Days #17-23: Every Word of God is Flawless

Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you to be a liar.

Proverbs 30:5-6, NIV

 

The theme I would like you to consider for this week's reading is the flawlessness of God's Word.

 

On Day #17, the reading through Matthew 17 will take you to the scene of the transfiguration, as well as to vital lessons of faith.

 

Day #18 takes us through Matthew 18, including Christ's wonderful lesson on the way that God values each one of His sheep ( that's us).

 

Day #19 shows in Matthew 19 how God views such things as divorce, and our relationship with wealth.

 

Our reading on Day #20 from Matthew 20 takes us through another parable, a mother's selfish request, and the healing of two blind men.

 

Day #21 from Matthew 21 recounts Jesus' clearing of the temple, underscoring the requirement to honor God as holy.

 

Day #22 has a reading from Matthew 22, which includes the greatest commandment: To love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, and the second greatest commandment: To love our neighbors as ourselves.

 

The week ends with Day #23's reading from Matthew 23, which includes a stern rebuke from Jesus to those who exalt themselves rather than God.

 

Each day's reading contains the inspired teachings of Christ which continually emphasize the fact that God's Word is indeed flawless, and is the only thing that can truly shield us from all of life's difficulties.

 

I pray that you will begin each day with a chapter from God's Word and that you will, throughout the rest of the day, think about what you have read and what it means to your life and to your service to God. 

 

 

Day #16: What Would You Trade for Your Soul?

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26, NKJV

 

This has to be one of the greatest questions ever asked. It was a question made by Jesus and directed towards Peter after Peter said that Jesus could not die in the way He had foretold. When Jesus revealed to His apostles that He must die, Peter did not understand. He did not want Jesus to die, and expressed that desire in such a way that Jesus told Peter that he did not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man.

 

Jesus knew that His purpose here on earth was to die for the sins of the world. Peter did not understand, and he did not want to lose his friend and master. He did not understand that if Jesus saved His physical life, that men would lose their Savior and their souls. Thus the question above: "What will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

 

I have noticed through the years that when it really comes down to it, men will take very little in exchange for their souls. For some, it's a pile of money. For others, a few drinks or a quick fix. Others will gladly trade their soul for power, others still for a few fleeting moments of pleasure. Whether for much or little, the end result is the same: men and women who have their hearts set on physical things will settle for the very poor trade indeed of something worthless for the most valuable possession God has given... their very souls!

 

What about you? Have you, in effect, been trying to exchange your eternal soul for passing pleasures? If so, wouldn't today be a good day to get your focus back and begin to live for the only One who can give you eternal life? This is why we read!

 

Today's Bible reading is the 16th chapter of Matthew. I pray that God will richly bless your efforts, as you continue to seek His good will.

Day #15: Trading Your Soul for Your Traditions

Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition... These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

Matthew 15:6, 8-9, NIV

 

I believe that this passage in Matthew reveals one of the most important truths in all of Scripture. The first part of the quote above is a rebuke that Jesus gave to the Pharisees and teachers of the law of His day. The second part is a rebuke that God gave to the Jewish leaders through His prophet Isaiah some 700 years earlier. And, this truth is still as valid to those of us who live today, as it was to those to whom it was spoken to then.

 

So, what is that truth? Just this: You can honor the traditions and teachings of those you respect to the point of nullifying the word of God. By doing so, you endanger you eternity - essentially trading your very soul for tradition. Why would anyone do that? Would anyone really do that? Of course the answer is "yes", in fact, there may be many, many, more people who believe the lies (teachings of men) they have heard all of their lives, rather than the truths (the Word of God) that they have never heard. If you're not sure about that, just go back to the sermon on the mount and read in Matthew 7 where Jesus revealed that many will take the broad path that leads to destruction, while only a few people will choose the narrow path that leads to life.

 

Again, we must ask why that is. Is it because God is trying to trick us? Does He secretly want people to be lost? We know that He is not trying to be tricky or to mislead, because He loved us so much that He gave his only begotten Son to die for our sins! So why do people tend to choose the traditions of men over the actual commands of God?

 

That question is one that everyone must answer on their own, By doing so, they can help avoid that fatal mistake of honoring the teachings of men over the words of God. This is why you are reading!

 

Today's reading os Matthew 15. The truths it contains are vital to the eternal souls of every man and woman from every age.

Day #14: Don't Take Your Eyes off of Jesus

Then Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out His hand a caught him. "You of little faith", He said, "why did you doubt?"

Matthew 14:29-31, NIV

 

"Oh, ye of little faith!" How often do men quote this without taking into account its context.

 

In this particular instance, Jesus has gone to His apostles in the middle of a storm. When they finally realize that it is Jesus, Peter asks if he might be allowed to walk on the water as well. At first things go great, but then Peter does something very human: He takes his eyes off of Jesus and focuses instead on the storm.

 

And then he does something we all do when we take our eyes off of Jesus during the storms of life: He sinks!

 

I believe that we are in the midst of a "storm" that is likely to rage for quite some time. Many will look to their leaders for answers, and these leaders will only be more than happy to "rescue" them from the storm... how well has that worked out so far?

 

The fact is that this life comes complete with storms - they are part of the test God allows us to go through from time to time. The good news is that He has never expected us to go through these storms alone! For those who will keep their eyes on He and His Son, the storms of life will pass. But for those with more focus upon the storms than their expected service to God, the storms will prove to be unbearable.

 

Where is your focus?

 

Today's reading is the 14th chapter of Matthew. It will help us to know Who to look to, when the storms of life come howling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day #13: Is Your Heart Right With God?

"But what was sown on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop..."

Matthew 13:23, NIV

 

I love the parable of the soils! Perhaps no other parable reveals so much about the importance of our hearts being right before God. You know the parable. A man goes out to sow his seed and encounters four different types of soil. Jesus tells us about the hard soil, the soil among the rocks, the soil among the weeds, and the good soil. He reveals that the seed being sown is the Word of God, and that the soil the seed is sown upon is the heart of the individual.

 

He tells us that the seed sown upon the path stands for those with a hard heart. Satan can easily take the Word of God away from such people because of this hardness. The second soil type is the rocky soil. It represents the shallow hearted man who likes what he hears, but who has no depth. The word cannot take root unless something is done. The third type of soil may be the one we can most readily identify with, for the seed does take root, but it has to compete with all of the other things in our lives. And finally, when the pure Word of God is planted in a good and noble heart, it explodes into productive growth.

 

I used to think that the different soils represented different people, and I guess I was about half right, for that is true enough. But what I failed to grasp for so long was that the different soils also represented my heart at the different times of my life. Sometimes it was hard and easy pickins' for Satan to remove the word from. At times I have been too shallow to let the seed really take hold - at other times too distracted to let it produce much even after it had taken root. But, during the times when I was really focused on living for God, the seed that is the Word of God could work in my life to nourish both myself and others in an abundant manner.

 

The one constant through all of this is the Word of God. It is always perfect, and will always grow when it finds good soil. The one variable is the heart of men. This, by the way, is why we are reading the pure Word of God. It is so that we might get our hearts right with God, so that the pure Word may grow in our hearts and produce good fruit!

 

Today's reading is from the 13th chapter of Matthew. I pray that God will richly bless you as you allow His Word to be sown deep into your heart, that you may be able to do that which He put you here for in the first place - to produce good fruit for Him!