DO NOT LUST

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #7

  • Do Not Lust

“ 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:27–30).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

This is a very difficult saying and an even more difficult circumstance to find yourself. It should be approached with humility, submission to God through prayer.

First, God considers lust an offense worthy of death. Leviticus 20:10 says “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

1. Lust is destructive. Proverbs 6:32 says “The one who commits adultery with a woman is
lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.”

2. Lust is a sin that spreads like a virus. Matthew 5:32 says “but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of un-chastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

3. Lust is powerfully seductive and fatally addictive.

James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (v15) Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

4. Lust leads to corruption of the soul, debauchery and a reprobate mind.

James 4:2 says, “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.”

Jesus uses an extreme figure of speech when He says to pluck out your eye or to cut off your hand in order to illustrate the serious consequence of lust, “your whole body will go to hell”.

A true disciple, a true Christian, must avoid lust at all costs. But, when we find ourselves caught in the vortex of strong delusion and web of sin, we must start by admitting it and begin the long and difficult journey back to freedom.

1 John 1:8-9 says , “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Please click these links for a more complete explanation and an escape from this danger:

SEPARATED FROM GOD?

KNOWING GOD’S WILL

EXPERIENCE GOD’S WILL

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?___________________________

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?_______________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young


LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #4

  • Let Your Light Shine

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

PHOS = To shine or to make manifest one’s thoughts; God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly; reason, mind; the power of understanding esp. moral and spiritual truth.

Faith is a vital ingredient in our walk with God.  Our obedience demonstrates that faith.  But James gives us a great reminder when he says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.  But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

But are we willing to recognize, that faith without works is useless?

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  Ephesians2:10

 Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST I DO IT?  _____________________________

HOW MUST I TEACH IT?  _________________________

We must remember that it is not our light that shines, but His Light within us, bringing Him glory through our submission and obedience to Him and His Will.

Your Brother and Friend,

 Mike Young

CHOSEN

“The Chosen” is a television drama based on the life of Jesus Christ, created, directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins. The series’ creators are hoping to distinguish the new series from previous portrayals of Jesus by crafting a multi-season, episode-based story.

Created by: Dallas Jenkins

Distributed by: VidAngel

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF AMERICA – 2021

The American presidential election of 2020 should not be considered a ‘turning point’ for America, it should be considered as ‘the last nail in her coffin’.  The groundwork for the transition of America from a democratic-republic and a world superpower into just another Prefect in a One World Government had been laid decades ago.  The aging and dwindling populace of freedom loving American Patriots has finally been overcome by the swelling tide of from foreigner, both naturalized citizens and illegal aliens, (foreign agents) within her own borders.

You could see this coming, if you were watching.  A super influx of illegal and anti-American foreigners, made possible by the Leftists and Globalists in our own democrat party, was tipping the balance of power.

Additionally, the surreptitious introduction of Socialist doctrine into the curriculum of our education systems has indoctrinated several generations of children to think antithetically to America’s founding principles.  These are only two of the methods of the myriad of complex strategies to subvert and transform our once great nation into the Socialist / Communist pariah she is becoming.

WHERE CAN WE FIND HOPE?

A great example would be to look to the Jewish people who were primarily subject to foreign rule (Egyptian, Syrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, etc.), for thousands of years, with only brief periods of independence.

Specifically, in the first century, when the Romans ruled the Mediterranean area known as Palestine (modern-day Israel), where Jesus was born and lived his life. In the hierarchy of power, the Jewish self-government reported to the authority of the local Roman government (King Herod), which reported to Rome (Emperor Caesar).

Much like the modern/post-modern ecumenical movement in America and other parts of the world, the Roman government practiced syncretism, that is, they believed that all religious beliefs, philosophical teachings, and government systems are ultimately compatible, or a reflection of, a larger system – the Roman system. They practiced one of the first “one country, two systems” policies – pronouncing that all people had religious freedom, political freedom, and freedom of thought, yet maintaining strict control.

Just as the Jews understood the world to be divided into two types of people: Jewish and Gentile (non-Jew), Christianity divides the world into Believers and non-believers, and, just as the Jews worked hard to disassociate themselves from the Gentiles, so Christians tend to disassociate with non-believers.  But more than that, Conservatives and Liberals is the new identity, and they are sorely divided.

President Joe Biden, in his first month in office as begun the work of redefining America through executive order (dictatorial rule).  The Jewish people accepted their freedom in both their governing system, and in maintaining their own traditions, yet the Roman government required that everything be ultimately subject to Roman authority. For example, Jewish citizens were under the authority of the Jewish court system (the Sanhedrin), yet all rulings for the death penalty were sent to the Roman government.  So, it is coming to be, in America.  It is as if Biden was reading ancient Rome’s playbook.

The most disheartening, if not disgusting acts of sedition and cowardice in post 2020 America, is to be found in our religious and political systems.  In ancient Rome, the Jewish religious and governing system was divided between two parties:  the Pharisees, which we can compare to the “Conservatives” in our political and religious system – the ‘people’s party’, taught the law and traditions of Israel’s patriarchs (or, America’s founding principles), and were strictly conforming to Jewish law (in our case, Constitutional law); and the Sadducees (comparable to democrat and republican elitists) – the wealthy and conservative leaders who rejected the traditions in favor of political and religious cooperation with the Romans (in our case, Socialists and Globalists in America).

THEN CAME JESUS

The advent of Jesus, the Messiah, changed everything, “first in Jerusalem and then in all Judea, then Samaria, and then as far as the remotest part of the earth.”

That Hope, Jesus, is still alive and well, for us today.  But, this time, this 2nd Advent of Christ, He will not return as “the humble servant”, but this time

The heavens will open and behold, a white horse, and He who sits on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness.  He judges and wages war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will [e]rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

We need to be aware and informed about the movement and the status of world religions and world politics only to the extent that it informs us of the lateness of the HOUR according to God’s eschatological clock.

Please watch these CHOSEN videos – and notice that the Work of God continued, despite Roman and Jewish opposition, impediments and interruptions.  This is our model.

Embrace THE HOPE, trust Him, follow Him – He knows the WAY!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  I am writing a study named “THE CHOSEN” from 1 Peter.  It is a work in progress  Are you chosen?

JUST LIVE WITH IT

Galatians 5:16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (17)For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

(25 )If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Walk in the Spirit” translated literally says, “I walk, in an ethical sense: I conduct my life, live according to the Spirit of God; to make the best use of my opportunities” so that I am not consumed or pursuing lustful or selfish, self-centered matters.”

It is vitally important to take notice and understand what it means that the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

To “walk” in the Bible is often a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are to “walk” it, that is, we are to make consistent forward progress. The biblical norm for all believers is that they walk in the Spirit: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”.

The statement that “the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another”, besides meaning they counteract or repel one another, it literally says the Spirit pushes down on or through the flesh, “so that you cannot do the things you want to do”.

This carries the idea of being double-minded, and, James (1:7)warns that a person “ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, (8)while being double-minded, as they are unstable in all their ways.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Again, it is vitally important to take notice that the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another. In other words, they counter act or repel one another “so that you cannot do the things you want to do”. Unless you correct this state of affairs, you are inert and basically, ‘good for nothing but to be trod under foot of man’, as Jesus puts it.

Secondly, and here is where it gets tricky, we are basically back to the principal of “Binding and Loosing”, and this is KEY!  (words in parentheses are my notes; words in brackets are footnotes at the bottom of this page)

Matthew 18:18Truly I say to you, whatever you [r] bind on earth (*the flesh)[s] shall have been bound in heaven (*the Spirit); and whatever you [t] loose on earth (*the flesh) [u] shall have been loosed in (*the Spirit) heaven.

(19) “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth (*the flesh) about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them [v] by My Father who is in heaven (*the Spirit). 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” 

BINDING AND LOOSING – A SERIOUS MATTER. The Bible says that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven; in other words, once a matter is bound in heaven, then it will be manifest on earth. It is a covenant with God and is a serious matter. God is saying that if you are going to enter into a covenant agreement with Him as His disciple, the standards of such a covenant are “high as the heavens are from the earth”, and the discipline necessary is impossibly strict, in the flesh, and can only be done by way of the Spirit of God, and the commitment is for life.

When you make a “causal statement” such as, found in James 4:13, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” (14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. (15 ) Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that”, you are, in essence, making a VOW.

(Notice I said C-A-U-S-A-L, not casual. A statement of intent to do or create something)

When you make a statement with your mouth, it is as if you are making a vow before the Lord. (A spoken word, made “by the living voice” is translated as “Rhḗma”, from Strong’s concordance #4483, /rhéō, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice”.  See John 15:7).

This is an important point.  It is important enough that Matthew 12:36 warns usthat for every idle (careless, useless, lazy, barren) word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” So, Matthew 5:37 instructs us But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.”

Now, back to making a CAUSAL statement of a VOWAn idle word, by definition from the Bible, is a word that is careless, lazy, and useless. It comes to nothing except ridicule and humiliation and as the Bible states, by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

BINDING a word, to make it “useful, active and productive”, YOU MUST WALK IT OUT (i.e., “do it”) in the flesh (on earth) by way of the Spirit of God.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Finally, I will attempt to draw a word-picture as an illustration of this profound Truth.

SCENARIO 1.

Assume you are standing on earth, praying or speaking (vowing) a Rhḗma word. God hears your words or ‘vows’ or prayer from heaven and answers you, opening the way for its accomplishment.

But supposing you fail to act on God’s answer to that word, it remains idle, useless and barren, the result of a careless, lazy word; and by this you will be justified, or you will be condemned!

Can you see the importance of every word that proceed out of your mouth?

SCENARIO 2.

Assume you are standing on earth, praying or speaking (vowing) a Rhḗma word. God hears your words or ‘vows’ or prayer from heaven and answers you, opening the way for its accomplishment.

Assuming you act on God’s answer and you and you “WALK IT OUT” (i.e., ‘you do it’) and it is accomplished. The result of a carefully spoken word; and by this you will be justified!

Ephesians 2:10  ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Now, when you read or hear that “All things are possible for him who believes” perhaps you will believe! Matthew 21:22And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS: For anyone who immediately begins to pick these verses apart with a “Yeah, But” excuse, I am truly sorry for you.

This is the plain Truth. JUST LIVE WITH IT!

[r] 18 I.e., forbid
[s] 18 Gr fut. pft. pass. tense
[t] 18 I.e., permit
[u] 18 Gr fut. pft. pass. tense
[v] 19 Lit from

https://www.gotquestions.org/Spirit-walk.html

SONS OF YOUR FATHER

MATTHEW 5:43-48 – SONS OF YOUR FATHER

v43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven;”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Once again, “Jesus is turning the world right side up” in its thinking, using the Law of Moses (the Torah). Jesus is taking one teaching of the Law, at a time, and is saying, “I have come to fulfill the Law and to show you” the one and only way to successfully navigate this world in order to be made ready for the next world, which is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus began His ministry saying, “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand.”  His command and warning is resonating in these teachings. He is saying, in these most profound revelations of Truth, that how you think and believe, (which, naturally, results in how you behave) are the keys to eternal life. The first and foremost Truth is believing on the One whom God has sent: Jesus.

Jesus is saying that it is not enough to simply think a certain way. You must believe with an unwavering and unmovable certainty of the Truth. This requires faith which is full of the substance of the Truth and certain of the thing hoped for, and then is manifest as the proof of things not yet seen.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is telling His listeners (readers) that they although have been loving the lovable, the friendly, the relative, those with whom you live in peace, it is not enough; because they have been hating those they consider to be an “enemy”, those who are unlovable, unlovely, not-so-friendly those who cause discomfort, are considered a threat of strife or war.

But, Jesus says, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven”.  This can be one of the most difficult things to understand and to do without the right understanding.

First things first:   Jesus is speaking to Jews and to His Christian Disciples, and  these Truths are meant for His disciples (followers), present and future.  Anyone can listen to Jesus, but, not everyone can hear and understand what He is saying.  Anyone can attempt to apply these Truths to their life because the Truth is universal.  But, a person cannot live the Truth without Christ Jesus because Jesus is the Truth, bodily. (John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life”)

Secondly, “sin” is THE obstacle that causes you to separate yourself from the presence and love of God.  Sin is rebellion toward God and to His Word, and it is THE obstacle to entering the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God.

Notice that the keys words here are “Love” and “Hate”.  Remembering that these words of Jesus, these Eternal Truths are written

          • TO THE CHRISTIAN,
          • ABOUT BEING A CHRISTIAN AND
          • FOR THE CHRISTIAN,

So, 1 John 4:20 tells us that “If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.”

Again, 1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Simply put, God is Love.   Hate is not of God.  If these two coexist in the life of a Christian, you will stumble. If they persist in the life of a Christian, there is a deeper and darker problem embedded in your soul.

Additionally, you must “know the enemy or more correctly put, know who and what is the enemy. The Bible tells us “who is the enemy.” 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

You can and must understand (1) Who the enemy is, and (2) How to withstand and overcome the enemy.  This is done only by way of the indwelling Presence of God (The Holy Spirit).  Anything less should cause you grave concern about your life now, your effectiveness in the Kingdom work, and perhaps, even your eternal security.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Will you take the time and apply the discipline necessary to prepare and equip yourself?  It will take submission to Jesus as your Lord and savior and, you must study to become equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16)

Remember, one of the hallmarks of a Disciple of Christ is that you will be able to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Just doing this without know WHY and HOW is works without faith.

Additional resources for your Journey:

(This video study series is from The Fuel Project and has over 37 informative, helpful and eye-opening lessons)

Let’s Gird up!  The enemy is at the gates!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  Jesus is moving us from engaging the world in “wordly matters” and leading us to serve Him in His Father’s Mission.

This is what these teachings do:  They move us into His Kingdom, doing Kingdom matters in preparation for His return.

RECEIVE GOD’S POWER

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #46

  • Receive God’s Power

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Words in Luke 24:49 are breathed by God, and written by men under the unction of and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  

Jesus was talking to His disciples, in this verse.  Jesus is still speaking to His disciples, today, saying that He is sending forth the promise of the Holy Spirit TO YOU and UPON YOU as a Christian. 

If this were not so, then the Work of God would have ceased upon the death of the first disciples and the Apostles.

Luke 24:29 is a prophetic utterance. 

A prophetic Word to His disciples, for today.

Just like it was for the disciples in Jesus’ days on earth, we are to ‘stay in the city’ until we are clothed with power from on high.  In other words, until you have received the gift of The Holy Spirit you have no power.  But, once you have been ‘clothed with power from on high’, you are to go and be His witness to the utter most parts of the world.

Look at another account of this teaching in

Acts 1:4-8

4  “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;
5  “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6  “So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

7  “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

8  “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Even today, once you have been ‘clothed with the power from on high’, that is you have been baptized by and filled with the Holy Spirit, you shall go and be His witnesses, even to the remotest part of the earth.

The word, “witness” in verse 8, is the Greek word “martus” or martyr, in English, and literally means “those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.”  (Strong’s Bible concordance)

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

“Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

Nothing about this has changed.  Time is short.  Let’s GO, together!

Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO IT?

HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

BAPTIZE MY DISCIPLES

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #45

  • Baptize My Disciples

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”  Matthew 28:19

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Word of God, Jesus’ Teachings, should be read and understood on THREE levels: 

  1. By the natural or physical (soma),
  2. By the soul or the mind, will and emotions (psuche), and
  3. By the spirit (pneuma)

1*.  The natural of physical reading is at ‘face value’ and simply says “Go, make disciples of all the nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and this is what happens almost all the time in most all the church buildings by most all the pastors.

2*.  Peering through our Soul and reading these verses using all the senses of our mind, will and emotions, we see a bigger pictures. 

Our mind begins to see and grasp the enormity of the task.  Planning begins, thinking, strategizing, pondering.

We feel the emotional weight of trying to identify with people on their culture and building relationships with a foreign people in a language.  We feel the estrangement from our families, loved ones and all things familiar.

We sense the commitment and the act of our will required to go into all the nations of the world as a missionary. 

3*.  The Spirit of God communes with our spirit and we know:

The word “GO” means to pursue the journey on which one has entered, and to continue on one’s journey so as to depart from your former life, to follow THE ONE, JESUS, that is to become his adherent and to reorder one’s life for Him.

(a)  The word “GO” is in the aorist tense which means to “keep on going” with no regard to past, present or future circumstances.  Once we obey and GO, this is a lifetime and a generation work.

(b)  “Baptizing” them is not to be confused with simply dipping them in water,(bapto). The clearest example that shows the meaning of BAPTIZING (baptizo) is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.  Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptised’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change.

   When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. #Mr 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough.  There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!

(c)  “In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc. the cause or reason named: on this account, because he suffers as a Christian, for this reason

This comes from a root meaning, “ginosko”, to have a deep, personal and intimate knowledge, penetrating the heart, soul and spirit.

The gravity of His Words and the great commandment and commission is inescapable. 

IF YOU ARE HIS DISCIPLE, A CHRISTIAN, YOU MUST GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE AND TEACH or you must question whether you are His at all.

It is also worth repeating:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

FEED MY SHEEP

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #44

  • Feed My Sheep

v15 “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

v16 “He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.

v17 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”  (John 21:15–16)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

NO COINCIDENCE

There are no coincidences in the Bible.  This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested Himself to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.

And now, Jesus gives Peter a command three times in three ways.  Is this anything significant?

Three, (shelosh , sheloshah) in the Bible, means harmony, new life, and completeness.

Three carries an extreme significance throughout Scripture in prophetic fulfillment to the nature of our prayers. As Christians, we should remember to keep an eye out for any instance we see something thrice in Scripture. It’s either emphatically pointing to the essence of something, or showing the completeness of something.

1.  Jesus asks Peter (as He might ask you) “Do you love (agapao) Me?” 

Jesus uses the Greek word “Agapao” which is a love based on esteem (diligo), distinct from the love that is expressed by spontaneous natural affection, emotional and unreasoning ( amo).  Agapao-Love is fitly used in New Testament of Christians love of God and man.  The spiritual affection which follows the direction of the will, and which, therefore, unlike that feeling which is instinctive and unreasoning, can be commended as a duty.

Almost astoundingly, Peter replies with the word “Phileo” which denotes a brotherly love.  It means to approve of, to like or to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend.

This is the case THREE TIMES.  And, THREE TIMES Jesus says

(1)  Tend My Lambs – Portraying the duty of a Christian teacher to promote in every way the spiritual welfare of the members of the church.  In other words “feed” my Lambs.

(2)  Shepherd My Sheep –   This is time Jesus uses a word which indicates a sheepfold of a higher order in a higher sanctuary or a more sacred sheep pen.  In other words, to supply the requisites for the soul’s need

(3)  Tend My Sheep – This time Jesus repeats His second command.  Repetition is emphasis.

Each time Jesus uses a more sincere and intensely personal word for LOVE and each time Peter replies with a Brotherly LOVE.  Although a good thing, Brotherly Love alone will not sustain you through times of trial and testing. 

The Bible tells us,  “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

We, as people, have divided scriptures into books and verses.  It is our way.

We, as people, have divided Jesus’ Church into clergy and laity.  It is out way.

We, as people, have divided our loyalty to Jesus into Agape-Love and Phileo-Love.  It is our way.

 “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”  This is His Way.

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Let’s draw near to God and He will draw near to us.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Matthew 24:45 – 46

WATCH & PRAY

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #43

  • Watch and Pray

“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

At first glance, this seems simple enough to understand.  But the larger context is about missing an opportunity and suffering the consequences.

This event can be viewed in two scenarios.  And both are correct:

1.  Instructions to stay alert and pray when calamity, temptation and testing comes. In this case, regarding the events leading up to Jesus death and resurrection and the First Advent of the Savior of the World being announced on the world stage.

2.  A foreshadowing of the coming Second Advent of the Savior of the world and instructions for Christians to get ready and stay ready when regarding the coming The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

Jesus had entered a time of distress and grieving “to the point of death” because His time of betrayal and of enduring the cross was drawing near.  So, Jesus comes with Peter, James and John to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Jesus went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed.  When He came back to the disciples He found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?

Then Jesus said, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


Jesus went back to pray two more times and both times when He returned, the disciples had fallen asleep.  After the third time Jesus announces, “Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

AN URGENT WARNING

The idea contained in the Words of Jesus when He said, “Keep watching”  (Greek = gregoreuo) is to give strict attention to, be cautious, active, and to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.

A DIRE CONDITION

The idea contained in the Word “Temptation” describes a “trial,  a testing, a proving trial (As seen in Matthew 4:1 when Jesus is lead by the Spirit into the wilderness).

  • It is the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy;  the enticement to sin, arising from personal desires or from the outward circumstances;
  • In this case it is the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand; 
  • It also show the condition of a person, a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness;
  • It comes from adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.
  • Temptation can culminate in rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves.  Scriptures warn us:  Do not tempt or test God.

Jesus teaches us, in Matthew 24 and tells us in greater detail in the Book of the Revelation (chapters 6 through 8) of

  • The present tribulation of these Days of Distress and
  • The coming Great Tribulation and the Great And Terrible Day of The Lord. 

This is a clear picture that His death and resurrection is (1)  the fulfillment of scriptures which sets in motion (2)  The Beginning of the End.  We must be ready!

READ, PRAY, LISTEN, DO

 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

“But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Matthew 24:42:51

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #42

  • Keep My Commandments

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The plain face-value reading is adequate.  If you love Him, you will do what He has asked of you.  You will do what He has commanded.

However, be aware that This is NOT a statement which says, “IF YOU LOVE ME, THEN YOU ARE BOUND BY OATH AND THE LAW TO DO KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS”.  

It IS instead a PROPHETIC word describing a RELATIONSHIP.  It is saying that:

“IF YOU LOVE ME, THEN YOU WILL WANT TO KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS

AND

IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS”

From its root meaning, this word “love” (AGAPAO ἀγαπάω in the Greek) is properly understood to denote love based on esteem ( diligo).  This is distinct from love expressed as a spontaneous natural affection or an emotional and unreasoning love (amo φιλέω from the Greek – amorous English.).

TO LOVE

AGAPE, LOVE (ἀγαπάω) is used in the New Testament of a Christian’s love toward God and man.  It is the spiritual affection which follows the direction of the will, and which, therefore, unlike that feeling which is instinctive and unreasoning, can be commended as a duty.

It is the highest form of love and esteem when we are duty-bound, not from our emotions or passion but from an act of our will to commit to love unconditionally.

If this AGAPE is our type of love toward God, then we are equally committed to keep His commandments, not as an obligation nor by the force of law, but by an act of our will.

TO KEEP


Next we have the words “TO KEEP”.   There are at least 6 different Greek words in the New Testament which can be translated as “to keep”.

The word used for “KEEP” in this verse is TEREO – to observe, to watch, to preserve, to hold fast; to attend to carefully, take care of; to keep, one in the state in which he is

The idea contained in this word ” keep ” is translated to in the same fashion as you would see a mother and her baby interacting.  Think on this:

The relationship of a newborn and his or her mother is wrought from much excitement and anticipation followed by months of patient preparation and finally realized through great difficulty and pain.

The mother’s love is born of an innate unconditional love and duty which is brought about by the process pregnancy and birth. 

Imagine the scene as a mother holds and feed her newborn in the first days.

Imagine the baby, suckling and watch his or her mother intently.  Over time, the baby begins to take on the expressions and attributes of the mother.  The bond between them grows and strengthens.  Their love deepens and as their commitment grows.  The bond of a parent and child.

This is a representation and an expression of “Loving God” and of “keeping His Commandments”.  It is saying,

  • Being Born of God means
  • Staying Near to God, and
  • Staring into “His Face” and coming to know HIm
  • Resting in His Arms
  • Loving God unconditionally
  • Taking on His attributes
  • Being His son or daughter
  • Becoming like Him so others see the resemblance

Then, having come to know Him and to love Him, you will keep His commandments.

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

BORN AGAIN?

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #41

  • Be Born Again

“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” John 3:5-7

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Have you ever walked into the middle of a conversation?  You haven’t heard what the subject is about nor do you know what preceded the remarks you have just now heard.  You might be puzzled?  Nicodemus was puzzled.

It was as if Jesus is speaking from a different paradigm than Nicodemus.  Jesus mind is set on His Father’s Words, so, anything you say to Him or ask of Him will get the response of the Father.

Nicodemus, (#1) a man of the Pharisees, (#2) a ruler of the Jews, (#3) came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. (John 3:2)” 

Notice that Nicodemus is (#1) educated among the elite, and lawyer of renown; (#2)  He is a ruler among the rulers of the Jews;  (#3)  Yet, he is sneaking around at night?  Even the great Nicodemus is more concerned with appearances than with the Truth.   Also notice that his statement is actually a confession and an interrogatory. 

But, Jesus knowing that men cannot be trusted, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men (John 2:24).  

Jesus has said before, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23), and this is reflected in this conversation with Nicodemus.

So, rather then engage Nicodemus on the pretense that he actually wants to know more about Him, Jesus goes to the point of Nicodemus’ visit and says to him  “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Which, on the surface has nothing to do with what Nicodemus had posed.  But, Nicodemus takes the bait and replies with, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

JESUS SEPARATES THE KINGDOMS – AGAIN!

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Nicodemus, the great teacher, now confounded, said to Jesus, “How can these things be?”

THIS SHOULD BE THE QUESTION ON ALL OF OUR MINDS

Shortly after this time, during a discussion between a Jew and disciples of John the Baptist, John repeats this teaching of “Separate Kingdoms” of Jesus by saying, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)

John continues by uttering this most profound Truth:

  • “He who comes from above is above all,
  • he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth.
  • He who comes from heaven is above all. (verse 31)

Being born of water, “a natural earthly birth”, must be followed by being born of the Spirit, or literally, “born from above” in order to live as God has designed.

THE BIG LIE

It is Satan’s Lie, “You surly shall not die” that has cause untold billions of men, women and children to die having failed to complete the “True Life Cycle” of being born of water and of the Spirit” so they could “enter into the kingdom of God”.

Do not be amazed that Jesus said that you must be born from above!

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

TAKE, EAT and DRINK

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #40

  • Take, Eat, and Drink in His memory

“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you;

” for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”  (Matthew 26:26–28).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Disciples of Jesus, are commanded by Him, to practice this ordinance in memory of Him.  It was meant, then, and is still meant today, to remind us, the disciples of Jesus of what He has done and continues to do for us.

It is also to remind us to stay vigilant, always ready, in season and out of season, to spread the Good News and to give The Reason for our Hope.

His Body and Blood must be constant and intimate reminders of Who and What Jesus is to the believer.  The images and emotions we plant in our heart and mind through this intimate act is one of His Body and His Blood coming into our mortal body and mind and cleansing us, strengthening us, saving us, protecting us and providing for us.

We should dwell, ruminate and meditate on these matters, often, allowing them to sink deep into our conscious mind, our subconscious mind, our soul and spirit: 

1.  The Body of Jesus is the Bread of Life. 

  • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  John 6:35
  • YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE WITH GOD IN HEAVEN:  “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. v54
  •  YOU WILL LIVE IN THE SAFETY AND POWER OF CHRIST:  “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. v56
  • YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE:  “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” v58

2.  The Blood of Jesus is the remission of sins.

  • In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1Cornithians11:25
  • YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN:  For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28
  • “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” John 6:56
  • YOU ARE MADE CLEAN:  And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews9:22

3.  A caution and a warning.

  • “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:27
  • “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  v28
  • “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. v29
  • “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (die). v30
  •  “But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” v31, v32

The New Testament tells us that this rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper as He was giving His disciples bread and wine during a Passover meal.   Jesus commanded his disciples to “do this in memory of me” while referring to the bread as “my body” and the cup of wine as “the new covenant in my blood”.  Through the eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His commission of the apostles at the Last Supper. (Wikipedia)

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Dear Friends, please remember, “The State” would tell you otherwise, but, Jesus and The Bible tells you…

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY1 Peter 2:9

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  https://www.challies.com/articles/you-yes-you-are-a-minister/

GET READY – STAY READY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #39

  • Await My Return

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

“But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would

have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

 “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”  Matthew 24:42-44

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

These are some to the most dire and clearest warnings given by Jesus about His Return and the necessity of our readiness.  Pay close attention and do what He says or be left behind!

 The context of these words start in

Matthew 24: 32  “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;

33  so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

34  “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

35  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

36  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

38  “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

39  and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

40  “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

41  “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

First, some literary housekeeping:  There are various discussions and debates about the supposed complexity and intricacies of these verses. 

  • Some theologians say these verses lead one to believe there will be “two Second Comings of Jesus” – which is utter nonsense.  Believe it or not, Jesus can do more than one thing at a time!
  • Others wrestle with the wording of the metaphor in verse 32 which says, “you will know when summer is near” and a seeming contradiction found in verse 42 which says “you do not know which day your Lord is coming”.  This too is nonsense.  Clearly, it reads that you will know the “season” but not “the exact day”.
  • Some “theologians” wrestle with the idea of Jesus being compared to a “thief in the night”.  “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.”  Once again, this is nonsense.  These are two separate statements, connected only by sequence of events. 

#1 – “be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” is a stand-alone statement of fact.

#2 – “the thief”  is a warning and a direct reference to the breaking of the 6th Seal, The Great Tribulation and the Wrath of the Lamb, which will seem like a “thief breaking into your home, stealing your goods and harming you and your family”.

The wording of our focus verses (Matthew 24:32-44) is made clear when you and read these verses in context of the preceding verses in Matthew 24:29-31.

v29  “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30  “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

31  “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

IMPORTANT:  Verse 29 says “But immediately after the tribulation of those days which is a reference to the beginning of the tribulation period, also known as the “Days of Distress”.  This period is described by Jesus in Matthew 24 verses 3 through 28. 

They are also found in Revelation 6:1-11 and are named the “Seals” of the tribulation.  Seal ONE through Seal FIVE have already been opened or are being opened and are ongoing events, all of which began sometime between AD 1 and AD 90.

NOTE:  The 6th Seal will mark the beginning of the a period, known variously as “The Day of Wrath”, “The End of Days”, “The Wrath of the Lamb” and “The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”.

If you read our focus verses in Matthew 24 in the context of the entire chapter you will see why this is such an important warning.

AN ONGOING ALERT

Jesus words, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” take on a new and urgent meaning when you realize we are on the verge of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (Seal 6).

The ALERT mentioned in Matthew 24:42 is an ongoing ALERT!  We must stay ever vigilant and ready for Jesus’ return.

Finally, and just before the opening of the 6th Tribulation Seal, two important events must occur: 

1.  The Great Apostasy (A rebellion, an abandonment of God’s revelation.)  https://www.gotquestions.org/great-apostasy.html

2.  The revealing of the anti-Christ

These events are likened to a thief breaking into your home at night and robbing you, destroying your home and harming you and your family.

2 Thessalonians 2:1  Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

2  that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

4  who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

These events could occur at any moment.  You and I must be ready in a moment’s notice in “a blink of the eye”.  We must stay on alert if we are to escape this calamity, keep our homes and family safe, and  join Jesus when “He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #38

    • Love your Neighbor

“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39–40).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The face-value reading of these verses explains it all.

Is it any wonder why so many professing Christians are called “hypocrites” by those outside the faith?  So few of us are practicing this commandment: “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”.

Most of what Jesus taught goes against our human nature which makes His Teachings so very hard to do. 

But, why should this be difficult if the Spirit of God changes our nature:

Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Read what the Apostle Paul has to say about this conundrum:

Romans 7:18   “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

19  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

20  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

21  I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

Why is this so important?

1.  The mark of a True Christian is being sanctified, daily.

Leviticus 20:7 says, “You shall sanctify yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”

2.  The mark of a True Christian practices Spiritual discipline.

 Philippians 2:12  “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

3.  The entire Law of God and all the teaching of the Prophets rests on these two “Greatest Commandments”. 

“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.   “This is the great and foremost commandment.   “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’  Matthew 22:37-39

Unless we obey these two commandments, the rest of what we do is ‘wood, hay and stubble’

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

By this, we, the disciples of Jesus, can and will continue to turn the world upside down!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

BRING IN THE POOR

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #35

  • Bring in the Poor

“And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.

“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

“and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  Luke 14:12-14

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This is a profound Truth being taught and demonstrated by Jesus.  The focus verses are Luke 14:12-14, but the narrative begins at Luke 14 and goes from verse 1 through verse 14

 

There are many things to learn here:

  1. And Jesus said to them, When He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely
    • So it will be for you as you are a disciple of Jesus
  2. Jesus asks, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”  But the Pharisees kept silent.  And He took hold of him and healed him and sent him away. (The Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath)
    • So it will be for you as you are a disciple of Jesus.
  3. When you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 
    • So it will be for you as you are a disciple of Jesus
  4. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
    • So it will be for you as you are a disciple of Jesus
  5. Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
    • So it will be for you as you are a disciple of Jesus

STOP THE SELF INDULGENCE

  1. In Luke 18:22, Jesus told the ‘rich young ruler’ if he wanted eternal life that he would need to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, then come and follow Jesus.

GIVE – WITH NO REWARD IN MIND

The last item in this list can be the most difficult.  We are to give with no reward in mind.  It should remind us of at least two other profound Teachings of Jesus:

  1. Luke 6:38 which tells us to “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?

HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?

All we do is for the Glory of God, alone.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

We are living in a time where the “State” has largely replaced God in our lives.  What the Church used to do (or does in a very limited fashion) The “State” now does, but with serious consequences.

The “State” provides food, clothing, housing, medical care, social welfare income, social security retirement income, disability income, mandated education, government funded abortions, job training, etc., regardless of your beliefs, lifestyle or habits, morals or ethics.

WE, the CHURCH are abdicating our role and responsibility.  We must care for and provide for our pastors. But, the average church spends 70% to 80%+ of its buildings, debt, income on salaries, retirement plans, healthcare plans, perks, etc., for pastors and staff.  Even the best missions programs top of their giving at an average of just 5%. Even once the mission money is delivered, it to goes largely to the same budgetary items. 

We go to our church buildings and worship in relative luxury while the world around us becomes more and more secular, more hostile to Christianity and lost to God.

WE, THE CHURCH, THE SAINTS OF GOD, HIS CHILDREN, MUST RECLAIM THIS TERRITORY!

I pray that God will forgive me – forgive us – and that we will submit ourselves, our luxuries, our wants to Him. That I – that we – have the will and the courage to repent and follow Him, fully devoted, fully surrendered, all in!

Amen & Amen.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young