Friday, July 31, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 103

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 7
Householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old (Matthew 13:51, 52)-
After telling them many parables and explaining the same, Jesus asked his disciples, “Have you understood all these things?”They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Though many of his disciples had little education, Jesus compared them to scribes now, as he had been teaching and imparting invaluable truths of the kingdom of heaven to them for quite some time. He told them that every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old. They were to teach their listeners, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven that he had newly imparted to them; at the same time, they were not to ignore vital truths of the Law and the Prophets that they had grown up with and use them judiciously as he was doing. The New Testament believer likewise can gain an immense amount of wisdom and instruction from the writings of the Old Testament even as he lives out the requirements of the New Testament.

Aaradhikaam Yeshuvine Aaradhikaam- New Malayalam Christian Songs Album

365 Blessings- Devotional 26

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-24

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-23

Start Your Day Right-3

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 102

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 6

Parable of the dragnet- Matthew 13:47-51

Jesus again spoke regarding the kingdom of heaven and said that it was like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."

A dragnet is a net drawn through a river or pond or across ground to trap fish. In this parable, when the dragnet was cast in to the sea, it gathered a lot of fish and when it was drawn to shore, men who had cast the net, sorted out the fish, gathering the good in to vessels and throwing the bad away. Similarly, the kingdom of heaven attracts many people; some are truly born again after hearing the Gospel; others are not (they do not repent or live according to the Word of God). Only those who are born again will enter the kingdom of heaven in the end. Jesus said that at the end of the age there will be a sorting; the wicked will be separated from the just and the wicked will go in to eternal punishment.

Start Your Day Right-2

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-22

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-23

365 Blessings- Devotional 25

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 101

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 5
Parable of the treasure hidden in a field and a pearl of great price - (Matthew 13:44-46)
Jesus, now speaking only to his disciples said, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. 
Both the parables have similar interpretation. The quest for God, truth and salvation ends with the discovery of the true Savior Jesus and salvation through him. That's the treasure that is hidden; though accessible to all and defined by the promise of God Almighty, "You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart." But why should the man who found the treasure in the first parable hide it? Perhaps it was to check what the law says concerning him claiming the treasure after he had bought it from the original owner. The oral tradition of the Jewish law (Mishnah)stated that the new owner would be the rightful heir to the treasure if the old owner contested it. His joy was because he had found something that had tremendous value; though not having value as much as the person who understands the mystery of the kingdom of heaven and salvation by grace and through faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross. In both the parables, the men went and sold everything they had and bought that which mattered to them. Selling is giving away and for a person who finds Christ, as Paul the Apostle says, the right attitude must be.....But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7, 8)

365 Blessings- Devotional 24

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-22

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-21

Start Your Day Right-1

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 100

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 4

Parable of the Leaven- Read Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20, 21

Jesus told another parable- "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."

Yeast is very small; after put in the meal/dough it is not usually seen; it works from within quietly and finally it has a great impact influencing the whole dough.
The kingdom of God which started with Jesus and his 12 disciples (small beginnings in Galilee) reaching out in to the world with the good news of salvation, has impacted hundreds of nations in small or great measures (yeast though small working through the dough). By grace a person is saved by the working of the Holy Spirit (again like the working of the dough from within and the work is quiet) and those saved then work within their communities and many more are brought in to the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven, then, is inside the born again believer as well as is  being built outwardly by the gathering of born again believers all over the world as the Church or bride of Christ.

Start Your Day Right-131

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-20

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-21

365 Blessings- Devotional 23

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 99

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 3

Parable of the mustard seed- Read (Matthew 13:31–32), (Mark 4:30–32), and (Luke 13:18–19)
Jesus told his followers another parable- The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31, 32)

There are several varieties of mustard plants. Brassica nigra is a mustard tree that grows to about 10 feet; possibly Jesus was speaking of this tree as the end result of the sowing of a mustard seed. Mustard seed must have been the smallest of seeds in the geographical location that Jesus was in at that time for there are other seeds that are smaller.

The fact here being the growth of the kingdom of heaven. Though the beginnings were small, the kingdom of heaven has expanded mightily. Starting with the work of Jesus and later the first disciples, the power of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has propelled the gospel from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth. Though not all places have been covered as yet, it will be, in God's time.

The birds of the air nesting in the trees branches can signify both believers and unbelievers finding rest, peace and satisfaction from utilizing the resources of the kingdom. Some Bible interpreters however say that the birds can signify the presence of evil pervading the growing healthy tree (the kingdom/church).

365 Blessings- Devotional 22

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-20

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-19

Start Your Day Right-132

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 98

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 2

Jesus told another parable... "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' He said to them, "An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, "Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said, "No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." He answered: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Except the parable of the sower, the other six parables in this chapter start with the phrase- The kingdom of heaven is like...

Tares, weeds or darnel closely resembles wheat while it is young but can be distinguished later. Sons of the wicked one are the ones who are not truly born again but are found among the sons of the kingdom, having a form of godliness but denying it's power. Jesus ends his explanation of the parable by endowing a blessing on the righteous. Verse 25 says, "while men slept".....most probably them who are to be watchmen for the one who sowed the seed (Son of Man)...not being vigilant enough in prayer to thwart the sowing of tares by the enemy.

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-18

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-19

Start Your Day Right-133

365 Blessings- Devotional 21

Sunday, July 12, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 97

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 1

The Parable of the Sower- Read (Matthew 13:1-23)(Mark 4:1-20) (Luke 8:4-15)

Parable comes from the Greek word "parabole"which means "a placing beside" and is a comparison or illustration.

Matthew Chapter 13 is a chapter of 7 parables through which Jesus taught his followers, matters pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. The parable of the Sower is placed first here by Matthew.
Jesus said, "The sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell by the road, and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. Other seed fell on the rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. Other fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth a crop, thirty, sixty and one hundred times of what was sown."

His disciples asked him, "What does this parable mean?" Jesus explained....The seed is the word of God. Those by the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, and fall away in time of temptation. That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. That in the good ground, these are such as with a honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold to it firmly, and bring forth abundant fruit with patience."

The Sower is Jesus working himself (then) and later (now) through his disciples. 4 groups of people are seen here- The unsaved listener who does not understand and believe, the emotional convert (not truly born again), the carnal believer and the fruit bearing true believer.

365 Blessings- Devotional 20

Start Your Day Right-134

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-18

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-17

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 96

Matthew Chapter 12- part 9

While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50)

Also read (Mark 3:31-35)& (Luke 8:19-21)

Matthew, Mark & Luke mention the same account of Jesus acknowledging those who do the will of the Father in Heaven to be his mother and his brothers. Jesus was not insulting his own who came to speak with him, but he imparted the fact that he considered those who were doing the will of the Father in Heaven to be his own.

365 Blessings- Devotional 19

Start Your Day Right-135

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-17

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-16

Thursday, July 9, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 95

Matthew Chapter 12- part 8

Jonah & Nineveh, Queen of Sheba & Solomon, Jesus and God's own people- (Read Matthew 12:41-45)

Nineveh was a wicked gentile nation that had no knowledge of or affinity for God Almighty, yet when Jonah (prophet of God) preached to them, they repented of their wickedness. Here was Jesus, the son of God, greater than Jonah, in the midst of his own people but they would not listen or accept what he had to say for their salvation. The Queen of the south (Queen of Sheba), undertook the challenge of travelling far and through difficult terrain to come and listen to Solomon's wisdom, but here was God's own people rejecting the wisdom of God,  Jesus Christ, one greater than Solomon, though he was in their midst. Jesus compared the Jews of his generation (Israel as a nation) to a person who had been delivered of an impure spirit and it was so for they had almost forsaken idolatry and now free. The driven out spirit, not finding rest because it had lost the one it possessed, decides to return to the person/house (Israel as a nation), but finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order, so it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person/house (Israel as a nation) was worse than at the first. God's own people had become a wicked, adulterous and rebellious generation, which would be condemned by the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South at judgment time.

365 Blessings- Devotional 18

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-15

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-16

Start Your Day Right-136

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Challenges in life- Devotional 1

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:18-21)(KJV)

Joseph was a just man and when he found that Mary who was betrothed to him was pregnant, he decided not to publicly condemn her, but divorce her quietly. Mary's punishment for adultery would have been stoning to death according to the Law, but Joseph was merciful and did not make a hue and cry. But while he thought on these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to fear taking Mary as wife, for that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit and a promise was given to him that Mary would deliver a son and he was to call his name Jesus, for he would save God's people from their sins.

This was a real challenge in Joseph's life because what he had heard from the angel was unheard of.....that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit . Could he rely on a dream that he had seen? Many a conflicting thought would have passed through his mind,yet we see him responding to the challenge in a worthy manner....

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:24, 25)(KJV)

Joseph obeyed God, despite the fact that he did not fully understand things that were happening in the life of Mary and in his married life. He was patient and waited for God's promise to be fulfilled, before he had bodily relations with her. Joseph faced many challenges even after the birth of Jesus, yet he remained faithful to God.

God calls us also to be just, merciful, obedient and faithful as Joseph was. He helps us in the challenges we face in life. Praise be to his holy name.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 94

Matthew Chapter 12- Part 7

The sign of Jonah- Read (Matthew 12:38-40)(Luke 11:29, 30)

Some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus and asked him to show them a sign. Jesus had done many miracles among the Jews and many of the Pharisees and teachers of the law were eye witnesses to the miracles, yet they wanted him to show them a sign for their pleasure or asking. Jesus did only what the Father told him and he would not do a miracle to satisfy their desire. So he answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Jesus, here, was speaking about his impending death, burial and resurrection, as a sign for the seekers, which they did not probably understand.

"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth"- This is a statement that causes confusion because Jesus was not in the grave or tomb for three days and three nights; he was crucified and laid in the tomb on Friday before sunset and he was resurrected on Sunday morning. That would not be "three days and three nights"or 72 hours. For such an event, the crucifixion and death would have to be placed at Thursday but then all the verses in the Gospels concerning the Preparation day (day before sabbath) and Sabbath would go haywire. A likely explanation is that since the Jews consider part of a day as one day, it would be three days-part of Friday, Saturday (the sabbath) and part of Sunday.
It's only Matthew who writes about "the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth".

365 Blessings- Devotional 17

Start Your Day Right-137

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-15

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-14

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Start Your Day Right-138

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-14

New Testament- Lesson 93

Matthew Chapter 12- Part 6

Make a tree good or bad- (Read Matthew 12:33-37) 

Jesus said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.", which meant that everyone who heard his teachings had a choice and in our generation as we read or hear the Word of God, we have a choice- to change our inner self; for without that change coming forth, the fruit generated from our lives would be bad. No doubt, it's difficult for one to change oneself without the help of the Holy spirit, but he is always willing to be the Counselor if one permits. When the inner self has been transformed, then the resulting fruit will be good.

Jesus was caustic in his comments regarding the Pharisees and scribes, calling them a brood of vipers who could not say anything good, because their hearts were filled with evil. He said,
"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him." He warned them who opposed him by telling them that they would have to give an account on the day of judgment for every empty word they had spoken. Their words would acquit them or condemn them depending on the fruit their mouths had produced.

365 Blessings- Devotional 16

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-13