Sunday, March 1, 2015

Understanding the Book of Matthew

We are going through the book of Matthew in the Chat Room. There are some things that I needed an entire post so I can explain this important book better. I learned this information about the book of Matthew from Michael Pearl who I think is an awesome Bible teacher. His clear teaching taught me why we are no longer under the Law and made this book much easier to understand. As a a highly intelligent Christian man who is a Jew by birth, Michael has spent many hours every day for many years studying the Word of God. He believes the KJV is the best version of the Bible because it best tranlates the words of the original languages in as similar a word order as possible to what was originally written.

Matthew was written to the Jews who were still living under the Law since Jesus hadn't died yet. One of the main purposes of Matthew was to show the people their need for a Savior. We must take it in the context that it was written.

Jesus teaches many very hard things. He told the people that God would not forgive them if they refused to forgive others. He told them to cut off their hands and feet and pluck out their eyes if these things caused them to sin. He commanded them to forsake their families so they "shall inherit eternal life." If we don't sell all that we have and give to the poor, we won't inherit eternal life, as Jesus told one young man. He said that lusting after someone was the same as adultery and that being angry with your brother is murder. He narrowed the Law to the extreme so people would see their desperate need for a Savior and how far every single person is from the perfection a Holy God demands. He wanted them ALL to understand that they had sinned and couldn't possibly fulfill "every jot and tittle" of the Law, so He fulfilled it for all who believe.

There are people that tell me they only live by the red words in the Bible, Jesus' words, because He only talks about love. Yet, many of Jesus' words have no grace in them, no forgiveness of sins, just the Law and a very narrowly defined interpretation of the Law. If they really obeyed what He said, there would be a lot of people walking around with missing eyes, feet and hands, no family and no possessions. Paul is the one who thoroughly explains all that Christ's death and resurrection accomplished in his writings; mostly in Romans and Hebrews. Context is vital to understanding God's Word, and many of the Words of Jesus were showing our incapacity to fulfill the law apart from a Savior. 

Yes, Jesus wants us to forgive others but if a mother saw her child brutally murdered by the Nazis and could never forgive them but loved the Lord dearly, she would go to heaven. If our hands, feet or eyes cause us to sin, we have a Savior who paid the price for our sin. ALL of our sins {past, present and future} have been forgiven. Jesus wanted them to understand how much God hates sin. No, we don't have to sell all we have to gain eternal life but we must worship God and Him alone by believing in Him in order to have eternal life; for with God ALL things are possible. If lusting was the same as adultery, every man would stand guilty of adultery. If being angry with a brother was the same as murder, we would all be murderers. Jesus wanted them to know that God cared about their hearts and that even their thoughts and condition of their hearts condemned them. They needed a heart transplant. He came to give them a new heart! Everyone who calls upon His name can be His disciples without forsaking their family. He calls us to love and care for our families, but we MUST believe in Him for eternal life. 

He made a way for all of us by showing us that there was NO way we could ever attain eternal life without Him. When He was crucified, we were crucified. When He died, we died. When He rose again, we rose with Him. {Colossians 2:11, 12} He has put His Spirit within us. We have everything we need for life and godliness. His commands aren't burdensome. ALL of our sin is forgiven. Wow! What a Savior. All that He calls us to do is to believe in Him and His finished work, for He said, "It is finished." Now, walk with Him. He died to free us from sin and the Law, walk in the freedom that He has provided for us. 

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, 
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, 
till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:18

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Women are Still Chewing on the Forbidden Apple

Lindsay wrote a great piece on the Fifty Shades of Grey. TheJoyFilledWife commented on this post. Many times, I get posts just from her comments! She has such a heart for the Lord and for marriage. Here are her comments ~ 

I spent a great deal of time last night in prayer and sorrow for our nation. The fact that the pre-sell tickets for this movie have topped just about any other, shows the great depravity of our nation, as well as the sickly state of Christianity. It is said that the most tickets have been sold in the Bible Belt of the US -- obviously the majority being women -- and I sit here asking myself, "Where are the men of God that should be stepping in and telling Eve that not only may she not allow Satan to deceive her by eating the fruit, but that the 'fruit' is but a disguise for the bondage that accompanies it's consumption?" 

But, alas, the women of our society are reaping what they've sown all these years through their rebellion against the protection and authority of men. At a time when we women need the strength and power of men the most, few of them are anywhere to be found. Since we have, for decades, sent the message to men loud and clear that we are capable of taking care of ourselves in every capacity and have no real need for them, we are left to fight our battles alone, aided only by our immense vulnerability to deception that will ultimately leave us -- the weaker sex -- to be held captive with no knight to come and rescue us from the pit we have willingly thrown ourselves into. 

Oh Jesus, come quickly! Separate the wheat from the chaff and refine your bride so that she may shine like a light on a hill in this dark and dismal world. Sweet Savior, you are our only hope! Oh God, hear the prayers of your saints and be ever near to us, drawing us unto the shelter of your wings. The enemy roams the earth, seeking to devour and destroy, but we rest on knowing the Truth that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.

And Adam was not deceived, 
but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
I Timothy 2:14

***Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, the parents of the woman who stars in "50 Shades," won't even go see the movie. If you read my post, you will find out the trouble men are having enjoying normal sex, even with their wife because of the detrimental effects of porn, yet women are flocking to this movie hoping to have better sex lives, in reality, it is the vehicle that is destroying their sex lives. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Catering to Your Tastebuds

Do you cater to your taste buds? Do you only eat something because it tastes good without having any idea what is in it and what it does to your health? I want to encourage you to STOP! Everything you put into your mouth affects your health. It doesn't just go in one end and out the other.

Food is meant to nourish our bodies. Sure, a treat once in awhile is okay but why not make that treat something that does not have these ingredients in them like the Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix ~

Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, Dairy Product Solids, Vegetable Oil {Partially hydrogenated coconut or palm kernel and hydrogenated soybean}, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, and less than 2% salt, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Caseinat, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminosilicate, Mono-and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Aritificial Flavor, Sucralose.

There is not one healthy, nourishing item in this list. Sugar is very detrimental to your health and it is the first several ingredients. Hydrogenated oils are not even fit for human consumption and then there are chemicals that should not be ingested into the human body.

Instead, fix some organic milk {raw milk if you can find it} or coconut milk with organic cocoa powder, a little bit of stevia and pinch of salt and it will be much healthier for you; real food and nutritious. If you want a power bar, you can buy ones at the health food store with healthy ingredients or make your own from scratch. Cookies are easy to make with REAL ingredients; ingredients you can pronounce and food that hasn't been overly processed in any way. My daughters make these yummy Peanut Butter Cups when they have a sweet tooth!

We shouldn't depend upon our health care system to keep us healthy. Yes, they are wonderful to have in emergency situations but we need to be responsible for what is going into our bodies. Therefore, stop catering to your taste buds and cater to your body instead. Nourish it with food that will create good health and a strong body. Work on building a strong immune system and then go out and be salt and light to a dark and decaying world!

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, 
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweethearts For Life Even After Adultery

Her husband decided to leave her and cling to a Jezebel. His wife was controlling and this Jezebel made him feel desirable. He had papers drawn up to give his wife the home and some other things and another paper for divorcing her. She signed the papers to get the home and things but refused to sign the divorce papers.

He began seeing a change in his wife and became "spooked" about this Jezebel lady, yet he still had another affair with even another woman. However, after two long years of hurt and separation, Jimmie Ruth Matthews welcomed her husband home. This was based on obedience, not on strong feelings. 

She told him, “Lorne, I don’t feel anything for you.”

He said, “Well, you know, I don’t feel anything for you either.”  We both agreed that it was right for us to be together as husband and wife.  I remember, Nancy, when I finally came home, I began to see that she was a changed woman. I studied my wife. I didn’t see the same person—this clutchy, fearful woman that was so blanketing and mothering and controlling wasn’t there. She’s the same strong-willed person, but the beauty of coming to the place where . . . She sat down with me and we talked, and she said, “I’ve learned something. I’ve learned my significance. With you or without you, I am significant in Christ. I am somebody because I know Christ as my Savior.” 

She said, "I remember laying by Lorne and praying, 'Lord, this was not our idea. This was Your plan. I submit to You, first of all, and I submit to my husband because I know it honors You.' So it was years of just walking the Word."

 He said, "She submitted to the Lord, and she submitted to me. I hear about all these ministers who are falling and getting away from their wives. The greatest thing I believe in the world is the power of influence of a godly woman to love her man no matter what, and I have been given that treasure, and I am so grateful...The sign language has a sign for sweethearts. You'd think that sweethearts would be fingers all entwined together, but what their sign is is two strong personalities together facing each other. "

Nancy: You’re putting your fists together.

Something interesting that Nancy Leigh DeMoss' guest brought up during this powerful program was this statement: "When I started studying the patterns of covenant and the New Testament plan, I just could not see that was what God was saying in the Word {Matthew 19:9}. The Scripture they use says, 'Except it be for fornication.' So people think when a person has a mate that he's committing adultery, then what the Scripture is saying is that you can go ahead and get a divorce. But actually, the Scripture is referring to a Jewish betrothal pattern."  Nancy agreed with this interpretation and had remarked earlier, "Marriage is a covenant. It's a pledge to be faithful unto death, regardless of what circumstances my arise." {Not sure I agree with this interpretation, but I find it very interesting.}

These are hard words for many women in difficult marriages. I have mentored women whose husbands were having affairs. These men are in bondage to their sin. A godly wife who waits for her husband can be a huge testimony to the world and to her husband of God's faithfulness to all of them, even when they sin over and over again. She may even be the vessel God uses to save her husband's soul from damnation. I have seen and heard this happen too many times to not trust God and know that His ways are by far the best and most sure way for restoration in a marriage.

God allowed divorce only because of the hardness of their hearts. He hates divorce and He knows the destruction it causes on everyone involved and around the couple who divorces. If only women could have an eternal vision and know that by staying with their husband they are sanctifying their husband. Yes, it is very difficult, but eternally worth it.

What therefore God hath joined together,
let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:9