Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

St. Matthew, Chapter 20, verse: 16a, The Order of things: The Last, first and the First, last.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Parable of the laborers in the vineyard)
Part 24.

We have been writing about this parable for some time now and we come to its end.  The house-holder had the right to choose to do as he pleased with his generosity to pay all the laborers the same amount and the laborers had the right to feel slighted.  The first hired laborers agreed to the payment for a days labor in the beginning.  They understood that they would work an entire day for a denarius.  They believed that this was a fair and just payment for their labor.  They were the first to come and the last to leave, the last to get paid.

It was in their payment that they turned, they changed, they felt slighted.  They saw that the other laborers who came after them were paid the same amount.  It was in this seeing, in this believing that their minds were changed, their hearts were bittered, their anger began to boil.  But that was the decision of the house-holder and not the decision of the laborers.  He decided to pay all the same.  He decided to make all equal in terms of their pay.  He decided to be generous.  And that had no bearing on the laborers.  As he told the laborers:  "Even so the last shall be first, and the first last." 

This is a famous quote in religious teachings, but what does it mean for those who follow the teachings of Christ today.  Christ was the first of all creations.  And he is the begotten son of God our Father.  He was there from the beginning of all creation.  Before the heavens were created and the principalities came into being, he was there with the Father.  He saw it all, he knows it all,  he was a part of it all in the love of God our Father.  Who will be the last?  Who will be the last soul to enter into the kingdom of heaven before the doors are closed and no more enter into the kingdom.

God our Father is a generous God.  He is a loving God and a protective Father who watches over his children.  Out of the generosity of his love he gave us life .  But there will come a point when time is fulfilled and all things are completed and the judgment will come forth.  There is a time when the heavens will shake and the tree of life will no longer give of its fruit.  There will come a time when our savior Jesus Christ will come forth with all his angels and demonstrate his power and majesty to the world that all will know his name.  When will that time come?  No one knows but the Father.

Will you be the last?  Will you know the truth of who you are in Christ?  You have, within you, the life of the Father.  You have, within you, the instructions given you through the Word.  You can have, within you, the path laid out by the Advocate each day.  The choice is yours to make.  Will you be the last?  The Father awaits you with open arms.  He seeks to embrace you with his love.  He desires that you come home to him instead of the place built for the outcast angels.  The choice is so simple and so easy to make.  The choice is a thousand times better than anything the world has to offer.  Come!  Take his hand and follow the path given you from the life within.  You will know the truth.  You will know the love.  You will know peace.   

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 and 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, August 20, 2015

St Matthew, Chapter 20, verse: 15b, The right to choose.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard) Part 23.  

We continue our parable with the laborers in the vineyard.  The laborers are angry and they are mad about the situation that has happened to them.  The house-holder has made his decision how he would pay them and that decision is different from what they think that it should be.  He has paid all the same, from the first to the last, and this is what they who were last, are angry about.  They who were last worked all day in the heat of the sun and comparison came and told them that compared to the other workers who came after them, they should be paid more.

The house-holder agreed with them, before they began work, on the pay .  They agreed with house-holder that the pay was adequate for the work that they would do.  What they did not agree upon was that others who did less work than they would get paid the same.  And when they saw that this was the situation, they were mad and angry.  Why were they angry over something that they had no control?  Why did they murmur after the fact?  Why did they decide that they deserved more than what they had agreed upon, when they saw what the house-holder did.  It came down to one thing that the house-holder told them:  "Or art thou envious because I am generous?"

They were evious.  They were filled with jealousness.  For they had no recorce.  They had no outlet for their feelings.  The house-holder was generous to all.  The decision was his to make and he decided to pay all who worked in the vineyard the same.  He was generous.  He was faithful.  He was honest and the decision was his.  And this is the  key to the parable.  We have a generous God who loves all the same.  He does not love one less and another more.  He loves all the same for all were created in his image and his likeness.  Be they good or evil, in his eyes all were given the gift of his likeness and his image from the grace of his goodness.  His love overshadows all.  His goodness is for all.

The decision is ours as to whether we accept what God has to offer.  We have a choice.  He gave us free will to choose and we have to choose.  He chose to give us that choice freely and we must choose how we will accept what he has given us.  The time will come when we will be faced with that decision.  The time will come when we must choose.  The time will come when the decision will come upon us in the blink of an eye and we will have to choose or not.  And if we do not make a choice then a choice will be made for us and that choice is not one that will be to our liking.

He is generous.  He is loving.  He is protective of those who love him and follow his commandments.  His rules are simple.  They are meant to keep us from harm.  They are meant to protect us from that which means to destroy us, to take away the life given us by our Father.  Yet there are those who are ignorant.  There are those who are blind.  There are those whoes sight has been taken away, who only have sight for that which is not eternal.  Greed will blind.  Greed will destroy.  Greed will take away that which is eternal within and change it into death.  The laborers were envious of those who were paid the same.  Let us not follow in their footsteps and murmur at our Father for his generosity.  His love will overshadow.  His love will fulfill.  His love is complete.  Seek that which is eternal and you will know him in truth.

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 and 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, August 13, 2015

St Matthew, Chapter 20, verse: 15a, The right to choose.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Parable of the laborers in the vineyard)
Part 22.

The house-holder speaks to the laborers that were grumbling.  He speaks to those who were dissatisfied with their pay because they believed that they deserved more than they were paid.  They agreed upon a denarius to work for a day.  They were paid a denarius for a complete days work.  But others were paid a denarius for three quarters of a day.  And others were paid a denarius for half a day's work.  Still others were paid a denarius for a quarter of a day's work.  And because the house-holder was generous with what he paid them the laborers became dissatisfied with their pay.

He made the choice.  He chose to pay the laborers as he saw fit.  He paid all, even from the last the same pay as he did the first.  And the choice was his to make.  The laborers agreed to the pay but changed when they witnessed the choice of the house-holder to pay all the same.  And he told them:  "Have I not a right to do what I choose?" 

They all had rights.  The house-holder had rights and the laborers had rights.  They all agreed upon what they agreed.  And the work went forward based upon the rights of each party to complete the agreements made.  The house-holder agreed to pay and the laborers agreed to work.  They all agreed.  But when the time for the agreement to be completed something changed.  There was a disagreement, there was dissatisfaction, there was grumbling.  So why did this take place?  Why was there disagreement at the end of the agreement? 

The state of change entered into the picture at the time of completion.  The mind was set at the beginning of the agreement.  The mind was in agreement.  The mind was satisfied.  And then change came to influence the mind.  Change came to make a comparison.  Change came to turn around the state of satisfaction to dissatisfaction and the mind was at a crossroads.  The mind had to choose.  The mind had to make a decision as to which direction it would take.  Would it continue on the road to satisfaction or would it take a different road? 

The road to dissatisfaction led to a different place.  Along the road different thoughts came into play.  Along the road different pictures were presented.  Along the road to dissatisfaction the emotions began to change and the skies became darker, the heart began to change and the once bright picture of happiness became a dark cloud of anger and frustration.  And the door was opened to let the world come in and take possession of that which would have brought happiness.  But back at the crossroads the decision was theirs, the choice was theirs to make.  The laborers had their choice to make and we today have our choice to make.  We all are brought to the crossroad at some point in our lives.  We all have the freedom to choose where we will walk, which road we will take, which path we shall follow. 

I thank God that he held my hand along the road that I traveled.  I thank God that he did not let me go.  I thank God that I was pulled back from the brink, from the cliff of the decision that came to me to take action.  I am thankful that we have a loving God, a forgiving God, a God who will protect us and guide us and keep us from harms way.  For without him I would surely be doomed, this day, for the decisions that I almost made from opening the door to the world and following in the footsteps of the influence of evil.  Today I know who I am.  Today I am saved.  Today I am a new person inspired by the new life given me by the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.  Today, who are 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 and 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.