Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:27b; The Deceit of their answer.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The Authority of Jesus) Part 8. 

They refused to answer the question.  They knew the answer.  They knew the outcome if they were to speak the answer.  Having weighed all the possibilities among themselves they decided that it was best to not answer.  But that was the dilemma of their initial issue.  They came to Christ seeking an answer to a question.  They wanted to know the origin of his authority.  They wanted to know who gave him the power to preach, the authority to teach, the wisdom to know, and the knowledge to perform miracles.  So they came to him with the question.

He saw them coming.  He knew of their question.  And he wanted to answer their burning desire that they too would know from whence he came.  But first they had to open their hearts to receive the truth.  Did they believe?  Did they seek the truth?  Could they open themselves so that they could hear the word and be converted?  Jesus asked them a question to open the door that they may walk through.  But they could not.  They did not.  They decided to close the door and answered that they did not know the answer to his question.  Then he in turn said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things." 

They wanted to know, but they could not understand.  They wanted to see but were blinded.  They wanted to understand but had not understanding except their own.  So in their wisdom they decided to be deceitful.  In their knowledge they could not respond.  In how they saw the outcome there's was no answer.  And that is what they received, missing out on the opportunity to become open to the joy of the word, the peace of the truth, and the love of the Father.

How often are we the same?  How often do we deny that which is within us only to appear real to ourselves and to others?  We can not see.  We can not believe.  We do not allow the opportunity for something far greater than ourselves to become a part of our lives simply because our own thoughts and beliefs have determined that it is not the truth.  Our thoughts are not our own, but those of the world.  Our beliefs are not our beliefs but those given to us buy the influence of that which surrounds us.

It is only by examination of that which surrounds us and that which is within us that we may come to understand who we are, why we are here, and what is our purpose.  Death is not the answer, life is.  Life is what we have here and now and for eternity, if we choose to accept it.  When the world has beaten you down and you know not what to do, the world may suggest giving up.  The world may suggest despair and depression.  The world may even suggest destruction in one form or another. 

Yet there is life.  There is hope.  There is peace and joy that awaits us in the here and now.  There is an unbelievable guide that will walk with us each and everyday to help us along the way.  And then there is our savior who brought us back from death that we may live eternally with him in his kingdom.  We are blessed.  We are loved and cared for.  We are the children of the creator of the universe and he loves each and every one of us dearly.  Our Father who art in heaven, provide for us.  Our Father who art in heaven, protect us.  Our Father who art in heaven show us your love.

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, January 4, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:27a; The Response to the Question.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The authority of Jesus) Part 7. 

Deceit had taken over.  Cunning was waiting in the wings.  And evil was ready to pounce.  They were back and forth among themselves and with Christ.  Yet he knew the outcome.  He saw their deceit.  He knew of their cunning.  And he was very much aware that the influence of evil had taken control of the chief priest and the elders.

They wanted an excuse.  They sought a way in.  They continued to set the tricks and traps for Christ hoping that he would fall into one of them so that they could have their way with him.  They had their way with the people.  They influenced and controlled them.  They taught them their ways and not the ways of God.  They transformed the Law and made it into their law and their rules, and their practices so that the people would not see what they were doing.

Could they answer the question?  Yes!  Would they answer the question?  No!  The simple answer would lead to their incrimination and their conviction.  So they chose not.  And they answered Jesus and said, "We do not know." 

So they chose not to answer the question.  They chose not to respond.  They chose to deny what they knew was the truth even though they knew the answer that John was from heaven.  They were the learned people.  They were the scholars of the Law the keepers of the history of Israel.  It was written in the books they studied all their lives, the books that they read and memorized from childhood.  Yet they chose not to answer it.

Most children grow up in some form of spiritual background.  They receive their beliefs and spiritual leaning from their parents, and relatives, and spiritual leaders that they encounter in their environment, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhism, or what ever form of spiritual system in their environment.  We all believe in something.  And then there are those who profess to believe in nothing but themselves, the here and the now.  They believe that we are here today and gone tomorrow and after this there is nothing else.

So we are swayed by our spiritual background and influenced by our social living.  If we believe that there is no tomorrow then we live only for today, only for the moment, and anything goes.  If we have some spiritual background then we have some rules or some code to live by.  We have the law that guides us through life.  What guides you?  What set of morals do you live by?  Do you believe in tomorrow, an afterlife?  Where do you stand on the spiritual scale of life?

The chief priest and the elders attempted to be neutral, zero on the spiritual scale.  They did not want to answer the spiritual question concerning John the Baptist, "Is he from heaven or from the people?"  Was he spiritual or was he just physical?  Was he a man of God or just a man from the people?  And this is the question that we are faced with today.  Are we from heaven or just physical?  Are we of a spiritual being or just flesh and bones?  Did we originate through evolution or were we created from the breath of God?  Simple question, simple answer.  There is no neutral, no zero position.  We are or we are not.  Where do you 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. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verse:26; The Dilemma of the Question.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The authority of Jesus) Part 6. 

They were befuddled, not knowing how to respond.  One person believed that they should say this, another person said that they should say that.  There was no consensus among them as to how to answer the question asked by Christ.  They heard of his wisdom.  They knew of his insight from others who had spoken to him or tried to capture him in a falsehood.  So they gathered together to determine the best answer to give.

Jesus knew their uncertainty.  He knew of their plot.  He foresaw their scheme to trick him to answer their question.  But they did not foresee that he would pose a question in response.  So they argued among themselves:  saying, “If we say, ' From heaven,' he will say to us, Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, ' From men,' we fear the people, for all regard John as a prophet." 

And so it was that they came to an impasse.  They did not know how to respond.  They were befuddled and without answer.  How do you respond to such a question?  How do you say things one way so as not convict yourself?  Our minds work with lightening speed to give us answers.  But will the answer free us from harm?  If that is the case of where you would like to be, then you are practiced in the art of deception.  For we deceive ourselves when we give way to the influences of what comes to our minds in the way of deceit.

Do we intend to deceive?  Do we intend to lie?  Do we intend to sway others to think differently of ourselves, contrary to the real us?  Do we intend to exercise power over others to lead them along a path of our beliefs?  And who leads us in such a direction?  Are we led by fear, anger, hatred, disgust, pity, sympathy, love, care, understanding or wisdom.  Or are we led by the influence of evil. 

Our Father gave to us the joy of life.  He gave to us a life similar to his own spirit.  He is love.  He is joy.  He is peace.  He is merciful, and forgiving, and understanding, and truth.  It is his truth that guides us through life.  It is his knowledge and wisdom that sets us on a path that will change our entire destiny of who we are and who we will become not who we were in the past.  We are his children.  He is our loving Father.  He provides.  He protects.  He guides.  He directs.  And when the time here on this plane of existence ends, we rejoice in our transition to spend eternity with him.  Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.  And yet it is in death that we escape from this plane and enter into his realm. 

Peace be with you.  The knowledge of who you are awaits your coming.  The reward of heaven awaits your acknowledgement.  The struggle of this existence will concede to you when you accept who you are and rejoice in the life that is within you.  Come!  The Spirit awaits your awakening.  It awaits your rising up from the slumber of this world and your embracing that for which you are.  Christ loves you.  The Father loves you.  The Holy Spirit feeds you and you will live.

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.