8-21-2015 “Fruit of the Vine”

Jesus gave new meaning to the pure elements of the Jewish Passover Meal. Under Moses, all leaven (yeast!) was removed from everything within their house, before and during this observance (Deuteronomy 16:1-8). Therefore, the “fruit of the vine” which represents His blood was completely without alcoholic content! The “bread” (without yeast!) represents His body. He then declared: “Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God'” (Mark 14:22-25 NKJV). The only expression Jesus used for the cup contents He took from the Passover Table to represent His blood was “fruit of the vine.” That’s as fresh from grapes as one may find. His complete sacrifice purchased the church of Christ (Acts 20:28 NKJV). Are you in it?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#alcoholic-content, #fruit-of-the-vine, #jewish-passover, #leaven, #yeast

More power needed to shine

A man once rigged up an electric battery to ring his front doorbell. Then he thought he would run a wire to his bedroom and use the power from the battery for a light. After failing, he called in an electrician who smiled and said: ‘Don’t you know that it takes more power to shine than to make a noise?”

In the New Year our prayer for an ordered life of supreme happiness is to shine in the light and love of obedience to God’s faithful word. Obviously one does not require much effort to make noise, be that leaven of light to your friends, family or even a foe. It is only possible with Him (Phil. 4:13). What about you?

“Let your light so shine before men” (Matt. 5:16).

Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day

By Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

Warner Robins church of Christ, Warner Robins,Georgia

#good-influence, #leaven, #spiritual-light

Perception is NOT Reality Sometimes

We have heard it many times that one’s perception is reality. This is not the case, however. At least, it is not the case all the time. The word perceived means to attain awareness or understanding. When people look at an event in life there is an interpretation of that event that brings about a perceived understanding. For instance, I see two people fussing over something; I interpret that which I see, and then gain understanding with regard to the situation. My understanding may be complete or incomplete, but that is what I perceived in what I saw. If there is no correction to what understanding I gained, then that perception (awareness, understanding) becomes, to a degree, reality.

Moses and Aaron went to Egypt’s king, but as they went, they were met by the elders of Israel who were returning from having seen the king. When they met, they heard these words from their brethren, “The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us” (Exodus 5:21, ESV). The elders of Israel perceived a situation with which they had direct experience, and they interpreted it as something that needed to be laid at the feet of Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron, having heard these words, also interpreted (perceived) the situation and wondered aloud to the Lord.

This goes to point out that perception is not always reality. In other words, that with which one may come away may not actually be how the situation really is. The elders misperceived the situation. The Lord knew full-well the “whys” and “wherefores.”

It is a difficult thing for us to judge as we ought to; it is not that we can’t judge correctly, only that we are apt to judge or conclude before we actually know the relevant information needed to judge properly. The Lord called upon the people of His day to judge righteously (John 7:24); this means that before a person can rightly interpret he needs all the relevant information, for without it his judgment will be incomplete.

There is another example in Scripture, this time pertaining to the apostles when they were with Jesus (Matthew 16:1-12). Jesus had recently interacted with the religious leaders and called into question the correctness of their interpretation; in fact, He said they were quite capable of judging the atmospheric weather about them, but because of their lack of true understanding in scriptural matters, they could not judge properly those things that surround Him (16:1-4). After this brief interaction, Jesus is with His disciples when He called upon them to understand that leaven can be a dangerous thing. The disciples did not catch on; they were thinking about physical food when the Lord meant for them to understand His remark metaphorically (or spiritually). It was not that long ago that the Lord fed thousands, but the disciples had their minds on one thing, and forgot the other. In other words, they allowed the word leaven to throw them off in their understanding.

This is, often times, why it is that we fail to interpret (perceive) accurately. We have our minds on one thing and the “car that drove within five feet of us” was not even seen! What makes this matter unfortunate for Christians is not only the failure to understand something in the immediate, but also that one might very well fail to understand something the Lord wants His saints to perceive (understand) accurately—and knows that one can if desired and focused. RT

#exodus, #leaven, #matthew, #perception, #reality