Matthew The cares of this world can make the growing, the producing of spiritual fruit, almost impossible.
So, what will we lack if we fail to follow Jesus' advice? Love, joy , peace , gentleness, goodness , meekness , faithfulness, self-control Galatians We cannot serve two masters Matthew , and if we attempt to straddle the fence, we will be unfruitful. John W. Ritenbaugh The Christian and the World Part 8. Matthew According to tradition, when a young Hebrew man and woman were to be betrothed, the groom poured wine into his cup and invited the woman to drink of it. It was up to her.
If she drank from it, she was considered betrothed to him. If she did not, no marriage would take place. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Understanding this symbolism, it is no wonder that Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew , "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Yet it means far more! Remember that "drinking the cup" meant to accept whatever that cup represented. When the mother of James and John approaches Jesus with her request to have her sons sit on each side of Jesus when He came into His Kingdom, Jesus replies with a question:. But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you [James and John] able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They do not take the cue from Jesus that they may have to drink more than they care to swallow!
They answer affirmatively before they realize what Christ's cup contained. Jesus continues in verse So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on my right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father. What happened to them? James the son of Zebedee was the first apostle martyred, early on by Herod Acts Though John was the longest-lived of the twelve, apparently living nearly years, he certainly suffered greatly at the hands of persecutors.
Not only did he spend many years in exile on the Isle of Patmos, one tradition says he miraculously survived being boiled in oil! Beyond this, he had to watch the church disintegrate through apostasy and persecution. Part of what Jesus' cup entails is suffering. When we drink of His cup, we are saying we are willing to suffer with Him and experience with Him whatever He ordains for us.
We symbolically pledge that we are willing to walk down the same path He walked, with similar consequences. We do not just drink the wine at Passover—we drink "of the cup" of Passover , meaning we are proclaiming our willingness to share in similar trials as Jesus did. We proclaim we are willing to endure whatever He has appointed for us as our lot. We are also identifying ourselves with Him exclusively: We are cupbearers to the King of kings and to Him only.
Do we grasp the meaning of this? We cannot simultaneously identify with Christ and Satan. Our lives, our actions, our words, our thoughts, continuously announce which is our father, God in heaven or Satan. Drinking of Jesus' cup means to live His way of life and renounce Satan's ways.
Luke For the word careful, the margin reads "distracted. Anxiety distracts.
New International Version "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot.
Consider doing a job under distracting conditions, when several things are competing for attention at the same time. Jesus says that no man can serve two masters Matthew What will happen when a person's mind has two or more issues simultaneously vying for attention? Eventually, the person will dismiss one of them in order to pay attention to the one he chooses to give his attention to. That is the principle here.
It is that simple. If two matters work on the mind, they cannot be given equal time. The mind will shift gears so that one gets the priority over the other.
We need to see this principle in relation to the Kingdom of God. By making the Kingdom of God our treasure and having a clear understanding that this principle is at work, Jesus wants us, by faith , to choose to set our will to make God's Kingdom our first priority. It is something that we must make the choice to do. So Jesus says to Martha , "You are distracted [troubled, worried, anxious] about many things. Even if we understand that worship is a form of submissive service, it is ratcheted up several notches higher because it is service given directly to God.
This is a gentle rebuke by Jesus urging Martha to leave her housework for the time and concentrate on the more urgent responsibility, because Christ would be living among them only a little while longer. Under this situation, Mary had made the right choice. She had a clearer understanding of the circumstance and made the better choice of the use of her time. His words do not mean that Mary was any better than Martha, but in this case Martha had made the wrong choice.
God thought this was important enough to inspire Luke to put it into His Word so that we could understand this principle. Jesus is not saying that one should do no housework, but rather, that Martha's failure to follow the higher priority was doing damage to her character. There is a time to set aside the service of others in order to serve God.
Romans The fear needed is not a servile, cringing, and enslaving terror, but a mixture of love, admiration, and respect for what He is. He is a Father who pities His children; a Ruler who looks on the one who is poor and of a contrite heart; a Physician who heals the body, cleanses the spirit, mercifully forgives, and gives sound counsel so that His children can work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
When the fear of God enters a man's evil heart, godly knowledge, understanding, and wisdom can begin to grow. Because in making better choices, the person begins to break his enslavement to his own evil heart, from which comes all the defiling corruption that leads to death, as Jesus shows in Matthew But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. By nature, man is focused on his sense of self-importance, so pride dominates his attitudes and therefore his choices.
The corrective is something that will humble, and it begins with him being able to compare himself appropriately with the greatness of God. Man will live either to serve himself or to seek to serve and please God. It will be one or the other because no man can serve two masters Matthew When Moses goes before Pharaoh in Exodus , he says, "Let my people go. We must come to know the Lord.
From this, a simple truth arises: Not knowing God promotes irreverence of God, as Pharaoh clearly shows. Thus, not knowing God promotes disobedience.
Now, I actually personally chair the steering committee. But as I said, this is not the time for me to self-pity myself. But for a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable.
If I have a choice, the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology, is to step down. So I make a plea to you for your forgiveness. This is something that no matter how well intended, I just want to put this message across.
This is not something malicious. This is not something instructed, coerced by the central government. And this huge degree of fear and anxiety amongst people of Hong Kong vis-a-vis the mainland of China, which we were not sensitive enough to feel and grasp. And, of course, it has been exaggerated and misrepresented through very effective propaganda, if I may say so.
Now I want to make an appeal for love. Then the question we need to ask, each one of us, is how to fix it, how to fix it?