8:8-9 "‘How can you say, "We are wise because we have the word of the Lord," when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the Lord. Are they so wise after all? Can we all learn a lesson here? Our wise teachers aren't necessarily wise. We must be so vigilant and study everything for ourselves. You should not even take my word for anything you read but study to show yourself approved and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I am not infallible and my only desire it to spur you on to question and study and learn for yourself!
9:23-24 This is what the Lord says: "Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! As we get to really know the Lord, this truth is a delight to learn and meditate upon!
9:25-26 "A time is coming," says the Lord, "when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit-the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah. This is quite obviously speaking of hypocrites (false believers) and false religions. Historically, many people who practice circumcision of body do so because of "Christian" or Jewish beliefs. But apparently many other religions do it as well, including Muslims (Edomites) and pagans. Circumcision began as an outward show of an inward setting apart from the world for God. But it has been completely twisted by the world. Now God looks for circumcision of heart!
3:1-3 (NASB) Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. I speak a lot about how we are told to meditate on the things of the Kingdom. Some believers say it is a waste of time, but I say it is our PRIZE and the reason why we can persevere. Jesus, Jehovah, the New Jerusalem, and the promise of a perfect world are the things above. These are our prizes, being kept safe for us. They get us through the hard days of life. Again, here is talk of our second death!
3:5 Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. We posted this verse in yesterday's reading, but this is something we must see in ourselves! I personally was so convicted when reading this. I struggle with greed, especially giving away things I prize for myself! A few days back Paul said that a greedy person will not enter the Kingdom (as in MK, the Prize and reward). Here are some definitions of greed(y):
A selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed; excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs; stingy.