• FEB 15th 1 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV) 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 1 Timothy 5:17–18 (ESV) 17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal HIGHLIGHT: 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. EXPLAIN: Paul explains that just as the Old Testament priest drew their support from the offerings given in worship in a like manner those who work in the gospel ministry to facilitate worship and edify the body should earn a living.   APPLY: While the honor to be able to serve God and Christ's bride in the gospel ministry is enough to also have my needs meet in such a way to free me to serve full time is even more of a blessing. This enables a minister to serve one true Boss and answer to Him alone without being divided in time and attention. While no true preacher, worth his salt, answered the call to gospel ministry for the pay the people of God are commanded to supply for them.   RESPONSE: Lord , I thank You for the people that you allow me to serve in ministry. I am thankful that they support the ministry of RC with their offerings in worship to You and allow me to meet the needs of my family from that gift. Help me to be faithful and rightly divide the Word and edify them with the gift You have given to me. By Your Spirit enable the church to grow in grace and knowledge. Lord call out more preachers and missionaries from among us to serve You with their lives and help us grow in faith to be able to help support them in this work. Amen
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    2. H: 1 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV) 141 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV) 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. E: I believe Paul is encouraging the church to care for the leader who is preaching and teaching the gospel. A: Its beneficial for a person in this capacity to have their needs met in order to continue to focus on the gospel and sharing it with others in a way that is right and true. R: Lord help me to contribute within the body in order that the person(s) preaching and teaching me can focus on doing it to the best of their ability and in such a way that your kingdom is glorified.
  • FEB 14th 2 Corinthians 8 (ESV) 1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. 8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” 16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.
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    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal Highlight: 1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, Explain: Paul is amazed at the work of generosity the Macedonian saints performed. Out of their poverty they were able to collect a very generous offering for the suffering saints in Jerusalem. They gave sacrificially out of their lack of earthly treasure to demonstrate the grace of God working within them. Apply: Like the widow who gave only two mites these Macedonian believers must have given their all to the cause. True faith calls us to at times give sacrificially for the ministry and when we are faithful God is glorified. Respond: Lord help me to give sacrificially out of what you have given me. Help this world to observe my life and see that my treasure is in heaven. Help Christ and the gospel to be my passion and desire in this life. Help the pursuit of His fame among the nations to be my goal. Grant our church unity in this cause and help us to give sacrificially to that end. amen
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  • FEB 13th Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal Highlight: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works Explain: the writer of Hebrews is encouraging the members of the church to encourage each other to do good works in the ministry of the gospel. Apply: This is important and greatly missing from much of the Christian culture today. We need to be focused not only on what we are doing individually but also thinking about how can we encourage others to get involved in the gospel ministry. Respond. Lord make us a people that shine for Your glory. Stir us up and make us a people who encourage one another in ministry. Give us a unity in the gospel and a heart for the lost. amen
    2. H:Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. E: We should always think how we can encourage others and help them to persevere living the Christian Life. Meeting with fellow believers strengthens our encouragement to live as Christ commanded. A: I believe when many churches think of fellowship, we miss the true intent. Many consider fellowship a time to gather together, share food, share time together and these things very much can be involved in the type of fellowship intended in a biblical manner to an extent. However, where many of us mess up is when we turn "fellowship" into a gathering without the gospel, a party without biblical philosophy, or a movie night with popcorn and no praise or worship. Gathering ourselves together should be centered and built upon the Gospel and to do it in LOVE!!!! How important we see the constant message of love in the bible. Also, unification. I think when we gather together in Love and unity with the Gospel at the center, we can truly encourage one another to live intentionally for Christ and carry out that which he has laid out for us to do. R: Lord, help me to live intentionally with your word at the center of my life. Help me to love and encourage fellow believers along our walks with you on a daily basis. Help me to be an encourager and fill me with the abilities necessary to carry forth that action.
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    3. H-v24 E- The writer is encouraging believers to hold one another accountable to perform the deeds of faith and attend regular meetings.A- We live in a culture where church goers try to submit the word of God to their lifestyle rather than submit their lives to the Word. I know a man that has justified playing golf on Sunday rather than attending service because he doesn't think the church is behaving and replicating the church of the Word. He thinks that since the rest of the church is disobedient and not what it should be according to his understanding of the word, then he doesn't have to support that by attending. He is missing the point of this text. We work best when we work together. We need each other for accountability, training, and love. Our times together are vital for the church to be what the Word says it is. Otherwise we will devise our own plans and justify our selfish desires rather than teach one another to listen to God and submit to Him.R Lord forgive me for having a will to disobey rather than a will to submit. Help our church understand the vital importance of accountability and help us to have ideas that will provoke one another to love, good works and obedience. Lord let your grace be at work in our church. Use us to share the gospel with all we meet and boldly, lovingly, correct those who stand in disobedience.
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  • FEB 12th Ephesians 4:11–16 (ESV) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
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    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal HIGHLIGHT: 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow upin every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined andheld together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part isworking properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. EXPLAIN: Paul isexplaining that the servants and gifts are given to the church to help the growas disciples of Christ. Paul notes that the full work must be done by everyoneand no person is to be ignored or overlooked. Furthermore this work must bedone IN LOVE. Paul repeats this admonition. It is by our love for one anotherthat we prove to be Christ disciples. We speak the truth in love and buildother up in love. APPLY: Paul said in 1 Cor.13 that the greatest is love. We must let love saturate every work within the church. Knowledge puff us but love builds up. We must examine our motives, works, and intentions and make sure that they are coming from a heart of love. RESPOND: Lord help us to demonstrate our Love for one another within our church. Let us be known as a church where our members truly love each other. Help us to love You, Your word, each other, the lost around us, and the unreached in the world. Lord let our love motivate us to be intentional in our faith and work hard for the Gospel. Amen.
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    2. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. E: I selected the entire passage because it flows together for me. God has appointed every role within the body. He has equipped everyone for where they are to serve and provided the abilities they need in order to serve in those positions. These positions are responsible for the teaching, unification, and growth as the body and as disciples. A: We should intentionally live a lifestyle of unity. Working with one another, depending upon each other's gifts to lead, teach, learn, and grow biblically. I think this is another reason it is important for us to go to individual believers in the body when there is disagreement so that we can work it out in a way that God would want us to so that the body, each and every joint, can work together effectively for God's ultimate purpose. Additionally, sometimes, there is more than one member who has certain gifts. Reformation, for example, has a large group of teachers. Other churches may be in places where there is more than one person who can lead music, or become leadership. We should not only be aware of our own gifts, but the gifts of others and find ways that they can be included in this growth. This could promote true unification because we are showing how much we not only care about our own gifts and what we can bring forth in His kingdom, but what our brother or sister can bring. This can further strengthen a unified bond within the body. R: Help me recognize the abilities you have given me and my role within the body so that I might be unified with fellow believers and carry out discipleship which will produce desirable fruit within your Kingdom. Also, let me not be ignorant of others gifts and their desires to use them for your glory.
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  • FEB 11th 1 Corinthians 15:1–11 (ESV) 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
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    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal H: 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  E: Paul noted that he was able to plant churches and work for the spread of the Gospel but his success was all because of God's grace working through him. Paul then adds that the primary issue was that the Gospel was preached and people believed in Christ death and resurrection for our sins.  A: We must all work for the spread of the Gospel and be desperate for God to enable us to be successful by His grace. We must also make sure that we properly explain the substituionary atonement of Christ for our sins.   R: Lord help me today to be strengthened by your grace. I want to see your word spread and people saved by the preaching of the gospel. Enable our church to be bold in witnessing and sharing their faith. I want them to see people come to faith in Christ.
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    2. Hv10-E- Paul acknowledges that God's work in saving him was not in vain and the work God started was still ongoing. It was by grace that Paul was saved and by grace he worked hard facing everything God brought him to with humility and trust.A- Paul knew that his strength was from God's supply of grace to him. God shows us grace everyday to be able to face the circumstances of our lives. In this we have confidence to place our trust in Him. R- Lord help me to trust you more each day. Open my eyes to see your grace at work around me. Let me be useful to you to share the gospel, help a neighbor or whatever it may be that would bring you glory.
    3. H:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. R: Dear Lord I understand that our is only by your grace that I can be successful in following the course up you have set before me. I ask that you provide me daily with your grace and provide everything I need.
  • FEB 8th 1 Corinthians 10:14–22 (ESV) 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
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    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal  Highlight: 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry  Explain: Paul is calling for believers to examine their lives and not partake of the Lord's Supper and then also practice idolatry. Apply: Idolatry is anything that takes God's place. God alone must be worshiped, honored, and glorified in our lives. He should be our first pursuit. While in America we may not bow down to idols of stone, wood, or metal. There are plenty of things we place before God and offer our time, money, and lives and make the things of God secondary. Response: Lord I am guilty of not always keeping you first. I have at many times in my life caught myself looking to other things for the pleasure that is only found in You. Give me strength Lord in my weakness to seek you and Your kingdom. Rule and reign in my heart as my precious God. Help our church to seek in every life to glorify You and Your word. Grant us unity in the Gospel and a heart for the lost to be saved. Amen.
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  • FEB 7th Mark 1:9–11 (ESV) 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR Journal  Highlight: 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Explain: Jesus is baptized by John and in this account the Holy Trinity is displayed in God the Son coming up out of the water, God the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and God the Father speaking His approval.   Apply: The Lord our God is one God and He reveals Himself perfectly in three persons. They work together in perfect harmony accomplishing God's will. God the Father ordained all things including salvation, God the Son accomplished Salvation, and now God the Spirit applies salvation.   Respond: Lord thank you for saving me. I look at the wonders of the Gospel and stand amazed in your wisdom and perfection. Help me to continue to grow in grace and knowledge of Your truth. I want to be sanctified and set apart to be used by Your Spirit to bring others to faith through the preaching of the Gospel. Lord unite our church and give us a passion for reaching the lost with truth and calling for them to respond to Your kindness which leads to repentance. Amen.
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    2. v 10-11 Jesus was affirmed as the Son of God and it was witnessed by many. Not only do we see the display of the trinitarian God in this but also the affirmation that Jesus is the son of God and is sent/approved by Him. Baptism can serve as a reminder to believers that our faith is not built on sinking sand but the God of all creation. We have a firm foundation with Jesus as king over His people. Lord thank you for reminding us that you are sent by God. Your plan will prevail and you will reign forever. We have a reason to place our hope and trust in You.
    3. H: And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
  • FEB 6th Matthew 3:13–17 (ESV) 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
    1. Bro. Benji HEAR JOURNAL HIGHLIGHT: 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” EXPLAIN: This exchange between Jesus and John is a normal response. Why would the greater need to be baptized by the lesser. Jesus is the Forerunner of our faith and as we follow Him our first public display of our faith is baptism. APPLY: God gave John baptism as a sign of repentance. Jesus demonstrated that it was an outward display of faith that represents His death, burial and resurrection. Our baptism is a public profession that Jesus is Lord and we have died to sin in Him and been raised to new life in Him. RESPOND: Lord thank You for salvation. You have saved me alone by Your work of grace. As I walk in this new life allow me to shine for You and bring glory to Your holy name. God allow our church to long to see the lost come to faith. God allow our baptism waters to be stirred by the display of new faith. let us be people of prayer that pray to the Lord of the harvest. Amen.
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    2. V 14-15; Jesus didn't need to be baptized for any other reason than to bring God glory. A lot of other religious groups practiced baptism in this day. Jesus' baptism proved to be the true baptism of all time. For Jesus and John this act of baptism was obedience to God. Perhaps it represented more than that. The fact that it was to fulfill all righteousness is a clue that it was about more than mere obedience. The same is true for believers. Being baptized in the same manner as Jesus is a display of our obedience and our death, burial and resurrection. Lord, I need to understand baptism better in order to be obedient. Teach me so that I can honor You in every way possible.
  • FEB 5th Matthew 26:26–35 (ESV) 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
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    1. Bro. Benji's HEAR H: 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”E: Christ foretold that the disciples would run away later that night when He was arrested. Peter was the first to reject and deny this truth and the other disciples followed suit.A: Peter had passion but it expressed itself in a form of pride and pride comes before the fall. If we are to succeed when persecution comes it will not come from our own sense of pride and strength. We must be humble and in our weakness rely on the perfect grace of Christ to provide strength and boldness. R: Lord keep your servant humble. Help me never to consider myself something more than what I truly am and that is a sinner saved by grace. Apart from the Vine this branch can do nothing. Lord enable me to bear fruit and stand in the day of testing by Your provision. Keep our church unified in Your truth and faithful by Your grace. amen.
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    2. H: v 28-29, 34-35 E: We must trust completely in God for forgiveness of sins in order to enter the kingdom of God. A lack of trust causes us to confess one thing with our mouth and do another in reality.A: Peter denied the Lord because he feared what man would do to him. His faith was split between the world and God. The Lord's supper is a reminder that Jesus gave all of his blood and His entire body. He trusted in the Father completely no matter what the disciples were going to do. We have the same problem as Peter. We pledge allegiance to God and His kingdom, but with one foot in the world.R: Lord please help me to trust fully in you. Remind me every time I take communion that you gave it all so that I could have forgiveness of sin. Help us to be 100% faithful to you as individuals and as a church.
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