17 BSF Matthew Week 17, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

This may be hard.  It may not be what you or I want to hear, but the fact of the matter is: What I want doesn’t really matter.

It didn’t matter when Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the garden.  It didn’t matter when Satan tempted Peter.

Being a Christ-Follower means that I follow Christ.  I don’t give Him my advice on how He should do things, like I somehow have a better plan than He does.  He leads, I follow.  That’s the deal.

It isn’t that Christ doesn’t care about what we want and the desires of our heart.  He wants those things for us.  He wants us to bring them to Him and lay them at His feet.  But He also wants/expects us to trust Him, not argue with Him.

There are huge blessings in that trust.  As Jesus points out when we follow and trust in Him, we see Him in His full glory.  We experience His full power.  We don’t even have to wait until after the grave to begin living in the Kingdom, it starts now… today.

My Answers:

10.
a.
He argues with Jesus (just like the saducees) telling Him He is wrong.  Jesus says get behind me.

b.
Because of love – he did not want Him to die.

c.
When I don’t like the message that God has for me.  When I am unsure or uncomfortable with my own ability, but not relying on Him

d.
Satan

11.
a.
Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross so that sin is dead in us and we live in righteousness.  By His wounds you have been healed

b.
denial of earthly things – we will suffer on earth but see the glory of God first hand

c.
It is a choice.  We can choose to milk everything we can out of the meager minutes we have in this life or we can set that aside and focus on an everlasting life with Him.

d.
Whoever loses their life for Jesus and the gospel will save it.  To see the kingdom of God

e
What do I put above God?  What am I not willing to lay down?  By definition, that thing I put above the Lord.

12.
Some look to the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple as the rise of the new world order and the rise of Christianity.  I think this refers to the vision of Stephen to see Christ standing at the altar of God and John seeing heaven in Revelation.

17 BSF Matthew Week 17, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

1. There used to be a commercial where the actors in it wore shirts with their credit score in bold letters on the front of their shirt.  In a way, I think that is how our faith is with God.  When God looks at us, He doesn’t see muscles and bones and skin.  He doesn’t see facial expressions, hair styles, fashion.  He doesn’t see every time I have stumbled and sinned.  I mean, yes, He knows and sees all of those things, but His focus is on His Spirit in me.  Not my good deeds, but how solidly I have accepted the gift of Himself that He offered to me.  Have I accepted it fully, as it is, or have I only partially accepted it.  Have it accepted it unadulterated, or have I tried to chip away at the corners of the gift.

The cornerstone is square and true and level.  It is not adjusted by the mason to fit in with other dis-formed stones, it is not chipped away to fit into an opening, it is the first stone set that everything else builds upon.

When Jesus looked at Peter’s faith, that is what He saw.  He didn’t see Peter as supernatural.  He didn’t see Peter as having something above and beyond all other men.  He definitely did not see perfection or infallibility!  He did, however, see pure and true, square and level, faith.  Jesus is the foundation.  Jesus is the builder.  Jesus cuts the stone and provides the living stones to build His church.  That faith, the pure acceptance of the gift of the Spirit – That is the cornerstone.

2. I am seeing the message over and over again in Matthew that our words have power.  Far more power than we give them credit.

We/I can be too casual with my words or lack thereof.  Jesus taught, It isn’t what goes into us that makes us clean or unclean, it is what comes out of us.  The words we use reflect the content of our hearts.  This week we see not only that, but they have power.  Things we bind and loose on earth, have eternal impact.

I’m praying to guard my heart, to keep it true to Him so that the words that come from my mouth carry the Love of Christ with them.

My Answers:

6.
a.
Deut: Rock, Jesus, savior, but one they deserted
Matt: stumbling block – Peter putting human concerns above concerns of God
Eph: Jesus cornerstone of the teachings/foundation of the apostles & prophets (the church)
1 Pete: Living stone, being built into a holy priesthood

b.
Peter at Pentecost beginning the sermon to launch the Christian Church on earth.  Acts 2
No Foundation but Jesus

7.
The life of the church is not bound to the life of any man, neither Jesus or Peter

8.
Peter proclaimed the good news and many were saved (3000 +) both Jews and gentiles

b.
jews and gentiles

9.
a.
all disciples

b.
Words have power – blessing and curse are not mere words but carry weight.  Souls converted on Earth will have eternal life in Heaven.

17 BSF Matthew Week 17, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

The crowd can (and often is) wrong.  Many of us have a bias to popular opinion.  The majority rules.  The individual people has a say in the direction of things.

I believe this comes not so much in the faith of the populace, but in a lack of faith and trust in tyrannical rulers.  But, in the same way that we can yield too much to power in the hands of a few, we can also yield too much power to the many.

There is a growing trend in churches to want to be “culturally relevant.”  We need to be more accepting.  We need to open the church up to a dialogue and allow people to shape what works for them.  We need to be accepting of popular opinion.

But that is not how Christianity works.  Jesus tells Peter, you didn’t get your statement of faith from a book or from listening to the crowd.  You got your faith from God.  That is where faith in Jesus comes from.  “No one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus Christ is a rock, not a willow tree.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He doesn’t yield to who people want Him to be or who they would like for Him to be, He is who He is: The Messiah, The Son of the living God.

Emphasis is on the word “the”.  There is only one Messiah, there is only one Son, there is only one living God.  Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  Again.,  THE.  The only way, the only truth, the only life.  There are no other paths.

Some may look at that and say, “how arrogant.  Every other path is wrong and Jesus is the only way?”  It is not a boast.  It is a fact.  If there is only one path, shouldn’t we tell people that are heading the wrong direction.  That isn’t condemning them.  It  isn’t judging them or putting them down.  It isn’t excluding them.  It is trying to love them and save them.

Don’t pay attention to my words.  I could be wrong.  Don’t pay attention to the words of our culture, to popular opinion.  It is normally wrong. Pay attention to what the bible says.  It is never wrong.

 

My Answers:

4.
a.
Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah

b.
the Messiah, the Son of the living God

c.
Both

d.
Yes – affects everything

5.
a.
by my Father in heaven

b.
John: children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God
1 Cor 2: not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words
1:Cor 12: no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

17 BSF Matthew Week 17, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Baggage:  As I read and meditated on this passage my view of the disciples has shifted.  At first, I thought they misunderstood Jesus’ words and warning about the pharisees because they were focused on  their own physical needs.  But, I think their reaction has more to do with the focus and baggage that they carried than with any desire to eat a loaf of bread.

Jesus has been harsh to these highest ranking leaders of the faith.  These are men who are used to providing counsel to kings.  They are used to being revered and honored and respected by the people.  They are used to doing the testing, not being tested.  They also are not opposed to using violence to execute their power.  In last weeks lesson we reference John 7:1 explaining why Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon: people were trying to kill Him.  This movement wasn’t from the common people, but rousted up by the leaders whom He offended again and again.  It came from the ones who saw Him as a threat to their traditions.

So, when Jesus warns the disciples: “Be careful, Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  It is not unreasonable to assume the disciples thought it might be poisoned.

But instead of focus on Jesus or on the wickedness of such a tactic by religious leaders, their first focus was on themselves.  Oh, crud.  I forgot to bring the bread with me.  I messed up and let Jesus and my friends down and now we are on in danger because of my forgetfulness.

I can easily go down that path.  I worry and fret and regret the little things that I forget or fail to do or don’t execute the way I should.  I can focus so much on those that I get tied up in a knot and miss the bigger picture.  But, as Jesus told the disciples, its not about the bread.

How many days do I spend with Jesus as my savior, my brother and my friend and still focus on myself and my faults and fumbles?  How often am I standing in the quicksand of these tiny rocks instead of stepping up onto THE Rock?

My Answers:

2.
a.
GNT: Mark 8:11: Some Pharisees came to Jesus and started to argue with him. They wanted to trap him, so they asked him to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him.  They had seen prior miracles in Matt 2 and 12.

b.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Tim 3:16
Test God in His blessings (Malachi 3:10) not for who He is.

c.
3 days in the tomb (the belly of the whale), sent into a wicket land, called for people to turn from wickedness to God

3.
a.
Their teachings

b.
Their focus was on their physical needs, e.g., food.

c.
Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? – their faith could not be stronger than their hearts allowed

d.
We are too simple.  We feed our stomachs but ignore our soul.