Pleasing God (part 3)

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we continue through Hebrews 13, we will find there are only a few more suggested ways to please God.  Verse 9 says, “Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you from the right way.”   What are strange teachings?  Anything that takes away from the 3 basic commands of the New Testament…Love God, love others, and tell the world.  Pretty simple isn’t it?  When a religion determines to attach  man-made rules to the Word it falls under the heading of ‘strange teachings’.  Paul uses the example of dietary practices.  He says those who follow these ‘teachings’ have not been helped.  Why?  Because it replaces what we should be thinking on (Philippians 4:8) with the voices of the world.

The next word we receive on this issue is–ALWAYS offer praise!  What is praise?  It is the sacrifice offered with our lips through Jesus.  We are proclaiming Him as Lord and through that God as the One and Only. 

Two other sacrifices are mentioned here.  We are to do good and help one another.  These are listed as sacrifices because it is not in our sinful nature to want to do these.  Well, whether we want to or not is really not the point.  We are simply to do it, to make these part of our life skills.  Imagine a world where an attitude of what’s in it for me is replaced with the constant thought of what can I do for you.

And finally, we are told to obey our leaders and follow their orders.  Oh, my, really, do I have to?  These types of commands are put in the Bible because God knows us.  He knows that we would rather do it our way, than let someone else tell us what to do.  Our leaders, both in the church and in the world at large have been placed in that position by God, for a specific purpose.  Both have the same type of protection for their followers, constituents on their shoulders.  When rules are made, they are often because the one in charge, chosen by God, knows we will be protected by it.  Jesus tells us to ‘give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.  That is not only about taxes it is about remembering who’s in charge and honoring that person.  So the next time a speeding ticket is issued just remember the rule was there for our protections.

My prayer, in the words of Paul (verse 21):

May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do his will, and may He, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases Him.  And to Christ be the glory forever and ever!  Amen.  (Today’s English Version)

4 Short Days

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

Have you ever wondered what Jesus was doing between the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and the time of His arrest (Holy Thursday)?  He was teaching every day in the temple (Luke 19:47).  Some very important concepts and lessons were taught in that very short period of time.

Julius Caesar, Summer garden, Saint-Petersburg

Luke 20:20-26/Mark 12:13-17/Matthew 22:15-22  When asked if it was right for Caesar to exact taxes from them Jesus responded with, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  From this I ascertain that we live in the world and must abide by the laws of our country.  We model our faith when we obey the government.  It is not against our Christian beliefs to do so.

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse Synago...

Luke 20:39,40/Mark 12:18-27/Matthew 22:23-33  When asked what commandment is the most important Jesus quotes the Schema (Deut. 6:4,5).  First, love God, then, love people.  So simple, yet so difficult to do.  We all to often want to say, OK but I don’t have to like them.  Not so!  Jesus did not intend to separate the two feelings.  All people are to be loved.  We don’t have to like what they do, and we may have to remind them, but we must love them.

Luke 21:27-ff   Jesus was asked what will happen in heaven when the woman arrives in heaven after all seven of the brothers she has married have died.  He makes it very clear that heavenly thoughts are very different than earthly thoughts.  While here on earth we will think of earthly things but while in heaven our thoughts will be focused differently.

There is so much more He taught during those four last days.  Do take the time to read these teachings.  They’re still for us no matter what era we live in.

Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, give us wisdom to understand what we need to know.  Grant us insight into Your Holy Word.  Put those in our paths that we need to share The Story with.  Above all keep us safe and secure in your loving arms.  Make it so!

No Silence

They thought they had silenced Him once and for all                                                                                              

 But once and for all the silence was broken

 

 

 

 

The rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40)

 

 

 

God will be praised (Psalm 115:1)

 

 

The One who spoke the world into order  (Genesis 1:9)

 

Was silent when accused (Matthew 27:11)

 

 

 

His disciples were told to be silent  (Acts 4:18-20)

 

 

But because of their willingness to tell The Story

 I know my LORD AND I

WILL NOT BE SILENT  (Matthew 10:32)

 

 

 

 

Heavenly Father give each of us who know You the courage to speak out so others will know You too.  Make it so!