Greetings in Christ Jesus,
Sunday July 30, 2017
Epistle: II Corinthians 12:20-13:2
Gospel: Mark 4: 24-34
Psalm: Psalm 86/87
II Corinthians 12:20-13:2
20 For I fear lest perhaps when I come I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you. 21 Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many of them that sinned before, and have not done penance for the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, that they have committed. 1 Behold, this is the third time I am coming to you: In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word stand. 2 I have told before, and foretell, as present, and now absent, to them that sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare.
24 And he said to them: Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, that also which he hath shall be taken away from him.
26 And he said: So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the earth, 27 And should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring, and grow up while he knows not. 28 For the earth of itself brings forth fruit, first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear. 29 And when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come. 30 And he said: To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we compare it? 31 It is as a grain of mustard seed: which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that are in the earth: 32 And when it is sown, it grows up, and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches, so that the birds of the air may dwell under the shadow thereof. 33 And with many such parables, he spoke to them the word, according as they were able to hear. 34 And without parable he did not speak unto them; but apart, he explained all things to his disciples.
Oh friends how pitiful we are as Christians, in the second epistle to the Corinthians St. Paul was defending himself from among the accusations against him from the legalists, one of the accusations he had been accused of was skimming money from the contributions, in today’s epistle he went on from defending himself to begin pointing out the sins of the Corinthian church that he may still find there when he arrives. How easily do we fall while raising ourselves in our own mind? How easily are we blinded by our own sins and yet accuse others?
Our Lord Jesus Himself spoke out in parables so that those who thought that they could see and hear actually could not as they were blinded by their own pride, lust, envying, and arrogance as they believed that they already knew it all and yet knew little. My friends, we can never stop seeking, we must never become complacent in our intellect, this is when we begin to fool ourselves, we must prove all things, the spirit does not simply give but we must seek, do we not remember the story of the old woman before the judge when the judge granted her petition only because she appeared daily before him and would not let it rest?
Did not our Lord say that we are to be the same before the Father? (Luke 18:1-8). We must never stop seeking spiritual growth by the shedding of our own corruption and gaining the spirit of truth and love for one another. Did Jesus say; “forgive them Father for they know not what they do?” or did He say; forgive those whom you have given me because they believed me and should be saved? You know the answer. Love your enemies and pray for them, if your enemy thirsts give him water, if he is hungry give him bread.
Do you not ask a departed saint to pray for you while another Christian does? Do you accuse that one? The Christian church has done this from the beginning and nowhere was it condemned. The bones of the prophet Elisha brought a dead man back to life and yet while all call this scripture there are those who bring accusation against those who still believe that this can happen. Why do we accuse one another? There is no law that says to believe or not to believe either of these things, so why accuse? Can either side prove either position?
Love one another, this is the command. If one says that Jesus did not come from the Father then this we know is untrue and this person is not truly Christian. If one says that Jesus did not rise from the dead then this we know is not true and this person is not a true Christian. From these things we stay away from and yet we pray for those who make these statements.
Today’s Psalm speaks of the gates of Zion and how the Lord loves them, it speaks of those who are born there and the Lord loves them. The new Zion, the New Jerusalem is being built, it is built by those who belong to the Christ Jesus, and we are all building blocks of the living Jerusalem. Do not remove yourself from the walls by hate and pride, arrogance and envy; keep yourself alive in Christ through the love of others and living the word of Christ in this world.
Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed.
Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
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