Pastor's Blog

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Tuesday    April 13, 2010    Matthew 10-11 and Psalm 60

WANTED: men and women willing to;

work as lambs among the wolves,

be flogged in the town square,

be hated by former friends and family,

be persecuted for what you believe,

love your leader more than you love your family . . .

Pay scale: Whatever is provided you by free will offerings and the hospitality of others.

To apply: Find Jesus of Nazareth and apply in person.

Even in an economic time such as we are in these days, how many applicants do you suppose that kind of ad in the paper would bring? In Matthew 10 all those things are described as part of what the first century follower of Jesus Christ should expect in the course of fulfilling their call. In Matthew 10 and 11 Jesus instructs his followers that there is an element of risk involved in be a fully committed follower of him. There will be tough decisions to be made . . . there will be some spiritual and emotional battles to be fought. Jesus declares in chapter 11 verse 12 that there will be times when a disciple of Jesus must take a posture that says I will not be turned back – I will not be denied – I am going to stand my ground and see the kingdom of God go forward at any cost!

This is not a job description for wimps! This is not a job description for people who are looking for a life of comfort and ease. Jesus teaches us in verses 38 and 39 of chapter 10 that the person who is concerned about personal survival and personal gain will end up losing it all – BUT, the person who becomes more concerned with the extension of the kingdom of heaven than even their own lives will find a quality of life that brings total fulfillment!

Perhaps the most challenging part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the call to put away self . . . to deny self. That is what is at the center of taking up your cross and following Jesus (10:38). That is what it means to “take my yoke upon you” (11:29). It is no longer about me - it is about Him.

To be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ is a task that is impossible in my own strength. That is why I love what Jesus says in the last three verses of chapter 11.

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

The yoke was (and is) a device that rested on the shoulders of two oxen (or beasts of burden) in order to help distribute the weight of a load between the two creatures. With the yoke on they would walk and work together in tandem thus creating a much more powerful synergy than what could be created individually. Jesus said that the key to our success in this Christian life is to be yoked together with him. What that means to me is, he is promising to help me carry the weight of my load. He said if you will come to me, and take on my agenda for you instead of your own agenda it will bring a sense of relief and rest to your life. Instead of being overwhelmed to the point of wanting to give up, you find a source of strength in me that will allow you to keep on going . . . and going . . . and going!

I end my thoughts this morning with the words and the melody of the song we sing from Psalm 73:25-26

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

[26] My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever.

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wednesday April 14, 2010   Matthew 12 -13 and Psalm 61

Thursday     April 15, 2010   Matthew 14-15 and Psalm 62

Friday         April 16, 2010   Matthew 16-17 and Psalm 63

Saturday     April 17, 2010   Matthew 18-19 and Psalm 64

Sunday       April 18, 2010   Matthew 20-21 and Psalm 65







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