Psalms 10:17-18

31 08 2007

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.


Psalms 9:9-10

30 08 2007


The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

Week 3 Video: Matthew 23:15-27 – The Promise

29 08 2007

Matthew 23:15-27

Jesus To The Pharisees:

15“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.

16-22“You’re hopeless! What arrogant stupidity! You say, ‘If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that’s nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that’s serious.’ What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: ‘If you shake hands on a promise, that’s nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that’s serious’? What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you to account regardless.

23-24“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?

25-26“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.

27“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh.

The Pharisees’ converts were attracted to religion not to God. By getting caught up in the details of their additional laws and regulations, they completely missed God, to whom the laws pointed.

Its possible to obey the details of the laws but still be disobedient in our general behavior.

Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing upright and holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed.

Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing only the outside of a cup. When we are clean on the inside our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham.

What is your promise worth?

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Psalms 8:3-5

28 08 2007

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers
the moon and the stars you set in place

What are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?

Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.

Psalms 7:10-11

27 08 2007

God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right.

God is an honest judge.
He is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalms 5:8

24 08 2007

Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

Psalms 3:3-4

23 08 2007

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.