Monday, January 17, 2022

WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT

PROCLAMATION

“And his lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ ”  Matthew 25:21 and 23 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION

These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, He continued to speak to His disciples and unto the crowd.  He told them the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matthew 25:14-30), and He also told them about separating The Sheep and The Goats. (Matthew 25:31-46)  Five of the ten virgins were wise and prepared ahead of time, and five were foolish and did not prepare and so they were not ready when the time came for them to leave.  Two of the three servants used wisely what their master had given to them and were rewarded with “Well done …”  While the one servant, who did nothing with that which he was given, was punished.  When The Son of Man comes He will separate the sheep, His people, from the goats, all other people. (Matthew 25:31-34)  Those who treated needy people kindly will be rewarded, and those who didn’t will be punished.  He said, “… As ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:35-40)

 

APPLICATION

We ought to get ready now for the return of Christ.  Delaying and procrastinating may cause us to be left behind like the five foolish virgins.  We all have God-given abilities and gifts which we need to use to His glory.  We should give at least one tenth of our time, talent, and treasure to the kingdom building efforts here on earth while we are able to do so.  When the time comes, we will be rewarded for our work. (Matthew 16:27)  We also need to be very careful regarding how we treat people, especially God’s people.  Christ said, as you have done it to them, you have done it to Him. (Matthew 25:40)  But He also said, whatever you did not do for those of His people who were in need, you did not do for Him. (Matthew 25:45)  This clearly states that we can sin by omission as well as by commission.  When we don’t do that which we should do, we also sin.  Doing nothing can be sinful when we have the opportunity to help someone and we don’t.  Let us not waste our God-given abilities and gifts, let us work to the glory of God. 



Sunday, January 16, 2022

BE READY FOR NO ONE KNOWS THE HOUR OR THE DAY

PROCLAMATION

“Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not The Son of Man cometh.”  Matthew 24:44 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION

These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  As Jesus left the temple and while walking to the Mount of Olives, He told His disciples that the day was coming when all of the buildings would be torn down, and not one stone would be left on top of another. (Matthew 24:1-2)  His disciples asked Him when this would happen and what would be a sign of His returning and the end of the age? (Matthew 24:3)  Jesus said that there would be false prophets claiming to be The Messiah, there will be wars and rumors of wars, there will be famines and earthquakes in various places, and when you see “the abomination that causes desolation” standing in the holy place as prophesied by Daniel, you will know that the time is near. (Matthew 24:4-34)  Then Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour when this will happen except God, The Father. (Matthew 24:36)  He also told them you must be ready because The Son of Man will come when you do not expect Him. (Matthew 24:44)  Then Jesus said blessed is the servant whom The Lord finds doing as he was told. (Matthew 24:45-46)  He made reference to the rapture when He said: “Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill, one will be taken and the other left.” (Matthew 24:40-42)

 

APPLICATION

Christ is going to return, but no one knows the exact day or the hour of His return.  That is why we have been advised to be ready.  It has been said that He will come when we least expect Him.  We need to get ready now and stay ready.  When He comes there will not be time for us to get ready.  We do not want to be like the five foolish virgins who delayed getting oil for their lamps and when the master came for them they were not ready to go. (Matthew 25:1-13)   When the rapture occurs, we will be taken up to meet Him in the clouds, (1 Thessalonians 4:17) or we will among those who are left behind.  Don’t put off coming to The Lord until you “get yourself straight” because you can never get yourself straight enough to be right with Him.  Just come as you are and confess your shortcomings.  For “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)


Saturday, January 15, 2022

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

PROCLAMATION

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.’ ”  Matthew 23:1-3 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION
These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  As Jesus continued to speak, He offered a warning to them against hypocrisy.  He said that the scribes and the Pharisees did not themselves do that which they told the people to do. (Matthew 23:3-4)  They did things so that people would take notice of them, and they like to be greeted publicly with respectful titles. (Matthew 23:5-11)  Jesus, The Christ, said: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)  He then went on to state seven woes on the scribes and the Pharisees because of their behavior. (Matthew 23:13-31) He also condemned them along with the people of Jerusalem who stoned and killed His prophets. (Matthew 23:33-39)

APPLICATION

The best way to determine if you are listening to a real man of God or a false teacher is to compare what he says to The Word of God.  If what he says does not follow The Bible, then do not follow him.  Also, be careful of anyone who says one thing, but then does something different.  We all should practice that which we preach.  That old saying: “Do as I say do and not as I do,” is not appropriate for leaders or people in authority.  No one is above the law.  It is also not good advice for anyone to give to someone else.  We need to live by the same rules that we expect others to live by.  The Word of God applies to all of us and all of us should follow it.  We may occasionally slip, and fall short, and sin, but our sins are not acceptable and are not to be overlooked.  We all need to confess our sins and ask to be forgiven.  We should not only “talk the talk,” we should also “walk the walk” and do the best that we can do to live to the glory of God. “Whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)  

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2022

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF

PROCLAMATION

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ ”  Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION
These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  Jesus continued to speak to the people in parables, telling them the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. (Matthew 22:1-14)  Then the Pharisees tried to trap Him with words, but He silenced them as He spoke regarding paying tax to Caesar. (Matthew 22:15-22)  The Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection, also tried to trip Him up with words and He answered them regarding the marriage of a woman to each of seven brothers in succession. (Matthew 22:23-33)  Then one of the Pharisees asked Him which was the greatest commandment in the law.  To him Jesus answered, love The Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Matthew 22:36-40)  Then Jesus asked them whose son is The Messiah, and they responded, “The Son of David.”  And Jesus asked them how is it then that David calls Him Lord, and they had no reply.  After that no one dared to ask Him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-45)

APPLICATION

The Lord God should be paramount in our lives and we should love Him with all that we are. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27)  We are also to love and treat our fellow man as we would love and treat ourselves.  This “love” for each other is the basis for “The Golden Rule,” which is taken from The Bible: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)  Christ wants us to love everybody, including our neighbors, one another (John 13:35), and even our enemies. (Matthew 5:44)  We should love people because God is love. (1 John 4:8)  The Spirit of God dwells within us and His love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)  Love is patient and kind, it always protects and perseveres, it is trusting and hopeful, it does not envy or boast or dishonor others, it is not proud or selfish or disrespectful, it bears all things, it believes all things, it is always hopeful, and it endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)  Believers are commanded to love one another. (John 15:17)



Thursday, January 13, 2022

OUR ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN OUR WORDS

PROCLAMATION

“But what think ye?  A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’  He answered and said, ‘I will not;’ but afterward he repented and went.  And he came to the second, and said likewise.  And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir;’ and went not.  Whether of them did the will of his father? …”  Matthew 21:28-31 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION

These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  As Jesus and His disciples approached Jerusalem, they stopped in the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives.  Jesus sent two of his disciples to find a donkey and her young colt and bring them to Him. (Matthew 21:1-7)  Jesus sat on the donkey and her colt and rode them into town.  A very large crowd had followed them, and the people placed their cloaks and palm leaves on the road in front of them as they went into town.  As they went, the people shouted “Hosanna!” (Matthew 21:7-9)  When they entered Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple and drove out the money changers and the sellers of doves. (Matthew 21:10-13)  The blind and the lame came to Him while He was in the temple and He healed them.  When the chief priests and the teachers of the law heard the shouts and saw the things that He did, they were displeased. (Matthew 21:14-15)  He taught the people the Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32) and the Parable of The Tenants. (Matthew 21:33-40)  Then He quoted The Scriptures to them regarding the stone which the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22 and Matthew 21:42)

 

APPLICATION

“Our actions speak louder than our words.”  People frequently say one thing and then do another.  In this case, it is better to say, “I will not” and then do it, than to say, “I will do it” and then don’t.  Here the rebel, the first son, is brought to repentance and becomes the servant, while the formal one, the second son, who agreed grows hard-hearted and rebels.  Unfortunately too many people today are like the second son, we don’t do what we say that we will do.  Our words count, but our behavior counts even more.  Additionally, people change.  Don’t be like one in the fickle crowd, who are shouting “Hosanna!” one day, (Matthew 21:9) and then the very next week are shouting “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22-23)  We will be judged by the words that we speak, (Matthew 12:36) but we will also be rewarded or punished for our works. (2 Corinthians 11:15 and Revelation 22:12)



WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM CHRIST?

PROCLAMATION

“And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, and when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David.’  And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace; but they cried the more, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David.’  And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, ‘What will ye that I shall do unto you?’  ‘They say unto Him, ‘Lord, that our eyes may be opened.’  So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”  Matthew 20:30-34 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION

These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  While He was still in Judea, Jesus taught them The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. (Matthew 20:1-16)  As He was leaving Judea going to Jerusalem, He predicted His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection to His disciples for the third time. (Matthew 20:17-19)  Then the mother of Zebedee’s children came to Him and asked that her sons, James and John, sit beside Him, on the right and left, when He enters into His kingdom.  Jesus told her and them that what they wanted was not His to give. (Matthew 20:20-28)  As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. (Matthew 20:29)  Two blind men were sitting on the side of the road heard and that Jesus, The Christ, was passing by and they yelled, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”  The crowd rebuked them, and told them to be quiet, but they yelled even louder.  When Jesus asked them what they wanted from Him, they answered, “We want our sight.”  He touched their eyes and immediately they received their sight. (Matthew 20:30-34)

 

APPLICATION

What do you want from Jesus, The Christ?  Most of us have a long, “shopping list” full of things that we want, but we have not given much thought to prioritizing that list and identifying the one most important thing that we want.  Most people want “things” or silver and gold or wealth untold.  But Jesus taught of the Rich Man whose barns were full, who tore down his barns and built bigger barns to hold more goods.  He was told, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” (Luke 12:20)  As a child I was taught that if I could be granted three wishes, I should ask for good health, long life, and happiness.  Now, all I want is to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)  Again I ask, What do you want from Christ?



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

DON'T VALUE MONEY MORE THAN CHRIST

PROCLAMATION

“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ ”  Matthew 19:23-24 (KJV)

 

EXPLANATION

These words are from the gospel, the good news regarding Jesus, The Christ, which were spoken by Christ according to the Apostle Matthew.  After speaking in parables to the crowd in Capernaum regarding Causing One to Stumble (Matthew 18:6-9), the Wandering Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14), Dealing With Sin in The Church (Matthew 18:15-20), and the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35), Jesus left Galilee and went into Judea, on the other side of the Jordan River.  A great multitude followed Him, and He healed all the sick among them. (Matthew 19:1-2)  Some Pharisees also followed Him, but they wanted to test Him.  They asked Him a question regarding the lawfulness of divorce for any reason. (Matthew 19:3)  Jesus explained that divorce was not part of God’s original plan.  Moses permitted them to divorce their wives because the hardness of their hearts.  He said that divorce is only acceptable in the case of sexual immorality. (Matthew 19:4-9)  In response to a rich young man who wanted to know what he must do to get eternal life, Jesus told him to keep the commandments.  He replied that he had kept the commandments since he was young and wanted to know what else he should do. (Matthew 19:16-20)  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Him.  The young man went away sad because he had great wealth.  That was when Jesus, The Christ, said that it would be difficult for a rich man to enter heaven. (Matthew 19:21-24)  Then He said that His disciples who had forsaken all would be rewarded a hundred times over. (Matthew 19:25-30)

 

APPLICATION

There is nothing wrong with being rich or wealthy.  Poverty is not a requirement for becoming a Christian.  The problem is that the rich tend to rely on their money to solve their problems and they cannot buy salvation.  They value their money and their possessions more than they value having a relationship with The Lord God.  They put their trust in their money rather than in God.  Nothing in our lives should be more important to us than The Lord God.  We need to put God first in our lives.  We need to acknowledge Him in all that we do. (Proverbs 3:6)  The love of money is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)