Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New thru 30 / Matthew 13:1 - Matthew 23:39

Our church is reading the New Testament together over the course of the next 30 days. This is a huge goal, but I think it will bring great results for those who read it together. I'm posting some personal observations from the daily reading...

- I could spend days making observations from chapter 13 alone!!! I love this chapter, and even did an entire sermon series based on this chapter. I love it because Jesus explains several meanings of the parables. Often we are not given the exact meaning of Jesus from the stories He tells... we are left to make our own conclusion. But here in chapter 13 Jesus tells us what He means exactly in a couple of the parables.

The parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl hit me hard today. Do I value the Kingdom of God more than anything I already possess? Would I be willing to sell everything I have because I have found something way more valuable?

- In chapter 14 Jesus mourns the death of His cousin and friend (John the Baptist) by withdrawing from the crowds. It's easy to forget that Jesus was fully human and experienced the same emotions we experience. But I find it interesting that when Jesus sees the crowds who have followed Him, Jesus feels compassion for them and seeks to minister to them. In a moment of His own personal grief... Jesus sought to minister to others. Perhaps a key to healing is taking the focus off of ourselves and finding ways to serve others.

- Chapter 15 tells us that if we wash our hands before we eat, we are better than Jesus' disciples!! =) lol

- Chapter 18 shows us the "upside-down" way of Jesus. If you want to be great, you must humble yourself. I am reminded of what James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

- Chapter 22 teaches us the two greatest commandments: to love the Lord our God and love our neighbor. If we do not love God and our neighbor, then have we committed the greatest sins?

- God is more concerned about us being real in our relationship with Him, than He is in our appearances.


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