“You have heard that it was said to people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will have to answer to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of hell fire. . . You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery, but I tell you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28 – EHV)
What’s more important – our actions or our hearts? Does God want our actions which means doing the right things the right ways, or does God want our hearts which means doing whatever we do for the right reason?
"In a furious rage Nebuchadnezzar said to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and that you do not worship the golden statue that I set up? . . . But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the blazing fiery furnace. What god will be able to save you from my hands?”
This is how we know that we have known him: if we keep his commands. 4The one who says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3-4 –EHV)
We spend much of our lives trying to fit in. When we were younger we wanted to do what everyone else is doing—and be where everyone else was. You begged your parents to buy you the name-brand clothes so you’d look cool. How many countless hours have you spent trying to perfect your look in front of the mirror? We worry constantly about what everyone else thinks about you. It’s a natural inclination—the feeling of wanting to fit in and be like everyone else.
"Certainly we know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 But now it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 Indeed, I know that good does not live in me, that is, in my sinful flesh. The desire to do good is present with me, but I am not able to carry it out. 19 So I fail to do the good I want to do. Instead, the evil I do not want to do, that is what I keep doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me. (Romans 7:14-20 – EHV)
" Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16 - EHV)
This past Sunday, as we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord, we talked about all the blessings the Lord gives us through our baptisms. And there are many: 1. Through baptism the Lord washes away our sins and forgives us (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16); 2. T
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