Daily Word

Matthew 17:1-13

Read Matthew 17:1-13 – We begin with a great big WOW!  Jesus takes Peter, James and John the brother of James up a high mountain and is transfigured before them.  What an incredible thing for Jesus to share with them.  “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” :2-3

Do your very best to imagine this moment.  Are you awed like James and John, or do you feel compelled to say something like Peter did?  One commentator pointed out that this was Jesus in his natural state… the remarkable thing was that he was able to look ordinary during his time on earth. 

And just as they were beginning to grasp what they were seeing, things got even more awesome.

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!’” :5

That was it; the disciples then fell face down in fear.  The voice of God Almighty is overwhelming… We hear the expression, ‘fear of God’, and that is what these three experienced.  They have been with Jesus and in the presence of supernatural miracles on a daily basis, yet the voice of God was more than they could imagine.  They were overwhelmed.  This is our Heavenly Father, our Holy LORD God Almighty and because of Jesus, we have the privilege of eternity with him.  

Beloved, may you ponder the majesty of Lord Jesus today.  May you hold on to the fact that Jesus came from heaven and humbled his glory because saving you was worth it to him. May gratitude lead your day. 

Daily Word

Matthew 17

Read Matthew 17 – When Grandpa Bob and I would go on errands in his old pick up truck, he would say,  “Whoa Nelly,  whoa…” when he was breaking. As a little girl I thought it was amazing that he could talk his truck into stopping. 

We are covering a lot of amazing things right now in Matthew, and I feel the need to say,  “Whoa Nelly, whoa…”  I try to share just enough of my thoughts that you pick up your bible and read for yourself, but Matthew…. It’s just not working for me in Matthew.

I’m finding that the chapters cover so many different moments, and those moments stir my heart in incredible ways.  I don’t want to rush through.   We aren’t on a timeline. So let’s take our time for now. 

Your bible probably has titles within each chapter.   These aren’t Scripture, but they are helpful.  The ESV Bible I’m using today gives us: The Transfiguration, Jesus Heals a Boy With a Demon, Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection, and The Temple Tax – all within our 27 verses.

Read all the way through today and ask yourself what stands out. Are you able to keep up with Jesus from amazing to amazing?   Tomorrow we can dive deeper in verses :1-13.

Daily Word, Uncategorized

Matthew 16

Read Matthew 16 – I had a hard time knowing what to say about today’s passage and was reminded that the important part is to keep going. The Holy Spirit will bring these words to light according to his plan and purpose. My job is to simply keep showing up and keep pressing on. Maybe you need to hear this today. Maybe you read the bible and the words seem to swim over your head. Keep pressing on.

In our chapter, the Pharisees and Sadducees try to test Jesus by asking for a sign from heaven. Jesus leaves them with an answer to wrestle with, ‘no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah.’

In the next paragraph, the disciples realize they forgot to take bread and get a bit nervous. Jesus simply warns them: “Be careful,” Jesus said, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They were all caught up on a little thing like bread, after watching Jesus multiply a few loaves to feed thousands on two occasions.

Jesus shares some insider information with his disciples in verses :13-21, to which Peter responds, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” Jesus rebukes him… it is the strongest rebuke one could ever receive:

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'” :23

Beloved, are you distracted by the little things in life, the ‘things of men’? Jesus tells us, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” :25 May you have eyes for what matters most and live unhindered.

Daily Word

Matthew 15

Read Mathew 15 – Jesus,  Jesus,  Jesus…. What a wonderful name. Today, we get to walking with him on the lakeshore…. We get to watch as he takes no bologna off the Pharisees over hand washing, and teaching us what he meant in the exchange. (:1-9)

Jesus gave them (us) courage to offend the Pharisees (false teachers)  by shedding this light on them.  “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out; this defiles a person. ” :11 And regarding these hypocrites he says,  “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.” :14

The passage with the Canaanite woman is amazing whenever one is feeling insignificant. :21-28 She has been made to feel insignificant by society and Jesus kind of lets that play out. But she doesn’t let go. She reminds him that even the dogs get the crumbs that fall to the floor…. With Jesus, even a crumb is more than enough! And Jesus answers,  “O woman,  great is your faith! Be it done as you desire.” :28

We walk with Jesus beside the Sea of Galilee, and up a hillside as he teaches and heals people for three days.  Then he feeds them by once again giving thanks for the seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Gratitude can turn not enough into plenty with Jesus. 

Beloved, what do you need to seek Jesus over today? Will you carve out some quiet time to be with him?

Daily Word

Matthew 14

Read Mathew 14 – Pride and compassion. Our chapter begins with Herod in torment of a guilty conscience over his order to behead John the Baptist.

I get quesy, heartbroken and outraged when I read what transpired. I wonder if my emotions are like Jesus’s: “Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place. ” :13

Some things in life just don’t make sense. Herod acted in pride…. Pride can get a person into a world of trouble, and innocent people fall victim all the time.

Yet the people would not be held back from Jesus. They followed on foot. “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. ” :14

That is our Savior, Jesus. He needed a moment of solitude then he was able to shift from those emotions to compassion for the people who sought him…. People like you and me.

Fantastic things happen from there so I won’t take up anymore of your time. As always. Happy reading~

Daily Word

Matthew 13

Read Matthew 13 – Fresh fish today! I like parables. I like it when a picture is painted with words to illustrate a truth. I have grown immensely from each of these parables, but today, the Holy Spirit is drawing my heart closest to The Parable of the Net.

“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.” :47-48

I once had a piece of halibut in Alaska that was so good I think I cried! It sat like warm butter on my tongue, with just a hint of sweetness. I could hardly chew and swallow because I wanted the perfection to last. I am certain that fish was swimming in the sea just hours before he made it to my plate. I was grateful to experience him.

I’ve also brought fish home from the market only to realize it was bad fish. It looked delicious in the market, but even through the wrapping it stunk up the kitchen. It went straight to the garbage. It was not worthy of being in my house, much less served to my family.

Beloved, we love people who are bad fish, they may look good on the outside, but their hearts are not redeemed. They will be cast down into the fiery furnace. No one likes to think of themselves in this way, but Jesus is not fooled. A bad fish reeks of foulness and a good fish is a delight in every way.

Now, imagine that you and I are having a conversation. We have both just read Chapter 13, and now we get to talk about what hit home. Beloved, that is what I imagine when I post… that the chapter stirs up something in your heart, and that seeing what was stirred in mine inspires you to share as well with whomever is around you. May your joy keep you fresh and inspire those around you to seek Jesus for themselves.

Daily Word

Matthew 12

Read Matthew 12 – Legalism in practice is the craziest thing. My husband and I traveled to Israel in 2019 and had a peek at life under the law. As travelers, we stayed in very nice hotels, but on the Sabbath odd things happened. One of the strangest things to me was the elevator. It had a Shabbat mode where it operated without lights and stopped on every floor so that one would not be guilty of doing the work of pushing the elevator button.

In our chapter, the disciples got hungry, plucked and ate some heads of grain on the Sabbath. The Pharisees accused them of acting unlawfully because of this.

Jesus brings reasonableness to the law with Old Testament accounts of grace, and plainly states. “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” :7-8

The Pharisees took God’s good and perfect law and imposed ridiculous levels of legalism into it – while considering themselves above the law. What a discouraging way to live.

But the crowds sought Jesus for healing and he did heal ALL on the Sabbath. :15 (ALL is a very cool word in the bible…it doesn’t mean most or some or a few, all means all and that’s all that all means.) Their faith took the action of coming to Jesus believing he could heal them and he blessed their faith with healing. It was a spectacular day!

And that’s why we’re all here, reading the Word. We show up in faith to know real Jesus in truth and love. The world is like the Pharisees, pointing fingers and making accusations about Jesus. Yet here he is in Scripture, saving a wretch like me.

Daily Word

Matthew 11

Read Matthew 11 – Love is a battlefield – the fight for souls is a battlefield – God Almighty longs for us so much that he sent Jesus into our fallen world to live a sinless life, die on the Cross and be resurrected for our atonement; Jesus is our Salvation. His very life paid the cost of our sin… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Jesus and John the Baptist have a conversation through John’s disciples, as John was in prison. John wanted to know if Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. Jesus offers the fruit of his ministry as evidence… Anyone could say yes, but the fruit, the healings, restored life even from the dead, and the Good News preached confirm Jesus’s legitimacy. (:1-6) The fruit of one’s life confirms who they are more than their words.

We live in perilous times; evil no longer tries to hide. The battle continues to escalate and verse :12 is a wake-up to the battle at hand. Jesus says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Jesus says: “To what can I compare this generation: They are like children sitting in the market-places calling out to others: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ “ :16-17

Beloved, may your faith be strong and wise. May Jesus meet you in your prayers to fiercely protect and snatch those otherwise perishing. Do not be like these people Jesus speaks of who are so blinded by the world’s expectations that they miss the truth of who Jesus is and the Salvation that he freely gives.

Take heart in what Jesus offers when he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Daily Word

Matthew 10

Read Matthew 10 – Something big is happening. Yes, it is time to get to work. The twelve apostles have been present in Jesus’s ministry, watching him calm waves, heal the sick and lame, and raise the dead to life. They heard him teach with wisdom and authority far beyond anyone else. And now Jesus is empowering them to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (:1) He is sending them to the lost sheep of Israel with the message that the kingdom of heaven is near. (:5-7)

Pay attention and note that these men were ordinary, apart from Jesus. Perhaps you need to be reminded, Jesus does the extraordinary through ordinary people. He had great and specific work for the twelve, and he has work for you too. Listen and walk close to Jesus. You are important. There are things only you can do. There are people only you can reach.

But back to our passage, notice Jesus tells them to preach, to heal, raise from the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons and give freely as they have freely received. He tells them not to take provisions of any kind. These are unique instructions for this mission. Jesus warns them it will be perilous.

Jesus says some challenging things like verses :34-39. It is not time to be pleasant and sugar coat things regardless of the cost. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” :39

This news would shake the Jewish culture. Jesus changes everything.

Daily Word

Matthew 9

Read Matthew 9 – How do you see yourself and where does Jesus fit in? We meet all kinds of people with all kinds of issues in our chapter. Is there one that speaks to you above the others? Perhaps it is the paralytic man carried by his friends, all with faith that Jesus could see? Maybe it’s the calling of Matthew, a loathsome tax collector? Was it the boisterous blind men, who relentlessly called out to Jesus in faith that they could be healed? Are you as persistent with your needs?

For me, the woman who touched Jesus’s garment will always remind me of the way I fell in love with Jesus. Her infirmary was bleeding; mine was insecurity. Like her, I only felt worthy to touch the hem of his garment. And Jesus lifted both of us from our shame; he saw us, healed us, and gave us a brand new life! “And Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘Your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” :22

The way Jesus changes lives is absolutely beautiful!

Many people, religious people, worldly people, rich people, spiritual people and others will say they are fine. They don’t NEED Jesus. And what does Jesus do and say? He dines with the ‘sinners’ and tends to the sick; the healthy do not need a doctor. (:9-13) Beloved, we all have ‘fine’ people in our lives who do not think they need a Savior. Jesus made them think twice that day, as you will by continuing to love and celebrate the brand new life he has given you. May your joy make them thirsty – Amen.