22 October 2011
Extracted from Joshua, Chapter 6:
Rahab’s house preserved
22 Joshua said to the two men who had reconnoitered the country, 'Go into the prostitute's house, and bring the woman out with all who belong to her, as you swore to her that you would.'
23 The young men who had been spies went and brought Rahab out, with her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out all her clansmen too, and put them in a place of safety outside the camp of Israel.
24 They burned the city and everything inside it, except the silver, the gold and the things of bronze and iron; these they put into the treasury of Yahweh's house.
25 But Rahab the prostitute, her father's family and all who belonged to her, these Joshua spared. She is still living in Israel even today, for having hidden the messengers whom Joshua sent to reconnoiter Jericho.
A curse upon Jericho’s restorer
26 At that time Joshua made them take this oath before Yahweh: Accursed before Yahweh be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city (Jericho)! On his first-born will he lay its foundations, on his youngest son set up its gates!
27 So Yahweh was with Joshua, whose fame spread throughout the country.
Anyone who is in Christ is a New Creation - Extracted from 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5:
1 For we are well aware that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
2 In the present state, it is true, we groan as we wait with longing to put on our heavenly home over the other;
3 we should like to be found wearing clothes and not without them.
4 Yes, indeed, in this present tent, we groan under the burden, not that we want to be stripped of our covering, but because we want to be covered with a second garment on top, so that what is mortal in us may be swallowed up by life.
5 It is God who designed us for this very purpose, and he has given us the Spirit as a pledge.
6 We are always full of confidence, then, realizing that as long as we are at home in the body we are exiled from the Lord,
7 guided by faith and not by sight;
8 we are full of confidence, then, and long instead to be exiled from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
9 And so whether at home or exiled, we make it our ambition to please him.
10 For at the judgement seat of Christ we are all to be seen for what we are, so that each of us may receive what he has deserved in the body, matched to whatever he has done, good or bad.
The apostolate in action
11 And so it is with the fear of the Lord always in mind that we try to win people over. But God sees us for what we are, and I hope your consciences do too.
12 Again we are saying this not to commend ourselves to you, but simply to give you the opportunity to take pride in us, so that you may have an answer for those who take pride in appearances and not inner reality.
13 If we have been unreasonable, it was for God; if reasonable, for you.
14 For the love of Christ overwhelms us when we consider that if one man died for all, then all have died;
15 his purpose in dying for all humanity was that those who live should live not any more for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life.
16 From now onwards, then, we will not consider anyone by human standards: even if we were once familiar with Christ according to human standards, we do not know him in that way any longer.
17 So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old creation is gone and a new being is there to see.
18 It is all God's work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
19 I (hereinafter referred to “Paul”) mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone's faults against them, but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you through us, and in the name of Christ we appeal to you to be reconciled to God.
21 For our sake he made the sinless one a victim for sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.
What matters is for him to become an altogether new creature
- Extracted from Galatians, Chapter 6:
On kindness and perseverance
1 Brothers, even if one of you is caught doing something wrong, those of you who are spiritual should set that person right in a spirit of gentleness; and watch yourselves that you are not put to the test in the same way.
2 Carry each other's burdens; that is how to keep the law of Christ.
3 Someone who thinks himself important, when he is not, only deceives himself;
4 but everyone is to examine his own achievements, and then he will confine his boasting to his own achievements, not comparing them with anybody else's.
5 Each one has his own load to carry.
6 When someone is under instruction in doctrine, he should give his teacher a share in all his possessions.
7 Don't delude yourself: God is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap.
8 If his sowing is in the field of self-indulgence, then his harvest from it will be corruption; if his sowing is in the Spirit, then his harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life.
9 And let us never slacken in doing good; for if we do not give up, we shall have our harvest in due time.
10 So then, as long as we have the opportunity let all our actions be for the good of everybody, and especially of those who belong to the household of the faith.
11 Notice what large letters I (hereinafter referred to “Paul”) have used in writing to you with my own hand.
12 It is those who want to cut a figure by human standards who force circumcision on you, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
13 Even though they are circumcised they still do not keep the Law themselves; they want you to be circumcised only so that they can boast of your outward appearance.
14 As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature.
16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
17 I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.
We constantly remember your faith, your love and your hope - Extracted from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Chapter 1:1-5
From Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonika which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We always mention you in our prayers and thank God for you all, and constantly remember before God our Father how you have shown your faith in action, worked for love and persevered through hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We know, brothers, that God loves you and that you have been chosen, because when we brought the Good News to you, it came to you not only as words, but as power and as the Holy Spirit and as utter conviction.
Give back to God what belongs to God -Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 22: 15-21
The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said.
And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you.
Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’
But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set the trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’
They handed him a denarius and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’
‘Caesar’s’ they replied.
He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar- and to God what belongs to God.’
The Pharisees & Herodians, instead of doing productive work; scheming against Jesus in order to trap Him. Ultimately, their hypocrisy was being exposed.
Thus, whoever plays the devil would share the same fate as the devil - MALICE being EXPOSED & DISGRACE.
22 October 2011