Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Matthew 3

In this short chapter God spoke a few things to me.

In verse 8 John implores us to "produce fruit in keeping with repentance".  True repentance is of the heart but it will be seen.  If you say you have Christ and have repented in your heart but you still live the same you are saying that God isn't powerful enough to change you.  That is a lie!  If you don't see the fruits of repentance check yourself and make sure you really have Christ in your life.  A corn label on a can of beans doesn't make corn.  You need real change and real change shows.

Also, we try to put Jesus in a box so we can make him a blonde-haired hippy.  He is not.  Look at verse 12.  Now tell me why, according to John, Jesus is coming to Earth.  Got it?  Jesus is coming to separate people. Yeah, he's coming to weed out the true believers from the posers.  Make sure you aren't posing for Jesus because he hates that and if you do you will be thrown into an unquenchable fire.  Don't want to get all Hell fire on you, but it's right there in the word.  Jesus is serious!  Are you serious about wanting him?

Finally, Jesus was obedient and was baptized even though he didn't need it.  Remember obedience is better than sacrifice.

So check yourself and produce fruit for Jesus today!

Matthew 2

In the second chapter of Matthew he has a point to prove.  Matthew has one thing he doesn't want you to miss (and remember he is originally writing to Jews), Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Matthew shows time and again proof that Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophesy.  So, great I already knew that.  Plus, I'm not a first century Jew who isn't convinced.  What does this mean to me?  Here's what this has to do with you.  Read the Old Testament and look for Jesus.  He is all over the pages of the Old Testament.

Secondly, note that when Joseph has his dream in verse 14 it says he got up and went in the middle of the night.  When God calls us to do something, to love someone, to serve him... do NOT wait.  Get up and do it.  

Finally, don't doubt God.  God can still and does still communicate via dreams.  Here is some ways you can tell a dream is of God.
1. It matches his word.
2. It will reoccur.
3. It will look like his previous work.
4. It will stretch your trust in him.
5. it will give him praise.

So get up and go when Jesus tells you to because he is the Messiah and the Lord of all.  Live like he is today.

Matthew 1

How many of you skip this chapter?  Seriously.  To be honest I always did because the names were confusing and who cares about a genealogy?!  When I finally studied this chapter I was floored... there is some good stuff in here.  Here's a taste of the good stuff in Matthew 1.

The genealogy can be a long list of faceless names, so I want to put a face to a few of these names.

-Abraham (read Gen 12:2-3) Father of Judaism.  God promised that through him ALL people will be blessed.  This promise is fulfilled by Christ on the cross.

-Isaac (read Gen. 22) Son of Abraham.  Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac.  Abraham listened to God but at the end of the story God spares Isaac's life.  God later will do the same thing but he will not spare his son, Jesus, and through this sacrifice all nations are blessed.

-Tamar (read Gen. 38) Tamar is part of what seems like a throw in story in the middle of a great story about Joseph, but it is a crazy story.  Tamar is slighted by her family and especially her father-in-law to the point where she pretends to be a prostitute inorder to be impregnated by her father-in-law.  Soap Opera's don't even touch that storyline!

-Rahab (read Joshua 2) She was a prostitute who faithfully helped Israeli spies in Jericho.  She hid the spies because she had heard the wonders God had done and knew he would do another.

-Ruth (Read Ruth) Ruth's story is a great one.  In the end she still is a Moabite with the curse of the Moabites hanging over her, but God blessed her descendants in spite of this because of her faith.

-David (read Samuel 7:11-16)  God made him king and promised to establish his throne forever.  Jesus fulfills this prophesy.

-Bathsheba (read 2 Samuel 11)  David cheated with her and murdered her husband who was David's friend  yet God forgave this sin and blessed her offspring.

The genealogy is full of diverse people.  Some of the above were given promises by God, some are great examples of faith and some are the black sheep of the family that Matthew didn't have to include in the genealogy of Jesus.

Matthew includes these people for many reasons, but one of those is to show that Jesus starts in a similar place as us.  I have some great examples of faith in my family and I've got some black sheep.  It doesn't matter.  God will prepare good works for you to do if you ask him to regardless of your family tree.

There is so much more in this chapter but don't miss this.  God loves you and wants to use your life regardless of where it starts!

Hijacking Jesus

I have begun to feel that we are hijacking Jesus.  We make Jesus into what we need him to be.  I mean I want my Jesus loving so I make a loving Jesus or I want my Jesus to hate homosexuals so I make him do just that.  I am done taking Jesus, I'm ready for him to take me.  So I want to go back to the Gospel of Matthew to find out exactly who Jesus is (note I didn't say was).

So over the next many post I want to look at the Good News of Matthew chapter by chapter.  I will not, nor could I, talk about everything in each chapter.  What I will do is relay to you what Jesus is telling me about himself as I run through the book.

I hope you enjoy.