Scripture: When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:53-58 NIV
Observation: Jesus returns to his hometown and teaches in the synagogue.
Application: I have been given this message in the past as I read these passages I realized that as Christians, our pasts can haunt us. Whether we are in the position of son, brother, father, or coworker, what we were before we became Christians can impede our testimony to those that know us best. I believe that I must pray for consistency in my walk so that my current life speaks louder than my former.
Prayer: Father, help me to model consistency in my walk so that my family and friends know that there is something different in my life that they want to partake in. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Genesis 13:10 NIV
Observation: Abrahm and Lot part company.
Application: As I read today I was initially struck by the fact that Lot knew what “the garden of the Lord,” Eden, looked like. I wasn’t really sure what lesson that fact would teach me so I decided to read on and ponder. As I continued to think about this passage I realized the obvious, Lot jumped at the chance to seize the “best” and let his uncle have the left-overs. How often do we do the same thing? Instead of asking for guidance from God, we latch onto what is the most pleasing at the moment only to find disaster in the end. Lot lost his family and his possessions because the “best” ended up being the worst and God destroyed it all in the end. Abrahm trusted God, took the left-overs and ended up being the father of God’s chosen people. We shouldn’t trust in our fleshly desires; just like Abrahm, we should trust in the Lord.
Prayer: Father, help me to rely on you and not on my earthly urges. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NIV
Observation: Words from Jesus.
Application: Laurie, this passage spoke to me for you this morning. I know that you’re tired and worn out, Jesus wants you to find the rest that you need in him. Don’t look to me, the kids, church or work, look to the Lord. I love you have a great day.
Prayer: Father, give Laurie rest, peace of mind and a calmness in her spirit as she rests in you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19,20 NIV
Observation: Jesus is sending his disciples out to their missions.
Application: Have you ever wondered “how will I do that?” or “what will I say if…?” Matthew 10:19 & 20 answers your questions. The Holy Spirit will give you the ability to accomplish the task or the words to utter. We can’t do anything on our own power but with the Holy Spirit, I believe that we can do all things!
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit who gives me the ability to live. Amen
Scripture: The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Genesis 3:21-23 NIV
Observation: I had a thought about these passages but it escaped me. I know that by re-reading them it sure appears that God had created heaven on earth and man forsook his life of ease for a life of pain and suffering.
Application: It’s a shame that man seems to ruin everything that God creates.
Prayer: Father, I’m sorry for what we have done with your creation. Amen
Scripture: Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19 NIV
Observation: Jesus is talking of the church at Laodicea. This is the luke-warm church that is about to be “spit out!” They are neither hot nor cold. He is closing his words to John about that church with a reminder to learn from discipline when it is administered.
Application: If a parent loves his child he will discipline him instead of letting him learn that running into traffic is dangerous by allowing him to actually be hit by a car. The difference is teaching a valuable lesson and a trip to the hospital or worse. I am not a Theologian but I do know that there are occasions throughout scripture where God’s name must be translated as “daddy.” In this passage I believe that he wants us to know him as “daddy” and he wants, just like our earthly fathers, for us to heed his discipline and know that it is given for our own good.
Prayer: Daddy, thank you for loving me so much that you will show me when I sin and allow me to make amends and learn from my mistakes. Amen
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
Scripture: Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 NIV
Observation: Jesus visits the disciples in the upper room before ascending into heaven.
Application: When we receive the Holy Spirit we receive great power. We are able to forgive or not forgive another’s sins. That’s a tremendous responsibility.
Prayer: Father, I pray that I don’t misunderstand or misuse the power of the Holy Spirit. My wish is to honor you in all that I do and to humbly display your love to others. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
Observation: Happiness and joy when we face trials and tribulation? Yes, because of what is produced–perseverance which leads to maturity.
Application: I must pray for the strength to endure trials and hardships when they present themselves.
Prayer: Father, help me to withstand difficult times in my life when they occur. I desire the maturity which is promised. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27,28 NIV
Observation: Christ is our one-time sacrifice and our one-time means to heavenly salvation.
Application: I must honor His sacrifice; to not is to ask Jesus to continually suffer for my behavior.
Prayer: Father, I pray that I do not fail to honor your Son’s sacrifice for my sinful nature. Thank you Jesus. Amen