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Every Christian is a soldier who is compelled to be on constant guard duty. We're faced with an enemy who never sleeps. The enemy is alert and ever prepared to take advantage of the fortunes of war. Watchfulness is a fondamental practice of Christ's warriors. We therefore cannot dare to be asleep at our post. Such an unfortunate laspe would not only bring us under the displeasure of the Captain of our salvation but expose us to serious dangers. Watchfulness is necessary for every soldier of the Lord.
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Matthew 24 & 25 is commonly known as the "Olivet Discourse."
Rather than take the "popular" position that this discourse was about two separate "comings" of Jesus, Rod presents the view that Jesus only had in mind His coming to pour out God's wrath upon Jerusalem and all the Jews in order to fulfill prophecy and bring their covenant with Him to an irreversible end in AD 70.
In today's discussion we'll note the urgency of that generation being alert for the great and awesome "day of the Lord." It also sets the stage for applying the two opening parables of chp. 25.
Consistency and continuity of prophecy and fulfillment are keys to grasping Jesus' intent in this discourse.
Evil habits and practices are bringing upon men disease of every kind. Let the understanding be convinced by education as to the sinfulness of abusing and degrading the powers that God has given. Let the mind become intelligent, and the will be placed on the Lord’s side, and there will be a wonderful improvement in the physical health. But this can never be accomplished in mere human strength. With strenuous efforts through the grace of Christ to renounce all evil practices and associations, and to observe temperance in all things, there must be an abiding persuasion that repentance for the past, as well as forgiveness, is to be sought of God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. These things must be brought into the daily experience; there must be strict watchfulness and unwearied entreaty that Christ will bring every thought into captivity to himself; his renovating power must be given to the soul, that as accountable beings we may present to God our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto him, which is our reasonable service. Medical Missionary Work
35“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
The History of Christianity #98
Our History of Christianity Scripture verse today is John 16:33 which reads: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Our History of Christianity quote today is from Saint Anthony of Egypt, Father of the Monks. He said: "Just as fish die if they stay too long out of water, so the monks who loiter outside their cells or pass their time with men of the world lose the intensity of inner peace. So like a fish going towards the sea, we must hurry to reach our cell, for fear that if we delay outside we will lose our interior watchfulness."
Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at "The Monastic Reaction: The First Monks of the Desert (Part 2)" from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
According to Athanasius, Anthony was born in a small village on the left shore of the Nile, the son of relatively wealthy parents. Most likely he was a Copt -- a descendant of the ancient Egyptians, who now suffered oppression and discrimination from Greeks and Romans alike. When they died, Anthony was still young, and his inheritance was sufficient to permit a comfortable life both for him and for his younger sister, for whom he now took responsibility. His plans were simply to live off his inheritance, until a reading of the gospel in church had such an impact on him that he felt compelled to change his life. The text that day was the story of the rich young ruler, and the words of Jesus were very clear to Anthony, who was relatively rich: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
Friday conversations with Dr Mario Topic: Watchfulness
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In the New Testament there are three diferent meanings for the word "watch." The first means "absence of sleep" and implies a wakeful frame of mind. The second meaning is to be "fully awake" so that one is not careless or lazy and allow something bad to happe. The third means "to be calm and collected in spirit," cautious againts all pitfall and distractions. Two of these are used in connection with prayer. Watchfulness must guard and cover the whole spiritual man and prepare him for prayer. Unpreparedness and lack of vigillance is death to prayer because there is no target for it.
Why Does it seem that God doesn't always keep His Promises? 2 Peter 3:3-18. The Point: God works in His time, according to His Plan. MEMORY VERSE: The Lord Is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us. not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Righteous Living in a Wretched World: Peter writing to beleaguered Christians in an evil world where false teachers were aggressively spreading dangerous heresies, Peter urged, "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" 3:18.
Godly Living: Through Christ we have been given everything we need to live godly lives, that through His precious promises, we are partakers of the divine nature. We have been freed from the power of the old corrupt nature. 2 Peter 1:1-15
Watchfulness: By looking for the return of Christ, we can avoid the sinful traps of the world. We need to take care that we do not become lax in our thinking and actions. God's promise of judgement should prompt us to encourage others to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
Why are we called to both watch and pray? And is watching apart of the Christians prayer practice too? In conjunction with today's internet devotional edition of The Morning Word topic, The Practical Demands for Prayer Watchfulness, Ron Parks highlights and seeks to discuss you the role of watchfulness in prayer to better understand and read answered prayer. Today's edition of The Morning Word can be accessed at: www.TMW.InJesus.com. The Morning Word is a free subscription.
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