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Friday, March 28, 2014

Devotion - Day 24

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!  My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly."  Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."  He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."   The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.  He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs."  "Yes it is, Lord," she said. "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table."  Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted."  And her daughter was healed at that  moment.‎ (Matthew 15:21-28‎)
"God heard their cry of grief, and God remembered his covenant." (Exodus 2:24)

Eighteenth-century deism sought to extract God from the messy affairs of human history.  Deism portrayed God as a clockmaker who intricately fashioned the "movement" that is creation, then set the timepiece to tick away on its own.  A similar image depicted God as Architect of All, who then withdraws so that humanity can be guided by its God-given gift of reason.  But where does hope lie when men and women, and the institutional powers they create, act unreasonably?  Unjustly?  Without compassion?  What happens when the appeals of reason fall on ears that are indifferent if not hostile to those appeals?
The descendants of Israel suffered in Egypt under such oppressive power.  Out of pain and fatigue, the people cried out to God.  It simply says, "They cried out" (Exodus 2:23).  If deism is true, if God is a non-interventionalist, the Hebrews are out of luck.
But they are not.  "God heard their cry...and God remembered.'' (verse 24).  From this act of hearing and remembrance comes intervention celebrated by Israel as deliverence.  God valuled relationship and human community to the extent that God was willing to engage in human and social affairs for the sake of transformation.
Do you believe that story?  Do you believe that God hears and remembers - and intervenes?
Jesus intervened for the Canaanite woman and healed her daughter.  The Canaanite woman sought out an encounter with the One she knew could save her daughter.   And she did not stop until she proved to Jesus and the others that she knew who He was and believed.  Jesus granted her request because of her faith.  And I dare say she was transformed.
Does your prayer and worship seek encounters with One who is more than simply present to our celebrations of life and community, or to our grievings of their brokenness or failures? 
Does your prayer and worship seek the God who may intervene in response to cries for and by vulnerable ones?

Heavenly Father, You have created the world and all that is within it.  We are thankful that you do hear our cries and remember your promises and that you step into our lives and circumstances as Your will is done.  We are so thankful that you are a God that wants a relationship with each of us and delights in us and shares every aspect of our lives.  Increase our faith Lord.  Help us to believe as the Canaanite woman so that we might hear you say to us, "You have great faith!"  In Jesus' name, Amen!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prayer concerns for 03-27-14

Emmett Godfrey went in for surgery this morning at 11:00 to replace a stent.  He had a good night last night in ICU awaiting this surgery today. Please keep Emmett and his family in your prayers throughout the day today as he will be recovering. I will let you know more when I can.


Devotion - Day 23

" 'For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.'  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'  In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.' "  Luke 22:18-20

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat."  Luke 22:31

"Come to me, all who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads."  Matthew 11:28

The words from Matthew are sometimes used in the invitation to the Lord's Supper.  This invitation seeks out a specific audience for its gift.  Those who labor and struggle hard.  Those whose backs or spirits are heavy laden and carry heavy loads.

Are you one of those?

Confession is good for the soul.  We know the importance of confessing sin.  Those who see no fault in themselves are generally hard to live with, badly mistaken, or both.  John Indermark reminds us that sometimes the baring of the need for God in life - and what else is confession but being honest to God - is not so much for forgiveness as it is for strength.  Or comfort.  Or rest.  Or the assurance that God has not left the premises.

Listen to the Psalms.  Their outright confessions of sin are significantly outnumbered by confession of raw need for God's intervention - and laments that God seems too far or too long removed.  "How long...O Lord?"  (Psalm 13:1).  "Why have you forgotten me?" (Psalm 42:9).

Have you heard those cries before?  Have you raised those cries before?

If so, Jesus' words may become clearer in meaning and promise to you. For the ones who lift up such cries are the ones for whom those words are aimed.  The ones who come to the place in their lives - in your life -  where God seems too far or too long removed are usually brought their by carrying heavy loads or struggling under hard labor.  The load of illness or estrangement.  The struggle of making ends meet or making sense of what defies sense.
If you have ever found yourself in such a place or time, if you are now in such a place or time, Jesus offers this word to you.  To bring rest in the midst of your labors.  To bring peace in the midst of your struggles.

What has become a burden and struggle in your life? 

Envision Christ saying to you, "Come to me and lay your struggle in my arms.  I will carry it awhile."  Open to the rest it offers.  And then envision this every time the burden or struggle looms before you.

Dear Jesus, thank you for your love and care of us.  Thank you for never leaving us alone to deal with life and all it entails.  Just as Peter was tested, so are we.  But in the testing we learn and become stronger for You.  May we always remember that You are with us.  We anxiously await the kingdom of God and to sit with you at Your banquet table to partake in the supper You have prepared for us.  In Jesus' name, Amen!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Devotion - Day 22

1After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.” (Luke 10:1-7)
Thought: In this scripture, Jesus sends workers to help bring in the harvest. It is clear that Jesus had something in mind that needed to be done. He didn’t form committees to get the work done. No, he left it to pairs to take it to the road and make things happen.
Recently, I had been getting ready to go on vacation. I had to get outfits and any personal supplies together that I would need on my vacation. I had to get my bags packed and ready to go. I was really looking forward to this vacation and a chance to “get away from it all,” so I could relax. I made a list of all the things I needed to take with me on my vacation—enough warm clothes for a week, comfortable shoes, hair dryer, camera, book, etc. I will be too far from home to run back there and pick up anything I have forgotten, so I want to make sure I have everything I might need on my trip. I had been discussing the trip with some of the ladies that were also going, and we all were excited, but also nervous and anxious. Sometimes, when I think of going on vacation, I am not really “getting away from it all,” in fact, I am taking it all with me!
The Bible tells us that Jesus appointed seventy of his followers and sent them out, two-by-two, to go into every town and place where he was about to go. Do you know what Jesus told them to take with them? NOTHING! Jesus said, “Go!” then he went on to say, “Do not even take a purse, or a bag, or a pair of sandals.”
Now, why do you think Jesus said this? I think it is because when Jesus sends someone on a mission, their success or failure does not depend upon what they bring with them—it depends on Him! I can be certain that all we need is Him because Jesus told the people when he sent them out, "Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."(Luke 10:16). The gospel is not our message, but God’s. If we reject the gospel, we are rejecting Jesus, and if we reject Jesus we are ultimately rejecting the Father.
Just as Jesus sent out the seventy people, he wants you and me to go to people today and share the good news that the kingdom of God is near. The results do not depend upon us. We should not become full of ourselves when people receive the message, and we should not be discouraged when they reject the message. We should just go and tell as if everything depends on Jesus—because it does.
Prayer: Jesus, may we be ready and willing to go when you say “Go!” Tell us what it is you want us to do, and show us how to do it. Teach us how to let go and just leave the results up to you. Amen.  
1.      What does Jesus expect of you today?
2.      What can you do to help meet the needs of people today?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prayer concerns for 03-25-14, 2

Emmett Godfrey (husband of Debby, Julie. Bradley's sister) has been admitted to the hospital for pain due to complications of his cancer. Details are not known at this time but we ask for prayers for Emmett and the entire family as this is very difficult on several levels.

Here's an update on Clyce. Randy saw him earlier and he was sitting up and conversing and seems to be feeling a lot better. The tube in his stomach is not doing any pumping right now and they are waiting to see how he feels without that. Clyce actually got to have Jell-O today and not just ice chips or a water-cicle. That would make you feel better, wouldn't it? Please continue to pray for his quick recovery and let him know how much we love him and miss him!

Devotion - Day 21

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear him.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’  Then Jesus told this parable:  Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine persons who do not need to repent.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  Luke 15:1-10

“You are fellow citizens,…you belong to God’s household.”  Ephesians 2:19

Where do you belong?  That is, where are the places and relationships where you feel welcomed and valued by others; where you in turn feel yourself free and able to contribute to the life and liveliness of those places and relationships?

John Indermark says that if you take Paul’s declaration seriously, you belong in church.  Do not hear that in an accusatory or scolding tone, as a truant officer might reprimand a student skipping class with “you belong in school.”  Rather, hear “you belong in church” as an invitation offered with a welcome and valuing of who you are extended your way.

Consider the original context of Paul’s words.  Ephesians 2 sought to reconcile two long-separated groups.  The conventional wisdom was that Jews and Gentiles did not belong together and, thus, need not welcome or value one another.  Traditions and prejudices on both sides enforced that state of affairs.  But into that divide comes the reconciling message of Christ.  “Christ is our peace.  He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group” (2:14).

In other words, you belong.  And be reminded, that YOU in that affirmation is plural.  You and I do not belong to Christ as isolated individuals.  You and I belong to a reconciled community.  The images of “fellow citizens” and “God’s household” reveal that sense of community inherent in our belonging.

“Fellow citizens” reminds you and me that the community of faith is grounded in an equality of standing among its members.  The old barriers between Jews and Gentiles have been abolished.  And in that spirit of peace, Christ continues to break down the new barriers that are asserted from time to time.  Progressives versus evangelicals.  Straights versus gays.  Those who insist on the apostolic succession of bishops versus those who do not.  Bama fans verses the other team.  Sides are often taken, and aspersions are often cast, with the claim that Christ is on our side.  In Ephesians’ truth, Christ is not about side-taking but peace-making.

Do you experience such peace marked by welcome and valuing of self and others in God’s household?  If not, it is because of human sin and pride.  If not, it becomes your call and mine to insist on Christ’s welcome and valuing of those who come seeking a place to belong.

Christ’s peace comes in the embodiment of this insistent message:  “You belong.”  In the community of Christ, you are welcomed.  In the community of Christ, you are valued.

In what ways have you experienced welcome and being valued in and from the church?

In what ways might you extend such welcoming and valuing to someone you see in need of belonging?

Heavenly Father, we are thankful that you come after us when we get lost and we are even more thankful that you rejoice when we are returned to the flock.  We are humbled at the fact that no matter what we have done, we still belong to You, we still matter, we are still the apple of Your eye.  Help us to act accordingly with humility and love to return that same grace to our fellow citizens.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

Prayer concerns for 03-25-14

‎Please stop to remember Clyce.  He had a horrible night because the tube used for pumping his stomach came out and he returned to the nausea, etc.  He is a little better now but still has not emptied his bowel. That has become a great need. 

Also, Melba Burgess (Sid Burgess' mother, passed away yesterday. The service will be Wednesday, March 26 at Edgewood at 2pm. Please keep the Burgess family in your prayers.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Devotion - Day 20

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10

“Seeing your face is like seeing God’s face.”  Genesis 33:10

If you were asked to draw a picture of God, what image(s) would you choose?   An old man with a long beard?  An exploding supernova?  A child molding clay?  A woman giving birth?

John Indermark tells of a researcher named Helmut Hanisch who did a study in 1992 of pictures German children and youth had drawn of God.  More than half of those who grew up in a religious environment pictured God in human form.  Six percent of those participants portrayed God simply as a face. 

Jacob had been running away from Esau for much of his life.  He originally fled in fear of Esau’s retaliation for his deceit in stealing the blessing their father had intended for Esau.  Jacob now wants to come home.  In spite of the lingering fear of his brother’s retaliation, he presses on.  When the reunion finally happens, Jacob’s fears are met with Esau’s grace.  In the experience of such grace, Jacob confesses that his brother’s face is like unto the face of God.


Is it because Esau remembered Jacob’s fear and so conveys the look of acceptance and forgiveness?  Is it because Esau is the one who runs to meet and embrace and kiss his long estranged brother before Jacob speaks a word?  The answers are unclear, maybe leaving open the possibility for you to discern what of God might be seen in Esau’s face.
And that, in turn, opens for you the possibility of what it is you might see of God in a face you encounter today.

That is after all, at the heart of Jesus’ coming to us.  God has put a face on love.  That is, after all, at the heart of the church’s calling to be the body of Christ:  to put a face on that same love on Christ’s behalf.

That the children in Hanisch’s study often drew God in human form accentuates a foundational truth in Christian faith.  Human form and human relationship are where God must be found if God is to be found at all.  Jacob sees something of the face of God in Esau.

During his ministry, Jesus focused on God’s Sovereignty, and prayed that just as He reigns in heaven so shall it be on earth.  Of course, we turn from God at times and will not allow Him to reign here, over our lives, submitting to His Sovereignty.    But God patiently waits, loving us unconditionally, longing for us to receive His Acceptance and Forgiveness; longing for us to see His reign on earth as it is in heaven.

So in whose face shall you catch a glimmer of God’s love and grace today?  And who might be relying on you to reveal something to them of the love and grace of God?

Prayer:  Sovereign God, open our hearts to the people around us this day who are reflecting your face.  Stop us in our tracks, get our attention, and remind us that we too can reflect your love to those we come in contact today.  With each thought of You may we examine our actions, thoughts, words and intentions to discern if they reflect You to the world as we come one step closer to understanding what it means to pray “ on earth, as it is in heaven.”   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Devotion - Day 19

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Thought: What would it feel like to walk with Jesus and work with him? The words “easy” and “light” may not describe what you think it would really be like. Instead, you might think it would make you uneasy and be difficult. Christ calls us to discipleship. When we come to Him, He takes away one set of burdens—the burden of sin, the burden of guilt, the burden of separation from God, the burden of hopelessness. He also calls us to follow Him, to renounce our selfish desires, and to seek His will above all else. He calls us to “take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me.”

I recently decided I needed to start exercising and eating right. Spring is coming, vacations planned, and if I am going to wear shorts and dresses I better get serious about working out! I had been walking on the treadmill for about a week feeling pretty good with myself that I had been faithful to getting up earlier each morning and walking for thirty minutes.

Well, my son, Jacob, comes into the room one morning as I am finishing my walk, and says “is that all you’re going to do is walk.” Indignantly, I said “Yes!” He said that is not going to get you the results you want!  So, the next thing I know I am lifting weights and doing squats with my son. He laughed at me because I could barely lift the 8lb dumbbells! I guess I have some work ahead of me! Jacob stood next to me in case I needed help. I learned that this is called a spotter. The spotter’s job is to stand near the lifter's  head just in case the lifter “mom” gets in trouble and needs some help.

Sometimes, the spotter doesn't do anything at all. Just knowing that the spotter is there is enough to give the lifter the confidence needed to lift the weights. At other times, the spotter “Jacob” calls out words of encouragement to the lifter. "Come on mom, you can do it” are the words I hear my son call out. These words of encouragement are just what the lifter needs to give him or her the strength to lift the weights.

As more and more weights are added, the bar becomes very heavy and the lifter becomes very tired. When the weight gets to be more than the lifter can handle, the spotter reaches in and helps the lifter lift the weights. I had seen my boys do this many times for each other when they would work out. 

As I was lifting the weight it occurred to me that this is the same way our Heavenly Father helps us to bear the burdens we face in our daily life. There are some days that things seem to be fairly “easy.” We may struggle a little bit as we face a few obstacles along the way, but just knowing that God is with us gives us the confidence we need to overcome those obstacles.

Then, there are some days that are more difficult and we may need more encouragement. We find that encouragement in God's Word. "I'll give you strength." (Psalm 28:7) "I'm with you in times of trouble." (Psalm 34:6) These words of encouragement are just what we need to face the hard times that may come our way.

Do you ever have a day when the weight is more than you can handle? We all have days like that, don't we? It is good to know that when things are more than we can bear, God is there! Listen to these words that Jesus spoke, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." 

On those really hard days, Jesus steps in and lifts our burden. With him, our burdens are lighter.

Prayer: Father, we are thankful that you are always there to help us, to give us strength, to encourage us, and to lighten our load. Ignite our hearts with love for You and Your ways and help us to exchange the yoke of rebellion for the yoke of submission to your Holy and loving Word. Amen.
1.      To whom are you yoked—the world or Christ?
2.      What is a burden you need to let go of this week? How can you do that?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Devotion - Day 18

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.”  47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words. (Luke 19:45-48)

Thought: In Luke 19, we find the story of Jesus cleaning the house of God as He went into the temple and drove out the moneychangers. These temple merchants were taking advantage of people and keeping them from God, and this angered Jesus. This is the second time in scripture that Jesus had to cleanse the temple. In the gospel of John, we read that Jesus made a whip to drive out the moneychangers. In studying the gospel we learn that little messes turn into big messes.

My husband and I are exact opposites when it comes to cleaning our house. My approach is to clean and organize daily, so that over time little messes don’t become big ones. However, my husband’s approach is to procrastinate, his motto, is never do today what you could put off until tomorrow!

I believe there is a parallel to our own lives in this story. Initially, when we come to Christ, we ask for His forgiveness and He pardons us of all our iniquities. In fact, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” How wonderful it is to realize that God has forgiven us of all our sin.

Still, as a little time passes, sometimes some of those old sins can find their way back into our lives. And that so called “little” sin begins to grow and become a problem. Don’t let “little” messes turn into big ones.

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for providing me the direction and opportunity of prayer. To know that you listen to my words, my thoughts, and my heart is simply overwhelming. Help me hunger more for these special times in your presence. Give me wisdom and understanding as I pray and seek your will. Do your will in my life as I seek your presence. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

1.      Does your temple need cleansing?
2.      Are there some vices, some bad habits that have found their way back into your life? If so, deal with them now.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Devotion - Day 17

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”  32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! (Luke 13:31-33)

Thought: We are reminded that faith was not easy for Jesus. He was surrounded by enemies who sought long and hard to destroy him and who eventually succeeded. The scripture today makes clear the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. We see the clash of wills between God and the opponents of God. Scripture clearly states that God has predestined us “according to His purpose, who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). This means that nothing happens by chance or apart from God’s will; rather, God ordains everything that happens.

What were the Pharisees motives for warning Jesus? Were they trying to help Him or prevent Him from going to Jerusalem? The Pharisees may have wanted the sort of Messiah who would do their will, who would let them live with their sins of pride and self-will, who wouldn’t go to a cross or call people to crucify their sins so that they could be made new by God. Either way, their motives were going against God’s will for Jesus’ life. The Pharisees figured Jesus would be afraid of Herod since he was a powerful man. This is the same Herod that had John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, beheaded a few years back. If Herod wants someone dead, chances are they will be dead. But Jesus refuses to change his plans. He did not go into hiding. On the contrary, He knew that he had to fulfill the scriptures of being crucified and of rising from the dead in that city. He is completely unafraid of the threat posed by Herod’s ill wishes.

It is God’s will that will determine the timing, the place, and the extent of the Messiah’s ministry, and not our own will. Herod’s threats did not intimidate or derail Jesus from His purpose. As we can read in the gospel of Luke, Jesus was determined to do the will of His Father. In God’s sovereignty, the “fox” doesn’t have any real power.

Our future is determined by God’s sovereign power and Jesus’ submission to it. Our Christian walk revolves around our surrendering to the God we know through Jesus Christ. Our plans often go awry—either through others’ influence or our indifference. We must pray, and ask God “your will be done.”

We all at times want just enough of Christ to be saved, but not so much of Him that we have to submit to change; enough of Christ that He will hear our prayers, but not enough that people think we are strange. But we really don't have a choice in this matter: We will either have all of Christ or we will have none of Him. That doesn’t mean that we’ll be perfect. It means simply that we will surrender to Christ’s will for our lives. So how do we do that? How do we surrender to Christ? It begins by allowing our will to be reprogrammed by Christ. Reprogramming our will isn’t easy. The Bible says that we reprogram our will by letting Christ fill our thinking.

Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

When we adopt the habits of prayer, studying God’s Word, worshipping, encouraging others, and serving in Jesus’ name the will of God becomes paramount in our lives.

Prayer: Jesus, you met with resistance everywhere you went, and we are thankful for your total commitment to walk to Jerusalem and to the cross to offer us the ultimate gifts, eternal blessing, and everlasting joy in heaven. Please give us the courage, boldness, and passion we need to serve you effectively with integrity, righteousness, mercy, and grace. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.


1.      How can we reprogram our way of thinking to align with God’s will for us?

2.      How can we know if we are out of balance on the side of divine sovereignty or human responsibility?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Devotion - Day 16

23 The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, 24 ‘Teacher, Moses said, “If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother”. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow for his brother. 26 The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last of all, the woman herself died. 28 In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.

29 Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 32 “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.(Matthew 22:22-33)

Thought: When the Sadducees challenged Jesus about the resurrection, they were attempting to injure His reputation among the people.  They had the same characteristics of those who teach false doctrine and don’t even believe in God. The Sadducees made up a ridiculous situation in an attempt to trap Jesus. They were using scripture out of context; however, they were unable to respond when Jesus gave them an informed answer.

Jesus tells them “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.” As a whole, the Jews got caught up in all the “laws and traditions” and forgot to study their scriptures.  No wonder they didn’t understand everything the Lord came to teach!  As Christians, we need to know both the scriptures and the power of God, not just one or the other.

Many times we are approached by those with different beliefs than ours.  Do not be caught in the traps of modern day Sadducees.  Study God’s word!  Know that there is power in the word; power given to you to use when the enemy sets his traps!

When we decide not to give God’s word enough study, we lose our opportunity to save those who do not know Him.  God said ALL will know me, but many will choose not to believe in ME.  Many people that claim to not believe in God, justify it with ridiculous scenarios like the Sadducees did.

Prayer:  Father, thank you that you have given me promises in your word.  Help me as I go through the circumstances of my life to be wise and careful.  Help me to realize that your word will keep me safe and that I will share with others what you have done for me.  In Jesus Name, Amen! 


1. How much time do you spend with the Holy God in His word?

2. Do you study God’s word so that you are not confused by those of false doctrines?