Monday, April 24, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 71

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Day 71: Follow Jesus

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 16:21-28

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." (Matthew 16:21) 
If we look back to Matthew 16:13-20, or Morning Moments with God: Day 70, we read, "Peter Declares Jesus as Messiah." In that passage we find Jesus asking His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" and Peter declares, "You are Messiah, Son of the Living God." (Matthew 16:16) So, in today's verses we find, "From that time on..." (Matthew 16:21a) which refers to the time that Jesus confirms Peter's statement of truth, that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, Son of God. From the time in which Peter declares the truth of who Jesus is, Jesus began to explain to the apostles about His own future suffering and death and resurrection. He was preparing them for the future.
22 "Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:22) 
I honestly cannot imagine living side by side with Jesus, seeing His kindness, compassion, and miracles and then hearing the words about His brutal death. For me, in accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior I have never known such love, forgiveness, and healing. I feel like I would have blurted out the same words of Peter. My brain would not have been able to comprehend losing Jesus and losing Him in that way. I could see myself doing whatever I could to keep Him alive and protecting Him- the One person who loves me unconditionally. 
23 "Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew16:23) 
Ouch! Jesus wasn't saying that Peter was Satan, but that because Peter didn't speak what was of God, then Peter was speaking what the enemy, Satan, had put in Peter's mind to say. Why do we always think that in following Jesus life will be easy? Clearly, for the disciples' life wasn't going to be easy, but I love how Jesus began to prepare them for the things they would have to face if they stayed true to Him. 
24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:24-28)
And here it is, the Call to follow Jesus: 1) 'deny themselves,' 2) 'take up their cross,' and 3) 'follow me.' Each statement is hard. 'Deny yourself'- deny what you want for your life- surrender everything to God. Dreams, ambitions, traditions etc. Surrender everything and allow the Lord to put in your life what He has for you. 2) Take up your cross- my commentary states, "Cross-bearing is a willingness to suffer and die for the Lord's sake. and 3 Follow me- Live the life that Jesus did. That is what Jesus calls each of us to do: Deny, bear the cross, and follow Him. Can we do it? 
Pray with me:
Jesus thank you for being so beautiful, so wonderful, so loving, so forgiving, that it makes following you desirable. Jesus, I pray that I will, with each day, deny myself, pick up my cross and follow you. Help me, Jesus, to be faithful. Help me to run to you when I am afraid. Help me to stand strong. I surrender my life to you now and pray against a rebellious spirit that wants to do things my way, and pray for a humble, gentle spirit. I accept the plans you have for my life and surrender my plans. I want to follow you with a whole heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Morning Moments with God: 70

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Day 70:

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 16:13-20

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. Who do you say I am?”

Take a moment. Answer Jesus' question: "Who do you say I am?" Who do you believe Jesus is? I've been thinking about how to describe my faith to someone and I've come up with: God is God and I believe Him. That's my faith in a nutshell. It answers every question. Why does God love me? God is God and I believe Him. Why did God allow Dad to die? God is God and I believe Him. I believe Jesus is God- God of the universe and creator of all living things. I believe God-Jesus died for my sins, rose again with healing in His wings and sits on the throne of God in heaven. I believe that Jesus is greater and smarter than me. I believe He loves and is more compassionate than me. I believe God has a plan and it is a good one. I believe whatever happens in my life, as I have yielded my life to Him, He is with me and is guiding me on the best path for my life. I trust Him. 
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah." (Matthew 16: 13-20) 

There are many different interpretations of what Jesus meant when He said, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." I'm not sure exactly what Jesus meant, but when I look at Peter's life and what He allowed God to do through him, I think Peter was the rock of the church. He was the one who waited for Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire to come! He was the one who had the vision, "11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” (Acts 10:11-13) It was through Peter that the converted Jews were set free from the Law of only eating certain foods. But what comes to me as I'm rereading Jesus' words to Peter is that Jesus knows that Peter will betray Him and still God will use him to spread the Gospel of our risen Lord to the ends of the earth. Jesus' words may have been to encourage Peter in the time Jesus was suffering on the cross and Peter felt guilt and shame. Maybe these very words of Jesus were ringing in his ears when Peter was at his lowest. I know for me, when I am at my lowest I run to the words of Jesus. He is my comfort. 

Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for who you are. Thank you for being my God- the God who heals the masses, the God who selflessly gives up His own quiet time to allow the crowds to follow you, the God who is wise, the God who is not afraid of man, the God who speaks truth no matter the consequence, the God who rewards His followers and encourages them. Thank you for calling me your own. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Morning Moments with God: Day 69

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Day 68: Eyes on the Material or Eternal?

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 16: 5-12

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 "When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.Be careful,” Jesus said to them. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 
They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” (Matthew 16:5-7)

I am truly enjoying these verses. It reminds me of what seems to happen between my kids and I EVERY day! In this story we see the disciples were thinking about earthly matters, but Jesus was thinking about heavenly ones. The disciples forgot the bread. I'm sure they were worried about what they were going to eat and worried about disappointing Jesus. Jesus was thinking about His last encounter with the Pharisees and Sadducees and how they demanded a sign. (Matthew 16:1-4) And just at that moment, when both were deep in thought, Jesus said, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."  The disciples thought Jesus was talking about the yeast in the bread -the bread, that is, that they forgot to bring! Perfect confusion! Happens every day! But no, Jesus was comparing the Pharisees and Sadducees teachings to yeast. The yeast of sin, and pride! Once the yeast of sin is in your life it will multiply out of control. Jesus was warning them to be careful of the lies the Pharisees and Sadducees spread.  
8 "Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Matthew 16:8-12) 
Here Jesus reminds them of the miracles of feeding the four and five thousand people, which was how He can make something from nothing. The disciples did not need to worry about forgetting the bread because Jesus could have remedied that in one second. What He wants them to be concerned about and on guard about is the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

Pray with me:
Jesus, I am sorry for all the times, every day in fact, that I have my eyes fixed on the concerns of this world and not on you. Forgive me for not trusting you and seeing the big picture. Lord, thank you for your patience and desire to see me made whole. I love you with all my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Morning Moments with God: 68

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Day 68: Choices-They are Ours to Make

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 16: 1-4

The Demand for a Sign

16 "The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven." (Matthew 16:1) 
Whenever I see, 'The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus...' I know the following verses aren't going to be good, but when I read, '...and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven,' well, let's just say, I get a pit in my stomach and have a hard time reading what follows. It makes me think of a scary scene in a movie. All of a sudden, everything is silent. Then, you begin to see a dark, silhouette looming around. You close your eyes in fear. And then it happens! It's the gripping scene that makes you wish the murderer had been caught or the police arrived on the scene before he had a chance to commit his crime. In other words, I wish the Pharisees and Sadducees had not approached Jesus. I wish someone would have talked sense to them. I wish the ending of this story was that they got saved, but the truth is-it never happens.
2 "He replied, When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away." (Matthew 16:2-4)
Whew! Jesus saves the day! He is wise and not tricked by the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Not that I thought He would be, but it is hard to watch them try to trap Jesus). Jesus points out their failure to understand who He really is. These men, His accusers, of all people should know the Scriptures and know that it was time for the Son of God to come and save His people, but they chose not to. I say, 'chose' not to because, like everything we do in our lives, we have choices. The choice to believe that Jesus is who He says He is or deny His deity. The choice to follow Jesus or go our own way. The choice to obey what we know Holy Spirit is telling us to do or ignore it and do what we want. The choice to spend money we don't have, and live a life we are not able to sustain or to live simply and have peace. The choice to stay in a church that is not challenging us to grow in the Lord, or leave and find one that does. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a choice and their decision denied Christ.

Pray with me:
Jesus, I pray that I will never be like the Pharisees and Sadducees. I pray that I will read the Scriptures, understand them as you intended, and obey you completely. Help me to respond to you and Holy Spirit. Lord, I pray to be close to you all my days. I want to know you more and more each day. May I never be far from your heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 67

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Day 67: Jesus says, "Come."

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 15: 29-39

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

29 "Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel." (Matthew 15:29-31) 
When I read this passage this morning, I saw Jesus sitting on His throne. Then I saw people, one by one, bringing their prayer requests before Him and 'laying them at His feet.' (Matthew 15:30b)  'Jesus healed them.' (Matthew 15:30b) This story is just like my vision, only it took place on earth, before He entered His Holy Kingdom. I believe the Lord is telling us that nothing has changed- come to Him, as the people did on the mountainside, lay your burdens down at His feet, trust Him, believe, and it will be done.
32" Jesus called his disciples to him and said, I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32) This story is different than, Jesus feeds the five thousand, found in Matthew 14:13-21. In Matthew 14 we see the disciples bringing up the issue of the people needing food, but here, Jesus brings up the issue before the disciples. The heart message is different. The disciples wanted to send the people away to find food for themselves, but Jesus says He has compassion on the people and He is concerned about them- the people stayed by Jesus' side for three days with NOTHING to eat. The people were weak, but wouldn't leave Jesus' side. I hope I would sacrifice food, fast, just to be near and stay near to Jesus. 
33 "His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
34 How many loaves do you have? Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan." (Matthew 15:33-39) 

Jesus sat everyone down, took the fish and the bread, gave thanks and broke them. In Matthew 14:19, Jesus feeds the five thousand, "...he gave thanks and broke the loaves." In Matthew, Mark and Luke, at the last supper, "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." (Mark 14:22) Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread, and through it He reveals WHO He is- the Son of God. I wonder if the disciples, when they were sitting at the last supper, saw Jesus 'give thanks and break the bread' and wonder what miracle Jesus was going to do next. I wonder if it all came together for them. Jesus didn't need to break the bread when feeding the five or four thousand, (maybe He did) but at the last supper, when Jesus broke the bread, Jesus said, this is my body- broken for you. "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this is remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19) At the last supper, the breaking of the bread is symbolic of Jesus' body being broken for us. At the feeding of the five and four thousand, maybe He was breaking the bread to begin to prepare them for what was coming, the greatest gift ever given to man- forgiveness of sin and eternal life! 

Pray with me: 
Jesus, thank you that you have made a way for us to come before you, lay our requests at your feet and know that you will heal us. Thank you for your compassion on us to heal our hearts, our wounds, our physical bodies and our physical needs as well as healing the way to God the Father. You did it all. Thank you that you are all I need. Help me to rest in the security of your abounding love. I trust you, Lord. Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 66

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Day 66: Humble or Entitled?

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 15: 21-28

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 "Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment." 

I remember when I read this story for the first time and how confused I was. I grew up Catholic in a Jewish neighborhood and it was clear that Jesus was not their God. Jesus was for the Christians, was my understanding, until I read this Scripture. Jesus was Jewish- I remember that being a shocking thought. And Jesus came first to the Jewish people- the Gospel was for them. We read in the book of Acts that even Peter struggled with the idea of preaching the Gospel to the Gentile, but it is in the book of Acts where Peter is set free from only preaching to the Jewish people and begins to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles too. 
So, here we have a woman, not Jewish, 'crying after Jesus' to heal her demon-possessed daughter and Jesus is silent. The first time I read that Jesus wouldn't heal her was shocking to me. I believe Jesus wanted to heal her, but He also wanted the Jewish crowd to hear the faith of a woman who wasn't Jewish. 

The woman recognizes that Jesus is God and that He had come for His people, but she is persistent and tells Him she will take, 'a crumb of healing'- a touch, anything from Him would be a blessing. But you know, this could have totally gone another way. She could have allowed her pride to rise up and begin yelling at Jesus. I can hear another response from her in my mind, "How dare you call me a 'dog.' How dare you heal your own and not others! How dare you call yourself God and not care about all of us!" She could have even called Him racist! I'm pretty sure if this encounter happened today, that is exactly what the woman would have done. She would not have heard His words, humbled herself and accepted God's answer. This Canaanite woman deserves our respect. Her humility is admirable, and not what we see too much today. 
Jesus sees her faith and her humility and rewards her. The woman's daughter was healed that very hour.

I think in today's society we: a) expect to get whatever we want and b) expect to get it now. There is an 'entitlement' attitude floating around us and many have grabbed onto it. They think they should be able to live the way they see in the movies or have what they want without working for it, without fighting for it, without- simply- waiting for it. Jesus has a plan, a good plan, and we need to trust Him and wait on Him.

I know for my own personal life after I have watched the HGTV shows, I have not felt content. I look at my house and want to tear down walls, extend the house, put in all hardwood floors and have the 'open concept with the big kitchen island.' I have felt frustrated especially when we cannot afford to complete one home improvement job. I know in my mind what we can and cannot afford. I know in my mind that it's immaterial and I don't need a huge home improvement, but there are times when I want what I want and I want it now- entitlement. Jesus isn't about entitlement. Jesus is about humility. Jesus is about having a relationship with us. Jesus wants us to seek after Him and know Him. In knowing Him we see the blessings. Now I'm not saying that because I have quiet time every day with Jesus and serve in the church, that God is going to bless us with $30,000 to do a home reno, what I am saying is that Jesus wants our hearts first and foremost. And I have seen Jesus bless me and my home in ways I haven't even prayed for. Jesus has a plan and I trust Him. My house is cozy and I love it and I am content in my heart to stay here because I know too that if Jesus wanted us to move or do renovations He would certainly provide it. I am not worried about it- that is, until I watch another HGTV program! I'm not perfect. I struggle from time to time waiting for my dreams to come true, but I will wait because I want Jesus' perfect plan and His perfect timing for my life.

Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for this story. Thank you for blessing this woman who was persistent and humble. I pray that I would be persistent in my prayers for my husband, children, friends and for the prayers in my heart. Help me to trust you and your timing for all things in my life. Forgive me for my entitlement attitude. Forgive me for not trusting you- God of the universe! Change my heart and make me humble and patient. I love you with all my heart and want to live in contentment and peace with all that you have for me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 65

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Day 65: The Law or Grace?

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 15: 1-20

That Which Defiles

15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus replied, And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’”
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:10-11) This Scripture reminds me of a time when I was in college. I attended a college in Queens, New York that had a high population of Jewish students. At that time I was a new, joyous believer in Jesus who read the Bible endlessly. As a student minoring in English Literature I found Jesus in everything I read. Whenever the teacher asked us students what we thought of the story we just read or to interpret a poem I would share my insights on Scriptures. One day, after class, a Jewish student, (Hasidic Jew) followed me. I was heading for the library when I noticed her. We walked along together and we found a table in a secluded part of the library. (She was afraid to be seen with me). She asked me to tell her more about Jesus. I was overjoyed! First, I told her all about Him and then I came to this passage:  Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:10-20) She took the Bible from me and read it over and over again. I had grown up in a Jewish community and knew of their ceremonial cleaning and preparation of food- two sinks, one for dairy and one for meat. Two sets of dishes..etc. I knew the burden that she carried in following the Jewish Law and what a freedom it might be if she read this Scripture. When she looked up from the Bible her face was shining. There was freedom in her eyes. She asked if we could meet some time so she could read more about Jesus- we did. The Law weighs down ones spirit, but Jesus sets us free- He gives us His yoke to carry, which is easy and light. (Matthew 11:30) 
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” (Matthew 15:12)
I know if I were one of the disciples I would have asked Jesus the same question. I would have been afraid of offending 'authority' for fear of what they could do to Jesus or the disciples. I'll admit it, I struggle with fear of authority and the power they hold over me and what they can do to me. But I know that if I am living according to Jesus, I need not be afraid. If I live in obedience to Him and the 'authority' over me doesn't like it, God is with me. (I know it in my head, I just have to get it down in my heart). 
13 He replied, Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 Are you still so dull? Jesus asked them. 17 Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Matthew 15:13-20) 
I love it! I love how Jesus can take a heavy law, a chain that is around their necks and simple throw it off. I also love how Jesus is always concerned about where our heart is. Are we more concerned about following the religious 'to do list' or getting our heart and lives to line up with Scripture? 

Pray with me:
Father, I confess to you my fear of authority. Forgive me. Help me to see you as my authority and fear you, not man. Help me to live according to what you have called me to. Help me to get my heart to line up with the Scriptures. Jesus, thank you for throwing off the yoke of the Law and putting on us the yoke of Grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 64

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Day 64: Allow Jesus to Build Your Faith

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 "Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it." (Matthew 14:22-24) In Matthew 14:13-14, our reading for Day 63, we found that after Jesus found out that John the Baptist had died, Jesus went to a remote place to be alone, but a large crowd followed. It's wonderful to see in today's reading that Jesus took the time He needed to be alone that night, after He had ministered to the people. It's a good lesson for me. Many, many, many times my quiet, solitary plans get interrupted and I just think, 'Well, I tried. Better luck tomorrow.' But seeing Jesus' plans get interrupted and yet He still made sure He had some time to pray, as late in the evening as it was, is a great lesson. 
25 "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25 30) 
So, the story is, the disciples got into a boat, and set sail while Jesus was having His quiet, prayer time. Jesus prayed for a long time and the disciples were a good distance from the land. Jesus, wanting to join them, walked on water to get to them! How awesome is that!!! Jesus will do whatever it takes to be with us. He will walk on water, die on a cross, because He wants to be with us. Now, I've heard many pastors talk on this story, and even friends comment on it, it's always the same- "How could Peter doubt? He was WITH Jesus!" My stand has always been, I would have been the guy in the boat just so overjoyed to see Jesus I would have said, "Come Jesus I'll make room for you in the boat." I never would have even thought to ask Jesus to let ME walk on water. Peter had incredible faith and an incredible desire to know and be a part of everything Jesus was about. I think it took great faith to have even walked one step on water. Now, as for Peter sinking, Jesus says, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" All I can think is, that must be what Jesus says to me every day! I know and believe Jesus is with me, and yet I get anxious and worried. I do not trust Him in EVERY area of my life and I should. Each day I try to, 'walk on water' in faith and each day I stress out over one thing or another, and sink into the cold water. And Jesus always rescues me! One day I am believing that I will be unafraid, not stressful, calm, patient, and completely a joyous person one-hundred percent of the time-that is my prayer.

32 "And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed." (Matthew 14:32-36) First: The disciples saw it and said it- Jesus is the Son of God. I wonder why seeing Jesus walk on water made them realize it. Why not all the miracles? Jesus knew they hadn't figured it out and that they needed more- so He walked on water for them. Jesus is so gentle. He helps us grow our faith. Second: Jesus had never stops amazing me! He ministered to the people the whole day before-talking to them, healing them and feeding five-thousand. Then, He had quiet time with God. After that, He walked on water and increased His disciples faith. They land at Gennesaret and begin to minister to all the people there! What's the lesson? Jesus NEVER tires of us. He loves us. He will work tirelessly to bring healing, and ease our minds. He is on our side and wants to be close to us. His selflessness shames my selfishness. 

Pray with me:
Jesus, how can I ever thank you for the words in Matthew 14? I love seeing and learning more about who you are. You are loving, gracious, selfless. You love your people and will make any sacrifice for them. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for building my faith to follow more closely to you. As I read the Scriptures, I love watching you give your time to the people. Thank you for that reminder that you make time for me. I love you with all my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

I encourage you to begin your day listening to the words of this song and receiving the healing that you have long cried out for.