mypad:FaithOfJesusgeneva@Matthew:1:18-25 - I notice the sequence of events surrounding Joseph and see details of the faith my Lord posseses. Joseph finds out, Joseph considers what to do, Joseph has it explained after the fact by an Angel, Joseph consents to what is already in motion. The Lord's faith seeks the consent of participating individuals. To gain that consent, at least in this instance, He proceeds before hand, creating the need for consideration and consent. Surely, He knows these people well enough to know their answer, but, it is a faith that is inclusive of other peoples needs and creates and at the same time proceeds with what must be done for the good of all mankind. In effect He is showing a faith in Joseph. He must have prepared Joseph and Mary for this consent along with everything else.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:5:43-48 BUT I SAY UNTO YOU (ENEMIES) - Every man determines himself his enemies. The label enemy can also be influenced by peer pressure, religious indifference, racial prejudice, false witness, etc.. What criterion then is to be used? Justice? The common teaching has become the mentality of us against them, just versus unjust. The fuller teaching is that God makes his rain to fall upon all. There is a higher calling, to love even a much proven enemy with the love of God; to see others as God sees them. If we needed any further prompting, God added a reward for such. The faith of our Lord is much the same. Though He is surrounded by the wicked and the unjust and the foolish and the hardened and the negligent and the abusive and the timid and the disbelieving and the... (you get the idea), the core of a man's heart that makes Him at enmity with God, His love yet remains all the more. It is not just for them that we should do this, it is for Him and for our own selves.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:6:1-4 ALMS - For the needy receiving alms you'd think that the end result would be the same; what difference does the motivation of the giver make when the money is handed over? For the giver the difference seems to be in their personal final reward. But is it? Perhaps the true difference goes back to the earlier mention of being a shining light and salt, it is in the accurate reflection of God light. If Jesus is the fulfilment of the the law, if He has become our exceeding righteousness, if we are of truly broken and contrite and meek spirit, then alms is one tangible measurement of our sincerity and ability toward these spiritual objectives. In one manner His light is hidden and in another more secretive way the light is in full view. As much as the needy need to have our alms, they need to see it in God's light. The question may be whether God rewards us regardless of the outcome to the needy person or is the outcome all important to the reward? The faith of our Lord is in tangible things done from the proper heart making His light shown to those who need light most.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:6:5-15 PRAYER - The objective of prayer, the sincerity of prayer, the secretiveness and repetition are all products of the heart. The honest heart will proceed one way, the confused or deliberate heart another. Prayer reveals much about ones image of God. Is He a candy machine? Is He a genie sworn to our three wishes? Is He close, distant, friendly acquaintance, or divine supreme? Reverence and forgiveness are brought up as key indicators. The Lords prayer reveal much about His faith, that the Father is above all, that His rule is sovereign, that He is provident, forgiving, delivering, supreme, omnipotent, glorious and eternal. How we treat others is as much of a product of how we view Him as anything other; especially along the lines of forgiveness.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:6:16-18 FASTING - Purpose. Why does one fast? Jesus fasted. What reason did He have to fast. The description here of the hypocrite seems obvious, but, it's implications far reaching; there are ways unbeknownst to us (less obvious) that our reverence toward God is stained deep with hypocrisy. Some things more honest like trying to set an example or encouragement for others to emulate can easily be confiscated by lesser intentions. Some group activities set off to be more pious and grandstanding are highly contagious. Truly, I don't think many start off intending to be hypocritical, it is just that it is so natural to drift off that way. The Lord is asking us to take an inventory not only with fasting but, with all of the observances and ritual we follow. Do these things by all means, but do them from the right heart. It is the Lord's faith that religion and worship and observance like fasting are ways of putting the flesh aside momentarily in order to draw closer to the Father. Being closer is reinvigorating and strengthening when done first and foremost in the honesty and reverence deserved of the Father's honour.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:6:19-24 TREASURE AND SERVICE - The Lord's faith is in a much larger vision or time reference, eternity. This life is the potting soil for something much bigger. For us to spend this present time absorbed and deeply hidden within it is to not peek out from our shell to see the breadth and scope beyond. So you do everything in this life for this life? When this life is taken away, what then do you have left? His faith from there is further expanded adding singleness of vision on top of it. The demands of this life are not trivial but they can be distracting, even re-absorbing. These daily demands are meant to mold and develop us, proof us. Only by single focus on that which is above are we kept from being buried/destroyed by the desperate things below. It is His light, shown in His faith that we are meant to grasp hold and serve.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:6:25-34 NEED - There are some things within our control. There are things outside of our control. There are things that consume our time and worries that probably shouldn't that we think that we must take control that pulls us far from God. It is not that He doesn't want us to have what we truly need. It is not that He doesn't know that we need them. It is that He wants us to seek His Kingdom and righteousness first. Busy buddies and worry warts are what we are, always an excuse, always another reason, little progress or control, many things spinning further out of control, and for what? Something that He knows that we need? Something maybe that we don't need? Something that may bring further worry and desperation of control? The Lord's faith is firm, God's glory, God's Kingdom first. Once settled and firmly planted then prayer, once prayed for and trusted then patience and obedience and then a willingness to accept that if it is not His will it may not be needed.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:7:1-6 JUDGEMENT - Judgement is so very closely related to hypocrisy. We are so much willing to hold others to a standard that we would never hold ourselves to. We can sniff out hypocrisy in others from a mile a way, perhaps that is because we fully expect it. Judgement cannot be avoided in our day to day lives. Most every activity and relationship encountered in a day requires some form of judgement. It is not judgment that is being forbidden here, it is the type of judgement; the most common type - Hypocrisy. One should learn to expect it from themselves and know how to look for it. We want to be judged a fair judge, one whose judgement applied first and foremost to their own-selves. Judge as one who knew his on weaknesses yet was brave enough to battle his weaknesses and to help others through theirs as well. What use is it to strive not to judge at all, neither owns-self nor others? The Lord's faith is not that we will become a bunch of passivists, it is that we will be able to judge right from wrong, truth from falsehood, help from oppression........
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:7:7-12 ASK SEEK KNOCK - Let's take this in context for a minute. If we were to ask for what we have already ready, what would be asking for? His Kingdom to come and Will to done on Earth as in Heaven. Our daily bread spiritually first and for our physical needs. Forgiveness of our trespasses in like measure. To be led from temptations such as judging one another from such hypocritical eyes. What does it mean to seek this? To seek it from Him? To seek Him to develop it within us? To seek as a distant wish or as daily presentable action? To hunger and thirst for His righteousness? What does it mean to knock then? It is the faith of the Lord that you have at least this in you. That you will see the need to ask. That you will search through our darkness for His light. That you will knock for the door to be opened for you. Would He really say no to this or provide something other?
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:7:13-14 NARROW - The narrow mind today is much frowned upon. The modern mind is conceded enough to think that anywhere it goes that there is something there for it, that a narrow mind is missing out on what ever it is that is there. What if what is there is destruction? What is the narrow mind missing out on? Many consider Jesus to be an excellent teacher on most everything but this one point. What if Jesus is not speaking from opinion but from observable fact? One would ask 'Observable from whose standpoint'? From the incarnate Son of God's! Are open minds rather too narrow to consider that the Son of God would not see it as such? To consider that He made it to be so with reason?
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:7:15-23 FRUITS - Two lives are examined by their fruits; a third is implied. The two are extremes but produce similar corrupt fruit, false prophets and those who presume to do the Lord's work but are not. To Jesus the equation is simple: good tree good fruit, bad tree bad fruit; no in between to consider. What in life is so stark in comparison? Spirituality! It is either born of Him or not. Does that mean that we do no wrong? No that means that He is able to produce good fruit through us as we abide in His tree. Think of all the elements discussed so far in this sermon (low and meek to self/reflecting His light/having all righteousness fulfilled in Him, convicted under the fullest sense of the law, non-hypocritical/judgmental, will be done, seeking first.... ). Is there any doubt that this tree can produce nothing other than good fruit in the big picture? The faith of our Lord sees the stark division between good and corrupt, works of flesh and of spirit, fruit born of Him versus all else that is not. He is sure of our path.
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