Let start the year right as what people would say and I agree with them. Let us get into the habit of studying the scripture and learning more about Jesus and His Good News everyday. For this week’s scripture we will start with the first books of the Old and New Testament, Genesis and Matthew.
Every week we will dive in one chapter each from the Old and New Testament. We will study the scripture and reflect on the verse(s) that touched us the most. Then, we will contemplate on how we can apply it daily. You may notice that I skip chapters, this is to provide you your personal time to read the other chapters during the week. Remember, reading the Bible is not just to memorize verses, it is most importantly to get to know God personally.
Genesis 4 / Matthew 4
Genesis 4 starts with the initial conflict between Cain and Abel. It also talks about the two religion, first is the one who offers their good works in the hopes to please God (religion of Cain). While the second is the religion of substitution (religion of Abel). Abel knew that our sins our so great that one has to offer a sacrifice, livestocks (Old Testament), in the place of the sinners in order to pay for our sins. It is also in this chapter that the first record of murder was committed, when Cain killed his own brother out of jealousy. Moreover, we also can read from this chapter the punishment of God to Cain and how his descendants were described as ungodly.
Matthew 4 begins with Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. This chapter teaches us that like us Jesus was tempted by the devil, for it is written “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV). Furthermore, the chapter shows us how the scriptures can be used as our weapon in combating temptations and the tricks of Satan. Jesus’ ministry began in this chapter as well and how He had called his first disciples to follow Him in His mission
Siblings, our first best friends and also our first enemies. They often are the people who gets us into troubles, but as well as the first people the will defend us from others who hurt us. These 2 chapters of the Bible despite being written on two different eras shows how the plan of God is, to treat each and everyone as brothers and sisters in Christ. That unity will be our strength and that enviousness and selfishness will lead us to our own destruction. Would this mean as well that we have to treat those who wronged us as our brothers and sisters in Christ? The answer is a clear Yes. That is why Jesus left us the greatest commandment: To love God with all our hearts, with all or soul, and with all our mind; and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt.22:37,39). Neighbors not only mean your families, friends and loved ones but as well as your enemies and people who you do not know. It is treating everybody around you with respect for everybody is equal.
Almighty Father, who is the source of all love. Teach us to love like You, unconditional and selfless. Help us to love and forgive even though it is hard. May we surpass our pride and selfishness and just to spread Your message to everyone we meet. And may Your love rule in our hearts, mind and life that we will be able to share to others. All these we ask through the name of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate sign of how deep Your love for us is. Amen.