Matthew 9:9 Who Are You Following?

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9

Social media promotes the idea that everyone needs everyone to follow them. The more people a person has following him, the more popular and successful he is seen as to be.

Certain celebrities have millions of followers on the different social media platforms. Although people follow others, many really do not know the person that they are following. They only know about the person. There is seldom a direct personal relationship involved.

Jesus walked up to a Matthew, a tax collector, and told him to follow Him. Matthew immediately got up and followed Jesus.

While following people can bring some sort of short term excitement or enjoyment, it is only that–short term. People will fail and will eventually die, leaving all the followers with nothing in the end.

From the beginning of creation until today, God has always wanted a personal relationship with people. As soon as man sinned and fell away from that relationship, God set about building it back up again.

Jesus is calling all people to follow Him. Unlike the world, His calling is for eternity and He will always be right there for His followers. In following Jesus, one gets the benefit of eternal life, not just the image of some good person from a distance.

Many people hear the calling, but reject it. They do not realize what they are turning down–eternal love, joy, peace and life.

Jesus wants to show every person the perfect way to live life on this earth. If one knew and understood this, he would be like Matthew and immediately leave everything behind and follow Jesus for the rest of his life.

You have been called by Jesus to follow Him. You have to make a choice today as to whether you will choose to follow Him, learn from Him and obey Him or not.

Do not be like the majority of the world and reject Jesus and follow other temporary men. Leave your life of sin and death and follow Jesus into eternal life and joy.

Following Jesus will bring a change to your life. God will be able to use you to build His kingdom that will last for eternity, not a temporary kingdom on this earth.

Are you following Jesus and leaving your past behind?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow Jesus with all of your abilities; that you will leave your past behind to walk with God; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.

Matthew 28:12-13 False Reports

Empty Tomb

When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.'” Matthew 28:12-13

Jesus had died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. A group of soldiers were set around the entrance to the tomb to prevent any disturbance of the body. On the third day, Jesus arose from the dead and left the tomb. In order to cover it up the leaders had the soldiers lie about it, saying that they were sleeping and that the disciples had stolen the body.

There are hundreds of different news media outlets available on the television and online. Most of those news media outlets claim to report an unbiased news report. However, when there is a major event, it is very interesting how each source of news reports something a little different. Some of those news reports are false on purpose. They are trying to push a certain way of thinking or some greater agenda.

Telling a lie to change how things look or appear is nothing new. Hearing lies and believing them has been around since Adam and Eve. The devil and the world does not want people to believe that Jesus is alive and well today.

If Jesus is alive, it will mean that there is some accountability for their actions. People do not want to be accountable, so they make up lies.

Believers need to be well versed in what the Bible says and be in tune to what the Holy Spirit is saying. When the believer is aware of what God is saying, he will not be led astray with the lies the world is saying.

Currently if you tell people that there is only one way to God and you speak out against sin, you are classified as harmful and mean. This is a lie the world wants you to believe. It is actually showing greater love to tell people about Jesus and sin, than to let them die in their sins and be punished for eternity.

The world will continue to tell lies to pull you away from God. Stay in the Bible and filled with His Holy Spirit to guide you. Be aware of the false reports being said and stay in the truth.

I pray today that you will know what the Bible says; that you will hear what God’s Holy Spirit says; that God will reveal the false reports of this world to you; and that you will speak God’s truth in every situation.

Matthew 27:51 It Was Not Taken

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And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. Matthew 27:51

The leaders of the Jewish people had led the people to want to have Jesus crucified on a cross. While He was on the cross He asked the Father to forgive them for what the were doing. At the end of a lot of agony, Jesus gave up His spirit and died on the cross.

The Jewish people are commonly blamed for the death of Jesus. Several leaders throughout history have attempted to destroy the Jews for that very reason. Yet it was not the Jews that put Jesus on the cross and caused Him to die.

God the Father was the one who sent Jesus to the cross. The reason God sent Jesus to the cross was for the sins of each and every person who has ever lived. The Jewish people were only the physical hands that put Jesus on the cross. Had not the Father wanted Him on the cross, they would not have been able to do so.

In fact, many times in His life they wanted to capture Him and kill Him, but were unable to do so. He always slipped out of their grasp.

In the very end, Jesus gave up His life. He laid it down to be a sacrifice to the Father. This was for every person who has sinned, which is every person who has ever lived.

Jesus was able to lay down His life because He knew the Father was in control and had something better on the other end. He knew His life was not over, even though it physically came to an end. Jesus would arise to live forever to give life to all.

Keeping this in mind, you must be also willing to lay down your life for Jesus in response to what He has willingly done for you.

God may never ask you to die for Him physically, but you must be willing to lay down your desires to follow Him. Seek Him and desire Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Your ultimate goal should be to spend eternity in heaven with God the Father and Jesus, and to bring as many people with you as possible. This is only to show appreciation for what Jesus has done for you.

What are you going to give up for Him?

I pray that you may know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live only for Jesus; that you will tell others of what Jesus has done; and that God will strengthen you in your walk with Him.

Matthew 27:12 No Defense

Quiet Stream

When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Matthew 27:12

Jesus had been taken as a prisoner by the officials and was being tried. They were accusing Him of many different things. As they were accusing Him, He did not say a word in His own defense, but just stood there listening.

When people are accused of something, most people will try to defend themselves. They do not want to be accused of doing something wrong. Some cases will end up in a court, while the majority never reach that level.

The accusations that a person may receive may be true or they may be false. It is common for a person to be accused of some action that is true, and yet the person still tries his best to defend himself. At that point many people will try to blame others for the action, or they will try to excuse it, give a “good” reason for the action done. No one wants to get in trouble.

Other times the accusation is false. It can be false because not everything was known about the situation, while other times someone is trying to harm someone else. At this, many people react badly fighting for their reputation. Both of these situations occur on a regular basis.

The challenge for believers is knowing what to do with the accusation. Jesus had remained silent when falsely accused. He had never did anything wrong at all and He knew it. He also knew where He stood with His Father–God.

Along with knowing that, He also knew God’s will in the situation. He knew that He had to be falsely accused and sentenced to death. Jesus was willing to go forward with what God had planned for Him.

There will come times when someone will accuse you of something. If you are guilty, you must confess and seek forgiveness. If you are innocent, you must seek God’s desire for you. It may be that God wants you to be quiet. He knows the situation and will defend you. The people are seeking a bad reaction.

Be willing to be silent and let the enemy accuse you, don’t fight in the wrong way. You may end up saying or doing something wrong. Know that you are standing before God, innocent and loved, or forgiven and loved. Either way, God is on your side.

I pray today that you will stand innocent before God; that you will listen to when God wants you to speak; that God will give you strength to be silent when needed; and that God’s love will shine through you to all your accusers.

Matthew 26:56 It Must Happen

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“But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:56

After celebrating the Passover feast with the disciples, Jesus went to the garden to pray. While there some leaders of the law came with some soldiers and arrested Him. Jesus states that all that was happening had to occur, because it was prophesied by the prophets of God. Those prophecies had to be fulfilled.

When a person assembles something together for the first time, there are a set of instructions to be followed. There is always a set order in how to assemble the object. If the instructions are not followed in correct order or some of the steps are entirely skipped, the object will not be assembled correctly and will not work.

People try to skip steps in order to complete it faster or because they think that they know what they are doing. Often when this happens another part does not work correctly or does not fit in correctly.

In this passage, there were a set order of things that had to occur in the life of the Jesus and the disciples. God had already set in motion what had to happen and how it was to happen. This was regardless of how it looked or felt by anyone.

In the life of a believer, God has set things in motion. He has a plan for your life in how things should occur and when they should occur.

Some of the prophecies that were made about you are that you would be persecuted, that God would give you strength, that you would be hated, that God would give you victory in the end, and that you will have eternal life.

The challenge with this is that some of those prophecies are not very comforting or easy to accept. All of the things that God allows in your life are being used to build you up and make you more like Jesus.

It was not easy for Jesus to go to the cross. It was not easy for the disciples to see Jesus go to the cross. But it was necessary. They had to keep moving forward in the path God laid out for them. The events had to occur.

The events in your life must occur to build you. Trust God as they occur today.

I pray today that you will know the prophecies of God for your life; that you will know God is in control; that you will trust God’s plan for your life; and that you will grow closer to God through the events of your life. 

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