Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Have a Little Faith

Scripture:   Matthew 7-Matthew 9

Observation:  Faith.  Faith.  More Faith.  Faith enough to believe that we don’t have to judge.  Faith enough to obey.  Faith enough that Jesus can heal us with a word or if we touch HIM!  Faith enough to believe that God will forgive sins.  Faith to leave it all behind and follow Jesus.  Faith Faith Faith.  Also, did you see that Peter was married!  Had you ever thought about being Peter’s wife?  That must have been hard! 

But what hit me hardest was the CEV version of 9:13.  Jesus says it when he is at Matthew’s house!.  “Go and learn what the Scriptures mean when they say, `Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others.' I didn't come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners."’

Application:  Too often I look for what the scriptures say instead of looking at what God means by them.  Our faith isn’t black and white, its gray.  Its not about making sacrifices, its about loving God and loving others.  Those are the sacrifices (and often harder than giving up meat for burning!)  Its about inviting people to know God and inviting those who are unloved to be loved.  I need to invite more, love more, and have more faith!

Prayer:  O GOD!  Heal us.  Heal our spirits!  Heal our bodies!  Heal our faith!  Let us believe like those in these stories.  Let us act like you would have us act.  Let us heal with your power.  May we always see those who you need us to help, to love, and to change.  Let our eyes be open to their pain, our tongues be quick to love them, and our hands be ready to help them.  Amen

Pastor Emily

Scriptures Coming UP!
June 9-- Matthew 10- Matthew 12
June 10-- Matthew 13-Matthew 15
June 11-- Matthew 16 - Matthew 18
June 12-- Matthew 19-Matthew 21
June 13-- Matthew 22-Matthew 24
June 14-- Matthew 25-Matthew 27


Anonymous said...

I found the plank in my own eye today. Actually feels more like I got hit over the head with it! Praying for help to remove it.

Julie W. said...

Jesus was the celebrity of his time. Crowds of people ran to see Him - some coming to be healed, and others coming to watch and see if He could really do it (the curious), and others that just wanted to be close to such a person. The Pharisees also came to scorn and deride his successes. Sounds so much like today, with many doubting the power of God in our own midst even when faced with Godly miracles that we can visually witness with our own eyes. It is because of the power of God in my own life that I believe,but oh to have the faith that Jesus speaks of (to believe even though I have not seen it for myself, like the centurion.) Now that is true faith. I continue to pray for that in my life. God is still working on me and for that I am thankful (I need the t-shirt - "Under Construction" :)

Sara Armstrong said...

The best definition of faith I every read is:

When you come to the end of all the light that you know and are about to step out into the darkness of the unknown,faith is the assurance that you will either find a firm place to stand or you will be taught how to fly.

I pray for faith not just on the mountain tops but in the dark valleys of life.

Eve Rainey said...

There were quite a number of displays of faith in these passages and Jesus was overwhelming busy! I love that he took the time to acknowledge all who sought him. I'm reading the Message Bible for this study and two passages stuck out at me today from Matthew 7:13-14 - "Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention." And then further in verses 21-23 it reads: "Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'

Being a Christian and following God's will is not a hobby and isn't to be practiced so that others think well of you, it requires total devotion and dedication in all thoughts, words and actions. Heavenly Father, I want my full attention to be on you and to do, say and think in a way that pleases you.

Lindsay said...

A few things stood out to me that I was going to write about, but right when I finished my reading and reflection, Ansley woke up from her nap early with a really sad and scared cry (like she was having a bad dream). So, I scooped her up and comforted her and rocked for for a while. Soon, she was back to sleep. I was sitting there staring at this sweet 17 month old in my lap and my mind went to some the scripture I had just read... "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to other what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets." Matthew 7:7-12.

I had always focused on the last part when reading this portion of scripture, the "golden rule", since I had heard it so often. But now, reading this passage for the first time as a mom, I was brought to tears sitting there holding my daughter. The imperfect human that I am, I have such love and desire to provide for my daughter. If she were to ask me for bread, I certainly wouldn't give her a stone instead. She needed comforting in the middle of her nap, I could not deny her the comfort she needed.

Knowing that helps me to get a glimpse at how much God cares for us. He gives us so many good gifts, ones that I often overlook or take for granted, but today, I am once again, swept away in His love. He loves us and He desires to give us good gifts, to fill our hearts with joy and gratitude. And today, through this scripture, He provided and filled my heart with joy, once again.

Lindsay said...

I forgot to check the "email follow-up comments" box... doing that now... just ignore this post :-)

Mom&Dad said...

I, too, Lindsay, focused on the gifts that a parent would give to their child. When I think about that with respect to God as our Father, I am in awe at what He would do for me if I just asked - as a child - with purity of heart and sincerity in my faith. I am also in awe that my faith is within me, not something someone can give me, not something I have earned, but something that I have to truly believe - from the depths of my soul. And with that pure faith, miracles can still happen. I strive every day to truly believe and to develop my faith so that nothing comes between me and my relationship with our Father in Heaven.

Lynne Watts said...

I love that Matthew writes his own story in the midst of the stories (Matt9:9). It's like having a book with a picture of one of the characters holding a mirror that shows the character holding a mirror,etc. I think Matthew has almost given us an unending list of the many ways that Jesus made a difference in someone's life and hidden in the middle is his own story... What faith Matthew must have had!

Carol Flores said...

God said these things to me through today's reading == "Look in the mirror and change yourself before you judge others through that window that is clouded by your sins" (7:5) == "I don't just want idle words, I want to really KNOW you" (7:23). == "Realize the power of the spoken word (8:8, 8:16) and of your faith "(7:7, 8:10, 9:22, 9:29).
The Pharisees, the scribes, and the "disciples of John" are all beginning to question Jesus' actions. These are supposed to be the "religiously educated"!! Why don't they see who Jesus really is? Even the demons in 8:29 acknowledge Jesus as Son of God!! Jesus becomes a celebrity of sorts which results in great multitudes coming to him. For me, verses 9:36-38 sum it all up. Jesus was moved with compassion as He realized just how many lost people in the world need help. He prayed to God to send workers for the harvest. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THESE WORKERS !! Please God don't let my earthly "education" and my prideful sin cloud my eyes from seeing who you need me to help you harvest.

Mary said...

Matthew wants us to know about the authority the people see and hear in Jesus. The people listening to his teaching say he speaks like one with authority. The people who ask for healing say he has authority to heal, even from afar. The demons recognize it and now the Pharisees are questioning it. Jesus has the authority to heal, to calm the storm, to show the way to heaven, to forgive sins and to ask us to follow him! I need to follow him and help in the harvest!