Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Friday, March 24, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 36; The Vine-dressers II.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Parable of the vine-dressers) Part 3. 

The vine-dressers were drunk.  They were giddy with the wine from the fruit of the vineyard.  And it had been years since they had heard from the householder so they considered him dead.  They had convinced themselves that they were the owners and they were not going to let anyone come and claim their prize, even if it was the owner himself.  They believed so much in what they had worked for in the fields of the householder that they would give up their lives to keep it.

The vine-dressers believed that if they defended their rights to the vineyard then no one else would come and lay claim to their prize.  So convinced that they were the owners of the vineyard that they believed the rightful owner would not send anyone else to take possession.  "Again he sent another party of servants more numerous than the first; and they did the same to these." 

What do we want from life?  Are our desires so strong that they would lead us to do anything to satisfy them?  The vine-dressers had a taste of stewardship of the vineyard and that taste led them to want more.  The crop was good.  The grapes were pressed and set to be cured into wine.  And when the wine was aged, it was a great product that everyone liked.  It was the best.  It was perfect.  It had taste and balance.  It had all the right qualities of a great wine and the labor of the vine-dressers made it so.

They were ecstatic.  They were happy and elated.  But they were not the owners of this great wine.  It did not belong to them.  But like so many, they were influenced to believe that they had come upon something that all mankind would want and they were not going to give it up.  Oh, what a man would not do to discover his own gold mine.  He would fight, kill, steal, die, protect it from all who would seek to take it from him.  And many would do so.

We are such weak creatures, easily influenced by the dirt that we walk upon.  Call it gold, call it money, call it whatever we desire, it still comes down to the same, influence.  What we would not do for influence over others.  We are given all the precious stones and jewels of many worlds but we happily give it up for dirt because someone or something tells us that we can become more than we are.  We are already rich.  We are already powerful.  We are loved.  We are blessed with the light of life given us by Christ Jesus.  He died to give us that life.  He loved so that we who believe in him would not die in darkness.  He knew that all was not lost and that there could be redemption.  

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to save it.  For it had fallen into darkness and the people who inhabited it were dead.  And Christ came as the life and light of the world that we may know the truth of who we are.  He ascended into heaven and left the living word for those who would follow.  The Holy Spirit will come.  He will live among us.  He will guide us, protect us, show us the way to the narrow path.  Let us not be robbers.  Let us not be murderers.  Let us not become all that the influencer of the world would have us become.  We would loose the life that is freely given us.  For the Lord and Savior awaits those who know.  The Lord and Savior awaits those who believe.  The Lord and Savior of the world awaits you.  Open your heart and let him in.  

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. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 34-35; The Vine-dressers I.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Parable of the vine-dressers) Part 2. 

We continue this parable where Christ is relating to the chief priest, the elders, and the scribes a story about a topic that they can relate.  He talks about a householder, a home owner, who remodels his home to accommodate a vineyard.  The owner wants to have grapes that grow and pressed into a wine that he can enjoy.  He is not able to oversee the entire process of the growth of the grapes and the pressing into wine, so he leases the vineyard out to workers who will be paid to manage it for him.

He goes on a long far away journey for business that keeps him away from his vineyard for some years while the grapes are growing and the wine is being pressed.  Christ tells this story because he wants the rulers of the day to understand how it relates to them.  They are the vine-dressers who were supposed to manage the vineyard for the householder.  But when the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the vine-dressers to receive his fruits.  And the vine-dressers seized his servants, and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 

Surely this was wrong on the part of the vine-dressers.  They were hired to work the vineyard and to prepare the wine when the grapes were ripe.  They were hire to watch over the vineyard and prepare the fruit for the householders return.  They were given the charge to provide and protect the householders property for which they were being paid.  Why did they turn on the householder?  Why did they beat and torture the householders servants?  What motive could they have for doing such?

Did they consider themselves in charge?  Did they consider themselves as owners?  Did they desire to have the fruits of the vineyard for themselves, knowing that it belonged to another?  What motive could have persuaded them to do such heinous actions?  We turn around and see some of the same actions today?  Crime is rampant in the streets.  Burglaries, robberies, theft, break-ins, all sorts of actions that indicate the same actions taken by the vine-dressers of the past are still here today.

Why do we have to steal?  Why do we have to rob?  Why do we have to take by force that which does not belong to us but to others?  We see, we want, and we take, seems to be the motto, irrespective of who it belongs to.  There is the thrill of it all.  And the chase to get away from being caught becomes a thrill to be remembered and repeated until caught. 

If we only knew who we are.  If we only knew what is given to us.  If we only believed that we are already rich beyond our wildest imagination then we would know that we do not have to steal or take that which does not belong to us.  More than anything of value on this earth, Christ has given us life anew and this is the most precious gift anyone can give to us.  The rest is dirt.  All the diamonds and jewels, and money and fame cannot compare to the treasures stored in heaven for those who love the Lord.  Nothing can satisfy the hunger, the want, the desire that burns within, except he who has given us life.  And it is he who has prepared a place for us in his kingdom.  Take not!  Steal not!  Rob not!  Be not that one who believes that he has not when he has all.  Christ awaits with open arms to provide for you.  Christ awaits with open heart to forgive you.  Christ awaits with open spirit to love you with a love that no earthly gift can fulfill.  Open your heart, open your mind, take the leap of faith and he will come and be with you!

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. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 33-34; The Householder.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Parable of the vine-dressers) Part 1. 

Christ is still speaking to the chief priest, the elders and the scribes.  They came to him seeking to know of his authority to teach the people.  They were indignant.  They were angry.  They were unbelieving.  He wanted to heal them.  He wanted to open their eyes.  He wanted to bring them from the darkness into the light.  He spoke to them directly but they could not and would not open themselves up to understanding.  So now he tells them of a parable. 

"Hear another parable. There was a man, a householder, who planted a vineyard, and put a hedge about it, and dug a wine vat in it, and built a tower; then he let it out to vine-dressers,
and
went abroad.  But when the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the vine-dressers to receive his fruits."


Now this is a simple parable that tells of a home owner, a land owner who built a vineyard on his property.  He traveled abroad and while away he leased his property to workers who were supposed to take care of it while he was away.  Think of it this way, you own a house and decide to fix it up to rent out to a tenant.  You do a great job of repairs on your property so that the new tenant will enjoy it.  You spend a good sum of money to complete the repairs so that the house will have a good market value when finished.  You have taken every precaution to select a good tenant who will pay on time and will take care of that which you value so much.

This is how the parable begins.  It wants to tell itself so that the chief priest, the elders, and the scribes can completely understand its meaning.  They have heretofore declined to be opened, to hear the words, to let the light come in.  But Christ continues to provide opportunities for them to see, to understand, to be healed.

The same is true today.  We are given opportunity after opportunity to be open, to understand, to have the truth come to us that we may be healed.  It took some time for me to understand, to be open.  I had to be beaten down to the point of depression, to the point of despair.  In my state of submission, evil came to me and whispered to me to end it all.  It wanted me to give up, to believe that there was no redemption for me, no forgiveness for the sin that I had continually committed. 

Through all this Christ held my hand.  He did not let go of me.  He continued to walk with me no matter where I went.  And it came the time for me to listen to his voice, to be open, to follow his words that I might be healed.  And so it was.  I came to understand.  I came to know.  I asked for forgiveness.  I begged to repent.  I wept for all the sins in my life that I had committed.  And I turned away from the abyss and turned back to him

You can too.  This is my gift to all who will listen, to all who will hear, to all who will be open to understand who they are in the eyes of Christ who died that we may have life again.  We are precious in his eyes and he will not let go of his precious children.  Come!  Speak to your heavenly Father.  Tell him your pain.  Open up to him with your sorrows and he will fill you with the joy of heaven.  You are his creation, his love.  He will hear you.  Patience is the key.

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.