NT in 30 days: Day 2

14 01 2008

I was able to complete Matthew tonight. Truly, what a blessing even to read Matthew in two brief sittings.

  • Jesus was not afraid of the Sadducees or Pharisees. When questioned by them, He would respond but He would quite often insult them in His response (Matthew 21:31, Matthew 21:43-45, Matthew 22:29, etc.)
  • Jesus continues to speak in parables and He attempts to prepare our hearts for God’s truth. He teaches in love but not in fear.
  • As He prepared His disciples for the day He would leave, He continued to prophesy of His death and crucifixion.
  • Matthew 16:24-28 is Scripture I should commit to memory. Jesus tells his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt. 16:24, 25) I do need to do more research on Matthew 16:28. This passage always challenges me.
  • Matthew 19:26 is a great verse to remember: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
  • Every time the Pharisees and Sadducees tested Jesus, He always amazed (or marveled) them with His response. They continued to try to catch Him but they were never able.
  • Matthew 22:37-40 (The Great Commandment) is another great piece of Scripture to commit to memory.
  • As Jesus prepares His disciples by explaining to them the end times, I am reminded of the fact that His return will come “like a thief in the night”. I need to be prepared every hour of every day as if it is the last.
  • Reading over the events of the crucifixion make me want to weep.  The way that they treat Him and tortured Him.  Unfortunately, I am no better.  My actions and my words trample Jesus under foot just as painfully.  This is how I need to think of my sin instead of nonchalant.
  • Matthew closes with one of the most memorable passages (The Great Commission): “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18b-20)

NT in 30 days: Day 1

13 01 2008

My goal is to read the New Testament in 30 days or so… I am not “time boxing” myself because I don’t want to stop if I lose traction but I am setting goals for this effort.  I read/listened to Matthew 1-14 tonight.  As I skim back through what I read, I can easily highlight some key points:

  • God works in amazing ways!  He sent His angels to guide and project Mary and Joseph.  Mary and Joseph’s obedience was inspiring — it gives great example to how we should respond to Him.
  • Matthew wants to make sure that the reader  ties the events to the prophecy spoken in the OT (Matthew 2:15,  Matthew 2:17, 18, Matthew 3:3, Matthew 4:14-16, etc.)
  • Early in Jesus’s ministry, He identified people who were laymen to do His will.  It reminds me of a sermon recently done at my church where pastor Bo reminded us that God equips those whom He calls.  He doesn’t call those who are already equipped.  Again, it was inspiring to take note on how quickly these men responded to Jesus by leaving what they were doing to follow him.
  • The Sermon on the Mount has lots of great info… just some tidbits that stood out this time:
    • Starts by really helping us to remember that Jesus coming to earth wasn’t a new thing — it was a fulfillment of the Law and the things which the Prophets spoke of.
    • Matthew 7:1 is always a key verse to remember: “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
    • Matthew 7:21-23 is a great reminder that there are many who say that they know Him but He will tell them on the final day that He knew them not and they will be cast into the fire.
  • Matthew moves from the Sermon on the Mount to many of Jesus’s miracles.
  • Matthew 8:20 really stood out to me in this reading — “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
  • In several situations, when Jesus performed miracles, the people of the region wanted Him to leave.  They didn’t see Him as the Christ, but thought of Him as a man of the devil.
  • Matthew then tells us the story of Jesus calling His twelve apostles and sending them out to the lost sheep of Israel.
  • The Pharisees were so threatened by Him that every time He performed miracles, they conspired more and more to kill Him.  Again, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
  • I still struggle with the sin against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31, 32).  I need to do more meditation and research on this point.  I am not sure I can speak clearly about this point.
  • Matthew 12:36, 37 is another key verse to commit to memory and meditate upon:  “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  This is a major sin area in my life that I have to ask for God’s help in improving.
  • Jesus spoke in parables to the people.  The disciples asked why and he answered them (Matthew 13:11-17).
  • Jesus was committed to His ministry.  Quite often, He didn’t sleep.  When He tried to be alone, people would follow.  He continued to have compassion upon them and minister to them.