Matthew 21:44 Don’t Be Crushed

“Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” Matthew 21:44

Jesus had just quoted from Psalm 118:22-23, about the stone builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. The cornerstone is the most important stone in a building. It is what holds the building up and together.

Jesus calls Himself that stone, the chief cornerstone. In today’s verse, He states that anyone who falls on that stone will be broken, but if it falls on the person, he will be crushed.

Falling on Jesus is a point of giving up your life to Him. Letting Him have full control.

In life, many people feel they are in absolute control of their lives. Everything seems to be going just right for them. When a person comes to Jesus, they realize that they really do not have any control. This will break a person up.

No one likes to be told they are not in control of their own lives. No one likes to be told they are a failure and a sinner. Yet, that is just what each person is, without Jesus.

Coming to Jesus will break those walls down. He will break the arguments, thoughts, and customs of this world that has taken control in your life.

There are those who have chosen not to follow Jesus. When the end comes and Jesus returns, it will be the time the rock, Jesus, falls on them. At that point, there will be no more hope or salvation. They will be crushed and their soul destroyed for eternity in hell.

In the workplace, often a boss will tell the workers that if they make a mistake, it is better that they come forward first with it, then for him to find out second-hand. There may be a price to pay for the mistake, but it will not be as great as if found out by second sources.

In the same way, if you come to Jesus first, He is willing to forgive you. Admit you are broke and need to be fixed. If Jesus comes to you first, in the end times, He will crush you.

Allow yourself to be broken by Jesus today and receive the life He is willing to give you.

I pray today that you will fall on Jesus; that you will allow yourself to be broken by Jesus; that God will reveal faults in your life; that you will allow God to make you into the person He wants you to be; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 21:13 Den of Robbers

“It is written, he said to them, My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13

During the time of a feast, the people were buying and selling in the temple courts. They were doing these things at high prices, robbing the people. Jesus goes in and makes a mess and tells them they had turned God’s house into a den of robbers. He quoted from Isaiah 56:7.

Some churches will take this verse and ban any type of selling in the church. This will even include fundraising for any ministries. I will not try to argue for or against fund-raising using this verse.

Often, however, in churches you will see the church as a den of robbers. Many people in the church will rob others of joy by placing great burdens on them. They will require certain dress codes, a long list of things to do and not do, and demands on ministry.

Others will rob the people by taking excessive amounts of money and not being wise stewards with it. Raising money for a ministry is not a sin. It is a sin to take that money and not use it properly or wisely.

People in churches will also rob God in the church. During the time of worship they are thinking about a situation at home or work, or what they will do after church service. During the service God should be the focus.

Be careful in how you act and what you say. What you say or do can rob others of what God has given them, or it could rob God of what is His.

Today, you are the temple of God. God’s temple should be a house of prayer. Do not allow God’s temple become a den of robbers. Do not rob others or God. Give all praise, prayer and worship to God. Build others up in the Lord Jesus Christ, not man-made rules.

I pray today that God will help you to focus on Him; that you will worship God at all times; that you will build up others in Jesus; that you will be a house of prayer to God; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 20:26-28 Be a Servant

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

A mother of some of the disciples came to Jesus asking that they could sit at His sides in His kingdom. Jesus stated that it was not His decision to make. Then He tells them that He did not come to be served but to serve.

People in the world are usually looking for ways to get things and be served. All over the USA people are asking what the government can do for them. Men and women like to be served.

In the workplace, many people want to be in a supervisory position so that they can be served. Most people do not like to be at the bottom of the ladder, doing the serving.

In the church, people want the glory positions that everyone sees. Most do not like to be the one to clean the bathrooms, or sweep and mop the floors. They would rather be in the teaching, leading position.

Yet, would you want to go to a church that had filthy dirty floors?
I know I would not. Someone has to be the one to do the “dirty”, unseen work. That unseen work is what makes a difference in the place.

Jesus stated that you are to serve in order to be great. He even went to the point of being a slave to someone in order to be the first.

The whole purpose Jesus came to the earth was to die for you and everyone else. That is not a picture of being served, but of serving.

Ask God how you can serve someone today. Get rid of the pride in your life, and become the servant. In God’s eyes you will great.

There are many ways you can serve another person. Be willing to serve those you are close to, those you don’t know, and even those you do not care for. God will use you in great ways if you are willing to serve.

I pray today that God will show you ways you can serve others; that God will fill you with His love for others so you can serve them; that God will strengthen you and redeem your time; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 20:12 Equal Pay

“These who were hired last worked only one hour, they said, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.” Matthew 20:12

Jesus is telling of a parable about an owner who hired some workers to work in his vineyard. He hired different people at different times during the day. At the end of the day, he paid each worker the exact same pay. The workers who had been there all day grumbled about this.

This scene would be the same if it happened today in the workplace. In fact, today, some of the workers would be going to an attorney and begin the process to sue the employer.

In the next few verses, the employer in the parable asks if he cannot do what he wants with his money and if he cannot be generous.

This is a picture of life as a Christian. There are people who have served God their whole lives. Many who have gone through many struggles as a believer. Others, have just become a Christian, not gone through any struggles as a believer and then die. In the end, both will receive the gifts of eternal life and heaven.

Very often, people in the church complain about all the hard work that they do, as they see someone new not working as hard. Some will be working very hard for God, and are in constant struggles, while God is providing for them. Others, not working very hard, seem to have everything being provided for them.

The works that you do, will not make the gifts of God better or worse. It is just that you are serving God with all that is in you. God chooses what He will give and to who and when He will give it. He is generous to everyone.

When you see someone being blessed, be glad for them. Do not be envious. God is also being generous with you, just in a different way. Trust God and work for Him. Do not worry what others are getting.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in your work for Him; that God will show you the provision He is giving you; that God will honor your work for Him; that you will rejoice at others being blessed; and that God will continue to use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 19:23 Hard to Get to Heaven

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:23

As Jesus was walking and teaching a young man wanted to know what it would take to get into heaven. Jesus starts out with telling him to keep all the commandments. The man says that he does. Then Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give it away, then follow Him. The man went away sad.

Now, Jesus appears to be singling out rich people. He basically says that they will have a hard time getting into heaven. No other person is told that they will have a hard time getting into heaven.

What makes being rich harder to get into heaven? There are some people who will try to say that being rich is sinful and not of God. Yet, no where is the Bible does it say you must not have wealth.

The challenge for rich people, and all others, is where they put their trust. Someone who has great wealth often puts his trust in that wealth or his ability to make that wealth. This is where the challenge of getting into heaven occurs.

As a believer you are to trust in only one person and no other or other thing. That person is Jesus.

Everything you have is on loan from God. God is the only one who really owns anything, and He owns it all. God is the one who made everything, including you.

With this in mind, you must trust only Him. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the things of this world. Wealth is not bad. God uses money to spread His Gospel message around the world; to build churches; to print Bibles; and to provide for the widows and orphans.

Wealth is to be used, not hoarded and trusted.

In this way, it becomes difficult for the wealthy to get into heaven. It is hard to not trust their wealth.

In the same way, each person has a difficult time getting into heaven. Each person must fully trust in Jesus alone to get into heaven.

Where is your trust today?

I pray today that you will trust fully in Jesus alone; that you will realize that God owns everything; that you will be a good steward with what God has blessed you with; that you will realize that all you have is a blessing from God that can be taken away; and that you will use what God has given you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 18:35 Unforgiveness

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35

Jesus had just finished a parable about a man who was forgiven of millions of dollars, then went out and refused to forgive a man of a few dollars. This man was then thrown into jail until he could pay everything.

Talking about forgiving someone is very common with parents with little children. One child hurts the other. The parent tells the one who did the injury to apologize, then tells the injured one to forgive the other. Very often you may hear the child say “I forgive you, but I still hate you”.

This is an example of not forgiving from the heart.

As a believer, Jesus stated that you are to forgive everyone as many times as it takes. He actually said seventy times seven times.

Everyone loves to be forgiven of a debt that they owe or for a wrong they have done. Many plead to be forgiven in a court for a wrong that they had done. Very few, however, are willing to forgive a wrong or debt owed to them.

Forgiveness from the heart is one that will forgive and forget the wrong. It is very easy to state that you forgive a person, but not so easy to forget it.

How often do you remember all the wrongs a person has done to you? How often do people bring up the past wrongs in an argument or when something was done wrong again?

In life, you have done many things wrong against God. When you go to God and ask for forgiveness, He grants it. God does not, later, bring up that sin again. It is forgotten and in the past.

Every time you forgive someone, you must forgive in the same way. Let it go. It has been proven it will help you relax and live life better.

The main reason to forgive, though, is to think about how much God has forgiven you. Do not allow the hurt and pain to keep you from forgiving someone. If you do not forgive a person, God cannot forgive you. Live like Jesus did. He forgave when He was crucified.

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for people to forgive them; that God will show you how much you have been forgiven; that God will strengthen you to forgive; and that you will forgive from your heart, not just in words.

Matthew 18:8-9 Causing a Stumble

“If your hand or foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Matthew 18:9-10

Jesus had just finished talking about not causing someone else to stumble. Now, He talks about not causing yourself to stumble.

One must understand what it means to stumble. When you walk on a path in the forest there are things that may get in the way to cause you to stumble. These things could be a rock, a log, a whole, or maybe even some brush. They cause you to slow down in your walk, maybe take a detour, or completely fall down and get hurt.

In life, you are in a walk on a path with God. This path is through the wilderness of this world that is full of evil. It has many things on the path that can cause you to stumble, changing your walk and path with God.

It is very easy to go and do something that God has not desired for you to do on the path He has you on. Or you may look at things that distract you from God and the path He has you on. At these things you start to stumble.

Jesus points out that it would be spiritually better to physically cut off your hand, foot, or eye, than to keep them and allow them to cause you to sin.

Are you doing the things God has given you to do? Are you going the places God wants you to go? Are you seeing things the way God sees them?

When you were saved, Jesus gave you the commission to go and be a witness in all of the world. Are you being that witness? If you are doing sinful things, going to sinful places, or seeing sinful pictures, you are stumbling and will cause others to stumble. You will not be walking the path God intended for you.

I pray today that God will reveal things in your life that cause you to stumble in your walk; that you will get rid of the sinful practices in your life; that you will cut off what causes you to stumble; that you will rely on God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.