Congratulations on reaching the 21st day in our Bible reading plan! I’ve heard that if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit. What better habit then to be in Gods’ word each day! I hope you all have been growing in your walk with the Lord, and discovering new principles in Scripture that have never stood out before! Once again, I’d like to share with you all some encouraging feedback that I received this week.
~ In Matthew 16:24-25 Jesus explains how discipleship (following Christ) is costly. We are to deny ourselves (humble ourselves and remove all self-pride) and take up our crosses as Jesus did. Then we must follow Him. If we don’t do these things, we aren’t true followers of Christ. Jesus says if we lose our life for His sake (fully devote ourselves to Him and forget everything else), we will truly find life–eternal life forever and ever! How exciting! Our life on earth is like a small dot compared to our life in eternity (either heaven or hell). We should lose our life for Christ and serve Him each day. If we do this, we will each receive our reward in full when we see Christ. (Luke 6:23)
~ Matthew 17:20 stood out to me this week. It’s says “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Wow! If I even have a small amount of faith I can move mountains! Think about how small our faith must be if we don’t believe we can move mountains. God equips us with the power to do all things even if our faith is small!
~ I really like Matthew 18:12-14. Jesus is saying that just like a shepherd cares if even one of his sheep goes missing, so God cares if even one person perishes. He cares for every single person on earth and desires that everyone comes to repentance and is saved (2 Peter 3:9).
~ Matthew 18:23-35 is a key passage. Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. The servant was forgiven his large debt by his master, but when his own servant could not pay a small debt, he had him sent to prison. This is similar to how we interact with God sometimes. We beg God for forgiveness, yet we don’t show the same forgiveness to others. Sometimes it’s easy to accept good gifts from God, but withhold forgiveness and blessings from other people. We should all forgive others from the heart or else we will be like the servant who was thrown into prison for his lack of mercy.
~ A passage in Matthew 20 talks about a landowner who hires workers at different times of day, yet they are all paid the same amount. Here Jesus is referring to people who are saved early in life and others who are saved later in life; they both receive the same reward–eternal life.
~ Matthew 20:26-28 explains that if we want to be great, we must first be servants and help others. Jesus came to earth as a humble Servant who would soon be exalted as King. Even Jesus humbled himself and died for us on the cross (Philippians 2:8) so that he could then reign as our Lord and Savior.
~ In Matthew 19:20, the rich young ruler asked Jesus, “What do I still lack?” The rich man had denied himself many things in life in order to follow God, but He wasn’t willing to give up everything. Am I willing to give up everything? What things do I hold onto that get in the way of wholeheartedly following Jesus? This verse prompted me to ask the Lord, “What do I still lack?” What things or people in my life have become more important than God? Like the rich young ruler’s wealth was to him, what things in my life have become idolatrous gods? Is the One True God ruling in all areas of my life and heart? I want to exchange my false gods for the eternal treasures found only in following Jesus Christ.
~In Matthew 18, Jesus states, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted (turn, change) and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). Since being like a little child is necessary for entering the kingdom of heaven, what is that childlike nature that we are to develop? In verse 4, Jesus gives us an answer: “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). In His Word, God describes many ways in which we are to be like children, but in this reference Jesus clearly states that we are to humble ourselves like children do. A little child knows that he is totally dependent upon those who care for him. Therefore, he must look outside of himself for every provision. We too should humble ourselves as little children and look only to God to meet our needs. Am I humbly relying on Him every day, or do I seek to meet my needs in my way?
Praying for you all,