Ephesians 3 : 14 .21
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever!
Ephesians 3 : 14 .21
Colossians 3 : 1 . 4
You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on His throne at the right side of God.
Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Your real life is Christ and when He appears, then you too will appear with Him and share His glory!
The miracle of the centurion’s servant at Capernaum was performed shortly after the Sermon on the Mount, it is one of only two miracles that Jesus did in the presence of and for Gentiles.
Because of the centurion’s faith, humility, and love, the Jewish leaders who were acquainted with him are supportive of his efforts to plead with Christ for his dying servant’s healing.
As soon as Christ hears of the servant’s serious condition and discerns the centurion’s humility and promises to come and heal him.
Seeing the centurion’s faith, Jesus says, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”
The healing was not slow; it did not take months or weeks or days—not even hours.
Matthew writes, “His servant was healed that same hour”
As soon as Christ accepts the centurion’s humility and faith, He gives the command, and the servant is completely healed.
This miracle shows that humility and faith go hand in hand and are closely connected with healing.
The good character of this centurion is well known among the Jewish people.
He cares for and is concerned about his servant.
Although the servant is a slave, he does not treat him as one.
He also is humble and sees himself as unworthy as a Gentile to approach Jesus, whether personally or through the intercession of others.
The centurion’s humility is seen in his consciousness of his own sins and the recognition of Jesus’ holiness and excellence.
This centurion had faith in Christ’s ability to heal!
He knows not to expect a “magical” cure—rubbing an idol or touching a charm—nor does he ask for a sign that a miracle would be performed.
Regarding the humility of this centurion—it shows his out-going concern for another human being, and it is outstanding because of his rank—people with status are rarely humble.
When people are given a position or title, they often become inflated with pride, valuing themselves of more importance and worth than is realistic.
This centurion’s humility is also unusual due to his ethnicity. Roman soldiers were trained to think of themselves as superior to those whom they conquered and presided over, especially in regard to the Jews, whom they scorned. However, the centurion humbles himself significantly before the Jewish rabbi, Jesus, giving Him great honor by abasing himself to the point that he says he is not worthy even of being in His presence.
The centurion’s humility teaches us that the most faithful people frequently consider themselves the most unworthy before God.
In contrast, the weakest of people often deem themselves the most worthy.
Likewise, a righteous person will readily admit his sinfulness, but the sinner will justify himself.
Matthew 8 : 5 . 13
The Faith of a Roman Officer
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.
Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers.
I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come.
And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.
Turning to those who were following Him, He said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.
But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.”
And the young servant was healed that same hour.
Romans 8 : 18 . 39
The Future Glory
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.
We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.
We were given this hope when we were saved.
If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself.
And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.
Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?
If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own?
No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself.
Who then will condemn us?
No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The perfect example of praise is our Lord Jesus Christ and how He walked and responded even to those who mistreated and falsely accused Him.
He did not operate with deceit, did not return derogatory remarks and did not threaten even though He had more right to do so as Creator than anyone ever created.
He kept His mouth closed & prayed.
He continually entrusted Himself to God, knowing that God knew His unjust treatment and that He would judge righteously.
Jesus’ purpose was not to judge —at least not as a Man, but to win over the sinner.
We learn the necessity of patiently waiting for God’s timing. Jesus waited for His Father to lift Him up.
We don’t grab for power; we patiently wait for God to provide the increase in His time.
Jesus didn’t come as a king, but as a helpless infant. Although He was perfectly God and perfectly
human at the same time, He lived His life as a humble laborer.
After He began His ministry, He demonstrated humble service to others in the miracles He performed, as well as in His instructions to His disciples.
When the time came for Him to die, He submitted to His Father’s divine will.
And now, seated in power at the right hand of God, He intercedes on our behalf.
As the perfect model for godly leadership—Jesus set the perfect example of humility.
-Charles H. Spurgeon
Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust Him, and He will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
But the Lord just laughs,
for He sees their day of judgment coming.
The wicked draw their swords and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
to slaughter those who do right.
But their swords will stab their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly.
Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
They will not be disgraced in hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough.
But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.
The wicked borrow and never repay,
but the godly are generous givers.
Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
but those He curses will die.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice,
and He will never abandon the godly.
He will keep them safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will die.
The godly will possess the land
and will live there forever.
The godly offer good counsel;
they teach right from wrong.
They have made God’s law their own,
so they will never slip from His path.
The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
looking for an excuse to kill them.
But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.
Put your hope in the Lord.
Travel steadily along His path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
You will see the wicked destroyed.
I have seen wicked and ruthless people
flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
But when I looked again, they were gone!
Though I searched for them, I could not find them!
Look at those who are honest and good,
for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
But the rebellious will be destroyed;
they have no future.
The Lord rescues the godly;
He is their fortress in times of trouble.
The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them, and they find shelter in Him.
Humility has a prominent place in almost every epistle of the New Testament.
Paul says: “Walk with all lowliness and
meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
The nearer you get to God, and the fuller of God, the lowlier you will be; and equally before God and man, you
will love to bow very low.
Meekness begins with God and ends with God.
And therefore whenever we see a person like that, we give God the glory and the aim of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is fulfilled.
Now let’s stand back and see if we can see the portrait whole.
Meekness begins when we put our trust in God.
Then, because we trust Him, we commit our way to Him.
We roll onto Him our anxieties, or frustrations, our plans, our relationships, our jobs, our health.
And then we wait patiently for the Lord.
We trust His timing and His power and His grace to work things out in the best way for His glory and for our good.
The result of trusting God and the rolling of our anxieties onto God and waiting patiently for God is that we don’t give
way to quick and fretful anger.
But instead, like Moses we give place to wrath and hand our cause over to God and let Him vindicate us if He chooses. And then, as James says, in this quiet confidence we are slow to speak and quick to listen.
We become reasonable and open to correction.
Meekness loves to learn.
And it counts the blows of a friend as precious.
And when it must say a critical word to a person caught in sin or error, it speaks from the deep conviction of
its own fallibility and its own susceptibility to sin and its utter dependence on the grace of God.
Ephesians 4 : 1 . 7
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Blessed Are The Meek
While the King James Bible employs “meek” or “meekness” 31 times, most modern English translations of the Bible favor “gentle” or“humble.”
Biblical meekness is usually not simply gentleness and humility but those qualities displayed with integrity
during times of trial.
The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, It will be through meekness, through gentleness and humility.
It will not be through the Zealots’ sword.
It will not be through coercion and domination.
Not through human strength, solutions or ingenuity.
How did Moses and Jesus bring about their respective kingdoms?
Through submission, through meekness, through prayer; and finally, Jesus did so through the cross - the ultimate sign of voluntary weakness.
He who enjoyed all power, laid it down, emptied Himself of it, and yielded to the ultimate earthly power of the time.
How can we become meek?
How can we be like Jesus?
As we look to Jesus and meditate on Him, on the way He brought about His kingdom, the way He inherited the earth. How He submitted Himself to the Father, and how He emptied Himself.
How he defeated evil and death by entering it and absorbing it and not perpetuating it.
One way to summarize the Bible’s message is that it is God telling us, “I am God, and you are not.”
The quality of humility flows out of a proper
assessment of ourselves before God.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?
Any comfort from His love?
Any fellowship together in the Spirit?
Are your hearts tender and compassionate?
Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form,
He humbled Himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor
and gave Him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.
God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.
We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among theives, perhaps- reading the Bible.
When we do that we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that — not our way, but God’s way must be done.
It is part of the disciple of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.
…only where hands are not too good for deeds of love and mercy in everyday helpfulness can the mouth joyfully and convincintly proclaim the message of God’s love and mercy.
Life in God’s Service
So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you—Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him.
This is the true worship that you should offer.
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.
And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you—Do not think of yourself more highly than you should.
Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you.
We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions.
In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body.
So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us.
If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so.
Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully.
Love must be completely sincere.
Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.
Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another.
Work hard and do not be lazy.
Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.
Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.
Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers.
Ask God to bless those who persecute you—yes, ask Him to bless, not to curse.
Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep.
Have the same concern for everyone.
Do not be proud, but surround yourself with those who are humble.
Do not think of yourselves as wise.
If someone has done you wrong, do not repay Him with a wrong.
Try to do what everyone considers to be good.
Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.
Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it.
For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.”
Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.”
Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Jesus forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him.
He tapped that traitorous disciple, Peter, to found His church and for the next advance turned to a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians.
Grace is absolute, inflexible, all-encompassing.
It extends even to the people who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words Jesus spoke on earth.
For years I had felt so unworthy before the absolute ideals of the Sermon on the Mount that I had missed in it any notion of grace.
Once I understood the dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace gusts through the entire speech. It begins with the Beatitudes [and moves] toward the Lord’s Prayer … Jesus began this great sermon with gentle words for those in need and continued on with a prayer that has formed a model for all twelve-step groups. “One day at a time,” say the alcoholics in AA; “Give us this day our daily bread,” say the Christians.
Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own.
Grace is for all of us.
For years I had thought of the Sermon on the Mount as a blueprint for human behavior that no one could possibly follow. Reading it again, I found that Jesus gave these words not to cumber us, but to tell us what God is like.
The character of God is the urtext of the Sermon on the Mount.
Why should we love our enemies?
Because our clement Father causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good.
Why be perfect? Because God is perfect.
Why store up treasures in heaven? Because the Father lives there and will lavishly reward us.
Why live without fear and worry? Because the same God who clothes the lilies and the grass of the field has promised to take care of us.
Why pray? If an earthly father gives His son bread or fish, how much more will the Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.
How could I have missed it?
Jesus did not proclaim the Sermon on the Mount so that we would … furrow our brows in despair over our failure to achieve perfection.
He gave it to impart to us God’s Ideal toward which we should never stop striving, but also to show that none of us will ever reach that Ideal.
The Sermon on the Mount forces us to recognize the great distance between God and us, and any attempt to reduce that distance by somehow moderating its demands misses the point altogether.
The worst tragedy would be to turn the Sermon on the Mount into another form of legalism; it should rather put an end to all legalism.
Legalism like the Pharisees’ will always fail, not because it is too strict but because it is not strict enough.
Thunderously, inarguably, the Sermon on the Mount proves that before God we all stand on level ground: murderers and temper-throwers, adulterers and lusters, thieves and coveters.
We are all desperate, and that is in fact the only state appropriate to a human being who wants to know God. Having fallen from the absolute Ideal, we have nowhere to land but in the safety net of absolute grace.
- Philip Yancey
One Thing Remains. Your Love.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before Him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are His.
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good!
His unfailing love continues forever,
and His faithfulness continues to each generation.