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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

The Sermon on the mount
(Nazarene Mountain teachings)

(Matthew 5:1 – 7:29 || Luke 6:20-23)

Chapter Five:
The Blessed and legal commentaries

Matthew 5:1-2 – The Setting

MT5:1 Observing the crowds Jesus went up into the mountains and after he reclined his disciples approached him. MT5:2 And Jesus opened his mouth and began teaching them.

Matthew 5:3-12 – Introduction: Attitudes for Happiness

|| Luke 6:20-23

MT5:3 “Blessed[1] the poor as to the spirit[2] for the Heavenly Realm[3] is theirs.
MT5:4 Blessed those mourning[4] for they will be comforted.[5]
MT5:5 Blessed the meek[6] for they will inherit the earth.[7]
MT5:6 Blessed those hungering and thirsting for righteousness[8] for they will be filled.[9]
MT5:7 Blessed the merciful[10] for they will be shown mercy.
MT5:8 Blessed the pure in heart[11] for they will see[12] The God.[13]
MT5:9 Blessed the peaceable people[14] for they will be called ‘Sons of The God.’[15] MT5:10 Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness.[16] The Heavenly Realm[17] is theirs.
MT5:11 Blessed are you when they reproach[18] and persecute and speak evil lies against you because of me.[19] MT5:12 Rejoice and exult[20] for your heavenly reward is great! For this is the same way they persecuted the former prophets.[21]

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[1] Blessed: Perhaps the opening words are among the most well known after the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule. Most of the key elements in the Beatitudes are expanded in the main body of the Nazarene’s sermon. These subjects are: poverty, comfort, mildness, righteousness, charity, purity, peaceableness, persecution.

The Greek word MAKARIOI is more than the English “happy” or even the KJV “blessed.” The English word “happy” generally means a temporary moment of elation. It is doubtful this is what the Nazarene had in mind. “Blessed” also falls short unless one thinks of the word as including divine favor. The Greek word here infers a supreme measure of joy because of a divine state of favor before the Father. It is variously rendered: how happy, how blessed. The Nazarene borrows the idea from the Psalms where the word occurs 28 times, often in a similar vein by David. “Happy” occurs 138 times in the Bible. Luke uses it the most often in the Christian Bible (17 times) and Revelation contains the Seven Apocalyptic Beatitudes, 7 times (Revelation 1:3;14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).

[2] The poor as to the spirit: This is the most literal reading according to the Greek, but it has been dealt with in various matters. Most prefer to render it, ‘the poor in spirit but that is not exactly what the Greek says. A possibility is Blessed the poor Spiritual. Various renderings are: destitute in spirit (RHM), rating themselves insignificant (AMP), those who feel their spiritual need (GDSP), humble-minded (PHI), how blest are those who know that they are poor (NEB), those conscious of their spiritual need (NWT). Perhaps the most direct commentary would be that of Luke who words this introduction simply, ‘Happy are the poor’ (Luke 6:20). Word Studies in the New Testament (Vol 1, page 36):

“It is very graphic and appropriate here, as denoting the utter spiritual destitution, the consciousness of which precede the entrance into the Kingdom of God.”

The word “poor” occurs 22 times in the Gospels. Perhaps Paul and James draw on the Master’s words when they paraphrase, ‘God chose the poor’? [1 Corinthians 1:27, 28; James 2:5] If we accept Luke’s bias we must understand Jesus’ words here as emphasizing poverty, a condition in which one must depend upon others for the necessities of life. This state is emphasized later in the sermon. The poor ‘spirituals’ have only God to look to for help. Jesus was poor as were his disciples and later Paul. The word group “rich(es)” occurs nearly 200 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 14:23 (Abraham) and most often in the OT, Proverbs (12 times) and in the NT, Luke (16 times).

Luke records perhaps another occasion in chapter Luke 6:24 in the very spirit of James 5:1, ‘Happy are the poor’ and then ‘woe to the rich’. The life of Jesus, the example of his Apostles in Acts chs 2-6, and the manner of Paul, all point to the deep meaning behind the word “poor” here. There is a danger in “riches” which Paul stresses at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. We feel the Greek PTOKHOI ought to remain as “Poor” or “the destitute” for this is Luke’s view and the “Poor” feature prominently in the Nazarene’s teachings.

[3] Heavenly Realm: (MOF) Literally this is “the kingdom of the heavens” but the Greek BASILEIA may refer to a seat of government in a monarchy or to the realm, domain or territory over which such a kingdom rules. Two views may be present here: a) an actual place in the future government of the King; or, b) opportunity for entrance into the Realm of Profession, or the Church itself. Sometimes Jesus uses the word “kingdom” to mean that position of rulership in the heavens and other times he refers to being a subject of the King. There are two kingdoms in the Nazarene’s teachings: 1) the Son’s; and, 2) the Father’s. Compare Matthew 13:41, 43.

The word “kingdom” occurs a total of 366 times in the Bible with 63 in Daniel. In the Nazarene’s teachings “kingdom” occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, and 45 times in Luke. It is a theme word or key topic of the Nazarene’s sayings.

[4] Mourning: Note how Luke 6:21 puts this, weeping. Messiah (the Christ) was anointed to ‘comfort those mourning in Zion.’ (Isaiah 61:1,3; Luke 4:16) Various renderings are: sad (BAS); know what sorrow means (PHI). The world is not an altogether happy place and life dishes out its share of pain. Paul describe it as ‘a season of groaning pain.’ (Romans 8:22) The word group “mourn(ing)” occurs about 100 times in the Bible.

[5] Comforted: Or, consoled, given courage. The comfort is found in God and that Spirit He sends through Christ as the Comforter (John chs 14-16). The word “comfort” is rare in the Nazarene’s teachings but the idea breathes throughout the body of his sayings (Psalms 126:5; 2 Corinthians 1:1-7).

[6] Meek: Various renderings are: gentle TCNT; patient KNX; humble-minded GDSP; of a gentle spirit NEB; happy are those who claim nothing PHI. The words of the Nazarene here are a paraphrase of Psalm 37:11 (LXX = HOI DE PRAEIS KLERONOUESOUSI GEN. Note Daniel’s KLERON at Daniel 12:13) The “meek” here are those who will possess the Kingdom (verse 3), will see God (verse 8) and who will ‘inherit the nations’ as does the Messiah (Psalm 2:8; 72:8; Daniel 7:14, 27). The Nazarene was characterized by a mild-temper but this did not prevent him from displaying his anger or rebuke against the religious powers as well as his own disciples. The meek are non-confrontational, non-adversarial, non-aggressive, and not given to insisting on their own opinions. Even the Nazarene says, ‘If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge.’ (John 12:47) Jesus was not judgmental save against those religious teachers who ought to know better (Matthew chapter 23).

[7] Inherit the earth: Note Psalm 2:8. These “meek” inherit the earth as the realm or territory of their rule (1 Corinthians 6:2; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:10).

[8] Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: This whole idea is right out of the Psalms (Psalm 63:1) and repeated in the Apocalypse (Rev 21:6; 22:17). Various renderings are: being and doing right (WMS); to see right prevail (NEB). Though many men may not thirst for righteousness in a moral sense, they do thirst for justice as seen in the multitude of revolutions throughout history. The Nazarene disciple must crave right or righteousness as if it were food. It is John who describes those ‘born from above’ as those who do not habitually sin but practice righteousness (1 John chs 2 and 3). This craving is not self-righteous or overly-righteous but a desire to see justice done with living evidence in the Saint’s life (Amos 8:11).

[9] Filled: Or, “satisfied.” See Luke 6:21.

[10] Merciful: Various renderings are: compassionate WEY; those who show mercy WMS. The Latin merci (French for “thank you”) is rooted in the gift paid mercenaries and so its strongest thrust is not forgiveness or judgment withheld as much as it is a gift of charity to the needy. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-judgmental, forgiving and charitable spirit toward those in greater need.

[11] Pure in heart: Various renderings are: clean in heart (BAS); utterly sincere (PHI). This phrase gets to the root of motives in all that the Nazarene Saint does. There are no hidden agendas or games to be played against others. Utter guilelessness, like that of their Lord, is an attribute of the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 7:26). Such a disposition is only learned after years of tolerance, patience, and that true selfless interest in others called “love”.

[12] They will see: Perhaps the most sublime hope ever given to humans. To see The God is a true prospect for the Nazarene Saint (See 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4). “Face” can have a metamorphic tone as a concordance will show (Job 33:26).

[13] The God: In Greek this is TON THEON as it is in John 1:1 and refers almost without exception to the Creator, the Almighty, The God. Though in English “the” is often omitted we feel it wise to include it in all cases where the article appears. The God stands in contrast to other “gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6)

[14] Peaceable people: Various renderings are: makers and maintainers of peace (AMP). See Romans 12:18 and James 3:18. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-adversarial, non-confrontational, and peace-seeking disposition. In Spanish translations this is often pacififadores from which “pacifist” is drawn. Ghandi taught, “I am willing to die for this cause, but there is no cause for which I am willing to kill.” This peaceable disposition is illustrated in the Nazarene’s later words at Matthew 5:22, 39-42. Compare Colossians 3:15.

[15] Sons of The God: This is a phrase used of angels in Genesis 6:1 and Job 2:1 and is the grand relationship of those willing to be peaceable in their natures, to become true children of God (John 1:12,13). This relationship is a feature of John’s Gospel and letters. If one wishes to be styled a child of God then peaceableness must characterize their Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1, 18).

[16] Persecuted for righteousness: The reason for the persecution must be for righteousness and not for some crime or evil as Peter himself teaches (1 Peter chs 2 – 4). The Nazarene’s audience were persecuted Jews under Roman domination. Additionally, Jesus knew of the future periods of oppression against his own disciples and foretold it at Matthew 24:9-11. Luke uses the word “hate” at Luke 6:22.

[17] Heavenly Realm: This can mean that ultimate “goal” which Paul sought (Philippians 3:14) and which is promised the Saints (Daniel 7:27) or that opportunity opened up by the Nazarene to enter the Realm of Profession, the Son’s “kingdom”, his Church (Matthew 13:41; 16:18; Colossians 1:13). As Paul writes, persecution is part and parcel of the Christian way of life (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12).

[18] Reproach: Various renderings are: MOF: denounce; GDSP: abuse; BAS: give you a bad name; WEY: every cruel thing; PHI: slanderous. Often, it is true, the source of this is from the present ruling powers; but, it is also true that this abuse comes from a religious source within one’s own Faith as in the case of the Jewish clergy against the Nazarene (John 16:1,2 and Acts chs 4, 5). The worse kind of reproach is from fellow believers who charge “apostasy” and thus make themselves liable to Gehenna (Matthew 5:2).

[19] Because of me: Elsewhere in the Nazarene’s teachings this is “because of my name” (Matthew 24:9) as historically demonstrated in the Book of Acts. It is the name “Jesus” or “Christ” that brings the reproach and persecution (Acts 2:38; 3:6, 16; 4:7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 30; 5:28, 40, 41; 8:12, 16; 9:14, 15, 16, 21, 27, 28; 10:43, 48; 15:26; 16:18; 19:5, 13; 21:13; 22:16; 26:9).

[20] Rejoice and exult: See Luke 6:23. Various renderings are: WEY: be joyful and triumphant; WMS: leaping for ecstasy; KN: glad and light-hearted. Luke also adds “excluded or separated.” (Luke 6:23)

[21] The former prophets: Surely, the Nazarene thinks of Elijah and his persecution by Ahab and Jezebel. Compare Matthew 23:35. Even Moses the Prophet was abused by his sister and other rebels. According to tradition Isaiah was killed by King Manasseh.

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

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Additional reading

  1. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  2. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  3. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  4. Right to be in the surroundings
  5. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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Daily portion of heavenly food

In this world lots of events demand our attention. We are pushed from one site to the other, having to do this, responding to that, needing to meet his person, or having to write to that one.

We have to face the hectic life of getting into business, having to do the shopping, taking care of the household, bringing the kids to school and to their after school societies or arts classes. They have their activities which demands their, but also our, attention. They want to get somewhere in life and we are wondering where we can get to. Who does not want to come somewhere at the top in life? But what may it be, having reached the goal or having become some one important. What does it contribute to our personal life?

Saint Padre Pio stated: "Through the stud...

Saint Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”. The Rosary: A Path Into Prayer by Liz Kelly 2004 ISBN 082942024X pages 79 and 86 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most people Christians allow the rush and crush of selfish ambition to deprive them of their daily portion of heavenly food. Oh, so often they forget what is most important in life. By forgetting the more spiritual matters it often happens they come like most citizens, bewildered in the mass of people trying to get somewhere in life.

Forgetting to take in their daily portion of spiritual food they must not be surprised, if they grow spiritually leaner day by day, and if “the peace of God” gives place in their hearts to the discontent which is growing in the world, notwithstanding the multiplication of their comforts and privileges.

Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh

Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should remember how important it is to have our daily Bible Readings. There are different ways to get around the Book of books in the whole year. Either you may go from chapter to chapter, until the end of the Bible and start all over again, taking perhaps another translation each time. Or you may follow the practical Bible roster or Bible Reading Plan provided by several Bible Students Groups, like the International Bible Students or the Christadelphians.

Next to those Bible readings we need some extra guidance and encouragement. This can be received by reading the daily notes or additional daily short meditations. Such literature can be like daily manna, the spiritual food which can take care that we grow and become more mature Bible Students.

We may not forget the Divine Creator Himself has given us His teaching. By His men He allowed the Words come unto many people all over the world in many languages. That way all over the world people can get to know and keep in their hearts those commandments God has given to the world. For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to those who are willing to listen to those words of the All Mighty. Those people who believe there exist that Supreme Being Who is eternal Spirit, can find His handbook for life, which has every guidance we need in it. This Super Power is more mighty than any man, and it is Him we should fear and not our fellow man. To His words we should give more attention than to the words of man. By reading them the readers shall find their character and their personality changing by the years. They shall be able to find kindness and truth, but should also be aware that favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man, plus good success can leave them if they do not continue on the right path.

We should trust in the Most High Lord of heavens, the God of gods, Jehovah with all our heart. Too many people today are leaning on their own understanding, convinced they have enough own insight. How mistaken they can be. God asks us to trust the Adonai with all our heart and not to rely on our own understanding.

In all our ways we should have respect unto Him by listening to Him Who has all the answers. Him we can trust to give our hand to be guided through life. When we allow Him to order our goings, we can be sure we shall be able to find easier ways in life. We therefore may not neglect the God’s Word. It will not be sufficient just to read His Word once in our lifetime. It also will not be sufficient to go to Him only when we are in trouble or find no way out. We shall have to show to God we are with Him and do love Him, not for what we might get from Him but out of honest feelings of love for Him and His creation.

We should all be aware that we will not enjoy life — really live — as God intended, without feeding regularly on God’s Word.

As human beings we do need water daily, our drinks and our other beverages. We can not survive without having food regularly. Spiritually it is exactly the same, we can not survive without our spiritual food at regular time intervals.

In case we do not eat properly we shall not be able to stay healthy. We need the necessary nutrients to stay strong physically. But we do not only have our physical body. We do have our brains and our way of thinking. To keep that healthy we shall need to give our brains the right impulses. We do need spiritual food to stay strong spiritually.

God’s Word — the Bible — is the food that feeds our faith, and gives us spiritual strength.

” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NHEBJE)

By every thing that God prescribes we shall be able to live. Like we need to feed our body every day, we also need to feed our spirit every day.

British Library Add. MS 59874 Ethiopian Bible ...

British Library Add. MS 59874 Ethiopian Bible – Matthew’s Gospel (Ge’ez script) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our daily Bible reading should be our standard activity whereby we virtually bind the Word of God around our neck, writing them on the tablet of our heart. Doing so, we will find favour and good repute in the sight of God but also of man. Acknowledging Him, He will make your paths straight.

To get regularly some of God’s Word into our mind we can build up some good habits, such as reading the Word every time we eat food, or every morning when when we awake, or right before we go to sleep. It does not matter so much when we take some time to read in the Bible or when we take some time to pray or have our little conversation with the One Who we love. We only should not postpone it and should remember every day.

We may not be wise in our own eyes. We should fear the Most High Divine Creator, Jehovah and turn away from evil. When we fulfil such daily routine of Bible Reading it will be healing to our body and be as a refreshment to our bones.

Let the Word of God with the daily readings exhort us so that God in all our ways shall direct our paths.

” My son, do not forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:  (2)  for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to you.  (3)  Do not let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.  (4)  So you will find favor, and good understanding in the sight of God and man.  (5)  Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  (6)  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  (7)  Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil.  (8)  It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:1-8 NHEBJE)

Taking every day the Bible into our hands to read in it we should also pounder and meditate on what we have read. We should let the Words of God go deeper in our mind. Not only letting the word coming into our minds, we should also allow the Word of God come out of our minds, speaking it to ourselves and others. Speaking the Word — especially when you personalize it, can really build your faith fast.

You can read the Word of God (the Bible) on your own or with others. Listening to others who read it aloud is also a nice way to share God’s Word.

Of course, nothing can replace your own reading of the Bible, or having it read to you. But additionally it may benefit you to include devotional reading, texts or meditations on biblical texts or Bible Fragments.

Charles Taze Russell

Charles Taze Russell

For this reason we would like to contribute to encourage you to think about certain Bible fragments and would like to present, or to do our part in providing, material to enrich you spiritually. Besides Bible Fragments we will on this site, in the future, places short devotions or thoughts and discussions of our confreres from the past. As such you shall be able to find some parts from Charles Taze Russell his “Daily Manna” which had far better success than the Bible Students had dared hope for at the turn of the 19th century.

At the beginning of the 21st century we too would like to present “Daily Manna” to provide our visitors and readers with  spiritual nourishment. We do hope we shall find enough people who are truly committed to seeking God and walking closely with Him, interested to meditate with us on the provided readings from the Bible as well as from previous writings by different Bible Students.

We shall regularly bring an extraction of God’s word, with or without commentary and present some thoughts to draw the sincere seeker closer to God on a regular basis.

Knowing that the hope for the world lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity to be brought to all by Christ’s Millennial Kingdom — but that before Jesus shall return everywhere in the world the Gospel shall have to be preached, we would like to bring our contribution to that preaching and hope that you would like to share the Good News with others.

We all should work at our self and help others to work at themselves to become more clean and ‘holy‘ so that we can set apart and be prepared for the return of Christ Jesus, when all the wilfully wicked will be destroyed.(Acts 3:19-23; Isaiah 35).

We wish we can stimulate you to look more into your Bible and to study further the Word of God.

Daily Heavenly Manna for the Household FaithFor the extra devotional texts we shall first present writings from the original edition of the “Daily Heavenly Manna” first published in book form on February 1, 1905 (R3498). The compiler, Sr. Gertrude W. Siebert was noted for making her
selections with “particularity and carefulness.”
The popularity of the first edition of 20,000 called for a subsequent printing of 40,000 in 1907 (R3967.) This second edition added the feature of interleaved lined pages for use as an “Autograph and Birthday record.” Its use as a follow-up for the colporteurs was suggested at that time, and some of their early experiences are recorded in R4561 and R5869.
By 1911, the popularity of the “Manna” was so great that a reader of the “Towers” suggested the use of the Wednesday text for the weekly Testimony meeting (R4770). A similar suggestion a few months later was amended by Pastor Russell to a suggestion for the Thursday text. (R4833)

In the past several people found comfort in the thoughts the Bible Students offered and some call it their “Heavenly Breakfast Food” and tell that they feast upon its lessons as regularly as the sun rises. Surely the little tithe of time daily
spent in partaking of its morsels of heavenly counsel cannot fail to profit all who partake.
The day opened with such meditations is sure to be the better spent and more profitable.
The heart thus turned to holy thoughts is much less likely to go aside from right paths than otherwise. “The wisdom that cometh from above” is thus gradually and easily assimilable, and cannot fail to bear some good fruit in the hearts of the saints, and to awaken reverence in the worldly.

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Additional reading:

  1. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  2. The big agenda item
  3. Walking in the Light of Life
  4. The giving and protecting God
  5. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Bible in the first place #2/3
  8. God’s Comfort
  9. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  12. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  13. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  14. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  15. My God
  16. The manager and Word of God
  17. Understanding what we read
  18. A time for everything
  19. Feed Your Faith Daily
  20. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  21. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  22. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  23. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  24. If you want to go far in life
  25. Grow strong in weakness
  26. Running away from the past
  27. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  29. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  31. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  32. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  33. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  34. Hello America and atheists
  35. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  36. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  37. Around C.T.Russell
  38. Russell and his beliefs
  39. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell

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  • { Armor of God } (alongtimetraveller.wordpress.com)
    Some of the most anxiety-ridden times of my life have also been the sweetest times of God revealing Himself to me. I can assure you that I would not be the same today without those moments. My fear drives me into God’s Word, which guides me into His comfort in my toughest times.
  • American Foundations The Bible? (wemmons.wordpress.com)
    How far down into this mud-hole of godless self-destruction can we go before the blessing and guidance of God is lifted off our nation? History has numerous examples of societies who chose to forget God and reject His design for their existence. The end results have never been good. When a nation fails to fulfill it’s God-given purpose, then it has no purpose, no vision and no reason to exist. Without a vision, or reason to exist, a nation begins to devour itself and soon becomes another footnote in the history books of other nations. Is this what we want for America? How much you pray and how well you vote will determine the answer!
  • Striving In Pra… (granaatbloeisels.wordpress.com)
    I always feel that one of the great factors in our own spiritual enlargement is a real active concern for others; not in the sense that we look after another’s vineyard and neglect our own, become “busy-bodies” as the Apostle would term it, occupied with everybody’s business except our own, but that there is a right and proper and fruitful concern for others. What the Scriptures that we have read bring before us is that God’s great revelation of purpose in the Church is not going to be realized without some tremendous and terrific conflict. There have to be those who throw themselves into that conflict for that end.
  • Conversation with God (lifeandtimesinthehood.wordpress.com)
    He used my everyday trials in life that all people go through in life; divorces, surgeries, health issues, relationships, etc. by turning them into a lie and used them against me. He did it so subtle that I thought I was doing all of it on my own; so that I would feel guilty and take the blame for all the negative feelings and own it as unworthy, worthless and unwanted. He did it little by little so I wasn’t aware of his presence.
  • Eighty Happy Students (smoothersailing.wordpress.com)
    There were 78 Bibles given out to some very thrilled students. One student said he was so excited to get a Bible because he could now have his own and be even closer to one day being a pastor. Other students were so excited to receive their Bibles they cried, sang and danced for joy.”
  • The Dark Knight of the Soul (theatlantic.com)
    Michael, 25, was a certified yoga teacher when he made his way to Cheetah House. He explains that during the course of his meditation practice his “body stopped digesting food. I had no idea what was happening.” For three years he believed he was “permanently ruined” by meditation.
    “Recovery,” “permanently ruined”—these are not words one typically encounters when discussing a contemplative practice.
  • Daily Meditations – Wednesday, July 2, 2014 (keys2kingdom.wordpress.com)
    By far the greatest gift ever received by us is the Holy Spirit Himself. Those who discover the value of His presence enter realms of intimacy with God never previously considered possible. Out of this vital relationship arises a ministry of power that formerly was only a dream. The incomprehensible becomes possible because He is with us.
  • Reasons Why I Do not Share The Gospel (fanaimasala.wordpress.com)
    Would you agree with me if I say these are the reasons why I do not share the gospel with others ?1. I am too busy.
    2. I don’t know how to share it.
    3. I am not smart enough.
    4. People don’t want to hear it.

    Well, all of these may have some influence, but I believe the real reasons are deeper.

  • Spiritual but not religious – Good or bad? (havau22.wordpress.com)
    Some school governors in Birmingham England have been accused of attempting to impose and promote a narrow faith-based ideology in secular schools. Should we be encouraging spiritual rather than religious education?
    +
    I would suggest that here there isan attempt to relate in prayer one-to-one with an image of a personal yet transcendent God.Being religious means accepting the value of knowing about divinely revealed ideas in religious culture and also being spiritual means finding the divine spirit within inner experience.
  • Pressing on To Maturity (disciplesforlife.wordpress.com)
    1. God’s desire and purpose for His image bearers is that we know Him. This call is especially so for believers who have been united to Christ
    2. Our growth in maturity is blocked not merely by intellectual issues, but by sin and love of the world, indicating a serious heart issue
    3. God calls us to press on toward maturity in the strength He has given: in prayerful reading and studying of His Word, asking for and depending on God’s help for our increased spiritual growth

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