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From These Stones

August 27, 2014

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From These Stones

Pride  makes people feel  pretty special  —  even better than  those around them.     But pride  is deceptive.     It makes one think better  of themselves  than they are  in reality.     People might strongly believe  that their wealth,  educational level,  occupation,  strength,  religious background,  or whatever  sets them a few steps  above others.     They might be especially sure  that these factors  prove  beyond the shadow  of a doubt  that they are quite special  in God’s sight.     But,  there are scripture references  that point out something different.

Matthew 3:1-12  tells about the ministry  of John the Baptist.     He preached  about the coming Savior  in the wilderness  of Judea,  as many came out  to him,  to listen,  confess their sins,  and be baptized,  as their hearts  were turned  in repentance  to the LORD.     Amongst the crowds  were many Pharisees  and Sadducees  coming to be baptized.     Though the Pharisees  and Sadducees  felt they were much more righteous  than the regular people  —  and that their religious status  proved God’s approval  of them  —  they wanted  to be baptized  to maintain  the approval  of the people  and God.

Knowing that the Pharisees  and Sadducees  were not repenting  of anything,  John the Baptist said  in Matthew 3:7-9,

You brood  of vipers,  who warned you  to flee  from the wrath  to come?     Therefore bear fruit  in keeping  with repentance;  and do not suppose  that you can say  to yourselves,  ‘We have Abraham  for our father’;  for I say  to you  that from these stones  God is able  to raise up children  to Abraham.

In their pride,  these religious leaders  felt they  were special  just because of their ancestors.     They were born  from a long line  of religious leaders  and thought  God loved them more  than any other Israelite  because of their supposed righteousness  and status.     They were not only deceiving the people,  but they were deceiving themselves  with their self-righteous lifestyles.     Because  of their hypocritical ways,  John had  to call them  a “brood  of vipers”.     They were poisoning their own relationship  with God  —  and poisoning the truths  of God  for the people,  as they led people  to imagine that their arrogant,  self-righteousness had God’s approval.

That is why  John told them to  “bear fruit  in keeping  with repentance”.     True  “repentance”  is not prideful  or self-righteous.     Rather,  it humbly  serves God  from a heart  of love  and faith.     True  “repentance”  respects God  for who He is  —  and respects  other people  because God cares  for them.     That is why  in Matthew 22:36-40,  Jesus says  the foremost commandment is  to  “love the LORD your God  with all your heart,  and with all your soul,  and with all your mind,”   and the second is  to  “love your neighbor  as yourself”.

If we still choose  to be prideful,  we need  to remember  “that from these stones  God is able  to raise up children  to Abraham”.     God doesn’t need us.     We need God  —  for every aspect  of our lives  and salvation.

Appreciating  God’s love  and patience,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for Your truths.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

A 2.67 year old says  I Pledge Allegiance

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by the Yupiq Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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