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Satan Is On A Short Leash…

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.

Rev 20:1-2 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Restoring A Severed Ear

The next miracle in our series is Restoring A Severed Ear …This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 22:47-51.

In our account of this miracle we find Christ being approached by those who were out to harm Christ through betrayal, false accusations, and abuse of political, religious and judicial authority.  The account of what took place during this confrontation is described in His Word… And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? 

His disciples allowing their flesh to react in the heat of the moment lashed out at His accusers… “When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?  And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear”

Here we see the grace, kindness and love of our Lord on display as He reached out His hand to heal those who were set to misuse and harm Him… And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.”  Following this gracious act, His accusers arrested Him and took Him to the house of the high priest for further questioning.

In the performance of this miracle, we find our Lord setting for us the perfect example of forgiveness and love for those who are opposed to us.  We find this directive brought out in Scripture in Matt 5:43-47… Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

And let’s keep in mind, if He was not gracious and forgiving towards His enemies, He would have never saved us nor brought us into communion with Him in Rom 5:8-11…. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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How To Deal With Wolves? Be Godly Sheep!

Matt 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

SIH’s Think On These Things: The Cursing of the Fig Tree

The next miracle in our series is The Cursing Of The Fig Tree …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-14, 20-25.

In this miracle, we find the Lord who was hungering coming upon a fig tree.   When the tree is examined it is found to be barren of fruit.  The Lord’s response to the barren condition of this tree is recorded for us…. “And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it”.   This was the Lord’s curse delivered upon this tree.  The result of this curse is described  “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.” 

The Lord then, uses this event as an object lesson to teach His disciples of two important aspects of an effective prayer life…  The first aspect is the need for a God-given faith that is characterized by an understanding of the will and ways of God.  Secondly, the need for the forgiveness of others who have wronged us.…

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

In this miracle we can see, in a sense, an exact opposite type of miracle than all the others we have previously studied.  So far in our studies, every one of the previous miracles we have seen involved the Lord healing, or providing each individual need that was brought before Him.  In this study, we find for the first time, a miracle of the Lord bringing about harm and death to an object that was found to be in need.

The miracle was a display of grace and kindness to His disciples as the curse He pronounced ended up being the basis of a spiritual lesson on the importance of God-given faith and forgiveness to our prayer life.  But the tree was not a recipient of His grace, but of His judgment.  The tree, although it was in the fig bearing season did not bear figs, was thus deserving of judgment.  The phrase “for the time of figs was not yet” tells us that it wasn’t time to harvest the figs yet… therefore, it was to be expected that the tree would still have figs on it.

Folks, not only is our Lord a loving, kind and merciful God; but He is also a just God who will punish those who are not in submission for those who are living their lives within His will.  For those who have never accepted Him as their Lord, and therefore, have never willingly submitted to His authority we find the promise of an eternity of separation and punishment is awaiting them in the Lake of Fire. (Matt 25:31-46)

For those who have trusted in Him and submitted themselves to His authority, when we find willful, unrepentant sin on their part, they can be expected to face the chastening hand of the Lord as a loving, caring Father will punish His children in an effort to bring them back into communion with Him and help them to escape further disobedience and heartache. (Heb 12:5-9)

Folks, let’s all examine our lives and make the needed corrections.  If we judge ourselves effectively,  He will not have to judge us in this present world, or in the world to come. (1 Cor 11:31)

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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Go To The Light!

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing Blind Bartimaeus

The next miracle in our series is Healing Blind Bartimaeus …This miracle is recorded for us in Mark 10:46-52.

Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a multitude following Him, He passed by a blind beggar named Bartimaeus sitting by the highway.  The blind man cries out to Jesus asking Him for mercy and desiring that he be healed.  Many who were following Christ called for the man to stop his cries.  But this only caused him to cry out more.  Jesus responds asking for the blind man to be brought to him.

The miracle is then performed…. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

This physical miracle performed by Christ teaches us a lesson about the greatest miracle that Christ performs for man, the miracle of salvation.  This is true in all of His healing miracles:

  1. When Christ heals someone who is lame; it is picturing that those who do not have a Godly walk, are given the ability to have a walk of service to Christ.
  2. When Christ heals one that cannot speak; it is picturing for us a lost man who brings dishonor to God through His speech. Once  they are saved, they are given a mouth      that is a witness bringing honor to His Lord.
  3. For those who have crippled hands and arms, they picture a lost man unable to serve God nor do His bidding.  Once they are saved, they are now given “new” arms of service for Christ.
  4. For those who are dead and then raised to life; this pictures one who was dead in trespasses and sins, at the Lord’s intervention is now given new spiritual life.
  5. This principle can be applied to ANY physical infirmity that is healed by Christ

In the miracle at hand, we find Christ healing one that was blind.  Please note he was a beggar who could do nothing to heal himself of the blindness that he suffered.  And he recognized he did not deserve the healing, this is why he begged asking for mercy to be shown.

This account presents to us the picture of a lost man who is blind to the truth of God’s Word….

2Cor 4:3-6 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

As you read and study God’s Word do you notice that you are understanding and learning His divine truths?  If so, praise the name of Christ, for it is through Him that you have received this truth!  Before you study do you take the time to ask God to open your eyes to His Word and apply it to your heart?  This is one of the best methods of preparing to read and study His Word.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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SIH’s Think On These Things: The Raising Of Lazarus

The next miracle in our series is The Raising Of Lazarus …This miracle is recorded for us in John 11:1-44. This miracle is one of the most well-known of all the Lord’s miracles. Let’s see what we can learn from this very familiar event… (Once again, due to the length of this account, I would ask that you please take the time to read the entire account.  Many of the details of this event had to be skipped due to the length of this devotion. There is much more that can be learned from this wonderful event. My apologies.)

Here, we find Christ being sent a message from Lazarus’ sisters (Mary and Martha) telling Him of Lazarus’ sickness.  Christ responds by stating, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby..  He waits two days before He travels to Lazarus’ home.

Once He arrives Mary confronts Him by saying Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. We are then told that When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

Following Christ’s arrival at the tomb we are told that, Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid.  “And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said [it], that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

And then we read of the victory that was worked by Christ…

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

If the Lord had not delayed in His traveling to Lazarus…. according to Mary’s testimony, He would have arrived before Lazarus had died. In that case, He would have healed Lazarus of his sickness. Although healing Lazarus would have glorified God, raising him from the dead brought more glory and honor to Christ and His heavenly Father.

What a lesson for us to keep in mind when Christ appears to be delaying an answer to our prayers!  We know that our Lord does all things for our good and His glory…  Are we experiencing a seeming delay in His answer to our requests?  Just remember, He will work in His time and, in doing so, will bring to pass the BEST for us and the GREATEST glory for Himself!

Ps 27:13-14 – [I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing 10 Lepers

The next miracle in our series is healing the 10 Lepers …This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 17:11-19

The events surrounding the miracle are described as… “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”   In those days, the priests were the ones given authority to determine if leprosy had infected an individual. (Lev 13:1-46).

According to this account, the Lord sent these men to be inspected by the priests BEFORE the leprosy had been healed…“ as they went, they were cleansed”.  For these men to begin their journey to see the priests took an incredible amount of faith.  They would have begun their trip to see the priests, without noticing any difference in the symptoms of their illness.  But as they traveled, they began to see the leprosy clear as the miracle took place.  What joy they must have experienced!

As the miracle came to completion, we find that only 1 out of the 10 men who were healed, returned to Christ, worshipping Him and glorifying God… “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”   Incredible unmerited favor shown by Christ is displayed in two main ways:

  1. The healing of the leprosy was not deserved by any of the ten men.
  2. At least one of those who were healed was a Samaritan, who was looked upon by      Jews as ceremonially unclean and foreigners (John 4:9) and were considered by Gentiles to be of low social status. Samaritans (descendants of Jews who intermarried with Gentiles) were looked down upon as being on one of the lowest rungs of society, who were rejected by both Jews and Gentiles as being “half breeds”.

Are we willing to show love to those who are rejected by others?  Would we face ridicule for the sake of helping those who are considered inferior to others? This is the example that Christ has set for us.

Finally, notice that the one man that returned to Christ in appreciation was the healed Samaritan … “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” The obvious question that comes to mind is “Why, did the Samaritan return and the others did not?” The Bible does not answer this question, but, could it be that the Samaritan recognized how exceeding gracious the Lord was to him (as one who was rejected by all)?  Did the Jews take their healing for granted thinking that they “deserved” it being citizens of Israel?  We cannot know for sure, but I believe this is a possibility.

If this is so, the basic principle is this… the more we understand God’s gracious workings in our lives, the more we appreciate Him.  This appreciation then increases our desire to honor and glorify Him through service.  It is for this very reason that one of the greatest goals of the SIH ministries is to help Christians understand the great grace that God has bestowed upon each one of us motivating us to greater service and glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let each of us take a moment to consider all of His gracious acts on our behalf and humble ourselves before Him as an act of thankfulness for all He has done.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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Rejoice…. He is merciful to us!

Ps 32:10-11 Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.  Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

Is Your Name Written There?

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing A Man With Dropsy

The next miracle in our series is healing the man with dropsy …This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 14:1-6

In this miracle, we see the boldness of Christ on display.  Christ, for the sake of doing His Father’s will and out of love for the afflicted, healed a man with the dropsy (an illness that causes a enormous amount of liquid retention and swelling) in the midst of some of His greatest opposition.

At the time of this healing, we find Christ in the house of the chief of the Pharisees and surrounded by Pharisees and lawyers.  Christ, preempting their accusations asked them…  “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?”   They did not respond to this question.  Jesus then illustrated the answer by saying “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?  And they could not answer him again to these things.”

What strength and boldness we see in Christ!  He was willing to stand, on the Pharisees and lawyers “home field” and teach in opposition to their beliefs.  He stood up and did what needed to be done, knowing they would be quick to accuse Him of sin and lawlessness.

Folks, when we are called upon to minister in the very presence of those who oppose Christ, are we willing to step out in faith and do our Lord’s will?  Are we willing to be accused of wrong doing, mocked, or hated for doing that which we have been called?  Does our fear cause us to shrink from our duty or are we willing to serve the Lord and trust Him with all the consequences of our actions and speech?

As a growing opposition to Christ and His Word seems to be taking place in our country, let us all be in prayer that the Lord may grant us a greater boldness as we stand and minister for Him in the midst of a sin darkened world.   Let us follow the example of the church at Jerusalem as they prayed… And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,…” (Acts 4:29)

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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It’s Only Reasonable….

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

Only One….

1Tim 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

A New Ministry Has Begun At Settled In Heaven

Settled In Heaven Ministries is beginning a new type of teaching series.  This new ministry is entitled “Teach Others Also”.   This ministry will consist of 13 video and written lessons specifically tailored for SS classes, Home Bible Studies, and Small Group Meetings.  This ministry was started based upon several requests we have received for a quarterly (12 or 13 week) teaching series.

Our first series entitled “The Precious Word” will begin with the first weekly posting on Sunday Morning July 1st and is scheduled to conclude with the Sept 23rd posting.  This will give anyone interested the ability to see much of this series before the fall quarter begins.  Hopefully, after seeing the first several lessons you will be able to decide whether you would like to use this series in the upcoming quarter.

This study will be emphasizing the importance of the Word of God for the Christian while, at the same time, answering questions that are commonly asked by unbelievers.  It will be clearly demonstrating that the Word of God supplies the believer with EVERYTHING that is needed to serve the Lord for the entire course of their lives.  For the unbeliever they will be receiving truths about God, Sin and Salvation and many other important truths.

The 13 interconnected subjects that are covered in this series are:

  1. Introduction to the study – The Preciousness of the Word
  2. Does God Exist?
  3. Are We Created Beings?
  4. Is There A Messiah?
  5. Does Sin Exist?
  6. How Can I Be Comforted In the Midst of Suffering?
  7. What Happens When We Die?
  8. How Can We Prepare For Death?
  9. Where Can We Find Lasting Joy?
  10. What Is The Meaning To Life?
  11. Why Does Tragedy Exist?
  12. Is There A Universal Standard Of Right and Wrong?
  13. Summary Of Our Study – The Preciousness Of the Word  (Can be deleted for classes using 12 week quarters)

The series material includes:

  1. The 25 minute video lesson presentation (for those who would like to lead a Bible study group without the availability of a teacher).  This video will be posted on the SIH blog along with the written copy.
  2. The Written copy of the current lesson as a blog posting each Sunday morning
  3. The 117 page Student/Teacher Manual which can be downloaded here in .pdf or .docx format. It is highly suggested that each student receives a copy of this manual to aid in the teaching process.  This manual includes:
    1.  a written outline of each lesson ( a copy of the written lesson that was posted on the blog website)
    2.  from 5 to 7 questions for each lesson
    3. an answer key at the end of the book (pg 100-113)  that can easily be deleted from the students copy of the manual

This is the first time I have attempted this type of series so it is a learning process for me. I have attempted to correct as many errors as possible in the handbook, however, let me apologize for any errors that may still exist.

If you have any suggestions regarding subjects for upcoming series, improvements or any type of changes you would like to see with these lessons please feel free to contact me at ANY INPUT IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. The feedback I receive from this initial series will form the future path for this ministry.

As always, all the material offered is free of charge.  All of these materials may be distributed freely.  All that is asked is that no monetary gain be received from the distribution of these materials.  May the Lord bless each one of us as we begin this new ministry at SIH Ministries.  I trust this ministry will be a blessing to each one of us.


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SIH’s Think On These Things: Woman With Infirmity

The next miracle in our series is healing the Woman with an infirmity …This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 13:10-13

In this miracle, we find a woman whose spine was physically bent to an extreme.  Her condition was so severe that she could not straighten her back and lift herself to an upright position…” And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself”

The remedy for this lady’s condition was found in the gracious intervention of Christ Jesus…. “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

This woman’s posture reminds me of an individual who is bent down bearing the burden of their own sin as they live their life on earth… Ps 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.”  

What is the solution to this horrible burden of sin?  Just as the lady in our miracle found release from her infliction in Christ, so too, the burden of sin can be removed by Christ… Matt 11:28-30  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.

Bring your sin burdens to Christ and leave them with Him. He came to the earth and lived a perfect life enabling Him to be our sinless substitute for us.  As He has died on the cross, He was bearing the punishment of the sins of His people.  By coming to Him, we can exchange our sinful acts for His righteousness, thus receiving rest from this horrible burden that we bear.

When we come to Him, we are to come willing to accept Him as Lord of our life and out of love and appreciation serve Him with all of our might.  This is the yoke that we are to bear.  It is a yoke that is light… a yoke that we bear with joy, knowing that we have been liberated from the burden of sin that will only work death in our lives.

If you have never been released from this burden of sin, come to Christ.  It is through Him and Him alone that we can find rest for our souls.  Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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Ultimate Forgiveness…

Luke 23:32-34  And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Would We Be Faithful To The End?

Acts 7:57-60 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,  And cast [him] out of the city, and stoned [him]:… And they stoned Stephen, calling upon [God], and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

SIH’s Think On These Things: A Blind Mute Demoniac

The next miracle in our series is Healing a blind mute demoniac …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 12:22, Luke 11:14

Here is one account of this miracle that is set before us… “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.”

Here we are told the result of this miracle was that the people “wondered” at the workings of Christ.  The root word of the word translated “wondered” has three ideas with it:

  1. “to look closely”, “to examine”
  2. “to perceive”, “to understand”
  3. “to appreciate”

Do we “wonder” at the workings of Christ that take place around us?  In our lives; in the lives of our acquaintances, friends and family; in the natural world that surrounds us; and in the pages of God’s Word;  do we come to a recognition and appreciation of His greatness, authority, strength, and wisdom?

If we find these miracles slipping by the wayside of our minds, let’s follow the three steps outlined the definition of wonder…

  1. firstly, we need to take a moment to recognize, and then closely examine, the work      of Christ that we see taking place.
  2. Secondly, after our examination of the event we need to come to an understanding of    its impact and what it is teaching us about the person, attributes and workings of Christ.
  3. Finally, we should allow this new understanding of the greatness of Christ work in      our hearts to give us a new appreciation and reverence of His supremacy and grace.  This should renew a spirit of worship in our hearts and minds.

Let us resolve to never take His workings for granted.  When we recognize He is at work, let’s take a moment to process His workings and come to a greater recognition and appreciation of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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Do We Bear The Fruits Of Christ?

Matt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Catching A Fish With A Coin

The next miracle in our series is Catching A Fish With A Coin …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 17:24-27

The “tribute” money being described in this miracle was a Roman tax that was levied to honor (or “give tribute”) to Caesar.

This miracle began when the tax collectors approached Peter and asked him if Christ paid tribute to Caesar.  Peter responded in the affirmative.  Christ then uses this event to teach an important spiritual lesson….” What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?  Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.”

The spiritual lesson from this miracle is two-fold:

  1. Recognition of Christ’s high position of authority… Christ is King of King and Lord of Lords. (1 Tim 6:15)  He is actually King and Lord over the Caesar.  Therefore, the tribute money that was collected should actually be given to Him and not Caesar.
  2. Recognition of the Christian as members of Christ’s royal family…Also, Peter (standing as representative of all Christians) was adopted into the family of Christ. (Gals 4:5)   He was “a child of the King!”  Therefore, Peter had the liberty to not pay this tribute money that actually belonged to Christ.  Why?… because the tribute money was never owed by a child of the ruler,  it was only levied against those who were not related to the ruler.

In spite of the fact that neither Christ, nor Peter, actually owed this tribute money, they paid it.  Why?  It was a matter of testimony.  Christ explains this when He says “Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”

How often do we go “the second mile” to retain a good testimony in the eyes of those around us?  In this example Christ emphasizes this truth by paying a tribute that He was not obligated to pay.

(Paul emphasized the same principle in 1 Cor 8:4-10.  Here we find that we are allowed to eat meat sacrificed to idols (because an idol isn’t really a god).  But we are to not take advantage of this liberty for the sake of those who are weak in the faith.  They might misunderstand our eating of the meat and interpret the act as a vindication of idolatry.)

Are there any “liberties” we are exercising that could be misunderstood by those around us?  Could this liberty be a stumbling block, ruining our testimony for Him?  If so, let us prayerfully consider no longer exercising this liberty out of our love for Christ and others.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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