Walk in His Righteousness!

Are you righteous? If you are truly a believer in the Lord, then you received His gift of righteousness! Righteousness is a gift we receive when we come to saving faith. Righteousness is not something we earn, but rather it's a gift to be received from our Messiah! According to this passage, you have received the gift of righteousness through Him. Not because we have kept the "law" or lived a holy life . It can't be bought with money, or earned through self-effort, or by doing "religious" works. It's a gift!

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Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment!

In the parable of the unmerciful servant, the servant mistakenly thought that he could demand justice from another servant all the while asking mercy for himself from the king. When the king found out about this servant's awful behavior, he became enraged and said to him "You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to; couldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?"

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Take your enemy by surprise!

People read this verse, and think God is telling them to be passive -- to overlook what happened. That is not a bad thing -- but it isn't exactly what Yeshua (Jesus) was saying. Turning the other cheek is not about being passive. It's about being active! So active that it actually confounds your enemy! Turning the other cheek is about taking an action so revolutionary, so shocking, so out of the ordinary that it shocks everyone around. It confounds the world -- and can also change it!

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Where is your crown?

Yesterday, we talked about "tashlich" -- the traditional Jewish ceremony occurring between Rosh ha Shana and Yom Kippur, which involves casting bread crumbs into a river while confessing our sins and watching them be swept downstream. In this passage, however, we read about the importance of casting our crowns. These elders fell down before the Lord, casted their golden crowns and gave God the glory and honor He deserves. How much more should we do the same today?

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Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters!

One of the more beautiful ceremonies of the Jewish faith is called "Tashlich". Tashlich means to cast away. Every year between Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur, Jewish people around the world journey to a nearby river or stream and cast in bread crumbs as they confess their sins. As the bread crumbs are swept downstream soon to be out of sight, so they believe God will sweep away their sins.

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The Lord Himself Provided!

One of the major themes of Rosh Hashana is called Akedat Yitzchak, which means the Binding of Isaac. According to Jewish tradition, God told Abraham that the ram's horn – otherwise known as a shofar – should be blown on Rosh Hashana to remind people of the sacrifice that God provided Himself when Abraham was about to offer Isaac on Mount Moriah.

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Hold on to the Freshness of the Gospel!

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When Yeshua (Jesus) went into the synagogue in Nazareth and was handed the scroll of Isaiah to read [Luke 4:18], He opened it to the passage we know of as Isaiah 61, a powerful Messianic proclamation filled with hope and promise and fresh with the joyful good news of His arrival. After reading the passage He immediately declared that it was fulfilled in the hearing of those present. The first response was amazement and wonder that the carpenter's son was so gracious a communicator. But this did not last, as Yeshua immediately challenged his audience with a prophetic expectation...that they would reject Him, which they immediately did...nevertheless...

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There's always a way to return!

It was a bright Sunday morning in 18th century London, but Robert Robinson’s mood was anything but sunny. All along the street there were people hurrying to church, but in the midst of the crowd Robinson was a lonely man. The sound of church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong and the church was an integral part of his life...

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It's Washed Away!

As Scotland was declaring its independence from England in the 1300's, the English were hunting for Robert Bruce of Scotland in an attempt to prevent his accession to the Scottish throne. In the search, the English put Bruce's own bloodhounds on his trail. As they grew closer to apprehending him, Robert the Bruce found a small river, and he said to his foster-brother who was with him, "Let us wade down this stream for a great way, instead of going straight across, and so these unhappy hounds will lose the scent; for if we were once clear of them, I should not be afraid of getting away from the pursuers."

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Where are your accusers?

Yeshua (Jesus) knew the heart of every man and woman. As a totally pure and righteous human being, His experience of every other sin-filled person is really impossible for us to imagine. He knew that every repulsive thought, attitude and action of every person in the world would soon fall on Him, and that He would carry them...away. And so Yeshua did not come with a spirit of condemnation -- but with a spirit of grace and truth.

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It's Time to Cut Down the Trees!

After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."

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Live your life in Him!

After Yeshua’s (Jesus) resurrection, He showed himself to the apostles several times. Once, they were fishing, and Yeshua met them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was there, back at his craft, but swirling with inward emotions. The anguish of his recent denial, three times, exactly as Yeshua had predicted, mixed with the amazement and perplexity at the empty tomb, and finally the astounding relief and joy witnessing the risen Lord. Peter was on an emotional roller coaster for days, but the issue of his denial remained unresolved.

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Have the Heart of God!

For the next week or so we'll be looking closely at the life of Jonah the prophet. Jonah was told to "preach against the city of Nineveh", that was in the ancient kingdom of Assyria. Nineveh was a major city on the banks of the Tigris River about 500 miles north and east of where Jonah was; located on a contemporary map in modern Iraq, about 300 miles north of Baghdad. Archaeologists have found the ruins of ancient Nineveh right outside the Iraqi city of Mosul. Yes, the same Mosul that was taken last week by jihadists!

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