The Need

“And He went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them. And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him,
‘Follow Me.’
And he arose and followed Him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, ‘How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?’
When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
‘They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ”  Mark 2:13-17  (KJB)

Matthew is called by Jesus to follow Him. He leaves the position he holds as tax collector which is a position hated by his fellow Jews; thus, they hate tax collectors. Jesus calls him because He loves him.

As usual the scribes and Pharisees see Jesus eating and drinking with such “low lifes” and begin to criticize Him. They do not get it. They do not see the need. They do not see their great need for redemption and forgiveness.

For a man or woman of any rank in life, any job or profession in life and business to be redeemed from their sin they first need to be sick, lost, without hope. No self righteous individual can come to Jesus for salvation. You can see the result of that by the condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees.

The sick and diseased need a physician. The sick and diseased of heart, mind and soul need the Great Physician. His name is Jesus Christ, He is the Son of the Living God and God the Living Son. He died on the cross, was buried carrying away all our sin, shame and condemnation, and He rose again. He lives.

Call on His name and He will hear and He will heal you, and cleanse you of your sin.

A GOD Sized Challenge

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.“ Daniel 1:8-16 (KJV).

The question has recently been asked, “What is the big deal about character?” The person who has character [good character] is a person who can be trusted. Daniel and his comrades could very easily have thought, “Well! Mom and Dad are not here. Who is going to know?” Character is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. You do your work when the boss is watching, and when he is not. You are faithful to your wife at home and away from home – when you are with her and when you are without her. You are faithful to God while at home, and you are faithful to God when you are on vacation.

These young men were of faithful character. They, Daniel speaking for all four, refused to eat the defiled, rich food of the king. They were not obstinate, nor rebellious about it. Showing wisdom they presented an alternative. They requested that their menu be tested against the menu of the other 66 chosen youth; and were given a period of ten days.

Their food would be water to drink, and “PULSE – a KJV word for vegetables, or edible seeds – a simple diet that Daniel and his friends requested instead of the rich dishes offered by the Babylonians (Daniel 1:12, 16; vegetables, NKJV)” NELSON’S NEW ILLUSTRATED BIBLE DICTIONARY. “Pulse (seeds) usually means peas, beans, and the seeds that grow in pods. In the Authorized Version it occurs only in Daniel 1:12, 16, as the translation of words the literal meaning of which is ‘seeds’ of any kind. Probably the term denotes uncooked grain of any kind, as barley, wheat, millet, vetches, etc.” SMITH’S BIBLE DICTIONARY. This could be any vegetable or grains. These items are nourishing and filling. Water is the best substance you can drink – in its pure form.

What Daniel and the other three had done took courage, and much faith. They were willing to die for their faith; but only because they were willing to live for their God. It is easy to note that Daniel’s purpose in this was to glorify The LORD. There is no way possible he could actually known the outcome, except by faith.

At the end of the ten days Melzar saw that the countenance of the four men was superior to that of the other sixty six, and began feeding them the ‘pulse’ always. They did not defy their faith; they did not cause harm to Melzar or others; and God was glorified.

We as Christians must be sure to stand for our faith. If there is a way to do it without causing harm to others, then, we must take that route; if there is no other way; yet, we must stand. In any case we must seek the glory of God above all else.

In this world we must endeavor to live solely for Christ, while we at the same time are to be a witness of the power of God in our lives. Christians should be the best in their jobs, in education, in medicine, in science, in technology, etc. God gives knowledge and wisdom to those who do His will.

Though this was written in September of 2006 it is still needed today.

Christmas Day Fifty and Six

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always have a clear mind, that I might make clear decisions, that are not affected by some type of drug, fear or hysteria; but to make that decision based on fact, truth, and through the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” Proverbs 31:4-5 (KJV)

Comfort for the Broken Hearted

“Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:20-21 (KJV)

You have experienced it I am sure. Those times when you think a friend or loved one will stand with you, and for you; and they do not. The Psalmist David was experiencing one of those times when this Psalm was written.

Within it are 5 verses which are quoted in the New Testament concerning the Messiah. He had one of those days too. They gave Jesus vinegar to drink, mixed with gall, but He did not drink it (Matthew 27:34). That was while He was dying on the cross.

Now, what is “Gall”? It is a poisonous, bitter herb. It has come to mean “bitterness” like from others. What is reproach? “To find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.” from Dictionary.com.

These words “Reproach”, “Gall” and “Vinegar” show us that the Psalmist was hurting and no one was coming to his aid. We have all felt that way at one time or another. Let us remember our Saviour.

Jesus was a sinless, blameless, faithful Man of God, and Son of God, who did always those things that pleased the Father/God. He was accused of blasphemy against God. He was found guilty of sin, which He was not guilty of. He was given vinegar mixed with gall for “refreshment” while He was suffering. Do you still think you are having a bad day?

Not only all of that, but then, He was rejected by the Father, because He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Can you imagine the most heavenly man who ever walked on earth, being forsaken by all of heaven; when just hours before the angels of heaven were in attention awaiting His call to deliver Him; which did not come; and they now have turned their backs to Him?

If you think you have had it so bad; you have a lot of gall.

But Jesus said,

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus knows your broken heart, your every need, and He will not give you gall or vinegar to drink.