports.  They make great tool cabinets, but not very good ormaments in the front of a house.  We got as far as jacking up the front of the dead “Puddle Jumper” (little Mercury station wagon) with the floor jack and putting stands under it, but no one has looked underneath it yet to see if the battery cable is still attached to the starter.  Someone always interrupts just when you are going to do something, and then you get sidetracked.

My helper and his fishing buddy spent another day and night out on their boat, and they didn’t get one bite, though the bass are supposed to be spawning.  My helper did buy an old Chevy Blazer, so he can tow the boat down to the lake himnself now. 

For the church potluck I made some cabbage sautéed in butter with some shredded carrots, chopped celery and seasonings, and it was a great hit.  The main thing is not to cook the cabbage too long, or it becomes tasteless.  I also made some organic black bean chili with brown rice which went down well too.  I didn’t know that the pastor’s wife was still not able to come to church, so I didn’t leave early and was pounced upon by frantic folks not knowing  what to do in the kitchen.  They expect either the pastor’s wife or me to be there to ramrod things. 

The prepared casserole dishes (Stouffer’s) were brought out of the freezer and put it in the oven, then later on while listening to the sermon over the speaker, I warmed up the veggies and bread.  One elder had brought some rump roast in a crockpot, and both my dishes were in crockpots, so those were easy.  But someone had brought some fish-stick looking things so those had to be put on a baking sheet and put in the oven with the other casseroles.  Once the salads were put out everything was ready, so I went back into the chapel and caught the end of the service in there.  Everyone had plenty to eat and as usual, there were left-overs for those who wanted to take some home.  I bring some to my neighbor every week.

The Bible readings were Exo. 27:20-30:10, Exe. 43:10-27 and Hebrew 5.  The Teaching was about Israel’s enemies and Purim. (The joyous holiday of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jews from the wicked Haman, through the leadership of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai.)

The weather has been mild for winter, occasional rain, and it was a great day.