Matthew 8:26 Why Be Afraid?

“He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Matthew 8:26

Jesus had just finished preaching and teaching to the crowds of people. He and the disciples got into a boat. Jesus went to sleep. As He was sleeping a large storm comes up and they are in danger of drowning.

The disciples wake Him up in fear. He ask them why they were so afraid. Then He calms the storm.

Most everyone can think of a difficult time in their life in which they were crying out in fear to God.

When you are going through a difficult time it is very difficult to see anything other than the storm going on around them. You feel like you are all alone in the world and that God has left you.

The disciples had felt just like that in the boat. Even though Jesus was there, they felt He didn’t care and that they were all going to die.

Jesus was not worried at all. In fact, remember, He was sleeping. He was calm. He knew exactly what was going on. He had to have felt the boat going up and down, and heard the wind and waves roaring around the boat. Yet, He was sleeping, fully relaxed. Jesus knew God was in control.

As you are going through a difficult time in life you need to have faith that God is in control. God knows exactly what you are going through. If God is not worried, you should not be worried.

If God is truly God in your life, you will allow Him to control everything in your life. This means the good and the “bad” things in your life. What was the worst that could have happened to the disciples? They die.

In reality, death is a good thing. Death removes you from the troubles of this world and ushers you into God’s heaven with Him. As often stated, everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.

If God wants you to die, there is nothing you can do to stop it. If God wants you to live, there is nothing anything or anyone else can do to stop you from living.

Today trust God and be calm that He is in control. Do not worry or be afraid. Follow Jesus and you will win in the end.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in your struggles; that God will fill you with His peace; that you will have faith that God is in control; and that God will calm the storms in your life.

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Matthew 8:19-20 Count the Cost

“Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:19-20

Jesus was becoming very popular with everyone. People started to follow Him. Now a teacher of the law comes up to Jesus and states he will follow Him.

Instead of welcoming the man to follow Him, Jesus gives a strange answer. Jesus tells the man who He does not have a place to lay His head down at night, even though the animals do.

Jesus knew He was living a life that would not bring great wealth or comfort in this life. A person who has a place to lay down at night has a great comfort. Being homeless creates a lot of discomfort and no peace.

This teacher had got caught up in the hype of the moment and declared he would follow Jesus. Jesus points out that there could be a high cost to follow Him. Jesus does not have a home to go to.

Following Jesus does not automatically bring a life of luxury and comfort in the world’s eyes. It will not make you famous or wealthy.

Following Jesus does mean being a servant to everyone else; giving of yourself all the time; giving what you have to others; and not storing up for yourself. God may give you all of these things, but that is not the purpose for following Him.

Many people follow Jesus because of the excitement of the moment. Or they believe that life will be easy to follow Him, all their troubles will go away. This is not true.

Look at the life of Jesus. His life was one of a lot of pain, misery and suffering. As He healed people, others were wanting to kill Him and in the end did.

Jesus did have peace and comfort in knowing that He was following God the Father perfectly. You, also, can know that same peace and comfort in following Jesus. You have to remember though it is not the peace and comfort the world will understand. While in this life you will have struggles and troubles.

Be willing to follow Jesus. In the end when you get to heaven it will be worth the pain and suffering of today. All the work you will have to do in helping build His kingdom will bring great treasures in heaven some day. Count the cost of following Jesus, but know it is worth it.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in following Him; that you will be determined to follow Him at all costs; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit in following Him; and that God’s kingdom will be built greater because of your walk with Him.

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Matthew 8:10 Amazing Faith

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Matthew 8:10

A centurion had just came to Jesus seeking healing for his servant. Jesus offered to come and heal him. The man stated that he was not worthy to have Jesus come and heal is servant, and that he understands authority. Jesus is amazed.

Take note that this centurion is not a Jewish person. He was not brought up in the temple serving God. He was a Roman soldier who was in charge of many other soldiers. However, he did recognize the power and authority of Jesus.

This man knew that when a person in leadership says to do something, it is done. The leader does not need to be present for the action to be done, his word is strong enough.

This centurion recognized that Jesus had true leadership abilities. If Jesus said something it was done. Jesus did not have to be at the spot to have something happen. Only a couple of times did Jesus physically do something for a person to be healed. All the other times they were healed by His word.

Often today people have a problem with how God wants to do something. If God does not work in a certain way, God can’t do it. This is not true. God is bigger than anything. He has more power than anyone. For every one way you can think of solving a problem in your life, God has a million ways to solve it.

When you go to God in prayer asking for something, you need to let God answer it in His own way. Be like the centurion, don’t make Jesus answer in your way.

Jesus was amazed at the way the centurion answered because most people wanted Jesus to physically be there and do something. The centurion had a real faith in Jesus. There was no show or guessing in his faith.

Trust God today with the answers He will give. Trust Him in the way He will meet your needs. Do not put God in a box. Build your faith. Let Jesus be amazed at your faith.

I pray today that God will strengthen your faith in Him; that you will trust God in everything; that you will not bind God up; and that God will show you Himself in miracles in your life.

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Matthew 7:24 Active Listening

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Jesus now, after a lot of talking, tells the people who just to hear His words is not enough. Each person who hears the words of Jesus must be active in putting them to practice.

Hearing someone speak is very easy to do. All over America there are people who are speaking about many different things. Some will talk about how to get out of debt; others on loosing weight; others on the government changes needed; and anything else you may want to know about.

Most people who go to these speakers hear them, but do not do what they suggest. Some will start to do what they suggest for a while then quit. Only a very few will actually go through with the suggestion.

People go to church every week. They hear the pastor speak the words of Jesus each week and agree with what was said. On Monday, however, many have forgotten what was said and never do what was preached.

Jesus said you must put His words into practice to be wise. Putting them into practice is actually doing what He tells you, to live like He says to live.

He points out this wisdom is like a wise man building his house on a rock. With a sound, solid foundation a house will stand in any storm. With a sandy, loose foundation it will fall down when the storms hit enough.

You need a firm foundation in your life. The perfect foundation is founded upon the words and life of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will last forever. Nothing is more firm than the teachings of Jesus. His teachings last trends, nations, and time.

As you read the Bible each day, hear the words of Jesus and put them into practice. Do not just hear them and ignore them. The words of Jesus bring life and tells you how to live life.

It easy to quickly read a few verses then move on with life. Today stop and read them and then apply them to your life. As you go through your day remember them and live by them. Actively listen to what Jesus is telling you today.

I pray that God will reveal His words to you; that God will open your ears to hear what He is saying; that God will strengthen you to do what He says; that you will do what Jesus teaches; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

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Matthew 7:21 Saying Lord

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Jesus makes a surprising statement. He points out that just because you call Him Lord does not automatically get you into heaven.

The term “lord” is not used in today’s society. It carries the meaning of master, ruler or king. In America those terms are considered bad. They are politically incorrect terms.

Everyone likes their freedom and to be in control. Yet, this is what each believer is supposed to call Jesus. What does it mean to call Him ‘Lord’?

Jesus said not only do you have to call Him Lord, but you must also do the will of God the Father. God’s will is that you follow Jesus. It is a circle, to follow one, you must follow the other.

Many people call themselves Christians and call Jesus Lord, but do not do what God wants them to do. They live their lives in their own way. Often living in blatant sin.

There are people who refuse to forgive others; refuse to go to church on Sundays; never read the Bible; never tell others of Jesus; state that any religion can get you into heaven; and, yet, call themselves a follower of Jesus.

Jesus states that these people will not get into heaven. Do not allow yourself to be listed as one who will not get into heaven. Do not just call Jesus ‘Lord.’ Make Jesus ‘Lord’ of your life. Do the will of God the Father each and everyday.

Do not allow yourself to be surprised on the day Jesus returns by Him saying He never knew you. Really get to know Jesus today.

I pray today that God will reveal more of Himself to you; that you will make Jesus Lord of your life; that you will do the will of God the Father; that you will be a true believer in Jesus; and that God will use you today in building His kingdom.

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Matthew 7:13-14 The Correct Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

Very often Christians are accused of being narrow-minded; that they are closed off to different ways. This should be a statement describing every believer according to Jesus.

Jesus stated that the gate is very narrow. This gate is the gate to get into heaven. That very gate is Jesus. Since Jesus is the gate, that gate is extremely narrow. Think about how many billions of people there have been in the world and only one can get you into heaven.

The world likes to think that there are many ways to get to heaven. People like to follow the path of least resistance and follow everyone else.

If you were traveling from one major city to another how would you do it by car? Would you take the major interstate roads? Or would you take all the back county dirt roads?

Most people would take the interstate. It is broad and fast-moving and is the way most people travel. The county roads are extremely narrow, much slower and appear to be more dangerous.

The difference is in the county road you can see the beautiful trees and wildlife up close; you will not have lots of traffic; and you can enjoy life.

Often you hear that there are many ways to heaven. All but one are man-made ways that only lead to destruction. The one gate to heaven is Jesus and Him alone.

In following Jesus you will have life and life abundantly. Do not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that people in other religious beliefs are going to heaven in their thinking.

Yes the gate is narrow. Yes the path is narrow and tight. It may look like it is not a very good path, but this path will give true purpose in life. In Jesus you will find true joy, love, and friendship. Choose the right gate today. Do not be afraid to be narrow minded, it is the correct choice.

I pray that God will reveal the value of following Jesus more and more to you; that God will keep you from following down the wrong path of life; that God will use you to be His witness pointing to Jesus, the gate to heaven; and that God’s kingdom will be built greater with your living for Jesus.

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Matthew 7:6 Use Pearls Wisely

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6

Jesus now makes a short statement about not giving dogs something sacred and throwing pearls at pigs. Why was He talking about dogs? Why would anyone give a pearl to a pig?

In the days of Jesus, something that was sacred and pearls were considered highly valuable. In today’s society, things that are sacred and pearls hold very little value to most people. Today, diamonds would be the highly valuable stone, and the sacred should still be held at high value. Either way you should not throw them to dogs and pigs.

The sacred and pearls are representing the valuable, deep things of God. As a believer, you should be growing in a closer relationship with God. You should know deeper things about God than you did when you first believed.

Often believers will try to talk about visions God has given them to a non-believer; or talk about a deep learning experience with God. Many times the non-believer will mock those statements and try to destroy them.

The things a non-believer need to hear is the love God has for them; the direction they are heading; the destruction of sin in their lives; and what Jesus can do for them. They do not need to hear about the deep moving of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing you in a situation in your church or some other deep spiritual event in your life.

Think of it in the way of teaching a little child calculus before he has learned to add and subtract. What value is it to the child? All the child will do is trample on it and laugh. It will be a waste of your time.

When you speak to a non-believer show them the love of Jesus and the need for salvation. Leave the deeper works of God for believers. Do not waste those treasures and time on someone who will not recognize or accept them. As the dogs and pigs will just crush what is of high value, so will non-believers crush the deep, high value things of God.

I pray that God will give you wisdom in what to say to non-believers; that God will touch hearts through you; that you will know what is of high value and how to use it wisely; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

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