CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 22, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 29

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 29

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-ninth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons

Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 28

Lest we forget: Today’s photograph features St. Paul Episcopal Church in Brocton, Massachusetts—taken the afternoon of the Boston blizzard, February 16, 2003. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-29.html

Beatitudes – Third and Fourth

Matthew 5:5-6

 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

     God blesses the meek. The Contemporary English Version uses the word humble as a synonym for meek. Meek sometimes may be misunderstood to mean “wimpy.” Don’t be mislead. The real meaning is humble. A humble person knows who he is, has backbone, but at the same time isn’t full of himself. He knows his value, but doesn’t allow his ego to overcome his senses.

     As we live with humility, what does inheriting the earth mean? I turn to Matthew Henry (the Bible commentator from over 300 years ago) for help: “Meekness, however ridiculed and run down, has a real tendency to promote our health, wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world…. So that all the blessedness of heaven above, and all the blessings of earth beneath, are the portion of the meek.” We get an idea what inheriting the earthy may mean.

As to the second verse of the day, we surely get hungry (for food). I am a snacker—that is my downfall. Furthermore, it is Lent, and I should be getting my weight under control. Our having physical hunger, when we are really full, may be pointing to our spiritual hunger. While we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we allow other things get in the way (like snacking, texting on a cell phone, girl-watching, etc.). We let our nervous energy lead us on paths that keep us away from the real quest for righteousness and Godly, moral living.

REAL FILLING occurs as we experience the hunger and thirst for righteousness. Can we clear the deck of all the distractions and make room for the filling that will satisfy us? Seek the activities in life that brings that filling.

Summary Exercise: (more…)

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March 18, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 27

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 27

Monte Holland

This is the thirteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 26

Today’s photographs feature the Shaker Meeting House in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/pictures-of-sabbathday-lake-shaker.html

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     For the next seven days we will look at the beginning portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This section is called the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).

     Today we pause before beginning to look at the Beatitudes one-by-one tomorrow.

     It’s appropriate to spend time reviewing how we live our lives. Sometimes we need to stop to take stock of what is important in life, and the implications of being and doing what is important. The daily discipline of Bible reading, the use of a devotional guide (e.g. Devozine, a devotional for youth, is available at www.upperroom.org/devozine/2010/marapr/default.asp?week=current as well as a number of devotional magazines for adults), and prayer, help keep us on the track of living the Godly, moral life.

     Another aid to keeping on track of living the Godly, moral life is the telling and listening to quality stories. Below is a story that I heard via the Internet—a common way stories are shared in today’s culture. It’s about the challenge of being faithful to the Godly, moral life every moment, and the results of doing so:

A Christian

     Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself: ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.’ 
     When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door before handing the quarter to the driver and saying: ‘Here, you gave me too much change ‘
      The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’
      ‘Yes’ he replied.
      ‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’
      When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’
      Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself  ‘Christian.’
     Watch your thoughts; they become words.
     Watch your words; they become actions.
     Watch your actions; they become habits.
     Watch your habits; they become character.
 

     Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

(shared with us by our friend Peg)

EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: Do you hear stories having a (more…)

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 26

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 26

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-sixth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 25

Today’s photographs feature the chapel on the Isles of Shoals, islands eight miles off the shore where New Hampshire and Maine meet. To view pictures click: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-26.html

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14All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. Galatians 5:14 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

     I think that the following story, shared by my sister-in-law, Jane, puts the whole practice of love into perspective. Our exercise for today is to reflect on this story and attempt to put yourself in the story and imagine your response. This is a complicated situation. Does the boy (the baseball team captain?) have to put Shay in the baseball game in order to be a loving person? Is he also responsible to his other team members? How do we respond to special needs persons and their desires? Read the story and reflect it. 

     At a fundraising dinner for a special needs school, the a student’s father delivered a speech that would be remembered by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

     ‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

     ‘Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.  Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

     The audience was stilled by the query.

     The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

     Then he told the following story: 

     Shay and I walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’

     I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father (more…)

March 17, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 25

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 25

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-fifth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/ 

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 24

Today’s photographs feature Covenant Presbyterian Church in Ligonier, PA, and an unidentified New England church that was sponsoring a bean supper while we were traveling.  To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-25.html

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 Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13

 1What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels?

   If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    2What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.

    3What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive?  I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.

    4Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude.

   Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

    6Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.

    7Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.

    8Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten.

    9We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete.

    10But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn’t perfect will then disappear.

    11When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.

    12Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.

    13For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love. 1 Corinthians 13

     Read the following words from the March 15, 2009 Upper Room devotion, written by Lillián Saldaña Campos (Holguin, Cuba): Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. -Romans 12:10 (NRSV)

ONE day I observed a young girl, about 10 years old, as she gave a beautiful rose to an old woman and addressed her, saying, “God bless you.” The woman, who was obviously homeless and shabbily dressed, exclaimed, “In all my years, no one has ever shown me such kindness. Thank you, little one.” A loving gesture, word, or deed can make an impact on others.

EXERCISES:

     The “Love Chapter” stands on its own. Multiple words give us glimpses of what love is what love is not. For one exercise go to Daily Online Lenten Bible Study: Day 25 to reinforce in your memory these words that describe love and those words which are in opposition to love.

Exercise: Unscramble the following words that Paul uses to describe love–  

(oyall)________________ (more…)

March 16, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 24

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 24

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-fourth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 23

Today’s photographs feature Kirche auf dem Wallberg, a chapel on top of Wahlberg Mountain in Germany. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-24.html

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Looking at Love of Neighbor

     Even though it doesn’t speak to the love of neighbor directly, the following verse gives helpful advice along those lines—

22Don’t try to get even. Trust the LORD, and he will help you. Proverbs 20:22 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

     Combined with Jesus’ statement of the Great Commandment, located in three places in the Gospels, Jesus offers additional valuable teaching about dealing with our neighbors:

39But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you.—

 43You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. Matthew 5:39, 43-45  Contemporary English Version (CEV)

     As we mature we learn how to get along with other people. At home we must contend with brothers and sisters, who, in many families, fight “like cats and dogs.” Parents often seem like the “enemy” with their “unreasonable” rules and high expectations of their children.

      When we are outside the home, we spend a lot of time at work, in school or various public places. Learning to love in a Godly, moral way is an ongoing process. The verses that we look at today seem quite appropriate to guide us both in the growing and in the later years in life.

      Especially in recent years, we hear about bullying in the schools. It happened to me when I was a child, but not to the same extent. I started my school years in a one-room country school, where children from certain families didn’t like the children of another family. The school was divided into two camps of people that wanted to fight each another. Even though I didn’t belong to one of those families, it was difficult to stay on the sidelines. Matthew 5:43 reminds us of the phrase, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” I think we bought into that, wholeheartedly.

     I don’t expect that it is much different today. We hate the bully, whether he beats up our friends or beats us up. How can we love a violent person? Who wants to go to school when you may be beaten up on the way, or when you expect something bad to happen to you there? We don’t like being afraid.

      Jesus tells us to take a different stance. We may not be able to beat the bully or change how he acts, but he cannot stop us from praying for him and generating love for him. Jesus reminded us of two things. First, every person is created in the image of God. Second, God provides for evil people as He does for good people. On the other hand, God is disappointed in any of us when we fail to do God’s will. The bully is surely in trouble on this count with God. But we shouldn’t get too cocky ourselves. If we fail to love our enemies and pray for them, we are just as disobedient to God, and just as displeasing to God.

     Bullies put a special burden in our lives in two ways: in their ability to hurt us, they make us afraid, and in their ability to tempt us to stray from the Godly, moral life.

Jesus’ words for us today: 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. Matthew 5:44 (CEV)

EXERCISES: 

Exercise 1: How can we possibly (more…)

March 15, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 23

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 23

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-third in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 22

 Today’s photographs feature the stained glass windows at the First Lutheran Church in Greensburg, PA.  To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-23.html

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The Golden Rule

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31

     I think some people are surprised to learn that the Golden Rule comes from the Bible. They think of it as just good common sense. On the other hand, it’s much like an extension of the second part of the Great Commandment—don’t we all like to be loved by our neighbors? The Golden Rule tells us if we want to be loved, we should be fully obedient to the Great Commandment, including loving our neighbor.

     Sometimes people make our life difficult.

     I remember back over fifty years when I was in college. I had a chemistry class with a friend, Jim, who was in a fraternity. One of his fraternity brothers, Bob, was also in our class. One day, when there was an exam, Bob wasn’t prepared, and expected Jim to keep his paper exposed so that he could copy the answers. Jim was upset by this request, and didn’t comply.

     The Golden Rule doesn’t call for us to violate a Commandment (giving an answer dishonestly) just to help out a friend. After all, we should not want him to help us cheat either.

     In a popular TV ad right now, one person says to his buddies, “Friends don’t let friends watch cable TV. They make sure they have satellite TV.” This puts a positive spin on the Golden Rule: if you find something good, make sure you share it with your friends.

     On the negative side, the phrase “Finders keepers. Losers weepers,” expresses the opposite of the Golden Rule. No matter what we do, we continually are being challenged to make sure that our actions honor our neighbors.

     Currently, some people have unintentionally (in most cases) violated the Golden Rule. As a result, many people are losing homes to foreclosure because they can’t pay their mortgage. In neighborhoods where a number of homes go into foreclosure, the value of the other homes drops dramatically. Do you believe that the Golden Rule applies to not diminishing the value of your neighbor’s home?

EXERCISES: 

Exercise 1: You hang out with a group of close friends. One of them, John, goes out and is caught not only with drugs in his possession, but being “high.” Has John kept the spirit (more…)

March 13, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 22

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 22

Monte Holland

This is the Twenty-second in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 21Today’s photographs feature the cross on top of Otterbein UnitedMethodist Church in Connellsville, PA. One photo shows how it was damaged when lightning struck it in 1997. To view click on: 

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When Jesus instructed us to “love neighbor as thyself,” He was quoting Old Testament teaching: 

18Stop being angry and don’t try to take revenge. I am the LORD, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself. Leviticus 19:18 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

In addition to Jesus’ three Gospel statements of the Great Commandment, Jesus offered another valuable teaching about dealing with our neighbors:

19Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself.” Matthew 19:19 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Elsewhere in the New Testament we find further affirmation of this commandment:

a. 9In the Law there are many commands, such as, “Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.” But all of these are summed up in the command that says, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” Romans 13:9 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

b. 14All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. Galatians 5:14 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

c. 8You will do all right, if you obey the most important law [a] in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. James 2:8 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

      The Upper Room reading author for March 12, 2010 shares some insight:

The parable of the Good Samaritan gives me an example to follow. The Samaritan was not intending to become the wounded man’s best friend, but he took care of the man’s needs. —Caroleah Johnson (California, USA)

What is loving self? It isn’t about how much we have—material possession or a multitude of friends. It comes back to stewardship. We really love ourselves when our love of God overflows into thankfulness for what God has put in our care. The act of caring becomes ultimate, no matter whether it is our best friend or a person we have just met. Loving one’s self is reflected in our unselfish use of the gifts God has entrusted to us. The result becomes loving neighbor as self. It is something that goes on irrespective of friendship—this is a matter of stewardship among God’s people.

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EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: There is ample evidence from the above scripture verses that loving your neighbor as oneself is a key commandment. To accomplish this is a (more…)

March 12, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 21

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 21

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-first in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/ 

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 20

Today’s photographs feature Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Ligonier, PA. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-21.html

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Yesterday we began looking at the Great Commandment:

28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

    29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.” Mark 12:28-29

     As we saw in yesterday’s devotional, Jesus stated two basic teachings—to love God and to love your neighbor as self. Today we examine loving God.

The First Part of the Great Commandment: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’  Mark 12:29-30

We previously looked at one passage:] 5So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6Memorize his laws 7and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

          Verse 5 has the very words that we find in the Great Commandment. This passage goes on to tell us how to love the Lord our God—memorize God’s laws, tell the laws to our children, make positive use of our tongue by reciting God’s laws to all who will hear, and write down visible evidence that we know and love the Lord God and God’s laws.

EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: How do YOU love (more…)

March 11, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 20

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 20

Monte Holland

This is the twentieth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 19

Today’s photographs feature Egliese Saint Pierre et Saint Paul (Saints Peter and Paul Church) in Lewiston, Maine. A proud symbol of the faith of the French Canadian settlers in Lewiston that has become not only a city landmark, but also a National Landmark since July 14, 1983. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-20.html

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     In the preceding devotionals we have seen that the Law as recorded in the Ten Commandments is basic to the Godly, moral life. They tell us how to relate to God and how to relate to others. We looked in a little detail at each of the Ten Commandments, one by one.

     This Lenten series will now examine the Jewish leaders, who confronted Jesus because they were jealous of how well he got along with the common people. These leaders attempt to trip up Jesus when he speaks about the Godly life. More than anybody in history, Jesus was fully aware of God’s expectations of humanity.

     We will look at three passages that relate to living the Godly, moral life—two are statements from Jesus and the third from the Apostle Paul. Our goal in the following devotions is to familiarize ourselves with the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule, and the Love Chapter.

Today we examine The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)

34After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together.

35One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

    37Jesus answered:

   Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophetsare based on these two commandments.

Read in Luke:

 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. Luke10:25-28

Read in Mark:

 28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

    29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.” Mark 12:28-31

     Jesus stated two basic teachings—to love God and to love your neighbor as self—which were not new to the people of Israel. We can find them in the Old Testament. The Jewish teachers who were challenging Jesus must have known them. Jesus brought these two statements together and established them as the greatest demand on anyone who would serve God. In a capsule they put together the more detailed teachings of the Ten Commandments.

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EXERCISES: 

Exercise 1: Memorize the (more…)

March 10, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 19

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 19

Monte Holland

This is the nineteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 18

Today’s photographs feature chapels—the chapel in the Ligonier Valley Cemetery on Rt. 711 South, and Little Harbor Chapel behind the South Street Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-19.html

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The Tenth Commandment:     17Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don’t want anyone’s house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.  Exodus 20:17

The last commandment, in a sense, sums up the previous five commandments, and even the first four. The key word is covet. The dictionary meaning of this rarely used word is “to desire eagerly; long for; especially, to desire something belonging to another.” The desiring of something belonging to another really covers adultery (desire of the marital rights that belong to another’s spouse), stealing (taking goods in the care of another person), murder (taking life away from another person), disrespecting father and mother (taking away the honor they deserve for bringing you into the world), and lying (keeping the truth away from a person.)

     In each case one who covets thinks of himself before he considers the other person.  We covet because we consider ourselves better than others or more important than others—and even more important than God because we violate the rules set up by God when we covet. We set our own rules when we covet.

     The Ten Commandments were set in place because human beings are called to be relational in the best sense. God created them for fellowship with Him. He sets the rules for that relationship, making it clear that He is God, and He must be revered and honored. God also created human beings for mutual fellowship. The Ten Commandments help us to act responsibly, assisting each other in being the best stewards of God’s created order.

     Probably the hardest concept we must each accept is that everything belongs to God, and that our lives are all centered around the stewardship of His provision in our lives.

The Tenth Commandment: DO NOT COVET.

     Furthermore, desires are much harder to control than actions themselves. Yet sinful actions begin with a covetous desire, which the tenth commandment tells us to “nip in the bud.”

EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: How do we go about getting what we want?

(arpy ot doG) ____________________

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