Scripture Reading: Matthew 16
Song of the Day: Surrender by Jimi Cravity
Focus Verse: Matthew 16:24-25
In this chapter, Jesus is asked by the Pharisees and Sadducees to show them a sign from heaven. Jesus tells them that they can read the signs from the sky at night but cannot see the signs from heaven. Then he leaves with the disciples and crosses the lake. When the disciples forget the bread, Jesus turns to them and tells them, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” At first the disciples start talking about actual bread and wonder if Jesus is upset that they forgot it. Jesus goes on to tell them that they need to be careful about what the Pharisees teach.
Then Jesus asks the disciple, “Who Am I?” Peter says that Jesus is the son of the living God, which Jesus says Peter knew because God let him and that he would be the rock of the church because Jesus will die, but rise three days later. In order to follow Jesus, he says the people must give up their lives and take up their cross to follow him.
What does all this mean? Jesus is telling his disciples that he will not always be around and discipleship will not be easy. There will be people with false teachings and many will not truly follow him. But Jesus gives them hope and tells them to remember the feeding of the 5000. He is telling his disciples that God has a hand in everything and that once Jesus is gone, the disciples will still be able to spread the word and God will help them do it.
Prayer: Spend time asking God to help you take up your cross. It is not always easy but with his help, everyone can be a true disciple. Thank God for having a hand in everything, and finally thank God for giving us Jesus to die for our sins.
Action: Think of the things holding you back from fully following God. Work on giving them up so you can follow God fully.