160829Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, NRSV)

Let mutual love continue.

Let marriage be held in honor.

Remember your leaders and keep them in prayer.

Do not neglect to do good and share what you have.

You never know who you are looking at, or standing before, maybe an angel, maybe the Lord.

So always treat others with the utmost respect.

You could be entertaining angels! So go and do the good God created you to do.

160828On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” He said also 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, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:1, 7-14, NRSV)

Do not think more highly of yourself than of others.

When you think of doing something, invite those who can not repay you, and could not even think of being invited.

These are the ones that God looks out for.

These are the ones we are to spread the good news of the Gospel to.

Store up your treasure in heaven and give to those here who are in need what you have been blessed with.

In a word, be humble.

Not for recognition, but because that is what God wants us to be.

160827It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! The dullard cannot know, the stupid cannot understand this: though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever, but you, O LORD, are on high forever. For your enemies, O LORD, for your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psalm 92, NRSV)

The first 2 verses here are a wonderful plan for your Sabbath and everyday!

Gove thanks to the Lord and sing His praises in the morning! First thing when you rise, sing praises to God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth and give him thanks for the blessings He has showered you with this day!

And as you go to be, praise Him for His faithfulness to you this and every day!

The Lord’s works are wonderful and need to be praised.

Bless the Lord in the morning and at night for all of His gifts to you!

160826Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3, NRSV)

In 6 days God created everything, so on the seventh day, God rested.

Do you rest every seven days?

And which day is actually the Sabbath?

Well, that depends if you are a Jew or a Christian. It might change if you are Muslim, I do not know, however, I would think that the Muslim Sabbath would be the same day as the Jewish Sabbath. And actually, some would say it doesn’t matter and there is only one Sabbath.

To most Christians, the answer to the question of what day is the Sabbath would be Sunday. Remember Blue Laws to keep things closed on Sundays. You couldn’t even get gas on a Sunday not that long ago.

But in actuality, the Sabbath is Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week, not the 7th. So Saturday is the day of rest.

So no more soccer, or football, or baseball, or house work, or any work at all on Saturday.

Well maybe not…

But in all that you do, devote all of your schedule to God and remember that even during God’s work there was rest. So rest in the Lord.

Wheat near Mount Nemrut, Eastern TurkeyOne sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.” On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:1-11, NRSV)

The Pharisees asked why Jesus’ disciples worked on the Sabbath, and later wondered if He would heal on the Sabbath.

You see the Sabbath is the day of rest. See Remember for more details…

You couldn’t pick or get the grain out, or heal. This was all forbidden on the Sabbath because God rested on the Sabbath and so should we.

But we all need to eat, and if the only food is available to you is grain in the field which must be picked and threshed, then you pick and thresh so you can eat.

And if someone needs to be healed, why should they wait any longer than they already have to be healed?

Which is more important, God’s mission that everyone be brought into His presence and live out His life, or the man’s law?

160824Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 58:6-14, NRSV)

What is actually pleasing to the Lord?

Us fasting but ignoring those around us?

No! What is pleasing to the Lord is us being His hands and feet, by giving to those in need, not doing our religious duty to get a good look from the Lord, but being out there in the world and helping those in need, seeing those whom the world misses.

Not blindly doing our religious duty to make a good impression.

So is your life pleasing to the Lord?

160823Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11, NRSV)

How many of us actually do this?

A day of rest with nothing to do?

You realize it was against the Levitical Law for a person to walk more than a mile on the Sabbath. So going for a run or a walk is out. Also you couldn’t run your donkey or horse more than a mile, so driving more than .5 miles from your house is out of the question, unless you don’t plan on returning home for the evening, then you can go a mile away.

God rested during the creation of the world, and we are told that we need to take a day out of each week and rest.

So remember the day of rest, not only as something that we should do but as something we do.