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?