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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

(#Mt 6:5-13) b) Prayer and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:2-4

MT6:5 “And, when you pray, be not as the hypocrites. For they like to pray standing in religious gatherings and in town squares to be viewed by others.[1] I tell you the truth: They have their full reward! MT6:6 But, you, when you pray, enter your private room and shut the door praying to your Father secretly.[2] And, the Father watching secretly will reward you.[3] MT6:7 But, praying, do not babble many words as the Non-Jews. For they think by uttering many words[4] they will be heard. MT6:8 So, you should not be like them. For The God your Father knows[5] what you need[6] before you ask. MT6:9 So, pray:[7]
Our Heavenly Father,[8]
Let your Name be sanctified.[9]
MT6:10 Let your Kingdom come.[10]
Let your Will take place,[11] as in heaven, also on earth.
MT6:11 Give to us our bread today.[12]
MT6:12 Forgive our debts[13] as we forgive those in debt to us.[14]
MT6:13 Bring us not into temptation[15] but rescue us from evil.[16]

[1] To be viewed by others: Compare Matthew 6:16: appearances. Various renderings: BAS: like the false-hearted men; PHI: like the play-actors; RHM: shine before men; WMS: to attract the attention of people.

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams d...

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams down on this ancient prayer book, bible and psalter, open to the Lord’s Prayer set to music. A rose lies on the open book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Praying to your Father secretly: See Luke 6:12: privacy. Various renderings: WEY: into your own room; NEB: into a room by yourself; RHM: and fastening thy door; BECK: who is with you when you are alone; PHI: pray to your Father privately; PHI: who sees all private things. Remember that even Jesus on occasion wandered off some distance from his disciples when praying.

The relationship with ‘love your neighbor’ in private prayers rather than a showy display is the affect such hypocritical prayers have on your neighbor. You give the impression you take yourself too seriously and judge your neighbor to be less “spiritual” than yourself. A private prayer in a cafe or restaurant without show is heard just as easily, or more so, by the Father.

[3] The Father watching secretly will reward you: The Nazarene does not explain what this “reward” is, only that it will occur. This requires “faith,” a word only occurring one time in this sermon (Matthew 6:30) and only in reference to his disciples – “little faith.”

[4] Uttering many words: Either “babbling” or “wordy”. Various renderings: GDSP: do not repeat empty phrases; WMS: repeating set phrases; PHI: don’t rattle off long prayers; NEB: do not go babbling on. For thousands of years religious worshippers have resorted to long prayers filled with a multitude of repetitions. Even the Nazarene’s famous prayer (the Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, pater nostra) has come in for many repetitions though Jesus counseled against that. Some Asian religions use prayer wheels, beads, and flags to continue their repetitions.

[5] Your Father knows: See Matthew 6:32: needs; and, Luke 12:30: Father knows.

[6] What you need: “Needs” not “wants.”

[7] Pray: This most famous prayer outlines what we call Nazarene Principles.

[8] Father: The First Principle. The word “father” occurs 1,180 times in the OT in a family or secular context but less than 15 times in a religious or spiritual relationship. Most of these apply to the Messiah, leaving only a handful with reference to the Saints. The idea is rare in Judaism but “father” occurs 134 times in the Gospel of John. In the Mountain Teachings Jesus uses “your Father” 8 times, “our Father” 1 time, and “my Father” 1 time for a total of 10 occurrences.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 615:

“In the oldest version of this prayer, the invocation reads pater, (dear) Father, and indicates abba as the Aramaic original. This means that when Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he gave them authority to follow him in addressing God as abba and so gave them a share in his status as Son.”

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 617:

“The description of God as Father never refers to any other individual or to mankind in general. To be a child of God is not a natural state or quality.… In Palestinian Judaism of the pre-Christian period the description of God as Father is rare. The Qumran texts provide but a single example.… We have yet to find an example of an individual addressing God as ‘my Father.’… Jesus did not teach the idea that God is the Father of all men.… It must have been nothing short of outrageous that Jesus should make use of the completely unceremonious Aramaic word abba.”

For more information search the words “sons,” “children,” “born,” or “begotten” in a concordance or computer program.

Almost all of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and much of Mark is similarly found in Luke. Additionally, Matthew and Luke have a large amount of material in common that is not found in Mark.

 Let your Name be sanctified: The Second Principle. The Nazarene does not use the opportunity to incorporate the noma sagrada or Divine Name (YHWH = Jehovah; Exodus 3:15) in his model prayer. Jesus uses the words “your name” with reference to the Father rarely in the Synoptic Gospels. In John the Nazarene uses the expression at John 12:28 and John 17:6, 26. However, he never uses or pronounces YHWH in these contexts. Why? In Jesus’ day the Jews refrained from uttering the name YHWH and substituted Elohim (God) or Adonay (Lord). The Jews never removed YHWH from its nearly 7,000 occurrences in the Old Testament. About the year 1,000 AD Jewish copyists began to incorporate vowel points in YHWH to warn to say God or Lord in its place.

Does the Nazarene ever use YHWH? The Gospel evidence would indicate this could only be when he is quoting the Hebrew Bible. It is now thought that the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, known as The Septuagint (LXX), had YHWH untransliterated in the Greek text. There is a good reason for this. The Greek language cannot convert the Hebrew letters for YHWH. Modern Greek dictionaries use dzehoba or Iekhoba for “Jehovah” but original Greek did not have an “h” as it were, other than a breath sound. Modern Greek attempts to capture the sound of the English pronunciation of the name.

Given the attitude of the Jews what would have happened if Jesus used YHWH in quotes or normal speech? Certainly equal to that misguided accusation that he violated the Sabbath! Yet the Gospels are silent on this. What about private meetings with his disciples when the use of YHWH could not cause a public stir? Compare the lengthy closing words in John chapters 13 to 17. Not once does Jesus use YHWH even though he alludes to the “name” four times.

Given the facts that the Jews do not attack him for violating their understanding of one of the Ten Commandments and the absence of his use in private speeches and prayers, it would seem he respected the Jewish tradition of the time.

This does not minimize the importance of the “Name” as Jesus’ words in his prayer shows. The idea of this sanctification occurs scores of times in the Hebrew Bible. Compare Exodus 3:14, 15 and 6:3.

Various renderings are: TCNT: May thy name be held holy; MOF: thy name be revered; PHI: may your name be honored. For more information on this subject see Nazarene Principles.

[10] Let your Kingdom come: The Third Principle. After the subject of the “Name” in the Hebrew Bible with its 7,000 occurrences of YHWH, the next most important topic is the Kingdom. The Messiah and his “kingdom” are inseparable (Note Psalm 2 and 110 as well as Daniel chapters 2 and 7). In the Nazarene’s teachings there are two “kingdoms”: the Son’s and the Father’s (Matthew 13:41, 42). The “kingdom” here in his prayer is the Father’s.

“Kingdom” is a word used often by the Nazarene. The word occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, 45 times in Luke and 5 times in John.

When does the Nazarene begin to reign? The Second Psalm is quoted by Peter at Acts 4:24, 25 and Paul at Acts 13:33 and applied to the resurrection and ascension of Christ in the year 33 AD. This was in fulfillment of Psalm 110:1 (Note 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Daniel chapters 2 and 7 would argue this kingdom’s beginning is during the reign of the “fourth kingdom” or Rome (Daniel 2:44; 7:9-14). Upon his ascension the Nazarene took up his Power as described by Paul at Ephesians 1:20-23.

Upon the Return or Arrival (parousia) of the Son of Man, and his gathering to himself his Saints, there will be a milestone in the King’s rule (Matthew 24:3, 30; John 14:2,3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 11:18; 12:10).

[11] Let your Will take place: The Fourth Principle. The “kingdom” is the agency by which the “Name” is sanctified and the “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:9, 10) or will of the Father is accomplished (Psalm 72; Daniel chapters 2, 7). God’s original purpose was for a global paradise (Genesis chapters 2, 3). His Will has not changed (Isaiah 45:18; 55:11). Messiah and his Saints will rule the earth (Psalms 2, 110; Daniel 7:13, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:10; 20:4, 6). The earth will never be destroyed (Psalms 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 72:8). The City of God will one day descend out of heaven to rule the earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4, 6; 21:1-5).

God has a “will” or purpose for “heaven” as Daniel 4:35 shows. This will for “heaven” will be realized by virtue of the Son and the Messiah’s Church (Ephesians 1:10; 3:9, 10 Colossians 1:20).

[12] Give to us our bread today: The Fifth Principle. The first four Principles of the Nazarene’s prayer deal with God, the last three deal with the individual disciple. The first of these, or the Fifth Principle, deals with that necessary bread for each day (Psalm 37:25). This is not “daily bread” but “bread for today.” From the Nazarene’s viewpoint it would be materialistic to pray for tomorrow’s bread (Matthew 6:33, 34).

Various renderings: ALF: our needful bread.

Prayer for “today’s bread” does not guarantee a disciple may not go hungry on occasion. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:27 and Matthew 25:37 (Philippians 4:11-13). Some see the daily offering of loaves at the Temple here.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 251:

“Origen suggested that we should understand it as eip ten ousian (the bread) necessary for existence. It can be supported by reference to Proverbs 30:8 and it reminds us of Exodus 16:4. The Israelites were to gather only so much manna as they needed for ‘the day.’”

[13] Forgive our debts: The Sixth Principle (Luke 11:14). Various renderings: WEY: shortcomings… those who have failed in their duty towards us; PHI: forgive us what we owe to you as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us. Note there is the tax collector’s tone here as earlier in debits, credits and rewards. Not only are financial debts canceled but moral and emotional debts as well (Romans 13:8: owe only love).

Forgiveness is a kissing cousin to agape or that love which has an unselfish, even selfless, interest out of pure motive for others. The word group “forgive” occurs 48 times in the Gospels (1 Corinthians 13:5: log, or, keep account; LOGIZETAI). Such forgiveness cannot be separated from love of neighbor. Such a quality ought to characterize the Nazarene Saint.

[14] Debt to us: This may be moral or emotional indebtedness but it also may be literal monetary debts (Luke 6:34). One of the clearest ways to judge a man is by his wallet and how he uses it in relation to his dealings with others. When it comes to spirituality, the use of money from the standpoint of God separates the men from the boys.

[15] Bring us not into temptation: The Seventh Principle. Various renderings: BAS: let us not be put to the test. This is a subject the Nazarene knows something about (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1; 22:40; Hebrews 4:15). The word group “tempt” occurs 36 times in the Bible and 14 times in the Synoptics, but not once in John. A related word “test” occurs 113 times in the Bible with 11 in the Gospels. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13 are good commentaries on the Nazarene’s words. God does not tempt or test one with evil, so He does not cause a prostitute pass before a man to test him. The Temptation of Christ had two phases: a beginning and an end. At the beginning he was tempted (tested) by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). These tests or temptations dealt with doubt in the word “if,” as well as greed and pride. The later test was manifest at the end of his life beginning in the Garden of Agony and finally, the Tree (Hebrews 4:15). Test or tempt really find their best definition in the word “endurance.”

[16] Evil: Some render the Greek PONERON as either “evil,” “wicked,” or Wicked One, alluding to the Devil (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1).

 

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Preceding articles

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers

Praying is surrendering in all circumstances

Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  2. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  10. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  11. Give Thanks To God
  12. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything
  13. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  14. Running challenge and the City build by the Most High Maker
  15. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  16. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  17. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. God should be your hope

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Further reading

      1. The Good Neighbor
      2. 7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 4)
      3. Should Christians Meditate?
      4. Are You Praying?
      5. Keep Praying!
      6. My Prayer for 2014
      7. Daily Bible Verse:John 14:6
      8. Jesus, Light of The World Praying the Scriptures through Advent Book
      9. Waiting On God
      10. In All Honesty
      11. Wait for it………….
      12. What Jesus is Praying For (May 12)
      13. Praying in the dark 1
      14. Praying in the dark 2
      15. Bend Your Head so You Can Stand Your Ground
      16. That’s it, I am Angry and I am Praying
      17. praying for hard things
      18. Unmasked
      19. I Believe in Praying ~
      20. Praying Hands
      21. Meditation/Betty’s Verse Of The Day/1-22-14
      22. Why Nothing Is Worth Grieving The Holy Spirit
      23. I’m Praying!
      24. Praying for God Peace ~
      25. Childlike praying
      26. Praying Through
      27. March 16 – Keep on praying
      28. Praying Scripture for strength and courage
      29. Seven lessons from Jesus’ prayer for us all…
      30. “Till death” (NOT)
      31. Kesha Takes the High Road in Powerful New Single, “Praying”
      32. My Personal Prayer
      33. Pray with love in your heart
      34. Today’s Thought: Why We Dare
      35. The Benefits of Praying in Public
      36. Let’s step up our prayer game
      37. Today’s Thought: The Invited Name
      38. Why praying is important
      39. The Bible uses different Facets to convey the meaning of Kingdom of God
      40. The Kingdom Of Heaven And The Kingdom Of God Compared And Contrasted
      41. Shadows of Messiah – Astronomy
      42. Into God’s Kingdom for New Jerusalem
      43. New Jerusalem: God’s House Becomes a City
      44. Christ, God’s House, God’s City, the Earth
      45. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God
      46. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God (2)
      47. The Glory of God
      48. Seek His Kingdom
      49. The Kingdom of God and the Marriage of the Lamb
      50. What Brings Us Near to the Kingdom of God?
      51. The Bilateral Ekklesia vs. The Kingdom of Heaven
      52. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – Pt. 4
      53. Luke 14:15-24
      54. All Things Are Possible with God
      55. The Power of Prayer
      56. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
      57. “Unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
      58. Summer in the City of God
      59. Jerusalem Jubilee
      60. The City of the Church
      61. Come let us Grow Together: The City of God
      62. The LORD of hosts is with us
      63. God is within her
      64. There is a River
      65. The City of the Great King
      66. The City of God – The Preface
      67. 66. A City to Come
      68. The Kingdom of Heaven
      69. Protection and Covering
      70. The Kingdom of God

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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Gospel by Matthew

Chapter six:

Love and money

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued

a) Charity and neighbor love

MT6:1 “But, listen to this:[1] Do not exhibit your ‘righteousness’[2] before men to be observed by them[3] or you will have no reward[4] from your heavenly Father. MT6:2 So, when you give charitable donations[5] do not trumpet before you as hypocrites[6] do in religious gatherings and roadways to be honored by men. I tell you in truth:[7] They have their full reward![8] MT6:3 But, you who give charitable donations, let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing.[9] MT6:4 So, your charitable donations will be secret. Then your Father watching secretly will reward you secretly.

[1] Listen to this: The Nazarene’s commentary on neighbor love continues and takes many forms and applications.

[2] Do not exhibit your ‘righteousness’: Motive is involved here. Nothing demonstrates more hatred for a neighbor than trying to be a “show-off” and parade self-righteousness in front of a neighbor. The Nazarene rabbi has not shifted from his subject of Leviticus 19:18 and neighbor love. He begins to give practical application to it with several examples.

Various renderings are: RIEU: exercise your virtues in public; NEB: make a show of your religion; MOF: in order to be noticed; WMS: to attract the attention of people. Compare Matthew 23:5.

[3] To be observed by them: The “them” are also your neighbors.

[4] Reward: A word and idea the Nazarene uses 8 times in the sermon (Matthew 5:12, 46; 6:1, 2, 4, 6, 17).

[5] Charitable donations: The Greek is ELEEMOSYNEN and may be rendered “gifts of mercy”. Various renderings are: TCNT: acts of charity; BAS: give money to the poor. The idea and word only occurs in Matthew in this sermon (Matthew 6:2-4) and 8 times in Acts. However, there are two occurrences in Luke of particular note: Luke 11:41, inner gifts of mercy; and Luke 12:33, where the apostolic Little Flock is commanded to ‘sell your belongings and give.’ Material giving is right at the top of the short list of Jesus’ favorite topics.

[6] Hypocrites: Various renderings are: PHI: like those play-actors in the synagogue; TCNT: praised by others; MOF: to win men; PHI: make sure that men admire them. The Greek word translated “hypocrite” is HYPOKRITAI (hypo + critic/judge) and refers to that mask actors wear when playing roles. It carries the idea of “two-faced.”

[7] I tell you in truth: This is literally “amen” and is often used by the Nazarene to stress a serious warning.

[8] Reward: Reward and credit or repayment is a much-used expression by Jesus as though God were an accountant keeping a tally of debits and credits in a ledger.

[9] Let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing: Right or left. There may be a scientific truth here for left-handed people operate mainly in the brain’s right hemisphere which is not the “knowing” or intellectual side. The Nazarene Saint must exercise caution in giving so that his motive and manner are pure. Compare Proverbs 19:17: giving.

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt. Also part of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (P. oxy. 2) Currently housed in: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding article

Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

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Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

MT5:43 “You heard it said: ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’[1] [Leviticus 19:18] MT5:44 But, I tell you: Love your enemies[2] and pray for your persecutors. MT5:45 And so prove to be Sons of your Heavenly Father.[3] For His sun rises upon the wicked and the good. And He rains upon the righteous and unrighteous. MT5:46 For what is your reward if you only love those loving you? Are not tax-collectors doing the same? MT5:47 And, what extraordinary thing are you doing if you only greet your brothers?[4] Are not the Non-Jews[5] doing the same thing? MT5:48 So, you shall be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.[6]

[1] Hate your enemy: The NJB ftn comments: “The second part of this commandment is not found in the law. It is the brusque expression of a language which has few half-tones and is equivalent to: ‘There is no obligation to love one’s enemy.’” However, one might find the spirit in Psalms 26:5; 101:3; 119:104, 113; 139:21, 22.

[2] Love your enemies: Barclay:

“There is no commandment of Jesus which has caused so much discussion and debate as the commandment to love our enemies.”

The Greek for “love” here is from AGAPE and many feel the English “love” does not do justice to this word. Barclay has it: “Seek the highest good of another.” Perhaps the best definition of AGAPE completely lacks the word in the context: 1 Corinthians 10:24, ‘Seek not for self but for others’ and Philippians 2:4, ‘Look not after self but others.’ AGAPE can be ruled by a) principle; and, b) motive. If the principle or motive be wrong then the AGAPE is misdirected. If the motive and principle are correct then the AGAPE is pure. There are only 4 occurrences of AGAPAO in the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings (Matthew 5:43, 44, 46; 6:24). Luke 6:27-35 outlines how this “love” is demonstrated: 1) pray for; 2) do good to; and, 3) lend without interest (Compare Luke 6:28 and Romans 12:20: enemies). Luke adds ‘pray for insulting’ and ‘do good to hateful.’ (Romans 12:14: bless) Your enemies are those who do not love you and are most often found among those bowing next to you in prayer or singing loudly God’s praises!

Paul argues that the “law’s fulfillment” is found in “love of neighbor.” (Galatians 5:14) If “love of neighbor” fulfills the law, what does “love of enemy” do? It leaps light years ahead of the Mosaic Law or Torah and puts before the average man a difficult, if not impossible task, unless one is committed to Nazarene discipleship.

[3] Prove to be Sons of your Heavenly Father: See Luke 6:35. Divine sonship does not come by birth as John 1:12, 13 shows. There must be a “birth from above.” (1 John chapters 3, 4) The strongest proof of this status as a son is to love one’s enemies. As Matthew and Luke show, the Father does good to both the wicked and unthankful. Thus, no Nazarene Saint can argue that one can withhold goodness from the wicked or ungrateful. It is the tendency to show kindness to those loving you, whereas God’s love is showered on those who might still ignore Him and continue to exist in a sinful state. With the Nazarene these are not mere words, for we see him demonstrating this again and again.

[4] If you only greet your brothers: Various renderings: TCNT: show courtesy to; GDSP: if you are polite to your brothers only; PHI: greetings only within your own circle. There is much of just plain good manners here and this graciousness is across the social board. The ultimate display of hate is to ignore greeting those with the simplest words that might indicate some spark of recognition or respect.

There is an exception which John, a witness to the Mountain Teachings, mentions at 2 John verse 10 in the context of known antichrists and deceivers.

[5] Non-Jews: This is ETHNIKOI in Greek, from which comes the English “ethnic.” The word means non-Jew and possibly rouses a certain feeling of superiority in Jesus’ audience. The Nazarene uses it four times in his sermon (Matthew 5:47; 6:7, 32).

[6] Perfect: This is the Greek word TELEIOI from TELOS (= “end”) and may be rendered “complete, mature, fulfilled.”

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Preceding article: Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

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Additional reading

  1. Christianity like Judaism God’s call to human responsibility
  2. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  3. Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments
  4. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  5. Luther’s misunderstanding
  6. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  7. Wrath kills the foolish man, and envy consumes the covetous one
  8. If You want to start winning the war
  9. Love one another; just as I have loved you
  10. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  11. Leaders in disguise
  12. The days are coming
  13. Today’s thought “Clothing yourselves with the right attitude” (May 16)
  14. Thought for September 8 Weak but standing strong in the ground swell
  15. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  16. Improving the world by improving the Faith
  17. Time Has A Way Of Healing

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Further reading

  1. The Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) –
  2. Let’s Get Practical.
  3. A Love-Hate Relationship
  4. Love Your Enemies
  5. Matthew 5 – The Sermon on the Mount
  6. The divinely approved enemy
  7. When Belief Shows Up In Behavior.
  8. Godly Love.
  9. Peter Doesn’t Hold Back – Acts 4
  10. Proverbs 10 – Integrity and Love
  11. Proverbs 21 – Finding Life, Righteousness, and Honor
  12. 5 Reasons Why I’m Not a 5 Point Calvinist – A Biblical Response
  13. The suffering of the rightous
  14. TFTD – 05 July 2014 – Thoughts from Today’s Bible Readings
  15. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 10:1-15
  16. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise Matthew 5:27-32
  17. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise5:33-37
  18. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 5:43-48
  19. Matthew 5:44-45
  20. Forgiving Others
  21. Forgiveness 1
  22. Forgiveness 2
  23. Forgiveness 3
  24. Forgiveness 4
  25. Is Forgiveness The Key To Happiness?
  26. Forgiveness: An Act of Self Love
  27. Daily Inspiration – Forgiveness is a Wonderful thing.
  28. Expressions of Love
  29. How to Love the Unlovable
  30. Forgive Your Enemies
  31. Today’s Scripture reading (Love your enemies)
  32. Daily Bible Verse Matthew 5:44
  33. Scripture Verse Of The Week ‘Matthew 16 verse 25’
  34. Rise And Stand
  35. Resistance Isn’t Futile
  36. Friday, September 5, 2014
  37. Targeted Attacks by The Enemy
  38. At Odds with the World
  39. When we put on the “armor of God” – let’s not to forget to “walk humbly”
  40. Paris – Charlie Hebdo? The only way to win this thing is to love
  41. Paris terror and Christian response to evil
  42. When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. 
  43. Do not gloat when your enemies fall
  44. Of Dissonance and Hashkafah
  45. On A Common Curse
  46. One More Way How Not To Become A Saint
  47. Peace child
  48. What compassion, what patience
  49. Love in Action
  50. Jesus Motivates Us to Move to a Higher AGAPE Love Walk!
  51. Agape Love vs. Erotic Love

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Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion

The Biblestudents encountered already many problems in France and were forbidden to teach or preach in public. The Catholic church did not have any problem because many in France consider themselves Catholics. Lots of those Catholics protested against the Muslim community growing in their country, never questioning why so many where leaving the Catholic faith and found themself disillusioned and cheated by that big organisation, which claims to be the true religion.

Examples of hijabs in different regions

Examples of hijabs in different regions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few weeks many of those French were calling blue murder and wanted a ban on everything that smelled to Islam. By doing so they got the clear thinking minds also in their back-garden, because lots of French want the burqini (burkini) banned in France. (Some other countries want to follow suit.) Though several people noticed also that the burqini was covering less of the body than certain habits of Catholic clergy. So why would the French police allow nuns to go in the sea with their habit but humiliate Muslim women dressed in a fashionable swimwear called burqini (burkini)?

Several French people shouted that burqini’s to be dangerous clothing (?!?) that should be forbidden. We wonder what could be so dangerous about that attire. The Catholic nuns and priests have much more space to hide dangerous weapons or to wear bomb belts than those women who wear a burqini.

Now it came to happen what hung already some time in the air. It was clear that the governement not only wanted to get the attention away from her inability to protect the French people, they also would love to get any form of religiosity out of their community.

As citizens of a country one would expect the interior ministry’s responsibility to guarantee security and to decide the severity of responses which however must never become provocations that could potentially attract attacks. The governement should do everything to have the different groups of people, from different origin and cultures, living together in unison. but now it looks like the governement does everything to put oil on the fire and to get as many people against each other.

English: Two Muslim women watching the sea in .

Two Muslim women watching the sea in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In name of secularism the French governement decided to abandon any religious sign/symbol or religious badges in public places, and as such does not want their citizens to show in their clothing what they believe. Christian youngsters who previously wore fishes or crosses, yarmulkes, scarves or any other religious clothing shall shall not allowed to enter the school because it is now prohibited in the schools, which started today.

What started off as an attack on the Muslim woman has now become a general attack on the freedom of religious thought.

Clearly there are many Europeans who, seemingly sincerely, think women are not strong enough to decide for themselves what for sort religion they want to belong to or what sort of clothing they want to wear.

Striking is it that mainly men have the greatest objection to those Muslim women wearing covering clothes. Though also several Western women do not want to accept that those European ex-Catholics can make up their mind for themselves and decide for themselves which religion to belong to and what to wear.

france-swimsuit-burkini-ban-decree

A woman’s swimsuit measured in the name of modesty (1925); woman forced to undress in the name of liberty (2016)…as seen in “Men Won’t Stop Controlling Women’s Dresscode” by Nuha ElZubeir, Identity Mag

Some decades ago women were penalised when they had clothing on, which showed some bare legs or arms. We ourselves knew our parents to wear covering swimwear and many of us had problems when they wanted to run outdoors with sleeveless shirts or short trousers. Now half a century later it looks it has to have come the opposite, when somebody wants the body covered he or she is looked at as doing something wrong. In France it has even become so far to call the covering of body parts indecent and against morals and French values.

Has it become that French morals today dictate that men and women should have as much as possible bare body parts, though not fully naked, because that would take the sensuality away and would make everybody the same. They prefer that the nudity is accentuated but not hidden. When hidden, it proofs today, then the French are getting uneasy.

French men seem not to like it when a woman wear what she wants. They do not seem to believe a woman is capable of that. As soon as a woman prefers certain body parts covered they call it her being oppressed by some one else (her husband, her parents, her religious leader). They do not seem to see or to understand, that such woman perhaps can be much stronger than all those who follow the fashion magazines and always want to be by the time wearing the latest hype.

Well this time they also have a hype. All the smear campaign made that the sales of the burqini are booming.

Hopefully lots of women also dare to show that they are themselves able to decide what to wear, what to show or what to hide of their own body, that is their own property and not the property of the onlookers at the beach or on the street. For a woman to be in charge of her own body, that seems to be a big problem in the macho world of the so called land of liberty, freedom and equality.

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbu...

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbul are having “an Apple” for lunch. This photo was taken on a sunny day in April 2007.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When women would be equal, why want they listen more to them who can speak for themselves? Why do they not want to believe them?

For those who are Catholic or for those who say they are Christian, they should be aware that Jesus had a loving spirit for all around him and did not show favouritism to those who would have been dressed in such or such a way.

In the Tanakh, Messianic Scriptures and in the Quran, the Divine Creator of everything, Allah, the God of gods, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, demands of those who love Him, to love their neighbour as themselves. God demands those who love Him, to respect all creatures God allows here on earth. As such God demands from believers in the Almighty to respect other believers, even if they are heathen or do not want to know anything of God.

As Christians we should respect those who believe in Allah/God, but want to belong to an other religion than ours. We should respect also their choice of denomination or Islamic group, and if they want to follow the rules of a certain Islamic (or other) group we should respect that as well. This mean if they feel they should cover up their body, though we also know it is not explicitly so described in the Holy Writings, we should respect their choice.

We also should recognise that those shouting and saying their concerned about their values, are having the wrong values, because covering body parts is more ethical and respectful than to flaunt with naked body parts.

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Find also to read about the burqini or burkini:

  1. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  2. Gender connections
  3. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  4. What is Racism??
  5. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  6. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  8. France and the Burkini
  9. French showing to the whole world their fear and weaknesses
  10. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  11. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  12. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  13. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  14. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  15. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  16. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  17. You are what you wear
  18. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  19. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  20. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  21. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  22. When will it stop
  23. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  24. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

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Further of interest

  1. Bombs in a burkini?
  2. I got 99 problems and the burkini is one of them…really?
  3. 99 Word Blog (#024) Banned Burkinis
  4. Fleeing The Hijab
  5. Current Events Corner 8/16/2016
  6. “France is at War with its own Citizens” – Yasser Louati on the Cannes “Burkini” Ban
  7. Uproar in France over ‘burkini ban’ at Cannes beaches
  8. #62 French police force Muslim woman to remove her Burkini on Nice beach (photos)
  9. Undress for safety
  10. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  11. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  12. Why are the burqa and burkini being banned?
  13. Fashion vs the Government: The Burkini Debate
  14. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  15. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  16. Burkini and French Secularism
  17. Ban of burkini: theresult ofmalechauvinism or secularism
  18. France’s Burkini Ban: Identity politics go to the beach
  19. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  20. Banning The Burqa And Burkini Is Not The Correct Liberal Response To Conservative Islam
  21. The Hypocrisy of the Burkini Ban
  22. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  23. Corsican town becomes third in France to ban the burkini after #Islamics riot
  24. France’s Burkini BigotryBurkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  25. To Burkini Or Not To Burkini: The Ages Of Men Deciding What Women Should Wear
  26. French Burkini Bans Face Legal Challenge as Tension Mounts
  27. France has for its name, the contrary of Liberty and Fraternity practice.
  28. A cover story
  29. Does France have a problem with racism?
  30. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  31. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  32. Beachwear bull
  33. Women protest French burkini ban outside French Embassy in London
  34. Show us your bits..
  35. It’s Always the Cover Up
  36. Thoughts of the Day: Burkini Ban
  37. Doing something for something’s sake is a dangerous strategy
  38. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  39. Burkini beach
  40. Islam, France, Burkini: A chit chat on FB
  41. Facebook 45 – Suorkini
  42. The burqa-One mermaid’s opinion
  43. burkinis or bikinis?
  44. Burkini vs Bikini
  45. The Burkini
  46. Burquini – How It Happened
  47. Burkini Ban: Nice
  48. Cannes Ban
  49. Why the Burkini ban poses a threat to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike
  50. #Burkiniban – the problem is veiled ideology
  51. 24 August 2016 – All Lives Matter (or Overly Clad Women)
  52. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  53. Dear French PM, The Burkini Ban Is Abhorrent
  54. Burkini being a threat
  55. The Burkini ban
  56. Liberty, Equality, Bigotry?
  57. From Bloomers to Burkinis: The Same Old Story? by Sarah Ansari
  58. Modern feminism makes no sense at all
  59. Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the Burkini : “C’est une provocation”.
  60. And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban
  61. Can’t we just put all the cards on the table?
  62. The folly of the #Burkiniban
  63. Bitches, Puhleeeeze….
  64. Ban the Burkini.
  65. The Burkini Ban
  66. Everything under the sun
  67. Very simple solution RE: Olympics and Burkini
  68. Next time I go to swim I might wear a good burkini
  69. Saudi Arabia Bans Stripy Fisherman Shirts and Berets
  70. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  71. The Burkini Ban Is Pointless And Racist
  72. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  73. So! (en) | Islamic veil across Europe
  74. Pope urged to wear swimming trunks
  75. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  76. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  77. Freedom of choice. It’s not so simple.
  78. Europe has been awash with racial tension this summer
  79. France’s ‘burkini ban’, one step too far?
  80. In hiding
  81. #BurkiniBan
  82. France has ‘misunderstood’ burkini, Australian designer says
  83. “Burkini” Ban Accomplishes Nothing Positive
  84. The Hijab and MeIslamophobia or nah?Islam and the downfall of European culture
  85. The Islamisation of my Country – 1
  86. So let me get this straight…
  87. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  88. New Feminism – via Unapologetics
  89. Ban the Burqa, Allow the Burkini :: Middle East Forum
  90. If you ever had any doubt that Bill O’Reilly of FOX News wasn’t actually a Muslim-sympathizing liberal, this will remove it
  91. Quebec opposition MNAs reopen divisive debate over religious attire with call for ban on burkinis
  92. Salafist fuckin’ la revanche
  93. The best tweets showing the absurdity of the #BurkiniBan on French beaches
  94. Australian burkini designer profits from French ban
  95. Burkini, Bikini. Potato, potarto.
  96. New Feminism
  97. “Burkini”ban in Quebec: Samer Majzoub interview on CJAD by Aaron Rand.
  98. Why an Italian atheist should thank France for the burkini affair
  99. Kini Miney Mot
  100. More French towns spread ban on the burkini
  101. How Western is the Bikini?
  102. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  103. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  104. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  105. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  106. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  107. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  108. You may find this offensive The Burqini Ban
  109. Burkini and French Secularism
  110. Islam and the downfall of European culture
  111. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  112. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  113. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  114. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  115. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  116. Does France have a problem with racism?
  117. Burkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  118. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  119. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  120. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  121. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  122. French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
  123. United Nations Strongly Condemns French Authorities Decision to Ban Burkani
  124. What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini
  125. You’ve Got to BurKining Me!
  126. To bare or not to bare
  127. French city Nice suspends its ban on burkinis
  128. Young Muslim Americans say discrimination is ‘worse now than after 9/11’
  129. US Muslim Women Debate Safety of Hijab amid Backlash
  130. Lifting Veil off Attitudes about Niqab, Hijab
  131. The niqab ban: 2011-2015 – The new Liberal government officially puts an end to the former Conservative government’s attempt to ban the niqab during the citizenship oath
  132. June 24, 2015: Under the Niqab
  133. The Niqab Debate
  134. Niqab issue is thinly veiled racism
  135. Niqab issue is about fear of the unknown
  136. Niqab issue being ‘pushed on the populace’
  137. Is Muslim female face covering nothing more than sharia Bolshevism?
  138. The Niqab Time Bomb
  139. Worse than niqab issue: pajamas worn in public
  140. The ‘enemies of reason’ are inside the gates
  141. Islamism, Feminism & Defiance
  142. Why we stopped wearing the Hijab
  143. The “Racist” Man at Target
  144. Video: Pregnant Muslim Woman Verbally Abused On London Bus
  145. Muslim Woman Allegedly Abused In Hospital Maternity Ward
  146. Assault On Niqab Wearing Women Shows The Male Violence Many Suffer
  147. Muslim Girl Punched In face In Birmingham For ‘Wearing A Hijab’
  148. Man Attacked Muslim Woman And Stabbed Boy In The Face Outside Melbourne State Library
  149. Muslim Woman Abused In Tesco Store For Wearing Face Veil Urges Victims To Report Hate Crime
  150. Middle East Lifestyles – What about the ladies?
  151. Bigotry veiled as liberation
  152. YSL or “Shut Up and Run”
  153. Unveiling the reality
  154. Advice to the Muslim Women by Sheikh Saalih al Fawzan
  155. My Thoughts On Religious Headscarves

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Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

When calling yourself a Christian this has to mean you are following Christ Jesus, the Nazarene Jew who God declared to be His only begotten son.

Calling yourself Christian also means you want to become one with Christ, like Christ is one with his Father, the Only One True God. Such oneness shall not make you into God like it did not make Jesus into God. But your condition of your heart should come close to the condition of Jesus’ heart, full of joy in the willingness not to do your own will, like Jesus did not do his own will (which he would have done when he is God) but prepared at all times to do the Will of God.

As a follower of Jesus (what being a Christian also would mean), your heart should be full of love for others like Jesus had an incredible love for other people, even willing to die for them. All things were delivered unto Jesus of his Father. This man we should follow revealed the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Jesus asked us to come unto him, all that labour and are heavy laden, and he will take care that we may find rest. As followers of Christ we do have to take Jesus’ yoke upon us and learn of him, for he was meek and humble of heart, and we shall find rest for our souls.

“27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:27-29 NIV)

We have our heart which functions as the source of thought and reflection.

“Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”” (Isaiah 6:10 NIV)

“21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.”” (Mark 7:21-23 NIV)

As Christians we should hear and try to understand what Jesus Christ tells the world and may we not ignore those things he says, like about his heavenly Father being greater than him. With our heart we should come to understanding

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:5 NIV)

“So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:25 NIV)

The biblical truth we should take at heart and not the human doctrines which bring fog in our eyes and ears and wants us to believe doctrines which are not written in the Bible.

Therefore let us take the words of the Bible at heart in the knowledge that they provide wisdom to understand but also to rule justly and wisely, and discerns good and evil.

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (1 Kings 3:12 NIV)

“The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” (1 Kings 10:24 NIV)

“The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing.” (1 Kings 2:44 NIV)

Following the master teacher rabbi Jeshua, like the son of David, his ancestor and the other prophets send to the world, our heart should also represents the idea of will and conscience.

“Afterwards, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.” (1 Samuel 24:5 NIV)

“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”” (2 Samuel 24:10 NIV)

Let us request for a pure heart as a centre for decisions, obedience, devotion, and intentionality, which is the desire for a new and more perfect conscience.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:21 NIV)

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885-1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the heart we can meet God’s word, listen to it and take it at heart. It is there where it has to ripen and grow and where the seed has to be planted to become a disciple of Jesus, following his tasks, like going out into the world to preach that Word of God, bringing the Good News of the coming Kingdom. Like Jesus feared his heavenly Father and was a faithful servant to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, we too should become such a faithful servant and consider all the great things which come over us by the Grace of God.

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 NIV)

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 NIV)

“O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.” (Psalms 116:16 NIV)

“”Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18 NIV)

“Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”” (Acts 4:30 NIV)

“”No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’” (Matthew 24:48 NIV)

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”” (Luke 17:10 NIV)

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” (Romans 6:6 NIV)

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6 NIV)

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NIV)

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14 NIV)

“”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”” (John 18:37 NIV)

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17 NIV)

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42 NIV)

We may have be bound by the world but our heart should leave that world of human beings who have no interest in God. Our heart should be open for them to call them to come to Jesus and his God, the only One true God, the God of Israel.

In our heart should be the location where conversion takes place.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“”Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”” (Joel 2:12 NIV)

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (Acts 2:37 NIV)

When our heart is at the right place, sharing the love of Christ with others, making us to a good example for others, we shall be able to bring those who may come open to receive the call of God, closer to the gates of the Kingdom of God, which is open for all those who come by Christ and live according to the Wishes of God.

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Preceding articles:

Words to push and pull

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Life is too precious

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Additional reading

  1. A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago
  2. Letter to a Non-Christian Nation
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  4. First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  7. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  8. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  12. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  13. A disciple of Christ “hating” the world
  14. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  15. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  16. The Mountain: Radical Love
  17. To be chained by love for another one
  18. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  19. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  20. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  21. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  22. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  25. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  26. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  27. If You want to start winning the war
  28. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Following the leader
  31. Followers with deepening
  32. Called Christian
  33. Only I can change my life
  34. Foundation to go the distance
  35. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  36. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  37. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  38. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  39. Not he who prays most or fasts most is the greatest saint
  40. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  41. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Hope does not disappoint us

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Related articles

Words to push and pull

Words to bring message

As a preacher we need to use words to get people to the subject where we want them. In the United States of America we can find many mega churches where lots of words are brought in a whirlwind show. Several preachers throw up hell and torment, others promise heaven on earth in material wealth in this lifetime.

Jesus called his followers to bring the Word of God about salvation. Jesus brought the Good News of the Kingdom of God. His apostles continued to bring that message of hope and we should do likewise.

To bring that important message of hope we should also push people to take the Torah seriously, and to go and spend more time looking in to the Holy Scriptures. When we preach it should not be our own words lying on the foreground, but the Words of God should have the place of honour. We should pull in those who are willing to listen to us, by not taking ourself too seriously. Relativism is very important in life, also for the preacher.

Renewed platform

English: Street Preacher holds sign that reads...

Street Preacher holds sign that reads “Discover forgiveness for all your sin and eternal life in the Living Jesus” in Times Square, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we can have our words resound via the internet. Now it is possible to distribute biblical study materials without traditional costs. The modern media can be a vehicle for exegetical and expositional articles. {Exegetical articles are concerned with laying bare the various layers of meaning in a text without regard to the application of this information to the ecclesia. Expositional articles are exegetical and in addition show how the textual material is relevant to the ecclesia.} Devotional and homiletical material also can be presented like articles relating to prophecy, to current affairs.  Would it not be easy to find such things on one place? Well, the renewed “Stepping toes” would love to do that, and is also looking for writers to do so. The website would like to become a platform where the news is presented of the teaching efforts of many who have Jehovah God as their God and Jesus (Jeshua) as their Master teacher. Aside of the religious news they would not mind to place doctrinal and apologetic articles as well. but they want to show an open-mindedness to the faith and do believe everybody can be in a different stage of believes in his life and can have different opinions about certain matters. Those differences can be interesting to look at; Instead of criticising the other idea, ‘Stepping toes‘ would love to see it possible that people of different opinion can come peacefully together and listen to each others various opinions about same matters. “Stepping toes” would love to see people taking up their Bibles and to check what the Word of God is telling. We do have to compare our thoughts with the thoughts of others and with the Word of God as presented in the Holy Scriptures.

Chances to grow spiritually

In case we do want to grow we do need Bible Study. We do need the Word of God looked at from different angels. We should be willing to listen to the different viewpoints, encountering many frames of reference. We should be willing to question our own ideas, or our own understanding of certain passages in the Holy Scriptures. By looking at different interpretations we can see what the possibilities are and where we or others go wrong in the interpretation. Only by giving the opportunity to have new material or new insights to be presented we shall give ourselves and others the opportunity to grow in the faith.

Studying the Bible is not looking at the Bible only to see and hear what you want to see or hear. It is opening your mind to have it fed with several ways of looking at the world, and by the need of taking time to think about what is said in the most holy of books.

We should meditate in the Bible day and night, to run your mind with the Holy Spirit, willing to give space in your mind and in your heart for the Spirit of God as your Life Power. We may not only concentrate on one part of the Guide of God. He has given us the Books of books, the Old and New Testament. The old testament gives us more insight about God’s personality. The New Testament tells us about the son of God, what we should do in our life and which way we do have to go in life. It also gives us a look at the development of the first ecclesiae.

Reading regularly the many books we should use the “observation, interpretation and application” techniques beginning with an outline — this process can and should take hours as it is slow but provides for a deeper love for God and His promises and a new respect for His holiness.

Helping each other

“Stepping toes” would love to give help so that we do not to wrestle through the scripture on our own. If we don’t understand something or a word, we should research it and see if it takes us into a deeper understanding of Who God is. This research we do not have to do alone. There are many people studying the Bible, if they only wanted to share a little bit more their findings. On “Stepping toes” such findings can be presented. There only have to be more writers be willing to join such a platform where people might have different opinions. Most people only want to be with and hear only like minded people. In the love for God and in the love for Christ, Bible-students like some Christdadelphians do believe we should share our understandings with others who are also part of the Body of Christ.

English: The Bible

The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you need an encouraging word, or you’re in a negative environment, it’s good to know that you can find life (plus healing and health) in God’s Word. Sharing those words and findings with others give you the opportunity to help others also to find a better life. Out of love for the neighbour we should share our findings from Bible study. The Bible is such a huge work of inspiration and knowledge that it may demand more than just a few hours to get a grip of it. By sharing ideas about it we can help each other to get more knowledge much quicker. So out of love we should be happy when we are asked to give our opinion and to share our knowledge with others.

For us there should be no more important skill than handling our Bible with understanding and accuracy. There’s no greater joy than digging into and discovering biblical truth on your own, but it may be a great asset when others are willing to help in the process of exploration.

The unregenerate man may understand a little bit about the history in the Bible, he may understand a few of the words in the Bible but he’ll never have a Biblical knowledge in the sense that it works out in his living. He may get some head knowledge by reading and understanding and studying to a certain degree, but it’ll never be the real kind of knowledge that the Bible talks about because it never works out in his life.

Stimulating each other

Getting together with different people can stimulate each-other to sincerely look into the bible. Having the knowledge that we can be in a circle of people committed to reading the Bible, willing to share their knowledge, we ourselves might feel more comparably and easier to share our thoughts.

All of us have the Ketuvim, the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), after Torah (instruction) and Nevi’im (prophets) which provide us with the necessary knowledge to go through this life. Even the American novelist Thomas Wolfe recognised:

“[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth — and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.” {Christianson 2007, p. 70.}

The title of the book Ecclesiastes in Hebrew Koheleth, meaning “Gatherer“, but traditionally translated as “Teacher” or “Preacher” brings also to the task a Christian should do, namely gathering, learning, teaching and preaching, using all the Wisdom the Word of God provides. Keeping it to yourself would be a selfish attitude and not in accordance with the commandments of Christ.

Actions of men

Koheleth introduces himself as “son of David, king in Jerusalem,” perhaps implying that he is Solomon, proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently hevel, meaning “vain”, “futile”, “empty”, “meaningless”, “temporary”, “transitory”, “fleeting,” or “mere breath,” as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. But we can make something of our life by following Christ Jesus and taking up the task he has given his followers. Going out into the world and gathering or meeting with like-minded people, pulling and pushing each other to look and to find the way to enter the Kingdom of God.

By sharing ideas with each other we can help each other to encounter life in light of how and Who we know God to be and will expose His promises in clear ways.

Koheleth reminds the reader that wisdom has its limitations and is not man’s main concern. Koheleth reports what he planned, did, experienced and thought. His journey to knowledge is, in the end, incomplete, and the reader is not only to hear Koheleth’s wisdom, but to observe his journey towards understanding and acceptance of life’s frustrations and uncertainties: the journey itself is important.

A journey to make together

We also have a journey of which we can tell about our experiences, so that others may learn from it. In such a way “Stepping toes” also wants to tell stories of what other people underwent, what happens in this world in which we do have to find means to live in. All those stories should be able to give a picture of where we stand at the moment and where we are going to.

Lots of Christians should start to look further than their little corner, their own church community and should meet other Christians and be willing to discuss in a peaceful way about the Way (the way we do have to live, what we do have to do to enter the Kingdom of God). We can not hide ourselves in our little cocoon and not worry about what is going on in the world. We should be interested in what is going on in the world around us and should be interested to help out where we can.

God does not want a passive life in this world, but He wants us to be active practitioners of love for our neighbours. Showing interest in others is one way of showing your love. Sharing the Word of God with others is one of the most important tasks to prove our faith in God.

Lets do it! Lets go out and share our Biblical knowledge. Witness in the Name of the One and Only One God of gods, Jehovah.

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Please do find Stepping Toes:

  1. Stepping Toes, a site which possibly can upset someone
  2. About Stepping toes
  3. Aim of Stepping toes site

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Additional reading:

  1. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. Bible for you and for life
  4. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  5. Words must be weighed, not counted
  6. Hope for the future
  7. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  8. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  9. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  10. A learning process for each of us
  11. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  12. Being Christian – Following Jesus Christ
  13. The Involvement of true discipleship
  14. Life and attitude of a Christian
  15. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  16. Parts of the body of Christ
  17. The task given to us to love each other
  18. Reasons to come to gether
  19. Meeting – Vergadering
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. What makes a consecrated Christian
  22. Love for each other attracting others
  23. Testify of the things heard
  24. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  25. Bringing Good News into the world
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. Church sent into the world
  28. Blogging for Jesus…
  29. How should we preach?
  30. Who are you going to reach out to today
  31. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  32. Holland Week of billing
  33. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  34. Trying to get the youth inspired
  35. When discouraged facing opposition

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  • Preachers of L.A. Dressed to Impress, But Is Jesus Pleased? (revthechristianlife.wordpress.com)
    After the response to my blog “Why ‘Preachers of LA’ Won’t Turn Out Well for Rock-Star Pastors” I wanted to continue the discussion about our perception and mindset in regards to preachers and wealth.First, let’s establish that being a pastor is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week job. You never know when the phone will ring and you are faced with another crisis that you must minister a church member through.
  • Strange Fire Conference: Preachers or Witch Doctors? (challies.com)
    Pentecostalism’s visit to Africa did not primarily emphasize the preaching and teaching component of the “man of God.” Now the “man of God” is primarily seen as the deliverer. Preaching has lost emphasis. It has become motivational platitudes followed by shouting and chanting.The same thing can be seen in America on popular TV channels, but with different colored skin and nicer buildings. There are biblical quotes tossed about followed by a demon possessed, crazy and maddened looking preacher.
  • Is there a Sacred and Secular divide? (paulajayne.wordpress.com)
    Can a true Follower of Jesus Christ be secular? To answer this we need to know what the words means; The word Sacred means to be Holy, dedicated to a deity (God), and the word secular means to have no regard for deity or religion.Now we believe that as a True Christian we are made Holy through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, we are set apart and dedicated to God. So can we as a Christian be secular? I would suggest not!Can a sacred Christian work in a secular environment? Yes, in fact this is what Jesus intended. It is only a few who are called to work in the Church environment and their role is to equip the Christian to do works of Ministry in their everyday life (see Ephesians 4:11-12)
  • Word Power (holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com)
    God Almighty reveals to us the importance of His Word, the Bible, in a number of verses in the epistles in the New Testament.
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    Within the church today man’s word is replacing God’s Word in the heart and lives of His children and those who profess to believe in Him.  The situation is dire.  The church is floundering and failing.  It has lost its mooring and direction because it has rejected God’s Word and replaced it with the empty worthless doctrine of man.

      For My people have committed two evils:  They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13

    When we reject God’s Word in favor of man’s teaching what does that say about us?  It says that we fear man rather than God and would rather please men than God.  We have a serious choice to make that has eternal consequences; will we fill our hearts and minds with the living Word of the Living God, or will we feed upon the dry, lifeless, empty sawdust of man’s opinions and theories that have no ability to build us up on our most holy faith, but instead lead us away from God and trap us in the deceitful schemes of our enemy, the devil.  Truthfully, the word we prefer says volumes about our eternal destination.  If we see God use His Word in our lives as outlined in the Scriptures and we willingly yield to His truth we give evidence of salvation.  We see the implanted Word that is able to save our souls operative in our lives.

  • Why Are So Many Churches Hearing So Little of the Bible from Their Preachers? (blackchristiannews.com)
    “It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.
  • church oh church1 (ozyikhiedwardblog.wordpress.com)
    Ok the word “Church” comes originally from the Greek word,”Kyriakos-kyriakon”.meaning properly,”belonging to the lord”,in lay man’s terms,property of God,ok that has not justified the organised buildings. Yet?! Somehow later on,another Greek word “Ecclesia”from “ek”meaning “out from” and “kaleo” meaning “to call”.so “Ecclesia” means properly,”people called out”.so in lay man’s terms,”Ecclesia” means “people separated from others”..ok the history of “Ecclesia”
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    What did the New Covenant writers mean when they used the word “Ecclesia” to describe a Christian body of people?? We can safely denote that they intended to convey the original Greek meaning of the word:”A body of Christian called out of Roman and Judean systems of Government,to live under a seperate civil mentality,”a politically autonomous body of Christians,under no other King but Yeshua,under no other civil laws,than that of Yeshua.
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    To be the ideal model of “Ecclesia”,we Christians must form ourselves into actual communities,albeit in this times only mentally,under the guidance of God’s annointed leader Jesus. Called out and seperated in mentality(Kyriakos)from the World’s ways,with no other than Jesus as our ruler and King! In other words “Ecclesias”
  • John Calvin’s use of Secondary Sources (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    Though Calvin had a love for the primary source texts, evident especially in his use of Greek and Hebrew in his preaching and commenting, he was no lone-wolf, attempting exegesis without reference to the exegetical labors of others.  He was one who saw the value of consulting both primary and secondary sources.
  • The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ (marccortez.com)
    We struggle to understand  what it means to be “in christ” because that is a complex concept combining at least four key aspects: union, participation, identification, and incorporation. An adequate understanding of being “in Christ” will not try to encompass that entire concept under any one of those aspects, but will allow all four to inform us. So, rather than see these four as different ways that Paul uses “in Christ” language, Campbell suggests that all four together define what it means for a believer to be in Christ. It is our union-participation-identification-incorporation in him.
  • Could I Get a Side of Truth with That? (crsstlk.wordpress.com)
    relativism makes “truth” become completely based upon your own ideas, biases, culture and experiences. You decide who or what “God” is (or if you even want one or not) and make your own standard for what “good” is and what “sin” is and eventually end up serving (or worshiping) yourself, with “self” as the center whether you admit it or not.
  • TD Jakes Disses Preachers Of LA (4umf.com)
    The premiere of Oxygen’s controversial docu-series, Preachers Of L.A., may have pulled in a record 1.1 million viewers, but one of the most influential Christian pastors in America, Bishop T.D. Jakes, holds a very low opinion of it.
    On Sunday morning, October 13 at the Potter’s House in Dallas, TX, Jakes dissed the reality show, calling it “junk” and distancing himself from the stars’ blinged-out images and flamboyance.
    “Now, I know you been watching that junk on TV,” Jakes said, criticizing Preachers Of L.A. amid a plea for congregants and online viewers to sow a financial seed into his local ministry.

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