Who are you living for? What are you living for? What value is there in it? Would you allow pride to control the way you live? Will you live with humility as a servant of God? Are you living to glorify and honor God? What do your words and actions say about you? What do people see when they watch you? Because people are watching you! Kids. Coworkers. Neighbors. Family. Friends. Everywhere you go. Everything you do. Have you be questions about it? Today’s reading we see Jesus being questioned and answer it.
Jesus and Abraham
48They asked Jesus, “Were we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon in you?” 49“I have no demon,” Jesus answered. “I honor my Father, but you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking honor for myself. But there is one who is seeking it and who judges in my favor. 51I am telling you the truth: whoever obeys my teaching will never die.” 52They said to him, “Now we know for sure that you have a demon! Abraham died, and the prophets died, yet you say that whoever obeys your teaching will never die. 53Our father Abraham died; you do not claim to be greater than Abraham, do you? And the prophets also died. Who do you think you are?” 54Jesus answered, “If I were to honor myself, that honor would be worth nothing. The one who honors me is my Father—the very one you say is your God. 55You have never known him, but I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see the time of my coming; he saw it and was glad.” 57They said to him, “You are not even fifty years old—and you have seen Abraham?” 58“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus replied. “Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’.” 59Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.
–from John 8
What will you on that day when God comes back? Will you be able to say you were living and loving others? Will you be able to say that you were sharing and caring for others? Will you be ready for His return? We may not know when, but we do know we need to be prepared and we do know how He will return for God’s Word promises us and tells us.
10But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that Day the heavens will disappear with a shrill noise, the heavenly bodies will burn up and be destroyed, and the earth with everything in it will vanish. 11Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, 12as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. 13But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.
14And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him. 15Look on our Lord’s patience as the opportunity he is giving you to be saved, just as our dear friend Paul wrote to you, using the wisdom that God gave him. 16This is what he says in all his letters when he writes on the subject. There are some difficult things in his letters which ignorant and unstable people explain falsely, as they do with other passages of the Scriptures. So they bring on their own destruction. 17But you, my friends, already know this. Be on your guard, then, so that you will not be led away by the errors of lawless people and fall from your safe position. 18But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever! Amen.
–from 2 Peter 3
Don’t be deceived! Share God’s grace and love by building relationships that will allow others to see Jesus in and through you. Live in the light so that others will be drawn out of the darkness and into the light! Be humble servants who help and serve others. Don’t judge! Love! Be living testimonies of the hope that is within you! It’s all about relationships! Relationship with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Relationship with others by the grace and with the love of God!
We continue our reading into Job keeping our eyes on God and trusting Him in and thru it all. We have to be careful when bitterness and anger come into the picture as it can open us up to footholds for the devil to grab onto. Forgiveness is the key!
1Human life is like forced army service, like a life of hard manual labor, 2like a slave longing for cool shade; like a worker waiting to be paid. 3Month after month I have nothing to live for; night after night brings me grief. 4When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag; I toss all night and long for dawn. 5My body is full of worms; it is covered with scabs; pus runs out of my sores. 6My days pass by without hope, pass faster than a weaver’s shuttle. 7Remember, O God, my life is only a breath; my happiness has already ended. 8You see me now, but never again. If you look for me, I’ll be gone. 9-10Like a cloud that fades and is gone, we humans die and never return; we are forgotten by all who knew us. 11No! I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak. 12Why do you keep me under guard? Do you think I am a sea monster? 13I lie down and try to rest; I look for relief from my pain. 14But you—you terrify me with dreams; you send me visions and nightmares 15until I would rather be strangled than live in this miserable body. 16I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense. 17Why are people so important to you? Why pay attention to what they do? 18You inspect them every morning and test them every minute. 19Won’t you look away long enough for me to swallow my spit? 20Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer? Why use me for your target practice? Am I so great a burden to you? 21Can’t you ever forgive my sin? Can’t you pardon the wrong I do? Soon I will be in my grave, and I’ll be gone when you look for me.
–from Job 7
Build your life on the foundation and from the corner stone of Jesus! He is the reason for the hope that is within me. He is the answer to every problem and challenge.
Grace: (1.) Of form or person (Prov. 1:9; 3:22; Ps. 45:2). (2.) Favour, kindness, friendship (Gen. 6:8; 18:3; 19:19; 2 Tim. 1:9). (3.) God’s forgiving mercy (Rom. 11:6; Eph. 2:5). (4.) The gospel as distinguished from the law (John 1:17; Rom. 6:14; 1 Pet. 5:12). (5.) Gifts freely bestowed by God; as miracles, prophecy, tongues (Rom. 15:15; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 3:8). (6.) Christian virtues (2 Cor. 8:7; 2 Pet. 3:18). (7.) The glory hereafter to be revealed (1 Pet. 1:13).
Mercy: compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35). Mercy-seat (Heb. kapporeth, a “covering;” LXX. and N.T., hilasterion; Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the “place of the mercy-seat” (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2). It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning “anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense”) mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the “mercy-seat,” at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
Hope: one of the three main elements of Christian character (1 Cor. 13:13). It is joined to faith and love, and is opposed to seeing or possessing (Rom. 8:24; 1 John 3:2). “Hope is an essential and fundamental element of Christian life, so essential indeed, that, like faith and love, it can itself designate the essence of Christianity (1 Pet. 3:15; Heb. 10:23). In it the whole glory of the Christian vocation is centred (Eph. 1:18; 4:4).” Unbelievers are without this hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13). Christ is the actual object of the believer’s hope, because it is in his second coming that the hope of glory will be fulfilled (1 Tim. 1:1; Col. 1:27; Titus 2:13). It is spoken of as “lively”, i.e., a living, hope, a hope not frail and perishable, but having a perennial life (1 Pet. 1:3). In Rom. 5:2 the “hope” spoken of is probably objective, i.e., “the hope set before us,” namely, eternal life (comp. 12:12). In 1 John 3:3 the expression “hope in him” ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, “hope on him,” i.e., a hope based on God.
Forgiveness: A definition for forgiveness could be — giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. It is impossible to live on this fallen planet without getting hurt, offended, misunderstood, lied to, and rejected. Learning how to respond properly is one of the basics of the Christian life. The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, we seek his or her forgiveness in order for the relationship to be restored. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves to be forgiven. Instead, it is an act of love, mercy, and grace. How we act toward that person may change. It doesn’t mean we will put ourselves back into a harmful situation or that we suddenly accept or approve of the person’s continued wrong behavior. It simply means we release them from the wrong they committed against us. We forgive them because God forgave us (Ephesians 4:31-32 and Romans 5:8).
Unconditional Love: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers: Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV)