Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

St Matthew, Chapter 16, verse: 22, The Future of the Church: the first member wavers.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Passion and resurrection foretold) Part 2.   

Simon Peter was the first member of the Church.  Simon Peter was given the knowledge of Christ's origin.  Simon Peter was given the revelation.  And Simon Peter was under attack by evil because evil wanted to prevent the church from taking hold here on this rock, this earth.  For Christ had willed that his church would be established and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  Yet the gates of hell and evil itself would make every effort to tear it down, to undermine it's efforts, to bring scandal, to discredit the the true nature of its creator, and to do anything it can to turn man against Christ.

Christ was the teacher.  It was his mission to teach his disciples.  He had to give them the wisdom to withstand what was coming before them.  He had to provide them with the understanding to see the truth of what would happen to him.  He had to show them how all was predestined and written about him before he came to earth.  And he had to prepare them for the future of their mission after his mission was complete.  They did not know.  They did not yet understand.  They did not fully comprehend the teachings that he gave them but they would take them to heart. 

And the first member of the church, Simon Peter, was under attack.  He heard what was being said.  He felt the agony of what would happen.  He knew the truth of the consequences of the forthcoming storm and he was afraid.  He was under attack and his heart was opened to allow fear to come in.  And with that fear came evil.  For evil took possession of him.  Evil controlled him and made him fear.  And evil moved him to action.   And Peter taking him aside, began to chide him, saying, "Far be it from thee,O Lord; this will never happen to thee."

Peter was the first member of the church and today there are many.  The church is in us.  The church is beside us.  The church is through us and with us in our daily lives.  But are we with the church?  Are we true members of the church?  Do we belong to the church as the church belongs to us?  We perform our weekly duties by going to Sunday service.  We pray.  We perform our ritual and prescribed duties, but does that make us true members?  For we live in a world that turns us away from the church.  We live in a world that would have us not believe in the truth of the church.  We work, sleep, cry, love, play, and have all our waking hours in a place that would turn us away from the kingdom of heaven. 

Simon Peter was under attack and he took Christ aside and told him that it would not happen.  He told Christ that he could not believe that these things would happen to him.  Yet he did not know that he was at war with the world.  Peter did not understand then, that evil was around him and influenced him to act.  The times since then and the times now have not changed.  The church is at war.  We the members of the church are at war with evil and the war starts with each of us individually.  How we think, how we act, how we believe, how we work, how we play, how we love, how we see, and most of all how we open our hearts are subject to the war we wage with evil. 

For it is through the heart that evil finds passage.  It is in the heart that evil wants to reside.  It is with the heart that evil wants to possess that it may create evildoers for its work.  Guard your heart from the tricks and traps of the world, for they are many and subtle.  Close the door of your heart to those things that would compels you to love.  And protect your heart with the truth that comes from and through Christ, our savior.  For with him and through him and by him, we are transformed into the children that our father created.  We are the light of the world and the light from the Holy Spirit should resides in us.  Do you know?  Can you see?  Christ told us how to be certain.  Open the door of your heart and invite him in.  He will come and reside with you.  Follow the path set before you and know the truth of who you are in Christ

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!

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