Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 8- Matt. 22-24

Ch. 22 gives us a glimpse of end times with the wedding banquet and  Ch. 24 talks a lot about it!
It’s possible that every generation since Christ has thought their generation was the one that would see Jesus’ return. 
With the advent of the internet, 24:14, is happening a lot faster! “And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “

I am so glad that you are doing this 90 day reading!!!  With scripture fresh in your mind, you are watching out “that no one deceives you” (24:4).
I think that is why I wanted to encourage everyone I know to read their Bibles- so that they would be ready for the master’s return.

24:10 just leaves me so sad, “At that time many will turn away from the faith…..”
My prayer for my friends and family would be Matt. 24:13- “…but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

Day 7 Matt.. 19-21

Matt. 21 Reminds me that this Sunday is Palm Sunday!!!

Reading 21:18-19, always makes me giggle.  I think, Jesus, like any man, gets “irritable” when he’s hungry!

The verse that really got me thinking today was, Matt. 19:28, Again Jesus is talking to his 12. “…you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

What?   What on earth is he saying? ….Ok,..let’s figure this out….

Judges 2:16 says a judge’s principle purpose (in the O.T.) was, “to save them (Israel) out of the hands of raiders.”  It’s possible that the hears of Jesus words would have pictured this type of judge when Jesus says they will be judging Israel.  The way we think of a judge today, is one that deems guilty or innocent.  And we know that Jesus is that ultimate judge from John 5:22.

We just read recently that Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  It seems to me that once again, Jesus is giving authority to these 12 to continue his work, save the lost of Israel from “raiders” or “the enemy” described in the parable we read in Matt 13:24-30. 

By turning the Israelites away from their sins, toward Jesus, they were saving the Israelites out of the hand of Satan (the Raider).  In that way they were the 12 judges of Israel.  Their work spread throughout the world, to Jews and Gentiles.  AND, they get credit for that work!  We will read in Revelation  21:14, that their names are written on the foundation of the wall of the New Holy City.  Those 12 men, minus Judas (but Matthias was added in Acts 1:26), were the foundation of the church (us) that we know today.

Well, that brings a little bit more clarity of that scripture to me.  How about you?

I realize that the focus of your reading may have landed on something completely different.  Let me know what you got out of your reading!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 6 Matt 16-18

“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (16:19)
Jesus says this to Peter and then he says it again to the other apostles in Matt. 18:18.

I am absolutely sure this verse probably didn’t stick out to you amongst all the other pearls in these three chapters, but I have been through this reading before and have wondered….what on earth Jesus is saying here?!! πŸ€” So I decided to read a commentary on it by John Lightfoot and share with you what I learned.

This was a common phrase of the time used to pertain to doctrine.  (The commentary gives a lot of examples of outside literature to prove that point.)  “Bind” would imply “to declare forbidden” and “loose” would imply “allowed”.

When Peter uses the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (vs.19) to open the door of heaven to us Gentiles (he did that in Acts 10:28), through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, Peter taught that it was now OK for Jews to mix with Gentiles, something that had been forbidden by Jewish law.  Likewise eating certain food had been forbidden by O.T. law.  Both of these examples show, “that which was now loosed, which before had been bound” (Lightfoot).

Jesus, in these scriptures of Matthew, is giving his 12 the authority, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to bind and loose OT and NT teaching.  Another example of how/when the apostles did this would be found in Acts 15: 29 regarding circumcision, food and sexual immorality.

Huh!  I’m glad I looked that up!  I would have never figured that out on my own.  Now those verses make sense.  Wow!  Jesus gave them a lot of authority!!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Don’t stop reading!! Day 5

Day 5- Matt 13-15

I noticed in all three chapters of todays reading, Jesus is observing and commenting on people’s faith.

Matt. 13:5-8, “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
Matt. 14:31,  “You of little faith, he said, “why did you doubt?”
Matt. 15:28, “Woman, you have great faith!”

Notice nothing is mentioned about belief.  Jesus is looking for faith………

(And there is a difference! See James 2:19) 😳

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 4- Matt. 10-12

Hello and welcome to day 4!  I hope you are getting into a groove in your reading.  I wanted to let you know that you are kind’a in a Bible study with about 30 other people doing the same reading as you!!!  Some are brand new at reading the Bible in a consistent way and others are seasoned readers.  I want to remind you that this forum is a great way to get answers to questions you may have about the reading we are doing.  If I don’t know the answer, I will track down the best Bible based answer possible and pass it on to you. Or someone here my have the answer.
Here is where the old saying applies, “No questions is a bad question".  If you have a question, odds are someone else in this group has the same one, but didn’t want to ask it.  So, please ask, comment and respond away!  Participation is welcome!!

That being said, the verse that stuck out to me in this reading was 10:22, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  I just got really sad for Judas while I read this.  The whole of Ch. 10 is Jesus speaking to the 12 that he was sending out. Judas was apart of that.. Judas went into towns and spoke words to people (vs. 14) and he was hated for it.  He even went out at the risk of being arrested and flogged (vs. 17). In Luke 9:6, it states they were healing people everywhere.  Judas was a part of that!

But sadly, he did not stand firm to the end. How utterly sad! 😞

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 3- Matt. 7-9

Happy Monday!  How is your reading going? 
I would love to hear what verses hit you in a new way!
Today’s reading finishes up the famous “Sermon on the Mount” (ch.5-7), and then goes on to describe a collection of miracles.  Matthew, the writer of this book, one of the 12 disciples, is Jewish.  His goal in writing this book was to prove to his fellow Jew that Jesus was the guy they had been waiting for all these centuries.  The genealogy listed in the first chapter, the miracles, all helped show his reader that Jesus was fulfilling OT prophesy.  Because his audience was Jewish, he didn’t feel the need to explain Jewish customs as did other writers in the Bible.  
Keeping that in mind helps me to read the verses a little more in how they were intended.  

For example, when Matthew is quoting Jesus saying, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (7:1)
(I think this verse is frequently misused in our politically correct world), it helps to understand who was doing the hypocritical judging. The Pharasees (Jewish leaders) were notorious for this and Jesus nails them on it repeatedly.  The key thing to note here is that it is hypocritical judging.  It is not implying you can’t critically evaluate people you come in contact with. The very next verse says (7:6), “Do not give dogs what is sacred..” and (7:15) “Watch out for false prophets.” and (7:16), “By their fruit you will recognize them.”  You need to have a discerning (critical or judging) mind in order to do that.

Scripture does not contradict it’s self.  If you compare Matt 7:1 with 1Cor. 5:12, at first glance you could think it does.  “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?”  This is a perfect example to keep the scripture in it’s context. When you do this you will see it doesn’t contradict itself.

Context is everything!!!! I love that you are reading through the whole NT with me so that you can see context for scripture that is old and familiar but in context can mean something entirely different than how you had been using the verse! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 2- Matt. 4-6

The verse that really hit me today was Matt. 5:18- “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  
Jesus goes on for the next 2 chapters giving even MORE clarity to the law.  He is not changing what God had Moses write 1,450 years earlier.  But, as you can imagine what can happen over time, the intent of the law had been lost.  Jesus was bringing the people back to the heart of the law with the clarification he was giving.

I heard a theologian recently say that we read scripture through a lens.  You can read Matt. 5-6 either prescriptively or descriptively.  Prescriptive is that the verses are telling you (prescribing) how to live.  If you try to live these verses as a command, you may get caught up in the “works” aspect of trying to “earn” your salvation, and then be bummed out when you can’t live up to it.  If you read these verses through the lens of them being descriptive, then you see that this would be how a true believer would act.  It describes how a believer would live because their heart is going after the intent of the law.

Isn’t that a new way of looking at these scriptures!!!

This thought reminds me of two verses. 
John 14:15, when Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for-ever-the Spirit of truth.”
James 2:14 &17, “ What good is it, brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?……In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.”

So, when you are reading verses that sound like they are telling you what to do, ask yourself, does this describe me?  Is my life showing the world that I love Christ?  Doesn’t that make Matt. 5:14-16 make sense!!!!! “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.