Matthew 24 - Day 120 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 24:1-3
Commentary: The unavoidable time of tribulation and persecution that must come will have several effects: the commitment of many will grow cold; others will fall away and betray those with whom they formerly stood; and iniquity will abound. It will be a time that calls for great endurance from the faithful. At the same time, however, the period before the end will be marked by the proclamation of the good news that Jesus has been announcing in his ministry—the good news of the kingdom. But now that proclamation will go not just to the Jews but to “all the nations.” This indeed appears to be the main reason for the delay of the parousia (cf. the similar logic of 2 Peter 3:9).
Hagner, D. A. (1995). Matthew 14–28 (Vol. 33B, p. 696). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: We have been living in the end times since Jesus ascended to heaven nearly 2000 years ago. He didn't withhold any information, instead Jesus gave us specific details because he knew how challenging it would be for us to remain faithful and hold on to him.
Prayer: Lord, I need You, O I need You.
Matthew 23 - Day 119 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 23:1-3
Observation: Jesus criticized the religious leaders for their hypocrisy.
Application: Integrity matters to God and it should matter to us. We should be the same person regardless of who may or may not be watching us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize the evil in my heart and to change.
Matthew 22 - Day 118 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 22:29
Observation: The different factions of Israel's religious leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes) try their best to trap Jesus with "difficult" questions so he exposes their problem - "Your mistake is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God."
Application: We often transpose our agendas, personalities, learning, etc. onto the Bible rather than allowing the scriptures to change us. The religious leaders used the Torah as a weapon to keep everyone in line with their master plan. The problem was that their plan wasn't in line with God's plan.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to love others towards You and Your plans.
Matthew 21 - Day 117 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 21:23-27
Observation: The religious leaders question Jesus about his authority and in kind, he asks them a question that would expose their hypocrisy. The religious leaders discuss their options and decide that the safest response would be to say, "We don't know."
Application: We are accountable for what we know. If we pretend to be ignorant, then why would God give us more (i.e., information, insight, power, authority, love, etc.), if we can't steward what we already have?
Prayer: Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.
Matthew 20 - Day 116 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 20:20-29
Observation: James and John's mother approaches Jesus to ask him to promote her sons.
Application: Jesus' disciples/apprentices have been with him 24/7 for the past 3 years and are still
pursuing their own personal agendas. It wasn't until Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection that his disciples adopted their master's plans and purposes for their lives. There is still hope for all of us.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for being patient with me...