Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9

today's reading: Matthew 26: 26-67


Our cast of characters becomes more clearly defined today.
Judas,the disciple who betrayed Jesus.....
The Apostle Peter...
Caiaphas,the Jewish High Priest.....
The Sanhedrin.........
And our main player in this scene......our precious Lord Jesus Christ.

Judas, driven first by irritation that Jesus was not going to storm the countryside, ridding it of the pesky Romans, would sell Jesus out .........

The Apostle Peter, driven by love for Jesus but not being able to truly grasp His mission, was then moved to fear to deny that he had any association with his master....

Caiaphas was driven by his own lust for power and position to want to get rid of this man who seemed to turn up everywhere healing people, saving people, teaching and preaching love and forgiveness; a thorn in the side of the religious leaders.......

The Sanhedrin.....this bastion of religiosity......lining up to blast away at Jesus...driven by their pride to drum up charges of blasphemy against the Son of God....

And Jesus Christ.

What was His driving force?
In prayer, vs 42, He submits to Father God....... ever obedient....  submitting even His earthly desire to escape what only He could perceive the Father.

In His betrayal and arrest, vs 54 and 56, He lays down that the Scriptures would be that the prophets would be proved right.....

Our Lord Jesus Christ was driven by obedience to the Father.
Not just obedient to live the right kind of life....
but obedient to suffer the most excruciating death experience separation from his experience the full weight of the sin of all of humanity for ALL TIME. for us.
We cant begin to comprehend.......
And I don't think He asks us to.........
But He does ask us to trust believe Him...
and to be
to live a Christ-like life.....


Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8

today's reading: Matthew 26:1-25

Casting Call

We are now called to witness the single most significant production in all of history outside of the creation itself.

The cast of characters is being assembled  for us in our scripture reading today.

Some characters, we have travelled with throughout the dusty desert observing miracles of love and healing; miracles of rescue and salvation. We have listened with them to the wonderful stories that Jesus told to reveal Himself and His Divine nature.

Some, we have met in synogogues and have become accustomed to their pride and their not- so- hidden- agendas. Their fear-driven malicious attitudes, we have come to expect.

And some, whose names are etched deeply as a scar across the pages of history, we meet today for the first time. You will remember them well, as they are the supporting characters for this historical production.

Let's move slowly though the upcoming pages of scripture.

I would recommend that, if you can physically do it, you should read these passages on your knees, in humble honor to the One whose sacrifice has forever changed death.

Surrender to the emotion you will no doubt feel as we wind our way through the crooked , crowded streets of Jerusalem to the CROSS.

You are now called to be part of the story. You are cast in a life changing part.... as yourself.





Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7

today's reading: Matthew 25:31-46


This is a condition we hear about frequently these days. We joke about having a bad case of "separation anxiety" when we can't have our favorite soft drink, or fast food. If we run out of a familiar brand of cosmetic or coffee.
BUT the separation anxiety I see in today's reading in Matthew is no joke.

When the King of Heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ draws a line down the middle of the throne room and tells one group to stand on the right and another group to stand on the left, you just know that one of those groups is not going to have a good day.

A day of judgement.
Let the power of that fall on you for a moment.

As you read today's scripture did you hear the two groups both give the same response to the LORD when He pronounced their outcome?

It seems that neither group understood the relationship that exists between serving those in need and serving God.

And yet, one group chose to serve the needy souls of humanity out of love for God's people and obedience to the Lord.

The other group seemed to say, "Well, if we had known it was YOU! we would have done thus and so..."

In order to serve in sheep-ish fashion, we must get our minds right.
We must want to serve from our hearts; looking at the people around us through the loving eyes of our Savior King,
We must reach out to help those in need, and not out of duty but out of love for God.

Prepare now to be on the right side of the line, when your name is called summoning you before that throne of judgement.

You'll never have to face another anxious moment or feel the pain of separation again!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6

today's reading: Matthew 25:1-30


A very important aspect of our faith-walk is revealed to us in today's reading in Matthew 25.

Often we like to think that we can just "accept" Jesus as our Savior... end of story... go about our life....being saved.

The Christian life is so much more than simply BEING saved, as glorious as that is!
The Christian life is a LIFE FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES!

Eternal life is a wonderful matchless gift, that is for sure. And we do not have to do anything to "make it happen" beyond simply receiving it.

God offers the gift. We unwrap it... receive it... and it is ours!

But what happens in a life between the opening of that gift and the last earthly breath? That is where what we do DOES MATTER!

Will you serve God with your fingers crossed and your head turned away from Him, hoping He won't see your doubt and fear?

The Parable of the Talents causes me to reflect deeply on who God is and on who I am to Him.

Ask yourself, "What does this mean in my life?"

God gives us great treasure in His Word and unlocks the door for more and more as we grow in Him.
He wants me to ________________.
G  R  O   W

Many times in the New Testament the Lord takes the time to tell us that we need to stay connected to Him in order to grow and to produce "fruit".
When the Lord speas about a subjest many times it surely must be of vital importance to Him.
I urge you to meditate on today's scripture and to look up other scripture from your concordance under the word "grow".
The Lord has planted a seed in your heart! The great expectation is that it will grow! Be everything He planned for you to be. Do all that He has set you apart for!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5

today's reading: Matthew 24: 31-51

How can I do a better job of keeping watch over my heart?
over my actions? Will I understand that I must be accountable to Jesus Christ?

Can I anticipate the JOY of seeing His face...unafraid because I lived yesterday well?

Am I walking in the center of His will today, to the degree that I am aware of it?

Am I living my life with expectancy? ...Staying in constant communion with my precious Savior?

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4

today's reading: Matthew 24:1-35

Sign of the Times
When you see the twigs get tender and the leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door." vs:32-3

The Lord Jesus did not want us to be unprepared for the future.
He gave us many clues to watch for; things that would allow believers to gear up for the end of the age.
What do we really need to do to 'gear up' for what is to come? 
It won't do any good to have a large bank account, a nice home, new cars, to be able to climb mountains, have great computer skills, achieve any kind of greatness in the eyes of others. 
None of these things will have any value at the end of the age. 
A heart yielded to God. 
A mind filled with His truth and the treasure of His Word. 
A life surrendered to Him. 
We don't know WHEN these things will come......but believing that they WILL COME...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February 3

today's reading: Matthew 22:34 thru 23:37

The Seven Woes

Definition of WOE

1: a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief
2: ruinous trouble : calamity, affliction woe
These passages are titled in my bible as "the Seven Woes"
It is hard to imagine hearing those words being spoken to ME
              and yet
                         aren't they?  
Could the "tenth of spices" (NIV) of 23:23 refer to the legalistic demands we place on one another in our churches?
Could the "cup and dish" (NIV) of 23:25 mean my 'heart and mind'? 
As you contemplate today's reading, jot down some notes about each "woe
                   and then brainstorm what each of them could mean in today's world .....
                                  what it could mean to you. 
Do you begin to see the truth revealed? 
You don't have to be plagued with a life filled with woe!
You are offered a purposeful life of victory!
Beginning today, lay down those woes, whether you find seven, ten or two that apply to you.
Lay them down and take up the joy of the Lord!