“Follow Me”

Jesus Calls the First Apostles

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

In the Great Commission, Jesus told His apostles to go out and make disciples. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. Therefore, the Great Commission was about finding people who would follow Jesus.

This is also what Jesus did while on the earth – He made disciples. But while His apostles would call people to follow Jesus, He would tell them, “Follow Me.

There are a few examples in the gospels in which Jesus offered this invitation – “Follow Me.” In this article, we are going to look at these statements in the book of Matthew and make some applications.Continue Reading

Things Which the Lord Hates

Proverbs

The book of Proverbs contains wisdom to guide us through life. In it we are shown the way that is right and warned about the way that is wrong. In the following passage, the wise man warned about things which the Lord hates.

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Hate is a strong word, yet that is the word given by inspiration. Therefore, we should not gloss over the items on this list; instead, we should be sure we understand what these things are and heed this warning.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 8): The Pharisees Were Corrupt in Their Hearts

The Real Pharisees

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:25-28).

At the beginning of this study, we noticed how the Pharisees were not as careful with the Law as we tend to think – or as their reputation suggested. Jesus made a similar point in the verses above. The Pharisees would “outwardly appear righteous” (Matthew 23:28), but they were not truly righteous. Their hearts were corrupt.
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Do Not Look at His Appearance

Handshake

After God had rejected Saul as king over Israel, He sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the next king. Before God indicated that Jesse’s youngest son David would be chosen, Samuel assumed that his oldest son Eliab would be the Lord’s choice.

When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:6-7).

David was “a man after [God’s] heart” (Acts 13:22). Yet Samuel, having never met any of these men previously, did not know the heart of David, Eliab, or any of the others. He was passing judgment and making assumptions based upon what these men looked like. God indicated to Samuel that this was the wrong way to evaluate their worthiness to lead God’s people.
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Do This First

Number One

In every area of life, there are certain things that must be done first before something else can be done (e.g., you must put your socks on first before putting on your shoes). That does not mean that the secondary action is less important, but the sequence is.

Sometimes, the order in which we do certain tasks are of necessity. The wise man said, “Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house” (Proverbs 24:27). Housing is important, but if the planting is not done at the time to plant, there will be no harvest. The house will be useless if one does not have food to eat.

Other times, the order in which actions are to be carried out is of divine decree. Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). If one is baptized before he believes, he has not done what Jesus said he must do to be saved. One must believe first, then be baptized in order to be saved.

Matthew recorded a few times in which Jesus taught that something must be done first before something else could be done. In this article, I want us to notice what Jesus said on these occasions and see what lessons we can learn.
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 2): Purity

The Psalm of the Word

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.

With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.

With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.

I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

(Psalm 119:9-16)

After emphasizing the fact that God’s word is a blessing to us, David discussed a characteristic that will be developed in the lives of those who faithfully follow the word – purity.
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 1): Blessing

The Psalm of the Word

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.

They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.

You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.

Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!

Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.

I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.

I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!

(Psalm 119:1-8)

David began this psalm by introducing the idea that God’s word is a blessing to us. Why should we recognize the word of God as a blessing, and what should we do as a result?
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