Luke 7:22 Don’t Stumble, Be Blessed

 

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“Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Luke 7:22

Jesus had been going around healing the sick, casting out demonic spirits and giving back sight to the blind. John the Baptist sent some men to find out if Jesus was the one they were to expect. Jesus told them to report what they see and told them that any who does not stumble because of Him will be blessed.

People all over the world hear of things that Jesus said and did. As they hear these things, some will choose to follow Him, while others will reject Him right away.

There are many who choose to follow Him, but only for a time. As they read the Bible more and go to church more, they begin to hear what Jesus said. As they hear the things Jesus taught, many will begin to stumble and fall away.

The words and teachings of Jesus are not always easy to follow or accept. His words go against the main thoughts and ways of this world. The world is always talking about looking out for self. Jesus taught one is to deny himself.

The world teaches that a person can strike a person back who has hurt him. Jesus taught to love that person, rather than striking back.

The world teaches to get all the money one can for himself. Jesus taught to give generously to God and everyone in need.

These are just a few of the teachings that Jesus taught that go against the ways of this world. Many people have a difficult time accepting them or actually putting them into practice. Every week people go to church and hear about what God says in the Bible, but only a few actually do what He says to do.

This is a stumbling in their walk with God. To love God, is to obey Him. Not following His commands is not loving God and they are stumbling.

Think about your life and how well you follow, or don’t follow, God’s commands for you. Are you allowing yourself to stumble?

If you are not stumbling over His words, you will be blessed. God only has your very best in mind when He gives you a command. Trust Him and follow Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Do not allow yourself to stumble over His words and be blessed.

I pray today that you will know God’s heart for you; that you will trust God’s commands to you; that you will not stumble over the words of God; and that you will be His witness in this world.

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Proverbs 31:10-27 The Right Wife

The passage that I have chosen today is too long to want to copy all of it here. Please click on the link Proverbs 31:10-27 and read the passage.

There are many views on who the right wife is for a man. Each person, man, woman, mother, or father, has a different view. In this passage a description is given that is often ignored.

The wife described here is not one who is a door-mat, that just gets walked all over by her husband or her children. Nor is she one described as the boss of the household.

Often wives have a career and are focused on moving on up in that career. They are focused on how to look better in this world. It may be to look better in this world for her husband or children, but the focus is still on her. The wife described here is focused on making life better for her husband and her children.

She is willing to work with her own hands to provide the best for her family, not for herself. Many marriages are built around the concept of his and her own stuff. Each one has their own checking account, own vehicles, own food, own life and are not together. Everything done is for self, rather than for the family.

This is not about women’s liberation, but about love for family. When a woman puts her family first and meets their needs first, she will be blessed in the end. Her family will see all the hard work she does and bless her. Her husband can trust her to make all the right choices in this life and for the family.

If you are a wife and are reading this today, what is your focus in your family? The first level of focus must be on God, the second is on your husband, and third is on your children. The last area of focus is to be on yourself.

God will provide for your needs as you pour out yourself into the needs of your family.

The method of meeting your family needs will be different for each wife. Seek God to know how you can best do that and be the wife that is blessed.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to work for your family; that God will guide you in what to do for your family; and that your family will see a treasure in you.

Luke 7:23 Don’t Stumble

“Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Luke 7:23

John the Baptist had sent some of his helpers to Jesus. He wanted to know if Jesus was the one to come, the expected Messiah. Jesus told them to look at what He was doing and report that. Then He added the statement that whoever does not stumble because of Him would be blessed.

Looking back at what you can see of Jesus today in the Bible, it is difficult to understand why someone would stumble because of Him.

Looking at it from the Jewish point of view, you must remember that they were serving God who could not be seen. Now there was a man, whom they knew, claiming to be God. This was blasphemy in the Jewish mindset.

Many people would stumble over this fact. Ultimately, Jesus would be crucified on the cross for making the statement that He is God.

Even today, there are many who stumble over the fact that Jesus was a man. If Jesus was a man, how could He be God? How could He, as a man, save the world? On top of that Jesus had died.

Along with being a man, Jesus also seemed to add to the Law. Jesus pointed out that the law said don’t kill, He added to that to not even think about killing. He added problems of the heart, not just physical actions.

Many people, then, and today still struggle with these things.

Some of the teachings of Jesus are very strict. They can be very hard to accept. Even though this is true, you still need to accept the teachings of Jesus.

Do not stumble over what Jesus taught. Be willing to accept and live by His words. Know that they were spoken to help, not hurt you.

I pray today that God will touch your heart with His words; that you will be able to accept all the words of Jesus; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to strengthen you; that you will not stumble over anything in Scripture; and that you will allow God to change you into the image of Jesus.

Mark 11:8-9 Praising Him

“Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Lord!” Mark 11:8-9

Jesus was heading back into Jerusalem for the last time. He knew that He was ultimately going to His death. As He came riding in on a colt, the people gave Him praise.

The people went to the extreme in praising and honoring Jesus. They would lay their cloaks on the road for the donkey to walk upon. They felt He was of such high honor that the donkey should not even touch the dirty ground.

Along with laying down their cloaks, they also shouted praises. Hosanna means to save. They were wanting Him to save them. Although at the time, they were looking more at salvation from Rome, than from their sins.

They also shouted that He is blessed and was coming in the name of the Lord. They saw that God was blessings Him. They also knew that Jesus was coming in the name of God, in His power and authority.

These people went above and beyond what was needed. They were in a sense going extreme on their honoring Jesus, although He deserved it. In the eyes of the world, Jesus was just a good teacher or prophet, nothing more. No other prophet or teacher had received this type of honor.

How should this affect you today? Are you going a little bit crazy about Jesus?

If you realize who Jesus really is, and what He is doing, and has done for you, you will be crazy about Him. You will be willing to do crazy things to let others know about Him.

How many people go crazy about a famous celebrity or sports team? What do they do? Many crazy things are done.

How much more does Jesus deserve? Shout out loud praises of Jesus. Let the world know about Him and who He is. Let the world know He is coming again. Let the world know Jesus is there for them.

I pray today that you will have no fear in praising God openly; that God will reveal more of Himself to you; that you will tell the world who Jesus is; that you will tell the world Jesus is coming again; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 5:10 Righteous Persecution

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

Jesus now gives a very hard statement to accept. It is that if you are persecuted for righteousness you are blessed.

All over the world there is all types of persecution going on. For many years in the United States there was persecution against black people just because they were black. Other countries are persecuting people because they are a minority in that nation and no one wants them. Jesus is not talking about this type of persecution. It is persecution because of righteousness that He talks of.

An example of this type of persecution that Jesus talks of is: You are at work, and while you are getting your work done correctly and timely you are witnessing to a fellow worker. The boss hears of this and you get in trouble or even fired. You are persecuted for doing the right thing.

You may get persecuted for standing against sinful lifestyles, or for against an accepted action being done. Anything that you do that is right for God and you receive trouble is the type of persecution that Jesus is talking about.

Although it is difficult and painful to be persecuted like this, look to the end. Jesus stated that those persecuted like this will receive the kingdom of heaven.

In this life you may lose some things. You may even lose part of your health. When Jesus returns, though, you will receive all of heaven. The setbacks and things you lose in this life are temporary. Hold them loosely in your hands.

Keep your focus on what Jesus has in store for you some day. No more pain, suffering, or hunger. Eternal life, streets of gold, and eternity with Jesus and God the Father.

Keep doing the right thing. The right thing is anything and everything God wants you to do. Listen and follow God. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to live the righteous life He has called you to live; that your life will be a mirror of Jesus; that you will not turn to the left or right in the path God has called you to; and that you will not fear any persecution.

Matthew 5:3 Poor In Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Jesus is saying that anyone who is poor in spirit is blessed. What is this poor in spirit? How can one be poor in spirit?

The spirit is not physical so it cannot mean physically poor. The spirit has no need for anything physical. Being poor in spirit is an attitude of the heart.

Many people go around believing they are really somebody extremely important to everyone else. In workplaces there are some who feel that the workplace could not function without them in any way. This is not true. Every day around the country and the world there are very important people in companies that are laid off and lose their job.

In sports, there are men and women who are extremely good at what they do for a time, until someone better comes along and replaces them. People are replaced all the time.

A person who is poor in spirit realizes that in and of himself he is nothing. It is only in Christ Jesus does he have any value. Without the forgiveness of sins by the shedding of the blood of Jesus no person could ever get to God. Only through Jesus can you get to God.

Without Jesus, you would not even be able to breathe today. It is Jesus who created everything and it is Jesus who sustains everything. If Jesus stopped sustaining everything you would no longer be here.

The poor in spirit realize this and give God all the credit. In the end they will be the ones to have the kingdom of heaven. They will get the city paved with streets of gold and where there is not hunger, thirsting or pain forevermore.

Do not be proud and look at yourself as someone very important. You are important, but only to God and for God. Without God you have no value. Without Jesus you only deserve the worst punishment possible. Do not lift yourself up, only let God and others do that. Gain the kingdom of heaven.

I pray today that God will reveal the value you have in Him; that you would see you have no value without Jesus; that you will let only God lift you up; that God would use you to build His kingdom; and that you will be poor in spirit and rich to God.

1 Peter 3:14-15 Suffering for Doing Right

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:14-15

Peter points out that most of the time when you do something good no one will harm you, but there are times someone will. Here he tells you that if you are harmed for doing something right, you are blessed.

What does he mean “blessed” when suffering for doing good? No one likes to suffer, how is that a blessings? Paul said he found joy in suffering for Christ, because he was going through a little of what Jesus had to go through. It is sort of like paying Jesus back a little for what He has gone through for you. The only way to find this joy is in a deep relationship with Jesus and really seeing what He has done for you.

Then you are told not to be afraid of their threats. These are the threats of those who are mis-treating you. Remember, the worst man can do to you is kill your body. In that happening you get to go to be with Jesus in heaven forever. Their threats are only temporary at best.

Peter then tells you to revere Christ as Lord in your heart. This is placing Jesus as the absolute ruler of everything in your life. Honor God with your whole life.

Then you are to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you. Do you know what you believe? Do you know why you believe what you believe? Can you answer someone who asks those questions on the spot? In another spot you are told to be ready in season and out of season. God will usually open doors for sharing your faith when you are not at church. Be ready for that.

In giving that answer, you must do it with gentleness and respect. Many times I have seen believers cramming God down the throats of people, only showing the sinfulness of their ways and the judgment of God. There is very little love of God in that, even though it all may be true. A kind word usually will turn away wrath, calming a person down. Respect the non-believer, even though you do not agree with his way of living or beliefs. If you look at the gospels, most of the time when Jesus used angry words it was with believers in God, not the people living in the world with no regard for God. Be gentle today.

I pray that today God will give you strength to do the right thing all the time; that God will reveal the blessings in suffering for doing right; that God will remove all fear in your life; that you will revere Jesus as Lord in your heart; that you will be ready to give an answer any time needed; and that you will speak with gentleness and respect to non-believers.