Saturday, February 20, 2016

Matthew 19 Journey to Jerusalem Part 1

SLIDE 1 Good Evening Ladies. Thank you Mary Alice for inspired teaching last week. I enjoyed it immensely. Please say “Hello” Leslee Bennett our District Director as well as my Area Director. She is on her way to a conference tomorrow. We wish you safe travels.
Please open your bible Matthew 19 Journey to Jerusalem Part 1 (10 lessons to go)
1Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Although Jesus continues to heal people who follow Him, His ministry now is to teach His disciples about Kingdom Living and prepare them for His imminent departure.
SLIDE 2 KINGDOM LIVING “What are you investing for the Kingdom?”
·        Invest in your Family
o   Marriage and Divorce
o   Blessing the Children
·        Invest in the Kingdom of God
·        Invest in Your Eternity
Invest in your Marriage and Family
You can imagine as a divorce woman this is not an easy lesson for me to teach. Many of our ladies here tonight are single or widowed or divorced but hopefully you will be able to glean some helpful nuggets to share with married friends.
SLIDE 3 This week we have the Pharisees trying to goad Jesus into an argument. "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" We could take a lesson from the tactics Jesus uses. While they question Him about the ruling by Moses regarding divorce in Deuteronomy, Jesus leads them all the way back to Creation and God’s purpose for Man and Women.
4"Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,5 and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, ( KJV )let no man put asunder.
Creation is one of the wonders of God. The only thing that was not “good” about creation was the fact that the man was alone (Genesis  2:18).
SLIDE 4 Genesis 1:27 -28 God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”

We would do well to note God’s Characteristic of Marriage
1.     It is a divinely appointed union. (I love the fact that God came down and brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22)
2.     It is a physical union
3.     It is a permanent union
4.     It is a union between one man and one woman
Happy marriages are not accidents. You have to invest time and hard work; the result of commitment, love, understanding, sacrifice, and putting your wants last.
SLIDE 5 “Marriage is like twirling a hula hoop, ice skating or eating with chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.
Have you ever tried to braid hair or pieces of cord? A braid appears to contain only two strands. But it is impossible to create a braid with only two strands. If the two could be put together at all, they would quickly unravel. Click Here is the answer: What looks like two strands require a third. The third strand, though not immediately evident, keeps the strands tightly woven. In a Christian marriage, God's presence, like the third strand in a braid, holds husband and wife together. 
In Ephesians 5 Paul used marriage as an illustration of the intimate relationship between Christ and the church. Just as Eve was taken from the side of Adam in Genesis 2: 21, so the church was born from the suffering and death of Christ on the cross. Christ loves His church, nourishes it with His Word, cleanses it, and cares for it. Christ’s relationship to His church is the example for all to follow.
SLIDE 6 Divorce vv7-97 They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?"
The Pharisees were not trying to discover the truth; they just wanted to force Jesus into choosing a side for their religious debates. Jesus stated clearly 8"Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."
W.Wiersbe- Moses instituted a legal bill of divorcement to do three things:
·        Protect the sanctity of marriage from “indecent” behavior defiling the relationship.
o   Man or woman could be stoned to death for committing adultery.
·        Protect the women from a husband who would send her away for any cause.
o   If she burned supper, if he was tired of her, if uncleanness was found in her
·        Document her status as legally divorced rather than prostitute or runaway adulteress.  
o   Moses‘ decree actually voided the marriage contract, so a man or woman could remarry.
Wiersbe, Warren W. (2015-08-18). The BE Series Bundle
Matthew 19:10The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry."11 But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
SLIDE 7 Matthew 19:12 Living Bible (TLB) 12 Some are born without the ability to marry, and some are disabled by men, and some refuse to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone who can, accept my statement.”
1 Corinthians 7:34 And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit.
Paul says the single life is as much a gift and calling of God as the married life. 
How are you using your gift to invest in the kingdom?
*Your commentary does a good job of explaining the two different Jewish schools of thought toward divorce as well as the issue of eunuchs. Please take advantage of this vital part of CBS lessons.
SLIDE 8 Blessing the Children Last week we sang “Jesus loves the little Children” and He does. In these last three chapters we have seen children be the focus of a lesson for the disciples. Again the disciples forget their lesson on mercy.
13Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people,14 but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
While children are the focus of this passage, they do and say nothing of themselves. They are brought by their parents, blocked by the disciples, called and welcomed by Jesus. They are simply obedient and humble participants. Jesus said that without this attitude it is impossible to receive the kingdom. 
SLIDE 9 *Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.
*Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!"
SLIDE 10 The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one's ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly. Silas Shotwell, in Homemade, September 1987. 
Invest in the life of a child. If you do not have any I know many who would loan you one of theirs. You can volunteer at a school, help with a literacy program, help with children in your church.
SLIDE 11 One of my favorite verses I have framed in my home is 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Another is Proverbs 17:6a Grandchildren are the crown of the aged.
How many of you here tonight have discovered the pure joy of being a grandparent? No can explain the sheer bliss of this status until it happens to you! Finally my sister and her husband understand this most precious gift of God; a reward for our labor during the teenage years.
SLIDE 12 Invest in the Kingdom of God
Let’s look at the rich young ruler. Some verses are from a parallel gospel Mark 10:17-18 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”  From this greeting we can assume he had knowledge of Jesus’ teaching. Kneeling was a sign of respect and honor.
Matthew 19:17b If you would enter life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to him, "Which ones?" His knowledge of the laws of Moses hints of training in the temple. His eagerness and sincerity is a contrast to the Pharisees. No wonder Jesus felt a love for him. However this young man’s salvation was centered on works not faith.
SLIDE 13 20 The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?"21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

How much of our possessions belong to God? All of it! This young man was breaking the 10th commandment. He was coveting what belonged to God. We are only stewards of God’s money and He allows us to use his money wisely. Are you investing your time or talents or money for the sake of the kingdom? Where could you volunteer that would glorify the name of the LORD?
Our application question on page 59 queried: Think of an item you like and use daily (but can live without). Choose to stop using it for at least a day. How did it feel to go without this item you enjoy so much?
Ladies, I want you to commit to try this. Carefully I pondered a choice that would cause me the greatest discomfort. For three days I was miserable.  My son even commented. By day four I could cope. This was valuable lesson on my personal priorities.
SLIDE 14  Invest in Your Eternity
23And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
Some interpret the eye of the needle to be a small gate entering the city of Jerusalem. Others interpret Aramaic word camel as meaning rope. But Jesus used a wonderfully clever illustration and meant what He said: The eye of a needle means the eye of a needle. How brilliant is that! We are not meant to reason away the apparent difficulty of getting a camel through a needle's eye.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
SLIDE 15 Just when we think Peter has figured out living in the Kingdom, he blurts out

v27 "See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?"
Warren Wiersbe says “Jesus gave them a marvelous promise of rewards in this life and in the next. They would even share thrones when He established His kingdom. Whatever good things they had forsaken for His sake would be returned to them a hundredfold.
In other words, they were not making sacrifices— they were making investments.”
What are you investing to the Kingdom?
SLIDE 16 Matthew 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
SLIDE 17 Consider volunteering in the life of a child. Talk to Debbie Horvath, Debbie Clay or me about being a VOICE for a child in court.
Eternal life refers not just to quantity--to life that goes on forever--but more to quality. It's the kind of life that makes you sensitive to what God is doing. The essence of spiritual life is walking with God, sensing the Holy Spirit in your life, communing with Christ, and participating in KINGDOM.

SLIDE 18 Would you choose to invest your time, your talents, or your money in the Kingdom of Heaven? 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Matthew 17 Jesus God's Glory

SLIDE 1 Matthew 17  Each day reminds us that life is but a vapor. Cancer is rampant in our world claiming our loved ones young and old. Yet Jesus has promised us life without end if we only believe. Do you believe Jesus is the only way to life everlasting? Be sure before you leave tonight; we are not promised tomorrow. Let us Pray
SLIDE 2 Imagine these headlines in the Hebrew Herald
·        Jesus Transfigured:  Witnessed by Three
·        Jesus Cast Spirit out of Deaf and Mute Boy
·        Peter Pays Temple Taxes with a Fish?

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Would these get the attention of today’s media? SLIDE 3 Think of the last sensation taunted on television or newspaper. Panthers make it to Super Bowl.
SLIDE 4 Jesus revealed to his disciples in 16:28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Why have I never connected this statement to the transfiguration?
Matthew 17 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (Probably Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi) 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 
SLIDE 5 How did Jesus decide who to take with Him on the mountain? Peter, James and John must have had a special relationship with the Lord because of the many times the Bible talks about those three to the exclusion of the other disciples. Chosen as His first disciples along with Andrew, Peter’s brother, these three are often named together as some type of inner circle. Jesus allowed Peter, James, and John to witness the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37), to be experience the glory at the transfiguration, and later they will accompany Him further in the garden of Gethsemane.
And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 
SLIDE 6 What a remarkable sight it must have been on that mountain! The sum of Old Testament revelation Moses represents the Law and Elijah the Prophets came to meet with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses could represent those who die and go to glory, and Elijah could represent those who are caught up in heaven without death.
No wonder Peter wanted to stay. He may have been thinking of temporary shelters where Jews spend the Festival of Booths during Sukkot. But again he is thinking of the moment at hand and not toward Jerusalem. As great as Moses and Elijah were in the Old Testament, Jesus is the Messiah. The one they had been looking for; Jesus is fulfillment of prophecies and foreshadowed events.
SLIDE  7 The word transfigured speaks of a transformation , not merely a change in outward appearance. The effect was extremely striking; Jesus became so bright in appearance that He was even difficult to look at (like the sun ).
“The verb metamorphoo (‘transfigure,’ ‘transform,’ ‘change in form’) suggests a change of inmost nature that may be outwardly visible.” (Carson)
Paul reminds us as Chrisitans “be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
SLIDE  8 The real miracle was that Jesus, most of the time, could keep from displaying this glory.
A Dottie Rambo song says it so well.  "If That Isn't Love"
He left the splendor of heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
There to lay down His life for me
Jesus Christ laid aside His glory when He came to earth (John 17:5).
SLIDE 9 (Peter) was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.
Terrified! Not seeing Jesus transfigured or the sight of OT prophets, but hearing the voice of God the Father and the cloud of God’s glory, called the Shekinah in the Old Testament. From this cloud of glory, God the Father spoke.
Exodus 24:17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
Exodus 33: But He answered, "You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live." 
 Because of His finished work on the cross, Jesus has received back His glory and now shares it with us.  John 17 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me
SLIDE  11  7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
But Jesus is definitely enough!  God sent His son to be the redemption of His people. The disciples were shown the glory of Jesus so they could look beyond the present day.  They needed to renew their minds to include the resurrection.
And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 
The disciples had just seen Elijah but Jesus was already here with them.10 (they) asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. (Elijah is also said to be one of the two Witnesses in Revelation.) 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
SLIDE  12 Many famous artists painted the Transfiguration of Jesus. Raphael was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici in 1815. The modello included God the Father and His angels above Jesus and Moses and Elijah. The painting shares the artist’s unique point of view. It included the three disciples and Jesus but it also shows what is happening to the other 9 disciples down the mountain. It was his last masterpiece left unfinished when he died in 1850. Currently it is housed at the Vatican.
From the breathtaking scene on the mountaintop down to the arguing crowds.
Remember the other nine were left out of this special event. How do you think they felt? Maybe their faith was wavering, as they argued with the scribes. From Mark’s account when they saw Him the crowd was amazed and ran toward Jesus.
SLIDE  13 Jesus Heals a Boy with a Spirit-Matthew 17:14-18 Mark 9:14-27
14And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them.15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.16 And he asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?"17 And someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute.18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." Hint, hint!
SLIDE 14 17 Jesus is disappointed and frustrated. “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 
The writers of the Harmony of the Gospels commented this was the only instance when Jesus showed momentary impatient with people in the crowd. Maybe the father was connected with the scribes and his son was planted in crowd to embarrass Jesus and discredit His disciples. Especially when the man said, “If you can,” seems to be a taunt. Since he said faithless and twisted generation, this would not describe His disciples. Notice the well dressed men standing slightly out of the crowd, these seem to be the scribes watching the drama play out.
Marks gospel had so much detail. The spirit even has a starring role. Notice the crowd plays a part in this account.
SLIDE  15  From Mark 9:20-27 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, "'If you can'! All things are possible for one who believes." 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it ( the spirit)came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead."
CLICK 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
 Matthew 17:18 says “the boy was healed instantly.” 
SLIDE  16 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.21 not in ESV HCBS KJV
Instead of conforming to the world they needed to be transformed by renewing their minds through prayer and fasting.
SLIDE  17 22 Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. This time they heard him 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. Mk. 9:32
 Jesus is leading them by baby steps, they are ready to accept the brutality of the whole truth.
SLIDE 18 This is the only gospel with this miracle. Matthew was a tax collector for the Roman government. These collectors were sent from the priests to gather taxes for the ministry of the temple. It was a sign of their redemption from slavery in Egypt. We are redeemed by the spotless blood of the perfect lamb, Jesus Christ.
24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.
SLIDE  19 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” Jesus may not abide by all the man-made rules, but Jesus obeyed the laws of the God.

Peter was called Simon before he became a disciple; John 1:42 Jesus said “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). Peter’s name is listed over 100 times in the Gospels and 58 times in Acts. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus allow us to know the type of man Peter his, but Jesus saw the potential in Peter as a leader and one of the foundation stones in His church. Warren Wierbe-Peter trying to build tents on the mountaintop was interrupted by God the Father, telling them to LISTEN to Jesus. Peter would probably have fixed the problem of paying taxes, but Jesus interrupts him with a question, What do you think Simon?

SLIDE 21 Peter bold, caretaker, fixer; I admit I am like that. Are you? If only we would cast our cares on him and allow Jesus to meet our needs for His glory. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.