We are a new online Ministry planting seeds of faith to serve God and help community grow closer to Jesus. We just put our lighthouse of hope in 2020 and our content is found in more than 80 countries. We are excited! We are joyous! Help us serve in Gods calling in your life. We are graciously accepting your time, talent or monetary offering.
Talents needed. Bible group leaders, creative leaders, worship group leader, prayer warriors, children’s ministry group leader.
Samel served the Lord by helping Eli the priest, who was by that time almost blind. In those days, the Lord hardly ever spoke directly to people, and he did not appear to them in dreams very often. But one night, Eli was asleep in his room, 3 and Samuel was sleeping on a mat near the sacred chest in the Lord’s house. They had not been asleep very long[a]4 when the Lord called out Samuel’s name.
“Here I am!” Samuel answered. 5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel went back.
6 Again the Lord called out Samuel’s name. Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you want?”
Eli told him, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to sleep.”
7 The Lord had not spoken to Samuel before, and Samuel did not recognize the voice. 8 When the Lord called out his name for the third time, Samuel went to Eli again and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”
Eli finally realized that it was the Lord who was speaking to Samuel. 9 So he said, “Go back and lie down! If someone speaks to you again, answer, ‘I’m listening, Lord. What do you want me to do?’”
Once again Samuel went back and lay down.
10 The Lord then stood beside Samuel and called out as he had done before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
“I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do you want me to do?”
11 The Lord said:
Samuel, I am going to do something in Israel that will shock everyone who hears about it! 12 I will punish Eli and his family, just as I promised. 13 He knew that his sons refused to respect me,[b] and he let them get away with it, even though I said I would punish his family forever. 14 I warned Eli that sacrifices or offerings could never make things right! His family has done too many disgusting things.
15 The next morning, Samuel got up and opened the doors to the Lord’s house. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said. 16 But Eli told him, “Samuel, my boy, come here!”
“Here I am,” Samuel answered.
17 Eli said, “What did God say to you? Tell me everything. I pray that God will punish you terribly if you don’t tell me every word he said!”
18 Samuel told Eli everything. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord, and he will do what’s right.”
The Lord Helps Samuel
19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord helped him and made everything Samuel said come true. 20 From the town of Dan in the north to the town of Beersheba in the south, everyone in the country knew that Samuel was truly the Lord’s prophet. 21 The Lord often appeared to Samuel at Shiloh and told him what to say.
3.3They. . . long: The Hebrew text has “The lamp was still burning.” An olive oil lamp would go out after a few hours if the wick was not adjusted.
3.13refused. . . me: Or “were insulting everyone.”
We are a new online Ministry planting seeds of faith to serve God and help community grow closer to Jesus. We just put our lighthouse of hope in 2020 and our content is found in more than 80 countries. We are excited! We are joyous! Help us serve in Gods calling in your life. We …
Today I’d like to share my testimony. God talks to us through scripture, friends, and circumstances. Recently my girlfriend Cindi sends me the song “Yes and Amen“. It was a good song i thought. It was a song about our trust in Jesus’s promises and I thought not much about the song as I felt …
If you know Jesus, you are a follower of Jesus. He spent his ministry teaching his disciples the importance of finding those who needed to hear about the Kingdom of God. He taught, that those who BELIEVED in him and God’s Kingdom would have everlasting life. Follow Jesus and share your stories about the Father, …
Today I’d like to share my testimony. God talks to us through scripture, friends, and circumstances. Recently my girlfriend Cindi sends me the song “Yes and Amen“. It was a good song i thought. It was a song about our trust in Jesus’s promises and I thought not much about the song as I felt my trust in God’s promises is already very strong. Little did I know that I would have to have blind faith in these promises. I woke up with to distorted vision in the right eye. I could no longer read any letters at all with this eye. Very worried I make a doctor’s appointment. My husband knew this was serious as he stated “you never go to the doctor”. My tuesday Bible Group, my friend and group Leader focussed on verse mapping the scripture “
“One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach on the scripture ” When I’m Afraid, I put my Trust in You”. How fitting a scripture that She chose with the Holy Spirits guidance. And yes, I am a bit afraid. Not too much because God is always giving me signs that he is with me and that helps me walk confidently in him. Lol, my Father even had a new visitor, Dorothy who joined our zoom Bible Group. It was the first and only blind woman I’ve ever encountered. Yes and Amen to you God because you give miraculous signs to those who love you. We accommodated Dorothy by being more descriptive and she blessed us by closing us our group by singing a glorious short Hymn. I went to a retinal eye specialist and surgeon. I have schlerosis and a bleeding retina. I had to have a needle put in my eye along with a fluid to stop the bleeding. I’ll need to have this done every 6 weeks for a while. My eye is now bloodshot red and inflamed. I’m a bit in mourning, but I confidently feel blessed and will continue to be God’s Light. Our God is Awesome and I put my trust in him. Can I get a “Yes and Amen”?
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. “
Teaching about Salt and Light
““You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
If you know Jesus, you are a follower of Jesus. He spent his ministry teaching his disciples the importance of finding those who needed to hear about the Kingdom of God. He taught, that those who BELIEVED in him and God’s Kingdom would have everlasting life. Follow Jesus and share your stories about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that lives can be saved. During the Titanic Disaster of 1912, over 1500 lives perished while lifeboats set back and watched others drown for fear of being turned over. Only one life boat returned to help survivors. One of these survivors gave a testimony that he was saved by Jesus. While John held on to a piece of wood from the titanic, he heard Reverend John Harper shouting to others to “Believe in Jesus and you will be saved!” The young man hadn’t known Jesus but finally came to ask Jesus for help. That’s when the one lifeboat came and saved him. Rev. John Harper saved many lives during the disaster even giving his life jacket to another passenger and refusing to get on a life boat with his daughter.
The One Lost Sheep.
“” Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”
Luke 15:1-2, 4-7 NLT
The Lost Coin
““Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.””
Luke 15:8-10 NLT
The Lost Young Son
1To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.13“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.17“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.21His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’22“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15 11:22
Heavenly Father, thank you for all you do in our lives. We are grateful for your Love, Guidance, and Provision! You provide more than we could ever imagine. Heal our family, friends, and this broken world. We hurt for those we love, who have trials in their life, please comfort us as we pray for them. Forgive our sins and encourage us to be your light instead. We can endure all things through Christ! In Jesus Name, Amen
Do you spend more time looking down at others, or looking up to God above you?
I pray this story spoken by Jesus will help you reflect on the importance of approaching life with a humble spirit and understanding the outcome of prideful living. But first let’s look at the definition humble.
Definition of humble
having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
“he was humble about his stature as one of rock history’s most influential guitarists”.
Similar to respectful.
The story of the Humble Tax-Collector
“Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. The Parush stood and prayed to himself, ‘O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income,… ’ But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.””
Luke (Luk) 18:9-14 CJB
Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you do for us including your provision and family. I pray I hold your scriptures and words hidden in my heart where I can recall your teaching. Forgive me for my sins as I forgive those who make mistakes. In Jesus name Amen.
Take time to be thankful and Joyful! As a an affirmation you can read each word below to Jesus.
Happy – feeling or showing pleasure or contentment! cheerful merry joyful jovial gleeful carefree untroubled delighted smiling beaming grinning glowing satisfied gratified radiant sunny blithe joyous blissful blessed in high spirits lighthearted exuberant elated exhilarated ecstatic overjoyed 🌺Psalm 105:3 Shine and make your joyful boast in Him, you lovers of God. Let’s be happy and keep rejoicing no matter what.
🌺Psalm 144:15 What bliss we experience when these blessings fall! The people who love and serve our God will be happy indeed! 🌺Psalm 146:5 But those who hope in the Lord will be happy and pleased! Our help comes from the God of Jacob!
I heard the Lord keep saying this morning, “The dam is getting ready to break!” I see a great high dam with the water stacked up behind it. I saw water break through this dam and heard the Lord say, I am bursting forth upon your enemy like the bursting forth of water. As you exalt my name, my hand shall move on your behalf. As you lift me up you are going to see me open doors and make ways you have not known, even things you have not dared to ask me for, but this is the season where my power is moving like a mighty flood all around you. This is the season where I am extending my mercy. You will see a mighty demonstration of my Power descend on your life.
Can you hear the rumble in the spirit? Can you hear the rumble in the ground? For now I am moving on your behalf, I am uprooting the enemy out of your destination. Watch and see me as I move against the snake at your gate, against those things that have come against your family, your health, your finances. You watch and see me move.
I am opening up the prison gates! I am opening up the graves! I am opening up new doors! There is a rumble that has already begun. I am unseating old things. Things that have held you captive for years. I am destroying those yokes and breaking those shackles. I am bringing my people to a place of greater freedom and liberty in me.
I am going to use many of you to take this same rumbling in the spirit that you hear and take it to the workplace, take it to the streets and take it to your homes for there is a shaking that is going on in the earth. I am shaking things loose and that which is not of me will fall by the wayside. Those things which is of me will spring forth speedily in this season. It will spring forth miraculously in this season.
The Lord says, “Mark this day down. Put a stake in the ground this day. For there have been things you have prayed for and it seems like for decades. It’s shifting now! Mark down this day! There have been healings you have been crying out for. God says, Mark down this day. There have been family members you have been crying out for.” God says,”Mark down this day for you will see the manifestation quickly now. I have heard and held your prayers.
However like this dam, they are ready to burst forth. Mark down this day!”
How do we move beyond virtue signaling into living out the virtues God calls us to? First, we have to identify some of the virtues that aren’t as common in our culture today—starting with honor.
It’s easy to honor people when they live honorable lives. But what about dishonorable leaders?
As difficult as it can be, we’re called to show honor before someone lives honorably. In fact, showing honor often helps the person become more honorable in the process.
Let us Start with an opening prayer:God, You are worthy of all honor and praise. Thank You for who You are. Help me glean a new understanding from this scripture reading. To take delight in honoring others, even when it’s difficult. Show me any areas where I haven’t been extending honor, and guide me as I seek to live a life that honors You and others. Thank you for provision, heal my family and friends spiritually and physically, help me to forgive and forgive my sins. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Scriptures reviewed in this message.
Honor. 1 Samuel 24:1-16
Honer Inspires. 1 Samual 24:17-22
Honor. 1 Samuel 26:7-25
Honesty . Proverbs 11:1-4
Love includes honor. Romans 12 8-19.
David chooses Honor in the Bible
We see honor throughout Scripture, but it’s particularly evident in David’s story. As a young shepherd, David defeats the giant, Goliath, and is later anointed king of Israel. But it was years before that calling would come to fruition.
God anointed Saul to be Israel’s first king, but over time, Saul became prideful and publicly disobeyed God. He viewed David as competition, and he tried to get David killed several times, even though David had always served him well.
David was faced with an unjust leader who viewed him as a threat. And at the same time, David knew that God had called him to one day fill Saul’s role.
Imagine David’s dilemma when he has the opportunity to kill Saul not once, but twice. All of David’s advisors want him to do it. He’s literally been on the run because Saul wants him dead.
And yet—David shows Saul honor by refusing to harm him. David knew that someone else’s sins don’t justify yours. Saul was in the wrong, but he was still God’s anointed leader. David was still called to serve, obey, and show honor. And when David showed honor, Saul changed as a result. It didn’t fix every aspect of Saul’s character, but it did show the fruit of David’s.
David chose to do what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
“They said to him, “This is your chance! The Lord has told you that he would put your enemy in your power and you could do to him whatever you wanted to.” David crept over and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe without Saul’s knowing it. But then David’s conscience began to hurt, and he said to his men, “May the Lord keep me from doing any harm to my master, whom the Lord chose as king! I must not harm him in the least, because he is the king chosen by the Lord!” So David convinced his men that they should not attack Saul. Saul got up, left the cave, and started away. Then David went out after him and called to him, “Your Majesty!” Saul turned around, and David bowed down to the ground in respect and said, “Why do you listen to people who say that I am trying to harm you? You can see for yourself that just now in the cave the Lord put you in my power. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I felt sorry for you and said that I would not harm you in the least, because you are the one whom the Lord chose to be king. Look, my father, look at the piece of your robe I am holding! I could have killed you, but instead I only cut this off. This should convince you that I have no thought of rebelling against you or of harming you. You are hunting me down to kill me, even though I have not done you any wrong. May the Lord judge which one of us is wrong! May he punish you for your action against me, for I will not harm you in the least. You know the old saying, ‘Evil is done only by evil people.’ And so I will not harm you. Look at what the king of Israel is trying to kill! Look at what he is chasing! A dead dog, a flea! The Lord will judge, and he will decide which one of us is wrong. May he look into the matter, defend me, and save me from you.” When David had finished speaking, Saul said, “Is that really you, David my son?” And he started crying. Then he said to David, “You are right, and I am wrong. You have been so good to me, while I have done such wrong to you! Today you have shown how good you are to me, because you did not kill me, even though the Lord put me in your power.”
1 Samuel 24:4-18 GNTD
David regarded Saul with great respect.
“So that night David and Abishai entered Saul’s camp and found Saul sleeping in the center of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the troops were sleeping around him. Abishai said to David, “God has put your enemy in your power tonight. Now let me plunge his own spear through him and pin him to the ground with just one blow—I won’t have to strike twice!” But David said, “You must not harm him! The Lord will certainly punish whoever harms his chosen king. By the living Lord,” David continued, “I know that the Lord himself will kill Saul, either when his time comes to die a natural death or when he dies in battle. The Lord forbid that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made king! Let’s take his spear and his water jar, and go.” So David took the spear and the water jar from right beside Saul’s head, and he and Abishai left. No one saw it or knew what had happened or even woke up—they were all sound asleep, because the Lord had sent a heavy sleep on them all. Then David crossed over to the other side of the valley to the top of the hill, a safe distance away, and shouted to Saul’s troops and to Abner, “Abner! Can you hear me?” “Who is that shouting and waking up the king?” Abner asked. David answered, “Abner, aren’t you the greatest man in Israel? So why aren’t you protecting your master, the king? Just now someone entered the camp to kill your master. You failed in your duty, Abner! I swear by the living Lord that all of you deserve to die, because you have not protected your master, whom the Lord made king. Look! Where is the king’s spear? Where is the water jar that was right by his head?” Saul recognized David’s voice and asked, “David, is that you, my son?” “Yes, Your Majesty,” David answered. And he added, “Why, sir, are you still pursuing me, your servant? What have I done? What crime have I committed? Your Majesty, listen to what I have to say. If it is the Lord who has turned you against me, an offering to him will make him change his mind; but if some people have done it, may the Lord ‘s curse fall on them. For they have driven me out from the Lord ‘s land to a country where I can only worship foreign gods. Don’t let me be killed on foreign soil, away from the Lord. Why should the king of Israel come to kill a flea like me? Why should he hunt me down like a wild bird?” Saul answered, “I have done wrong. Come back, David, my son! I will never harm you again, because you have spared my life tonight. I have been a fool! I have done a terrible thing!” David replied, “Here is your spear, Your Majesty. Let one of your men come over and get it. The Lord rewards those who are faithful and righteous. Today he put you in my power, but I did not harm you, whom the Lord made king. Just as I have spared your life today, may the Lord do the same to me and free me from all troubles!” Saul said to David, “God bless you, my son! You will succeed in everything you do!” So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.”
1 Samuel 26:7-25 GNTD
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Virtue Signanling basically means NOT HAVING the right inward motives WHILE outwardly appearing to follow laws or being helpful. We will read from the Bible ( Luke 20 and Mathew 23) this type of Virtue Signaling. And then, we will read from Mathew 6, which tells us how to help people without being prideful.
Let’s Pray: Thank you for gathering us together here to read your word. Bless our time together, bless our family and friends. God, I recognize there are times where my inner Pride comes to the surface. During our study, reveal to me any wrong motives I have, and give me right motivations instead. Help me fully accept Your grace, mercy, and love, and guide me as I seek to live out the true virtue You call me to. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Devotional on Virtue Signaling
Virtue signaling is a concept that’s grown increasingly popular on social media, in the news, and in casual conversation. But it’s actually not a new phenomenon. So, what is it? Basically, it’s a negative phrase most often used to call out people who seem to be concerned about how they look publicly without having the right motives privately.
Throughout Scripture, we see common themes of people trying to appear outwardly righteous while being inwardly prideful. In fact, the Pharisees were virtue signalers.
Let’s back up. The Pharisees were religious leaders who were strict about observing the Law given in the Old Testament. In fact, they were so strict about not wanting to break any laws, they invented new laws—and they wanted everyone to know it.
In Luke 20, we find out that they prayed elaborate prayers in public while cheating widows out of their property in private. Talk about virtue signaling!
They got so caught up with following the Law that they didn’t see what was right in front of them—a Savior offering both truth and grace.
Jesus was well aware of their religious theater and empty virtue signaling, and He was not pleased with it. In Matthew 23, He doesn’t hold back on His criticism of their behavior:
Mathew Henry writes.
The scribes and Pharisees explained the law of Moses, and enforced obedience to it. They are charged with hypocrisy in religion. We can only judge according to outward appearance; but God searches the heart. They made phylacteries. These were scrolls of paper or parchment, wherein were written four paragraphs of the law, to be worn on their foreheads and left arms, Exodus 13:2-10; 13:11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21. They made these phylacteries broad, that they might be thought more zealous for the law than others. God appointed the Jews to make fringes upon their garments, Numbers 15:38, to remind them of their being a peculiar people; but the Pharisees made them larger than common, as if they were thereby more religious than others. Pride was the darling, reigning sin of the Pharisees, the sin that most easily beset them, and which our Lord Jesus takes all occasions to speak against. For him that is taught in the word to give respect to him that teaches, is commendable;
As we read. Mathew 23 consider your behavior, inner thoughts, your communication, and posts and compare yours to the behavior Jesus wants for his disciples and leaders.
Readings to help you understand virtue signaling.
Reading Luke 20 45:47. Be on Guard.
Reading Mathew 23 1-12. The Warning.
Reading Mathew 23 13- 15 the fraud
Reading Mathew 16-22 Promises
Reading Mathew 23- 39 fraud and hopelessness.
Reading Mathew 6:1-6
Jesus warns you to be on Guard.
“As all the people listened to him, Jesus said to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplace; who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts; who take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, and then make a show of saying long prayers! Their punishment will be all the worse!””
Luke 20:45-47 GNTD
The Warning to Practice Bible Preaching instead the actions of Preachers.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
““How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock the door to the Kingdom of heaven in people’s faces, but you yourselves don’t go in, nor do you allow in those who are trying to enter!
“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!”
Matthew 23:13, 15 GNTD
““How terrible for you, blind guides! You teach, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he isn’t bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the Temple which makes the gold holy? You also teach, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he isn’t bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gift on the altar, he is bound.’ How blind you are! Which is the more important, the gift or the altar which makes the gift holy? So then, when a person swears by the altar, he is swearing by it and by all the gifts on it; and when he swears by the Temple, he is swearing by it and by God, who lives there; and when someone swears by heaven, he is swearing by God’s throne and by him who sits on it.”
Matthew 23:16-22 GNTD
Jesus explains the proper way to to act towards religion and prayer.
““Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1-6 GNTD
References: Life Church and Mathew Henry Commentary. NIV Bible, Luke 20 GNTD.
Isaiah 55. vs 1-13. This is an invitation to receive the Glory of the Lord. An invitation to receive blessing and a call to feed your soul with God’s bread. The call from God will be read in two different Bible Versions. NIV and Easy Bible.
I’ll first open with prayer. Thank you God for bringing us together to be blessed and fed by your word. We glorify your name and ask that you settle our minds to fully receive this scripture. In Jesus Name Amen.
““Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.””
“‘Listen! All of you who are thirsty, come here for water to drink! You may have no money, but come here and buy food to eat! Come and buy wine and milk! You do not need to pay any money. It is free! Do not spend money on anything that is not real food. You work hard for your money, so do not spend it on things which do not help you. Listen carefully to me. Eat something that will make you strong! Enjoy the best food! Come to me and listen carefully. If you accept my teaching, you will have real life! Then I will make a covenant with you, to be my people. My promise will continue for ever, like the promise that I made to King David. So look! I chose David to show my power to other people. I made him a leader to rule the people of the nations. Now you will call other nations to come to you. They will be nations that you did not know before. Nations that did not know you before will now run quickly to you. They will come to you, because they see that you are great. The Lord your God, Israel’s Holy God, will make people honour you.’ Come to serve the Lord now, while he lets you find him. Call out to him for help, while he is near you. Wicked people need to change the way that they live. Evil people must stop thinking their evil thoughts. They must turn back to the Lord our God, because he will be kind to them. Yes, God will completely forgive them, if they turn back to him. The Lord says, ‘Remember! My thoughts are not the same as your thoughts. The way that you do things is not the same as the way that I do things. The sky is far higher than the earth. In the same way, I do things in a much better way than you do. Also, my thoughts are much higher than your thoughts. The rain and the snow come down from the sky, and they do not immediately return there. Instead, they give water to the earth, so that crops will grow there. Then the farmer has seeds to plant, and people have food to eat. It is the same when I give my word to people. It will not return to me without any result. No! My word does what I want it to do. What I promise to do will certainly happen.’ You will leave that foreign land with joy! You will travel home with peace in your minds. The mountains and the hills will sing with joy as you travel past. The trees in the fields will clap their hands together! Where thorn bushes have been growing, pine trees will grow instead. Myrtle bushes will grow where there are weeds now. Those things will show everyone that the Lord is great. It will be a sign to people for ever.”