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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bible Study - verse by verse # 54

Matthew 19:29 Jesus assures the disciples that anyone who gives up something valuable for His sake will be repaid many times over in this life, although not necessarily in the same form. For example, a person may be rejected by his or her family for accepting Christ, but he or she will gain a larger family of believers.

Matthew 19:30 Jesus turned the world's values upside down. Consider the most powerful or well-known people in our world - how many got where they are by being humble, self-effacing, and gentle? Not many! But in the life to come, the last will be first - if they got in last place by choosing to follow Jesus. Don't forfeit eternal rewards for temporary benefits. Be willing to make sacrifices now for greater rewards later. Be willing to accept human disapproval, while knowing that you have God's approval.

Matthew 20:1 Jesus further clarified the membership rules of the kingdom of heaven - entrance is by God's grace alone. In this parable, God is the landowner, and believers are the laborers. This parable speaks especially to those who feel superior because of heritage or favored position, to those who feel superior because they have spent so much time with Christ, and to new believers as reassurance of God's grace.

Matthew 20:15 This parable is not about rewards but about salvation. It is a strong teaching about grace, God's generosity. We shouldn't begrudge those who turn to God in the last moments of life, because, in reality, no one deserves eternal life. Many people we don't expect to see in the kingdom will be there. The criminal who repented as he was dying (Luke 23:40-43) will be there along with people who have believed and served God for many years. Do you resent God's gracious acceptance of the despised, the outcast, and the sinner's who have turned to Him for forgiveness? Are you ever jealous of what God has given to another person? Instead, focus on God's gracious benefits to you, and be thankful for what you have.

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