Friday, March 14, 2014

Proverbs 14 Mar 2014

  1. Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home, while Sir Fool comes along to tear it down brick by brick. 
  2. Those who lead an honest life show respect to God. 
  3. A wise speech always evokes respect. 
  4. Watch out for those false witnesses - they make a business out of lies. 
  5. With an open mind, anyone can meet Lady Wisdom right at their doorsteps. 
  6. Those who are wise watch their steps and always avoid evil. 
  7. Foolish dreamers always live in a world of illusion. 
  8. Everyone loves a winner, while everyone shuns a loser. 
  9. Those who are wise accumulate wisdom. 
  10. Fear of the Lord builds up confidence. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mark 13

Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem temple.
Mark 13:3-4 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” 
Jesus warned them about the arrival of false Messiahs, wars, famines and troubles before the Second Coming. People will betray each other, and everyone will hate those who bear the name of Jesus.
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When the abomination of desolation appears, they were told to flee to the mountains. If these things took place in winter, then it will be extremely hard for people to bear.

Jesus then gives us an indication of how end times will be. The sun will be darkened, then the Son of Man will come in glory. He said that the current generation will by no means pass away till all those things took place.

Looking at those tender twigs of a tree, one can say when summer is about to arrive. Similarly, we should be able to spot the arrival of end times.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Jesus will by no means pass away. He said that only the Father in heaven knows the end times - not even the son or the angels. Therefore, he asked us to be on alert at all times.

Luke 21

Jesus, after observing people giving into the temple treasury, commented about a certain widow. The poor widow who donated a small amount was giving more than the donations of the rich. Jesus was talking about giving in terms of percentage.

When some disciples were speaking about the beauty of the temple, Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem temple.

Jesus also predicted the arrival of several false Messiahs. Nation will rise against nation, and there will be earthquakes, famines and persecution. In his own words, the end times will looks somewhat like this:
Luke 21:12-19 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life."

Jerusalem will be trampled by the gentiles until the time of the gentiles is over. Then the Son of Man will come with glory, bringing help.
Luke 21:29-31 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
He also said that the current generation will by no means pass away until all that he mentioned came to pass. He advised them to live well in preparation for the second coming.

Every morning he taught at the temple and later, he went to the Mount of Olives to spend the night there. People would arrive early morning to hear him.

Luke 20

When the authority of Jesus was questioned by the chief priest and teachers of the law, he outwit them by asking another question.
Luke 20:3 - 8 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism - was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn't you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” 
We then read the parable about a certain owner of a vineyard, whose servants were abused by his tenants. They later killed his son as well. The owner later took away the vineyard from them and gave it to someone else.

Jesus then cited Psalm 118, about the rejected stone becoming the cornerstone. The chief priests and teachers of law wanted to silence Jesus and looked for means to arrest him. They then sent innocent looking spies to trap Jesus.

One question they asked him is whether it was required to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus said pay what to Caesar what is his, and pay to God what belongs to Him.

A Sadducee, who did not believe in resurrection asked Jesus about a woman' husband who married seven times. Jesus replies that in heaven, there is no marrying or giving in marriage, and that those in heaven are equal to the angels.

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God is the God of the living, but not of the dead. According to God, all are alive. Jesus asked them about the Messiah being the son of King David and nobody could answer it.

Jesus warned the people against those teachers of the law, who crave honor.
Luke 20:46-47 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

Proverbs 13 Mar 2014

  1. Children who do things on their own, and don't listen to their parents are foolish. 
  2. A careless talk can run everything, while careful words make a careful life. 
  3. Those who wallow in gibberish are bad people. 
  4. Those who have a showy life lead an empty life; ones with a plain and simple life lead a full life. 
  5. The rich have lots to loose, while the poor can afford to take lots of risk - they have almost nothing to lose. 
  6. Wise men and women listen to each other's counsel
  7. The way to grow rich is by honoring God's commands. 
  8. The fountain of life can be found in those teachings of the wise. 
  9. Those who walk with the wise become wise; those hanging out with fools will see their lives fall into pieces. 
  10. Those who love their children discipline them. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Matthew 23

Here in this chapter, we read about religious fashion shows. Jesus is advising the crowd who follows him to listen to those teachers of law. He said, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

Essentially, Jesus warned the crowd not to follow those leaders. Those teachers package the law with a heavy yoke and place it on the shoulders of people. Whatever they do, they put on a big show for people to be seen. They loved to be treated with respect.
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Jesus called the teachers and pharisees 'frauds.' He made seven woes upon them:
1. for shutting the kingdom of heaven.
2. for converting someone and then making that convert a child of hell.
3. for splitting the hair when it comes to how oaths were taken.
4. for neglecting those important matters of law - justice, mercy and faithfulness.
5. for having a clean outside and an unclean inside.
6. for being filled with hypocrisy and wickedness.
7. for testifying against themselves as the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.

Jesus used some harsh language against the Pharisees and also wept for Jerusalem, and its unwillingness.
Matthew 23: 33-36 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation."
Matthew 23: 37-39 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”