The religious leaders of Jesus' time were always testing Him with tough questions. A good example is in Matthew 15-16. Jesus spent three days with a crowd of more than four thousand. He had compassion on them and fed them from seven loaves of bread and ...

 

Are You Looking for a Sign? and more...



Are You Looking for a Sign?

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The religious leaders of Jesus' time were always testing Him with tough questions. A good example is in Matthew 15-16. Jesus spent three days with a crowd of more than four thousand. He had compassion on them and fed them from seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Again, as with the feeding of  five thousand, the people ate until they were satisfied and there were leftovers! 

After Jesus dismissed the crowd, He got into a boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him and asked Him for a sign from heaven. He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be give it except the sign of Jonah" (He referred to His coming death and resurrection) (Matthew 16:4).

The only sign people needed then and that we need today is in Jesus Himself. After John the Baptist spent some time in prison, he sent one of his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus said, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me" (Matthew 11:4-6).

What Jesus said is fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5-6. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Think About It
Jesus' miracles are the sign that proved Jesus was who He said He was. Why didn't the religious leaders get it? Blinded by their expectations of what the Messiah would be like, they missed their Savior.  

Pray About It
Father God, I pray for those reading this post. Surround them with your love and make Yourself real to them. Let them hunger for more of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    
 

Jesus' Greatest Sermon (Matt. 5:1-9)

Jesus said, 
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

We are blessed (rich) to know Jesus. It is better than health or wealth because He promises to be with us in all circumstances--whether we are poor or sad, meek or hungry for more of God. We are blessed because God loves us and cares for us. In response, God wants us to be more merciful and pure in heart, to comfort as we have been comforted--to be more like Jesus.

​Think About It
Our actions speak louder than our words. Like the boy who gave his lunch to the Lord for the miracle of feeding thousands (John 6:1-15), or the widow who gave all she had (two small copper coins) to worship God (Mark 12:42), or the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:27-37). Do others see how we trust God by how we live? Are we merciful, gentle, kind, generous, helpful? This is Jesus' most important message. 

Pray About It
Lord God, help me to be more like Jesus--kind, merciful and generous. Let a beacon of your light and love shine through me to those who need to know you. Amen.
    
 

Joy in Generosity (John 6: 1-15)

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After Jesus heard how John the Baptist was executed, He withdrew to a solitary place with His disciples. A crowd followed Him. They must have been saddened by what happened too. Jesus saw thousands of people and had compassion on them. He talked with them a long time, and when evening came, the disciples wanted to send the crowd home so they could eat. Jesus had another idea. He said, "You give them something to eat." 

​A young boy offered his lunch of five loaves of bread and two small fish. Jesus lifted the boy's gift to heaven and thanked God for it. Then He fed everyone and they ate until they were satisfied. The disciples picked up twelves baskets of leftovers. Wow! The people marveled at the miracle, and I do too. Imagine how the boy felt!


Think About It
Have you seen kids at birthday parties? They tear into their presents, one after the other. When they finish, they have an empty look on their face as if to say, is that all? Receiving is like that. It doesn't seem like we ever have enough. In contrast, think about the boy who gave up his lunch for miracle. He stood apart from the others. Instead of seeing a challenge, he saw an opportunity to serve God and others. 

Pray About It
Holy Father, help me look for ways I can be generous. Is there someone today I could share a smile with, offer assistance or give a gift? Show me, Lord. I want to be like the boy in today's lesson. In Jesus' name, Amen.



    
 

Our Marching Orders (Matt. 28:16-20)

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Christians are in the Lord's Army, and Jesus gave our marching orders before He ascended into Heaven. You can read it in Matthew 28:16-20: 

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

We may think this passage is directed to pastors, evangelists and teachers. It was spoken to Jesus' disciples, and that is who we are. The more we read the Bible and experience the love of God, the more we want others to have the same experience, but how do we go about telling others? We can be sure God is faithful to equip His followers to carry out His will (marching orders). When we avail ourselves to do God's work, He partners with us so we can do more than we ever imagined.

Think About It
Christians learn the fruit of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This is one of the ways we attract people in this dark world. They want to know the reason for our joy, and it is our purpose in life to share that reason with them. So many people around us suffer from fear, anger, envy, loss and disease. They need to know about the hope they can have from knowing our living and loving God.

Pray About It
Lord God, empower us to carry out your plan for our lives. Help us to be aware of your presence and ready to do your will. In Jesus' name, Amen.


    
 
   
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