Bible Readings for February 23, 2014

bible cimageScripture readings for the sixth Sunday in Epiphany are:

Leviticus 19:1-18 

Psalm 119:33-40 

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

Matthew 5:38-48

Being a child a God is to make a difference in life. In today’s First Reading from Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, we are called to be holy because the LORD our God is holy. As Christians we are made holy in Christ, and this is to make a difference in our lives. The reading from Leviticus gives some examples of how being a child of God is to affect our lives – be fair, be honest, be generous, be just, do not hold grudges or seek revenge, but let the love of God in you move you to love others. We have been blessed by God in Christ, we have received the righteousness of Christ, be the disciple God has made you to be. Let the grace and mercy on God in Christ make a difference; follow Him.

In today’s Psalm 119:33-40, notice how the psalmist prays that the Word of God would change his life and behavior, guiding the psalmist to be the person God wants the psalmist to be. This is one use of the Bible – as a guide for life, and a means God uses to conform our lives to the life He wants us to lead. Read, study, memorize, put the Scriptures in your heart and let the Scriptures transform you into the disciples the Lord is calling you to be.

The Second Reading is a continuation of reading through 1 Corinthians 3:10-23. Notice that the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians, and us, that we are the Temple of God with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Do we live like we are the Temple of God? Do others see Jesus in us? Does it matter that we are marked with the cross of Christ? If not, turn again to Jesus to be renewed in Him.

Today’s Gospel is a continuation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5:38-48. The reading ends with similar words found in the First Reading; in the Gospel Jesus calls us to be prefect, as our heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus’ teachings recorded in the Sermon on the Mount are wonderful guidelines for how we are to life as disciples of Jesus, and also a way to measure how we are doing. When we fall short of being perfect, we turn to Jesus to be forgiven and restored. Thanks be to God that we can be forgiven. And thanks be to God that our lives can point others to Him so that they can become disciples of Jesus.

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