Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daily Devotional Saturday 10th March

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” 2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
===
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved."
Psalm 30:6

"Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy--and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our changes; we extol his name for losses of property; for we feel that had he not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,

In mercy oft are sent."

Evening

"Man ... is of few days, and full of trouble."
Job 14:1

It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning's portion. "My mountain standeth firm: I shall never be moved." It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden. Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman's axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender's hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not reckon upon blooming forever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Man's life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth: but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!

===

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 7-9, Mark 11:19-33 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Driving Out the Nations

1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But

those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.

12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. 15 The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” 18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. 20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. 25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

Deuteronomy 8

Do Not Forget the LORD

1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 9

Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness

1 Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3 But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.

4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

The Golden Calf

7 Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the LORD your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the LORD. 8 At Horeb you aroused the LORD’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. 9 When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the LORD had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The LORD gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the LORD proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12Then the LORD told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”

13 And the LORD said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”

15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the LORD listened to me. 20 And the LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.

22 You also made the LORD angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.

23 And when the LORD sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24 You have been rebellious against the LORD ever since I have known you.

25 I lay prostrate before the LORD those forty days and forty nights because the LORD had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the LORD and said, “Sovereign LORD, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin.28 Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the LORD was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’ 29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”


Mark 11

19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” [26]

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

===

Shem, Sem [Shĕm,Sĕm]—renown, or name. A son of Noah, and ancestor of Christ (Gen. 5:32).

From his name, it is to be inferred that Shem was a distinguished person. The men of Babel sought to make themselves a name (Gen. 11:4) and become, thereby, rivals of Shem. The greatness of Shem arose from the fact that he was a forerunner of Christ. Shem’s name meaning “renown” foreshadowed the greater name “above every name” before which every knee shall bow (Luke 3:36). In offering praise to God, Noah said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem” (Gen. 9:26).

===
GiG Banner 2012 Big

March 9, 2012
The Trust Fall
Gwen Smith

Today's Truth
But when I am afraid,I will put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3, ESV).

Friend to Friend
Our arms were braided across each other's and our hands were locked tightly. As the young girl stood on the tall tree stump above us she looked over her shoulder and saw with her eyes that our formation was tight...that we were ready for her. She heard with her ears that we would catch her...that we would not let her get hurt. Yet the fear that screamed in her head told her not to do it. Not to fall backwards.

Her legs shook and lips quivered. Other campers had gone before her and her cabin mates had successfully caught each one. But this camper hesitated – allowing the looming possibilities of failure and pain to paralyze her from action. The risks just seemed too great.

She trembled.

We encouraged.

She cried.

We encouraged.

Then, finally, with determination in her heart, she took the plunge. She fell straight backwards onto the safety net of our arms. We bent low to the ground giving way to her fall and caught her with cheers of excitement. She did it! As her trembling legs regained their confidence, she stood tall and beamed from ear to ear – realizing that she had faced her fear. Joy was felt from heart to heart as each of us rejoiced with her.

Mission accomplished. Early in the day, we had trekked across the campgrounds to the "Trust Fall station" as a group of counselors and campers who didn't have a shared experience among us, an unconnected strand of strangers. Now our wooded team-building time had come to an end and we left the trust fall station having bonded deeply as a group of new girlfriends prepared for a fresh journey of fun and adventure.

Each of us took turns at the Trust Fall that day. We all faced a set of scary circumstances and were forced to work through our doubts, tremblings and fears. As a result, we learned valuable lessons and strengthened our relationships.

Since my days of being a camp counselor, I've faced many scary life Trust Falls: financial trials, relationship strains, relocations, sick loved ones, and difficult family matters. I've trembled and I've cried. I've been paralyzed by "what ifs" and "whys." We all go through difficult seasons and trials; times when we want to see the invisible arms of the One who says He will catch us; times when we are afraid to fall into them.

Wherever we go and whatever we face, God is with us – yesterday, today and forever. He bids us to live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 ). He wants us to trust Him. He catches us when we Trust Fall, when we live by faith. And to encourage us along the way He spurs us on by sending a cloud of witnesses who testify of His faithfulness. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

Today, whether you identify with the shaky young camper on the Trust Fall stump or with the cabin mates who were filled with encouragement for another, God wants you to trust Him...right where you are. It might be scary. Tears might be shed. But God is faithful and can be trusted.

Like the Psalmist, let's choose to say, "But when I am afraid,I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?" (Psalm 56:3-4, ESV)

When we Trust Fall from our struggles into the faithful arms of God, we are freed from the fears that paralyze us. Trust Him today, friend. A cloud of Girlfriend in God witnesses are cheering for you!

Let's Pray
Dear Lord,
You are good, loving and faithful – and You know exactly what I'm facing. Please take this burden from me. Help me today to fall into a deeper place of trusting you.
In Jesus' Name I pray,
Amen.

Now It's Your Turn
What is God asking you to trust Him in or through? Spend a few moments in prayer over this.

Who has been there for you when you faced scary circumstances? Consider writing her a note or sending her an e-mail of thanks.

Do you have a friend(s) who seems to be struggling to trust God with her tough places? Maybe God wants you to encourage her or him. Perhaps you could write a letter or share a hug – call and pray with her – bless them with a meal or a plate of brownies. Ask the Lord for ideas!

More From The Girlfriends
Today's GiG devotion is adapted from Trusting Godby Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and an index of trust-building Scriptures…this book is a resource you'll refer to time-and-time again.

Love music? Worship through the songs of Uncluttered. This CD is filled with songs that sweep you away from excess 'life-noise', this music focuses your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ. Order your copy today from iTunes or from www.GwenSmith.net.

Got FACEBOOK?? Let's meet there and do life together on a whole new level:http://www.Facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

===

TT_Coramdeo_ttlogo

Avoiding Improper Judgments

Matthew 7:1-6

John Calvin says that the one "who judges according to the word and law of the Lord, and forms his judgment by the rule of charity, always begins with subjecting himself to examination, and preserves a proper medium and order in his judgments." No earthly judge is perfect, but we can make judgments without hypocrisy if we live a life of repentance and endeavor to mortify our own sin. Are you more critical of others than you are of yourself?

For further study:

Genesis 38

The Bible in a year:

Deuteronomy 26-27

For the weekend:

Deuteronomy 28-33

Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.

===

TT_devotionswithrc_ttlogo

Avoiding Improper Judgments

Matthew 7:1-6 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you" ( vv. 1-2).

Today's passage from the gospel of Matthew opens with probably the most misused text in our day. More often than not, any ethical evaluation the church makes is countered with "judge not," as if Jesus tells His people not to make any judgments whatsoever. This misinterpretation of our Lord's teaching in Matthew 7:1-6 is employed by unbelievers and professing Christians alike, and it contributes to the moral and doctrinal anarchy evident in our culture.

However, Christ is most certainly not forbidding His people from issuing judgments altogether. In fact, Jesus in this same gospel orders us to discriminate between good and evil. We must differentiate those receptive to us from the dogs and the swine in order to obey Jesus and hold back what is sacred from those who are proud to hate our Lord (v. 6). We cannot approach those who have honest questions about the Gospel like we do those who seek instruction in order to use it against Christ and His church. Our Lord's directions for church discipline ( 18:15-20) call us to evaluate others. Exercising discernment and making sound judgments is part of Christian discipleship.

Jesus is actually warning us to be fair and humble when we make our evaluations. Human beings are naturally prone to focus on the failings of others and ignore their own heinous sins. Consider David's reaction to Nathan after he slept with Bathsheba and had Uriah murdered (2 Sam. 11:1-12:15a ). The king did more evil than the man in Nathan's parable, but David wanted to chase after the speck in that man's eye, so blinded was he by the plank of his own sin. Today, church leaders who have gossiped might come down mercilessly on someone who has occasionally used lewd language. This latter sin is real and inexcusable, but we have done wrong when we who judge do not hold ourselves to the same standard by which we judge others (Matt. 7:2).

John Chrysostom says, "Jesus does not forbid judging but commands that one first remove the plank from one's own eye" ( Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, 23.2). We must be harsher on ourselves than we are on others. Let us make sure our consciences are clear before we judge our brothers and sisters.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

John Calvin says that the one "who judges according to the word and law of the Lord, and forms his judgment by the rule of charity, always begins with subjecting himself to examination, and preserves a proper medium and order in his judgments." No earthly judge is perfect, but we can make judgments without hypocrisy if we live a life of repentance and endeavor to mortify our own sin. Are you more critical of others than you are of yourself?

For further study:

Genesis 38

The Bible in a year:

Deuteronomy 26-27

For the weekend:

Deuteronomy 28-33

INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.

===

Spurgeon-MetropolitanTabernacle-Header-1

God or self—which?

‘Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?’ Zechariah 7:5–6

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:19–22

Is it not true that some of you do not use the day of rest and the house of prayer for their real purpose, which is that man may meet with God? There was a man who professed great love to his friend, and therefore he would spend a day in his company. He rapped at the door, and the servant said the master was not at home. ‘It does not matter,’ said he, ‘I will wait inside and take my ease; I shall do quite as well though the master be not at home if you will bring me abundance to eat and drink.’ So he entered, and took a chair and made himself very comfortable, and feasted to his heart’s content; and he went home boasting that he had enjoyed the visit. Then his companions asked him—‘Was the master there?’ ‘Oh no, he was not there.’ ‘But I thought you went to see him?’ He had pretended a great desire to have converse with his friend but evidently he was false, for if he had gone to see the master, and the master had not been at home, he would have said—‘Well, I will call another day, but I have missed my errand this time.’ So there are some who go up to the house of God; they think they go there to worship the Lord; they have no enjoyment of his presence, they have no communion with his Son, they have no indwellings of his Spirit, but they enjoy the day for all that, which shows they did not go to worship God at all. When we put the question to them—‘Did ye at all fast unto the Lord?’ their answer must be—‘No, truly, we only sought self; we did not seek the Master’s presence.’

For meditation: Everything in our lives should be a sacrifice of worship to the Lord (Romans 11:36–12:1). Do you really meet with him when you talk to him, sing to him and listen to his Word or are you simply playing a superstitious religious game? God does not accept lip-service (Isaiah 29:13; Amos 5:21–23).

Sermon no. 438
9 March (1862)

===
P31Header
Nicki Koziarz

March 9, 2012

Be Foolish
Nicki Koziarz

"Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him." Psalm 128:1 (NIV)

What kind of foolish do you want to be? It's a question I've started asking myself.

When I hear the word "foolish," I'm drawn to the story of Noah, a man passionate about the pursuit of obedience, despite looking like a fool.

In Genesis 6, God speaks to Noah about the greatest flood that would ever occur (6:17). He instructed Noah to build a massive ark (6:14-16) and to bring his family (6:18) and two of every creature (6:19-20) on board.

People thought Noah had lost his mind. What kind of a fool would build a giant boat and load it with smelly animals? All while there was not a raindrop in sight. I imagine the mockery he endured from those in his community was painful for Noah.

Yes, Noah appeared awfully foolish. Until... those dark clouds rolled in. Until... it rained and rained and rained. Until... water covered the entire earth.

Noah as a person inspires me, but his obedience challenges me.

A few years ago I listened to an author share a story about a book she had written. Sales took off quickly. A few weeks after the release of the book, another author wrote her an honest email.

This woman said she knew she was supposed to write a book with the same message as the best-selling one. God had given her identical verses and points to make. Yet she'd disobeyed Him and put off writing that book; she felt the Lord had given the other author the message instead.

The regret from disobedience of not writing that book made her feel foolish. Hearing this story, I thought of all the opportunities of God's plans I had missed because of disobedience. In my own regrets, I too felt foolish.

Truthfully, God does not need us to accomplish anything. He's God—sovereign, powerful and mighty—with or without us. But, He wants to use us. He's given gifts, talents and great purpose in Him to each person.

The painful reality is, if we don't obey God, we will miss out.

The pursuit of obedience can be hard. Along the way we may lose friends, be mocked or called crazy. But ultimately, we have a choice: obedience that may look foolish to others or regrets that will make us feel foolish later on.

What kind of foolish do you want to be?

Dear Lord, thank You so much for always giving us another chance to pursue the purpose You have for our lives. May today be a day we begin living out the promises and plans You have for us more than ever. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God's Promises by Renee Swope

What Happens When Woman Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Visit Nicki's blog for more inspiration and practical tips on living an obedient life.

Reflect and Respond:
Is there something God has called you to do that you've been putting aside?

Today, take one step towards that goal or dream.

Power Verses:
John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV)

Genesis 6:22, "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." (NIV)

© 2012 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

===

Spurgeon-NewParkStreet-Header-3

The leafless tree

“But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.” Isaiah 6:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 11:11-24

“The race of Abraham shall endure for ever, and his seed as many generations.” But why is it that the Jewish race is preserved? We have our answer in the text: “The holy seed is the substance thereof.” There is something within a tree mysterious, hidden and unknown, which preserves life in it when everything outward tends to kill it. So in the Jewish race there is a secret element which keeps it alive. We know what it is; it is the ‘remnant according to the election of grace;’ in the worst of ages there has never been a day so black but there was a Hebrew found to hold the lamp of God. There has always been found a Jew who loved Jesus; and though the race now despise the great Redeemer, yet there are not a few of the Hebrew race who still love Jesus the Saviour of the uncircumcised, and bow before him. It is these few, this holy seed, that are the substance of the nation; and for their sake, through their prayers, because of God’s love to them, he still says of Israel to all nations, “Touch not these mine anointed, do my prophets no harm. These are the descendants of Abraham, my friend. I have sworn and will not repent; I will show kindness unto them for their father’s sake, and for the sake of the remnant I have chosen.” Let us think a little more of the Jews than we have been wont; let us pray oftener for them. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love her.” As truly as any great thing is done in this world for Christ’s kingdom, the Jews will have more to do with it than any of us have dreamed.

For meditation: Do you attach anything like the same priority to the Jews as God does (Romans 1:16; 2:9,10 )? “How odd of God to choose the Jews” (William Norman Ewer)—but not as odd as those who choose a Jewish God and hate the Jews.

Sermon no. 121
9 March (Preached 8 March 1857)

===
LeadershipBible-Header

Francis of Assisi: Blessing Our Brothers, the Birds

art_09_06_francis

Verse: Matthew 10:9

Quote: "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

The son of Pietro di Bernadone, a wealthy Italian fabric merchant, Francis of Assisi is one of seven children. Young Francis spends several years vacillating between the life of a troubadour, time in the military, and visions of God speaking to him.

In 1209, in his late twenties, he hears the voice of Go, saying: "Preach, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. Provide neither silver nor gold, nor brass in your purses." This becomes his rule of life.

He discards his purse and shoes, dresses in rags, and feels guilty if he meets someone poorer than he. He lives with lepers, washing their puss-filled sores and kissing their fingerless hands and stubbed feet. His father and his friends think he has gone mad. Initially, he is a loner. But then a follower comes along, and by the end of the year, with ten more disciples, the "Lesser Brethren" beg from house to house, spending nights out of doors.

In Rome Francis seeks the papal blessing. Initially, Innocent III is insulted by his apparent show of disrespect, but, he later agrees to give provisional approval for a new religious order. Final sanction will come only after they have proven themselves worthy.

Poverty is not new to monasticism, but Francis gives it greater prominence, bringing new meaning to urban poverty. He embraces poverty rather than separating from it as hermits and monks had done. The inward emphasis on personal self-denial is turned upside-down with an outward focus on the poor and needy living on the margins of society.

Although having taken a vow of celibacy, he considers himself married to Lady Poverty, revering her as "the mistress and queen of the virtues." Second only to Lady Poverty is his other love, Mother Nature. So close was Francis to nature that he preached sermons to those he regarded as his companions: "Brother birds," he admonished, "you ought to love and praise your Creator very much. He has given you feathers for clothing, wings for flying, and all things that can be of use to you." An environmentalist before his time, he asked the emperor enact laws to protect "our sisters, the birds."

For Francis, however, life is far from idyllic. For many of the less-committed friars, the love for Lady Poverty quickly evaporates. They rebel against what they perceive to be an evil stepmother. Having been stirred by the personal charisma and emotion-charged sermons of Francis, they have second thoughts about being on the bottom rung of society. Other monks, they observe, live the good life. Supported by clerics, angry friars replace Francis with a new leader while he is away on a mission trip. It is the most dramatic coup in monastic history. He returns to find a wealthy cleric in charge of the very ministry he has founded. He might have rallied his dedicated followers and led them away and begin anew. But this, he reasons, is not the way of humility. He accepts the stunning reversal as God's will. He tells his followers, "From henceforth I am dead for you. Here is brother Peter di Catana whom you and I will obey." He then prostrates himself before his new superior and directs the friars to follow in submission. His heart is broken, but there is no other course of action for this most singular saint.

Despite this turn of events, Francis is widely regarded as a saint, and his death in 1228 only increases his stock as a holy man. After he dies, the vicar of the Franciscan order testifies to the miracle of the stigmata on the body of Francis. Church leaders from far and near, including Pope Gregory IX, bask in his popularity. In fact, the pope preaches at his funeral, lays the cornerstone for a church in his memory, and canonizes him as a saint.


If you enjoyed the above article, please take a minute to read about the book that it was adapted from:

ParadeofFaith-Bookcover

Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church

by Ruth A. Tucker
Buy the book!
The story of Christianity centers on people whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Lord. Tucker puts this front and center in a lively overview peppered with sidebars; historical "what if?" questions; sections on everyday life; drawings and illustrations; bibliographies for further reading.
===

He Is - Nourishing

2 Kings 4:38-44

God used Elisha to demonstrate that he is nourishing. During a famine, God used Elisha to remove the poison from the prophets' stew. Then, with only twenty loaves of bread, God's prophet fed one hundred men and had some left over!

God doesn't just care about our spiritual needs; he cares about our physical needs as well. God can use you to show people that he is nourishing. Give what you have from your pantry, your pocketbook or your possessions, and watch what happens. By meeting others' physical needs, you tangibly show God's love to those who hunger.

NIVSocialicons
===

700x184_BG_Header

Day 17

Another time Jesus used a parable when he was questioned by a religious leader.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

How can you be a good neighbor to someone today?

ADVERTISEMENT


031044084x_imageThe Story of Jesus available now.

The Story of Jesus is a small book with a big message. This compact, 96-page softcover booklet uses the text of the New International Version to offer a concise, revealing narrative of the most significant human being who ever lived.

300x290_BG_Feb-Ad
===
Lent=Devotions-Header
Today's Prayer

Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand your Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto your majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - the daily morning prayer of Ulrich Zwingli, from Gregg Alison's "Introduction to Historical Theology"

Today's Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-38
Jesus Predicts His Death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."

The Way of the Cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Today's Quote


Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee:
All thing pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

-- "Poem IX," from the Complete Works St. Teresa of Avila (1963) Vol. 3, edited by E. Allison Peers

Something to Think About

Today is the day that some Christian traditions commemorateAnnunciation, the announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the promised Savior. The story of Gabriel's visit to Mary is one we usually associate with Christmas, not Easter. Does your anticipation of Easter in just a few weeks give you a different perspective on the angel's joyous announcement?
===

Today's Lent reading: Mark 7-9 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
That Which Defiles

1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’

8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16]

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Mark 8

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”

4 His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”

5 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied.

6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[i] the village.”

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus Predicts His Death

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

The Way of the Cross

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 9

1 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

The Transfiguration

2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Causing to Stumble

42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’

49 Everyone will be salted with fire.

50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”


Post a Comment