2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9: God loves the Giver

                Paul writes the Corinthians and essentially says; ‘I know you want to give, you boast about giving… so I am sending some people to collect for the Lord’ – So agents of the Church come and collect money from the Saints.

Now, Paul remind them that; “…He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) So we are taught that if we only give a little to the Church we are not going to be blessed as much as if we give a lot. So does that mean a rich person can get more blessings? NO! It means that you are giving a lot according to your means. For example: A poor person might give the church $10, but if that is 10% of their income (tithing=10%) then they have given according to the commandment, and will receive full blessings. What about the rich guy that gives $10 Million? If that is 10% of his income, then he also will receive full blessings.

Paul warns about those who give only for blessings, or give because they feel they are “forced”; “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth the cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) When we give, we need to give with a cheerful heart!

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Matthew 25

Matthew 25:

Parable of the 10 Virgins 

Jesus relates the Parable of the 10 Virgins;

“…the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” (Matthew 25:1-4)

While the bridegroom [Jesus] was approaching, the ten virgins slept. At midnight there was a loud cry made, that the bridegroom would shortly be arriving. Upon hearing this news, the ten virgins awoke and prepared for their journey to accompany Jesus. They prepared by getting their lamps ready, but those who were foolish finally realized that they did not have enough oil for their journeys and turned to those who had planned a head, saying; “…Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered… Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you…” (Matthew 25:8-9) The wise virgins suggest that those who did not bring ample oil, leave to go and buy the oil. But while there were out buying the oil; “…the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (Matthew 25:10) When the foolish virgins finally got enough oil and made it to the marriage, they knocked on the door, and said; “…Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” (Matthew 25:11-12) 

                  This Parable teaches us that we do not know when the Lord will come, and that we need to be ready at all times. We need to prepare ourselves in the last days for the arrival of the bridegroom [Jesus Christ], we need to be like the wise virgins. We need to stay clean, following all of God’s commandments. We need to be self-reliant and ensure that we have enough savings, enough food storage, etc. This will help us get through the storms that await us in life.

                  Jesus relates the Parable of Talents;

“…the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods… unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability…” (Matthew 25:14-15)

After the man had given his talents to his three servants, he departed for a time. While the man was gone the servants took their talents and did with them as they pleased.

  • The servant, who was given one talent, took his talent and buried it into the earth.
  • The servant, who was given two talents, took his talents and made two more talents.
  • The servant, who was given five talents, took his talents and made five more talents.

When the man returned from his journey he asked the servants what they had done with their talents. The first explained that he had made five talents, with the five that the master had given him. He now had 10 talents, the response from the master? “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.” (Matthew 25:21) The other servant, who had made two talents off of the two he had been given, was also given the same praise.

But, the servant who buried his talent, explained to the master that he “…was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth… His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant… Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have an abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath…” (Matthew 25:26,28-29)

Jesus ends his speaking in this chapter, by saying;

“…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

We need to treat each other with respect and kindness. We need to help the needy, and feed the hungry, just as we would if Jesus himself was in our presence.

1 Kings 11-12

1 Kings 11-12

Chapter 11: Solomon Worships False Gods

Solomon loved many different women; altogether Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines. Because of his many wives and from many different lands, his wives start to bring him over to their teachings and gods. Solomon in his older years did not pursue the Lord in his heart, but instead went after gods like; Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech and other false gods.

Because of this, the Lord decides to send Solomon some adversaries. The Lord sends Jeroboam, who decides he wants to be king of the 10 tribes. When King Solomon dies, Jeroboam reigns in his stead.

An interesting verse in this chapter is verse 41; “And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?” (1 Kings 11:41). This is one more book that can be added to the “Lost Books” list. Some people say that the Bible as we know it today is the word of God and no more can be had. I would argue that anyone who would so confidently state that the Bible is complete and no more “bible” is to be added, really does not understand the works contained therein and are unaware of the true meaning behind God and his teachings. In that single verse we learn that there are more books than the Bible! God reveals his words through prophets, who then write down the teachings, spread and teach them. So if God did this in old days, why has he ceased to communicate with us now? He hasn’t. That is why we must not have our minds closed and realize that the Bible is not the complete work of God. If so, God is only giving us a summary of the cliff notes of what really is intended for us (his children) to learn!

Chapter 12: The 10 Tribes Revolt

Rehoboam went to Shechem to make him King, because Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. The 10 tribes tell Rehoboam that he would become their next king, but he would have to change a few things that his father had done to them… mainly heavy taxation and other burdens that the people did not like. Rehoboam goes to his father’s advisors and asks them what they think about that. His advisors tell him that if he becomes a servant to them, then they will in turn become his servants forever. This was some very fitting advice and something that all leaders (no matter how big or small) need to show that example and show that kindness so that they may receive that same support and love back.

Rehoboam listened to his father’s elders, but quickly after hearing them, he decided to reject the advice and seek the counsel of younger advisors… who were his age. The younger advisors tell Rehoboam to go at it a completely opposite way… their approach is a fear tactic.

“…Now wheras my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions” (1 Kings 12:11).

Rehoboam was simply shopping for the advice that he wanted to hear. He wasn’t interested in any sort of counsel, except to look good and convince himself that what he was doing was the right thing.

Naturally, Rehoboam is not very welcomed and the 10 northern tribes reject him as king! Rehoboam not only lost his chance at being a king, but also ruined it for the Dynasty of David, who was one of the greatest kings over Israel. Rehoboam decides to rule over the people anyways, and send out his tax collector, who the people stone to death. Rehoboam decides that Israel is serious and decides to make a break for it… grabs his chariot and rides out of Jerusalem.

Rehboboam nevertheless decides to reunite Israel by force and a man of God came to Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that he was sent of God to tell him that he must not attack the seceding nations. Rehoboam (probably out of fear) actually listens and decides to not attack the seceding nations.

Because of this, Jeroboam is called in and is declared the new king. Jeroboam gets off to a quick start and works on building his new capital city; Shechem. Which he built in the mountains of Ephraim, this became the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam was now worried that having his people travel once a year to Jerusalem to worship, could cause some political backlash and in his eyes, could even mean the loss of his kingdom to Rehoboam. So Jeroboam decides to start a new state religion. He incorporates the same religious ideas that they all preserved, but by making it more convenient to them and him, by having them worship idols in his city and not to travel to Jerusalem. Jeroboam was slowly leading himself and his people into sin.

Deuteronomy 5-6

Deuteronomy 5-6

Chapter 5: 10 Commandments

Moses calls all of Israel to come and listen to him regarding the statutes and commandments, by which they must follow. Moses reminds them that they must not only learn the commandments, but also keep and do them. So it is not as simple as “I know the commandments” and then keep them for a while and forget about them… it is a commitment. It is a covenant.

Moses reminds them all that THEY made this covenant with the Lord, not their fathers but THEY, all of those who are alive as Moses speaks to them. He reminds them that they made these covenants to follow the commandments of the Lord in Horeb and that they talked with God FACE TO FACE, Moses being there intermediary.

Moses then recaps the 10 commandments (as listed in Exodus 20):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. – Worship God and no other person or thing.
    1. Moses notes that God said: “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them (idols), nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 5:9)
  2.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. – You should not bow down/serve them, for God is a jealous God. Showing destruction to those who hate him and mercy unto those who love him.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain – don’t say God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, etc. Unless you are speaking of them. Do not use them as cuss words.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – Sunday is to be observed to serve others,  read the scriptures, and attend church and rest. You should avoid working on Sundays if you can, and should always avoid making others work on Sunday, by shopping.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother – Respect your elders!
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Law of Chastity: No sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage.
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bare false witness. – Do not lie.
  10. Thou shalt no covet. – Do not be jealous of what others have.

Moses goes on to state that these words were spoken to them in the mount out of the midst of fire and cloudiness of thick darkness. These commandments were written on two stones. Blessings flow from obedience.

Chapter 6: Keep the Commandments/Love God

Moses continues to tell the congregation of Israel to not only keep the commandments, but to Love and fear God.

“…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy sould, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

We must serve God and Love him and if we do this (knowing that we must follow his commandments and be afraid of his power) than he will show us his love and make us prosper.

We need to always be doing what is right and just, if we succeed with this than we will prosper in the land.

Exodus 19-20

Exodus 19-20

Chapter 19: Israel; A Chosen People

Israel travels from the wilderness of Sinai and then from Rephidim to the desert of Sinai, where they pitched their tents. This being 3 months from the time that the Lord delivered them from the land of Egypt.

Moses goes up to God on the mountain and the Lord tell Moses that if the children of Israel obey and keep their covenants, that God will make them a “peculiar” people, and a “treasure” above all people, a holy nation.

The Lord appears on Mount Sinai amongst fire and earthquakes. Moses and Aaron go unto God, but the rest of them people are not able to go and see God.

Chapter 20: 10 Commandments

Moses speaks to God on the top of the Mount Sinai. Here he gives Moses the 10 Commandments.

The Ten Commandments:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. – Worship God and no other person or thing.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. – You should not bow down/serve them, for God is a jealous God. Showing destruction to those who hate him and mercy unto those who love him.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain – don’t say God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, etc. Unless you are speaking of them. Do not use them as cuss words.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – Sunday is to be observed to serve others,  read the scriptures, attend church and rest. You should avoid working on Sundays if you can, and should always avoid making others work on Sunday, by shopping.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother – Respect your elders!

6. Thou shalt not kill

7: Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Law of Chastity: No sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage.

8: Thou shalt not steal

9: Thou shalt not bare false witness. – Do not lie.

10: Thou shalt no covet. – Do not be jealous of what others have.