Author Archives: mmattix

Joshua 12, 13; Psalm 145; Jeremiah 6; Matthew 20

“But to the tribe of Levi, Moses gave no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance, just as He said to them.” (Joshua 13:33 ESV)

Maybe the Levites were disappointed that other tribes were getting possessions as their inheritance, but they received what was most important.  They received the Lord.  As a child I would have read that and thought that they got the short end of the stick. But reading this as an adult I think they hit the jackpot!

“You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing.  The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.  The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.  He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.  The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.  My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:16-21 ESV)

They hit the jackpot because the Lord is so good to us.  He is righteous, kind and near to all of us.  He wants to give us whatever we desire and is there to help in our distress.  We need to praise Him for all these things and more!

“Thus says the Lord; stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’  I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’  But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’  There fore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.  Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.” (Jeremiah 6:16-19 ESV)

Whoa to those who refuse to listen to the Lord.  He truly blesses those who love and obey Him.  But He gives us freedom to choose.  If we choose to hold our ears to His voice, there will be disaster.

“For the kingdom of Heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.  And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing.  And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’  They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’  He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’  And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’  And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.  Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.  And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’  But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.  Did you not agree with me for a denarius?  Take what belongs to you and go.  I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or do you begrudge my generosity?’  So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20: 1-16 ESV)

Everything comes from God as He made it all.  Whether we come to Christ as a 5 year old or a 90 year old, the gift of salvation is ours.  There is no competition.  We are all on equal ground.  He is just as proud of those who have served Him their whole lives as those who have only served Him a day.  Praise be to God!


Thank you Lord for your kindness and generosity.  Help me to always obey as my way of showing You and those around me to whom I belong.


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Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

“And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:19-20 ESV)

I am not a ruler but I am a leader in my home and in my workplace.  I think the advice applies to me as well.  I need to be reading God’s word regularly, keeping His commandments and not letting myself feel superior to others.

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works, who looks on the earth and it trembles,, who touches the mountains and they smoke!  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.  May my mediation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.  Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and the let the wicked be no more!  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 104:31-35 ESV)

I also need to daily notice how amazing God’s creation is and that He is in complete control of it.  God is sovereign.  Whatever happens, it’s for a purpose and for His glory.  May I sing a song that a pleasing aroma of praise to Him.  I am so thankful for the hymn writers of yesterday and Christian artists of today that penned beautiful lyrics to sing.

“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it?  And you are my witnesses!  Is there a God besides Me?  There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:8 ESV)

My natural instinct in life is to fear at the first sign of bad news.  But God’s word tells us over and over again not to.  He is to be our Rock.  He is capable of handling any situation we ask Him to handle.  May I one day make this my first thought instead.

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.  And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’  ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:12-13 ESV)

No matter what happens in life, I know Who I belong to and where I am going when I die.  This alone should encourage me to be in the word, be a good leader, trust instead of fear, appreciation God’s creation and power and endure the race.  The prize at the end is more than worth it!


Help me to obey all of your commands, including ones that tell me to NOT fear.  Help me to be a diligent disciple and fight the good fight of faith as I navigate my way through this uncertain, fallen world.  Thank you for your faithfulness.


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Numbers 24; Psalm 66-67; Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 2

Disobedience is never the right choice.  Not for a student with a teacher.  Not for a child with a parent.  Not for human beings with their Creator.

When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness.” (Numbers 24:1 ESV)

Balaam had to go against his sinful desires to do what God wanted him to do.  He had to turn and go the right way.  We too have to daily fight against the temptations in our life and follow what pleases God.

“For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.” (Israel 14:1 ESV)

The Lord has compassion on those of us trying to do His will daily.  We often stumble.  We’re far from perfect, but the Lord appreciates our effort.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.  He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25 ESV)

He is the perfect example.  He suffered all of it for us without seeking revenge or feeling sorry for Himself.  He, like we, should trust ourselves to the Father and daily die to sin.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for my soul.  I cried to Him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.  If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.  But truly God  has listened; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:16-19 ESV)

When we cry to Him with praise, not focused on hardships or bitterness because of them, He hears us and blesses us.


I will close with this blessing from the Psalmist:

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.  Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise You! 

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You!

The earth has yielded its increase; God our God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear Him!” (Psalm 67 ESV)






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Leviticus 21; Psalms 26-27; Ecclesiastes 4; 1 Timothy 6

“But as for me, I shall walk with integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.  My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.” (Psalms 26:11-12 ESV)

As believers, we are to live a life of integrity.  We have much to be thankful for, even in uncertain times.  Since we follow God, we walk on a sure foundation.


“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalms 27:4 ESV)

The Bible tells us over and over not to worry.  Instead we should focus on Him, the blessings He has given us and the Heaven waiting for us one day.


“For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5 ESV)

God provides for us daily.  He saves us from things that could harm us unless they are needed for our own growth or His glory.  Take comfort in knowing that God is our protection.


“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalms 27:13-14 ESV)

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do in life.  Waiting to find out test results.  Waiting to find out if you were given the job you interviewed for.  Waiting for all the bad in the world to go away and Jesus to return.  It’s so hard to wait, but we must take courage.


“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.  Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12 ESV)

Timothy reminds us of the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  We need to show the world what God looks like by displaying these characteristics.  We need to keep our eyes focused on the world yet to come that’s meant for us and all others who choose to believe.  Keep fighting the good fight of faith!



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Exodus 31;John 10;Proverbs 7;Galatians 6

My anxiety has been in full gear recently.  I struggle with worry and various things that come up during the day can trigger it.  I can feel completely normal, then hear about something and will be totally filled with fear.

But God doesn’t want fear to fill us when unexpected things happen in our life.  He tells us hundreds of times in His Word not to fear.  I think this means He expects that we will fear, but wants us to rely on His strength instead.  He wants us to focus on the fact that He is in control no matter what.  It is safe to pray “Thy will be done.”
From our readings today, these verses stood out to me.

Six days shall work be done, but the seventh is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord.” Exodus 31:15 ESV  No matter how busy our lives get, taking a day to rest is necessary.

Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 7:2-3) ESV  We need to be constantly focused on living how he teaches us.  Guess you could say He knows we are forgetful.

The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I come that you may have life abundantly.” (John 10:10) ESV  The Enemy wants us to be bound up in fear.  But that robs us of our joy.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) ESV  Do the right thing.  Check on a neighbor.   Encourage a friend.  Count your blessings.  Pray for one another.


The following verse from Nahum is not from our readings but how I would like to end. He is faithful to us. Show Him that our trust is in Him, not the things of this world.

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7) ESV




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