Category Archives: Matthew

2 Kings 2-3; Psalm 48; Matthew 4

While Elijah did some amazing things and created a certain dynamic in his relationship with God, Elisha to me was the one who was a little more meek and perceived the things of God from a different perspective. One that I use more often. I am not known to be loud or bold.

What I love about Elisha coming across the Jordan, to Jericho, is that the prophets saw the change that took place in his life. The Spirit of God anointing His servant changes the individual bringing authenticity to life and ministry.

God, within Your temple,
we contemplate Your faithful love. – Psalm 48:9 HCSB

When I do this, my thoughts turn from a focus of the strength and majesty of God to a consideration of His covenant of love. Charles Spurgeon wrote about three different people in the church and how they should each think and speak more of the faithful love of God.

“Now, my dear sister, you have talked about that rheumatism of yours to at least fifty people who have been to see you; suppose you tell your next visitor about the lovingkindness of the Lord to you.”

“Yes, my dear brother, we all know that trade is bad, for you have told us so, every day, for I do not know how many years. And you have always been losing money, though you had no capital when you started; yet, somehow or other, you have managed to have something left even now. Well, we know that old story; could you not change your note just a little, and talk about the lovingkindness of the Lord?”

“Yes, my friend, I know that many professing Christian people are not all that they profess to be; I have heard you say soever so many times. You say also, ‘There is no love in the church.’ Well, so far as we can see, you are not overstocked with it. You say, ‘There is no zeal among the members,’ but have you any to give away to those who need it? Now, henceforward, instead of always harping on the faults and failing of God’s people – which, certainly, are numerous enough, but have not become any fewer since you talked so much about them – would it not be better to think and talk of the lovingkindness of the Lord?”

Jesus started His ministry after the 40 days and nights of fasting and one of His first acts was to begin calling disciples to follow Him. I am challenged by the bigger picture of loving God and loving others. When I hear the call, I know that I have been called too. I want to respond like the early disciples, that is, to leave my love for anything else in this world and to only love Him.

Father, thank You for loving me. I want to represent Your faithful love to others. May my spirit be so changed, that like Elisha, individuals would see You in me. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Kings, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized

Joshua 20,21; Acts 1; Jeremiah 10; Matthew 24

“The Lord said to Joshua, “Now tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed Moses.  Anyone who kills another person accidentally and unintentionally can run to one of these cities; they will be places of refuge from relatives seeking revenge for the person who was killed. These cities were set apart for all the Israelites as well as the foreigners among them.”  Joshua 20:1-9 NLT

Where do I find my refuge?

“Not a single one of all the good promises of the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” Joshua 21:44-45 NLT 

When I get impatient and start to feel weary, this verse gives me renewed hope.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT

I can get complacent and forget that he calls me to be a testimony for him.  At times I just want to go about my day and get my tasks done.  But, this is most often when God will put someone in my path who needs to hear about him.

 “Lord, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full power.  Who would fear you, O King of the nations? The title belongs to you alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like you.”  Jeremiah 10:6&7 NLT

I am thankful that God knows the future and I don’t have to.  I can get so caught up in thinking too far ahead that it causes me to be anxious and fearful. He is sovereign.

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.  Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.  You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Matthew 24:42-44 NLT

My daughter and I went out to lunch after church this past Sunday.  And my car was broken into. Thankfully we were fine and nothing valuable was stolen. It was more that we were taken off guard.  What a picture it was for me, that I want to live my life in a way that I am not surprised by the Lord’s return.  I want to be ready.

“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.  We are not able to plan our own course.  So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.  Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.” Jeremiah 10:23&24 NLT

Dear Father, I surrender my life to you again.  Thank you for your love, mercy and patience with me.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  I want to be set apart to do your work.  I put my trust in you. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Joshua 9; Psalm 140, 141; Jeremiah 3; Matthew 17

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)

If only I prayed that daily! If only I prayed before I spoke! So often the words come and they are out of my mouth without so much as a filter. How many people have I torn down instead of built up (1 Thess 5:11)? My words matter.

Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. (Ps. 141:5a)

There is a group of women that meet almost every Wednesday night at my house. We figured out we’ve been meeting since 2011. Needless to say, we’ve done a lot of life together. I know them, I know their character. I know their love for the Lord and their desire to walk in righteousness. Do we get it right? Of course not! They have my permission to point out if I am heading in the wrong direction. I trust them and believe they have my best interests at heart. They keep me on the narrow path. Their desire is to always point me to my Lord—and so we are accountable to each other. They are quick to pray for me, build me up, or tell me the truth in love. Their words carry weight.

Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. (Joshua 9:15)

Joshua and the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites. They had heard what happened in Jericho and Ai and did not want to be killed, so they asked to make a treaty with the Israelites after convincing them they had come from far away. They did not inquire of the Lord but made a binding oath in his name. The Gibeonites became water carriers and woodcutters to serve the Lord. God’s word is binding!

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. (Matt. 17:14-18) NIV

Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy—his words have power.

So often I speak when I should listen, don’t stop to inquire of the Lord and suffer because of it, and try to do things in my own power when I should be trusting Jesus. I am truly a work in progress. Words have such impact on every aspect of our lives. I am so thankful to have the words in the bible to teach me.

Oh Lord, I shake my head as I remember times I’ve hurt people with my words. But through that I’ve learned humility and to ask for forgiveness. There are times I’ve said I would do something when it is not what you wanted me to do at all! Had I asked, life would have been so much easier. I ask for your help in this area. Help me speak words of kindness and encouragement. Help me to stop thinking I know what those words are and pray for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words at the right time. Those words have power that does not come from me! They have power to love and power to heal. Help me use my words wisely. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Psalms

Joshua 8; Psalm 139; Jeremiah 2; Matthew 16

be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13 ESV)

Such a tragedy, and often the truth of our own lives as well.

God offers us living water. We reject it and build our own faulty wells.

God offers protection. We build material fortresses and think them safe.

God exposes our faults to correct us. We think we can run and hide in the darkness.

Do not fear and do not be dismayed. (Joshua 8:1 ESV)

With God, victory is complete. Life is full.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (Psalm 139:1 ESV)

We don’t need to second guess anything. He completely knows. He completely knows us. He completely knows the future. He completely knows best.

Some of His plans don’t add up in our mental calculations. Peter actually rebuked Jesus in Matthew 16 when he said he had to suffer and be killed. Can you imagine that? Rebuking Jesus. After confessing Him as Christ.

Yes, I can imagine that. My prayers sometimes stray into that territory, “God, do you really know what you are doing here?” “Wouldn’t it be better if . . .?” “Do you really have this under control?”

Then I realize what I am doing. I’m rejecting his living water and trying to build my own cistern that will surely leak and never satisfy my thirst.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)

Father God, laying it all down again. Denying myself. Picking up that cross. Following You. I don’t want to try saving my own life, I leave that in Your capable hands as You already completed that on the cross with Your blood. I want to continue to completely lose myself in you that in doing so I will find life abundant. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

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Joshua 3; Psalm126-128; Isaiah 63; Matthew 11

I am a morning person and it does not take much for me to get excited when leaders I admire do important activities first thing in the day.

The next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel got up early, left the camp at Acacia, and went to the Jordan, where they camped while waiting to cross it. – Joshua 3:1  GNT

Joshua had made it a habit to do things early. It is a form of structure that seems to matter in my life.

If I took three Psalms that all speak into my need for God’s blessing in my personal, corporate and family life they would be Psalm 126-128.

They speak to my joy that I find in my journey which includes times of renewal and those come when I pray and when I plan to give.

They speak to my dependence of God when I am working. Instead of worrying or even working too much overtime, I should be realizing that I am not the one that will bring blessing to my family, especially if this is my path. God is the one who will bless them and I need to be aware of that and give Him what is rightfully His.

There is a strong message that speaks to me about my family and how blessed I am to have a family that is being looked after by God. I pray every day that He will bless them.

Whenever I feel that God is not working in my life I look at these three Psalms and I also pray a prayer found in Isaiah 63:15-19. 

In fact, when times get desperate and I am not feeling His presence like I normally do, it is time to pray this prayer.

Desperate times require desperate prayers.

Even so, as I am in this very moment, I hear Jesus’ call to come and rest.

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28  GNT

Father, I come to you humbly and I know that You know I need You. I am looking for Your rest and I come to give You my heart and my mind so that I may be still before You. I choose to put all of my worries and things I think that matter on You. In this quiet space, can You once again speak to me and allow me to sense Your presence? Fill me with Your peace as I put my trust in You. Thank you. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized