Risk and vulnerability (Matthew 10)

Text: Matthew 10

Memorize: “I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NET

We know the action of sending. We used to send letters written with mechanical instruments that scratched ink upon paper, stuffed into envelopes and sent by truck and plane. Now we hit “Send” to put an electronic message in someone’s inbox. We send, or ought to, on occasion, flowers to loved ones. Continue reading “Risk and vulnerability (Matthew 10)”

Follow me (Matthew 9:9)

Text: Matthew 9:9-13

Memorize: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ he said to him. And he got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9

Jesus made disciples by eyeballing them and calling them to a radical relationship which meant denial and abandonment in order to follow him. On the road, in a house, Jesus sought out people with a sense of need, and showed them the cure for their real malady. Continue reading “Follow me (Matthew 9:9)”

Under authority (Matthew 8:9)

Text: Matthew 8:5-13

Memorize: “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this’ and he does it.” Matthew 8:9 NET

Read the soldier’s oath upon enlistment in the American military:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The military is a hierarchy. Boot camp ensures that the recruit obeys his superiors immediately, without question. Continue reading “Under authority (Matthew 8:9)”

Stop criticizing others (Matthew 7:1-6)

Devotional for October 5

Text: Matthew 7:1-6

Memorize: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.” Matthew 7:1-2 NET

It was said of T.W. Brents, “He was absolutely without mercy toward error, but not so toward men; a man of charity toward human weakness and frailty, but woe be to the man who stood before him to champion an unscriptural position!” Jesus does not want us to sacrifice truth, but he warns against the judgmental attitude, the finger ready to point at the faults of others. Williams translates the first part, “Stop criticizing others.” Continue reading “Stop criticizing others (Matthew 7:1-6)”

Genesis 38

Genesis 38:1 – part of the reading for January 17 for The Daily Bible.

No reason is stated for Judah’s separation from his brothers to take up residence with the Adullamite Hirah. It may be that the time marker, “at that time,” connects us with the previous narrative. If so, Judah is a principal player in it, for it is he who proposes to sell their brother Joseph to the traders.

Continue reading “Genesis 38”