Matthew 7:24-27 Christianity Is A Life

Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV)
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Salvation is a gift but Christianity is a life. The key to building a strong Christian life is the doing of the things Christ taught us.

Christianity has to be more than:

  • The attendance at services
  • The hearing of sermons and
  • The profession of salvation

Christianity is the practice of faith.

Christianity rejects the worldly architecture of:

  • The home,
  • The marriage and
  • The lifestyle

and embraces the architecture of God’s Word. Christianity builds life not on the changing values of society and culture but in the rock solid mores of Judeo-Christian teaching.

Christianity weathers the storms of the world because it is bolstered by the King of kings.

It’s the doing of Christianity that makes the Christian, not the mere professing of it.

 

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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 7:24-27 Christianity Is A Life

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Matthew 3:1 Where, When and With Whom He Pleases

Matthew 3:1 (KJV)
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Isn’t it interesting that the first gospel preaching began, not in the city but in the wilderness? This is not to say gospel preaching must be in a rural venue. Paul preached in Ephesus and used that as a foundation for ministries into the smaller cities and rural communities around it.

I think the point is that God is at liberty to work where, when and with whom He pleases.

I heard a historian speak on the development of Evangelical Christianity in America the other day[1]. She pointed out that Christianity has repositioned itself from the inner cities of America to the suburbs. This historian did not see this as a negative about Christianity but as a demonstration of Bible believing Christianity to remake itself in order to reach people. I have witnessed a less generous interpretation of this same movement by those within the faith. They accuse those Christians who move away from the cities as abandoning the places where the gospel is most needed and may do the most good.

I call for a more balanced position. Let’s recognize that God can do His work whether by many or few. He has a unique call upon each of us.

  • Some surely ought to penetrate into the heart of America’s inner cities.
  • Others will find that their call to smaller communities in rural settings is equally valuable to Christ.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 3:1 Where, When and With Whom He Pleases

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[1] http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/patrick-wyman/history-matters/e/8-southern-california-the-religious-right-interview-with-49856360

Matthew 2:6 There’s No Excuse Here

Matthew 2:6 (KJV)
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

This is an obvious reference to, Micah 5:2, But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

It is plainly not a word for word quotation though the context seems to dictate that one be provided. This passage, and others like it, gives the detractors of the King James Version what they think is ammunition to excuse rephrasing passages in more modern versions. “God must not care that the Bible be Word for word quoted or else He would have taken more care to see it was done in the Bible when the Bible quotes the Bible.”

There are a number of reasons this logic is not sound:
In this case, the quoters of the Bible could have been paraphrasing.
Nothing in the text requires that they be specific. They only needed to get the general message to Herod.

That God would lead a man to quote a passage differently than the original is far different than a man choosing to make such a change.
God may have provided a slightly different version to give depth to the message.

Matthew wasn’t there to hear the exact conversation
Perhaps the slightly different phrasing is meant to reflect that.

That I paraphrase a Bible passage in conversation is in no way meant to imply that the very words of Scripture are open for change. Neither should it be implied from this verse or others like it.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 2:6 There’s No Excuse Here

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Matthew 1:18 Old Language and the King James Version

Matthew 1:18 (KJV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

As far back as Webster’s 1828 dictionary the use of the word wise as “manner, or way of being or acting” was considered obsolete and limited. Yet it is still used to some degree even today, as in “lengthwise”, “otherwise”, etc.

So the phrase in Matthew means “after this manner” or “in this way.”

My point is that it is neither completely inappropriate to use this phrase (even in modern language) nor is it difficult to understand. There is no reason to replace it with a modern phrase and to do so would merely reduce the language to a lower caliber. It would not improve anyone’s ability to understand the Bible. It would only restrict their ability to grow in language, culture and depth of vocabulary.

The same is true of every use of old and archaic terms found in the King James Version. No real good can come of it yet there is great potential harm in replacing it.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 1:18 Old Language and the King James Version

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Matthew 11:7-9 We Need Men!

Matthew 11:7-9 (KJV)
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

The people of Jerusalem, the eventual disciples of the Lord, and the multitudes that had come to see and hear John the Baptist had all gone to see – a man. The ministry always involves a man.

John the Baptist was not a showy man.
He wasn’t wealthy. He wasn’t interested in impressing people with his “class.” John the Baptist was not polished in his mannerisms or professional in his presentations. He did nothing that was purposefully meant to appeal to the masses or designed to draw attention to himself.

John the Baptist was a man.
He was not a reed shaken in the wind; given to bend or to break at the first sign of difficulty. He had backbone and resolve. He was not clothed in soft raiment. He didn’t have, need or even, we presume, care for the “finer things.” All of them tempt a man to compromise for success.

John the Baptist was a prophet.
Indeed he was more than a prophet. John the Baptist pointed the way to new birth through Jesus Christ. His ministry bridged the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The world needs men today. Men with backbone. Men who have more interest in integrity than comfort. Men who live for truth regardless of the cost.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 11:7-9 We Need Men!

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Matthew 28:5-7 A Message For Those Who Know Jesus

Matthew 28:5-7 (KJV)
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

The women who came to the tomb that morning of Christ’s resurrection were seeking Jesus but not in the sense the term is popularly understood today. They knew Christ intimately. They sought Him out of love, to serve and they sought Him to know what had become of Him. They sought to grow. It is to that sort of seeker the angel gave:

Something to see
The tomb was empty. Any growing believer must see it so. The confidence of the Christian faith is wrapped up in the resurrection of Christ.

Somewhere to go
To the disciples. Growing Christians are fellowshipping Christians. They get with other believers.

Something to tell
Every Christian has a story to tell. There is something God has done in your life. There is a piece of truth each Christian possesses that needs to be added to the treasury of his or her church. We give testimony, we teach classes and we speak privately together in order to let that message out.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 28:5-7 A Message For Those Who Know Jesus

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Matthew 27:3-4 The Unbelieving Character

Matthew 27:3-4 (KJV)
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

Too much should not be made of the fact that Jesus once insinuated that Judas was “a devil.”[1] Remember he also once called Peter Satan.  Judas was a man. He was deceived by the devil and, though obviously close to Christ, was missing some part of faith the other Apostles possessed. Though Judas “repented himself,” the true unbelieving character of this man is seen in:

  • His conspiring to betray Christ
  • His carrying out of the deed and
  • His killing himself rather than facing the terrible consequences of His sin.

Could Judas have been forgiven and saved had he had godly repentance and faced his crime? That is left to speculation. I do know that many a professing believer has proved that theirs was a false faith by turning from Christ and, not having the character to face their wrong, never returned. Contrarily, many a true believer has proved the genuineness of their profession by, having done some gross and heinous crime against Christ, confessed it, suffered through the consequences and returned to live for the Lord.

[1] As a point of interest, Adam Clarke wrote of this passage, “There is much of the wisdom and goodness of God to be seen in this part of Judas’s conduct. Had our Lord been condemned to death on the evidence of one of his own disciples, it would have furnished infidels with a strong argument against Christ and the Christian religion. “One of his own disciples, knowing the whole imposture, declared it to the Jewish rulers, in consequence of which he was put to death as an impostor and deceiver.” But the traitor, being stung with remorse, came and acknowledged his crime, and solemnly declared the innocence of his Master, threw back the money which they gave him to induce him to do this villainous act; and, to establish the evidence which he now gave against them and himself, in behalf of the innocence of Christ, hanged himself, or died through excessive grief and contrition. Thus the character of Christ was rescued from all reproach.”

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 27:3-4 The Unbelieving Character

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Matthew 26:21-22 Is It I?

Matthew 26:21-22 (KJV)
And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

Jesus has delivered startling news. Up to this point the disciples had practically ignored Jesus’ messages about His death, burial and resurrection. It had been heard and it would be twisted and used against Him by His accusers but it had not registered with the disciples.

Until here.

Here Jesus added a piece of information that sent them into high alert. Jesus would be:

  • captured,
  • tried and
  • killed

not to long from now and one of them will be betray Jesus for the event.

What? One of them? How could it be? They had forsaken all to follow Him. They had

  • seen His miracles
  • heard His messages and
  • trusted His Word.

One of them would betray Jesus?

But then it got personal. They could not fathom that any one of them could betray the Lord. What if it wasn’t one of them?

Lord, is it I?

Could I be the one to do such an awful thing? Could I be so deceived about myself that I could go so far as betray Jesus to death?

One by one they asked, searching deeply into their souls. Every one of them (except perhaps John) fled from Christ. One of them denied Christ. Judas did, in fact, betray Christ.

I see two thoughts worthy of mention:
They did not begin judging one another.
Though it seems like the most natural thing to do it is not what they did. These men kept their focus where it ought to have been, with themselves. God’s message is meant for self-examination and not the manipulation of others. God will indeed convict and move and work in the souls of other men. God will use us to help them. Never jump to bring a message home to another until it’s got home to you.

It would do us all very well to reflect on our own tendency for sin.
None of us is without fault.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 26:21-22 Is It I?

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Matthew 25:38-39 When Saw We Thee?

Matthew 25:38-39 (KJV)
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

 

There are two truths here worth considering:

  • That, in this day, we have difficulty seeing Christ
  • That He is seen in our service and ministry to others in His name

 

Christ is present with us.

  • It is a promise.
  • It is as sure as our life.
  • It is a truth that is immutable and unchanging.

 

But He is not visible in physical form.

  • He is present in the hearts of those whom He has saved.
  • He is present in the plan that He works to accomplish.
  • He His present in the message He has delivered in the Bible.
  • He is present in the assembly of local churches.

He is present but He is only seen when we know where to look.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 25:38-39 When Saw We Thee?

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Matthew 24:3 Give It Some Time

Matthew 24:3 (KJV)
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

There was a message Jesus gave the general public and another one He gave His disciples. Mind you they were not contradictory messages. The one was more general and the other was more specific.

As a preacher I find that there is one sort of message I can bring to a general crowd, perhaps mostly of unbelievers, and a different sort of message I might be able to bring to Christians. Generally speaking the message to Christians is more detailed and probably a little longer.

As a believer I learn from this that, if I desire to know more about the things of the Lord, I will need to pursue it.

  • I will need to ask about the thing I want to know
  • I will need to attend a service meant for believers
  • I will need to invest more time to hear and learn

Some people never grow past the more general things of God because they only attend the more general messages from God.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 24:3 Give It Some Time

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