“If then David thus calls Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day did anyone venture or dare to question Him.” Matthew 22:45-46 ->me: To save room here in my text I am only going to include the last 2 verses of this passage of Jesus asking the Pharisee’s “That do you think of the Christ? Whose Son is He?”. The Pharisees respond with “The Son of David”, to which Jesus recounts Psalms 110:1 -> “The Lord said to my Lord….”. I read the accounts of Mark and Luke on this situation. Jesus always poses these ‘unanswerable’ questions. If they agree with Jesus then they must admit that Jesus is of higher authority than David. They feared further debate and stopped asking questions. What’s crazy is that this started when Jesus was 12 years old. In Luke 2:46&47, after three days of Mary and Joseph missing him, they went looking for Him in the temple where it says -> “They found Him sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard Him were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His replies.” I love how God in His word has given us these views into Jesus’ life that help us see the amazing humanness as well as His obvious divinity in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Thank you God for the gift of your Word!
“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 ->me: I feel like I need to sit and stew on these verses for hours. I just continually find myself asking -> What does it mean to love God with ALL my heart? Love God with my soul…what does that mean? Now…with all of my mind, I can wrap my brain around that. After all, I am very logical thinker and this makes sense to me. Loving my God is the most important and first commandment. For the ‘love your neighbor’ verse (39), this is something that my cousin (Teague) and I are setting out to not only beseech God for ourselves, but also for each other. We are spending the entire week reading over 1 Corinthians 13 (the preeminence of LOVE) and praying Colossians 1:9-14 over each other. What a gift Teague is to me. Loving God with all of my heart and all of my soul….this is going to require more time in the prayer closet to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what this means in my daily life and application.
“”Show me [Jesus] the money used for the tribute [Tax to Caesar].” And they brought Him a denarius, and Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and title are these?” They said, “Caesar’s”. Then He said to them, “Pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar, and pay to God the things that are due to God.”” Matthew 22:19-21 ->me: When I read this passage today it was the first time that I applied what Jesus said to all things I might need to ‘render’ to any organization or person. Jesus did not see a conflict in paying taxes and giving God what is His. Now you might take the comment that Jesus stated (give Caesar what is Caesar’s….) as being nonsense because God’s claim is that above Caesar; but Jesus, without reducing the demands of loyalty to God, indicates that political allegiance even to a pagan state is not incompatible with it. This is not a rigid division of life into the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’, but rather a recognition that the ‘secular’ finds its proper place within the overriding claim of the ‘sacred’. I can work at Microsoft, a very worldly environment in which I render effort and get paid for the work I do there, but God owns my heart and that I give freely to Him. I have been bought with a price. Everything good in me has been created by God; my strengths, talents, patience, mercy, etc. Anything I [the new man] have to bring to the table is God’s and should be rendered to Him.
“…when the king came in to view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment. And he said, Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the [appropriate] wedding garment? And he was speechless (muzzled, gagged). Then the king said to the attendants, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”” Matthew 22:11-13 ->me: This sobering parable is a lesson to the self professing Christian who has not exhibited the ‘new creature-ness’ of their conversion; therefore calling into question the genuineness of their conversion in the first place. They are the person who sits in Sunday services, sips coffee and talks about the goodness of God with others in the foyer…but then goes home to live a life steeped in sinful behaviors; void of the lifegiving water the fear of God brings. My cousin Teague and I have a heart for these lost souls who will have this jarring experience at the Throne of God on Judgement Day. Teague, let’s make it a goal this year to share our testimonies in such a way that these souls may be won for the Kingdom of Heaven!
“And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, but he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13 ->me: Today I was listening to John Piper and his sermon on the “Passion for the Supremacy of God”. He referred to an analogy he has used about the Glacier and the Torch. The Glacier is the ‘people will grow cold’ in the passage above but we can be the ones holding a torch high. Think of that picture, standing tall, holding a torch high above your head, melting a hole in that glacier and the glory of God pouring down through that hole. If there are enough of us in the church holding our torches high, we can (through the power of God) melt a bit of that glacier before He returns to take us home. I love this picture -> the brightness and heat of my torch of ministry is directly proportionate to the quality time I spend with my Almighty King.
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:19 ->me: This last year has taught me my limitations. Just like I learned what my pain threshold was when I had a kidney stone, I now understand the limits I need to hold to when it comes to the things of this earth ‘under the sun’. This next year will be different; a year spent seeking more time with God, more time with family, and more time living the love of Christ while I am here on this sphere. Will you partner with me in seeking your own path to glorifying God this next year? This text is the beginning of another year of daily quiet times. I will try to keep my thoughts short and concise to what God is leading in me for the day. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see what God will do through all of us!!