BSF Matthew, Week 15, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Today’s story is absolutely amazing.  There are so many elements and depth of messages in this story, we could peel back layer after layer of it for deeper meaning and application.  We also can also see fun insights, like, when the called Peter, “the rock”, were they simply chiding him for the fact that he sank like one?

Instead, I was drawn to focus on one specific verse: Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt 14:33)

What does “worship” mean?

These guys were specifically called by Jesus.  The were commissioned by Him, given power by Him.  They saw His miracles.  They saw Him heal and teach.  They saw and heard the interactions with John the Baptist.  They just participated with him in feeding 5000 men plus their families from 5 loaves and 2 fish.

But now they got it.  This is the Messiah.  This is truly the Son of God.  And they worshiped Him.

Here is the difference that I see: Up to this point everyone who encountered Jesus wanted something from Him.  The sick wanted to be healed.  The lame to walk.  The blind to see.  The deaf to hear.  People hungered for His teaching.  They wanted to be taught the revelation of scriptures.  They wanted the government to rest upon His shoulders.  They wanted Him to throw off the tyranny of Rome.  Herod wanted Him to entertain him.  The pharisees and sadducees wanted Him to die or at a minimum shut up and go away.  The disciples wanted Him to lead them.

But now they worshiped Him.  Worship is not the act of wanting or taking or asking or needing – worship is the act of openly offering everything we have received back to the one from whom it all came.  The disciples had not understood before.  Mark 6:52 tells us the disciples “had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened” (they were probably still grumbling about having to feed all these people!).  But, now, instead of taking from Jesus, their hearts were open and praise was flowing out of them to the true Son of God.

Is this how we worship?  Do we show up to worship service to be entertained?  Do we pray only when we need something?  Do we have a set outcome or role that we expect God to fulfill in our lives?  Or do we worship Him simply for who He is – He is God and I am not?  Worship is not a physical action, it is a condition or state of our heart and soul.  And, as we see when the boat landed, worship is contagious!

My Answers:

12.
a.
Yes, they were obedient and exactly where God/Jesus had sent them

b.
Storms of life are not because I have sinned or done something wrong.  I can be in exactly the right place at the right time and still face a storm – but it is nothing Jesus can’t handle!

13.
a.
fully in Jesus

b.
Saw the wind – physical eyes over-ruled his spiritual heart

c.
reached out his hand and caught him… why did you doubt?

d.
Not stuck in the boat – get out and walk on water – trust heart to Jesus over whatever my eyes/mind may tell me.

14.
a.
died down

b.
worshiped him – Truly you are the Son of God

c.
Power over the physical world

BSF Matthew, Week 15, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Every day I plug my phone in to recharge.  But do I do the same thing with my soul?

Jesus, the incarnate man, showed us how to pray and how pray can not be a routine, or just a request, or just words and thoughts.  Jesus demonstrated that prayer can bring power.  As humans in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, we need this connection.  We need to be recharged.  We need to plug in to the only source of power there is that equips us to perform miracles of faith and love and goodness in a world that is wickedly opposed to the very nature of these things.

Is this type of prayer necessary?  It is more necessary for my soul than food is for my body or shelter is for my flesh or electricity is for my phone.  Is this type of prayer pleasurable?  I love getting charged up by God for God – how about you?

My Answers:

10.
a.
went up on a mountainside by himself to pray

b.
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself

11.
a.
Told parables to crowds, heard his cousin was beheaded, went by boat to solitary place, had compassion and healed many, fed over 5000, sent them all away including disciples, went alone to pray, walked on water

b.
Yes.  Praying is simply a time of communication with our Father in Heaven.  It is necessity, it is pleasure.  It is (or should be) a part of our life every day and throughout the day.

c.
protection.  ability to fulfill His will and finish His work, strength, peace

d.
same, to give me clear and direct commands to obey

BSF Matthew, Week 15, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I would not necessarily count the gift of hospitality as one of my spiritual gifts.  I know there are people who have this gift.  Like Martha, of Mary and Martha fame.  There are people at our church (and in BSF) who’s first thought seems to be to always put the needs of others before their own needs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calloused to the needs of others or against having gatherings, but the organization aspect of it is not one of my gifts.  Just like the disciples.

When faced with between 5,000 and 20,000 people in a remote area, their first thought was not one of hospitality, it was how do we move this along and get these people out of here.  But Jesus’ words were clear, “You give them something to eat.” (Matt 14:16).

The lesson was one of obedience over comfort and natural inclinations.  Jesus didn’t ask them.  Jesus didn’t tell them to form a committee.  Jesus didn’t seek out the people of the crowd who had the most to redistribute it.  Jesus didn’t chastise the people for being unprepared, He responded as one in charge should respond.  He gave clear and explicit direction. 1. You give them something to eat, 2. Bring what you have to me. 3. He directed them into groups.

And, what happened?  The same thing that always happens when we serve others in obedience to Jesus.  What we end up with is always more than what we began with.  When we care for others in Jesus name, the care we receive back is always greater.  When we love others in Jesus name, the same is true.

Don’t miss the fact that there were 12 disciples and 12 baskets left over, each completely full.

While I understand the role of spiritual gifts, I think this miracle demonstrates it is never our own gifts we should rely upon, but the gift of Jesus Christ.  Our calling is to be obedient to Him, to submit to His organization, to follow His commands, to do the work He gives me to do, to trust fully in Him, not my needs, wants, comfort-level, weariness or hunger.  Obedience comes first.

My Answers:

7.
a.
John the Baptist had been murdered by Herod.  Herod wanted to see Jesus.

b.
He had compassion on them.  He had them fed

8.
a.
They were practical.  They were in a remote place with 5000 people, it was late, they were hungry.  “not my problem”

b.
Jesus taught them the economies of Heaven.  Which begin and end with reliance on Jesus.  They do not need to go away – you feed them.  Bring them to me.  They all ate and were satisfied.

9.
a.
bring them to me.  Give thanks to heaven.  Begin with what you have and serve others with it.  All are satisfied and the remaining is more than what you start with.

b.
Compassion, power, miracle maker, take care of physical needs so that spiritual needs can be met

c.
When I’m at then end of my resources it reminds me to rely on Jesus to keep and protect and nourish me in a way I can’t do for myself

d.
By feeding them.  By being compassionate.  By trusting in God to magnify what I hold into enough.