Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Monday, July 17, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 46b; The People and a Prophet.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Application of the parable) Part 9.  

We now come to the end of the paragraph and the end of Chapter 21.  Much of this chapter has been about Christ and his entry into Jerusalem.  He came with the praise of the little people, riding on a donkey.  The people of the great city did not know him.  They did not understand why there was so much of a uproar about this man that no one knew.

Yet it was those who lived on the outside of the city, those little ones who had seen the miracles, heard the words, followed his teachings, that knew him, worshiped him, and praised him as the new leader of the people.  He cleansed the temple, taught the people in the temple, and criticized the leaders on their two faced behavior.  The leaders rejected the corner stone but it would crush them and ground them to dust.  He gave them opportunity to understand.  But they could not and would not understand.  He spoke in common terms that they would understand.  They were blinded, deaf, and were not allowed to understand, until at last the word got through and they were angry.  They sought to beat him but:  "They feared the people, because they regarded him as a prophet." 

We are the sheep and we follow what is given to us.  We are given our way of life, how to think, what we believe, who we accept and deny.  All of that which we are today is given to us by our surroundings.  People live in different environments today all over this earth and have different ways to live, think, behave, and ways of being who they are.  People in India may have some similarities to the way people in America think but overall they are entirely different cultures.  The environment makes who we are and what we believe.  But we have choices.  We can change.  

Change can come in many forms.  It can come through a critical process of thinking, we decide to change without any outside influence.  Change can come through a force that causes us to make the decision to do away with our old behavior and adapt a new one because there is pain with the old behavior.  Change can come through association with others who we follow that seem to have a better way of living, so we go along with the influence of others.  Change can come through enlightenment, a revelation that we have that brings us to a new way of thinking, of believing, of seeing the world.

We can be locked in on our beliefs that change can not be affected.  We can be so influenced by our way of life that nothing can bring about change in us because we refuse to believe.  We can be blinded by others that their way is better than any change that we may seek, so we remain unchanged.  Ultimately the choice is ours to follow.  The choice is ours to want to change or not.  The option is ours but the opportunity is present for us to see or not to see.  The opportunity is there for us to believe or not to believe.  The opportunity is present for all because we have a God who loves what he has created and wants all to have the opportunity to experience his love and compassion.

There is so much pain and suffering in the world one has to ask why do we have a God who would allow such suffering to happen.  Who are we to question the ways of our Father for he was here before us.  He created the universe before we were a thought in his mind.  He created the earth and the heavens.  He gave life to the world with trees and birds and animals of all sorts.  He carved man out of the dust and gave life to us and the spirit of himself to us that we may have his image within us.  It is he that lives through all eternity, even unto today.  And it is he that gives all the opportunity because he loves so much that which he has created.  The Prophet calls but we must be able to hear his call.

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 46a; Fear and Desire.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Application of the parable) Part 8.  

And so they that were within, understood the meaning and application of the parables of Christ.  He had finally reached within them and given them the Word.  They heard it and understood it.  And they were angered.  This was not what they wanted.  The Word broke through the barrier and was heard.  That which had made them blind, that which had made them deaf, that which had deceived them, did not want them to understand but the word got through.

And when the word reached them, the immediate defense was anger and frustration and call for action.  They wanted to hurt him.  They wanted to seize him and beat him for his words.  But they could not.  And though they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the people.  

The influence of fear and desire play a great part in our lives today.  We desire to be rich.  We desire to have wealth and popularity, as we see in the media.  We want to be stars, followed by all the public.  Yet we can not, unless we break the boundaries of the laws and seek to be in the news any way we can.  Flash lights and cameras are what we seek.  News paper coverage makes our hearts desire as we read and recount the deeds that we accomplished.  Robbery, murder, unbelievable stunts that bring attention to our bravery or foolishness, are the desires that make the adrenaline rush and the heart beat faster.  We desire fame, we desire fortune.

For most fear holds us back.  Fear is our deterrent.  Fear of failure, fear of injury, fear of criticism, fear if punishment, fear of embarrassment, are all the emotions that keep most of us from doing things that we would neglect later.  Yet the influence of desire and fear are duel emotions that play a part in our lives and it is the influence of one or the other that drives us to act or do the things that we do in our lives.  It takes courage to go against the grain, to go against the flow, to not follow the crowd.  We are social animals and require others in our lives.  We must have others of like mind to support our own beliefs and desires.  

We all want to get to heaven yet no one wants to die, no one wants to make the transition from physical to spiritual.  We are afraid.  So we put off consideration of what may come.  We put it in the back of our mind fearing to think of it until we ourselves are faced with the consequences or we see the consequences of others.  We are afraid of death.  Yet death is but a door leading to the riches and the wealth promised to us by the one who has come and gone before us.  Heaven is real.  God is real.  His love is overflowing.  The Spirit will guide.  The Spirit will lead us along the way.  He is our social guide our leader as we walk the path of life.  Fear not.  Rejoice in that which awaits you at the end your journey here on earth.  For we go to a far far better place than we inhabit now. 

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 45; To whom do I speak.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Application of the parable) Part 7.  

Christ came to the conclusion of his parables and the chief priest and the Pharisees consider all that he has said.  They ponder the meanings.  They seek the understandings.  And they finally know that Christ has spoken of them and directly to them.  There is no doubt that all that was spoken was spoken of them. 

There is a part that denies what was spoken and there is a part that knows what was spoken to them.  Finally the word breaks through that which was concealed, that which was hidden and brings to the surface that which is known to the conscience mind.  They were blinded and could not see.  They were deaf and could not hear.  They could not understand the Word and refused to allow meaning to enter.  But now the words were clear, the meaning was unmistakable, and the reaction came forth.  And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them.  

We see, we hear, we taste, we touch, we know.  These are the faculties that we use to determine meaning.  Often times we hear something spoken by someone and we do not know if the person is talking about us or if they are speaking in general.  In our houses of worship we listen to the homily by out pastor and imagine that the sermon applies to us or not.  When we allow for the words to sink end we find that there is meaning, there is a lesson that can and does apply.  

How do we hear?  How do we make meaning of what we hear?  How do we understand?  We use comparisons to relate.  We refer to our history to make sense of what we hear.  We translate meanings in order to use them for future use.  Above all to survive in this world we must have meaning in our lives.  Things must make sense.

But how can we make sense of that which the world claims does not exist?  How can we make sense of that which all society ignores.  We stand on the outside trying to compare the world with the spiritual, the non-world.  Christ gave us a key.  He opened a door so that we would not be left alone.  He built an institution that would help us, guide us, protect us in our daily lives.  And he provided a written testament to the journey that we would face in this world.

Within us is the key.  Within us is the knowledge.  Within us is the tool that we must use to transcend that which is physical to that which is spiritual.  The journey requires a leap.  The path is broken and we must cross a deep gorge.  The only way to the other side is through the belief and the faith that Christ has given us through his life here on earth.  Many times did he tell us to not be afraid.  Many times did he scorn us for our lake of faith.  And many times did he tell us that a mustard seed of faith would move mountains.  Ours is the opportunity.  Ours is the journey.  Ours is the joy in knowing that he lives and is with us at all times.  Take the leap.  Reach the other side.  Know the true meaning of who you are in Christ and yours will be the reward of heaven.

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in.