Matthew 12:18 You Are Chosen

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” Matthew 12:18

Matthew talks about how Jesus was going around healing many people. Then he quotes from Isaiah 42 the verses talking about Jesus.

Through Isaiah, God talks about Jesus. Jesus is called God’s servant whom God had chosen Himself. God stated that He would place His Spirit upon Him. The job Jesus would do, would be to proclaim justice to the nations.

Today people do not often think in terms of masters and servants. It is now boss and worker or employer and employee.

God, in a sense, is the boss of Jesus, while Jesus is the worker. God was very pleased in Jesus.

What makes a boss pleased with a worker? It is when the worker does the work required and does it with very little to no supervision.

Many times in the workplace, workers work really great while the boss is standing next to them. As soon a the boss walks away, the workers slack off and start to play. Good bosses know how good a worker is really working. They have a good idea of what is going on when they are gone. The results of the job will show for how they work.

Jesus is a reliable worker. God the Father could walk away and do something else knowing Jesus would do what He was supposed to do, regardless of how unpleasant the job would be.

How does this apply to you today? When you gave your life to Jesus, you also became a servant of God. You are now His worker.

Even though this verse is specifically about Jesus, could God say the same thing about you–that He has chosen you, takes delight in you and loves you. God has given you His Holy Spirit to lead and guide you. Every believer is supposed to live just like Jesus. Jesus set the example that you are to follow.

Are you doing God’s work, even when it is unpleasant? When God does not seem to be around?

When Jesus returns or life ends for you here on earth and you stand before God, will God be able to say “Well done good and faithful servant, come on in”?

I pray that you will be faithful in what God has given you to do; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that you will allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit; that God will be able to take great delight in you; and that God will use you to build His kingdom today.

Matthew 12:7 Condemning the Innocent

“If you had know what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” Matthew 12:7

As Jesus and the disciples were out walking one Sabbath day (like our Sunday), the disciples were hungry and grabbed some grain and eat it. The Pharisees (leaders in God’s Temple) condemned them. This was an unlawful act under the Law. Jesus quotes from Hosea 6:6, and rebukes them. According to Jesus, the disciples were innocent.

People like to point out others that are breaking the rules. Some people seem to be professional at doing this. Attorneys have trained to point out the guilt of another person, it is actually their job to do so.

In churches across the nation you will see people like this. Another believer dresses a little different, or acts different and gets rebuked by the other believers. Sometimes these people are innocent in the actions.

Jesus pointed out that God wants mercy, not sacrifice. This is mercy, not judgment and condemnation. If God desired judgment and sacrifice, every believer would be condemned dead today. What sins are you guilty of? Yet, God in His magnificent love has had mercy on you and forgiven you.

The Pharisees were looking at the sin of breaking the Sabbath. Under the Law, this was a punishable sin.

Through Jesus, honoring the Sabbath is now a matter of the heart, not just actions done or not done. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath day. If Jesus does not condemn, neither should you.

One has to be careful in this to not condone actual sin. In this way, have mercy on the person. Instead of condemning, maybe talk with them about their actions and their heart behind those actions. Work with people to draw them to God, not condemn them from God.

Not every action is automatically a sin. If God has not directly stated not to do something for that person, it is not necessarily a sin. Be careful in judgment and seek mercy first. Work with others, before condemning them.

I pray that God will strengthen you to have mercy on others; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to give you wisdom in dealing with others; that God will show you His will and desire; that God will use you to build His kingdom up; and that God will tear down the strongholds of the world in your life.

Matthew 11:29-30 Light Burden

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Yokes are not something that people talk about today. Today, farmers use tractors to plow their fields rather than a pair of oxen.

Yokes were used to keep two oxen together. When a farmer was training a younger ox, he would pair it up with an experienced ox using the yoke. This forced the younger to follow the other and learn how to pull the plow correctly.

Jesus asks you to take up His yoke if you want to learn from Him. He will take you alongside of Him and guide you in how to live life and do the will of God.

Notice that Jesus stated He is gentle and humble. He will not be a hard task-master. He will not beat you every time you make a mistake.

You may have had a boss at one time in your life that was a task-master. He would drive you very hard and insist on only perfection and beat you when you did not do right.

Jesus does demand perfection, but He will work with you to get there. He realizes that you are not perfect and need to be built up little by little.

It is easy to follow Jesus when you set your mind and heart to it. His burden is also light. You do not have to save the world or even a city. All you have to do is what God places before you, and none of that is taking away sins like Jesus did.

Notice, however, that Jesus said this would give you rest for your souls, not necessarily for your physical body. In this life you will get tired and the work may be long and hard, but your soul can rest in the fact that you are following God correctly. Jesus was tired many times when He walked on the earth, yet, it did not stop Him or slow Him down.

Trust Jesus and follow Him. Let Him train you to do God’s will. It will be worth it in the end. Compared to doing things on your own, it will be easy and light work.

I pray today that you will take up the yoke of Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to train you to walk with God; that you will do the work God has for you; and that you will plow the fields for God in order to build His kingdom.

Matthew 11:16-17 Imitate

“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” Matthew 11:16-17

Jesus starts this section out with talking about John the Baptist. John had sent some men to find out more about Jesus. After answering them, Jesus asks the people who they thought John was.

John the Baptist was a different sort of man. He did not fit the normal “church” person. He didn’t were a suit and tie, eat the same fancy foods, or live in the nice homes. The world did not like John.

Now He compares the people like children. Children imitate what they see. Most of what they see is seen in their parents. Watch how children act and play and you will have a good idea of what the parents are like. Although this is not accurate all the time, it is the majority of the time.

Here Jesus talks about the children playing an instrument and singing. As children play an instrument they expect those around to dance with them. As they sing a sad song, they expect others to mourn with them.

The world is singing “happy” songs and want you to dance with them. They are “living” up the life and cannot understand why you will not join them. Or why you will not mourn with the world over the same things.

The world rejoices when the stock market is up and mourns when it is down. As a believer, neither is of real concern because his focus is on Jesus.

What do you sing about? What makes you rejoice? What makes you sad?

Every person is a child of someone. Your father is either the devil or God. Who are you imitating?

As you play and sing, are you playing and singing what God is doing? Are you being an imitation of Jesus?

Jesus will not dance to the music of the world. He will not get excited over the actions of the world. What life are you living today?

I pray today that God will draw you closer to Him; that you will live your life in imitation of Jesus; that you will not live like the devil; that you will follow Jesus with all of your heart, soul, mind and heart; and that God will work in and through you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 10:39 Finding Life

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

People are always looking for more enjoyment in life. How and what they consider a good life does vary a lot with different people everywhere.

Some people focus their lives on a career, if they just make a certain level they will be satisfied with life. Others focus on house(s) or car(s) to own. Still some the money in the bank or retirement account.

Other people will have a better sounding goal in life. Raising a large family; running a certain church ministry; and helping other people out.

None of these things are bad in and of themselves. Each of these can be good things to aim for, but they should not be what gives you life and satisfaction in life.

Jesus said that if you find your life you will lose it in the end. This is finding satisfaction and fulfillment in things of this world.

Jesus had stated that He is life. You must lose yourself in Him. Let go the things of this world to seek and follow Him. Do what God wants you to do and you will find true life.

Helping other people out is good and God even desires it, but there are times God may not want you to be the one to do the helping in a particular situation. If you do it, you will not find the satisfaction you desired because you will be going against God’s will.

Find out what God wants you to do each and every day. Do those things. Do not look for temporary entertainment in life that will not satisfy. Seek the God of peace, comfort and life.

Dig into God’s Word to know Him more. Sing a few worship songs. Draw closer to God and you will find true life.

God is not hurried, busy, or temporary. The things in this world are always rushed, busy, and temporary. Lose your life in Jesus, and He will give you abundant, eternal life back.

I pray today that God will guide you in His will; that you will seek God for everything in your life; that you will find life in Jesus alone; that God will be first in your life; and that you will lose yourself in Jesus.

Matthew 10:31 Your Value

“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

Jesus just finished telling the disciples that they would be persecuted and hated. He also tells them not to be afraid of those in the world, that they are to go and speak out loud what God has given them to speak.

You are in the same place as the disciples if you are following Jesus. You are to tell everyone the gospel message of Jesus. In verse 28, Jesus states that you are not to be afraid of those who can only kill the body and not the soul. Only God can kill the soul. You are only to fear God.

In fearing God, though, you do not have to fear God is going to destroy you if you are following Jesus. You have great value.

To describe this value, Jesus talks about two sparrows being sold for a penny. This means each sparrow is only worth a penny. A penny has very little value in the eyes of the world. In fact how many people will drop a penny on the ground and not pick it up? Or pass one by that is on the ground.

This gives the sparrow very little value, yet, Jesus says not one of them falls dead without God’s permission. God, the Father, protects even those little worthless sparrows.

Jesus tells you not to be afraid because you are worth many sparrows. How much is the life of a man valuable? How much would you give to keep your life? Life is extremely valuable to you. Would you give up your life for a given amount of money? Would you give up your child for money? Most people will not.

God gave up His Son for you. Jesus gave up His life for you. They thought you were extremely valuable. You were worth the extremely high price.

If you have something of extreme high value, you will take extreme good care of it. If you are that valuable to God, don’t you think God will take care of you? God will take care of you.

The thing that is most important is your soul. The things of this world and your life in this world will come to an end. Your soul will never end.

Pass the salvation message of Jesus to everyone you meet. Do not fear what they will say or do. Trust God to take care of you. The most the world will do is kill your body, they cannot destroy your soul or take you from God.

I pray that God will strengthen you to be His witness; that God will reveal to you how valuable you are to Him; that God will show you opportunities to be His witness; that God will build His kingdom through you; and that you will know His peace and protection.