Thursday, October 9, 2014

Matthew 25-26

Scripture connections: Mark 13-14

In Matthew 25, we soak up a few more of Jesus' parables.  We learn about "The Ten Virgins" and keeping watch.  We figure out that God wants us to use and share what He gives us in the story of the "Bags of Gold" because in being a blessing, we are blessed.  And we realize that when we serve others in Christ's love, we are serving God Himself, which Jesus illustrates with a separation of "The Sheep and the Goats."  I love what Jesus says about this.

23 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Then, Matthew 26 raises some anxiety in me today because we witness plans to harm and crucify Jesus.  It's hard to read.  We see Jesus get sold out for money, betrayed, and arrested, which we know leads to His death.  The thing that I kept turning over and over again in my head is that Jesus knew what was coming His way.  He knew, for sure, loud and clear, God's will for His life.  It seems unimaginable.  Jesus, in His human flesh, had the freedom of choice.  He could have run from His Father's will in the heat of the moment when the reality got tough.  Jesus was called by God to die for many.  The story doesn't make sense from our human perspective.  Jesus suffers for us.  What God wanted Jesus to do was difficult, even for Him.  How does He get through this excruciatingly difficult trial in His life?  Jesus prays through His sorrow to help him remain perfectly faithful to God's will.  

38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus prayed to God three times like this.  He didn't get the answer his human mind wanted.  He died a terrible death for a much greater, more perfect good.  He saved our lives.  God knew we needed Jesus to save us in this way.  The take home message, for me, in all of this is that God's will is above my understanding sometimes, many times.  There are moments when God's will is counter intuitive.  I have to trust God.  He does know better than I do.  

My biggest problem is the habit I have of diving head first into things trying to fix what I see to be wrong.  The problem is, I can't see the big picture when I take this approach.   I have to make myself stop diving in with my own head first.  Yes, God does want me to help others.  But sometimes, the way I dive in without consulting my Heavenly Father and praying through, I end up getting in the way of His will, His perfect plan.  Thank goodness, Jesus did not try to avoid and fix the tragedy we see in His death.  God knew better.  Jesus died so that I may live in abundance with God forever.  Thank you, Jesus!

A prayer for today-

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your Son, Jesus.  What an amazing, selfless, example we have in Him.  Help me to be more like Him.  Forgive me for getting in the way of Your will for my life and the lives of others.  As I pray to You for guidance, Lord, give me clear direction.  I can be hard headed and selfishly driven.  Show me how and when to let go of what makes sense and just trust in You completely.

I pray for Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done.

I pray in the name of Jesus, My Redeemer,

May God bless you and keep you,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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