WORDS OF COMFORT OR WARNING
Today’s New Testament reading includes Luke’s account of Jesus’ sermon on the Mount that Matthew records in Matthew 5:1 – 12. It was about two weeks ago that my wife Kathy and I along with our tour group had the privilege to visit the traditional site overlooking the Sea of Galilee where Jesus delivered this sermon. Today, there is a Roman Catholic Chapel and lovely gardens on the site. In the fourth century, a Byzantine church was built just below the current site. We only had an hour or so to visit the site, but it was certainly enough to imagine Jesus and his disciples there surrounded by crowds of people who, as Luke describes “sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19)
In reading his words in 6:20 – 26, I am again struck by how shocking his teaching must have been to his audience then. He blessed those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated and excluded. And then he gave a warning to those who are rich, full now, laughing now, and well-spoken of and popular. Even today it is contrary to conventional wisdom. To most of his audience that day, Jesus’ words must have been a source of great comfort!
How are we to receive these words? Are they words of comfort or words of warning to us? Might they be both? My prayer today is that our hearts would be open to receive Jesus’ teaching as the Holy Spirit would lead, as words of comfort and/or words of warning.
by Paul Schmidt, Elder
Posted in Read Through the Bible
WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?RESOLVING CONFLICT AND DEALING WITH EVILWHAT KIND OF FRUIT DO YOU HAVE?GOD IS PROUD OF HIS SONPEACE IS A FUNCTION OF FOCUSTHE HEALING POWER OF JESUSGOD CALLS YOU BY NAMESMOKE AND MIRRORSBE A LIGHTWISE WORDSEXODUSCHOOSING THE RIGHT PATHGOD SEES AND HEARSWHO IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM?WARNING AGAINST FOLLY
HE HAS A PLAN FOR YOUTHE PLACE OF COMFORT AND SAFETYIT'S THE LITTLE THINGSBE ALERTMY GOD IS NOT TOO SMALLWHEN TO SPEAK AND WHEN NOT TO SPEAKGOD IS GRACIOUS TO USKEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUTSTAND STRONG FOR YOUR FAITHOUR HOPEDO I DO WHAT THE LORD ASKS OF ME?DON'T BE A SCHEMERA TREASURE HUNTLISTEN AND FOLLOWWORDS OF COMFORT OR WARNINGTHE POSSESSOR OCCUPIES AND FILLS THE POSSESSEDUNDIVIDED LOYALTY TO GODONE CONCESSION STAND
OUR GOD IS HOLY AND JUSTA CAUSE FOR OBEDIENCETELL THE COMING GENERATIONTHE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOLSHINE YOUR FACE UPON USLISTEN UP!CHECK WITH GOD FIRST - HE KNOWS MORE THAN WE DOPSALM 86THAT IS ENOUGH SAIDDO YOU REMEMBER?TRANSITIONSSERVE ONE ANOTHERPROVERBS“Insignificant Does Not Equal Insignificant” (Judges 6)
JESUS IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!FINISHING WELLARE YOU THE TEACHER OF ISRAEL AND DO NOT UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS?FORGETTING GOD IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTHREPENTANCE BRINGS MERCYGOD'S SOVEREIGN TIMING IS ALWAYS RIGHTWHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?A GODLY FATHERJESUS CARES FOR US - HE'S OUR SHEPHERDWHO DO YOU LISTEN TO?CARELESS SPEECHCONTINUE TO SERVE GODUNDIGNIFIED, HUMILIATED, AND GLORIFYING GOD!CLEAR PROMISESMEPHIBOSHETH AND THE KINGTRUST IN GOD'S LEADINGJESUS DOES THE FATHER'S WILL DEMONSTRATING LOVE FOR HIS MOTHER AND WAS GIVEN A KING'S BURIAL
A CLEAR PURPOSEWHAT IS TRUE WISDOMTHIS IS THE GOD WE SERVEHANDLING RELIGIOUS OPPRESSIONDO EVERYTHING FOR THE LORDMAY OUR FACES SHOW LIKE AN ANGELARE YOU FEEDING YOUR FAMILY - OR BUILDING A CATHEDRAL?FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY AND FREEDOM FROM SINUNITY TAKES ACTIONTRY IT, IT WORKSGOD'S WORDA PSALM OF KING DAVIDJEWS AND GENTILES AND SALVATIONARE YOU COMFORTABLE ENOUGH?THE GREED OF GEHAZIWORSHIPPING A KNOWN GODGOD KEEPS HIS PROMISESREASONS WHY WE SHOULD PRAISE THE LORDGOD'S AMAZING CREATION