Text: Matthew 18

Memorize: “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.” Matthew 18:6 NET

Eternal life matters more than any other thing in this life (verse 8). Whoever causes another, more spiritually fragile and weaker in faith, to lose eternal life will be held responsible and will suffer dire consequences.

It is possible to make someone sin by arrogance (verses 1-5) and, in a way, by omission (verses 10-14) that fails to confront and admonish (verses 15-17). Continue reading

Text: Matthew 15

Memorize: And he replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:13-14 NET

The subject: tradition above God’s commandments. The targets: Pharisees and scribes. The issue: breaking God’s commandments.

When this Jerusalem commission charged Jesus with breaking the ancient traditions, Jesus turned the tables on them and charged them with breaking God’s commandment because of their traditions. In the ensuing explanation and Jesus’ announcement to the crowds that contamination occurred from what came out of a man’s mouth and not what went into it, the disciples saw how deeply the Pharisees and scribes were offended. Continue reading

Text: Matthew 9:9-13

Memorize: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ he said to him. And he got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9

Jesus made disciples by eyeballing them and calling them to a radical relationship which meant denial and abandonment in order to follow him. On the road, in a house, Jesus sought out people with a sense of need, and showed them the cure for their real malady. Continue reading

brazil-mapA BZM report on visits, illness, travels, rains, generosity and devotional podcasting.

A couple of weeks ago we got a phone call from a sister in Christ from the northeast. Leda participates with the church in Bonoco, in the city of Salvador. She was here in SJCampos to visit friends before going on to Rio de Janeiro for a business conference. She took out time to go with us to a Mexican restaurant here. The waiter took a photo of all of us, which I posted on our Christian social network HERE. Continue reading