Monday, June 7, 2010 Matthew 12:22-50
These verses begin with the power of Jesus being questioned. Where did the Pharisees say his power was coming from (24)? What three defenses does Jesus give in answer to their accusations (26-27, 29)? What is Jesus saying in 30-32? What is meant by “blasphemy against the spirit” (31)? How have the Pharisees committed this sin? Why? What reasons does Jesus give for the Pharisees’ hostility (34-37)? What difference does Jesus’ power against evil make in your life? Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts. Spend time in prayer asking God to fill you with new attitudes and motives.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Matthew 13
This chapter is filled with parables. The focus for today is the parable of the sower (1-23). Jesus uses this parable to explain why some people show the results of a healthy, balanced spiritual life, and some do not. What kind of soil were you when you first heard the gospel: hard, rocky, thorny, or good? Which kind of soil best describes you now? What do verses 18-23 reveal about the seeds? The various soils? The farmer? What can we do to produce deep roots that can help our soil remain good and faithful? What steps can you take right now to improve the soil of your spiritual life? Make a commitment to spiritual growth.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 Matthew 14
The focus today is 22-32, immediately following the feeding of the five thousand. Why do you think Jesus separates himself from the crowd and the disciples to spend some time alone in prayer? What does his example say to us today? Why are the disciples so terrified (25-26)? How does Jesus calm their fears? What do these verses tell us about Peter? What makes him sink? How about you? Are you good at stepping out of the boat and taking risks? Are you like Peter, afraid but still looking to Jesus? Do you realize Jesus is always with you, and is really the only one who can help? Pray about where in your life God is asking you to get out of the boat.
Thursday, June 10, 2010 Matthew 15
The focus today is 1-20, where once again the Pharisees and teachers of religious law have come to scrutinize Jesus. In these verses, Jesus addresses three groups (1, 10, 12). When is Jesus the harshest? Why? How does Jesus support his charge of hypocrisy? What example does he use (5-6)? What does Isaiah say to the Pharisees in 7-9? What does he say to us today? Why does Jesus call them “blind guides?” It is not enough just to act religious. Our actions and attitudes must be sincere. It isn’t important that our outside appearance is attractive; it is what we are like on the inside that is important to God. What is something that you need to change to get your heart and your mouth more in line with each other?
Friday, June 11, 2010 Matthew 16
The focus for today is 13-20. In these verses, Jesus is asking his disciples who people say the Son of Man is. Why do they say he was one of these: John the Baptist (John 1), Elijah (1 Kings 17), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2) or one of the great prophets (Deuteronomy 18:18)? What is significant about Peter’s confession? How do you interpret the insight (17), power (18), and authority (19) given to Peter? Peter confesses Jesus as divine, and as the long-awaited Messiah, something all subsequent believers would do. If Jesus asked you this question, how would you respond? Is he your Lord and Messiah?
Saturday, June 12, 2010 Matthew 17
The focus for today is 1-13, the transfiguration of Jesus. This is a foretaste, a special revelation of Jesus’ divinity to three of the disciples. It has been six days since Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, and Jesus predicted his own death. Who does Jesus invite as witnesses? What does it mean to be transfigured? Why Moses and Elijah? (Read Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and Malachi 4:5-6 for a better understanding.) Moses and Elijah were the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament, and their presence confirmed Jesus’ messianic mission to fulfill God’s law and the words of God’s prophets. It was very important for them, and for us today, to know that Jesus is far more than a great leader, a good example, a good influence or a great prophet. He is the Son of God! Reflect on when and how you came to recognize Jesus as your Messiah.
Sunday, June 13, 2010 Psalm 32
This is a psalm of forgiveness. It records the joy and relief David found in God’s forgiveness. David tells how unconfessed sin sapped his strength like water evaporating in the summer heat (3-4). God freely forgives those who trust him and confess their sins. How has that message been real to you lately? How has God’s forgiveness spilled over to the other relationships in your life? Has God’s forgiveness helped you see yourself in a new light? Make this psalm your prayer for the day.