You are the light 

Like everyone else, we believers are no exemption for calamities’, trial, tribulations and even persecutions. In fact, because we choose to follow Christ we draw the unwanted. And, because of those trials and tribulations we stick out from the rest of the population. Paul says that we carry with us those unwanted attributes everyday (1Cor4:9), of tribulations, persecutions, trials, (2Cor4:8-10)etc…, and those with a purpose. Every person ever since the great fall is destined to face hardship during their life (Mt5:45), is what Jesus was referring too when he said that God causes the rain to fall on both the good and the evil. In fact, every person whether good or bad is destined to die; even (Ecc3:20). But, one thing distinguish us the believers from the rest and that is we shine when everyone else does not. 

Acts 28:4-6

When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Now, the islanders when they saw Paul and the condition that he was in understood that he must have been an evil person destined for punishment. Paul’s situation seemed to be worse then of their own, he was surrounded by guards and missed a storm. It painted a picture in the islander’s mind common to them of someone worse off then they. Things that happens to believers are usually worse then that of the unbelievers. And, to top it of Paul was bitten by a venomous snake of which the writer describes as a beast, so his situation became even worse. Jesus said that we are the light of the world and this light cannot be put under a bowl, but on a stand so that everyone sees (Mt5:14-15). The islanders thought that Paul escalated from judgement with man to that of gods, painting the worst picture imaginable. But this, what was happening to Paul was for the purpose of advancing the gospel (Ph1:12-14). Insomuch, that when the islanders; after they observed him for a while, noticed that this snake bite did no harm to Paul and changed their perception of him. The snake can bite us but it cannot kill us. Now, they thought of Paul as god and opened their hearts to the gospel to the point that healing came to their community. Paul was able to heal their leaders father along with many other islanders. 

 

Verses
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 
20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guardb] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

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A New

When God chose his people to be with them he needed to teach them out of all the lesson, three umbrella type lessons. Lessons that would be embedded into their conscience and passed down from generation to generations, were the ones God was going to teach them. And, when the people were in bondage for 400 years he sent Moses to begin those lessons. One of the lessons God taught his people was that he is who he says he is, and when the people asked Moses who had sent him he told them “I am That I Am” sent me (Ex3:14). The authenticity of God is important for the believer to have embedded in order for him to persevere in God’s kingdom. And, this lesson was learned as the people witnessed the 10 plagues and the crossing of the red sea. They learnt this lesson by watching what God was doing. The second lesson God taught his people was that he does what he says he is going to do (Num23:19). Each plague God told Moses that he was going to bring he brought it, and the people were a witness to this. 

Hebrew 9:13-14

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The third lesson that people of God were taught is that he does not like sin, but that there is forgiveness in him when we fail (ps130:4). Through the sprinkling of blood from a calf or lamb in the holy of holy place in the tabernacle on the book and on the people, their flesh were cleansed and forgiven for whatever they had done that year. This was done once a year every year by the high priest, and eventually became engraved into the people’s conscience.   The old testament was a mirror or shadow of what to come (He8:5). Once Christ presented his own blood for our sins; it was a once and for all deal, our conscience were made free from the past. But, what is the conscience? It is that part of the human psyche that elicits either a positive or negative feeling based on our works and on our morals. Now there are many things that come into our minds and are probably embedded unto our conscience; lessons, ideas or works that affect it negatively are considered dead works, things that are done without faith that are considered dead works (Ja 2:20). Paul tells us that it is essential that we have a renewing of our mind (Ro12:2) in order for us to know the will of God. He associates our conscience with the inner man that needs to be renewed daily (2Cor4:16). Paul states that if any man is in Christ he is a new creation and the old things have become new (2Cor5:17). 

 

Verse 1

And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

verse 2

19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Psalms 130:4
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

verse 3

They serve a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

verse 4

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 4:16

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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Treasures in Heaven

There are many things in life that become foundational to us  like money, careers and family. And, with the advent of this pandemic we have become more clingy to those things that we have to the point where is looking more like obsession than anything else. And, though these things are important and needed we leave one for the other(Mt23:23). Churches are looking more like a past time then a need. We need God’s kingdom.(Mt6:33) We need that relationship with God like if our lives dependent it on.  Jesus said that man can not live on bread alone but he needs the word of God (Mt4:4). Now, there is this need of protection and feeling safe that; at least a great number of, people are not willing to compromise and have become like treasures. Jesus said that when we need to store riches in heaven (Mt6:19-21), but these heavenly riches are not being prioritized as essentials. When the pandemic hit governments made everyone believe that essentials such as  food, water and distancing were the only ones we needed. 

Mark 10:20-22

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

This young man had his religious life in tack along with his prosperity, but his most essential asset that was above anything else was his prosperity. His treasure chest was filled with finances and riches and it was the closest to his heart. His riches could not completely fill the void or lack inside of him, and so Jesus told him that he was lacking. So, the question that comes to mind is, what thing have we taken to fill that void? In order for this young man to fill his void, Jesus recommended that he sold his possessions and give it to the poor. Storing treasures in heaven fills a void that we have, but what are some of the treasures that we can store in heaven? Well, for this young man the act of selling and giving of his riches was one treasure. A sign of obsession and greed is grief, and this young man became grieved when he was told to become detached from his earthly treasure.

Jesus said that people should not practice their righteousness in front of other people, because otherwise they will not receive recompense from the Father (Mt6:1-3); our giving should be discrete. The act of storing deals with releasing with the intent for the purpose of preserving and receiving. Jesus spoke of this guy who noticed that his gains was increasing, and so he decided to tear down his barns and build new ones. And, just when he finished that he felt satisfied with how he was storing, his soul was being requested (lk12:19-21). 

Verse 1

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you  ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

]]verse 2

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’a]

verse 3

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rusta] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

verse 4

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

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