Posts Tagged ‘Matthew’


Deuteronomy 19 (HCSB) “When the Lord your God annihilates the nations whose land He is giving you, so that you drive them out and live in their cities and houses, you are to set apart three cities for yourselves within the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess… You must purge the evil from you. Then everyone else will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything evil like this among you. You must not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.”

For a religion that is undergirded by love, mercy and grace, today’s chapter questions the very fabric of that belief – or does it? (more…)

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Genesis 48:1,3-5,17-19 (ESV) After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim… And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are… When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”

Why do all good things have to come to an end one wonders and that is the reality of life. Israel (Jacob) lived a full life and walked in the ways of the Lord.

His life was not easy until the end but his faith was and even though he did not fully see God’s promise of making him the father of the nations and blessing him with his land, he still remained faithful.

Is today a reminder of Jacob’s blessing to Joseph and his sons or is there more to this chapter? (more…)


Matthew 27:27-31
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

After 27 days of following the life of Jesus Christ through the gospel of Matthew, we seem to have reached the end of his life. All those years of humble selfless service and the one eternal sacrifice of his life penned in a few chapters seems so little but amounted to an event that would be etched into the hearts and minds of billions of people over the years. Many would never believe that Jesus was anything more than a great teacher, a prophet maybe and at most a saint but few would actually be able to believe in him and be willing to submit their lives in his service. What is the mystery to this man and his life? If he was the son of God, why would we, the world, find it difficult to accept him as God’s son?

To answer that question, we need to ask ourselves what is it that we are looking for? To me it seems like everyone of us are seeking something which we can never find in our own strength and therefore refocus our attention to things we can work towards like careers, wealth, family, friends, status, power, prestige, respect, etc. However hard we try and however successful we are, there never seems to be the satisfaction of having achieved. In Christ, the pyramid of success is reversed because we are called to serve him and work towards his glory, not ours, because that was the purpose of our lives. We are called to bless those around us with all that we have and share the good news and in everything seek God’s glory, not ours. In this we have the most amazing gift of sharing eternity in God’s presence much after our earthly bodies rot into dust on this earth and we are a forgotten. Are you satisfied with where you are heading?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

 

Seasons of Change

Seasons of Change

 


Matthew 26:6-15

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

 

Today’s chapter was the meatiest of the 26 we have studied to date in the gospel of Matthew and therefore it would’ve been a challenge to understand what God wanted us to hear today. However, the 2 tales of money mentioned above caught my eye as amazing. On one side, you have the lady who spent a fortune on an expensive perfume and poured it into Jesus’ hair and on the other side, Judas offers to lead Jesus’ enemies to Jesus for a lot of money. When you look at the question asked by the disciples and the one asked by Judas, don’t you see such an amazing contrast. On one side, the disciples are asking if all that money was worth pouring on Jesus’s head and on the other, Judas is trying to understand how much Jesus’ head was worth? What a crazy contrast?

In your eyes, what is the cost you are willing to pay to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is there any value that you can put to following Christ when you are guaranteed that following him means walking against the grain of this world resulting in persecution? Are you trying to weigh the cost? If you are, know this that the gain of loosing yourself to Christ is to share eternity in heaven with him, long after our physical bodies turn to dust on this earth. It’s about spiritual blessings that far outweigh all the material blessings this world has to offer and a chance to communicate with your maker which we were robbed off by our sinfulness and filthiness that stands no ground before God the father.

In His Loving Service,

Vineet

Journey to the misty summit

Journey To The Misty Summit

 

 


Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

 

As we continue through the book of Matthew, we see God’s power at work in the lives of those who are at the end of their rope and need a savior. In all this, there are skeptics always ready to point fingers and make a mockery of what God does and that is frustrating to read. However, we have to be careful about judging these skeptics because we have been skeptics and unbelievers ourselves and have probably shared in the sin of condoning God’s work and his creation. We are the reason he was nailed to the cross and every time we sin, it must seem to him like the nails are being pierced in harder.

However, to the Lord, knowing that he was going to be sacrificed like a lamb was not what mattered. His concern was to help those in need and to shepherd them in the right direction. This was and is his burden and his instruction for us to pray for more workers with such a heart is key to our prayer life today. We need to ask God to give us his heart to serve the suffering and pray for God to add more workers in his harvest field because there are so many more people in need of Christ and are waiting to be directed. The victory has been won by the Lord and the work of transforming lives is His and our part is to obediently follow in harvesting.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

 


Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, which we started reading 7 days ago in the quest to go through the new testament, a chapter a day. I’m amazed at the wisdom recorded in these pages which is probably a summation of key points that Jesus spoke during his ministry. Words that don’t just make for good reading or something that we teach our children for their development but words spoken from the mouth of God whose very words commanded the whole universe into existence.

However, the Bible and its teachings are probably not what most people would like to live by because it does not teach about a God who would act as a genie in a bottle, it does not promise a life of luxury and comfort, it does not make us bigger, famous and more powerful people but instead, it does just the opposite. We do not want to live with knowing the reality of pain, brokenness and sorrow and we are constantly trying to move to places of comfort. Jesus, however, explains to us that he sees our pain and is willing to help us but only if we are willing to admit that we have pain and need help. If we want to live in oblivion to that reality, our lives will be like the house built on the sand and it will be destroyed by the forces of evil in this world. Lets build our lives on Christ, the rock and the foundation and not on satan and his ill-conceived notions of self reliance.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet