Posts Tagged ‘Gospel of Matthew’

Great advice in the above video…

Are you tired
Worn out and empty
Is your soul weary

Have you tried
Releasing your burdens
Do you feel the weight
Of worry

I am the rest you need
I am the Prince of Peace
Enter the rest of God

Come to Me
Burdens will fly away
Walk with Me
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace

Come to Me
Burdens will fly away
Walk with Me
Learn the unforced rhythms
Live the unforced rhythms of grace

There are many of us who have proved that taking our all, our everything, burdens and cares to God and leaving them with Him, can reinvigorate our faith and our love of God. So why not renew your spirit today by taking your all to God.

Do you ever get the feeling everything is going against you?

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone is against you?

Yes, it may seem at times during your life that everything and everyone is against you, but that is not the entire truth because God is not against you!

It actually gets better than that, as Jesus is not against you.  

The Holy Spirit is not against you.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are 100% for you, and they are greater than any foe that is against you.

 It is God who has the final authority and the final say over everything that concerns you.

Romans 8:31 says:

If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

Yesterday while watching the TV a certain advert came on, one that says

Impossible…is 2 letters too long

This got me thinking about what we can and can’t achieve when wee have God in our lives…the answer of course being we can achieve anything when we have God by our side. I.e. in life, when we give our life to God, impossible is a word that is 2 letters too long!

Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Earlier in the week, in Don’t Forget The Blessings, I talked about how we can often get caught up in life and all its problems and so forget about the many blessings we receive each day. So it’s no great surprise that after writing that blog post, the following quote came into my mind:
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength ~ Corrie ten Boom
 It’s true isn’t it, we can often focus so much on how we’re going to cope and deal with our problems tomorrow, that we forget to live today!
Don’t keep your worries to yourself, take them all to God and leave the with Him, because He can lighten your load and help you live for today knowing that God will help you cope with tomorrow.

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

If you are a Christian, I’d ask you today to look back at your life before the time you asked God into your heart…now look at your life now, has the way you lived your life changed?

If your life hasn’t changed, it would suggest that you haven’t given the whole of your life to God. When God is at the centre of our life, we must put out of our lives all things that are not Christ-like.

Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Today is Palm Sunday, but do you know and understand why Christians celebrate Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The gospels record the arrival of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, while the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” to honour Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah and King.

Jesus rode into the city on a donkey (in those days, a symbol of peace) which the crowds paved his way with palm branches (in those days this indicated that a king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph) is significant because it fulfills a prophecy spoken by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9).

Palm Sunday, in current times, is the Sunday before Easter, and marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week of events leading up to Jesus’ death.

Matthew 21:9-11 (NIV)

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

   “Hosanna to the Son of David!”

   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

   “Hosannain the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Yes today is Palm Sunday, and these words from Matthew tell us about that very first palm Sunday.

So today we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant arrival to Jerusalem, and in doing so we praise Him and continue to spread His message of eternal love.

If I asked you to list five things that mean everything to you, what would you say?

I’d guess that most of us would list at least some of the following:

  • Family
  • Money
  • Friendships
  • Health
  • Holidays
  • Home
  • Job

What other things might you include in your list?

My list would most definitely include some of the above, family, friendships, home, health, but my list would definitely also include my faith.

If your list wouldn’t include your faith, is it because you do not believe in God, or have you simply listed worldly things that mean everything to you and missed out/forgot about God? Whatever your reason, I challenge you today to consider the difference you would experience in your life if God was your everything.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

God can and will make a difference in your life, all you have to do is love Him, and give the whole of you to Him.

Have you ever been told that you “look just like your…” mum/dad/aunt/uncle/sister/brother…?

How do you feel when you get told you look just like one of your relatives?

Lots of questions for you today…Do you agree with other peoples’ options of who you look like? Are you happy with the comparison?

Ultimately though we have little or no control over who we look like, but we do have much more control over who we act and talk like. We can choose which characteristics or actions we copy from those we see or know.

Have you noticed how we take many of our mannerisms and characteristics directly from those we spend most of our time with. e.g. When we’re growing up most of what we learn is from our parents or siblings, when we’re married we take on characteristics from our husband or wife, or even our children!

Where do we get our Christian actions from? Again many of us learn them from our parents and siblings, or from teachers or Sunday schools, other church goers. The best person however to learn our Christians way from is God and His son Jesus. Learning from Christ is a lifetime’s task, because we must continue to learn more about God and Jesus every ay of our life.

We must always continue to grow in the image of Christ.

Genesis 1:26 (NIV)

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,  and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

How many of us would actually do all those things mentioned in the above bible passage?

Yes we might all manage to give those who are hungry or thirsty food or water, but would we invite a stranger into our homes, give someone clothes, look after someone who was sick or even visit someone in prison?

I may have taken this passage of scripture quite literally , but I think in this instance it shows some distinct ways in which we may or may not be willing to “put ourselves out” for others.

If we profess to be Christians, God expects us to do all we can to help others, so we must give of our times and our processions to help others whenever we can – Whether that be giving the homeless food/water/clothes, phoning or visiting someone who is ill or has not attended church for a while, spreading God’s message to those who don’t yet know Him.

Sometimes we can do things that can mean the world to someone else, just by a simple action, so go on reach out and help someone today.

Matthew 18:2-6
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Jesus tells us that we must “become like little children” if we are to enter into the Kingdom of God. But what does this actually mean? Should we all start acting and talking very childishly and immaturely? No I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant.

Here’s some of my thoughts on this –

Children tend to be full of life and fill of joy. When they rest or sleep, they are very peaceful and look almost angelic. But most of all they tend to be very loving, and less embarrassed than us adults at showing love and affection towards others.

Do you think there’s anything in this? Is it possible that God could just be wanting us to be more fun loving and more willing to share our love with others openly? I guess it would make sense for God to want those who claim to be apart of His family to be full of Joy, because after all, the Kingdom of God should be a Kingdom full of celebration.

All this reminds me of the a drawing a saw a while ago – a pencil drawing of Jesus called “The Laughing Jesus“. In it Jesus is surrounded by children and his head is thrown back in laughter.  What a wonderful depiction of the Kingdom of Heaven this picture gives us.

I hope you enjoy the following video of Jars of Clay singing Faith Like A Child: