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Matthew 24:1-31

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 52 – 2/22/2015

Fr. John Codis

24:1-31

The Vision of Things to Come

This chapter shows us the things that Jesus said about the future and give us the vision of the things to come. This chapter comes after the pronouncement of Judgment when Jesus speaks to the scribes and Pharisees.

The Siege of Jerusalem

Christ is speaking about the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. This is what Jesus foresaw; these are the things he forewarned. We must never forget that not only men but nations need the wisdom of Christ. Christ laid down the laws by which alone a nation can prosper, and by disregard of which it can do no other than miserably perish.

The Day of the Lord

God has not abandoned the world and we must not be discouraged at the crescendo of evil within the world. Destruction is a prelude to recreation.

We cannot take the pictures in their details word for word. They are only symbolic and which use the only pictures which the minds of men could conceive.

The basic meaning is this, whatever the world is like, God has not abandoned it.

The Persecution to Come

Christ is brutally honest. He never promised his disciples an easy way; he promised them death and suffering and persecution. The real church will always be persecuted so long as it exists in a world which is not Christian.

Christ offers us the following:

  1. A New Loyalty
  2. A New standard
  3. A New Example
  4. A New Conscience

Women’s Bible Study

For the month of February, “A Devoted Heart” will be meeting just this Sunday, Feb. 1st for our Bible Study then we will break for festival activities and recovery and reconvene again on March 1st.

 

This Sunday we will be studying from

Luke 17:11-19

 

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

 

Ladies, as we are preparing to enter into the Lenten season, we must do a heart check.

Do you have a grateful heart towards God?

Have you remembered to thank God daily for the many blessings, both seen and unseen, in your children’s, your family’s, and your life?

As we gather and share on Sunday, we will discuss what a gracious heart looks like and how a grateful heart towards God can constantly express itself no matter what life may “try” to throw at us.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

May I encourage you this week that you do not live underneath any negative circumstance or situation in your life, but you rise above them through the power of Jesus Christ in you! You use the circumstance or situation as a stepping stone to draw you closer into a personal intimate relationship our Father in Heaven desires for you to have with Him.

 

You may say, “but Helena this _______ is going on in my life, how can I be grateful for that?”

So I share this revelation from God to me from my own personal experience.  You are not to be grateful for the negative situation, circumstance or trial you have walked through or are walking through now or possibly will walk through in the future but you ARE to be grateful that the One who knows all, controls all, and sees all is right there with you, walking with you THROUGH that circumstance.  He is holding your hand, walking with you and even at times carrying you and your broken heart.

 

It is my prayer for you that you would be strengthened today, that although your life may not look like what you thought or hoped it would be, know this: God is not caught off guard by how your life looks.  He is not surprised by where you are or what has happened.  Just remember… He is not done with you yet. Until the day He calls us home in Heaven, He is constantly refining us as living vessels for His Glory!  Only a cracked vase shows the beautiful light shining within it!

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – 16th Sunday of Luke

Publican and  PhariseeFebruary 1, 2015

Publican and the Pharisee

Let us flee from the boasting of the Pharisee and learn through our own sighs of sorrow the humility of the Publican. Let us cry out to the Savior, “Have mercy on us, for through You alone are we reconciled.”

The Lenten spring has come!

the light of repentance;

Let us, brothers, cleanse ourselves from all evil,

crying out to the Giver of Light:

Glory to Thee, O Lover of man.

Parish Council on Duty

George Georgakakis, Manny Daskos, Elenie Varvoutis, Mihali Haralambis, Michael Fossler, Juanita Antley, Marion Koliniatis

Matthew 22:1-15

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 49 – 2/1/2015

Fr. John Codis

22:1-14

Who Enters into the Kingdom

Joy and Judgment

The Jews ages ago were invited by God to be his chosen people. Yet when God’s Son, Christ, came into the world, and they were invited to follow him they disrespectfully refused.

  1. Invitation of God is joyous.
  2. Distractions are not necessarily bad.
  3. A sense of loss
  4. Invitation of Grace.

This resulted in God going out to the highways and byways, to the sinners and Gentiles, inviting all by His grace to the Wedding Feast.

The repeated sending out of servants shows Gods great desire to have His people with him in the Kingdom.

We are too often contemptuously refusing Gods call. He always takes a back seat to our lives. Sometimes not out of our own desire, but out of our own neglect. It is the grace of Christ, which allows us His invitation, and we must not make our lives so busy, being preoccupied with things that are seen but to refocus us on things that are unseen.

The Scrutiny of the King

“The door is open to all people, but when they come they must bring a life which seeks to fit the love which has been given to them. Grace is not only a gift, it is a grave responsibility.”

The door is not open for a sinner to come in and remain a sinner, but for the sinner to come and become a saint.

Garment of Mind – Expectation

Garment of Heart – Humble Penitence

Garment of Soul – Faith and Reverence

We need to enter God’s house, His Church, with a preparedness which we lack at times. A little prayer, a little thought, and a little self-examination would go a long way, then worship would be worship indeed!

Matthew 21:18-46

Adult Christian Education

Rev. Christopher T. Metropulos

Matthew 21:18-46

January 25, 2015

  

Israel: The Withered Fig Tree

Christ saw not only a fig tree, but the people of Israel and their Temple. Like the fig tree whose leaves promised food, the outward pomp and glory of the Temple promised spiritual fruit to all the world. But just as the fig tree’s leaves hid its fruitlessness, so the outward glory of the Temple hid the spiritual fruitfulness of the Jews.

Jewish Leaders Question Jesus- An intense, yet brief exchange.

The leaders were furious that He cleansed the Temple and wanted to put Jesus on the spot. They posed the question, by what authority is He performing the cleansing?

Counter – Question by Jesus- the Baptizer and his baptism- Is it from Heaven or man?

We do not know- Jesus refuses to answer their questions.

Sinners Believers

Jesus continues to respond to their question by asking for their opinion.

A man and two children- which did his bidding- the first they claim.

Jesus strong response- “The tax collectors and prostitutes are going before you into the kingdom of God.

Leaders Mistrust God’s Messengers – Parable of the Vineyard

The landowners- the harvest and the mistreatment of those doing the bidding of the owner.

It is reminiscent of God’s response to Israel sending Prophet after Prophet to His stiff- necked people with no response.

The disrespect of the son- who was seen as the heir- they wanted his inheritance.

The Result

The Chief priests and elders listening were horrified at this conclusion, for they knew only too well that they had been cast in the part of the rebellious farmers.The Kingdom of God would therefore be taken from them and be given to a nation producing the fruits of it.

Matthew 20:29-34; 21:1-17

The Gospel of Matthew Bible Study

Outline for Matthew 20:29-34; 21:1-17

Jan 18th, 2015

Sampson Kasapakis

 

The Bible Passage titles for today’s Bible Studies are:

  • Two Blind men Confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 20:29-34)
  • Palm Sunday: The Messianic King (Matthew 21:1-11)
  • Jesus Purifies the Temple (Matthew 12-17)

 

Think of these questions while we read:

  • How do you feel when people try to talk over you?
  • How do you feel try to suppress your beliefs?
  • When do you have the most compassion towards another?
  • Do we care what people say about us?
  • Can you think of the last time you were very angry?
  • Can you remember how you got to that point?

 

Let’s talk about our emotions:

Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.

Edward Abbey

 

Emotions are contagious. We’ve all known it experientially. You know after you have a really fun coffee with a friend, you feel good. When you have a rude clerk in a store, you walk away feeling bad.

Daniel Goleman

 

“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.”

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

Matthew 20:17-28

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 46 – 1/11/2015

Fr. John Codis

20:17-28

Towards the Cross, The False and the True Ambition,

The Lordship of the Cross

 

Opening thoughts and basis for discussion

Christ, although he knew of his passion and suffering to come gave a confident assertion of the Resurrection. There is life after death, after the suffering and false ambitions we place on ourselves. The ambition should be the Christian life in whatever cup that has been given to us; a cup that either has us in a short or long routine of suffering.

Towards the Cross

Christ knew that he had a terrible passion to live through. He was to be betrayed, condemned to death, mocked, scourged, and crucified.

Even through all this, Christ still gave a certainty that there was glory at the end. This glory is the Resurrection of the Son of Man.

We all struggle through life but there is the great crown which has been created for us that is, if we are willing to realize the revelation of the Resurrection

The False and the True Ambition

The disciples show us their worldly ambition. How often do we concentrate on our worldly success? Our ambition is not focused on the cross. The cross is the road to our ultimate life in Christ; that is if we are willing to accept it.

We have the invincible faith and unshakeable loyalty of the disciples. That invincible faith is an optimism when all things seem to be conspiring against us, of the Kingdom and through the atmosphere of our inescapable cross we will reach it.

We all have a cup which has been given to us to drink. We have a Christian life to live by, whether it be in a moment’s notice or over a lifetime of struggle, this cup is our cross, to simply drink the cup means to follow Christ wherever he may lead.

The Lordship of the Cross

“The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many” Matt 20:28. St. Athanasius of Alexandria said, “The Son of God became man, that we might become god.”

Matthew 20:1-20

Adult Christian Education Program

St. Demetrios Church

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gospel of Matthew 20:1-20

Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos

 

The First and the Last-Parable of the Workers in the field.

Our Lord illustrates here the principle of the last being first and the first last by telling another parable, for the Kingdom of the heavens is such that it overthrows all the standards of the age. In chapter 19:27 Peter showed that he was very concerned that he be adequately rewarded for his labor, and was worried that God might unjustly overlook his sacrifice and work. Christ did perceive the question lurking in the background and saw a dangerous attitude in it. In the Kingdom, God’s response to men was still the one of grace, not one of works. God would give to each more than he deserved. Thank God for His mercy and love for us…

The story: a housemaster (landowner) went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He promised the money of the time, denarius for pay. It started in the third hour (9am) which was the normal time for people to find work. Then on to the sixth and ninth hour which is 12 Noon and 3pm. Then on to the eleventh hour which is 5pm. In the late hour of the day he found some men standing idly and asked them why they did not have work and their response was no one asked us to work.

Review the discussion of the landlord with the workers… Realistic expectations and knowing what we sign on for in each encounter with God’s creation.

Warning presented to the disciples and to us in this biblical stop.

A warning to the disciples which was you have received much from Me and the Church in the early days but this does not mean that others will not come along and receive the message and possibly become greater guardians of the faith. Faith is not something that each of us owns rather it is something that gains its power when we give it away. There is no such thing as a favorite nation’s clause.

Infinite compassion of God. It wasn’t that the laborers were lazy it was they were not offered work to do from the start as others where in the beginning of the reading.

By this parable Christ reveals the unworthy and grasping nature of such complaints. The righteous were offered the Kingdom, just like the rest. What harm is it to them if God grants the Kingdom also to the righteous who repent. We own nothing. We just gratefully should receive God’s blessings.

This is the third time that Jesus warned his disciples that he was on the way to the Cross.

Women’s Bible Study

In 2015, the Lord is calling us to thirst for Him and then actively search for Him.

Have you ever been so thirsty and then taken a big sip of fresh, ice cold water?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Yes!    Can you picture the image in your mind?

That feeling of wanting to so desperately quench that intense need for water…and then you take that drink?

The feeling of immense relief as the cold water passes down your throat and even feels like it runs throughout your entire body for an instant.

With that imagery in your mind, and your physical senses awakened, ask yourself

Have you ever been so thirsty for Jesus like that?

Have you ever felt that I just NEED a sip of Jesus to quench my spiritual thirst?

This Sunday, January 4th, we will be meeting to share from John 4:1-42

Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the well and He asks her for a drink of water.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?  Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

 

Until we gather to study, may the Lord Jesus Christ, The giver of life and refreshment to all, place on the inside of you an insatiable thirst for Him!

 

To God for His Glory displayed in our lives,

Helena and Christian