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Posts tagged ‘Own choice’

Matthew 19 Concerning the saved ones and those able to enter the Kingdom

The Scriptures makes it clear what choice man has to make to receive a non-ending life after this life on earth which can be full of temptations, problems, difficulties and suffering.

In the 19th chapter of Matthew we can see that after some time going with the master teacher the disciples still did not know him. Jesus looked at the small children who wanted to come to him and saw how their soul (their inner being) was still pure and without personal interest. Jesus not only blessed the babes, but rebuked the disciples, who had misrepresented him; and says

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

For us that should be a message to become or to be like “such as these”. In our life we should get a state of purity and innocence. It is very possible that those children could have done some faults, but often having been not aware of it. It is only when one knows what is good and what is bad and when knows the rule s and regulations that one can go against such rules or laws.

The Kingdom of heaven will not be literally composed of little children, but those who want to enter the Kingdom should be like little children, innocent and pure of mind, simple-hearted, true, teachable, obedient, honest and trustful of their heavenly Father.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Lu 18:17 NIV)

says Jesus. At other places in the New Testament we also do find

“And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3 NIV)

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Mt 19:14 NIV)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Mr 10:15 NIV)

Instead of the children being regarded as intruders, they were most welcome to the master teacher; and, instead of being interlopers, they had full right of access, for of children and of childlike persons God His kingdom was composed and Jesus is the way to that Kingdom. Jesus spoke with certainty, using his own expressive “verily,” and he spoke with the weight of his own personal authority,

“I say unto you.”

These prefatory expressions are intended to secure our reverent attention to the fact that so far from the admission of children into the kingdom being unusual or strange none can find entrance there except they receive the gospel as a little child receives it. It is this statement of the Master which affords us a subject for this morning, which may the divine Spirit open up to us and impress upon our hearts.

As adults we have gone through a parcour of life and have made several choices to continue on our path of life. Not always did we take the right path. When we look back at the past we shall be able to notice we made many mistakes and more than once we took the wrong decision.

Making the child the model for those who seek entrance into the kingdom of God, we should remember that we too should try to get a childes attitude of innocence. Childlessness is an ‘Essential Element’ in the Christian Life.

“The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.” (Ps 116:6 NIV)

“But I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (Ps 131:2 NIV)

“Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” (1Co 14:20 NIV)

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” (1Pe 2:2 NIV)

The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth. It is also for that kingdom Jesus prayed and taught us also to pray for.

“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10 NIV)

The phrase is derived from Daniel, where it is defined as the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up after the destruction by “the stone cut out without hands,” of the Gentile world-system.

“34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing-floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. 36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.” (Da 2:34-36 NIV)

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

“23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. {Or for a year, two years and half a year }26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” (Da 7:23-27 NIV)

Already in the Garden of Eden God spoke about some one who would come to save the world but also who would reign. God also spoke about a kingdom covenanted to David’s seed which was described in the prophets.

“7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people shall not oppress them any more, as they did at the beginning” (2Sa 7:7-10 NIV)

Under an heir of king David would an other kingdom being established which would be greater and stronger. That heir would be born of a virgin, therefore truly man, but also “Immanuel,” the one coming from (or sent by) God. That person was
confirmed to be Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary, through the angel Gabriel.

“32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.”” (Lu 1:32-33 NIV)

It is that never ending kingdom where at first that man shall be the king, we have to look for. A kingdom heavenly in origin, principle, and authority.

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

When hoping to be a partaker of that kingdom one has to obey the commandments so that life can come to this one who is willing to love God and to be His child. Many think they do not have to do any works any more, because they are saved. But Jesus warns them and us, that they may not be mistaken and that it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for man to enter the small gate to the Kingdom.

He clearly indicates we have to keep to the commandments of god, even when that would not always so easy.

“17 …. Jesus replied.

“There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” the man enquired. Jesus replied,

“23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Mt 19:23-24 NIV)

Jesus gives also those commandments we have to fulfil or keep to.

18 … “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honour your father and mother,’ {Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20 }
and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’” {Lev. 19:18 } (Mt 19:17-19 NIV)

Jesus also gives a hope for those who are willing to follow him.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother {Some manuscripts mother or wife } or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19:29 NIV)

But first we have to seek God His kingdom, and His righteousness before all these good things the bible talks about, shall be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33) First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, this should be our greatest care and not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom).

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Ro 14:17 NIV)

When we want to enter the kingdom of God we should prepare ourselves and work at our character, making sure that we do our best to keep to God’s commandements.

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

 

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Find also to read

  1. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  2. The Mountain: Radical Obedience
  3. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  4. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  5. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  6. Ability (part 5) Thought about the abilities to be under God’s Spirit

Christians, secularism, morals and values

Our western society has been under much pressure lately. Many could see that humans are hard- and soft-wired towards co-operation as much as competition. One may wonder if there is such a thing as the common good of society, shared morals and values, and that individuals need common rules for living together and contributing to the overall health of their society. {A relentlessly upbeat take on citizenship: My Review of Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship}

After a long time that people had it very easy, they now come tested again. They once again have to become aware that

Nothing is easy, all goes slowly, we carry time as a very heavy burden, but little by little we see clearly and advance… Living spiritual life — as opposed to religious life — is very difficult because spiritual life happens within whereas religion comes from outside oneself. {Advancing in spiritual life}

Though today many seem to forget that the religious life, coming from outside, when forced to some some one has no value and is just an empty box. Religion has to be chosen by the person himself or herself. For adults it is the own choice to belong to a certain religion. For an adult it is also the own choice how they live that religion. The best can this be seen in West Europe were lots of people say they are Catholic but where the majority does not live up to Catholic rules, and where even more than 90% even does not belief all the Catholic dogma‘s and do not affirm to the Catholic sacraments. they have come to an age where they made themselves a religion for their own. But they also should come to see that there are others who sincerely belief in God and want to serve that God (Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) to their best efforts.

Several people have lots of questions of life and death and want to have something to hold an and look for some spirituality. This spirituality is different than the religiosity.

Spiritual life, although it has a unique goal throughout the world which is the Union of All that is the Creator and all creatures, takes place in a wide variation of form and thought, because there is a constant rapport between spiritual life which is unique with the variable environment of the moment. {Advancing in spiritual life}

People have looked for different ways to come to see, meet and have a relationship with each other and with that Creator of the universe. Thousands of forms have been found to bring themselves to higher spheres and to try to make contact with the inner self and with creation and Creator. Lots of techniques found day light for humans to find ways to bring their body and soul in unison.  Many techniques are daily used by people all over the world to keep their body and soul healthy and to become a human which is in balance.

That balance is brought in danger by many factors and mostly by the impacts from outside world.

Man and woman in swimsuits, ca. 1910; she is exiting a bathing machine

At the beginning of the 21st century man in the West clearly has a troubled mind about tohorah or ritual purity, modesty, personality, self-expression, freedom or liberty, morals and values. Living in a place where the population in previous years was brought up under Judeo Christian values, those values seem long forgotten, and some, like the French some have chosen to oblige totally different moral values.

France’s Burkini Ban

Under the pressure of Islamic terrorists, people in the West have gotten such a fear which seems to trouble their mind so much they can not think straight any more. So, many suddenly start looking to see danger everywhere, even in women wearing certain clothes.

Normally you would think we are living in a multicultural society where it should be possible that

We do not need to like or love our fellow citizens. But we have to respect them and engage with them. {A relentlessly upbeat take on citizenship: My Review of Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship}

At the moment the world shows that respect is totally gone. There does seem to be no respect at all for people who have chosen an other way of thinking and living than theirs. It looks like today everybody has to agree with the same and has to be cut from the same cloth or has to be the same buffoon.

Lots of people are not willing any more to think about certain matters or to do some more research about certain things, to come to know more about it. Everything seems to be of the same cut and everybody is tarred with the same brush.

Take for example Islamic people living here in the West. Lots of people consider them a danger for our society because they hear a lot about those Islamic terrorists and have recently seen that those fundamentalist Muslims created havoc in our own regions killing many citizens.  Lots of people do forget they also killed many Muslims, Jews, atheists, Christians and other believers and that they really have nothing to do with the real Islam. They also do not seem to know that in the East even Sunni‘s came to fight against those so called Sunni Muslims of Daesh.

Women wearing hijab

In Europe we may find today a very big issue about Muslim faith, they way those people cloth, namely the hijab (headscarf) or turban, burka (full body cloak) or burqa and burkini or burqini becoming the symbol of Islam and all that there is about Islam. It has come so far that we see that a garment now defines Islam. But only a name could make them afraid to and have them saying a bukhara (Bukhoro or Bokhara) should be forbidden though then we shall not be able to eat any Bukhara Chutney (Plum Sauce) any more.

A cloth, has become Islam. The issue is that modesty and virtue have been reduced to the abundance or lack of abundance of a garment. And that indeed is a shame. {Tell me I’m wrong about the hijab  + Maniza Naqvi is wrong on so many levels about the hijab}

For us still the idea exist that the Ummah or Muslim community is still much too silent and does not show enough the world that those terrorists are misusing the name of Allah and are not real Islam.

It does not help when we in the West hear about maltreated women in the East. A Saudi 17-year old teenager making the decision to leave her family during a vacation in Turkey this summer; a 20-year old Muslim woman ran away from her family in Saudi in 2014; Hind Al-Otaibi escaping her abusive father who raped and injured her; Sahar Al-Sharif, attempting to escape domestic violence and her abusive brothers by getting married; all Saudi women who are not criminals, but people who have simply made a conscious decision to live! Who can blame them and who can say they have caused any harm? But why should they, when coming to the West put their faith aside and come to cloth themselves like Western people, who in their eyes do have low morals and not good ethics?

Strangely enough it are on those aspects they and western Muslim women become judged, as so called being without good morals and without good values. Today those values in France seem of a totally different sort as the ones in the previous century when they made a fuss when a short or skirt was not long enough or when too much bare skin was visible. Today several French people want to see as much as naked skin as possible though they forbid full nudity because than the excitement is taken away. For them clothing has to be spicy and seducing, otherwise it is not acceptable. That seems to be the moral and ethic attitude of the majority of French people today.

That modesty and virtue have been reduced to the abundance or lack of abundance of a garment for many does not seem to be a problem, but they want to see in the way women prefer to cloth, their inability to make their own proper choice. When women are not clothed like some of the youngsters prefer today they are considered not old fashioned, but are considered to being oppressed.

People also have becoming very narrow-minded thinkers (or would we not better say non-thinkers) limiting their own thoughts not wanting to go against the mainstream.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when talking about Muslim women, rather than talking to Muslim women, is to assume that Muslim women are all the same, think the same, to ignore the diversity of thought, experience, opinion. {Tell me I’m Wrong About the Hijab by Maniza Naqvi}

All Muslims are lumped. For the majority of Europeans they are all the same, from the same wet jar. Many of French or other Europeans, even do not come to see the difference between hijab, burka and burkini. They condemn and reject it without logic thinking and without good fundamental thought.

In case those people, who call themselves Christian, but adhere a trinity, do not want to come up for those women who love God more than man, real Christians, who love only One True God, should speak for those other lovers of God (Allah) and who have chosen to cover their body for God.

Real Christians should show that world which thinks it has good morals, that her morals have become polluted and reprehensible. They should show the world that it are not such good morals when man wants to exploit women as a sex object.

We as Christians should show the world that lovers of God should follow the rules of God and should respect each others and their own body. In the same way we should know that we have to be careful not to tempt others or to bring others to wrong thoughts about our body. We also should consider our body to be holy, i.e. set apart for God and for the one who intensely love and want to share our life with. This means that we should have the right to keep our own body to that person or persons who we want to share our body with or would not mind being seen in our natural skin.

We also should respect those women who want to go so far to cover a lot of their body. We also should show the world that we ought to respect those women for their choice of reserving their bodies just for their beloved.

For some it may look like those women are oppressed by their husband, but did they ever thought it might be the strong women their own choice to believe in certain values which may be much higher than the present values of the world?

Jews, Christians and Muslims should be lovers of God and as such prefer to keep to the Law of God much more than to the preferences of the majority of the world, who have abandoned God. Real lovers of God should know that the world its secularism, does not have to mean they have to follow in all the world their liberties.

Real lovers of God should always have in mind that the Law of God should be on the first place. That Divine Law is part or should be part of the Judeo Christian values our Western world should be keeping to, but many have gotten wrong ideas about those values, because they do not know their Scriptures any more.

It is up to lovers of God to come up for other lovers of God and to show those who have gone astray or do not know God to show the Way to God.

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Preceding article: Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion

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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”
  25. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  26. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  27. Colour-blindness and road code
  28. Man’s own fault and the choice to flee from fear
  29. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth

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Further of interest

  1. Religious Dress in Catholicism
  2. ISIS is Islamic, but most of Islam is not ISIS
  3. What if this existence is not real?
  4. The Dark Side is Strong with this One
  5. The More Things Change . . .
  6. What not to wear
  7. How Much Cover is Too Much, or Too Little? The French bathing suit controversy as represented in original source material
  8. What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini
  9. Tell me what you wear
  10. Burkini Ban: Nice
  11. France’s Burkini Ban
  12. The reason you aren’t succeeding as a woman? Thats because you bleed apparently.
  13. Reviewing Channel 4’s Investigation into ISIS Sympathisers
  14. Should France launch air strikes against ISIS after Friday’s attack?
  15. The Islamic State responds to Pope Francis: “We are making a religious war, and we hate you
  16. ISIS tells the Socialist Pope that the Islamic State is in a war against the infidels approved by Allah.
  17. ISIS Responds to Pope Francis: This IS a Religious War and WE HATE YOU
  18. I Stand with Humanity ! I Stand against Terrorism #PrayforParis
  19. The Written Stuff vs.The Not Written Stuff: Sex Education From An Islamic Perspective Part I
  20. Is the Woman in Hijab oppressed? Who is a free woman ?
  21. What Hijab Means to me, Hashtag #Hijabtome
  22. Why I never wore a Hijab so far?
  23. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  24. And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban
  25. The Swimsuit Issue
  26. Stripped Down Make-up and Full Cover Suits.
  27. Nawaz: Both Sides Are Wrong in the Burkini Wars – The Daily Beast
  28. Burkini ban overturned
  29. What a lot of Berk(a)s
  30. I got 99 problems and the burkini is one of them…really?
  31. Bombs in a burkini?
  32. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  33. My Burkini and I
  34. This is why.
  35. The Story In A Rug
  36. You’ve Got to BurKining Me!
  37. Ramadan Kareem!
  38. Requiem
  39. What Can You Learn Through Someone Or Something Shivered? — Michael J. Fite
  40. Finding yourself
  41. Beauty Eclipsed: Day 8 – Focus inward
  42. Beauty Eclipsed #9: Surface vs Core
  43. A Journey From Being Alone To Alone
  44. Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity
  45. Counter-Activism…or… Subverting Democracy
  46. The world in trouble
  47. i know why the caged bird shrieks…
  48. Darkness
  49. What do we do?
  50. The New Testament Church Part 2
  51. Peace
  52. De-Stress Your Mind & Body
  53. Let a young woman accept as a life companion only one who posseses pure,manly traits of character,one who is diligent,aspiring,one who loves and fear God.
  54. Why I wear the iron maiden: One woman on dressing modestly in everyday life
  55. Turn away from companions who will lead you in wrong paths.
  56. How legitimate is Christian Head-covering?
  57. Misnomer
  58. Why We Are Not Meant To Live Our Lives Naked
  59. There Is No Biblical Reason Why Women Can’t Go Topless?
  60. Power Of Happiness
  61. Being Grateful and Being Sorry—Are You Humble Enough To Do Both?
  62. …make this gift count.

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