Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:24; The Question.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The authority of Jesus) Part 3. 

The chief priest and the elders came to Jesus with the question.  They wanted to know from where he obtained his authority to preach.  They wanted to know where he trained, who taught him, and how he came to do such miracles, since they did not know of him or from whence he came.  So they came with the question of his authority.

They were incensed that he taught the people without their permission.  He taught in the temple where they taught and the people listened to him rather than their teachings.  The people were leaning away from the teachings of the Law and leaning towards the teachings of Christ.  And the chief priest and elders witnessed the change that was taking place and they did not like it.  So they came and confronted him directly and asked the question.  Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one question, and if you answer me this, I in turn will tell you by what authority I do these things." 

And so it became a standoff.  The chief priest and the elders wanting to know the answer and Christ having a question for them, wanting to know how they would respond.  Would they come to an agreement or would they have a standoff each taking a different side? 

The Mexican standoff was at play here.  Good verses evil, left verses right, your side verses mine.  Were do we go from here or do we continue to stay divided?  This sounds like a position that we face everyday in our lives.  Where do we stand?  And that question is put to us so often that the answer comes automatic because of our programing.  We have a choice but which do we take.

Do we go right or do we go left?  Are we naturally inclined to the right but the persuasion and influence of the left draws us in.  We fight.  We struggle.  But it is only with the help of something stronger than ourselves that we are able to stay the course.  Where do we find the strength?  Where do we find the courage, the enlightenment, the belief, the faith and the hope to continue each day.  

We are spiritual beings encased in a physical body.  We live in the physical but we belong to the spiritual.  Our physical existence is given to us without our asking.  Yet our spiritual being requires feeding, requires nourishment, takes exercise and practice for it to grow and develop into the life of its own.  It is there but we need to recognize it and feed it.  And we have a source that will lead and guide us along the way.  But the need and desire to grow is up to us.  It is our decision where to stand, to the right or to the left.  Where do we want to be?  Do we want to be with the authority of the universe or do we want to be with physical realm of death?  The answer is ours only.  No one can make it for us but many can influence.  Will you answer my question or will I answer yours?  

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. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:23b; Christ's authority.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The authority of Jesus) Part 2. 

Christ was a gentle man.  He was not pretentious or self seeking.  He taught with love and understanding giving the people all they needed to comprehend fully.  His words were filled with the spirit of his father and he wanted the people to know his father as he knew him.  For God our Father is the creator of all things.  He gave life to all the world, all creatures, all things.  His creation is good.

Christ is a spirit of power and majesty.  And yet with all the power of the universe he was humble, quiet, gentle, loving.  His rage, his wrath could have destroyed anyone and everyone that displeased him.  Yet not often did that side of him show.  He performed miracles.  He made the dead rise, cured the lame, cast out demons, made the blind see, the lepers whole, calmed the stormy seas and walked on water.  But little did you see or hear of the awesome power he commanded, used.

And then came the chief priest and the elders, and said, "By what authority dost thou do these things? And who gave thee this authority?" 

They were wise men.  They were leaders and teachers and elders.  They were learned men, men of the world, knowledgeable of all that concerned the Law and the people of Israel.  But they did not know him.  They did not know the Christ.  They did not know from whence he came or from what part of the world he came and they were fearful. 

He brought change.  He brought peace, he brought harmony, he brought love.  He brought a knowledge of something more to life than what the people knew as their daily routine.  He brought knowledge of the kingdom of heaven to a people who knew of their God but did not know of his kingdom, of his plans for them, of his love for them.

We today live in the same world as those of yesteryear.  We eat, work, play, love, cry, search for truth, and die the same as they did thousands of years ago.  We know through our churches that there is a heaven and a kingdom of God.  Yet do we believe this?  Are we sure of this?  Is this a certainty in our lives today?  We are challenged.  We will be questioned of our faith.  We will face the winds of change that seeks to turn us in another direction.  How solid are our feet planted in the belief and truth of the authority of Christ that nothing will turn us away from him.

He is our provider.  He is our protector.  He is our caretaker no matter who rules, who is in office, who calls the shots.  God's will be done and we who believe and know will not be turned away from the gift of life that has been freely given to us through the passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This is the authority upon which we stand.

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. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:23a; Christ's teachings.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The authority of Jesus) Part 1. 

Lesson 1, Christ had given the disciples their lesson on faith and the power within it.  He demonstrated with words and example and he instructed the disciples to do the same without wavering.  Little did they know that what they had seen and heard from him, they would be able to do the same because he had told them so.  Believe and do not waver in your belief and it will be done for you.

The disciples had a lot to learn and little time to grasp all that they needed, to carry on the legacy of Christ.  They followed him because they believed.  They stayed with him because of the miracles that he performed.  They knew that they were being prepared for something special but did not know what.  Even the people who listened to his teachings knew that they were special in the message that he gave.  Even the leaders wanted to know.  And when he had come into the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching. 

They wanted to know.  They wanted to hear for themselves what he was saying, what he was teaching.  They were the rulers of the people.  They were the teachers of the people, the ones who set down the rules, interpreted the laws of Moses, and enforced the Law.  Christ came and taught something different.  He came and gave something new.  He came and told the people to love one another, to forgive and do not hate, to be at peace.  But the chief priests and the elders did not like that their teachings were being taught by one who did not follow their practices and principles.

What do we have today?  We have fear.  We have chaos.  We have anger and hatred.  We have the uncertainty of the future after all the talk that was given us over the last two years as to what will come.  Upheaval and change stare us in the face.  And we know not how to handle that which is uncertain, that which is unknown. We are anxious.  We forget though that we are children of another and that we are not of this realm.

Christ saved us from damnation.  He is our savior, our king, our protector, our provider.  Our trust is in him.  Our faith is in him.  Our belief for our future is in his hands and not in the hands of those who would lead us today.  God, our Father,  rose Pharaoh up so that he could demonstrate his power and his majesty to all the world that he is the one and only true God.  His will and his purpose is higher than our purpose and it is our trust and faith in him that must carry us through good times and bad.  As Christ demonstrated to his disciples, have faith and do not waver for it shall be done.  Know that your Father in heaven loves each and every one of us and he will see us through.

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.