VerseD: Matthew 9:37-38

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Matthew 9:37‭-‬38, ESV

Prayer for the pastors, missionaries, and evangelists of Christ is always welcomed and necessary.

Pray also that your heart may yearn to share the Word and help reap the harvest of saved souls.

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV

The tithe was essentially a tax to pay for the Temple and priests in Israel.

Now, we give because we love Christ’s Church and want to support the spread of the Gospel. Ten percent can be a guide to giving, not necessarily the standard.

VerseD: Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1, ESV

Christ has freed us from the hold of sin that we might choose to serve God and love others with His love.

Only in Christ can we find true freedom. Let us share Him with everyone.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:13-16

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount – Part 4

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean?
Based on the first twelve verses, blessed means realizing our own wretchedness and need for a Savior. In other words, it is becoming/being a Christian.

Matthew 5:13-16:

Matthew 5:13:
Properties of salt:
• Made from stuff that can kill us (chloride, as in chlorine, which is poisonous to us; sodium is not very good for us by itself)
   o No one can see God’s face and live (Exodus 33:20), yet we shall see God face to face through Christ (1 Corinthians 13:12)
• Enriches flavor
   o 1 Peter 2:12 – We make life better as we point others to God’s Hugh standards.
• Preserves
   o 2 Peter 3:9 – God withholds His wrath until all who will be saved are saved.
• Can melt ice
   o Romans 10:13-14; Ezekiel 11:19 – The preaching of the gospel can change people’s hearts (via the Holy Spirit) from hardness to receptivity (see also Parable of the Sower/Seeds [Matthew 13:1-23], implying God may change the soil of the heart)
• Is used to make soap
   o 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 – We help cleanse the world through defending and spreading truth over lies of evil spirits/demons/Satan
• Has a high melting point (it is not easily melted/burned: paradoxically lowering the boiling point of water while making it harder for water to boil)
   o Isaiah 43:1b-3a – We hold back God’s wrath (see “Preserves” earlier) as the world gives more reason for His wrath to come. Further, we pull people from the fires of damnation (see Jude)

Can we lose our saltiness? (Refer, again, to Parable of the Sower – holding to the understanding that the first three refer to unsaved people [“churchians”?]) (Short answer: not really. Salt does not become not salt. It either is salt or is not.)

But how do “we” save them?

Matthew 5:14-16
• Firstly, v. 16: what does it mean to shine our light?
• It is there: “see your good works and glorify …”
• Secondly, What does it mean to glorify God?
• Mark 12:32-34; 1 Samuel 15:22; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8
• Glorifying God means obeying Him and showing love and mercy.
• We share the Gospel – Romans 10:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20
Hebrews 11:6 – It is impossible to please God, to glorify God, if we do not believe in Him properly if at all. So we share the Gospel. Our greatest good work.

How we shine:

• Ephesians 5:1-21
• Philippians 2:12-16
• 1 Peter 4:1-11

VerseD: John 6:35

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35, ESV

If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will find our fulfillment in Christ alone.

He is all that is good and all that satisfies.

VerseD: Psalm 127:1

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalm 127:1, ESV

We want to do great things for God – start ministries, care for the poor, plant churches – but without a foundation in prayer and God’s Word, seeking His will in all things, we may be wasting our efforts.

Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.

The Church during 2021: Continue to Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan

For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Continue to Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan. Last week I wrote “Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan.”  You might wonder why am I writing another post?  Well since the evacuation there’s some further news of prayer requests.  Also one can’t pray enough for fellow brothers […]

The Church during 2021: Continue to Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan

VerseD: James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

James 5:13, ESV

We should pray in all circumstances, knowing God is near the brokenhearted, and He celebrates with us as we worship Him.

VerseD: Joel 2:12

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;”

Joel 2:12, ESV

Our sin should drive into humble seeking of God and His righteousness. It is to our benefit, His glory, and a light to the world.

Because God forgives those who mourn their sin and repent.

VerseD: Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21, ESV

Many in this world pursue their own agendas and hurt many others, but we are called by Christ to show love and compassion to all. Even those who revile us.