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Rendering Unto God

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:15‭-‬21

Today is April 15th, and we joke about “rendering unto Caesar”, but the key part is in what Jesus implied.

In Whose image are you made? Genesis 1:27 says, “And God made man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female”.

Sometimes we are more serious about rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, than we are in giving to God the things that are God’s. May that not be the case today.

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I’ve just finished uploading the last of the audio lessons from the Book of James. You can access them on the Audio Bible Study Page for James

I hope you enjoy them!

Joe and I have a very close friend (and his wife) who is (are) going through a very intense spiritual battle right now. It is manifesting itself in serious health issues, but as I was praying for them a couple of days ago, God impressed upon my spirit (as I was studying Matthew 17:21) that this was not a health problem, but a spiritual battle. And so I have been texting prayers to him every morning. I thought that maybe, they may encourage you as well.

~~~

For you this morning: Father, I lift up [my friend] today and ask that whatever spiritual attack that You are allowing will serve to strengthen his walk with You. May his shield of faith quench the fiery darts that are coming relentlessly.

Sharpen his “Sword” that he may attack, and give him peace in the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

~~~

I kept thinking about a prayer this morning, but what kept coming to my mind was, “May God wrap His arms around you today”. I’m praying for you in this battle. God will not let go. No matter what it looks like, He has you firmly in His grip as you are being tested. Love you!

This has got me through more than one battle: “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the wind is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, Thou who rulest wind and water – stand by me…”

~~~

Today’s prayer for my friend:
May the night bring peace and not panic.
May the day bring delight and not dread.
May you feel God’s presence in your spirit,
May you feast on His Word and be fed.

Wrap yourself in His promises.
Wrap yourself in His love.
Keep your eye on His goodness,
Your strength only comes from above.
Amen.

Our list of audio and video Bible studies continues to grow. To check out what studies are available, please look on our blog to the right under “Pages”. If there is a particular study that you are interested in, please contact me and we’ll see what we can do about making that one available. Thank you, and may God bless you in your time of study!

Read about the audio studies here

Things happened in my teaching ministry in 2017 that, previously, were only dreams – and wild dreams at that! If anyone had told me this time last year that I would be teaching Bible studies on cable tv, I would have said, “Yeah, right…” and added a huge “eyeroll”! But, here I am – with a program that airs several times a week on iHopetv. (Comcast channel 241 Knoxville, TN viewing area. Sunday nights 9:00 pm and Monday mornings 5:30 am to list a couple.) But it was God Who did that.

Now, God has laid another “yeah right” desire on my heart for 2018. Will you pray with me, and for me, that, first of all, God will be praised and glorified in all that I say and do – and that His will, will be done in this teaching ministry – touching those whom He would have touched.

E. Stanley Jones said, “Prayer is not bending God to my will, but it is a bringing of my will into conformity with God’s will, so that His will may be done in and through me.”

As a friend of mine posted on Facebook recently – “Let’s set goals that cannot be reached without Divine intervention!” And this one surely is!

If you’d like to know more about it, or would like to support this teaching ministry – please e-mail me for more details. May God bless you in your service to Him this year!

 

 

 

I’m starting a new series of short word studies that I’m titling “How About That”. I’ve always been fascinated by words – especially Greek and Hebrew words. I’m sure these won’t be daily, but hopefully sometime next year I will have enough to compile them into a devotional booklet. I hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to share, and if you haven’t signed up to “follow” this blog, please do so. Thanks.

Tracing Paper

1Peter 2:21-23 (NLT) For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 

Have you ever traced anything? I’m sure we’ve all used tracing paper at some time to trace a picture. I remember as a child, tracing the outline of the alphabet as I learned to write. The word “example” in 1 Peter 21 is the Greek word hupogrammos.

Hupogrammos a compound word – hupo which means under, and grapho which means “to write”. “Under writing” literally means to trace. Our lives are to be like “tracing paper” laid over the example of Jesus Christ’s life. We are to walk in His footsteps.

As we look forward to this coming New Year, let us determine to be more transparent, and to allow our lives to be like tracing paper laid over the example of our Savior, Jesus the Messiah. Amen.

 

 

The Christmas Story like you’ve never heard it!

This came from our Women’s Bible study on the Gospel of Matthew.

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 2

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