Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Matthew 6 (Tuesday 4.18)
Many of us learned the Lord’s Prayer as children. We find that prayer here in Matthew. Just last week the K-2nd graders at my afterschool program were reviewing this prayer, discussing each line, and what it means to their lives. I was discouraged that day, overwhelmed by the intensity of midterm papers and work problems. After reciting each line, the children ended by chanting, quite loudly: “For YOURS is the kingdom, and YOURS is the power, and YOURS is the glory, forever, and ever, AMEN!”
While these closing lines are omitted in some translations, thought to be added later than the original authorship, the words were no less powerful. After praising the Father for his character, and humbly requesting provision and forgiveness, these children boldly proclaimed the sovereignty of God over their lives and the universe. A timely reminder.
Has it been a tough day? Have you faced unexpected challenges this week? As you walk and talk to God today, remember his sovereignty. The kingdom, the power, the glory, it’s all his! Forever, and ever, Amen. Let these words encourage your heart this week.
Read Matthew 9 (Thursday 4.20)
Throughout our reading this week, Jesus interacted frequently with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a group of Jewish religious leaders who emphasized strict adherence to the law and traditions. These leaders often criticized Jesus’ ministry, as he did not fit into their religious framework. In Matthew chapter nine, we see Jesus calling a tax-collector (known as potentially shady characters), to be one of his disciples. Jesus then spends time in Matthew’s home, eating with other tax-collectors and unreligious Jews. The Pharisees quickly pointed out that Jesus was interacting with “sinners.” Jesus, the Son of God, who was both completely human and completely holy, responded, not by defending his actions, but referencing his purpose in ministry. Jesus didn’t come for the religious, or the ones who knew the truth—but for the ones needing spiritual life and renewal.
Living on a Christian college campus, I find myself settling down into the “holy huddle.” I relish my own walk with God, but raise an eyebrow in skepticism at the seekers I meet who have little understanding of truth. Meanwhile, I peg members of my student body who do street ministry as radical, struggling myself to even find ways to interact with unbelievers.
This passage reminds me that God’s truth is not meant to be stockpiled within the walls of the church, the Bible college, or my heart. I am meant to live out God’s truth, being the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need spiritual life. How do you interact with unbelievers? Do you see God’s truth only for yourself, or also for the unbeliever? Let’s find some new friends to eat with!
Reflections written by Emily Alexander