the churches of Christ Salute You Romans 16:16
Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, "O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." So they worshiped the Lord there. 2 And Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the Lord;
1 Samuel 1:24-2:1
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."
But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Being that the criminals were closer, when Jesus took on the sins of the world, did he take on theirs first? :)
I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me. John 14:6
Some people feel desperate and do desperate things. As desperate as this woman may have felt, what she did was anything but. This is the 'mustard seed' of faith that moves mountains. She had already tried climbing it to no avail. Her faith 'peaked' in her resounding belief in what Jesus could do. Just to touch the 'fringe of His garment'. Compare the 'seed' in that thought to the momentous task of removing the mountain of suffering, daily, in her life for twelve years. Can only imagine what kind of medical thinking and 'ancient' remedies the doctors of her day experimented with trying to do whatever, but you know it was plenty. 'Suffered many things from many physicians' is not to be taken lightly. While many might consider her a 'fringe' candidate for healing, her faith was anything but living along the 'fringe'.
What kind of a Saviour is Jesus? This kind- 'Jesus immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him...' . Ever been in a situation where you just can't get someone's attention or 'the time of day'? Do you really believe Jesus didn't catch on or not know what had happened, that He had to ask 'Who touched my clothes?' The question you need to ask here is, 'For whose benefit' did Jesus respond this way? The woman brought her 'A' game. Jesus gave her an 'A' plus. She fell down and told the whole truth to the Truth (John 14:6).
Can you accept it? It is a 'time limited offer'! (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)
And if Moses wasn't on his 'A' game... what then?
For all David's faults and sins God still had found a man 'after His own heart'. This 'boy' standing up to Goliath is more than the 'stuff' legends are made of. It is the 'stuff' the downtrodden dream about and from his high points to his lows, and he had plenty of both, David was as real a person as it gets. His 'God' was his 'A' game.
Gametime: Following leads...
WHAT THEY DO
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! Matthew 8:5-10
From the walls of Jericho to spying out the land of 'milk and honey' with Caleb this guy owned the 'A' game T-shirt. Even if the whole house of Israel chose otherwise, Joshua made it clear where he and his house would stand. Going it alone?
Not a chance. With God how could he be 'alone'?
Bringing Our ‘A’ Game
When David faced Goliath, he faced the known, as did Jonathan with the Philistines, as did Joshua with Jericho. Ruth, however brought her 'A' game to face the 'unknown'.
A Moabite no less, who God brought into Christ's genealogy. 'Your God will be my God' pretty much speaks for itself.
Michael the archangel… said, the Lord rebuke you Jude 9
11 Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they."
13 And Moses said to the Lord: "Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 'Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.'
17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.' 19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."
20 Then the Lord said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord — 22 because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.
24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
Luke 23:34 THE ULTIMATE 'A' GAME
So his armorbearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart." 1 Samuel 14:7
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Ruth 1:16-18
FATHER FORGIVE THEM
What would it really be like to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?
26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan."
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we." 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."
14:1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt." Numbers 13:26-14:4
Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Genesis 45:3-8
This would not be an 'A' Game
They uncovered the roof where He was… Mark 2:4
You have to love the armorbearer's attitude. Aside from Jonathan's obvious enthusiasm, the armorbearer's support and loyalty was unconditional. Both were ready with their 'A' Game in hand.
I can only imagine what it must have been like to take her child to the 'house of the Lord' after being weaned, knowing she was 'giving him up'. But that's the thing isn't it? Hannah figured differently. She wasn't giving him up. She was lending him back. 'For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition...' Wonder what was going in Samuel's mind and heart at the same time? Without God's help Hannah would not have had Samuel at all. Indications are that Hannah would see Samuel but once a year during the 'annual sacrifice' to bring him a new robe 1 Samuel 2:19-21. Notice verse 21. Read Hannah's prayer and along with her standing by her word, doesn't 1 Samuel 2:1 say most, if not all we need to know about Hannah's 'A' game?
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said,
"Let us go up at once and take possession,
for we are well able to overcome it."
But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;
and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'
Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us.
Do not fear them."
And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong Job 1:22
I've never in all my years when listening to anyone talk about this widow and what she gave, ever make mention of 'just how did Jesus know that she gave all that she had'. But know, He did. Had you or I witnessed this we probably would have thought or passed judgement on 'just how little she gave' never mind the notion that, 'just what difference would her small contribution have made anyway'? By worldly standards it's not that her contribution would have mattered in the big scheme of things, right? Certainly, not a 'game changer' compared to many who were rich putting in much! Well, nothing could have been more wrong. As Jesus in very succinct fashion pointed out to His disciples, the widow put in more than all those who had given to the treasury. Others had given out of their abundance. The widow out of her poverty put in everything she had, her whole livelihood. She didn't let the fact it was much less than what others gave, stop her. She didn't split it down the middle, 50-50 so to speak. Nor did she allow such thoughts as 'Well, how do I know whether those in charge of the treasury will use it right? Are they honest? She didn't do it for 'show'. To her the 'A' game meant 'totally in'. Are you?
THE GOOD NEWS
What TV drama or Hollywood extravaganza could match this? Jealousy and hatred to the Nth degree, deceit, a murder plot, conspiracy, kidnapping, thrown into a pit, sold to a merchant caravan, rising from rags to riches against the odds only to lose it all in refusing the sexual advances of his master's wife, falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit, cast into prison for two years, only to rise again as Egypt's top and most powerful official effectively, then of all things to go full circle and meet face to face with the very brothers who threw him into the pit in the first place and what, did I hear somebody say, 'happy ending'?
Wow... when fact is stranger than fiction! To say this is a must read, is an understatement to say the least.
To this...and see who brought their 'A' game
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
TO HIM AND BANDAGED HIS WOUNDS, POURING ON OIL AND WINE AND SET HIM
The Churches of Christ Salute You
Go And Make Disciples Of All Nations
FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW
Bring Your 'A'-Game
Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.
Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.
So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them,
"Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;
for they all put in out of their abundance,
but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."
A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honour? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence?... And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:6, 8
ON HIS OWN ANIMAL, BROUGHT HIM TO AN INN AND TOOK CARE OF HIM
If you were going to be a servant to a centurion, then this is the one. This centurion pleaded with Christ not on behalf of himself, family, if he had any or even a superior officer. He was concerned about his servant. That he genuinely was concerned for his health as a human being and not as personal property is revealed in the statement "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof'. With authority and power at his disposal the centurion could have ordered anyone to his house. Yet instead, he acknowledged Jesus and the faith he had in Christ with this stunning declaration, 'But only speak a word and my servant will be healed'. Scripture doesn't refer to Jesus often being 'marveled' but He surely was. Isn't it wonderful when someone brings their 'A' game for somebody else's benefit?
Gametime: Raising our game to expectations
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1-2
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
A CERTAIN SAMARITAN... WHEN HE SAW HIM HE HAD COMPASSION SO HE WENT
First thing we need to realize is this- “All Scripture is God-breathed…” 2 Timothy 3:16
Second thing to understand? “For the word of God is living and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12
Published by the Church of Christ—Romans 16:16; Nov 25, 2018 105—3rd St W., Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, K6J 2N9 Website: churchofchristcornwall.ca E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:3-4
Jonathan's 'A' games was in large part his loyalty and sense of duty. A bit of a 'risk taker' he was aware of what it meant to take what he believed to be the right action at the right time and was willing to put his life in God's hands.
The church of Christ Has no earthly headquarters John 18:36
Our citizenship Is in heaven Philippians 3:20
We set our path To the compass of scripture 1 Timothy 3:16, 17
The bible is God's Word and final authority John 12:48
The church of the living God Is the pillar and support of the truth 1 Timothy 3:15
We are the churchChrist built Jesus said, " I will build My church " Matthew 16:18; ROMANS 16:16
Christ built One church Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:18
He will return For His church Corinthians 15:24; Matt 16:18, 19
For the time would fail me to tell… Hebrews 11
Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few." 1 Samuel 14:6
This would be bringing an 'A' Game
Now let's look at other biblical personalities who brought their 'A' game ...
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.
When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, If only I may touch the fringe of His garment, I shall be made well."
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"
But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'"
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." Mark 5:25-34
Two criminals on the same coin but opposite sides.
The first looked to Christ, as just another passenger in the ride of life, and looked at his own predicament through the rear view mirror like he was looking over his shoulder. In fact, he'd already been chased, caught and condemned or wouldn't be where he was. So, this was all about him.
Firstly, the 'If' shows no sign of belief.
Secondly, he wanted Christ to use his power (if he really had it) to escape the present and get back to the past.
The other criminal in rebuking the first, put all their situations into an honest and remarkably accurate perspective. People are often honest on their death bed but not always coherent or sound enough to assess current situations at hand correctly.
'Do you not even fear God' speaks to his belief in God, otherwise it's not a question to be asked.
'Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom' acknowledged that Christ was indeed a king; that His kingdom was certainly not of this world- the world of their current predicament and the fact that only God-Jesus could change things for the better.
What are the odds you would be alive on a cross, right beside the Messiah on the same day? Remember this was Golgotha not the Appian Way. Coincidence?
This convicted criminal doesn't ask Jesus to 'save their collective hides'. Looking forward without doubt as to who was in the driver's seat, He asks Jesus in faith to use His power to get him from the miserable present to a better future.
What a difference between using the 'miserable present' to get back to a sordid 'past' and using the 'present' to change the 'future'! Is there a lesson here or what? None of us can change the past. The whole world collectively can't change the past. Yet, you as an individual through Christ, can change, not just the future, but your future. So, what are you going to do about that? Sit on the bench or get into the game?
As far as an 'A' game goes, not only in this situation but any and again specifically 'yours'- it's totally where the rubber meets the road.
'Today, you shall be with me in Paradise'. To 'coin' a phrase, it's tough to drive forward looking through the rear view mirror.
Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
1 Samuel 17:26
the Church of Christ of and in the New Testament