March 2, 2019
DAY 63: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Focus Verse For Today: 25:41-46
Take a few moments to seek the Lord’s guidance for our journey through Matthew 23-25. We have plenty of time, so take that thing that’s on your mind to the Lord. Sure you’ll be interested in His direction on it. Now, it’s time, to journey through Matthew 23-25!
Chapter 23 begins with Jesus chastising the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. Jesus tells us to obey their teaching regarding the law of Moses, but ignore the rest. Jesus tells us that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees are phonies and to not emulate them. (Matthew 23:1-12) Jesus pronounces seven woes (holy curses) on the teachers of the law and the Pharisees:
1. That their false teachings block people seeking the kingdom of God,
2. That they turn their followers to sinful practices,
3. They instruct people to bind their faith with materialism and not God (Jesus),
4. They neglect caring for the needs of the people thereby neglecting God’s creation,
5. They present an outward appearance of righteousness while delighting in sin in their hearts.
6. God focuses on the heart of the individual. The teaches of the law and Pharisees had a heart problem. See number 5.
7. Their hearts were no different from those of their predecessors who killed the prophets of old. In fact, Jesus continues that they shall continue to murder the prophets that shall come and mentions crucify, which references Jesus Himself.
Jesus did not hold back on warning His audience at the Temple that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees were hypocrites, and not be followed or admired for anything other than their teachings concerning the law of Moses. (Matthew 23:13-39) (Matthew 23:1-39)
In chapter 24, Jesus teaches regarding the destruction of the temple. Jesus teaches His disciples that signs of the end times include false teachings, persecution of Christians, and that His gospel will be taught in all nations. (Matthew 24:1-14) Jesus’ return will not be a secret event. All will see Him coming! All will see Him coming! Let there be no mistake about this: All will see Him coming! The sun and moon will go dark. The stars will fall from the sky. The heavenly bodies will be shaken. Jesus will gather the elect (saved) with a loud trumpet blast. Wow! This is not a quiet return. (Matthew 24:14-35)
Jesus teaches the disciples that no one, except the Father, knows when He will return, therefore it is important to be ready at all times. (Matthew 24:36-51)
In chapter 25, Jesus tells two parables, The Parable of the Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Bags of Gold, which teach us to be ready for His return at all times. (Matthew 25:1-30) Our focus verses for today:
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46, NIV)
Jesus begins by telling His disciples that upon His return, the redeemed and the lost will be separated like a shepherd separates his sheep from his goats. The redeemed will be directed to right and the lost will be directed to the left. Jesus continues teaching that it important that God views our love for Him through our actions toward the less fortunate in life. How do we respond to the hungry, the thirsty, a stranger, a person in need of clothing, someone sick, or in prison. How do you respond? How do you respond? How do you…………………?
In our world of surrogate living, this is a very difficult passage. It is a passage of condemnation. It is a passage of sorrow, for God truly wants us all to join Him in eternal joy. God, unlike His fallen creation, keeps His word. Once the end comes, there is no turning back for us. Game is on! No more time to prepare.
We all have walked by a homeless person living in the cities of the world. We have all had a homeless person ask for money as we pass by them. We have all crossed to the other side of the street when we encountered that person screaming at no one as we approached them. We have all…. You think the coming question is what did you do? It is not! Warm up your brain - break out the journal! The question is, what are you thinking when you approach these people? What are you thinking? Are you thinking why don’t you get a job? Are you thoughts leaning toward the person you encountered as being disgusting? God knows our thoughts. We just read what He expects from us. God doesn’t accept excuses. We’ve been snared. We’ve be caught right in our own minds. Don’t reach for the “but” file because God does not recognize the “but” file. Fundamentally, what you think of the person you pass on the street is what you think of God. Ugly thought, isn’t it. Take out your journals! Time to contemplate! How are you, you personally, going to change this aspect of your life? Keep in mind, God is interested in your personal involvement, not your keen skill of delegation. Godspeace!
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