Author Archives: Steve Green

11-12-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

The Widow’s Two Mites

(Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4)

Guy Roberson

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I believe there are two ways of looking and this beautiful story. One has to do with the full context. Look at Mark 12:38-40 in order to see our story in context.

“Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Jesus has just been warning His disciples about how the religious teachers had been shamelessly cheating widows out of their property and then pretending to be pious by making long prayers in public. This poor widow had not been instructed by God to give everything she had into the treasury. In fact, she should have been looked after by God’s shepherds, the religious leaders (read this scathing rebuke of the failure of God’s shepherds to look after His people: Ezek. 34:2-6; 11-16). Today there may be Christians who really don’t have enough to take care of their needs and they should not be made to feel that they should give if they are unable to do so. Giving is measured according to what one has. Paul wrote, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12).

The other way to look at this touching story is to make the point regarding sacrifice. She put in more than all others who contributed to the treasury because she gave all she had while the others merely gave out of their abundance. Jesus saw in her a heart that trusted in God’s providence for her needs and a heart that expressed its worship and appreciation to God in her giving.

God certainly does care what we give to His work of the kingdom. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (I Cor. 16:1-2). Also consider what Paul said in 2 Cor. 9:6-8: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-5-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees

(Matt 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47)

Guy Roberson

“And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:38-40).

In speaking to the multitudes and His disciples Jesus warned them about the scribes and Pharisees as the passages serving as our text clearly show. He told them, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (23:3). Jesus certainly did not mean that they should follow the false teachings of the Pharisees but rather those teachings that naturally and correctly arose from the Law of Moses. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matt. 23:3). He listed some of the reasons for their hypocrisy:

“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers (v. 4). “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. “They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, “greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.”

Jesus then pointed out “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. He was reminding them that Christ was their teacher and that they had forgotten the preeminence of God and their Messiah. Then Jesus taught them and us that being a servant should be our goal. Jesus clearly taught “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Whoever exalts himself has nowhere to go but down. He will be humbled by God. Whoever humbles himself has nowhere to go but up. He will be exalted by God (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23; James 4:6; I Peter 5:5).

He pronounced seven woes on the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23:13-31. Why? Because…

1. They kept people out of God’s kingdom (v. 13).

2. They took advantage of widows (v. 14)

3. They misled men to eternal destruction (v. 15).

4. They were covetous of worldly things (vv. 16-22).

5. They refused to show compassion (vv. 23-24).

6. They were inwardly corrupt (vv. 25-28). And…

7. They afflicted the righteous (vv. 29-31). Now…

Space will not permit a discussion of each these woes, but they should be studied, and we must determine not to follow in the footsteps of the scribes and Pharisees. We often teach on the Beatitudes of Christ but seldom hear about the woes. We should follow and apply the beatitudes but refuse to practice these woes.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-29-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Which is The Great Commandment in the Law?

(Mat 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-34)

Guy Roberson

This exchange took place during the busy and intense last week before the crucifixion. In New Testament times “lawyers” were religious leaders who were what we would call “experts” in the Mosaic Law, known as scribes. Their responsibilities were to study the Law, transcribe it, and copy it meticulously. These “scribes” went beyond interpretation to the adding traditions to what God had commanded and these interpretations were considered more important than the Law itself. Jesus condemned them for their hypocrisy in Matthew 23 because they taught the Law but did not practice what they taught.

Upon our Lord’s arrival in Jerusalem He was confronted by the religious teachers who were attempting to entrap Him. But this scribe seemed to be more neutral than the previous leaders who attempted to entrap Jesus. Mark tells us, “and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He [that is, the Lord] had answered them well,” then asked Him this question about the law (Mark 12:28). In other words, the man’s question was not motivated by a desire to entrap the Lord, but rather because he saw that the Lord answered “well”. Jesus then said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom.”

The rabbis believed that, just as there were 613 separate letters in the Hebrew text of the Ten Commandments, so also there were 613 separate laws in the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses. They held that there were 247 affirmative laws, one for every part of the human body, as they knew it, and 365 negative laws, one for each day of the year. They also believed some commandments were heavy, absolutely binding, and the others were light or less binding. Therefore, to them the question, “Which one law is the greatest law or commandment” was appropriate.

Notice Jesus’ answer in verses 37 through 39. “And He said to him, “‘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. And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Obviously, this was a summary of the Law of God. At times the prophets also summarized the Law of God. For example see Micah 6:6-8: Verse 8 should be carefully observed: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love [d]mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Since the Jews had been trying to get Jesus to disagree with the great law giver, Moses, notice that Jesus quoted directly from Moses: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” That was the most familiar Scripture to all Jews. Jesus was not only confirming that we are to love God as the Jew taught, but that we are love Him in a comprehensive way. Our Father in heaven wants more than our believing in Him, He wants us to love Him with the totality of our life, and with a love that is always seeking Him through obedience.

But Jesus added to the first and foremost commandment a second one: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This command flows from the first. If we love God, then we will also love our neighbor. Jesus was also quoting from Leviticus 19:18. While the first great commandment embraced the first four of the Ten Commandments, this second command embraces the last six of the Ten Commandments. Clearly, we learn that we cannot love God without loving our fellowman because Jesus joined them together. This is also taught in the New Testament: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (1 Jno. 4:20-21).

Jesus concluded by saying: “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, everything else God said in the Old Testament hangs on those two things. The Lord did not mean that we could ignore all the other commands. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). The gospel of Jesus doesn’t free one from obeying God! This applies now as well as under the Old Testament.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-22-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Tested by the Sadducees

(Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40)

Guy Roberson

I believe that it is important to realize that when the religious leaders were asking Jesus questions, it wasn’t because they wanted to know the answers, but because they did not believe He was the Messiah and wanted to entrap Him.

Jesus was having to deal with their unbelief. Luke helps us to understand their intentions. “So, they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor” (Lk. 20:20).

The Sadducees constituted one of the major religious influences in the first century Judaism. They are mentioned only fourteen times in the New Testament with half the references being in Matthew’s gospel. They were generally wealthy; and their influence was mostly among the upper classes of society. The Sadducees accepted as Scripture only the five books of the Torah or Pentateuch. They regarded the other sections of the Old Testament (the prophets and other writings) as late and unreliable inventions. These people did not believe in the resurrection (Matt. 22:23). As a child I was taught that one can always remember that it was the Sadducees that did not believe in the resurrection by their name: they were “Sad,” Sadducees.

Their test case was built on the levirate marriage law described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. This law provided that when a married man died before having children the dead man’s brother was to marry the widow and produce children in the name of his dead brother. Those children were considered legally to be the line of the deceased and allowed his contribution to the family tree to continue.

The case the Sadducees presented to Jesus involved a man who married and died without children. His brother then married the widow and died shortly thereafter without children. The next brother married her and died childless. The same process happened through seven brothers and finally the woman died. The question of the Sadducees was, “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection since all of them had married her?” Of course, they were speaking rhetorically. If we had a lady today who had married seven brothers and each had died, the police would be checking into why each one died.

The question of the Sadducees assumed that resurrection life (if there was such) was simply an extension or continuation of earthly life. Jesus’ response to the question charges them with ignorance of both Scripture and the power of God. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels of God in heaven.” Jesus here exposes his opponents’ lack of Scripture knowledge with his standard formula, have you not read . . . ? (v. 31; see 12:3; 19:4; 21:42, 46) “what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:31-32). The Scriptures and the power of God had been set before them; but they didn’t first choose to “know” these things in such a way as to respect and reverence them according to their proper worth. They didn’t want to; because the truths of these things would have been a light shining on their sin at the most fundamental level of their commitments.

The wonderful relationship of “marriage” was provided by God from the beginning because it was not good that man should be alone (Gen. 2:18), and also for the perpetuation of mankind during their time on earth (Gen. 1:28). This relationship, as wonderful as it is, will no longer be needed in heaven. What kind of relationship will we have? I don’t know, but I believe we will have a relationship that will be wonderful but different.

When Jesus said it was written that God is not the God of the dead, He was emphasizing that God would not claim to be the God of someone who no longer existed. Therefore, when we leave this earth we still exist somewhere and await the judgment (John 5:28-29). And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching (Matt. 22:33).

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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James Lesson 11 Be Patient Until The Lord Comes; By Sam Matthews 10-20-2019pm

James Lesson 11 Be Patient Until The Lord Comes – Sunday Evening Services – By Sam Matthews

(Audio Recording)

James Lesson 11 Be Patient Until The Lord Comes (PowerPoint)

James Lesson 11 Be Patient until The Lord Comes (MS Word Document)