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Current study: Spiritual Warfare

10 October 2012

Week 41 - Wednesday, 10 October's Reading

October 10
     Matthew 5-7
     Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13

Do it in secret! Jesus gives us that instruction three times in today’s reading. We are to give in secret; pray in secret; fast in secret. Does this mean that we can’t write a check when we give, or pray out loud at church, or join with other believers in fasting for an answer? Of course not. Jesus’ point was that our actions can become a point of pride for us. If we are boastful about how much we pray, or give, or fast,  we’re doing it for ourselves and not for God’s glory. But if we do these things quietly, we do them for God.


The Sermon on the Mount is always inspiring to me. Reading it with Luke’s “woes” gives it a new illumination.

Receive God’s Kingdom because they ask for God’s help/forgiveness (Isaiah 40:1-2).
Poor in Spirit


Earthly Reward only
Self-control empowered by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23) to inherit (quotes Psalm 37:11)

Right relationship with God
Hunger and thirst after righteousness / full now
Eternal hunger
Obtain merciful judgments
Unmerciful judgment (James 2:13)
See God and the glory of heaven (Hebrews 12:14; Revelation 22:3-4)
Pure in Heart
Laugh and mock God’s people; will be mourning
Showing Love of God
Loved by the people in the here and now; tickling ears
Following the prophets of old to great reward in heaven (James 5:10-11).

Jesus discusses various problems that we still have today.

Anger – don’t come to God with your offerings unless you are reconciled to your brothers. Leave your offerings and become reconciled for your offerings to be acceptable. Matthew further details this principle when he focuses on the Lord’s Prayer.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt 6:14-15 (ESV)

Lust – looking is the same as acting. There are many times when I see scantily clothed people on the street that I have to turn my head. But could Jesus mean more than just lusting after sensual pleasures? How many times have we been seduced by advertisements, discovering that we “need” to have whatever is shown on the television?

Divorce – the only Biblical ground for divorce is immorality. Remarriage, unless the divorce is because of sexual immorality, is adultery.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7  ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Mark 10:2-12 (ESV)

And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Matt 19:9 (ESV)

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?  1 Cor 7:12-16 (ESV)

Oaths – let your yes be yes and your no be no. There is no need to swear by anything because in yourself, you have no power to change or do anything.

Don’t retaliate – give extra. Love and pray for your enemies. It will set you apart from non-believers. Emulate the Father.

Heavenly treasure – is incorruptible. Earthly treasure will be taken by moths and rust. You can’t serve God and serve money.

Don’t judge – worry about your own sins and let God sort out the rest.

Ask, seek, discern – God wants to give us the best. If our earthly parents would do all they could for us when we earnestly sought their help, how much more will God do for us?

The Golden Rule    treat everyone the way you want to be treated. (How’s that working when you’re behind the wheel? Angry at the boss? Stuck in a “help” line with someone who seems less than competent, or less than caring? Lol. I've got a long way to go!)

The way to heaven is narrow and hard and found by few Jesus is the only way to heaven. He emphasized the difficulty of following Him.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.  John 15:18-21 (ESV)

I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2  They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. John 16:1-4 (ESV)

Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22 (ESV)

Jesus emphasized that we can tell much about a person by his/her fruit and made the point that false prophets, especially, will be known by their fruit (that’s why we need to check everything we hear from the pulpit, on the radio, or on a blog with the reality of the Bible). Simon Peter details the actions of false prophets quite graphically.

But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17  These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”  2 Peter 2:12-22 (ESV)

One of the saddest passages deals with those who thought they were Christians and even spoke and acted in Jesus’ Name. There are many celebrities who call themselves “Christians” but instead of claiming that Jesus is the only way to heaven, speak of “Christ Consciousness” or “many paths” to God. There is only one way to heaven and that is through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ – repentance an, forgiveness. If you believe you are a Christian and have not accepted the free gift of salvation, please read these verses carefully.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matt 7:21-23 (ESV)

Do you know you are saved? Have your sins been blotted out? Do you confess that there is only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ? If you can’t say yes to these questions, please see a pastor or email me. your eternal home is at stake.
See you soon!

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