Daily Word

Matthew 20

Read Matthew 20 – It’s not fair; it is grace.  The economy of Jesus is based on who he is and not what we do.  It is very strange to us earthlings.  In Christ, we get his mercy and not what we deserve. 

The parable of the vineyard workers displays this concept in verses :1-16.  All the workers get fair pay of a day’s wage whether they worked all day, or only showed up at the end.  How did you feel about this?  Were you happy to see those hired on last getting paid as if they had worked all day?  Did your heart expect those hired first to get a bit extra?  

Jesus predicts his death again.  Beloved, there are things going on all around us as we navigate life in this broken world, but one thing remains the most important – Jesus lived, bled, died and was resurrected so that we could have eternal life with him.  Whatever is happening in your life right now, do not get too far away from the loving truth of the Cross.

Jesus asks a question, “What do you want?” He first asks James and John’s mother :21, and then he asks the blind men :32.  

The mother does not understand what she is asking for and Jesus tells her exactly that.  The motive was wrong; it was essentially for prestige. Jesus said NO.  Can you think of a time Jesus said NO to you?  It doesn’t take much hindsight to know what a blessing a NO is!

Now the blind men stirred Jesus’ heart to compassion.  They received the blessing of sight they asked for and their response is wonderful.  Verse :34 concludes with, “Instantly they could see!  Then they followed him.”  

Beloved, may this wake you up to the joy of your Salvation!  You are saved, follow Jesus in gratitude for this gift that he earned on the Cross and freely gave to you.

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 3

Read Matthew 3 – Revival! Meet John the Baptist – he’s an odd duck, hanging out in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey (which I understand to be quite nutritious), wearing strange attire, preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ” And yet Scripture records that masses were going out to him to be baptized (:5).

Revival is like that, it sweeps through, awakening souls to the deep need to repent and be saved.

Even the religious leaders came out, and John was not about to let them fake it. He called them a brood of vipers and told them there would be no resting on their pedigrees. John’s simple statement is the true sign of a born again life, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. ” :8

Beloved, does your life stand up to this? Every day is a second chance for a brand new start.

And in the midst of this revival, Jesus shows up! This was an important moment in his rescue mission. Jesus stepped in the place of sinful man, was baptized and rose from that water… it’s so beautiful… you simply must read it from your bible and not merely this encouragement.

Did you identify with John when he felt ill equipped to baptize Jesus (:14)…. Remember, if Jesus calls you to something, he will make you able. And, as God spoke those words over Jesus, did your heart leap for joy(:17)?

Beloved, pray for revival to sweep through your family, friends, workplace, community, our nation and the whole world. Wear your joy like a banner. The kingdom of heaven is near.