Posted in Devotions

Matthew 11 part 1–John the Baptist

When the pressure increases and life gets difficult, our faith is really tested.  John the Baptist was the man that announced Jesus entrance into ministry.  He baptized Jesus and stepped aside as Jesus Ministry flourished.  Now as John was being persecuted for his faith, even he began to question the very center of his faith—Is Jesus the one???  Jesus didn’t get angry, he did not criticize his cousin.  Instead, Jesus comforted him with facts and answered his question directly.  Jesus then told the crowd of his love for John and the view God had of him—he was one of the great ones.

We often worry that if we have a bad day or a crisis of faith that God will somehow erase all the devotion and tireless following we have done and write us of as some worn out has been.  No Father does that to his child.  God is our main Cheerleader and coach.  He will meet us where we are and will draw us to himself to give us the strength to press on even on days that simply does not seem possible.  When we are feeling weak and discouraged—that s when we need to lean into the Lord.  Prayer, study and fellowship with others on the journey become the lifeline in times of crisis.  Never be afraid to ask the father for anything—at any time.  He alone is the Lord God and he loves us more than anyone.

God Bless You

2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’[c]

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

 

Posted in Devotions

Matthew 8 Part 1–Faith

Faith is a great thing.  Jesus finished speaking God’s heart to his followers. As he was walking down the mountain, there was immediate evidence that the message was clearly received. Two men humbly came before the Lord and took him at his word.  They both had needs—one for himself, the other for his trusted friend and servant. The incredible part of the story is that both men came to Jesus KNOWING he could heal. They did not come HOPING—they knew he would be able to heal him. The level of faith astounded and thrilled Jesus.

In our lives, nothing has changed.  Jesus still simply longs for us to KNOW he is there to heal, protect and provide for our needs.  He does not want us to “hope” he will get to us. He wants us to walk daily by faith and learn to simply and completely trust him and follow his plan.  When we walk in this faith, not only do we see him do mighty things, we also bless him and bring him joy.  Like any dad—The Father simply wants to bless his kids and have them know he loves them.  Help me Lord to live a life that shows how much I love and trust you.

God Bless You

8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a man came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith…13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment

 

 

Posted in Devotions

Matthew 4 part 2–Jesus starts His Ministry

After the battle was completed, Jesus’ ministry began. He preached, he picked disciples and he began ministering.  Key word—ministering.  While in college, I once heard the great pastor Howard Hendricks speak regarding ministry—“I am constantly approached by students who say Dr. Hendricks I love preaching and ministry would be ideal if it wasn’t for the people! I say to them—I have the perfect place for you to pastor—The cemetery.  No one complains and no one argues, but, the problem is that they are all dead!”

Ministry is not about what is said, it is about caring for people.  Jesus cared for the men he poured his life into, he cared about the folks he came into contact with, but, he also cared for the sick, the sinners, the rejected and the lost. Throughout his time on earth, they were his focus. We see his acts as miracles, he saw them as ministry. He saw the sick and the lost through the same eyes. He loved them and had for them the only real answer—a Father’s love.  We too are to minister.  We are too see the sick, sinners and lost through the same eyes—the eyes of love.  Ministry is messy, ministry is thankless, but, ministry is the thing that makes us like the Lord—and it was his tool to show the world that God really cared! Father, help me to be ready to minister even today!

God Bless You

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.  23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him