Thought For Today - August 31 - What did Jesus Say About Prayer ?
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What did Jesus say about prayer?
"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Luke 18: 1.
As the children of our heavenly Father we ought always be in communication with him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"Pray without ceasing" 1 Thessalonians 5: 17.
What is prayer? Prayer is not just a sentimental poem, memorized or read with an amen attached at the end. Prayer is not just some ritual performed in a ceremonial format at some public occasion. Prayer in its' true essence is the spirit and soul of man reaching out to contact and commune with the spirit of God, the creator and Father.
Jesus taught that when we pray, we should call to our Father which is in heaven, and our Father which is in heaven will hear our prayers and answer us; but we must come to him and enter into his presence with clean hands and a pure heart which can only be made clean by the shed blood of our savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught that there are those who only pretend to know God as Father, and like to stand in the streets and public places and pray so as to be seen and commended by men. They read prayers addressed to some unknown God only to be heard by those standing around and ready to salute them for their piety.
Real prayer, real communication between a child of God and his Father in heaven is a personal matter between the two communicators. Jesus advised us to go into the closet where no one can see us and close the door and have a one on one conversation with God.
Jesus said: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him." Matthew 6: 5-8.
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Thought For Today - August 30 - What Did Jesus Say About Good Works And Giving ?
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Thought For Today - August 30`
What did Jesus say about good works and giving?
Men and women love to be recognized and praised and win medals for their generosity and good works. To be seen and glorified by their fellowman is the only motivation of many for their benevolence and charity, even though their heart is not really in it.
Jesus taught about the hypocrites who love to stand in prominent places and pray so as to be seen of men, and to be known for their so called spirituality.
Sad to say that there are some do gooders and givers in churches today that want to be known by what they do and be recognized, and have their names displayed in prominent places.
God knows all about our hypocrisy and the motives of our heart. If we truly love God and love our fellowman, all our good works and giving ought to be motivated by a heart in tune with God, not caring whether anyone knows about it, and not seeking rewards.
We ought to gladly serve God with our good works and giving out of pure gratitude for what Christ has done for us by saving us from eternal separation from God We could never earn God's favor by anything we could give or do. All the blessings that we receive from God are free gifts of God's grace, unmerited favor.
Jesus said: "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them: Otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Wherefore when thou doest thine alms do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:1-4.
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Visit us online at www.telehelppublications.com Thought For Today - August 29 - What Did Jesus Say ? About Loving Our Enemies ?
What did Jesus say? About loving our enemies?
It is natural, according to our sinful human nature, that we love those who love us, but hate those who are our enemies and do us wrong.
When someone abuses us or causes us pain or loss, the natural thing for us is that we get back at them with revenge and like treatment. It seems to do us good to get even.
Jesus taught that even if someone causes us a great deal of anguish and pain, we are, by the grace of God, to love them and forgive them and help them. This requires a great deal more godliness on our part, and if we do as Jesus taught, will reflect God's presence living in us. God has promised to greatly reward all those who do this.
It is not much of a problem to love those who are loveable - our friends, those who love us and help us; but it requires God's grace to love our enemies, those who would seek our harm.
Jesus’s teaching was one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase with the thinking of his time, and it is so with the thinking of our time today.
Jesus said: "Ye have heard it said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you: that ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven: for he marketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the Publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the Publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5: 43-48
Let us pray that God will, by his grace, instill within us his attribute of loving our enemies as well as our friends and neighbors so that his light may shine through us.
Thought For Today - August 28 - What Did Jesus Say ? - About Seeking Revenge And Getting Even ?
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What did Jesus say ? - About Seeking Revenge And GettingEeven?
The sinful human nature in mankind seeks revenge and wants to "get even". as it were, for every little wrong done unto us. The law of the old testament declared that for every wrong deed done to someone, the wrong doer was to receive the same thing done to him: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. If you slap my face, I will slap yours, if you kill my dog, I will kill yours, etc.. The attitude was that if I can't have something, I don't want you to have it either, thus: Envy, strife, and contention.
Unfortunately, this same attitude prevails in the world today, even among some Christians, I am ashamed to report. We are always complaining like school children about what is fair, and that which seems to be unfair to us.
When Jesus came, he taught a whole new set of rules and standards that God's redeemed children ought to adhere to. Instead of revenge and getting even, we ought to be more ready to forgive and pardon one another, even as God does us through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We ought to have pity and feel sorry for the one who does us wrong, and if possible bring him into the fold of the redeemed of God.
Jesus said:"Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if a man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also, and whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away." Matthew 5: 38-42.
Why not go the extra mile, and show mercy?
The apostle Paul, speaking to Christians said: "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another, why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" 1 Corinthians
Visit us online at www.telehelppublications.com Thought For Today - August 27
What did Jesus say about making vows and swearing oaths?
We need to be very careful not to make promises that we do not intend to keep or have no power to perform. Deliberately breaking a promise or breaking a vow is sin. We must not make vows to God and then renege on our promise. God will not hold us guiltless if we do. If we find that we are guilty of making vows to man or God and forswearing ourselves, we need to go to God and confess, make restitution if that is possible, so that we might be forgiven.
We really have no right to swear to anything, nor make any promises beyond the point in time in which we now exist because we have very little or no control over the future. It is best just to say yes, yes, or no, no, all according to the will of God.
Jesus said: "Again ye have heard that it hath been said of them of old time, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto you, swear not at all, neither by heaven: for it is God's throne. Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem: for it is the city of the great king. Neither shall thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white of black. But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay,: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Matthew 5: 33-37.
Thought For Today - August - 26 - What Did Jesus Say ? About Adultry ?
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What did Jesus say about adultery?
One man, one woman, joined together in marriage for life: This is God's perfect plan for the home, and the propagation of children. The marriage relationship between man and wife here on earth is a picture of a child of God's relationship with Christ. The redeemed church is considered to be the bride of Christ.
If a man or woman strays from the one to whom he or she has pledged themselves for life, and has intercourse with another, this is considered adultery in the mind of God. One of the ten commandments says: "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Jesus taught his hearers that not only was it possible that one might commit physical adultery, but more importantly, one is in danger of committing adultery in one's mind as well.
How many of us can feast our eyes on sexually explicit videos and movies without committing adultery in our minds? That which the mind conceives, the flesh achieves. We are all guilty and need to confess so that we might be forgiven.
Is there a redeemed child of God anywhere who has never looked upon the things of the world in his mind and lusted after them, and been tempted to fall away from the things of Christ and follow after them? We have all been guilty at times and need to confess so that we might be forgiven.
The actions of the flesh begin with the thoughts of the mind. We need to keep our mind on Christ and his word so that we will not be tempted to commit physical or spiritual adultery. That which the world sees in our marital relationship with our spouse, is a reflection of our relationship and marriage to Christ. We need to be careful what kind of a picture we present.
Jesus said: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5: 27,28. "And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commiteth adultery, and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Matthew 19: 9.
It is indeed sad to behold so many broken homes and families who have strayed from their marriage vows, and because of the lust of the flesh, have committed adultery. It is equally sad to behold one who has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and has become part of the bride of Christ, to fall back into the sins of the world and be guilty of committing adultery with the world.
Visit us online at: www.telehelppublications.com Thought For Today - August 25 What did Jesus say? About killing? Only God can create life, therefore only God has the right to place a value on a life and to terminate a life. One of the ten commandments says: "Thou shalt not kill". Jesus reminded the multitude of this commandment, but went beyond the commandment to show that there are many ways to disobey this commandment and to kill. He pointed out that if we harbor anger in our hearts against another without cause, we are effectively disobeying this commandment not to kill, for we are destroying him in our own thoughts. If we through gossip or false witness say evil things to demean another we are killing his reputation and esteem. God will not accept our worship of him so long as we have hatred, resentments, and bitter envying against our fellowmen. Before we can effectively worship God and be pleasing to him, we must be in right relationship with others. Jesus said: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say , thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift before the altar and there rememberest that thy brother have ought against thee, leave there thy thy gift before the altar, and go thy way. First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Let us take heed to what Jesus has taught us about obeying the commandment not to kill: not to bring physical harm to another and not to be guilty of destroying him or causing him harm in any other way.
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Thought For Today - August 24
What did Jesus say concerning the law?
When almighty God created the universe and all things therein, he established certain laws by which it would function and continue. He established all the laws of physics, mathematics, and astronomy, which he has by grace revealed to mankind; likewise, he established spiritual laws by which mankind was to relate to him and enjoy his fellowship. He delivered to Moses the ten commandments and other instructions that were required to be obeyed if one was to have fellowship with him and inherit his eternal glory.
No one can see God and inherit his glory unless they kept the whole law. If they failed in one point of the law, all was lost. God knew from the very beginning, because of the nature of man, what was in man, and the frailty of man, so he made provision for mankind by sending Jesus Christ into the world, the one and only person and member of the human race who is one hundred percent man and at the same time one hundred percent God, who alone was able to obey the whole law in its' entirety.
God stills holds all mankind responsible for obeying his laws, but warns us that no one is capable of obeying the law perfectly, therefore unless someone else who is capable does for us that which we cannot do for ourselves, we are without hope and lost. But the good news is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save us from the curse of the law and set us free and place us under the grace or unmerited favor of God.
Jesus said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittles shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5: 17-20.
Some people may think that because Christians are under grace and not under law, that the laws and commandments of God no longer apply, but this is not so. Jesus taught otherwise. The requirements of the law are in effect today as much as they ever were, but none of us can meet those requirements no matter how hard we try. Our only hope is to flee to Jesus for forgiveness and ask him to impute his righteousness to us. Then sin no longer abounds but grace does much more abound, and we are set free from the curse of breaking God's laws.
Thought For Today - August 23 - What Did Jesus Say ? - About Light ?
Visit us online at www.telehelppublications.com Thought For Today - August 23 What did Jesus say? - About light?
Up until the time that Jesus was born, the world was in a state of deep spiritual darkness. There had been no communication from God for four hundred years since the prophesies of Malachi, silent years in which every man seemed to do that which was right in his own eyes without any regard for the things of God, much as it is in the world today.
Isaiah had prophesied that there would come a time that the light would be turned on through the coming of the Messiah.
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shinned." Isaiah 9: 2.
Jesus Christ, the light of the world had come to seek and to save that which was lost and give light unto the world, but even after his coming into the world, the world was in such gross darkness that even though the light was shinning, it was necessary for God to send John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness, to declare that the light had been turned on, and to tell the multitudes to "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men." John 1: 4.
"Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.
We who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and born into his family, have the light of Christ dwelling in us. We ought to keep our gaze upon him so that we will reflect his light to the world around us, even as the moon reflects the light of the sun.
Jesus said: "Ye are the light of the world. a city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5: 14-16
Let us pray that each of us who are his will reflect the light of Christ and his salvation to give light and hope to a lost and dying world.
Thought For Today - August 22- What Did Jesus Say ? - About The Christian's Influence In The World ?
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What did Jesus say? - About the Christian's influence in the world?
What is the role of the Christian in the midst of an ungodly world culture? Jesus likened the Christian's influence to that of salt.
Salt is an important substance which adds flavor to our food, and acts as a preservative and an antiseptic healer of wounds. If salt looses its' saltiness, it no longer adds flavor, and no longer preserves, and no longer heals. It is no better than the earth on which we walk.
Jesus said: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5: 13.
When a Christian comes in contact with those around him who have no knowledge or relationship with God, and know little or nothing of God's saving grace, the ungodly person ought to be able to taste the difference between the holy and unholy lifestyle. The Christian should be a living testimony to the saving grace of God, and the ungodly should taste and see what may be missing in their lives. The Christian ought to act as a preserver of righteousness and right living in his own family circle, his community, and his nation. The tragedy is that many so called Christians have lost their saltiness, so to speak, and though they may be saved and retain a form of godliness, yet, they are no longer the salty influence in their family, community, and nation as they ought to be. Therefore their influence is at a minimum, and the world disregards them, and pays little attention to what they say they believe.
How can this ungodly world system be seasoned so as to have a flavor of godliness and righteousness?
"Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." Mark 9:50.
How does one maintain his saltiness? The answer is: by abiding in Christ; By having his words constantly flowing through our mind; and by keeping short accounts with God, confessing our sins daily so that we maintain a continuous walk in the spirit; and by prayer and meditation.
Let us pray as Christians that we do not loose our spiritual saltiness and continue to make a difference in the world.