Back to the Basics

Out of your own mouth you profess in the creed and the Lord’s prayer:

  • To truly believe in Jesus Christ.
  • That He is the way to everlasting life.
  • That there is a final judgment.
  • To be forgiven of your sins as you forgive others.

Are these things woven into your life as thread in cloth?

Then you need to hear again, the words that Jesus taught while on Earth. He spoke in parables so here is another parable.

Rain falls from the Heavens to water the Earth. When it falls on hard ground it rolls off into streams doing nothing. When it falls on soft ground it is absorbed and allows the ground to grow seeds.

The meaning of the rain is the words of God. The hard ground is human understanding.  The soft ground is the hearts and minds filled with the Holy Spirit. These minds get the true meaning and are fed with the bread of life.

Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive,
and listening they may not understand.’ Luke 8:9-10

So before we begin to see or hear this lesson, let us begin with a prayer.

Heavenly Father, we come to you as your children anxious to be fed by your words. We ask that You grant Your Holy Spirit to fill us with the true meaning of Your words. We want to share Your love and Your peace. This we ask in the name of Jesus, who promised that You would do it. So be it! Amen.

Then this lesson will focus you on a few central ideas that are words directly from Jesus as quoted in the Gospels. This is without any deep theology.  It is a summary or crib notes of the Bible. If you take this to heart, Jesus said this is like a wise man building his house on a rock.

The Bible gives us the way to God for all eternity. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

When He was here on Earth, He did not instruct those learned in the knowledge of God or of laws given to Moses, but He instructed simple workers in fishing, in farming, in tending sheep, and in simple labors. These people were following the guidance of the religious leaders in loving God and keeping the rules to have Him first in their lives. They were like children following their faith. He told them to come to God as little children – loving Him and trusting in Him for everything.

He spoke physical words with a spiritual meaning. His word love isn’t the physical one that has to be returned to be true but spiritual where there is no requirement to return that love. Also, it is impossible for physical love if you really don’t like them. Spiritual love has no such requirement.

His word peace is not the physical peace meaning without threat or conflict. Spiritual peace is where there is no fear only calm in any situation. Jesus showed us that He was in God’s peace the final day of His life.

His word faith is not the physical meaning accepting that is true without proof, but total trust so any fear, worry or care has not effect. He meant the trust of the woman who touched His cloak.

You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:31-34

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? Matthew 16:24-25

Impossible, yes. But Jesus knew this, and He gave us the answer so that we may be in God’s grace. He told us to fear not – although the world is against you, He will be with you always. In His own words, He gave us the guide to live today and be fruitful. Forget yesterday as forgiven and forgotten.  Tomorrow may not come.

  • Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourselfHe said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22.37, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Mark 12.30, He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10.27
  • Quit fighting the world. Be a sheep as He was. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;  and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;  and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:39-42
  • Pray to Our Father in secret after you have forgiven others and ask for forgiveness“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you Matthew 6.5-6  “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven,    hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done,     on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not bring us to the time of trial,  but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6.9-15So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18.35  “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”  Matthew 21.22
  • Be generous and merciful to less fortunate in secret. so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you”  Matthew 6.4,Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9.13, “He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”  Luke 10.37
  • Judge not others for as you judge, you will be judged. “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” Matthew 7.1-2,  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven;” Luke 6.37
  • Love your enemy, pray for him. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5.44,

     “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6.27-28, But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Luke 6.35

  • Be the servant of all others. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant,” Matthew 20.26, The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23.11, He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9.35, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” Luke 9.48
  • Do not be afraid.  “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.  What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.  Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10.26-28,  “And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.” Matthew 8.26, So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10.31,He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4.4
  • Whatever defiles you comes out of the body – by thought, word or action. I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter;” Matthew 12.36, it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Matthew 15.11, But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. Matthew 15.18 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles.”  Mark 7.20
  • Accept God as a child. Loving and totally trusting, dependent on Him. A child does not think like an adult and you should not think like God. and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18.3-5, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19.14, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9.37,  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10.14-15, But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 17 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18.16-17
  • Love one another as I have loved you. I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13.34-35,  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15.12, (Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 1 Peter 1.22, Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” 1 John 3.18 not Jesus’ words but important)

These basics are so simple that even a child can understand them. Forget all the man made rules for what they are. These are the God made rules. Your church should be all your brothers and sisters in Christ loving and caring for each other as a true family.

Be a lamb – that is a child and a sheep to be in His flock.