These two parables are linked because they are the answers to the disciples' question, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus' answer explains the value He places on those who follow Him.
Here are four qualities of character that our full acceptance of God's sovereignty will build and that will prepare us for whatever work God may choose for us.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Matthew 18 describes the essence of personal relationships within the church. Seven basic characteristics are emphasized, including having a childlike humble attitude, setting a proper example, exercising self-denial, indivi. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that human nature is hostile to change, even when it is confirmed to be in the wrong. In the matter of godly standards for dress (as in any other aspect of God's teaching), we must adopt the humble, childlike, sincere, unassuming, unp. . .
We are not individually sovereign, but we are taught to give ourselves over completely to God's sovereignty. If we do, we will reap unfathomable blessings.
Contrary to popular usage, the verb 'offend' indicates a transgression of a moral or divine standard. There is little room to be offended unless there is sin.
During times of unrest and confusion, it is easy to blame others for our problems. Yet finger-pointing is contrary to everything God teaches, as it shows a self-exalting, judgmental attitude. Now is the time to break this ingrained habit!
As we age, the pressures of life, work, and experience all contribute to wearing us down. Only a few seem to have learned to remain happy despite hardship.
Americans (indeed most of the industrialized world) tend to be skeptical, cynical, and jaded, demanding mountains of evidence before becoming convinced of anything. We run the risk of losing our childlike credulity, becoming calloused, hardened, and stiff-. . .
Two tests to reveal the presence of pride are the way we treat others (especially our own family) and the way we receive instruction or correction.
The events in today's news can seem overwhelming, but there are strategies to turn the sanctification process into an exciting adventure.
John Reid, inspired by the early farming experiences of one of his sales colleagues, reflects that the Feast of Tabernacles (a harvest season) depicts the reward of diligent management of time and resources. The images of plowing (breaking up clods), sowin. . .
Forgiveness is only the beginning of the grace process, enabling us to grow to the stature of Christ. Paradoxically, grace puts us under obligation to obey.
John Ritenbaugh debunks the foolish notion that it does not matter what we wear if our heart is right on the inside. Our clothing as well as our outward conduct must match what is going on in our inner heart or being. Our clothing, often symbolizing righte. . .
Jesus contrasts the enormity of what we are forgiven to what we forgive others. Our forgiveness is directly connected with our forgiveness of our brother.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the necessity to attain fellowship with God, defining fellowship as "joint participation with someone else in things possessed by both." At our calling (John 6:44) we have virtually nothing in common with our Creator.. . .
The reason for refraining from many activities on the Sabbath is not labor or energy, but the overall motivation. Certain works are perfect for the Sabbath.
The origins of our adversary, Satan the Devil, and his host of fallen angels or demons. God has promised us protection if we yield to and obey Him.
Some believe in a late-14th Passover on the basis of II Chronicles 35:10-11, but this overlooks the context. The Passover was originally a home-based observance.