Does Matthew 10:24-23 apply to me or is it talking about someone else?

Floyd Rogers – Texas Gospel Volunteer, Christian writer

Matthew 10:24-32

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Matthew records Jesus giving his apostles instructions as they get ready to preach to the lost children of the House of Israel.  Part of those instructions are recorded in Matthew 10:24-32.  Here we see Jesus telling his Apostles it will not be an easy road for them. Let’s take a close look at what else he said, and how we know his words have meaning for us today.

In verse 24, Jesus tells the apostles a, “…student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.” (Matt. 10:24 NIV) I believe Jesus is letting them know just how bad it’s going to get for them because in the next verse he says, “It is enough for the disciple that he may become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they insult the members of his household!”  It seems clear to me He’s telling them, if people accused Jesus of this, then the apostles can expect to be called the same, or even worse. This is what Jesus told his apostles, but how do we know these verses have meaning for us?

Jesus gave these instructions to his apostles as they were heading out to preach specifically to Jewish people. Our directive today is quite different; we are to preach to all. It is also true we are disciples, not apostles. A disciple is anyone who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. An apostle is someone Jesus directly sent to preach. Jesus’ instructions here are clearly for his chosen apostles for a specific task. I think it’s reasonable to infer from these verses that we may face persecution, but we need to recognize that an inference from scripture is not scripture itself. I am not saying that no one today is persecuted; far from it.  My point is these verses are Jesus’ instructions to his apostles and they are told they WILL be persecuted. While we may experience persecution, we are not always going into places comparable to the places the apostles went. Today we do not always meet the kind of danger they faced. I would argue that it depends on where one goes to preach. In most countries today we are not likely to be handed over to the government for prosecution.

I think it’s important at this point to mention that the above text is from the New International Version, and it says a “student” is not above the teacher.  The NASB uses the word “disciple.” I think the word disciple, used in this context, tells us that the warning of persecution applies to us as disciples when we are in a similar situation; that is, when we present the Gospel to those who’s doctrine and authority are questioned by God’s Word. I hope my reasoning here shows just how much care we should use before saying “the Bible says” to assure we do not unknowingly add to it. This requires a close reading.

Jesus ended his set of instructions in verses 32-33 saying, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” I hope I don’t sound like I’m splitting hairs with this next question.   In this context, when Jesus says “Whoever,” does this mean to whoever the apostles spoke, or does this include anyone, including those to whom the apostles have not spoken? I think it is most likely talking about anyone who acknowledges, not just to whoever the apostles spoke, because of what we see in other scriptures. God demands acknowledgement. It doesn’t matter if we are speaking of Old or New Testament.  Proverbs tells us, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” In New Testament books like Luke we see Jesus telling people, “…everyone who confesses Me before people, the Son of Man will also confess him before the angels of God; 9 but the one who denies Me before people will be denied before the angels of God.” Is it not clear that God demands confession before others?

Do his words apply to us?  I believe so. I also believe they should not be presented without context or we risk changing their meaning.  What are your thoughts?

The least shall be greatest

Floyd Rogers – Texas Gospel Volunteer, Christian writer

Mark 10:17-22 tells us about an encounter Jesus had with a rich leader.  The man said he had followed all of the commandments. He then asked Jesus what he had to do to be saved. Jesus told the man to sell what he had, give it to the poor, and follow him. The man left grieving because of what this would cost him. Let’s consider which is important: Actions or Motives. Let’s also consider why this is important and what may be the biggest stumbling block to our understanding.

The rich man’s works were not enough for salvation even though he followed the law. He did the right thing, but did he do so because God was the most important part of his life? His great wealth seemed to be a stumbling block.  Much was given to him, but he did not seem willing to give to God accordingly. One could infer from the scripture that this is why Jesus told him to get rid of his wealth. I believe Jesus looked at the man’s motives and not just his actions.  Jesus judged the man’s heart, something we see God doing in the Old Testament as well.

Genesis tells us, “Abel, on his part also brought an offering, from the firstborn of his flock and from their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering; but for Cain and his offering He had no regard.” Cain may have had a nice offering but was his motive acceptable to God?  Hebrews 11:4 offers the answer as it reflects back to this Old Testament book. It says, “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain…” It wasn’t just his actions but that they were the result of his faith; they were a reflection of what was in his heart.  The book of 1 Samuel is very clear about how God judges: God looks at our heart.

Earlier I mentioned that the rich ruler’s wealth was a stumbling block. Consider, Cain too had plenty but unlike the rich ruler, Cain’s wealth was not a stumbling block. He gave freely to God. Having a lot of stuff isn’t the problem. The rich leader’s property was his downfall because that’s where his heart was.  I suggest that wealth of money, wealth of property even wealth of intelligence can be a stumbling block if you value it more than pleasing God.  There sure are a lot of top scientists unwilling to accept faith as a gift as they reject anything they do not understand. In the same way some rich people lean on money to get what they want and are unwilling to accept some things cannot be bought, there are highly intelligent people who hold a similar position when it comes to leaning on their own understanding rather than trust in the Lord.  Their heart, and their trust, lies with their wealth of knowledge. Anything we desire more than knowing and pleasing God can be our downfall.

To sum this all up, Grace is not something we can earn by doing the right things as the rich ruler seemed to think.  It is not something we can buy.  It is not something we achieve through our great intellect.  Grace does not come from our ability or works.  Saving grace is a gift. It is something that can be overlooked if we allow our ego to get in the way. It’s something we can reject if we are afraid to let go of anything that prevents us from accepting it. Those who feel their abundance wealth, intellect or status can earn salvation may think themselves worthy, but they are not.  Isn’t this why some of the greatest will become the least and some of the least shall become the greatest?

What are your thoughts?

Did Jesus tell us to recite a prayer in Matthew Chapter 6?

Floyd Rogers

Have you ever been to a church service where the congregation recited what we often call The Lord’s Prayer? I think it’s fine to memorize it as scripture. If the purpose of congregational recital is to learn the Word, there’s nothing wrong with reciting it in church. But I don’t think Jesus was telling us to repeat it verbatim as our prayer.  To understand why, let’s look at what Matthew Chapter 6 says immediately before the words, “Our Father in Heaven.”

Matthew records Jesus saying, “This, then, is how you should pray.”  Notice he said “how” you should pray, not “what” you should say.  I believe this is the important part. Isn’t Jesus giving us an example, a model prayer, in the following verses?

It seems clear to me Jesus is telling us to talk to the Father; to do so humbly; to ask for forgiveness; and to ask that we are able to avoid temptation rather than to recite scripture during prayer.  Consider, he just got through saying not to be like pagans who feel they will be heard because of many words.

What are your thoughts on The Lord’s Prayer?

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Distributing ‘Bags of Bibles’ Worldwide

2018-04-16 Fellowship of Christian Athletes


Fellowship of Christian Athletes Distributing ‘Bags of Bibles’ Worldwide

FCA Handed Out 169,815 Bibles Last Year Alone and 2.5 Million Bibles Over the Past 15 Years,As Global Hunger for God’s Word Grows

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Many in the United States may take for granted the Bibles they have in their homes. In fact, surveys show that the average American home has three Bibles.

But this is not the case for many around the world, for whom having a Bible in their own language is a precious gift. For the past several years, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has focused on distributing Bibles, and in fact, handed out 169,815 Bibles last year alone and 2.5 million in the past 15 years.

FCA now ministers in 73 countries around the world, and has a strong passion to print and distribute God’s Word, says Dan Britton, Executive Director of FCA International, and more importantly, to see coaches and athletes transformed in God’s Word.

Britton recounted that he handed out his first “bag of Bibles” at the age of 8, when his grandfather took him to the Baltimore airport to give away God’s Word. The question was not, “Do you want a Bible?” but rather, “I have a gift for you. I would like for you to have a Bible.” Not a question, but instead an invitation to receive God’s Word—a powerful lesson learned from a wise old sage, Britton remembered. Britton’s father was also never without a box of Bibles in his car so he could strategically bless someone with a gift.

“Now as a third-generation Bible distributor, I have the same passion to see God’s Word getting into the hands of coaches and athletes,” Britton said. “I have taken hundreds of bags of Bibles around the world, so our international leaders can bless coaches and athletes in their countries with a gift! One of the things I love most about FCA is we have the same passion for God’s Word. Often, I share with people that FCA is a sports ministry. They understand that. But when I share we are a Bible ministry as well, they are surprised. Besides distributing Bibles, FCA also works to create scripture resources, reading plans and devotions to help coaches and athletes to engage with the Bible.”

FCA’s Bible ministry is growing internationally, as the global hunger for God’s Word is great. Last year, FCA partnered with a Bible society to develop and distribute 50,000 Thai Sports New Testaments and 10,000 Vietnamese Sports New Testaments. Work is also underway to develop, publish and print the 2018 STRONG Sports Bible Handbook, which will be translated into eight languages for use at FCA Camps this summer, including Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Ukrainian, Russian and Urdu.

“We are thankful that bags of Bibles are blessing coaches and athletes around the world,” Britton said, “and we pray God’s Word will always produce fruit. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes desires to lead every coach and every athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. That’s our mission! And the best way to do this is to engage coaches and athletes with the Word, equip them with the Word and empower them with the Word.”

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert says a scripture shared by a person handing out Bibles transformed his life

Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert said in a recent television interview that a scripture completely changed his life while he was having what he referred to as a serious crisis of faith.

Colbert said Matthew 6:27 was shared with him by a person handing out Gideon Bibles in Chicago.