Tag: doing good
Scripture reading for August 24th: Hebrews 13
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 13:12-16 “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood. Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
In closing this letter, the writer of Hebrews uses Jesus as an example for the Jewish believers. Jesus, the Jew, was condemned to die a criminal’s death, outside the gates of Jerusalem, the city of God. The ‘King of the Jews’ suffered death by crucifixion in order to sanctify all people, Jew and Gentile, by bearing their reproach and sins. Jesus Christ arose from the grave and ascended back to heaven, preparing a place in the City of God, the New Jerusalem. He is coming again and will in finality bring the New Jerusalem down from heaven as a dwelling place for His Bride, the Church. In faith, the Church lives a life of worship and service to God. They are looking for the City to come and the return of the Bridegroom for the Bride!
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give and account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I recognize that I truly have no city or true home in this world that is hostile to You. I am looking for the City that is to come and the return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and help me to be watchful over my brothers and sisters and to set a godly example of worship and sacrifice. I want to please my Lord and Father!
Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of Peace Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Scripture reading for January 15th: Matthew12:1-21, Psalms 10:9-18, Proverbs 3:11-12
“Going from that place, He went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:9-12)
The Pharisees were always threatened by Jesus and His simple teaching and miracles. But success or miracles doesn’t always make one receptive to the good news that Jesus is God and came to seek and save lost. These Pharisees had set up rules for behavior on the Sabbath and anything that smacked of “work” was strictly forbidden. They watched Jesus with an accusing eye! Earlier, on a Sabbath, they spotted Him and His disciples picking some grain as they walked along to the next town. This was confronted and Jesus taught them through the Scripture about God desiring mercy, not sacrifice. (Hosea 6:6) (Matthew 12:7-8)
Jesus went to their synagogue on purpose. There he found a man with a shriveled hand. These Pharisees asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:10) Jesus gave them a practical example of a sheep in a pit and how the owner would surely rescue his sheep on the Sabbath. Men were more valuable than sheep! He then healed the man’s hand! The lesson was simple and powerful and should have convinced anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see that Jesus was showing mercy. This was what God desired!
“But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:14) Religion cares more about its rules than about mercy for the hurting. These religious Pharisees would not be taught by Jesus Himself! For healing a man on the Sabbath, these religious leaders plotted to murder the sinless Son of Man, who was Lord of the Sabbath! The moral of this story is to watch out for a religious spirit. How you view Jesus and the Scripture can determine whether you follow Him or plot murder! Learning from Jesus brings Sabbath rest! (Matthew 11:28-30)