Matthew 9 - Day 105 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 9:9
Observation: Jesus forgives a paralyzed man of his sins and the teachers of religious law question, "Who does he think he is," because only God can forgive sins.
Application: The religious leaders and teachers of the Torah were correct in assuming that only God can forgive sins. In fact, they were doing the "religious" thing and upholding God's commandments so they justified in questioning Jesus' actions. However, since their hearts were hardened, they couldn't see the simple truth that Jesus was actually sent by God.
How is God trying to get your attention? Do you have a religious conviction that prevents you from loving others? Take a moment to search your heart, mind, and relationships.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my religious attitudes that puff me up and distance me from You and others.
Matthew 8 - Day 104 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 8:5-13
Observation: A gentile approaches Jesus to ask for a favor but is amazed by his faith.
Application: Something as simple as "faith" in God can bring a smile to his face. Where do you need to exercise a little more faith? Is it for your family? How about your finances or a relationship that seems to be dead. Take the opportunity now to trust God and believe that He wants the best for you.
Prayer: Thank You Lord for...
Matthew 7 - Day 103 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 7:12
Observation: The essence of the bible is the golden rule.
Application: If it's so simple to understand, then why is it so hard to do? Treat others how you would like them to treat you. I'm pretty sure no one wants to be lied to, taken advantage of, or mistreated in any way, so why do I forget this simple rule so often? Because I'm more preoccupied with myself and my desires.
Prayer: Lord have mercy on me a sinner, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and complete Your will in and through me.
Matthew 6 - Day 102 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 6:14
Observation: As Jesus instructs the crowds about prayer and fasting, he includes a conditional "if...then" statement about forgiveness.
Application: Remember that Jesus' mission was to reconcile the world back to his Heavenly Father. In order to do that, he sacrificed his life to atone for the sins of the world. Therefore, it only makes sense that receiving forgiveness and forgiving others would be an integral part of God's plan. Is there someone You need to forgive today?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of forgiveness.
Matthew 5 - Day 101 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 5
Commentary: Matthew 5–7 is the first block of teaching material in Matthew, dealing with the ethics of the kingdom. In 4:17 Jesus summarizes his message: “Repent, for the kingdom is at hand”; Matthew 5–7 shows in greater detail the repentant lifestyle that characterizes the people of the kingdom. This block is introduced by a common Old Testament literary form called beatitudes: “Happy are those who …, for they shall …” (e.g., Ps 1:1). Here the blessings are the promises of the kingdom for those who live the repentant life. Jesus’ hearers would have understood them especially as promises for the future time of God’s reign; we must read them in the light of the present aspect of the kingdom as well
Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Mt 5:1–12). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Application: This is what it means to "turn to Jesus" and experience the Kingdom of.Heaven.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to be conformed into the image of Your Son.