Archive for February, 2011
1. A Levite, father of Zuriel, the chief of the Merarites in the time of Moses (Num. 3:35: – 35 The leader of the families of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail; they were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle).
2. The head of a family of the tribe of Gad (1 Chron. 5:14: – 14 These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz).
3. The father of Esther, the niece ofMordecai who became Queen of Persia in the place of Vashti (Esther 2:15; 9:29: – 15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 29 So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim).
They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: ‘In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anym ore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.’ These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit! -But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! -Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
Dear Father, thank you for joy and peace. Thank you for walking me through the difficult times. I choose today to answer the door for joy every single morning so that I can walk in the strength you have given to me.
In Jesus’ Name
|Jesus is Rejected in Nazareth
A SAD DAY had come for Nazareth, the city where Jesus had lived since his babyhood years. And this sad day had come on the Sabbath. The Jews from different parts of the city were gathering in their house of worship, the synagog. Among their number was Jesus; for he had returned from his visit in Cana. Always while he lived in Nazareth he went every Sabbath-day to the services at the Synagog, where he heard God’s words read from the books of the law and of the prophets.
Now, Jesus was no longer just an ordinary person among the other Jews of Nazareth, for they had heard about his teachings in other cities and they wished to hear for themselves what this son of the carpenter Joseph would say. So when the time came for the services to begin, Jesus stood up to read to the people, and the minister of the synagog brought to him the book that the prophet Isaiah had written long years before.
Jesus found where Isaiah wrote the prophecy concerning the Messiah, and he read Isaiah’s prophecy to the people. These are some of the words he read:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
After reading these words, Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the minister, and sat down. Then every one in the synagog looked at him, expecting to hear him speak; for the speaker in the synagog always stood up to read God’s words and sat down to explain the meaning of what he had read.
Among those who listened to Jesus that day were his neighbors who had known him nearly all his lifetime. Proud men they were, unwilling that the carpenter’s son should teach them new truths. They had heard of the miracles that Jesus performed in Cana and in Capernaum, the city by the seashore. But they did not believe that Jesus was the promised King of the Jews. They knew he was only a poor man, and they did not respect him for being great and good.
But those proud men were surprised when they heard Jesus’ words. They did not know he could speak so well; they did not know that he was the greatest teacher who had ever spoken to men. For a while they listened very carefully; then Jesus told them that Isaiah’s words were fulfilled by his coming to preach the gospel to the poor and to do other wonderful things that Isaiah had promised.
“How can this be true?” they asked of each other; “for it not this Joseph’s son?”
Jesus knew they would not receive his words and believe them. He told them that no prophet was honored by his own people. And he reminded them of the time when Elijah, the prophet, ran away from Israel to hide in the home of a poor widow who lived in a heathen land.
Because this poor widow cared for God’s prophet, God took care of her. He also told them about the heathen leper, Naaman, who was healed by God’s power when he obeyed Elisha’s words, although many Israelites had leprosy and were never healed.
The proud men of Nazareth quickly objected to these words of Jesus, although they were true happenings among the Jews long before. They believed that Jesus was trying to show them how God cared for other people besides the Jews, and they did not like to hear such words.
So they refused to listen longer to his teachings, and the service at the synagog broke up in great disorder. The leading men ran to Jesus and took hold of him roughly and drew him outside their synagog. Then a mob of angry people followed, wishing to see Jesus punished because he had spoken the truth to them.
This mob led Jesus to the top of the high hill upon which Nazareth was built, intending to throw him down upon the sharp rocks in the canon below. But the time had not yet come when Jesus should die for the sins of the people, and therefore they could not carry out their wicked intention.
He simply walked quietly through the midst of the excited throng. No one seized hold of him again, and he left them and went away to live in Capernaum, the city by the Sea of Galilee.
The men of Nazareth did not know what a terrible deed they had tried to do that day; they did not know that their foolish pride had caused them to drive right out of their midst the gift which God had sent from heaven to earth. And because they refused to believe in Jesus as the one of whom Isaiah had written, they never received the gift of salvation, which Jesus brought to men.
The Scripture says in Psalms that joy comes in the morning. When you wake up each morning, God sends you a special delivery of joy. It comes knocking at your door. When you get up in faith and make the declaration that “this is going to be a good day,” do you know what you just did? You just answered the door. You just received the gift of joy that God sent to you. The problem is that some people never answer the door. Joy has been knocking for months and months, years and years saying, “Come on! Let me in! You can be happy! You can cheer up! You can enjoy your life!”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to answer the door for joy. I’m going to wake up every morning and say, “Father, thank You for another beautiful day. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to enjoy this day. I’m going to brighten somebody else’s life. I am choosing to receive Your gift of joy, today!”
If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.
We are told from Scripture that the relationship with our spouse is to include love, respect, understanding, honor, harmony, sympathetic kindness, etc. (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18, 19).
Have you ever found yourself irritated with your spouse – not liking him or her very much – even though you know you love your spouse? Most of us have had those days! It’s perfectly normal. No two people can live together for any length of time without once in awhile rubbing each other the wrong way.
What’s important is how you handle these kinds of times. If you let those feelings of hurt or disappointment take over – your marriage will suffer. You will create a rift in your relationship. So you have to make a choice. You have to decide to love. You may not feel loving, but if you decide to love, the feelings will follow.
You have to learn to demonstrate unconditional love to your spouse. Unconditional love is necessary for a strong marriage. Are you practicing unconditional love in your marriage? Here are some questions to consider:
• Have you accepted your spouse’s failures or weaknesses?
• Do you support your spouse, or do you see his or her weaknesses as projects to fix?
• Are you afraid to be honest because your spouse might not accept you?
There is a huge difference between unconditional love and conditional love. Conditional love blames a person, expects things in return, and asks for more. Unconditional love accepts the person, expects nothing in return and sacrifices.
Conditional love says:
• “I will love you only if…”
• “I don’t know if I can handle the tough times. If things get too bad I’m outta here.”
• “I might not be able to forgive you if you tell me…”
Unconditional love says:
• “I will love you even if…”
• “I will stay with you no matter what. I will always love you, even in the tough times.”
• “I know I’ll still love you if you tell me…”
Your spouse isn’t perfect and you are the one person who sees all his or her faults and fears. What do you do with what you know about your spouse?
• Do you tease your spouse with hurtful words?
• Worse, do you tease your spouse with hurtful words in front of others?
• Do you put your spouse down?
• Do you withhold your love until your spouse corrects certain faults?
If you answered “yes” to a majority of these questions, you are loving conditionally and creating a huge fault line that can at any moment open up and become a large chasm between you. Conditional love creates a marriage in which each spouse is more concerned with getting his or her own way, instead of showing their spouse grace and love.
Your response and connection to your spouse are crucial to the health of your marriage and family. Your expression of unconditional love and acceptance is the force that will hold you together in the midst of the testing times in your marriage. Your standing with each other in the painful times as well as the good times is one of the primary elements of a great marriage.
If you love each other conditionally, you’ll end up living like two immature children – each trying to get your own way and resenting the other person when you don’t. You may still be married, but you’ll miss out on the joy of a great marriage. Also, husbands and wives who don’t get unconditional love in their marriage may look for it somewhere else. And while they’re looking for that unconditional love – they’re pulling away from their spouse.
Learning unconditional love is worth it, but it’s not easy. Giving your spouse the security of your unwavering love requires grace, patience, and affirmation of the good things, encouragement, respect and time. Even when you don’t feel like showing love, do it anyway. You need it; your spouse needs it; your marriage needs it.
Here are some tips on how to keep your dream marriage alive.
• Talk through the issues. Communicate freely with each other and keep no inappropriate secrets.
• Love each other deeply, without strings. Forgive your spouse when you are wronged and seek forgiveness when you offend.
• Begin each day by asking, “What can I do for you?” Eagerly seek to discover and meet each other’s needs.
• Hang tough. Pray without ceasing. Instead of caving in to difficult circumstances, face and conquer them.
• Focus on Christ, and love your spouse. Consciously guard yourselves against threats and temptations that could pull your marriage apart.
• Pray together daily. Stay close. Work at maintaining emotional, physical and spiritual closeness.
• Keep the chemistry with your spouse alive. Be committed to keeping your relationship fresh.
Keeping your marriage strong, vibrant and fresh isn’t always easy. But if you put in the time and effort, you’ll discover how truly amazing your marriage can be.
• Wives, be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:1-4).
• Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers (1 Peter 3:7).
• Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9).
• Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:14-15).
• Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:14-15).
• Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Romans 14:19).
• When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).
• Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:23-26).
• And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:30-32).
“God’s Blessing’s To All Marriages – Peace & Harmony”
|Jesus Heals the Nobleman’s Son
MANY PEOPLE WHO lived in the country of Galilee were eager to see Jesus. They had heard about his first miracle at Cana, where he turned water into wine, and they had also heard about his teachings and his miracles performed in Jerusalem during the Feast of the Passover. Now when he left Sychar and returned with his disciples to their country, the news of his coming spread rapidly from one city to another, and the Galilean people hoped he would come to their cities and perform miracles among them, too.
But one man did not wait until Jesus should come to his home city before going out to see him. This man lived in Capernaum, a city that had been built on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was one of the rulers in that city, and he was also called a nobleman. In the eyes of the poor who lived near his home he was a great man indeed; for he did not despise them, as did many of the rulers of the Jews.
Sorrow had come into the home of this nobleman, his little son lay sick with a burning fever, and the doctors could not make him well. Hearing of Jesus, the nobleman decided to seek this wonderful prophet and beg him to come to Capernaum to heal his child. So he left his home one night and hurried to Cana, where Jesus was.
When the nobleman found the place where Jesus was stopping, he called to see the wonderful prophet of Galilee. He told Jesus about his sick child lying at home at the point of death, and he asked Jesus to go with him to Capernaum to heal the child.
But Jesus answered, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe that I am sent of God.”
The nobleman was very much in earnest. He cried out, “Sir, if you do not come down at once, my little son will be dead when we reach home.”
Then Jesus spoke kindly to this distressed father. he said, “Return to your home without me, for your son will not die.”
The nobleman believed Jesus’ words and turned back to Capernaum. He did not fear any longer that death would snatch his dear child away from his loving care, for Jesus had said that the child should be well again.
When he came near to Capernaum, his servants came to meet him with glad tidings. They said, “Your son is no longer sick.”
“At what time,” asked the nobleman, “did he begin to get well?
And the servants replied, “His fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour of the day.”
The ruler knew that Jesus had spoken to him at that very hour, and he believed surely that it was the power of this prophet that had saved the life of his child. Not only this nobleman, but all his household, too, believed in Jesus when they heard about the healing of the sick boy.
In Jesus’ name