Daily Word

Matthew 17:24-27

Read Matthew 17:24-27 – The Lord works in mysterious ways. Let’s take a look at this crazy unfolding of events that close chapter 17.

The tax collector raises a question with Peter over Jesus paying Temple tax. Notice that Jesus responds without Peter even asking a question(:25). And he makes Peter think through the logic… Rabbi’s don’t pay tax so why would Jesus? Yet Jesus would rather not cause offense, so he provides the tax by way of miracle(:26).

Lesson one, pick your battles.

Now, Peter is a fisherman. He fishes with nets and brings in lots of fish. Jesus tells him to simply cast a hook and catch only one fish, saying that he will find the money in the fish’s mouth. Peter’s obedience shows a sweet degree of faith and humility by not pointing out how weird and unlikely this is.

Lesson two, when Jesus speaks, just do it. Throw practicalities and ego to the side, and do what he says.

The last sentence in our chapter Jesus says to take the money and give it to them to pay for his tax and Peters. This is even bigger than it seems. Jesus didn’t owe the tax, but he paid it… much like he would lead a sinless life, but pay the cost of sin which is death. AND, he covered Peter’s tax as well much like his sacrificial death would pay the cost for my sin and yours.

Lesson three, Beloved believer, your sins are covered. You are free. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:35

P.s. I’m going to a retreat this week and will be focusing on all that God has for me there. I pray you press on in your reading and we can catch up next week. God bless us all!

Daily Word

Acts 20

Read Acts 20 – It’s like a divine scavenger hunt.  Did you discover the miracle?  The treasure? The drive?  The blessing? 

First, Paul is saying goodbye to the believers in Troas, and no one wants the preaching to end.  He goes on until midnight.  One believer, Eutychus, was lulled to sleep, causing him to fall to his death from the 3rd story.  Paul took him into his arms and declared, “Don’t worry.  He is alive,” :10.  And sure enough the man was taken home, alive and well, :12.  MIRACLE! 

Paul moves on the next day by land and sea to Ephesus.  There he declares the message, simply and clearly:  “I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike – the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”  :21.  Beloved, that is the TREASURE! 

And Paul speaks about his hardships, and the fact that he provided for himself, and he is glad for it because he knows he represented Jesus full and well.  “I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know,” :26-27.  DRIVE! 

And Paul leaves them with this assurance:  “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself,” :32.  And that, Beloved, is the BLESSING! 

My prayer for all of us is that we see these things in Acts 20, and that we see these things in our own lives as well.  Beloved, be aware and alive to the miracles, treasure, drive and blessings that are all part of a life lived for Jesus our Savior!