Illuminating our minds and watching out

The Word of God tells us that the Son of man goes as it is written of him:

but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!

Throughout history we have seen that many betrayed Christ Jesus and made him an other person to highlight their own thinking and to make their community richer by having more people in the community offering one tenth of their income or other offerings to buy them free from damnation in a so called hell or burning place for ever.

Christ Emmanuel, icon with riza by Simon Ushak...
Christ Emmanuel, icon with riza by Simon Ushakov, 1668. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Immanuel refers to Jesus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death and though he knew he always tried to do God His Will and not his own will, he was really afraid. He knew man can do nothing to God but also that man can never do more to man than God. Being a man of flesh and blood he knew he could be killed by man. He only had to hope his ideas of his God were right and that he could trust all the promises made by that God in the Hebrew writings.

Jesus in the knowledge that behold the hour was at hand, and the Son of man was betrayed into the hands of sinners, he asked his disciples to be with him to tarry there in the garden of Gethsemane, and watch with him.

We are familiar with the idea of affliction and tribulation and chastening being character building for ourselves, but in the reading of today (2Corinthians 1-2)  the apostle Paul is suggesting that the suffering of the Corinthian community was for the benefit of the Corinthian believers, as it teaches them how to console (v.5). It is a very deep concept, and we ought to try to apply it to ourselves – so the suffering that we have is not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those who come into contact with us after it, as it teaches us to console them with the message of salvation more effectively. ch.4:15-18, 2Timothy 2:10, Romans 5:3-5, 8:28, and this idea brings extra meaning to ‘the peaceable fruit of righteousness‘ in Hebrews 12:10-11.

The hardships, pressure and suffering that Paul and Timothy faced made them want to die! Why would God allow people like Paul and Timothy, who were so devoted, so enthusiastic and active in God’s service, to suffer like that? It just doesn’t seem right. Looking back on it, Paul saw a reason. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” If Paul and Timothy suffered so that they could learn to rely on God, then any suffering that we go through will probably be for a similar reason. Let us learn from our suffering, give our lives to God and trust in him.

We may face a lot of trials in this world and they may tempt us to do like all the rest in the world, just to go enjoying oneself. why should we not make the best of our life and do like the others? But are they really better off?

So let Christ’s challenging words at the end of the parable about the virgins ‘illuminate’ our minds “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day not the hour”. This request is more important than ever – for the storm clouds illuminating human helplessness are greater than ever – and the wise virgins need to be together whenever they can. But what are they to “watch” for? We will read tomorrow of Jesus in the garden with his disciples and his request, “… watch with me … Watch and pray … the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40,41). Meditate on the kind of watching Jesus was referring to.

In the first reading of the day there is a vital lesson for everyone who seeks to serve God and have a close relationship with Him. We do know God has chosen His Own People, the Israelites, so they will  always be on the first plan. But we may not forget that others where also called. God wants a close relationship with Christians just as much as to Israelites.

Christianity in the 4th century got an earthquake and Christendom created its new god, trying to bring people from the commandments not to bow in front of graven images and not to worship people. Throughout history many elements were brought in the world of Christians which were and are not in accordance to God’s Law. The practice of christening of babies in many churches, which is not mentioned in the Bible – or even hinted at – got very popular by man as well as the many processions with carrying shrines of saints and statues of people worshipped.

Already at the earliest time of Christianity the apostles warned for false teachings. The man who at first fought the Christians came to warn the followers of Christ for the teaching of people of a “different gospel” to “distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6,7). Paul says, “let him be accursed” (verse 9); who does that – and this is what happened to two of the sons of Aaron.

A most important lesson for us as we follow Christ and the Apostles, doing so in ways which truly follow the example they set and the words they preached.

One of the tasks given by Jesus was to go out in the world and to proclaim the Good News. Everywhere in the world the Name of the Most High should be know and people have to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Christians should take up that task of Jesus seriously and should witness for Jehovah like Jesus did that for his heavenly Father, the Only One God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Jesus also told his followers that he is the Way and that others had to come to know him as the proper way to a good relationship with his heavenly Father, the Adonai God.

Today we as brothers and sisters in Christ should show others our love for Jesus and show them the Way. To do this we also created some new sites where we added today the articles:

  1. Reading of contrasts
  2. Connecting Christians
  3. Abiding Christ
  4. Fruitfulness
  5. Praying in Jesus name
  6. Abiding to glorify God
  7. To be consumed with joy
  8. Your own choice and security
  9. Let yourself be sanctified
  10. Finishing The Task
  11. Genuine Christians content with going through motions of ritualistic religion

+++

  • Am With You (spyghana.com)
    God blesses His people in several ways. These ways could be either through angels or human beings. This quotation was one of the promises of God given to prophet Isaiah to relay to his people – the Israelites.
    Undoubtedly, life on earth cannot be compared to the one in paradise. However, it could be blissful in your world when you allow God to scuttle through you. As life has its own bearings, so is the Christian life full of an everlasting gladness with limited troubles.
  • What does the Bible say the End Times Churches will Look like (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    So while there is much agreement that we are living in the end times, there is little agreement as to what that means for the Church.  The Bible tells us what the end times Church will look like.
  • Change is Scary! (dalerockwell.com)
    Are things in your life in upheaval?  Are you feeling confused and anxious? Seize the opportunity to run to your Heavenly Father.  Let Him lead you.
  • Baptized (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    It is important to remember that in dying with Christ Jesus, the power that sustains our life is no longer our flesh, but the omnipotent power of God through Jesus the Christ.
    So that our growth from our baptism into the death of Christ and His resurrection by the power of God would spring us Christians forth to the next state of existence, the Heavenly Jerusalem where we will rule and reign With Christ Jesus.
  • The Unappreciated Gift (pastorsstudy.blogspot.com)
    Our heavenly Father gives us lots of gifts as well. And we appreciate them, or at least we should! One such gift is the gift of worship. Think about it. We have been given the opportunity through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, to boldly approach the throne of God without the fear of being incinerated by His glory. Check out Isaiah 6:1-8, or Exodus 19 for a couple of examples of standing near the glory of God. Yet, in Hebrews 4:15-16 we are told that we can approach the LORD because Jesus is there with us as the High Priest.
  • Made in His Image (boneflesh.wordpress.com)
    The more time I spend with my Father, the more I seek Him – to learn Christ, to know Christ – the more I will look like Christ. The fruit of the Spirit of God can be borne in my behaviour, my character, my lifestyle and the condition of my heart.  My journey in Christ isn’t hopeless.
  • Forsake not the Assembly of Ourselves… (audacityandsupposition.com)
    All the sons of Adam shall one day become the Sons of God; this was God’s purpose for creating man in the first place. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But these spiritual births will take place in several successive phases. There will be a firstborn group of Sons, then a second-born group, and so on. Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Those that complete their spiritual gestation now, during this present dispensation, will become the firstborn Sons. This first generation will attain a higher destiny than their later-born siblings. The firstfruits, (Overcomers), will enter into the most intimate and secret habitation of God.
  • The Ultimate Yes (sharingloveandtruth.org)
    Today is the day of decision – making! Will you ask God for power to be His witness so that you will not cower in the face of man’s threats?
  • Culture Change by the Apostle Paul (bpardekooper.wordpress.com)
    Though Paul was not the source for the beliefs, values and assumptions of Christianity, he did serve as the conduit that brought these cultural elements from Jesus to the known world through Paul’s missionary journeys. He served to implement the process of evolving the Jewish culture by reframing the reality in ways introduced by Jesus. (Chatterjee, 2006, p. 153) The Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5) is a collection of statements where Jesus took a widely held understanding by the Jewish community and reframed it for a broader understanding. Paul’s ministry was centered on taking this message of Jesus, the deepening of the Jewish Law, and teaching others how to adopt these new values, practices and behaviors (Berry, 2010, p. 2) to establish a new culture of followers of Yahweh.
  • Spiritual Training 12 February 2015 (undergodscommand.com)
    Somehow the Jews in Damascus had been able to enlist this governor to help them try to capture Paul (see Acts 9:22-25). Paul gave a “for instance” here, describing his escape from Damascus in a basket lowered from a window in the city wall. Paul recounted this incident to show what he had endured for Christ. The false teachers couldn’t make such claims.
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