Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For You, God, have put my life back together.
JUDGMENTS AND PROMISES
“Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together,” says the LORD.
“Because they have burned incense on the mountains And scorned Me on the hills,
Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”
Thus says the LORD,
“As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’
So I will act on behalf of My servants In order not to destroy all of them.
“I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah;
Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants will dwell there.”
ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD
Everybody is a victim of the ORIGINAL SIN that our fathers, Adam and Eve commit in the GARDEN.
But God sent His One & Only Son–His Word to heal and deliver us from the destruction of sin and death
that we might live forever as One in Him in true brotherhood as family. Those that hear and do what He
says are truly Christ’s brethren.
Pray with me today, “Lord, I receive the broken body of Christ, and His blood shed for the forgiveness of my
sin, that breaks the VICTIM chain, the cycle of sin and death. And Lord, I receive the redemption, the restoration
of spirit, soul and body as One new man in the Risen Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ who has risen with healing
in His wings that I might walk with Him in spirit and in truth, well-pleasing to God. I am more than a conqueror
in Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me; the Victim chain is broken and I am linked to his VICTORIOUS
overcoming life through the ties, the three-fold cord that is not easily broken for nothing can separate me from the unfailing love of God in Christ Jesus. I am so glad that I am part of the family of God! Thank You for taking over the reigns of
my life and restoring order, unity and joy! No child left behind for You are a father to the fatherless. You are
El Shaddai, the man breasted One, You are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. When my mother and father forsake me, You lift me up and I am freed to love those who have rejected me for it was really You who they were hurting through me.
The curse is broken and blessings overtake me! All my children will be taught by the LORD and GREAT shall be the peace of my children. There is no greater joy than that my children are walking in the TRUTH. I praise You for I am fearfully and
wonderfully MADE and You have CREATED Your children for signs and wonders in the earth as it is in heaven—
MIRACLES HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE! AMEN.
The Nations Judged
“In those days and at that time,when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I will put them on trialfor what they did to My INHERITANCE, My PEOPLE Israel,
because they scattered My people among the nationsand divided up My land.
They cast lots for My peopleand traded boys for prostitutes;they sold girls for wine to drink.
“Let the nations be roused;let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—
so great is their wickedness!”
Multitudes, multitudesin the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is nearin the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will be darkened,and the stars no longer shine.
The Lord will roar from Zionand thunder from Jerusalem;the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Blessings for God’s People
“Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,dwell in Zion, My holy hill.
Jerusalem will be holy;never again will foreigners invade her.
“In that day the mountains will drip new wine,and the hills will flow with milk;all the ravines of Judah will run with water.
A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s houseand will water the valley of acacias.
But Egypt will be desolate,Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah,
in whose land they shed innocent blood.
Judah will be inhabited foreverand Jerusalem through all generations.
“Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?
No, I will not.”
The Lord dwells in Zion!
Love—the Greatest of All
I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, it will sound like noisy brass.
If I have the gift of speaking God’s Word and if I understand all secrets, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I know all things and if I have the gift of faith so I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give everything I have to feed poor people and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it will not help me.
Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride. Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself. Love does not get angry.
Love does not remember the suffering that comes from being hurt by someone.
Love is not happy with sin. Love is happy with the truth.
Love takes everything that comes without giving up.
Love believes all things. Love hopes for all things. Love keeps on in all things.
Love never comes to an end. The gift of speaking God’s Word will come to an end. The gift of speaking in special sounds will be stopped. The gift of understanding will come to an end.
For we only know a part now, and we speak only a part.
When everything is perfect, then we will not need these gifts that are not perfect.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child. I thought like a child. I understood like a child.
Now I am a man. I do not act like a child anymore.
Now that which we see is as if we were looking in a broken mirror. But then we will see everything. Now I know only a part. But then I will know everything in a perfect way. That is how God knows me right now.
And now we have these three: faith and hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
(1 John 3:2)
Remember the word spoken by King David, the one God calls a man after His own heart—
But I shall see Your face in righteousness and I shall be satisfied when Your faith is awakened.
They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SIN NOT!
For some have not the knowledge of God and I speak this to your shame;
We are all members of One body; One family of faith and called as One to serve one another in love.
We are our brothers’ keepers and it is in the unity of brothers the blessing resides.
A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.
(Isaiah 10:21) Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9) The LORD says this: As the new wine is found in a bunch of grapes, and one says, ‘Don’t destroy it, for there’s some good in it,’ so I will act because of My servants and not destroy them all.
“I will heal their waywardness.I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel.
He’ll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring. He’ll put down deep oak tree roots,he’ll become a forest of oaks!
He’ll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near him will be blessed by him,be blessed and prosper like golden grain.
Everyone will be talking about them,
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
Spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.
Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods.
From now on I’m the One who answers and satisfies him.
I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in Me.”
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OVER RULES ALL UNBELIEF
As PARTAKERS in the New Covenant: The Lord’s Supper Instituted
GOD’S APPOINTED TIMES: The Feasts of the Lord
God not only sanctifies people and land, but also time.
Place, time, and people are a three-strand cord held together by the One who sanctifies and makes each holy.
He appointed certain days to be celebrations or memorials of Him
…for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Now I ask you, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! I’m living proof that God is faithful. I am an Israelite, Abraham’s my father, and Benjamin’s my tribe. God has not, and will not, abandon His covenant people; He always knew they would belong to Him. Don’t you remember the story of what happens when Elijah pleads with God to deal with Israel? The Scripture tells us his protest: “Lord, they have murdered Your prophets, they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left faithful to You; now they are seeking to kill me.”How does God answer his pleas for help? He says, “I have held back 7,000 men who are faithful to Me; none have bowed a knee to worship Baal.” The same thing is happening now. God has preserved a remnant, elected by grace. Grace is central in God’s action here, and it has nothing to do with deeds prescribed by the law. If it did, grace would not be grace.
In every generation, God makes sure a few survive the onslaught of judgment. The prophets call these the “remnant.” Paul sees himself living in a critical moment as fewer and fewer Jews pledge obedience to Jesus. But the Anointed’s emissary finds comfort in realizing how God’s faithfulness is playing out in his day. If you ever think that you alone are faithful to God, that somehow God has forgotten His covenant promises, think again. He always has a remnant.
Now what does all this mean? Israel has chased an end it has never reached. Yet those chosen by God through grace have reached it while all others were made hard as stones. The Scriptures continue to say it best:
God has confounded them so they are not able to think,given them eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear,
Down to this very day.
David says it this way:
Let their table be turned into a snare and a trap,an obstacle to peace and payback for their hostility.
Let their bright eyes become cloudy, darkened so they cannot see,and bend their proud backs through it all.
So I ask: did God’s people stumble and fall off the deep end? Absolutely not! They are not lost forever; but through their misconduct, the door has been opened for salvation to extend even to the outsiders. This has been part of God’s plan all along, and so is the jealousy that comes when they realize the outsiders have been welcomed into God’s new covenant. So if their misconduct leads ultimately to God’s riches coming to the world and if their failure turns into the blessing of salvation to all people, then how much greater will be the riches and blessing when they are included fully?
But I have this to say to all of you who are not ethnic Jews: I am God’s emissary to you, and I honor this call by focusing on what God is doing with and through you. I do this so that somehow my own blood brothers and sisters will be made jealous; and that, I trust, will bring some to salvation. If the fact that they are currently set aside resolves the hostility between God and the rest of the world, what will their acceptance bring if not life from the dead? If the first and best of the dough you offer is sacred, the entire loaf will be as well. If the root of the tree is sacred, the branches will be also.
Imagine some branches are cut off of the cultivated olive tree and other branches of a wild olive (which represents all of you outsiders) are grafted in their place. You are nourished by the root of the cultivated olive tree. It doesn’t give you license to become proud and self-righteous about the fact that you’ve been grafted in. If you do boast, remember that the branches do not sustain the root—it is the system of roots that nourishes and supports you.
I can almost hear some of you saying, “Branches had to be pruned to make room for me.” Yes, they were. They were removed because they did not believe; and you will stay attached, be strong, and be productive only through faith. So don’t think too highly of yourselves; instead, stand in awe of God’s mercy. Besides we know that God did not spare the natural branches, so there is no reason to think He will spare you. Witness the simultaneous balance of the kindness and severity of our God. Severity is directed at the fallen branches withering without faith. Yet kindness is directed at you. So live in the kindness of God or else prepare to be cut off yourselves. If those branches that have been cut from the tree do not stay in unbelief, then God will carefully graft them back onto the tree because He has the power to do that. So if it is possible for you to be taken from a wild olive tree and become part of a cultivated olive tree, imagine how much easier it would be to reconnect branches that originally grew on that olive tree.
The cultivated olive tree provides Paul with a beautiful image of how believing Jews and non-Jews were organically connected in the plan of God. Life flows from the earth to the branches—some natural, some grafted in—through the rootstock. Paul wants to make sure the grafted branches know they have not arrived on their own; their spiritual life and vitality flow from the root, Israel. God is the Farmer who has tenderly grafted them into the sturdy stock on the basis of faith. So pride and arrogance are completely out of place for those grafted branches. They will bear fruit only as they remain connected by faith to the stock.
My brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be in the dark about this mystery—I am going to let you in on the plan so that you will not think too highly of yourselves. A part of Israel has been hardened to the good news until the full number of those outside the Jewish family have entered in. This is the way that all of Israel will be saved. As it was written, so it also stands:
The Deliverer will come from Zion;He will drive away wickedness from Jacob.
And this is My covenant promise to them,on the day when I take away their sins.
It may seem strange. When it comes to the work of the gospel, the fact that they oppose it is actually for your benefit.
But when you factor in God’s election, they are truly loved because they descended from faithful forefathers.
You see, when God gives a grace gift and issues a call to a people, He does not change His mind and take it back.
There was a time when you outsiders were disobedient to God and at odds with His purpose, but now you have experienced mercy as a result of their disobedience. In the same way, their disobedience now will make a way for them to receive mercy as a result of the mercy shown to you. For God has assigned all of us together—Jews and non-Jews, insiders and outsiders—to disobedience so He can show His mercy to all.
Paul says that God’s mysterious plan for the ages is being revealed as the number of outsiders swells in the churches and as a part of Israel is hardened, at least for a time. But let’s not forget that hardening is not God’s unilateral action. Whatever hardening takes place happens first on our side before God reluctantly agrees. That part of Israel now hardened has already rejected God’s Anointed. Yet when the full complement of non-Jewish outsiders enters God’s kingdom, “all Israel will be saved.” But clearly “all Israel” can’t mean every last Jew, because Paul has already shown that not every son or daughter of Abraham is an heir to the promise.
We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge! Its depths can never be measured!
We cannot understand His judgments or explain the mysterious ways that He works!
For,Who can fathom the mind of the Lord?Or who can claim to be His advisor?
Or, Who can give to God in advanceso that God must pay him back?
For all that exists originates in Him, comes through Him, and is moving toward Him; so give Him the glory forever. Amen.
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,
Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.
My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit.
He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit;
already you are clean because you have heard My voice.
Abide in Me, and I will abide in you.
A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit.
Without Me, you will accomplish nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you.
Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
At a time when all of His disciples are feeling as if they are about to be uprooted, Jesus sketches a picture of this new life as a flourishing vineyard—a labyrinth of vines and strong branches steeped in rich soil, abundant grapes hanging from their vines ripening in the sun. Jesus sculpts a new garden of Eden in their imaginations—one that is bustling with fruit, sustenance, and satisfying aromas. This is the Kingdom life. It is all about connection, sustenance, and beauty. But within this promise of life is the warning that people must be in Christ or they will not experience these blessings.
Jesus: I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love.
Follow My example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving His love.
If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love.
I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.
My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you.
There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends.
You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. <—TRUE Communion with God the Father in the Family of Faith
I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends.
You did not choose Me. I chose you,
and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit.
As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done.This is My command to you: love one another.
If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me.
If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you.
But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason.
Don’t forget what I have spoken to you: “a servant is not greater than the master.”
If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you.
Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One who has sent Me.
If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice.
If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father.
If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin.
But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless.
Yet their law, which says, “They despised Me without any cause,” has again been proven true.
I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh–“
“Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.“
(John 8:39) Abraham BELIEVED; for that he was counted Righteous.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
ONE IN CHRIST
Therefore Remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision ” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—
Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light!
We come to God as sinners; but He wants to transform our habits, attitudes, and practices into the ways of Jesus: to live, forgive, and love as He did.
So imitate God. Follow Him like adored children, and live in love as the Anointed One loved you—so much that He gave Himself as a fragrant sacrifice, pleasing God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
–Although you were once the personification of darkness, you are now light in the Lord. So act like children of the light.
For the fruit of the light is all that is good, right, and true.
Make it your aim to learn what pleases our Lord.
Don’t get involved with the fruitless works of darkness; instead, expose them to the light of God.
You see, it’s a disgrace to speak of their secrets (so don’t even talk about what they do when no one is looking).
When the light shines, it exposes even the dark and shadowy things and turns them into pure reflections of light.
This is why they sing, “Awake, you sleeper! Rise from your grave, And the Anointed One will shine on you.
So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does.
Instead, walk as the wise!
Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times.
So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly.
Don’t drink wine excessively. The drunken path is a reckless path. It leads nowhere.
Instead, let God fill you with the Holy Spirit.
When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God; and to give thanks to God the Father every day through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed for all He has done.
Jesus: Truly, some of you who are here now will not experience death before you see the kingdom of God coming in glory and power.
Six days after saying this, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up onto a high mountaintop by themselves.
There He was transformed so that His clothing became intensely white, brighter than any earthly cleaner could bleach them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them and talked with Jesus.
Peter (to Jesus): Teacher, it’s a great thing that we’re here. We should build three shelters here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
He was babbling and did not know what he was saying because they were terrified by what they were witnessing.
Then a cloud surrounded them, and they heard a voice within that cloud.
Voice: This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.
All of a sudden, they looked about and all they had seen was gone. They stood alone on the mountain with Jesus.
On their way back down, He urged them not to tell anyone what they had witnessed until the Son of Man had risen from the dead, so they kept it all to themselves.
Mark doesn’t usually record events with much attention to chronology; but in this case, he mentions that the transfiguration took place six days after Peter’s confession of Jesus’ identity. In a dramatic confirmation of the truth Peter has spoken, the three disciples see that Jesus is indeed the Anointed One of God. The veil of Jesus’ human nature is pulled away, and the glory of His divinity shines through.
The appearance of Moses and Elijah shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the answer to all the promises of the prophets. The disciples hear God’s own voice commanding them to listen to Jesus as His beloved Son. What an incredible confirmation of the truth that Peter spoke in faith only six days before!
Disciples (to one another): What does He mean, “Until the Son of Man is risen”? (to Jesus) Master, why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?
Jesus (thinking of John the Baptist): Elijah does come first to restore all things. They have it right. But there is something else written in the Scriptures about the Son of Man: He will have to suffer and be rejected. Here’s the truth: Elijah has come; his enemies treated him with contempt and did what they wanted to him, just as it was written.
When they reached the rest of the disciples, Jesus saw that a large crowd had gathered and that among them the scribes were asking questions. Right when the crowd saw Jesus, they were overcome with awe and surged forward immediately, nearly running over the disciples.
Jesus (to the scribes): What are you debating with My disciples? What would you like to know?
Father (in the crowd): Teacher, I have brought my son to You. He is filled with an unclean spirit. He cannot speak, and when the spirit takes control of him, he is thrown to the ground to wail and moan, to foam at the mouth, to grind his teeth, and to stiffen up. I brought him to Your followers, but they could do nothing with him. Can You help us?
Jesus: O faithless generation, how long must I be among you? How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.
They brought the boy toward Jesus; but as soon as He drew near, the spirit took control of the boy and threw him on the ground, where he rolled, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus (to the father): How long has he been like this?
Father: Since he was a baby. This spirit has thrown him often into the fire and sometimes into the water, trying to destroy him. I have run out of options; I have tried everything. But if there’s anything You can do, please, have pity on us and help us.
Jesus: What do you mean, “If there’s anything?” All things are possible, if you only believe.
Father (crying in desperation): I believe, Lord. Help me to believe!
Jesus noticed that a crowd had gathered around them now. He issued a command to the unclean spirit.
Jesus: Listen up, you no-talking, no-hearing demon. I Myself am ordering you to come out of him now. Come out, and don’t ever come back!
The spirit shrieked and caused the boy to thrash about; then it came out of the boy and left him lying as still as death.
Many of those in the crowd whispered that he was dead. But Jesus took the boy by the hand and lifted him to his feet.
Later He and His disciples gathered privately in a house.
Disciples (to Jesus): Why couldn’t we cast out that unclean spirit?
Jesus: That sort of powerful spirit can only be conquered with much prayer [and fasting].
The father has enough faith to bring his son to Jesus for healing, but he asks hesitantly whether there is anything Jesus can do. In his desperation, the father recognizes the limits of his faith. Perhaps that very desperation is enough because Jesus immediately heals his son.
Having successfully healed many demon-possessed people when Jesus sent them out earlier, the disciples are at a loss to know why they are completely unable to heal this little boy. Jesus’ reply is cryptic and surprising: “That sort of powerful spirit is only conquered with much prayer [and fasting].” It seems that although the disciples have faith that they can heal the boy, they are spiritually unprepared for the depth of evil residing in the world. They need to be saturated in the presence of God to face the challenge.
When they left that place, they passed secretly through Galilee.
Jesus (to the disciples as they traveled): The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of the people, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise on the third day.
But again they did not understand His meaning, and they were afraid to ask Him for an explanation.
At last, they came to Capernaum where they gathered in a house.
Jesus: What was it I heard you arguing about along the way?
They looked down at the floor and wouldn’t answer, for they had been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest of Jesus’ disciples.
It is only natural for the disciples to wonder which of them will be His right-hand man. Even the three disciples who have just seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the transfiguration cannot resist the attraction of honor. After all, who has a better claim than they do to being the greatest of Jesus’ disciples?
Fortunately Jesus overhears what is said and is quick to respond in mercy to correct their mistake. Greatness in His eyes doesn’t consist of seeing wonders or performing miracles or even fasting and praying. Instead, greatness is about humility and service. These are the heart of the kingdom of heaven.
He sat down with the twelve to teach them.
Jesus: Whoever wants to be first must be last, and whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
He then called forward a child, set the child in the middle of them, and took the child in His arms.
Jesus: Whoever welcomes a child like this in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me is welcoming not Me, but the One who sent Me.
John (to Jesus): Master, we saw another man casting out unclean spirits in Your name, but he was not one of our group. So we told him to stop what he was doing.
Jesus:You shouldn’t have said that. Anyone using My name to do a miracle cannot turn quickly to speak evil of Me. Anyone who isn’t against us is for us. The truth of the matter is this: anyone who gives you a cup of cool water to drink because you carry the name of your Anointed One will be rewarded.
But if anyone turns even the smallest of My followers away from Me, it would be better for him if someone had hung a millstone around his neck and flung him into the deepest part of the sea.
If your hand turns you away from the things of God, then you should cut it off. It’s better to come into eternal life maimed than to have two hands and be flung into hell— [where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.]
If your foot trips you on the path, you should cut it off. It’s better to come into eternal life crawling than to have two feet and be flung into hell— [where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.]
And if your eye keeps you from seeing clearly, then you should pull it out. It’s better to come into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be flung into hell, where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.
Everyone will be salted with fire[, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt].
Salt is a good thing; but if it has lost its zest, how can it be seasoned again?
You should have salt within yourselves and peace with one another.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
CHRIST the SERVANT of JEWS and GENTILES
You have filled me with joy, and happiness has risen in my heart, great delight and unrivaled joy,
even more than when bread abounds and wine flows freely.
(Psalm 4:7) For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (Hebrews 12:12-13)
And the Spirit makes it possible to submit humbly to one another out of respect for the Anointed.
–The love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His Word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.
Preach the Word—
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, (2 Timothy 4:5-6)
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—
the Jew first and also the Gentile.
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight.
This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.
As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
What can I give back to Godfor the blessings He’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it together with His people.
When they arrive at the gates of death,God welcomes those who love Him.
Oh, God, here I am, Your servant, Your faithful servant: set me free for Your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,and I’ll do it in company with His people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house,in Jerusalem, God’s city.