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Mike, are you sure you are not getting your Zechariahs
mixed up?

Zechariah 1

1In the eighth month of the second year of (A)Darius, the word of the LORD came to (B)Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of (C)Iddo saying,...

This was during time of the Exile!

I might be getting them mixed up... :) any Biblical scholars out there want to weigh in on this one? Zondervan's NIV Study Bible (and a few websites of Bible study) says Jesus is referring to this Zechariah in Chronicles in Matt 23:35 (and the type of murder Jesus discusses seems to point to this Chronicles Zech.), but Douglas has a great point on Zechariah 1:1! Thanks Douglas for pointing this out! We'll figure this out. eventually... :) -Mike

p.s. actually, I just found this website that dives into the controversy:

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/matt2335.html

Mike, thank you for providing the link for the article "What is this Thing Called Love" - what a wonderfully truthful article & so apropos for me at this time in my walk. I have been ministering the love of God to people in such a way that they probably don't see it like that & had to deal with an issue last night (before reading the article) that grieved me to do & did with fear & trembling. As always, God confirms with His love & wisdom the next day as He usually does because I am always doubting myself. I have forwarded the article to many that I do love & some that don't love me & may be an enemy now - but I will not shrink back as the Word of God says in loving others with His love, whether it hurts them or me. Dying to ourselves daily & laying down our lives for others is usually not an easy job nor relished by many - but the fruit of our labor & reward in eternity is worth it all.

Jan

Mike, the concordance in my KJV, Life Application, and NIV Bibles all show Matthew 23:35 as a reference to today's reading in 2 Chronicles 24:20. Thank you for calling it to our attention. I had forgotten the story of Joash and
this Zechariah.

This OYB study is a joyous and wonderful experience. Thank you for all you do in researching and guiding us through each day of studying God's Word.

Pat

Romans 12:1-21

Paul has concluded the lecture part of Christianity 101. Up to now, we have been exposed to the background information of Condemnation, Justification, Sanctification, History, and Prophecy.

Now it is time for the lab - the practical application. Here the rubber hits the road.
======================================================
Living Sacrifices

We know how to become a Christian - you mean there is more? Yes, Salvation is more than fire insurance.

We are to offer our bodies as "living sacrifices"...

The Greek verb tenses indicate you offer (completed action) the ongoing sacrifice of your body. It is to be year by year, month by month, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Some say martyrdom is easier than the idea of continually trying to live as a Christian 24/7. Perhaps but that is not what Paul is saying - he is asking you to yield to God, to offer "all of you" (no holding back), submit to His Will, you do not run the "show" anymore.

...holy and pleasing to God...

Wait a minute, what about our worldly "flesh" that is not going to please God.

Yielding to God is pleasing to Him. The altar in the OT is sometimes called the "Lord's table". When we offer ourselves (yielding) on the Lord's table, perhaps Ex 29:27 applies?

"Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy." NIV
-or-
"The holiness we bring to the altar is a decision for holiness, and yielding to the work of holiness in our life. As we present our bodies a living sacrifice, God makes our life holy by burning away impurities - David Guzik

...this is your rational/logical act of worship.

The sacrifice of dead animals in OT was one thing, but the greater mercies employed by God in your salvation - demand a much higher form of sacrifice - "All of You" - "A Living Sacrifice".

[NOTE: Not one mention of church, building, or ritual here - worship is 24/7 by offering yourself to God.]

Sounds good in theory, but this 24/7 thing is going to be tough to do. I don't think I can.

That is the point: YOU CAN'T.

Rom 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.." NIV

"Not conform" and "transformed" are in Greek tenses - ongoing commands to you done by an outside force. God will do it. Yield yourself to God, and let him do the work needed in you. Through the Power of the Holy Spirit and his grace. So that you will be the Living proof by your changed life to God's good, pleasing and perfect Will.
======================================================
Things to remember while God is Working in you:

Be humble. In regard to Spiritual Gifts - Do not become prideful, reflect on how and why you received them. They are to be used for the "body of Christ", not as a stump for you to proclaim yourself "special". We are to use our gifts to glorify God - not be a "showboat".

The next list is pretty straightforward, and moves in outward circles from individual to Christian brothers to the world - thoughts on a few:

1)"Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." - It may be easy to do one or the other - the Christian is to do both.

2)"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." - not the idea of being a "Holy Roller". The idea is to be internally (spiritual)boiling over in your desire to "serve" the Lord.

Rev 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Don't be lukewarm. It is better to be "cold" and sit on the sidelines, than to be lukewarm and playacting like being a Christian.

3)"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." - We are to share our resources with other Christians (saints)in "need". Hospitality to the "world" - love and being generous.

4)"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position" - While this is good advice on the world, I believe this is in section adressing Christian interaction.

In the last two years, I have seen on occasion a shunning of people in a church that did not look or conform to the standards of the members. We are not a "club" - we are a "body".
======================================================
5)Do not repay anyone evil for evil. - AHA! I found my contradiction. OT says "eye for an eye" etc. Uh no,

"Those verses are talking about public law that deals with the nation of Israel. A nation is to have a system of justice that retaliates against evil." - John MacArthur

Verse 17 is saying YOU do not repay evil for evil. Remember back to Cain, how God put a mark on him. I do not think that was so much acceding to Cain's request for mercy - but God not allowing any indivuidual to exact revenge on Cain. There were no nations at that time to have a government in force to prosecute Cain.

6)"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." - If it be possible indicates that it may not always be possible.” (Murray)

7)"...In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Interesting thought here by Keil and Delitzsch is that we are not to do good to make the person feel bad (shame him). We are to do good because we ought to do good, and the burning coals represent self-accusing repentance.


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