January 22 – Today’s Readings – Matthew 11-13 and Psalms 22
When Jesus speaks in Scripture, you want to read it slowly or perhaps twice. Every time He opened His mouth to speak, He exposed God’s kingdom and God’s character. Here are three of my favorite thoughts from today’s reading:
1. The kingdom of God is something so special that you “sell all you have” to get it. What exactly does this small statement mean to you and I? Think of the Jewish leader (Luke 18: 18-27) who came to Jesus wanting reassurance of his salvation. He had lived a good life and had obeyed the rules, but he hadn’t submitted his whole life to the Lord. When Jesus told him to sell all he had, give it to the poor and follow Him, the man went away unhappy because Jesus had put His finger on the uncommitted part of this man’s life – the part he was “holding back”. So it is with us – we must not leave any areas of our lives unturned when we come to Jesus. He must be Lord of all – and we too must sell “all we have” to buy the field that contains the treasure.
2. The kingdom of God starts out fairly small in our lives – “like a mustard seed” – a simple prayer and an act of faith – but it soon takes over our whole world in a wonderful way. We really don’t expect this when we walk into our first church service or our first gathering with Christian friends. We feel loved by God and deeply attracted to Jesus but it does not cross our minds that this Jesus will “take over” every area of our lives.
3. Matthew 12:50 says, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”. The same passage in The Message Bible reads, “Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother”. Here Jesus concentrates on the importance of the family of God. Becoming part of God’s family is a more a significant thing than being born into a natural family at birth. In God’s family, we have relationships that will last for eternity. Natural families without God last only a short time and serve only a small purpose in comparison to the Lord’s plan for the Family of God – The Church. Here’s a thought – Do we treat each other with the love and respect deserving of a “spiritual brother or sister” – one who we will share eternity with – one with whom we share all the most precious values of life?
1. What does it mean for you personally to “sell all you have” in order to gain God’s treasure?
2. In which way has the Kingdom of God started out like “a mustard seed” but developed into something very big in you?
3. If our spiritual family is eternal – how should this fact affect our daily living?