Journey readings:
January 14 – January 19, 2013

by Living Springs Community Church on January 11, 2013

“The Journey” is Living Springs’ commitment to read at least a chapter of the Bible every day. We all follow the same reading schedule so that we can encourage each other along the way. And our pastors post occasional blogs about the readings to instruct and inspire us.

Want to join the Journey? This week’s daily readings are listed below, along with some questions to guide your reading. Sign up for the Journey blog, and you’ll receive the weekly reading schedule in your email inbox!

 Matthew 1

Why did Joseph want to hide Mary?  What does the name “Jesus” mean?  How would God be with the people again?

 Matthew 2

Where did the wise men find Jesus in Bethlehem?  What did an angel warn Joseph in a dream?  How did Herod seek to destroy Jesus when he heard the king was born?

 Matthew 3

What was John the Baptist’s message?  Who did John the Baptist accuse offleeing the wrath of God?  Why did Jesus have to be baptized by John?

 Matthew 4

After his baptism, how many days did Jesus fast in the wilderness?  What did Satan try to tempt Jesus into doing while in the wilderness?  Why must we not tempt God?

 Matthew 5

What should we do when we are persecuted for God’s sake?  Are the commandments of God still in effect?  What does “turn the other cheek” mean?

 Matthew 6

Where and how are we to pray to the Father?  What must we do to receive forgiveness from God?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Linsette Hawkins January 14, 2013 at 9:58 am

Matthew 1
Why did Joseph want to hide Mary?  What does the name “Jesus” mean?  How would God be with the people again?
Joseph wanted to hide Mary because, the child she was carrying was not his child, and in those days a woman having child out of marriage was stone to death. Also a angel spoke to Joseph and told him the child was of the Holy Spirit, and not to be afraid to take Marry as his wife.
The name Jesus mean savour, Emamuel, the ONE who will save HIS people from their sin.
This is how GOD came to be with his children again by come in the form of a man, and living the life before us. HE became flesh and dwell among us, showing us the way back to HIM. GOD saw that man was so weak and could not live by HIS laws, so GOD had mercy on us and came to us in the flesh, to bring us back to HIM.

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Melanie Jongsma January 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks for doing the Journey with us, Linsette! It’s been only three weeks since Christmas, but it’s nice to be reminded of the Christmas story again. And knowing GOD IS WITH US is a great way to start a new year!

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Gail mausolf January 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Is there a way of checking of what you completed? If not, there should be, just for our own use.

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Melanie Jongsma January 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Gail, I think you are the only one who can check what you completed. If you subscribe to the blog, you could print out the weekly readings that arrive in your inbox, and then you could check them off as you complete them.

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Pastor Jason January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

There is a Journey pamphlet that gives the daily readings. It has a check box. I’m glad that you’re reading!

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Rachele Alessandrini January 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Matthew 5:32 says if you marry a divorced woman she is considered an adultress. How is this possible? And why would she be? Why shouldn’t be allowed to remarry?

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Melanie Jongsma January 21, 2013 at 7:38 am

Hi Rachele, I think this is one of those Scriptures that is important to understand in context. In Jesus’ day, “divorce” was quite different from how we understand it today. And, actually, women were treated differently than we are now. I don’t have a complete understanding of what Jesus is saying here, but I did find some interesting information on how divorce was understood at that time: http://christiandivorce.1hwy.com And I’ll ask one of the pastors if they have any insights to add as well.

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Pastor Jason January 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Rachele, I’m glad you’re reading! This is a challenging passage about which entire books have been written. It is difficult to try and give a “simple” answer, but I will make an attempt at it.
In order to understand Jesus’ teaching here, I think you need to understand it in the context of God’s attitude about marriage as well as Jesus’ purposes in this passage.

The world cannot grasp the concept of God loving us unconditionally and eternally (Jeremiah 31:3). To illustrate it, he gave us the marriage relationship as a visible illustration of this covenant relationship. Our marriage vows to each other reflect His promises to His people. Our marriage relationship, then, becomes the lens through which the world sees and understands God: it either magnifies, minimizes or distorts. God hates divorce because it does not properly reflect to the world God’s attitude and actions toward his people.

In Matt. 5:32, Jesus was simply reasserting God’s standard. He gives a more detailed explanation in Matthew 19 – “And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (19:4-6).

Jesus goes on to explain that the law of divorce was permitted because of the people’s refusal to obey God’s original intent and was necessary in order to protect the unprotected women who could have been sent away with no legal covering. “He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.“ And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (19:8,9)

Why is remarriage considered adultery? Because God considers the marriage covenant binding until death, though we are legally permitted to divorce, God still recognizes the original marriage promise. God does not change his standard because we change our ours. He doesn’t soften his stance in order to make us feel less uncomfortable. God still hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

That being said, neither divorce or remarriage are unpardonable sins. As with any other sin, God is gracious and completely forgives the repentant. We don’t have to live in shame or perpetual guilt. I John 1:9 says, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

I pray that this answers some of your questions.

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