On December 1, I began a challenge to read through the gospels in 30 days. Along with a few other good friends, it has been a great journey through the life and teachings of Jesus. My hope was to include reflections along the way and offer a place for those taking the challenge to post their reflections as well.
Due to the weekend, I read a lot and posted little. So here are just a few random reflections on I had from chapter 13-21 of Matthew.
CHAPTER 13 13:20-21 - I don't want to be without deep roots so my faith may last longer...this soil speaks of those who fall away or walk away from faith as soon as there are problems or questions. This seems to define too many college and young adults without deep enough roots to last 13:33 - Do we permeate our world like yeast? Or are we clumped up? 13:38 - THE GOSPEL IS NOT THE SEED! WE ARE THE SEED!
CHAPTER 14 14:15-16 - How often we want Jesus to just do something instead of us actually acting on things we are not only capable of, but called to do.
CHAPTER 15 15:18 - How much of my worship do I offer with my lips but not my heart? 15:15-19 - the heart, the HEART, THE HEART
CHAPTER 16 16:4 - A wicked and adulterous generation looks for miraculous signs - in the age of the "new atheism", we are a generation...a culture...a mindset not only looking for miraculous signs but demanding them 16:13-15 - Who do YOU say I am? - some say a lunatic, some say just a good man, some say only a great teacher, some say a prophet...but who do YOU say I am?
CHAPTER 17 17:17 - How long shall I stay with you? - Jesus knows he has to leave and die, but I wonder if he wonders at this moment, "Is this a good idea; leaving my Father's message and mission in the hands of these people?"
CHAPTER 18 18:7 - Things that cause people to sin - this shows us that bad things do happen in this world, and people have the choice to do horrible and bad things. These things will happen, and it is no good for the one who makes those things happen...but it is not God or Jesus who makes them happen 18:10-14 - I must not be a shepherd, because I would "count my losses" in this situation. If I leave the 99 for 1, I leave 99 at risk for that 1. This has to do with the difference between how I see the world and how God sees the world. I see it as good vs bad and he sees it as lost vs found. If I could change my perspective of the world, perhaps that 1 would be worth the risk of the 99 18:21-35 - ANY TIME I DECIDE TO LOOK DOWN ON ANYONE FOR ANY REASON (especially for not following Jesus), it is a clear indication that I have forgotten the depth of my own failure. I have forgotten how amazingly good God is
CHAPTER 19 19:16 - I noticed the rich young ruler wanted to know "what good thing" he needed to do to get eternal life...so familiar to those of us today who just want to be good enough or do enough good to get into a perfect heaven with a perfect God 19:17 - and Jesus is quick to show him he certainly is NOT going to be good enough to get eternal life...only God is truly good enough 19:18-19 - so Jesus shows him ways to be good, and the rich young ruler thinks he can accomplish these things UNTIL Jesus sets the hook in verse 21 19:21 - a good reminder that no you are NOT "good enough" 19:25 - The disciples ask the right question: "then who CAN be saved" if nobody can be "good enough" ANSWER: 19:26 - With man, impossible! With God, always possible!
CHAPTER 20 20:10-12 - Christians always think they are entitled 20:15-16 - How arrogant we are! 20:31 - WHEN THE WORLD DROWNS OUT OUR CRIES for Jesus, we have a choice. Will we just give up...OR...will we shout all the louder?
CHAPTER 21 21:9 - HOSANNA = "Save us" 21:44 - I want to be broken to pieces as I fall on the solid Rock of Christ, but I hope not to be crushed UNDER the weight of that Rock.
LISTENING TO: Sidewalk Prophets (self-titled album)