One day, an expert on the Law of Moses came to Jesus and tried to trap Him by asking Him what a person must do to live forever. Jesus first asked him a question; then He went on to tell him a story to explain what it means to love your neighbor. "There was once a man who was walking along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him. They stripped off his clothes, beat him and left him half dead beside the road. A priest happened to be going down the same road. When he saw the wounded man, he crossed to the other side and walked on. Later a Levite who worked in the Temple came along. He went over and looked at the man. But he too left the wounded man and carried on walking. Then a Samaritan came along. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him. He knelt down, cleaned the man's wounds and bandaged them. Then the Samaritan put the man on his donkey and took him to an inn where he was cared for until he got better."
One day, when Jesus and His disciples were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, "I will follow You wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down." Later, Jesus said to another man, "Follow me!" But the man replied, "Sir, let me first wait until my father has died, then I will follow You." Jesus replied, "Let those who don't have eternal life take care of things like that. You go and tell people about the kingdom of God." Someone else said, "I will follow you Lord, but let me first go home to say good-bye to everyone." Jesus said to him, "Anyone who is distracted from doing the work I have planned is like a farmer who tries to plow in a straight line, but keeps looking behind him."
Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:48
While the disciples were on their way to Capernaum they got into an argument about which of them was the greatest. When they arrived in Capernaum, Jesus asked them, "What were you arguing about while we were walking along the road?" The disciples were embarrassed and didn't answer. Calling the twelve together, Jesus sat down and said, "If someone wants to be first he must put himself last and if he wants to be great he must be the servant of all." Jesus brought a child to stand in front of them and gave him a hug. Then He said, "Whoever welcomes a child welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One who sent Me. The one who becomes the least-he is the greatest."
Sometimes wives choke on the verse that says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." They might say, "I don't want to submit to my husband or anybody else." But before God tells wives to submit to their husbands, God tells both husbands and wives to submit to one another in the reverence of God.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV) 15 Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Psalms 28:7-9 (NIV) 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Ephesians 5:21-22, 25 (NIV) 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...
Psalms 30:5, 11-12 (NIV) 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalms 19:1-3 (NIV) "1.The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2.Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3.There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.-Psalm 23:1
A favorite Scripture passage for many of us is Psalm 23, which begins: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (verses 1-3). We love that. It's such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.-Isaiah 26:3
I remember asking Billy Graham a number of years ago about what he experienced when he gave the invitation for people to come to Christ at a crusade. He said, "When I am preaching and giving the invitation, I feel like power is draining out of me." I understand that, because it is a spiritual battle that rages on. When we are serving the Lord, it can be draining in many ways. It can even be draining spiritually.
Ephesians 2:6-7,10 (NIV) 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalms 8:3-5 (NIV) 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
The clear night sky is awe-inspiring. One of my favorite places is a canyon lake far from big cities. The night sky appears to be entirely filled with stars. The band of the Milky Way glows with the light of a million stars. We count the shooting stars until we fall asleep. Now we know so much more about the enormity and complexity of that night sky than David did. It should awe us even more when we consider that our God set all that in place. He decreed the laws by which it all functions. Man is increasingly wondering at the mysteries and beauty we see there.
Job 31:24-25, 28 (NIV) 24 "If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, 'You are my security,' 25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
Job continued his defense before his friends. He told how he always helped the needy and took good care of his workers. He said that he was consistent to do those things because he had a fear of God. He knew God required it of him, and that he would be judged if he did not. As we look at Job's defense, few of us can say that our lives come anywhere close to Job's. Yet, the real standard is not Job but Jesus Christ. Thank God for sending His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.