“When He asks, “What do you want?” Jesus is asking us, “What do you really want for your life, because you have to know this going in. You can’t just follow Me without understanding what following Me means, and at some point you have to stop being constantly stirred but never compelled enough to take action”
–This is the idea from “Alice in Wonderland”, when she says, “I give myself some very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.” But this goes a step further…a giant step. Because this choice is based upon an eternal relationship, which is of utmost importance.
“teasing God, not being serious about wanting Him”
–How do you feel about someone who is a “fair weather friend”? Do you trust the word of that person? Make plans around their promises? Know for certainty that they “have your back” in adversity? Do you think God feels any different when we offer excuses for every time we don’t make good on our promises? When we say we are devoted, but there is no real convincing evidence of it? If we knew Him…truly knew Him…we’d never even begin to consider “teasing” Him.
“the world’s “more” looks good on the outside but winds up being an empty wrapper”
–I call this “I got what I asked for, but not what I wanted.” Matthew 6 reminds us that God knows what we need. How much heartache are we spared when we ask Him what we need!
“The abundance of our life here on earth is about how much we interact with the Keeper of Eternity.”
–This…this all-important relationship…is what gives everything in life a heavenly flavor, and a real, gratifying, lasting purpose.
“Since He is the keeper of our hearts, He knows when it is truly all His. He’s heard us make halfway commitments before. He’s heard us say “I need to” until we’re blue in the face. And He knows that when trouble comes, our intentions will not be enough to keep us upright.”
–He knows if we are sincere. These conditional commitments, half-way investments of ourselves…do we believe He takes them seriously, when He looks on our hearts? I think it must be heart rending for Him to hear our lukewarm words, and then watch us flounder and fail…again…because those words had no sticking power to begin with.
“When we say words like “anything for You, God” but we mean “anything but this, God”, His heart is grieved.”
–Can we name anything right now in this moment that we will not hand over to Him? A relationship? A habit? A hope? Then we are not “sold out” to Him. We are still enslaved by our own fleshly ambition. We are robbing ourselves of the freedom, joy, pure and absolute fulfillment of putting our “all on the altar”.
“…when God brings revival, He brings Himself”
–Now THAT is an exciting thought! Revival is about MORE awareness of God.
“You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
–I wonder about the people who heard Jesus make this declaration, less than half a century later. Did those who were still on this earth remember?
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“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
–I don’t think we read this with the punch intended behind it. Our tendency, especially when things are repeated, is to get weak in our rendering. But each of these seven pronouncements is building to a crescendo.
“The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
–We make some grave mistakes in our evaluation of others. We look for those who might be good “church material”…ones who would fit in. We need to stop that. There are plen…
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
–This seems awfully simple, right? But…when was the last time you exerted yourself to perform this well, for a day? Love God supremely, with every thought, word, motive, deed,…
Ruth Christison As I have soaked up the teachings of Jesus in the book of Matthew so far, I can’t help but marvel at how many times people tried to trip Him up and each and every time He defeated them with Scripture. It wasn’t by His own power but with the Word that …See More
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“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
–We are often very hard on the Pharisees and Sadducees, for their hypocrisy and critical attitudes. BUT..do we not do the same? Do we not ask this question ourselves, when we know what we ought to do, but we choose disobedience? When we compartmentalize our lives into “things God can have a say in” and “things that are my business”? Yes, I know…my toes hurt too. Since He made…
“I Want God”, pp 18 (“More”) to end of 20.
“Aren’t we quick to jump toward Jesus, but slow to walk the journey out with Him?”
–Pretty much the case with any big change we make in life. We jump in with enthusiasm, but when things become difficult, or seem to be a drudgery (some days living a life of obedience can feel this way…when it is choices, choices, choices…and none of them very fun), we lose our momentum. What keeps us going?
“Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me…”
–We spoke of this just a few days ago. There were many who did not understand what the scriptures had to say about the Messiah. You cannot read/know prophecies like those found in Isaiah 53, and expect this Lamb of God to take a role as mighty earthly king, determined to rule the world in peace and rid it of all its inju…
“And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.”
–Several things to think about here. First, was this mother’s request one of audacity? Or was the Lord Jesus just that approachable that she had no fear in a…
Nicole Elliott It’s so fascinating to me how my generation is now suffering because of parents who were overly “helpful” and taught children that they were the most important, special people and that everything should be handed to them. Always awesome how the Bible teaches lessons it takes the “experts” centuries to realize
“Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”
–So, here is where my brain has parked today. Two things, actually. I’ve been engaged in conversations before with ladies who grew up in Christian home, went to Christian school, Christian college, etc. and the idea was that I was “more saved” than they were because I grew up in an unsaved home, and did not come to Chris…