Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Matth 19, Mark 10

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Don’t just read Matthew and skip Mark. Mark has some incredible Scriptures in it.

I am going got talk about the commandments today,  When the man came to him and asked “How do you get to Heaven” Jesus answered with what the man thought would be the answer  “Follow the commandments”.  And the man responded…’Yup, I do” Then Jesus says “Really?? Well the last commandment says do not Covet your stuff or there is another about idols, So why don’t you sell it all and follow me”.  The man said “OUCH, that hurt”. 

See the point of the story is that none of us can follow the commandments.  It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for us to get ourselves into Heaven.  What Jesus is saying is “It’s IMPOSSIBLE”.  It is Hard for the Rich to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven…think about that Phrase!  Now look at the 10 commandments.  How many have we broken? Golly…probably almost all of them!’

Shall have no other gods before me: Ummm make a list of 10 really important things in your life that if you closed your eyes and it disappeared you would freak out. (401K, bank account, house, car, TV,  clothes, job,) what do you walk around thinking about more than the Lord?  What do you WORRY about the most?

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.  Well this is a huge range many of fall into…some religions have actually created a false worship system inside the actual church bowing to priests or statues and others have worshipped people.  Anyone we emulate we put up as a god.  Someone on TV, musician, actor, neighbor…who are we bowing down to be more like other than Jesus?

Shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.  Maybe you were brought up in a way that you have never SLIPPED on this one (doubt it).  But a person in your life that does misuse the name…do you kindly correct them or do you not say anything?

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Did you get that last part?? Keeping it Holy.  Holy means SET APART.  Is one day of your week set apart for the Lord?  I am not talking about attending Church although I hold that pretty high on my Holy Day, I am talking about getting in His Word, Doing the Work of the Lord.  Good Golly I attend a church of 6000 and I have trouble getting 20 people to give an hour a year to service…UmmmmI think Christians might be falling short on the Sabbath.  It is a day of Rest IN HIM, not a day of Rest with potatoes Chips.

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.  I looked this one up in Hebrew.  Honor is a Verb, an action.  It means Heavy too.  What intentional emotion do you portray to you mother and father.  By the way, the verb “roll your eyes” does not count.  LOL.

You shall not murder.  Ummm pay attention to the new Health Care Reform Agenda.  Do you support or turn your other cheek to abortion?

You shall not commit adultery.   We all read it…Anyone who looks at another in a desirable way has already committed adultery.   Uhhh I am 39, I think that may have happened once or twice.

You shall not steal.  Have you EVER taken anything that did not belong to you.  From a store, from the Office, from a friend, from God”?

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  Have you ever said something that if the person was standing next to you, you would not have said?  It’s called Gossip.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. What? Your not a jealous person? REALLY.  You never looked and thought…I wish I had that.  That wardrobe, that house, that boat, that butt, those kids (lol), that decorating money, that talent.  Covet means “Chamad” on Hebrew, meaning Desire.  I call it window shopping!

My point is not to make you feel horrible that you just scored maybe a 2 out of 10, my point is that God knows the one that we fail.  And we ALL have failed one.  In this story the man’s money was his idol.   We are only made righteous through the Son Jesus. (unless your camel fits through the eye of the needle) But go back to the Questions and Answer:

The Man asked:  “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus Answered:  “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

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LUKE 17:11-18:14

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I know the timeline seems weird but we now go back a little in time(not much) the Luke reading rerinds back to Jesus leaving Capernaum and is heading to Jerusalem. Always keep the time in  Luke as to where we are chronologically, it is the only Gospel written Chronologically. (This is why when we can bring ONE translated book to an unreached people group on a Mission trip they usually choose Luke to translate)

When you read this really put all your knowledge together (by the way that is not Wisdom, only God gives that) so that you can get deep on these readings now.  Jesus heals the 10 men.  I think most people only see the part that only 1 man thanks Him.  It’s more than that.  Jesus was here to fulfill the Law and the Prophcy..right? “Go show yourselves to the priests”: Law.  Only a priest can declare someone clean.   He was a Samaritan.  People, we know this is important.  Samaritans are mixed marriage, still practicing pagan worship: Prophecy: ALL nations will be blessed through Abraham.

Jesus teaches about the Coming of the Kingdom.  Ummm. WOW.  Just like the flood or just like the Sodom and Gomorrah day, it will happen SUDDENLY and WITHOUT warning.  If the end day is today, and you think for one minute you will get some time to make amends, or speak to loved ones, you are MISTAKEN!  If you know ANYONE not destined for Heaven talk to them today.  In Ezekiel, the Lord says how one reacts to our words is not our worry, our worry is not proclaiming the Words.  That we will be judged for. 

Let me put it this way…if someone you knew was in a burning house sleeping.  Seriously, and you were outside safe, would you just get in your car and leave or would you be yelling…screaming…telling the firefighters that they were inside…about to burn?  Well?  If you know someone is not a Christian they are in a burning house about to burn alive, it is just a matter of time.

Does Prayer matter?  I get asked this a lot.  Did you read chapter 18?  The point of the story is NOT that we “wear out” Jesus with praying, but that if even a judge is willing to grant a  persistent request, how much more would the Father if He wants to grant our requests.  Pray without ceasing!  Pray Pray Pray.  It matters.   But what is prayer about?  exalting God and humbling oneself!

John 11

Click here.  GREAT READ!!!

The book of John is for all believers but the purpose of his writings to show the deity of Jesus meaning:  He is the Son of God.  Holy.  The book of John starts with the famous conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, and Nicodemus acknowledges that God was “with” Jesus,  but the rest of the book tells more than that.  The rest of John is a book of “I Am”.  In John,  we have read  6 miracles (water into wine, healed the nobleman’s son, healed the man at Bethesda, fed 5000, walked on water, healed the blind man) and now raising Lazarus this is the Seventh and greatest. 

Jesus has proclaimed  I AM: the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, THE I AM (from Abraham), the Good Shepherd, and now we read not that he can raise and give life but that HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE.

This is the turn of events that brings us to the final weeks of Jesus as man.  This is a crucial day.  He raised Lazarus from the dead…why?  It says in verse 4, for God’s Glory.  However, this was the last miracle that caused the Sanhedrin (Jewish Council) to the decision to have Jesus killed.  Why? Before Jesus was born the Jews were released from captivity (The Exile) and through the past 400 years there have been times of peace and trouble for the Jews.  The current ruling empire, the Romans (Herod Dynasty) basically left  the Jews to govern themselves through the Sanhedrin, as long as they were “quiet”, however Jesus was causing quite the stir religiously as well as politically,  and the leaders feared the disapproval from the Roman empire.  So the easiest solution would be to get rid of Jesus.  You have to pay attention to Geography… I know I know you hate it…but where He does things matters…this is IN Judea.  The Sanhedrin have Jurisdiction…they really do not care what he does outside, but as far as in their territory, they are threatened by Jesus.

We meet Caiaphas today.   Caiaphas was a High Priest.  If you read the OT with us I beat you over the head with the fact that the priests came from the line of Levi  BUT high priests came from the line of Aaron.  I spent all morning looking at this and I cannot find a genealogy on Caiaphas.  My assumption is he is probably from the line of Levi but maybe not from Aaron.  He was APPOINTED by the Romans to lead the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin) so it is safe to assume he was majorly corrupt!  What is important to note is that Caiaphas was a Sadducee,  There were the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  (Think of the men from the movie Passion of the Christ wearing the Jewish clothes).  Anyway, the Sadducees were wealthy, aristocrats on the council thEY only accepted the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible).  They did not believe in the Resurrection.  So this is a point to be made as to why we are reading this RIGHT now.  Jesus just said I AM THE RESURRECTION ANd THE LIFE.  

Look at verse 54 (thanks Lori for teaching me), Huge pivot now.  This is where Jesus starts his final and private discipleship.  He leaves Judea and goes to Ephraim (the Sanhedrin has no authority outside Judea (makes sense why he would go there). 

Luke 16-17:10

I feel this sense or urgency, and repeat,  and importance in the voice of Jesus.  Repeating the foundations.  Discounting the Pharisees teachings.  He may be talking to the Disciples BUT know that the Pharisees are right there to hear the message.  Actually, if you look back,  gradually the crowd was getting larger and larger.  Disciples, tax collectors “sinners”, Pharisees.  Much of these messages were aimed to object to the false teachings that were taught now by the Jewish council.  For example, wealth was a reward from God according to the Pharisees , likewise a disability is caused from a sin.  Anyway, since the Sermon on the Mount was directed at few, we now see Jesus retouching on each point to the masses.

One of the story’s today hit me a few years ago when I was realizing the reality of many of my friends and family’s final destination.  I am not judging anyone’s salvation, I am looking for the fruit of their salvation and upon that I sometimes make a hypothesis on possibility.   Anyway, at the bottom is a blog I wrote a long long time ago about Hell.   Anyway, if you feel like reading it…feel free, of not see you tomorrow. 

Anyway, this is what I wrote that day…

There are few things people don’t discuss anymore.  Everyone talks about everthing on Facebook these days. Even stuff we shouldn’t talk about, we do.  But one topic we just don’t talk about is Hell.  Well, Hell, who would want to??  But the fact of the matter is, it is real, it is big and many people are there,  and many more are going to go.  I think we need to talk about it.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom ONLY through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.( Mt 7:13,14 NLT)

As a Christian I have struggled with the questions “If God is so loving, why would He send someone to Hell”.  I got it last night.  It hit me in the head like a brick.  God does not send ANYONE to Hell.  A person chooses to go there by not believing in Jesus.    Heaven or Hell is not where God chooses to send us…we choose to go there.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

We read 3:16 all the time but I read 3:17 with fresh eyes.  God sent his son not to condemn us but to save us.  

We can get to Hell on our own. But we need Jesus to get to Heaven.   Hell is being seperated from God for all eternity.  That is what Hell is.  So I ask you, if you don’t need Him here on this planet…then what’s the big deal? right?   Seriously, if you don’t need Jesus in your life…then I guess your choice to not know him now is something you can take for eternity.

Jesus said “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:47-50)

We have all heard His Word.  He makes sure of that one way or another.   It may have been through the Bible, a friend, TV, a pastor, a Billboard…it makes his Word known.  Listen to me, if you believe in a Heaven, you must believe in a Hell. We believe in Heaven because it is in the Bible…where else do you think we got it from?? A friend said to me once harshly (and I believe it was God using her to say it to me)..The Bible is the Word of God.  You either believe all of it or none of it.  You cannot pick and choose which topics you hold to and discount the others.  It is His voice talking to us; and I for no minute will doubt His word. 

I am not going to go into detail about what the Bible says about Hell, you can research that yourself.  But know this, there is a story about a rich man and Lazarus in the Bible.  The man is in Hell.  It is so bad that he begs Abraham to warn his brothers still on earth about it,  so that they will repent and accept Jesus as their savior.  God tells him that He has already told everyone the simple offer in his Word, the Bible. It is up to that person to choose now, He will not force Himself upon us.

Do not fall into 3 dangerous areas. 

1.  Tradition….I have been taught to do that, believe that, that is the way we have just always done it.  Tradition of faith is not accepting Jesus as your Savior.

2.  Intellect….Don’t think about it that hard,  “For it is written: ”I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” (1 Cor 1:19-21)

3. Experiences…Doing “religion” feels good.  Serving in His name, going to church, taking communion, makes me feel good.  Remember there is Religion, and there is relationship…and if you don’t know the difference…then you might be on a wide road.

Rely on scripture ONLY.   I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:11-15)

 If we do not Believe in the Bible and what it says about Hell, then how can we believe of heavenly things???  Do not skip over the hard parts of the Bible.  If He wrote it He wants you to know.  Kay Arthur says “there are 66 Books in the Bible…How many do you think He wants you to know……66!!!!!

Luke 14-15

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For some of us today, very familiar reads.  For others,  first time ever.  My challenge to you is to read both chapters as if you NEVER read them before.  Not even heard them at church.  Completely Fresh.  Completely from God.  Don’t skim.  I am not blogging today (did I just hear someone say Amen!!)   but I surely want to know which one THIS TIME reading it was the read for YOU. 

  • Jesus heals the man with Dropsy (Swollen Limbs) For some of us we are in awe over how much Scripture was given to what is lawful on the Sabbath.  What are you doing on your Sabbath?
  • Jesus teaches about  seeking humanity.  When you do something for someone else, examine your thoughts and motives, and whether you tell other people about your good deeds.
  • Jesus tells the parable of the Great Feast.  I think on the day of Judgment many of us will be surprised.
  • Jesus teaches about the cost of being a disciple “If anyone does not hate their father and mother…..”  Our lives are filth and sinful.  We need to submit to Christ and love Him and what He did more than anything else.  Otherwise we may not truly understand what He did for us.  Who do you Love?
  • Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep.  Ohhhhhh I love this one.  God used this parable to bend me out of shape a few times when I said “I don’t like when my church does….”  He said “It’s not about you!!! I am going for that lost sheep”
  • Jesus tells the parable of the lost coin.  Again, our reaction to ones Salvation?  Do we rejoice when that coin is found?? (And are we even helping to look for it??)
  • Jesus tells the parable of the lost son.  An extremely familiar read that NEVER gets old to read.  WOW.  Everytime a read it there is something TOTALLY different that stands out to me!  I wish I had kept a “Prodigal Son” journal through the years.

Would love to come home to COMMENTS today!!

Luke 12-13

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Before I even began reading I looked up the definition for Hypocrisy (hypocrite). 

  • a personal who puts on a false appearance of virtue
  • a pretender
  • trying to appear good when one’s heart is far from God
  • knowing the truth and not obeying it
  • living a self-serving life

 Some of you have been with me just since the NT and some since Genesis.   When I read the OT I found it easy to write a blog because there was History or a foreshadow to speak about.  I am finding the NT very very difficult to write about because these words are directly to us.   Some of the scriptures are speaking to us as an audience and some is speaking regarding the non-believer but I still find it, well,  so personal.

Let’s look at the beginning of Chapter 12 though.  I found it very interesting that Jesus is talking about the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees and then immediately talks about ANGELS and the RESURRECTION.  See, the Sadducees DO NOT BELEIVE in angels, resurrection or even demons.  So this really make sense as to why Jesus is talking about it in contrast to the actual teachers of the Law.

Here is my encouragement for the day.  As you read,  if there is a part you don’t really understand find out.  So far everything we have read about: being a follower,  we saw Jesus paired US up.  Why? because He knew we would need each other.  I have already spoken to 2 people in my “texting” world regarding 12:10.  I just needed some help with it. 

Jesus speaks against Hypocrisy:  Also the unpardonable sin!!

The parable of the Rich man:  For those who like to find all 10 of the Ten commandments in the NT, this is one of them.  This is number. 10.  And by the way a very big OUCH was written in my margin.

Jesus warns us about Worry.  Notice that Jesus is repeating much of the Sermon on the Mount today.  The sermon on the mount was an attitude check, this seems to be a motive check.

Jesus prepares us about His coming back.  I wrote a blog on this a long time ago…I might go back and try to find it but what would you do if you heard God say to the world ” you have 7 minutes”…what would you do with those 7 minutes?  Would you look around at all the people in your life that would or WOULD NOT be coming to heaven with you?  WHat would you say to them in a last minute attempt?  Well… it could be today.

Jesus warns about Division.  We didn’t need to read this to know this…you don’t even have to turn on the news to see it, most of us have religious division in our own house!

Future Crisis/Looking at the signs of the times. Like Jesus said, we will not know the day He comes back BUT we sure can look at the sign it is near.  You CANNOT do this without knowing scripture.  Cannot.  If you want a good book on this (besides the bible) then read

 By David Jeremiah. 

Chapter 13:  There was an issue with Pilate killing Galileans, but Jesus didn’t debate the death,  did he…he debated their life.  Their fruit.  The Life.

Jesus heals a cripple woman and Jesus teaches about the Kingdom

Jesus teaches about entering the Kingdom.  If you want my opinion (prob not) , this is the one to dig into today.  listen to me, you could work in a church all your life, preach the Bible, Do His work, but what does Jesus say over and over.  “I don’t know you”.  When you hear a church say “do you have a personal relationship with Jesus, your Lord and Savior?” This is what they are talking about.  Do you know him?  Do you know his desire for you, his personality, his Voice? Like a sheep.  Or let’s go back to the first part of today’s read…Hypocrisy.  Knowing Truth and ignoring it?  Hmmmm.

Luke 10-11; John 10:22-42

Luke 10:  Did you think “oh we read this before?” He sent them out last week?  Noooo we did not.  This is not the 12 Disciples.   Look at the first line “After this?”  After what?  After He sent out the 12 He now sends out 72! (But in the same manner as the 12) .  What are we watching unfold here?  Matthew 13:31.  The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed…”.  We went from 12 to 72….and it grows and grows and grows…..

Then another reminder that Satan was once in Heaven (verse 18).  If you want to read more about this go to Isaiah 14:12. (right Coutney?)

It’s amazing isn’t it!  The same mission the Disciples had,  now the followers have. They went out in two’s (who is your spiritual encourager).  Then there was a story that got my attention.  The one of Pride.  Ouch.  That was the sin that made Satan fall from Heaven and often it is the one that gets us the most in the wrong place.

The Good Samaritan.  We throw that phrase around WAY too loosely if you ask me.  Opening the door for someone is not being a good Samaritan.  Read it!  You have 3 Characters:

  1. A Priest
  2. A Levite
  3. A Good Samaritan

What is the definition of mercy? (Not Christ’s Mercy on us, but when He says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”

Mercy (Greek is Eleos) meaning kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.

John 10:22.  The Feast of Dedication. Hmmmm if you have  been with me since Day 1 Genesis you might be like..huh?  We deeply studied all  the Feasts and that is one that I don’t remember studying.  Well…that is because it occurred in the 400 years in between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  If you have a Study Bible there usually is a section in between the 2 that describes the 4 periods that occurred. I  totally encourage you to read it.  But here is the really condensed version.  After Alexander the Great died,   4 generals took his reign.  Out of one of the 4 was Antiochus Epiphanes (a foreshadow of the Antichrist).  He strongly persecuted the Jews and to make a long story short:  a priestly family called the Maccabees attacked this huge army and actually won.  A remembrance of this day and the rededication of the temple, occurs once a year and in custom of lighting their candles this night,  the Day is called the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedications, or as you and I know it as Hanukkah.  Pretty cool huh.

So since we are reading this in order we know that the Feast for Tabernacles was October and Hanukkah is December, so two months has passed now.  Solomon’s Colonnade is inside them temple (like a walkway with a roof) in the courtyard.  He was here before, right.  Notice that the Jews pick up a stone to kill him every time he claims to be God.

If we were underlining Biblical Doctrine, this would be one of those days.  Can you lose your salvation?  No. John 10:29.  “If” you are really His…He will protect your salvation for LIFE.

And we end with Jesus retreating back to safe ground for it is not time yet for him to give his life.

John 9-10:21

Late softball game last night, Mid terms tonight  and tomorrow.  Feeling overwhlemed. I will read at lunch.  🙂

 

John 7-8

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The Gospel, like most of the Bible is collaborated topical.  So the parables were grouped together, then the miracles were grouped together…get it.  The way we are reading it now really shows the footsteps Jesus made for us.  Notice that most of the readings start with a time transition.  Today we start again with  “after this…” after what? After He preached to the disciples…He then is about to go back to Judea.  NOw remember he has not been there is a year and a half.  The last time he was there they plotted to kill him for healing on the Sabbath, in that year and a half it was not “his time (to die) so he didn’t even venture back (the Temple) for the Passover.  Instead he broke bread with 5000 on a field.  :)   

So now the people are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (about 6 months away from Passover…THE PASSOVER).  I had to go back and look the Tabernacle Feast up in the laws…I am telling you my memory scares me…what was I talking about again….?  Oh yeah, the Feast of Tabernacles…Leviticus 23:34 (If you wonder how I knew that,  look in your margin next to John 7:2…there is a cross  reference to it).  I HIGHLY recommend you go back and read Leviticus 23 (retold in Duet 16).  The Feasts of Tabernacle was celebrated in October on our calendar and it involved the whole family.  They would live in booths for this feast and read the scriptures, this was a celebration and remembrance of God’s provision and direction during their time in the Desert , before entering the Promise Land.

Oh!  Let’s talk about Chapter 7 the last and greatest day of the feast (look at verse verse 37).  On the last day they would go to the Pool of Siloam and offer the Water to God and read from the Scriptures of Isaiah, probably Isaiah 55

But Jesus wasn’t talking about this water, He was talking about the living water, the Holy Spirit (this will not happen till Pentecost).  Ohhh the Stir He was creating!  All this talk, on the last day of the Feast, in front of the Jewish Council, his own brothers there probably bowing their heads in embarrassment (not believers yet) and people still trying to figure out if He is the Prophet Elijah  Was Jesus the Prophet?  no he was THE PROPHET!  The Christ! meaning The Messiah…the Annointed One.

Verse 50.  NICODEMUS!  DO you remember him?  The Pharisee that came in the middle of the night to talk to Jesus in secret so his friends on the San Hedrin didn’t know his heart was stirring with all this.  Now look at him!  He is saying “uhhhh guys, shouldn’t we hear him out?”

By the way, the comment about Galillee…You probably figured it out by now…What good could come from a GENTILE nation??

By the way I know we spent a lot of time this year on “background” information, but isn’t it great to “get” the 5W’s.  Like, when Jesus is in Judea, the Pharisees have jurisdiction and could arrest him so the moments are very tense compared to when Jesus is in Samaria or Galilee (Roman Ruled) so it is a different feel when He teaches.

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Chapter 8.  Read into Chapter 8 and stop at verse 6.  First, where is the man? Levitical law says that both would be stoned? But right here in verse 6 it says this was a trap.  How? The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees knew (thought) it was a lose/lose situation. 

  • If Jesus said she should be stoned then he would be in violation of the Roman Law because Jews could not carry out the death penalty
  • If Jesus said she should not be stoned Jesus was in violation of the Law of Moses which says she should be stoned.

Either way they think they have him trapped. (But it was not His time!!).  Of course Jesus uses this scenario to teach the world a beautiful lesson about judging others and looking in the mirror first!

Last but far from least, I want to explain the sudden reaction of the Jews.  These are men of law, and scripture.  This is what they know:

anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.   Leviticus 24:16

WOW, a lot in Chapter 8…rather than me write about it, I think it is best just to sit and think about some of what Jesus is saying.  If we are not with Jesus we are with the devil.  It is VERY black and white.  Look at 8:56 too….Abraham saw it.  What did Abraham see?  He saw the CROSS.  He saw that Faith brings in a substitutionary death.  Stop and read Genesis 22…look at the symbolism of seeing how we belong on that Alter and God will provide an innocent substitute to take it all for us.

Matt 18

Familiar reads make me nervous.  I don’t want to skim them and say “Yeah, I know that” because truth be told in my heart I don’t most of the time.  I have them in my head…but that is about as far as it goes.

Causes anyone to stumble…  Did you read this?  The tone in God’s voice is extremely serious!  I am not going to get into a long thing here but I want to just say from my heart that a lot of sins occurred in my life due to “drinking”, even as a teenager or college student. Thoughts, actions, words….. because I was not “myself”.  ANyway, I say al that to say I I pray because I do not drinkand i pray my kids won’t either.  I truly believe that it is a stumbling block leading to sin.  But this scripture is NOT about drinking, it is about being a witness. 

The lost sheep.  Sometimes I don’t always agree with some of the things my church does however here is what God pressed on me one day “We are going for that ONE lost sheep, you don’t have to like what we do today”.  Since that moment I rejoice when I don’t aways agree with my church.

Forgiveness.  This is not lip service, catch the last word….from the heart.  Again, we hear the scriptures “this is what the Kingdom on Heaven is like (verse 23).  We can forgive IF Christ is in Us.

I kept it short, but trust me are are heading back into JOHN tomorrow…I always write a lot on John days :)