Lessons from Lent: Day Five

23 Feb

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (36 now because you have already accomplished four), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Five

February 23, 2015 ~~ Matthew 25-28

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Matthew 25

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps.

While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him! Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise replied, There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.

11 Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! 12 But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you]. 13 Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.

14 For it is like a man who was about to take a long journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property. 15 To one he gave five talents [probably about $5,000], to another two, to another one—to each in proportion to his own [a]personal ability. Then he departed and left the country. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he gained five talents more. 17 And likewise he who had received the two talents—he also gained two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more. 21 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, [b]admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the [c]blessedness) which your master enjoys.

22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more. 23 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, [d]admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the [e]blessedness) which your master enjoys.

24 He who had received one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed [the grain]. 25 So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is your own. 26 But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant! Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather [grain] where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will be [f]furnished richly so that he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away. 30 And throw the good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

31 When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; 33 And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.

34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you [g]favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [h]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [i]lodged Me, 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [j]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? 40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[k]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.

41 Then He will say to those at His left hand, Begone from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me and entertain Me, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me [l]with help and ministering care. 44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? 45 And He will reply to them, Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to do it for the least [[m]in the estimation of men] of these, you failed to do it for Me.

46 Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright and in right standing with God into eternal life.

Matthew 26

When Jesus had ended this discourse, He said to His disciples, You know that the Passover is in two days—and the Son of Man will be delivered up [a]treacherously to be crucified.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the [[b]open] court of the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, And consulted together in order to arrest Jesus by stratagem secretly and put Him to death. But they said, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there will be a riot among the people.

Now when Jesus came back to Bethany and was in the house of Simon the leper, A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, For what purpose is all this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a large sum and the money given to the poor. 10 But Jesus, fully aware of this, said to them, Why do you bother the woman? She has done a noble (praiseworthy and beautiful) thing to Me. 11 For you always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me. 12 In pouring this perfume on My body she has done something to prepare Me for My burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news (the Gospel) is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also, in memory of her.

14 Then one of the Twelve [apostles], who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 And said, What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? And they weighed out for and paid to him thirty pieces of silver [about twenty-one dollars and sixty cents]. 16 And from that moment he sought a fitting opportunity to betray Him.

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread [Passover week], the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Passover supper? 18 He said, Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, The Master says: My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. 19 And accordingly the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they made ready the Passover supper.

20 When it was evening, He was reclining at table with the twelve disciples. 21 And as they were eating, He said, Solemnly I say to you, one of you will betray Me! 22 They were exceedingly pained and distressed and deeply hurt and sorrowful and began to say to Him one after another, [c]Surely it cannot be I, Lord, can it? 23 He replied, He who has [just] dipped his hand in the same dish with Me will betray Me! 24 The Son of Man is going just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better (more profitable and wholesome) for that man if he had never been born! 25 Judas, the betrayer, said, [d]Surely it is not I, is it, Master? He said to him, You have stated [the fact].

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and, [e]praising God, gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use, and when He had broken it, He gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body. 27 And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which [[f]ratifies the agreement and] is [g]being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I say to you, I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new and [h]of superior quality in My Father’s kingdom.

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. 32 But after I am raised up [to life again], I will go ahead of you to Galilee.

33 Peter declared to Him, Though they all are offended and stumble and fall away because of You [and distrust and desert You], I will never do so. 34 Jesus said to him, Solemnly I declare to you, this very night, before a [i]single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. 35 Peter said to Him, Even if I must die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And all the disciples said the same thing.

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. 37 And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to [j]show grief and distress of mind and was [k]deeply depressed. 38 Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that [l]I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me.

39 And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.

40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done. 43 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were weighed down with sleep. 44 So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words.

45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of [m]especially wicked sinners [[n]whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. 46 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!

47 As He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve [apostles], came up, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, The One I shall kiss is the Man; seize Him. 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, Hail (greetings, good health to You, long life to You), Master! And he [o]embraced Him and kissed Him [p]with [pretended] warmth and devotion. 50 Jesus said to him, Friend, for what are you here? Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and arrested Him.

51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword and, striking the body servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

53 Do you suppose that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will immediately provide Me with more than twelve legions [[q]more than 80,000] of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must come about this way? 55 At that moment Jesus said to the crowds, Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber to capture Me? Day after day I was [r]accustomed to sit in the [s]porches and courts of the temple teaching, and you did not arrest Me. 56 But all this has taken place in order that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples deserted Him and, fleeing, escaped. 57 But those who had seized Jesus took Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had assembled.

58 But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest’s home; he even went inside and sat with the guards to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests and the whole council (the Sanhedrin) sought to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death; 60 But they found none, though many witnesses came forward [to testify]. At last two men came forward 61 And testified, This [t]Fellow said, I am able to tear down the [u]sanctuary of the temple of God and to build it up again in three days. 62 And the high priest stood up and said, Have You no answer to make? What about this that these men testify against You? 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, [v]I call upon you to swear by the living God, and tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.

64 Jesus said to him, [w]You have stated [the fact]. More than that, I tell you: You will in the future see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of [x]the Almighty and coming on the clouds of the sky.

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and exclaimed, He has uttered blasphemy! What need have we of further evidence? You have now heard His blasphemy. 66 What do you think now? They answered, He deserves to be put to death. 67 Then they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists; and some [y]slapped Him in the face, 68 Saying, Prophesy to us, You Christ (the Messiah)! Who was it that struck You?

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and [z]one maid came up to him and said, You were also with Jesus the Galilean! 70 But he denied it [aa]falsely before them all, saying, I do not know what you mean.

71 And when he had gone out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, This fellow was with Jesus the Nazarene! 72 And again he denied it and [ab]disowned Him with an oath, saying, I do not know the Man!

73 After a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, You certainly are one of them too, for even your accent betrays you. 74 Then Peter began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, I do not even know the Man! And at that moment a rooster crowed.

75 And Peter remembered Jesus’ words, when He had said, Before a [ac]single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27

When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people held a consultation against Jesus to put Him to death; And they bound Him and led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, His betrayer, saw that [Jesus] was condemned, [Judas was [a]afflicted in mind and troubled for his former folly; and] with remorse [with little more than a selfish dread of the consequences] he brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, Saying, I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. They replied, What is that to us? See to that yourself. And casting the pieces of silver [forward] into the [Holy Place of the [b]sanctuary of the] temple, he departed; and he went off and hanged himself.

But the chief priests, picking up the pieces of silver, said, It is not legal to put these in the [consecrated] treasury, for it is the price of blood. So after consultation they bought with them [the pieces of silver] the potter’s field [as a place] in which to bury strangers. Therefore that piece of ground has been called the Field of Blood to the present day. Then were fulfilled the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet when he said, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him on Whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 And they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor [Pilate], and the governor asked Him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus said to him, You have stated [the fact]. 12 But when the charges were made against Him by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.

13 Then Pilate said to Him, Do You not hear how many and how serious are the things they are testifying against You? 14 But He made no reply to him, not even to a single accusation, so that the governor marveled greatly.

15 Now at the Feast [of the Passover] the governor was in the habit of setting free for the people any one prisoner whom they chose. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. 17 So when they had assembled for this purpose, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to set free for you, Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ? 18 For he knew that it was because of envy that they had handed Him over to him.

19 Also, while he was seated on the judgment bench, his wife sent him a message, saying, Have nothing to do with that just and upright Man, for I have had a painful experience today in a dream because of Him.

20 But the chief priests and the elders prevailed on the people to ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus to death. 21 Again the governor said to them, Which of the two do you wish me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas! 22 Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ? 23 They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified!

24 So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this [c]righteous Man’s blood; see to it yourselves. 25 And all the people answered, Let His blood be on us and on our children! 26 So he set free for them Barabbas; and he [had] Jesus whipped, and delivered Him up to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, and they gathered the whole battalion about Him. 28 And they stripped off His clothes and put a scarlet robe ([d]garment of dignity and office worn by Roman officers of rank) upon Him, 29 And, weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed (staff) in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they made sport of Him, saying, Hail (greetings, good health to You, long life to You), King of the Jews! 30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed (staff) and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they finished making sport of Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own garments on Him and led Him away to be crucified.

32 As they were marching forth, they came upon a man of Cyrene named Simon; this man they forced to carry the cross of Jesus. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha [Latin: Calvary], which means The Place of a Skull, 34 They offered Him wine mingled with gall to drink; but when He tasted it, He refused to drink it.

35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided and distributed His garments [among them] by casting lots [e]so that the prophet’s saying was fulfilled, They parted My garments among them and over My apparel they cast lots. 36 Then they sat down there and kept watch over Him.

37 And over His head they put the accusation against Him ([f]the cause of His death), which read, This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.

38 At the same time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right hand and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by spoke reproachfully and abusively and jeered at Him, wagging their heads, 40 And they said, You Who would tear down the [g]sanctuary of the temple and rebuild it in three days, rescue Yourself [h]from death. If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, made sport of Him, saying, 42 He rescued others [i]from death; Himself He cannot rescue [j]from death. He is the King of Israel? Let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in and [k]acknowledge and cleave to Him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now if He cares for Him and will have Him, for He said, I am the Son of God.

44 And the robbers who were crucified with Him also abused and reproached and made sport of Him in the same way.

45 Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (three o’clock). 46 And about the ninth hour (three o’clock) Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?—that is, My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me [leaving Me [l]helpless, forsaking and failing Me in My need]?

47 And some of the bystanders, when they heard it, said, This Man is calling for Elijah! 48 And one of them immediately ran and took a sponge, soaked it with vinegar (a sour wine), and put it on a reed (staff), and was [m]about to give it to Him to drink. 49 But the others said, Wait! Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him [n]from death.

50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.

51 And at once the curtain of the [o]sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep [p]in death were raised [to life]; 53 And coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those who were with him keeping watch over Jesus observed the earthquake and all that was happening, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe, and said, Truly this was God’s Son!

55 There were also numerous women there, looking on from a distance, who were of those who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him. 56 Among them were Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and [q]rolled it up in a clean linen cloth [r]used for swathing dead bodies 60 And laid it in his own fresh ([s]undefiled) tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a big boulder over the door of the tomb and went away.

61 And Mary of Magdala and the other Mary kept sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, that is, the day after the day of Preparation [for the Sabbath], the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate 63 And said, Sir, we have just remembered how that [t]vagabond Imposter said while He was still alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Therefore give an order to have the tomb made secure and safeguarded until the third day, for fear that His disciples will come and steal Him away and tell the people that He has risen from the dead, and the last deception and fraud will be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said to them, You have a guard [of soldiers; take them and] go, make it as secure as you can. 66 So they went off and made the tomb secure by sealing the boulder, a guard of soldiers being with them and remaining to watch.

Matthew 28

Now after the Sabbath, near dawn of the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to take a look at the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled the boulder back and sat upon it.

His appearance was like lightning, and his garments as white as snow. And those keeping guard were so frightened at the sight of him that they were agitated and they trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.

He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay.

Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. So they left the tomb hastily with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples. And as they went, behold, Jesus met them and said, Hail (greetings)! And they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me.

11 While they were on their way, behold, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred. 12 And when they [the chief priests] had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, 13 And said, Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping. 14 And if the governor hears of it, we will appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care. 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this story has been current among the Jews to the present day.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made appointment with them. 17 And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 Jesus approached and, [a]breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [b]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you [c]all the days ([d]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. [e]Amen (so let it be).

And the Sisters of the faith lift up the “Amen”

#Lessonsfromlent

As I read these familiar Scriptures afresh this morning with the prayer for spirit awakening in my soul I was struck by the questions of the “just and upright” that Jesus is commending for their generosity, for their care, and for their love for the “least of these” . . . Read back over the Scriptures from Matthew 25.

34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you [g]favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [h]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [i]lodged Me, 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [j]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? 40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[k]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.  Matthew 25:34-40

Christ begins with the inheritance the faithful servants will receive and He moves on to outline the why of their very great reward. The Scripture tells us that God has prepared more for us in Glory than we can conceive, think, or imagine and I think looking forward to and anticipating what that reward might be is a wondrous thing.

But look at the response of the group Jesus is addressing . . .

“Lord, when did we see You? When did we welcome You? When did clothe You?  When did we visit you?”

O Sister, do you see it?  They were so immersed in the nature of Jesus that it became the natural outflow of their hearts to serve and even more so to Love . . .with no strings attached.  So much had Jesus become the fixation of their hearts that they gave of time, spirit, and resources to those around them without commending themselves.

I learned from a Sweet Sister last night the definition of the word “gave” in John 3:16 . . . it means to “give without expectation of compensation.” Here’s John 3:16. Read through it with the definition in mind . . .

For God so loved the world that He GAVE (without expectation of compensation) His One and Only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Set aside the fact that we could never repay the debt and focus in on the fact that repayment was never expected. Does that not absolutely blow your mind with a gale force of the Spirit? God gave, Christ accomplished, not based on what He would receive but the pure joy of expressing love. . . with no strings.

And that’s what we see in the Matthew passage. They had no expectation of compensation . . .Girlfriend, they were looking, they were imitating, they were following in the steps of their Jesus!!! I want that! I want to love so deeply and to have the Messiah so engrained in me that I love the same way He did . . . with spectacular extravagance and caution thrown to the wind. I want it to run through every fiber of my being until that’s not what I do but that’s who I am. Oh Sweet One, is that not the cry of your heart as well?

Lord, bless me with the ability to love others with no strings attached! Let me feed the hungry, those who need physical food and those who need to hear about the Bread of Heaven. Show me the thirsty so I can bless with a long cool drink of the Living Water. Point out the strangers in need, those feeling exposed, unclothed and vulnerable in a harsh world. Give me the desire to point them toward the warmth and refuge of being clothed from head-to-toe in Jesus Christ while I wrap a coat around them. And Father, lead me to the imprisoned. Those who need to know that freedom has been purchased for them and has nothing to do with physical surroundings. Send me the insecure. The ones in bondage to insignificance and those who are chained by feeling unwelcome and unaccepted. Stir my heart Lord to love like you with NO STRINGS ATTACHED!  In the Name of He Who Blazed the Trail — Amen

CREATION SWAP CROSS SILHOUETTE 26681_silhouette_of_cross_alone ribbet

Love. . . No strings attached. #lessonsfromlent

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