“No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will old to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24).
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof ” (Matt 6:25-34).
(For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost – Rom 14:17).
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt 7:13-14).
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:21-23).
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” (Matt 28:18-20).
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly things, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mk 16:15-18).
“And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it was withered away, because lacked moisture.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bear fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
They on the rock are they, which when they hear receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which when they have heard go forth, and are choked with cares of riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart having heard the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience” (Lk 8:1-15).
“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece,
And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
And they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere” (Lk 9:1-6).
“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Lk 18:27).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:1-2 & 14).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16).
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine.
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me that they may be one, as we are.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them ion thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through the truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn 17).
“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so sent I you.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and My God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20:19-29).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13).
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up unto glory” (1 Tim 3:16).
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (Jas 4:7-8).
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:6-8).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 Jn 2:15-17).
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Jn 5:13-15).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:21).
“And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev 22:12-13).
By Martin Luther / Concordia Publishing House
This volume contains three works that exemplify and state Luther’s principles of Old Testament exegesis. All three are on less familiar Old Testament texts. All of these texts have, in Luther’s estimation, suffered from intolerable misapprehensions and interpretations.
They stand in need of rescue from obscure translation and interpretation. The notes on Ecclesiastes (1532) admit that Ecclesiastes is one of the more difficult books of the Bible, but Luther points out that the “difficulties” arise because commentators have failed to understand the purpose of the book and have taken no intelligent approach to those strange ways of speaking called Hebraisms.
He shows that Ecclesiastes does not condemn the creatures of God, it condems man’s depraved affections and desires. It does not promote ‘contempt of the world’ nor teach that we ought ‘to be in doubt about the grace and love of God toward us.
By Julia Floyd Jones / WestBow Press