Reflections Week of 4.23.17

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 18 (Tuesday 4.25)

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” The answer Jesus gave to this question is one that we often think about in Christian circles: child-like humility. Though this brief answer would seem to suffice, Jesus takes the conversation into another direction that really fleshes out what our view and treatment of our fellow believers should look like. Though at first glance it may seem that Jesus changes the subject, what he really is doing is using extreme language to show how precious every believer is to God. Jesus uses hyperbole to show the extreme lengths we should be willing to go to avoid not only the destruction of sin in our lives, but especially the destruction we can cause in lives of those around us. Jesus also uses the illustration of the shepherd to show the love and care that the Father has for his children.

So instead of answering, “be humble,” Jesus shows what it means to love others above ourselves and seek their good above our own. Jesus shows that to be great in his kingdom, we have to have that same heart for others that he has.

For Reflection: Do you view and treat fellow believers with a love and humility that shows they are worth dying for, as Christ did? Are there any ways you are causing your fellow believer to stumble?

Read Matthew 21 (Thursday 4.27)

The parable Jesus gives about the two sons in this passage can be pretty convicting. The two different responses and subsequent actions speak to the heart of true repentance. In myself, I can see it is very easy to take what is heard, taught, learned and respond with a positive, “Yes! I agree” as opposed to a denial or rejection. But following up with actions that are in line with what God is teaching me or convicting me? It is all too easy to think of ways where I have failed. What do my actions then say about my response? They say that the repentance of my heart did not match the response of my mouth.

In this passage, Jesus is using this illustration to preach against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, who practice their religion and put on a face of holiness, whereas in reality they are actually unrepentant at heart. Their actions are ultimately a rejection of Christ. As a believer, I realize that when I am in agreement with my mouth but not with my actions, I am acting in rejection of Christ and his work in my life!

Reflection: In what ways do you see yourself unrepentant to the Spirit’s conviction in your life? Are you in a place where you need to come in true repentance before God?

Reflections written by Daniel Rico

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