Easy teaching: Matthew 11.30 VOTD

“Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light.”

Matthew 11.30 ERV

Jesus contrasted his Way with the heavy loads of legalism imposed by the Pharisees, Mt 12.1-8. While his teaching reaches even the motivations of the heart, it still is far easier than impossible task of earning salvation.

If it is so easy, why is the way so narrow? Mt 7.13-14.

#Way #Jesus #VOTD

Jun. 25. Israel’s Fall

II Kin. 17:5-41

“Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight…” Those were sad words written about God’s chosen people. They were a people that He had rescued from Egyptian slavery, nourished throughout a forty-year wilderness wandering and settled into a land that He had provided by fighting their wars for them.

Israel just didn’t get it. For hundreds of years later, they were a perfect picture of ingratitude as they murmured, complained and rebelled against all of the rules that God had set for them. Instead of worshipping the Lord according to His will, they worshipped the lifeless idols of the people around them. He had sent prophets to warn them of destruction if they did not turn and obey Him, but those warnings fell upon deaf ears.

God used the king of Assyria to inflict His punishment upon Israel. They were besieged during the ninth year of King Hoshea’s reign and taken from their land as captives into Assyria. The Assyrian king then relocated people from other places to inhabit the land that had belonged to Israel.

The new inhabitants of Samaria soon found that they too were being punished because they were worshipping idols instead of worshipping the God of the land. An exiled priest from Israel was brought in to teach the people the rituals of the God of the land. They became like so many people today in that they tried to hold on to a relationship with God while continuing to hold to the customs around them.


Jun. 24. Warnings to Ephraim (Israel) and Jerusalem

II Kin. 17:1-4; Is. 28:1-29:24

Hoshea became king of Israel after he had led a conspiracy against King Pekah and killed him. That occurred during the last years that Judah’s kings, Jotham and Ahaz had reigned together. As the result of an attack against Israel by King Shalmaneser of Assyria, Hoshea was required to pay a yearly tribute to the Assyrians.

In an effort to get relief from the Assyrian tribute, Hoshea conspired with the king of Egypt instead of looking to God for His help. After being discovered by Shalmaneser, Hoshea was imprisoned and Israel’s destruction was about to begin.

Isaiah pronounced a series of woes against Israel and Jerusalem as he addressed the leaders of Israel as drunkards. “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim…” Lovers of strong drink promote it as a means of enjoying life to the fullest. They fail to present the true picture of fading flowers losing their glorious beauty as drunkards with dulled senses are being trampled underfoot. “They err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.”

“Woe to Ariel (Jerusalem), to Ariel the city where David dwelt!” Judah, under King Ahaz had fallen into the same sinful practices that had been prevalent in Israel. Isaiah prophesied of great and disastrous destruction that would come against Judah because of their sins. Even Judah’s attackers who fought against Mount Zion would also be brought to ruin and Jerusalem would be restored.

Another woe was pronounced upon those who would seek false counsel instead of relying upon the words of the Lord. Many today seek the approval of men and their guidance instead of searching the Scriptures to learn God’s commandments.

Isaiah continued to prophesy of a new kingdom in Zion (Jerusalem); one that would have a tried and true cornerstone. As a farmer uses tried and true practices of land preparation, sowing and reaping, God had a proper plan for His spiritual house. That spiritual house would not be a physical kingdom as before, but would be a spiritual kingdom, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Third time: John 21.17 VOTD

“Jesus said a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Feed my sheep.'”

John 21.17

Peter denied his Lord three times as Jesus was being tried. Now, the Lord allows him to affirm his love three times and points him to his future service in the kingdom.

What message is there for us in this restoration of Peter?

#restoration #forgiveness #VOTD

Jun. 23. Micah’s Final Words

Mic. 6:1-7:20

The Lord through Micah called upon the people to plead their case and defend themselves against His wrath. He reminded them of their exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses and of their shortcomings since that time.

Micah stated that God required His people, “But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.” Instead, they had stored up treasures of wickedness by using short measures and deceitful weights in their dealings with their fellow man. The consequences of their actions would be dissatisfaction of their possessions and failure to benefit from their labors.

The prophet took upon himself the role of the penitent people and acknowledged their sinfulness as they waited for God’s deliverance from their enemies. They would return and rebuild their walls. He would care for them as in the days of old remembering His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to bless the nations of the earth through their seed, the Messiah.


6-19-2017 Labels Are Not Arguments

The Devil doesn’t deal with truth and its defense, but retaliates with lies, labels, slander, and blasphemy. Since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV), preaching God’s Word brings forth a torrent of misrepresentations. Preaching: “baptism doth also now save us” from 1 Peter 3:21 brings the slander of “water salvationist;” or, Jesus’ statement, “He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female'” in Matthew 19:4 brings the blasphemy of “homophobe;” or, after Jesus raised a widow’s dead son, we conclude with the crowd, “‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people’” (Luke 7:16 NKJV), would label us “Islamaphobes.” “Whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#arguments, #labels

6-20-2017 Insane Opposition

Christians must try to teach Bible truth and correct “those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV). Those who contradict Bible place themselves in opposition, and need to “know the truth,” because some are not “straightforward about the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14 NKJV). They are ensnared of the Devil and need to “come to their senses,” or be sane, again! The Devil’s doctrine “captivates,” but knowledge of God’s truth, frees a person to do God’s will.” Repentance is that change of heart that will make the difference. God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#gospel, #opposition, #repentance