Author Archives: mmattix

Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, I Corinthians 15

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:3-7 ESV)

Who is this Old Testament passage talking about? It is Jesus. It was foreshadowing that day in the future when Christ would be crucified like a lamb to the slaughter. But He did not stay dead did He? Paul addresses this with the Corinthians.

For I delivered to you as first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me.” (I Corinthians 15:3-8 ESV)

And for those of us who put our trust in Him, we too can be resurrected when we die. We may bear the sin nature of Adam, but we are also made in the image of God. Paul goes on to explain.

Thus it is written, ‘the first Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. Then first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (I Corinthians 15:45-49 ESV)

To those who believe, this life is not the end. First comes the natural then the spiritual. We will be more ourselves than we ever have been when we are in Heaven.

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” (Psalm 128:1-2 ESV)



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Isaiah 30-32 and I Corinthians 5

And now go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. For they are rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.'” (Isaiah 30:8-11 ESV)

Wow! God’s chosen people are being super rebellious here. They do not do what God says and they do not even want to hear anymore about Him. Does that sound like the world today? Our world has turned a deaf ear to God’s voice. They want to do things their own way.

But God in His love and mercy is waiting for them to turn back to Him so He can bless them.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:18 ESV)

Later to the Corinthians, Paul writes to them about corruption in the churches there.

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler- not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? It is not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’ (I Corinthians 5:11-13 ESV)

And gives them a charge of how to proceed once the “old leaven” has been cleansed.

Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (I Corinthians 5:8 ESV)

Lord help us have eyes to see and ears to hear Your truth. Help us keep our hearts and minds pure.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Isaiah 4-6; Matthew 23

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!” (Isaiah 5:20-23 ESV)

We were watching a movie recently about the end times. In this one scene there is a new believer, a room full of unbelievers and the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ shoots one of the people in front of everyone. Then he tells the people that the man took his own life. They all witnessed what really happened! But everyone in that room, with the exception of the new Christian, believes the lie they have been told. He is the only one with his eyes open. “woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

In Matthew 23, Jesus warns the scribes and pharisees of their wrong doing, seven times over.

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13-14 ESV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across the sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15 ESV)

Woe to you, blind guides, who say If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?” (Matthew 23:16-17 ESV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisee, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23 ESV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25 ESV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisee, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27 ESV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying ‘if we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets. Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.” (Matthew 23:29-31 ESV)

Let us all open our eyes to truth and be who we say we are. We are witnesses to the Truth!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Amos 1-3; Matthew 13

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:3b-9 ESV)

Sue was invited to a church event by a friend. The gospel was presented, but she had trouble wrapping her mind around what it meant. She wanted to believe but spent the rest of the week doubting and feeling that she had been too bad in her life for God to ever love her. Sue never returned to church.

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” (Matthew 13:19 ESV)

Bob heard the gospel, was moved and believed. He was so excited and wanted to tell everyone about his newfound freedom. Then when he was teased at work for being a Christian, he began denying that he was one. He no longer follows Christ in order to fit in.

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately falls away.” (Matthew 13:20-21 ESV)

Patty was a faithful worker in her church. She felt that she was working for the Lord. But in all of her years of serving, her world view never changed. She was influenced by the secular values of her unbelieving friends and therefore never showed any fruit of belonging to the Lord.

As for what was sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22 ESV)

Dave loved God for as long as he could remember. He accepted Jesus as a young child and studied His word in his teens and adult life. He lived His life in a way that reflected what He believed. No matter what came his way, He trusted in God to get him through it.

As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:23 ESV)

There are four scenarios here among the sower parable. I pray that those who read this can see themselves. Which one fits you?


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2 Chronicles 19-20; 2 Kings 1; Psalm 20; Matthew 3

In 2 Chronicles, we read that he people of Judah were afraid as they were about to get attacked. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and helped them pray properly.

Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat; Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 2:20:15 ESV)

The last part of that sentence stood out to me, the battle is not yours but God’s. In this life we fight against things that go contrary to God’s word. It is a struggle at times and we often feel like we are on the losing end. But take heart! The battle is not ours, it’s God’s. It is a battle of good versus evil. We know that God wins in the end.

In 2 Kings Elijah proves that he is one of God’s prophets. Three times the kings sends a captain of messengers to get Elijah to come. Each time Elijah says that if he’s a man of God let fire come down from Heaven and consume the men and each time it happens.

In Matthew 3, John the Baptist, also a prophet, prepares the way for the Lord.

I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:11-12 ESV)

Later in the chapter is the first time we see the Trinity. It is at Jesus’ baptism.

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, and behold, a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17 ESV)

The Psalmist gives us a benediction for this day.

May He grant you your heart’s desires and fulfill all your plans!

May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!

May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy Heaven with the saving might of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:4-8 ESV)

How can we tie all of these passages together? I think the theme is to not be afraid no matter what comes your way. Trust in the Lord and His mighty hand will sustain us and save us.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized