Month: January 2015

Giving to the needy with proper motivation (Matthew 6:1 – 6-4)

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his followers: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others in order to be seen. If you do, you will have no reward from God. For example, when you give to the needy, do not announce it loudly with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets so the people will praise them. They have already received their reward in full. When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. Then God, who sees what is done even in secret, will reward you.” What the story means to us today Glory from God or glory from Men Earlier

Isaac’s wealth and power threaten others (Genesis 26:12 – 26:25)

After Abimeleh issued orders to the citizens that nobody should harm Isaac or his family, Isaac had a very successful year with his crops (despite a famine in the land). Because God had blessed Isaac – he reaped a hundred times what he had sown. Isaac became rich and his fortune continued to grow until he became very wealthy with large flocks, herds, and many servants. The Philistines living in the area began to envy Isaac and despite Abimelek’s orders to not harm his family, they filled his wells with earth (the same wells that his father had constructed). Isaac’s wealth and power threatened King Abimelek too and he told Isaac, “Leave us for you have become much more powerful than we are.” As requested, Isaac moved away and settled in

Love your enemies – what Jesus tells us about loving others (from the Sermon on the Mount) (Matthew 5:43 – 5:48)

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the listeners: You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven. God causes the sun to rise on evil people as well as the good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who already love you, what reward will you receive? Don’t the tax collectors already do that? If you greet only your own people, are you doing anything more than anyone else? Even pagan non-believers do that. Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. What the story means to us today Love everyone no matter what Jesus’ message is

Isaac tells men Rebekah is his sister (Genesis 26:1 -26:11)

During a famine in the land of Canaan, Isaac went to Abimelek (aka Abimelech), who was the king in Gerar where the Philistines lived. On his way, God stopped Isaac and instructed him to not go to Egypt (as his father Abraham had done during the last famine). God reminded Isaac that he should live in the land that God instructed him to live in. He told Isaac if the stayed in this land for a while, God would bless him. God reminded Isaac that because Abraham did what God told him, obeyed his commands, and followed his instructions, he would one day give him these lands (confirming the oath God made to Abraham). God told Isaac that his descendants would be as numerous as the

Was Jesus a real person – is there historical proof outside the Bible that Jesus really existed?

Was Jesus a real person? Yes, Jesus was real (albeit not very popular) Although the New Testament Bible provides extensive documentation of Jesus’ life, the Bible is a theological literary work and could be seen by some as potentially biased. Even steadfast Christians may occasionally wonder, “Is there any other proof that Jesus truly existed?” In fact, almost all modern-day historians agree that Jesus existed historically citing proof from several supplementary ancient works that not only confirm the existence of Jesus, but prove that his ministry, including his many miracles that detractors attempted to explain away as “evil magic”, produced a significant impact on the people of the day. Jesus' popularity wanes During Jesus’ day, the geographic area he lived in was controlled and occupied by two major groups – Jews