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.

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