23 BSF Matthew Week 23, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I think it is important to understand that the woes in Matthew 23 are not curses, they are warnings, very serious warnings with very serious consequences, but not a sentence to be served. (see Isaiah 6:4-7, Woe reversed power of God)

None of this was new.  For example, at the center of the woes, in verse 23, the warning addresses tithing on spices but not giving justice, mercy and faithfulness.  Turn back to Micah 6:8,  “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Jesus began this warning with the parable of the tenants and the wedding banquet.  Flip back to Matt 21:45, “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.”  Matt 21:43, “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

The wedding feast is starting.  Christ is being married to His church, the body of believers and the religious leaders will not see Him again until He returns as the righteous husband returning to redeem His bride. On that day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  (Philippians 2:8-11)

My Answers:

11.
13. shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces – open
14. devour widow’s houses and make lengthy prayers for show – care for widow’s pray quietly
15 travel over land and sea to win convert, then make them 2x more child of hell – be missionaries, but feed and nourish them in the scriptures
16 value gold over temple, altar, God – value God above all else, Don’t swear
23 tithe spices, but don’t give justice, mercy and faithfulness, strain out a gnat, swallow camel – Put Jesus First, love with all heart, soul, mind, strength
25 clean outside of cup but inside full of greed and self-indulgence – repent and ask for a clean heart and for God to renew a right spirit within
27 place selves above ancestors – not killed prophets – go ahead, finish what your ancestors started – Accept the prophets and the one they prophesied

12.
a.
Jewish leaders = vipers, Sending = disciples, apostles

b.
They rejected the prophets, the scriptures and Jesus – His blood will be on their heads

c.
We are given free choice.  If we choose to reject Jesus, He honors that decision, even though it means separation from Him until judgment day and then for eternity

d.
There will come a day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.  God has kept the door open until the final measure of believers has come to Christ

 

Advertisements

23 BSF Matthew Week 23, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

This discussion reminds me so much of my golf game. 

The religious leaders were trying to pull Jesus off into the weeds to trip Him up.  Everything they asked Him about was on the far fringes of the course of life.  That is where they played, going from patch of weeds to patch of weeds.

Jesus wasn’t afraid of the weeds, but His response was always the same.  The solution is not to go from weed-patch to weed-patch, but to get the game back on the fairway.  Return to the scriptures.  Return to the power of God.  Return to right thinking and right living.

No where is that more evident than in Matthew 22:42.  The leaders are gathered.  They had plotted and planned and asked questions, all attempting to get Jesus into their weeds.  And now, Jesus asks them a question.  But Jesus question isn’t in the weeds.  It isn’t on the fringe.  It is at the very heart of the green.  What do you think about the Messiah?

That is the core question, isn’t it?  That is the question all of religion hinges on.  We know we need a savior.  What do you think about the Messiah?  In the game of life, that is the hole-in-one shot, that is where we should play.

My Answers:

8.
a.
What do you think about the Messiah?  Whose son is he?

b.
Shows that while He was a descendent of David, he was Lord, the son of the Living God

c.
To address Him as my Lord and Master, not only in word but in action

9.
a.
what the teachers and Pharisees who sit in Moses’ seat say to do

b.
Do not do what they do

c.
done for people to see

d.
To be humble and ensure the honor and glory are God’s alone

10.
To be humble, to not take on titles belonging to God (Rabbi, father, instructor)

 

 

23 BSF Matthew Week 23, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I was really struck by how I, like the lawyer who asked the question of Jesus about which is the most important commandment, sell myself short.

We prioritize.  We are taught to identify which are the big rocks, the most important tasks, and put them first.  Eat that frog, don’t sweat the small stuff.  I’ve read the books and I understand how that approach can help navigate the pressures of life on this earth.

If I do my lesson each day and spend some quiet time in prayer, I think I’m doing pretty good.  But I’m not “holy”.  That approach would not qualify me to be a “treasured possession” of God.  God wants “All”.

All my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength.  Not just 20 minutes of my heart and mind, but all.  Yes, we trip and fall and veer off path – we sin.

The lawyer asking the question of Jesus was on this path.  I can’t keep all the commandments all the time, so which one or ones are the most important and I’ll prioritize those first.  What is the minimum passing grade, Jesus?  What is the least I have to do?

But God says, you will sin, but then repent and give it all back to me.  If you fall down, that does not mean you have reached the final destination, you just tripped.  Get up and keep going.

What would a day look like if every calorie I burned reflected God’s strength.  What if every thought was directed to His glory?  What if my heart and soul fully reflected His love for 1440 minutes in a row?  That would be holiness.  I am not capable of that but God is capable of that.  Ask and He can move mountains.  Why do we settle for “doing pretty good” when we are created to be so much more?

My Answers:

6.
a.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind (and strength)

b.
Look out for yourself first, charity begins at home,

c.
We protect our own life – we feed and clothe ourselves and see to our needs of comfort and security.  These same basic instincts, through love, should extend to others.

d.
Why would someone do this without a belief in God, how would anyone understand true love?

7.
a.
Heart:   Having no love that you put before God, that you would not give up for Him
Soul: Pledging not just this life but eternity to Him, we are souls with a body, not bodies with a soul.
Mind: To think first of God, even above self, to trust in Him above reason
Strength: Physical ability – not just philosophical or spiritual, but real

b.
Start my day with God.  End my day with God.  Take better care of my heart, soul, mind, strength.  They belong to God, I am just the steward, the renter.

c.
made holy by God, chosen, treasured possession, based on love and commitment of God

23 BSF Matthew Week 23, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

There is a very simple axiom.  Right thinking leads to right living, while wrong thinking leads to wrong living.  Athletes recognize this.  Nutritionists, psychologists, sociologists, scientists, business executives, all recognize this.

The question is “where does right thinking come from?”

If I wanted to learn to be a brain surgeon, I would not turn to my co-leader (an engineer) to teach me, and if I did, you would not want to be my patient.  He is a wonderful and knowledgeable man, who is great with his hands and very careful and methodical.  In other words, he has the characteristics of a brain surgeon, but he doesn’t have the specific knowledge and experience.

Jesus pointed out the same thing in the Sadduccees.  They learned from each other, like someone reading every self-help book ever written.  It wasn’t that all of their education was wrong, but they did not know the scriptures or the power of God.  They were so focused on the messiness of human life, that they plugged in to their own interpretations which were built on taking that messiness down a “logical path”.  Their roots were in legalism built to try to organize messiness, but at heart, it was just that, organized messiness.  In that process, they had unplugged from the scriptures and the power of God and veered off into the weeds.

There is only one source for Right Thinking and Right Living and that is to open the text of the creator and turn to the experience of the only man to have ever lived a perfect life, Jesus.

My Answers:

3.
a.
The people lived under the protection and economy of Rome, but wanted to be exempt from taxes

b.
taxation, equality, sovereignty of other nations

c.
earthly authority, submission, taxes, governance to Caesar, To God: heart, soul, mind, strength

4.
a.
They did not know the Scriptures or the power of God

b.
People do what is right in their own eyes, trusting their wisdom/judgment and that of others

5.
a.
God is the God of the living – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived

b.
The dead will rise and live like the angels in heaven