Timeline: Early church period after Christ’s resurrection; between AD 50 and 70.
Audience: at the time this gospel was written; Greek-speaking Jewish Christians.
The birds don’t worry about what the future holds.
Anxious worry shows a lack of trust in God’s knowledge and His care for us.
Nature tells us that God even cares for birds and flowers. Those with a special relationship with God shouldn’t worry, as a result, about our supplying of needs, now or in the future, but seek to please God first by seeking, as precedence, His kingdom, and His righteousness.
This is not to encourage laziness but to underline the need for faith and trust.
Jesus taught that worry is unproductive. Worry keeps us from fulfilling the kingdom purposes that He has called us to. God uses all situations to accomplish His purposes, and He wants us to trust Him in that.
What is God’s word saying?
God wants us to know that we are of utmost value to Him, so we can trust Him for the basic needs of life and shouldn’t be excessively bothered with it. We should grow our sensibility of values so that the focus of our lives is on our spiritual needs and growth, not material things. As God proclaimed us of utmost value by sending His Son to redeem us, we need to devote ourselves to seeking what is of the utmost value – God the Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
When panic rears its ugly head, the way to overcome worry is by seeking Jesus.
Worry is illogical for the child of God. If God is the Creator of everything in the world, including us, then He will also provide for our needs. Faith calls for trust in a loving and personal God at work in the world. Worry shows a lack of trust. Jesus’ teaching in no way ignores the reality of sickness and struggle in life. However, Jesus’ clear teaching is to trust God above all else. If God faithfully provides for the needs of simple critters like birds, how much more will He provide for us as His children?
A lot of times we think our fears and worry are perfectly valid, but Jesus said differently. Jesus couldn’t be any more clear in this scripture. He doesn’t want us to fear or worry about the future.
Anxiety is living out the future before it gets here. Jesus said anxiety is paralyzing and draining and called us to focus on what we can confidently know about the will of God. He understood that the issue of panic and anxiety goes to the core of our relationship with God.
Chronic worry signals a nonfunctional faith. Worry and worship cannot exist at the same in our hearts. God demands to be the priority in our lives.
God is in control and doesn’t need our frenzied worrying to maintain the world. We don’t have to be in charge because we serve a God who is in control of everything. We can be confident that He will carry His kingdom purpose on to its conclusion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
We demonstrate that assurance when we choose to make the most of the chances we are given, focusing on Him instead of the worries of the world.
Living in wisdom means taking every chance to glorify God and show the gospel to those around us. When we determine to live in the light of Jesus, we select to seek Jesus above everything else.
Part of why we do this is so our lives will testify to others about God’s grace, mercy, and love.
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John authored this book. His style was different from the other gospel authors. He contemplated the profound meaning of what Jesus had said and done. John highlights Jesus’ nature. John’s book tells the story of the eternal Word who became flesh and lived with humans.
The Gospel of John spells out so plainly the basics of the Christian faith. Jesus proves who He is, diagnoses human problems, and forcefully describes what is necessary for transformation to eternal life.
Like other places in this Gospel, “true” means “genuine.” No branch that is Jesus’ can be completely fruitless. But branches that belong to Jesus will bear fruit and go through the pruning necessary to grow and multiply. The “fruit” refers to a Christ-like life produced by the Holy Spirit (Galatians. 5:22-23).
Jesus stresses endlessness and loyalty in His relationship with the disciples. “Abide” [same as to remain in] is repeated ten times in vv. 4–10. The figure of speech of the vine renders the point; it’s only when nutrients flow freely to the branches that fruit can come about.
The works (producing much fruit) talked about are the result of a saving union with Jesus received through grace, not merit.
His command to love each other is repeated three times in this gospel (v. 12; 13:34). He means business. Three is an important number to God.
What is God’s word saying?
I contemplate my life… Is it fruitful? If I take a look at Galatians 5:22-23 and see that the fruit of the spirit are these:
As far as I know, these are the fruit I exhibit. I may slip from time to time and lose patience, etc. I quickly recover, however.
The main way to be and remain fruitful is to be in the Word and communicate with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Pray. Have fellowship with like-minded believers. Take part in being God’s hands and feet (being about His business) when occasions arise.
I believe love is the main and important fruit. God’s love is mentioned through His Word. When we love (it’s an action word; a verb) people; everything else falls into place.
“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King
“When we enter into intimate communion with God, He converts hate into love, anger into peace, and fear into courage.” – Sammy Tippit
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Matthew authored this book. The audience is Greek-speaking Jewish Christians during the time after Christ’s resurrection; between AD 50 and 70.
Attitude toward wealth should be such that we aren’t seeking to live to gain money. Our heart is where our treasure is, and that should be in spiritual things. Every material thing is subject to decay or loss. Christians must be single-minded in serving God and not ‘mammon’ (mammon is used in some translations). Mammon stands for being dominated by money and materialistic worldly riches. Mammon is a Syriac word, that signifies gain; so that whatever in this world is, or is accounted by us to be, gain (Philippians. 3:7), is mammon.
We must not count these things as the best things.
We must not call them glory.
We must not covet an abundance of these things.
We must not confide in them for time to come.
We must not say to the gold, You are my hope.
We must not content ourselves with them, as all we need or desire:
– We must be content with a little for our journey, but not with all for our share.
Jesus urges us not to value possessions enough to seek them. Jesus’ words hit at the core of human selfishness, challenging both the well-to-do and the poor.
We must watch carefully for hypocrisy and worldly-mindedness in choosing the master we serve.
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
“Christ designs not to deprive us of our treasure, but to direct us in the choice of it.” -Matthew Henry
What is God’s word saying?
Wow! As it says above, “Jesus’ words hit at the core of human selfishness.” My humanness makes it very hard to stick with serving only one master. In not choosing to serve only one, I find myself splitting and fracturing trying to do the splits with one foot in Eternity with Jesus and one foot in the World. However, the more I focus on God and His word the less I’m looking longingly at the world and the things in it. I long more for Heaven with my Triune God.
In all honesty, I’m not really materialistic. I only want things that I truly need to survive.
This is also talking about my spiritual health, not just my physical. So, my goals and aim are to stay in God’s word and seek Him always, not the world. It has nothing of value to be worthy for me to gain it.
The world/earth or only temporary. When it is gone, Heaven is the only answer.
Prayer: Thank You, Father God, for showing the true value of gaining heaven in eternity instead of the world and its “stuff”. I pray that all Your children will see and accept You and heaven for eternity. I lift up the ill and pray for well-being and peace of mind. I pray that we would all trust and obey You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Proverbs describe the importance of living wisely and in the fear of the Lord as opposed to following the alluring path of foolishness. Proverbs offers a spiritual depth to issues like managing money, the dangers of adultery, learning how to identify true friends, and so much more. Here you’ll find wisdom that works and insights that won’t wear out.
In Hebrew culture, a name was not a mere label, but usually an expression of the character of a person. God’s covenant name, “Lord,” is associated with His character as Savior of His people.
The strong fortress that offers security for the righteous (the saints of the Lord) is based on God’s character as a faithful Savior.
What is God’s word saying?
What an awesome comfort it is to be in the hands of a mighty strong fortress of the LORD (Yahweh).
His name alone offers this righteousness when we believe and speak His name, LORD (Yahweh).
Wise saints run to HIM for safety.
I consider myself one of Yahew’s saints. I seek HIM and HIS safety. I run to HIM, not the world. What about you?
I accept and believe Yaweh’s as my savior. God’s covenant name, “Lord,” is related to God’s character as my faithful Savior (Jesus, the Messiah). Afterall, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one in the same person, in three parts; God the immortal Godhead, Jesus the Son of man-human, and the supernatural being, the Holy Spirit who indwells our bodies. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, found in scripture.
I love the hymn related to this scripture: A Mighty Fortress is our God.
Prayer: Thank You, dear Yahweh, LORD GOD, for being my savior and a might fortress to protect me and keep me safe. I pray this for the readers here and lost souls to seek You and be saved in Your Name. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Isaiah predicts imminent judgment—but eventual restoration—for the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
God will be involved in helping His people when the Babylonian captivity is over. He will remind them that He, the Lord, is the First and the Last. The same truths, in the New Testament, are attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour God. God greatly inspires Israel, His servant. He reminds His people that He has taken them from the ends of the earth, that they are chosen, that they need not fear, and that He is with them to strengthen them, help them, and uphold them. He will hold their right hand against their idolatrous enemies.
The extent of these verses is to silence the fears and encourage the faith of the servants of God in their adversities. That is a word of caution, counsel, and comfort, which is so often repeated, Don’t be afraid, fear not. That God will strengthen their hands, that is, will help them: “I will hold your right hand, go hand in hand with you”: He will take us by the hand as our guide, to lead us in our way, will help us up when we are fallen or prevent our falls; when we are weak He will hold us up-wavering, He will fix us-trembling, He will encourage us.
He will silence their fears: Saying to you, Fear not. He has said it again and again in His word and has there provided sovereign corrections against fear: but He will go farther; He will by His Spirit say it to their hearts, and make them hear it, and so will help them.
Note, God does great things for His people, that He may be taken notice of.
What is God’s word saying?
For one, I don’t need to be afraid. Second, don’t have idols. Third, trust Him.
He is faithful and true to those of us who have Him as our one and only God. He encourages me; and you too, when you have only Him as your God. He reminds me over and over, that I don’t need to fear. Fear is a liar anyway. Lies are from the devil.
Finally, I will have faith in God to meet my needs and take care of me and be my guide.
When I’m fallen; He will pick me up or prevent my falls.
When I’m weak; He will hold me up and be my strength.
When I’m wavering (infirm); He will fix (restore) me.
When I’m trembling (unsteady); He will encourage (give hope to) me.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for Your sovereignty. Thank You for encouraging me. Thank You for reminding me over and over again that I do not need to fear. I pray that the readers will gain wisdom from You and Your word, as have I. I pray that we’ll do away with the idols and only seek You as our one true God. You are the first and last. The Alpha and Omega. I lift up those in need God. I pray their needs are met. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Paul wrote to instruct Timothy concerning the care of the church at Ephesus.
This is a formal instructive letter that deals mostly with the nature of pastoral conduct.
Nothing is more important than to use prayer, this means of grace that gives us access to God. Christians should pray especially for all of those in authority.
In urging Timothy to pray, Paul reminded him that God ‘desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’. Christ ‘gave himself a ransom for all’ and this involves not only preaching but, praying, which should be done peacefully and faithfully everywhere. The message to preach and to support in prayer is of ‘one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus’.
Timothy must’ve taken care that this was done.
There must be prayers for ourselves for one; it’s implied. We must also pray for all men, for the world of mankind in general, and for particular people who need or desire our prayers.
Our duty as Christians is summed up in two words: godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, good conduct toward all men. These two must go together; we’re not truly honest if we’re not godly and don’t render to God His due, and we’re not truly godly if we’re not honest.
Prayer consists of various parts, of supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings; because we must pray for the blessings we want, as well as be thankful for blessings already received; and we’re to take to task judgments which our own sins or the sins of others deserved; which means we’re to stop sinning and correct the wickedness of sin.
That which is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior we should do, and should be abounding in.
One reason why all men are to be prayed for is because there is one God and that God bears a goodwill to all mankind. There is one God and one only, there is no other, there can be no other because there can only be one immortally infinite. There is one Mediator, Jesus, and that Mediator gave Himself a ransom for all.
The design of the Christian religion is to promote prayer; and the disciples of Christ must be praying people. Pray always with all prayer, Ephesians. 6:18.
What is God’s word saying?
I may not be a preacher or minister to a church body, but I am a women’s ministry leader. I need to be in prayer always.
I need to work diligently at not sinning; because I have a Savior who has wiped away sin. I must accept any judgment against my sin.
I need to lift up the leaders and pray for them.
I praise GOD for sending Jesus, the Messiah, to be my once and for all Savior. He is my Redeemer. I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus.
There’s no special specific cookie cutter prayer… I simply need to include:
praise and worship; devotion
always end prayer: In Jesus’ name, amen (or some variation of it.)
Prayer: Dear ABBA YAH, I praise and worship You. I ask and lift up my leaders and others who need it. You know them intimately in detail. I do not. I thank You for placing me in this position and that You use me for Your grand purpose and plan. Thank You for meeting my needs and others. You are awesome and amazing, YAH. I lift up the readers that they will learn from this blog and seek You and be open to You in their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This book describes the heart-wrenching story of a suffering woman. Naomi (נָעֳמִ֜י, LXX Νωεμίν, meaning my pleasantness or the like), like Job, was a follower of God who endured a bombardment of crises (death of her husband and sons and famine) that left her looking at God from rock bottom. God answered Naomi’s despair through Ruth; Naomi’s foreign-born daughter-in-law displayed God’s sacrificial love that goes far beyond the limits of ordinary human love. Ruth, a Moabite woman, proves to be a model of faithfulness in Israel during the period of the judges. Ruth reminds us that even during the darkest circumstances when doubts about God overwhelm us, God’s love for us is definite.
There was a shortage of food in Moab. Naomi heard that food was available in Judah, her homeland. She decided to return. She told her daughters-in-law that they don’t need to go with her. Orpah kissed her goodbye, but Ruth decided to stay loyally with her and to remain with her, even though it means that the chance of remarriage is possibly very little. Upon Naomi’s return, the people of Bethlehem were so dismayed at her wearied and worn-out appearance that they hardly recognized her.
What is God’s word saying?
This teaches me about sacrificial love and loyalty in terms of human relationships, as well as being faithful in dark hard times. Also, God’s love for us is definite.
These things are tough to exhibit in today’s day and age with what’s going on in the world. However, as God’s word teaches, anything is possible with God.
This story is a parallel, for me, to God’s relationship with us.
I need to trust God and sacrifice all the stuff around me and be loyal and faithful to Him and love only Him.
I need to be an example of Ruth. In that, also be the example of Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You for giving us Jesus as our Savior and being the ultimate love sacrifice. I pray that I can be the example of Ruth as I am the example of Jesus. I’m comforted by the certainty of Your love. Show me and use me, I’m all Yours, Yahweh. I lift up the readers here to this same fact. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The Psalms give personal feelings a voice; they are poetry made into songs, not doctrinal writings. The psalmists often were interested in how something felt more than what it meant. Think of the psalms as diary entries; they describe the psalmist’s most intimate interactions with God. The various psalms help us see that God reacts to us in our emotional highs and lows.
David was troubled by what seemed to be the success of the wicked. He shared his knowledge to others that God had shown him. God told him not to worry because that ‘only caused harm’. Instead, David must trust in the Lord, to dwell and feed on Him, to delight himself in God, to commit his way to God, to rest in and wait for Him, and to give up the anger and rage. These responses allow a man of God to stand, regardless of the outward situation or inner stress.
What is God’s word saying?
I must trust in the Lord, dwell and feed on Him and His word, delight myself in God, commit my way to God, rest in and wait for God, and give up any anger and rage I feel. These responses will allow me, a woman of God, to stand, no matter the life situation or inner stress I have.
Who’s with me? Comment your response.
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Prayer: Dear Father God, help me to trust in You, fully. Show me, as You did with David, so that I may share what I learn with others. I know You don’t do that so much now… But, make Your word stand out to me in a way to be a lesson so others can gain wisdom from You. I pray for those who are under inner and outer stress, who anger and rage about life. Show us that You have it all under control and that You. We have no need to worry. I thank You, God, in Jesus’ name, amen.
The prophet Isaiah knew people who lived double lives—his fellow Israelites—and he shared God’s hatred for their deceitful compromise. Isaiah challenged them to shape up and love God with all their hearts and minds.
Isaiah wants his readers to see their hypocrisy and change their ways.
In our experience, the mountains and hills seem permanent and unchanging, but the commitment of God to His people will remain when they are gone.
Matthew Henry states this:
Very precious promises are here made to the church in her low condition, that God would not only continue his love to his people under their troubles as before but that he would restore them to their former prosperity, no, that he would raise them to greater prosperity than any they had yet enjoyed. Here we have the humiliation and exaltation of the church; for, if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him.
First, God won’t own them (evildoers), won’t give them either commission or countenance; they gather together, hand joins in hand, but it is not by me (God). God gave them no such order And so, secondly, their attempt will end in their own ruin.
The truth is they have no power but what is given them from above, and he that gave them their power can limit and restrain them.
God will protect them from their adversaries both in camps and courts.
What is God’s word saying?
Wow! There’s a lot going on in this scripture. I’m comforted and reassured that God will protect me from evildoers. If I have any hypocrisy, I pray that I repent and turn away and change my ways. So far, so good, though. How about you, reader?
I’m also reassured that God’s commitment to me will never go away.
I am so thankful for God’s promises to me and His children. I’m indebted and grateful that God provided a savior to redeem me back to Him.
Prayer: Praise You, Father God. Thank You for Your promises, Your grace and mercy, and Your gift of salvation. I pray that lost souls will seek You and know that they also will inherit these things too. I lift up all the ill (physically, mentally, and spiritually), as well as, all the lost souls ruling on the earth who have us in such a turmoil as we scramble to do what we need to do, for You, God. I pray that we, Your children, will be helpers to the widows and orphans who truly need it. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ezekiel wrote this book to the Israelites living in exile. They needed to know that the God of Israel was God even in pagan Babylon. Ezekiel warned the people that their idolatry would be judged. Later, after Jerusalem’s destruction, he wrote to encourage them that God would bring them back to Judah and Jerusalem and restore the temple.
God’s holy name is His great name, the Great “I AM”. His holiness is His greatness; so He believed it Himself. Nor does anything make a man truly great but being truly good, and receiving of God’s holiness. God will magnify His name as a holy name, for He will make it holy. When God performs that which He has sworn by His holiness, then he makes His name holy. The effect of this will be very happy. When God proves His own holy name, and His saints praise it, then He is made holy in them, and this contributes to the knowledge of Him being fruitful and spreading it.
It is also used as a symbol for the gift of God’s Spirit, in the anointing of kings and priests and in the prophetic call. This rich symbolism connects to baptism in the New Testament.
Instead of a heart of stone, unable to respond to God with love and obedience, God will provide a new heart and a new spirit. Note that these come as the result of divine initiation and not human accomplishment.
The new spirit would be the Spirit of God transforming those to who He dwells and enables them to obey the law of God.
Note, the promise of God’s grace to enable us for our duty should engage and accelerate our constant care and strive to do our duty. God’s promises must drive us to His commands as our rule, and then his commands must send us back to his promises for strength because without his grace we can do nothing.
What is God’s word saying?
Basically, trust God. He knows what He is doing. Obey Him and be blessed. He has already proven His holiness.
As I always like to say, “Just Do It!”
Prayer: Thank You, ABBA YAH, for the gift of salvation and Your holy name. You are holy. Praise You. I lift up the ill, spiritually, mentally, and physically. I trust You to meet their needs according to Your will. I lift up this whole world. Your divine plan will be done with or without us. You don’t need any input or effort from us. I pray that we will trust and obey You, GOD! In Jesus’ name, amen.