From: January 11, 2019
Scripture for today: Genesis 24:52-26:16; Matthew 8:18-34; Psalm 10:1-15; Proverbs 3:7-8
From: January 11, 2018
From: January 11, 2017
Those who choose to ignore God’s Word and follow the sinful desires of their heart will always justify their choices with self-delusional reasoning. Only those who fear and respect the Lord are able to look at themselves in the mirror of His Word to confront their own hypocrisy. Stop the excuses and repent, and the Lord will set you free.
From: January 11, 2016
This was the response that Jesus gave to the man who expressed interest in following Jesus, yet asked for a delay in reporting to duty in order to bury his father. It seems a harsh response, but it clarifies the priority of which the call of Christ demands. Jesus asks those that would follow Him to leave all behind and to put Him first. But before jumping to judge Christ’s reply too harshly, consider the possible meanings:
1) Christ is not banning His followers from attending funerals. He is taking away excuses from those that would delay following. (How many have told a teacher that they missed school on a test day because their great aunt died?).
2) Christ is making a connection between being spiritually dead and physically dead when He says let the dead (spiritually) bury the dead (physically). In contrast, Christ’s disciples are to be involved in the ministry of bringing the spiritually dead to life.
3) When the disciple asked for a delay in following, so that he could bury his father, it didn’t necessarily mean that his father had died. He may have meant that he wanted to stay home until his aged father died, before following Jesus. He didn’t feel that he could answer Christ’s missional call until his father was dead.
4) It also may have been a reference to the possibility that his father had already died, but the son now felt constrained to enter into the year-long Jewish burial practice of that day. According to this practice, the body would be laid out on one side of a burial crypt until it decayed, then the bones would be placed in an ossuary box and put with the other boxes on the other side of the crypt nearly a year later.
Regardless of the setting, Jesus knew the man’s heart and gave the very response to the man’s request that was needed to expose it. He was asking him the same question He later asked Peter, “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15).
From: January 11, 2015
At first the disciples were afraid of the storm outside the boat, then they were afraid of the Man inside the boat. “Who can this be?” They wondered. He commanded and the sea and even the demons obeyed Him. He demonstrates authority over both the seen and the unseen creation. Who but God could do such things? Yet, having the Son of God in our life does not guarantee the absence of storms. Storms will come. The guarantee is that He will never leave nor forsake us. Perhaps the storms of life help us to understand who Jesus is. Not just in our heads, but in our hearts. We finally experience the reality that we have believed: Jesus is greater than any storm.
Take your eyes off the storm and turn them upon Jesus.
From: January 11, 2014
Isaac and Ishmael buried their father, Abraham, in the same tomb he had bought to bury Sarah. These two sons became two great peoples. The Jewish nation came from Isaac and the Arab nations from Ishmael. They stood united at their father’s funeral, but enmity has existed between them until this day. The tomb of Abraham and Sarah is in modern day Hebron. The site has intermittently been under Jewish, Christian, or Muslim control. The current building that sits atop the tomb is a hybrid of a church with Muslim minarets added to make it a mosque. Isaac, the miraculous son of the free woman and Ishmael, the human son of the slave woman still contend over the site. The stories of the Bible are true. Its history affects today’s events.
From: January 11, 2013
Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of porridge. This is a picture of one prizing physical and temporal things over spiritual reward. Esau, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, was the rightful heir of the Abrahamic promises, but he had no desire for such things. Which do you prize more? Earthly treasure or eternal reward?
From: January 11, 2012
The Psalmist questions the prosperity of the wicked. Why? Why does God let them get away with such injustice and unbelief? Why do the wicked prosper? This is a prayer for God’s justice. Finally, the Psalmist expresses his confidence in God to handle it. Are you upset about something unfair today? Pray it out.
From: January 11, 2011
How many have turned Jesus away because they feared the change He would bring? Is Jesus welcome in our city? Is He welcome at your house?