Temptations of the Kingdoms

Part 4 of the Kings and Kingdoms series proved to be a difficult one. There was the temptation to lean to my own lack of understanding without searching it out. If I did I would miss the truth the Father wanted me to have. So, here we go.

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“And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

Matthew 6:13.

This phrase of the Lord’s Prayer has passed over my lips from my heart numerous times but without the understanding I desired. I didn’t understand why the Lord included it, especially the first phrase. Temptation doesn’t come from God. First mistake.

  • Some temptation God does lead us into.

First question.

  • Then why would we pray not to be led into it?

Hopefully, through this week of sharing scriptures and maybe some stories, we all come into a better understanding. If you have already solved this dilemma please feel free to share in the comments.

Second mistake.

  • Forgetting there are two kingdoms still at odds with one another. Two kinds of temptations.

Of God’s Kingdom

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,

and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…”

Luke 4:1.  

“Then the devil leaveth him,

and behold,

angels came and ministered unto him.”

Matthew 4:11.

Of Satan’s kingdom

“Being forty days tempted of the devil…

he…hungered…

If thou be the Son of God…

command this stone…be made bread…

All this power will I give thee…worship me…

If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down…”

Luke 4:2-10.

In these verses the Lord God shows us two kinds of temptations. One proves the righteousness of the one tested. The other entices one to sin.

Cling to this as we proceed through the week. Jesus did not go alone into the temptation. Neither do we. When the Father does take us into a time of testing the “but” in Matthew 6:13 reminds us He will deliver us from evil.

How has the Father ministered to you in times of testing?

What Does God Need? What Do You Need?

scenic view of rocky mountain during evening
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,

and meted out heaven with the span,

and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,

and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD,

or being his counsellor hath taught him?

With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him,

and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge,

and shewed to him the way of understanding?

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,

nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.

All nations before him are as nothing:

and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

To whom then will ye liken God?

Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

Have Faith in God.
Image courtesy of Pexels.

“To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high,

and behold who hath created these things,

that bringeth out their host by number:

he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might,

for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”

Isa. 40:12-18, 25-26.

Thank you for taking time to read these scriptures. Would you read them one more time? Then go before our Father God and ask Him the two questions: What do you need, Father? What do I need?

May we all be blessed of the Father throughout this weekend as we continue to give Him praise and thanksgiving for meeting our every need.

Nails, Pegs, & God’s Word

IMG_1327[1]*Did you know the first fire forged brass nail appeared in Egypt in 3400B.C.? Neither did I until today.  Nails are measured in length from 2d to 12d and up. The d stands for the Roman denarius, hence today we call them 2 penny, etc. There is a right nail for every carpentry job. That means there are numerous nails to choose from. To use the wrong nail can result in a weak connection.

Chapter 9 of Ezra begins with his hearing and lamenting over the unfaithfulness of the escaped remnant to follow the Lord. They had disregarded the Lord’s commandment and “mingled themselves with the people of those lands.”

When Ezra realized their unfaithfulness, he mourned their sin and went before God confessing the sin, even identifying with it. There is a lesson in unity here but that is for another day. Then in verses 8 & 9 he extols God with these words:

“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God,

to leave us a remnant to escape,

and to give us a nail in his holy place,

that our God may lighten our eyes,

and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

For we were bondmen:

yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage,

but hath extended mercy unto us

in the sight of the kings of Persia,

to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God,

and to repair the desolations thereof,

and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.”

My question for this week, What nail for what job is Ezra speaking of? And what does it have to do with us?

Please, share your ideas in the comments. I hope to share my thoughts on Wednesday.


Since worship is a 24/7 lifestyle let’s take this opportunity to grow in our personal worship with the Lord, as we remember to encourage our brothers and sisters through the technology available, written word and prayer for one another. We may not be able to physically join together this weekend but we are one in Christ and God is on the throne. 


*Information gathered from Bob Formasano at thespruce.com

 

Holy or Unholy?

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courtesy of Pixabay free images

My Precept Bible study group is currently studying Ezra and Haggai. A remnant of Israelites had returned from Babylonian captivity under orders of Cyrus, king of the Persian empire. After building the foundation of the temple, the Jews were discouraged and frightened by their enemies and all work on the temple ceased for approximately 14 years. The Lord was not happy with them and sent them the prophet Haggai, also, Zechariah, but Haggai is where we are studying. In chapter 2 the Lord of hosts, through Haggai, questions the priests concerning the law.

“If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 

Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these unclean by a dead body touch any of these shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 

Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD: and so is every work of their hands: and that which they offer there is unclean.” Hag. 2:12-14.

What is your input on how or if these examples have application for those of us under the new covenant?  Thank you for any insights you might offer.

 

Pondering Prayer’s Purpose

DSCF0144“…Faith and prayer move God.” E. M. Bounds

A greater than E. M. Bounds spoke a parable to this end:

“…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1

The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,

and watching thereunto

with all perseverance and supplication

for all saints:” Eph. 6:18.

Thinking on E. M. Bounds’ statement I wondered if prayer’s purpose was and is to move God. Will God not move apart from our prayers? The admonition of our Lord and Paul is to pray always, pray without ceasing. Other scriptures echo this message putting great importance on praying. If prayer’s purpose is not to move the hand of God, what is it?

What is the purpose of prayer?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. And may we each find a place to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ and lift our voices as one in praise of God our Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

What Are Your Thoughts?

last-supper-2610875__340 “And he (Jesus) charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15. KJV

As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.” NLT

Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” CSB

“And He was giving orders to them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” NASB

No matter the translation the tone remains the same. Jesus warned His disciples and He is warning us. “Watch out”. “Beware.”

Jesus spoke the warning emphatically.

“Take heed,

beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,

and of the leaven of Herod.”

When my Precept Bible Study group came across Mark 8:15, they raised the following question:

“What is the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod? Are they different? The same?”

If we are to be on guard against these things it would be good to know what they are. If we don’t understand them, they may creep into our lives without our noticing.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for sharing and may you find a place to worship the Lord and encourage one another in love and good works.

 

 

 

Friday’s Thoughts

pexels-photo-355288.jpegToday’s question is one directly from Jesus immediately after He rebuked the wind and calmed the sea. Before asking it, He removed the disciples’ anxiety. Then Jesus asked them,

“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have not faith?”

Mark 4:40

What answer comes to your mind as to what stands in the way of someone having faith in God?

  • Disappointment with God?
  • Evil in the world?
  • The philosophies of the world?
  • The number of religions claiming truth?
  • Lack of knowledge?
  • Abundance of knowledge?
  • Lack of understanding?
  • Riches?
  • Poverty?
  • Ignorance?
  • A hard heart?
  • Unbelief?

Which of the above would you rank highest in being a stumbling block to faith in God to the unbelieving and to the Christian? Maybe, you have another that is not listed. Thank you, for sharing your thoughts. For they will help me in some research for a book I’m currently working on.

May your faith be ever increasing.

Questions to Ponder

blogmistake-1966448__340“…Whom do men say that I am? And they answered John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” Mark. 8: 28-29.

Matthew’s gospel adds, “…the Son of the living God.”

Moments later, after Jesus spoke of the Son of man’s suffering, death, and resurrection, “…Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.”

Jesus responded with, “…Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

In order to avoid Peter’s error this is my 2-part question: What things of men did Peter savor? How does it relate to us?

Another question for fun: How could Peter one moment make his confession of Jesus and the next moment rebuke him?

And one last one to give you an opportunity to testify to Jesus’ question: Who do you say Jesus is?

Question to Ponder

The Scripture:

“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

How think ye?

DSCF4322If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray,

doth he not leave the ninety and nine,

and goeth into the mountains,

and seeketh that which is gone astray?

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you,

he rejoiceth more of that sheep,

than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven,

that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18: 11-14

blogmistake-1966448__340The Question+1:

What does Jesus mean saying,  “that which was lost”?

What responsibility does a Christian have in the salvation of that which was lost?


As before, please, leave your comments and we will try to share answers next week. Thank you.