Matthew Chapter 26 Devotion

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:1-75 

Song of the Day: Suffering Servant by Dustin Kensrue 

Focus Verse: Matthew 26:38-39 

The events of Matthew Chapter 26 pave the way for the inevitable crucifixion of Jesus. From the beginning, Jesus knew what was to come yet he maintained his faith and continued to carry out the will of God. There were many who plotted against Jesus and turned against him, including some of his own disciples. At one point, while in Gethsemane, Jesus prays that if it is possible, he would not be crucified. Jesus ultimately prays for the Father’s will to be done and accepts his role in God’s plan. What can we learn from this? It is shown how difficult these times must have been for Jesus. No matter what he faced, Jesus’s faith remained unbreakable. Those who turn away or question God often do so in times of hardship. It can be difficult because we know that God is in control and wonder why something terrible may happen under his vigilance. In this chapter however, Jesus shows us the importance of maintaining strong faith despite what may happen to us. Every one of us goes through hardships in our lives whether it be losing someone we love, being antagonized by others, struggling with sin, etc. We’re all currently having to deal with a worldwide pandemic, isolation, and being unsure of when we can get back to our lives. These hardships can be the ultimate test of faith for many of us, but they can also be chances to grow stronger in our faith because we know that God is always with us. 

Prayer: Pray to God asking him to guide you when it seems that all the light has been snuffed out. Ask for forgiveness for all of the times when you may have turned from God or hurt someone else in your own anger or sadness. Finally, pray that God will give you the strength and courage needed to follow him, even though you may be hated by those who are too attached to the world. 

Activity: Take this time to reflect on hardships you’ve faced in your life. Try to remember what you may have done as a result and if it would be what God wants. Think of how Jesus responded in today’s chapter and how you can follow his example of trusting in God.

Matthew Chapter 25 Devotion

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25

Song of the Day: It’s Only Life by Kate Voegele

Focus Verse: Matthew 25:21a

Because of COVID-19, this year has been wrought with thoughts of heath concerns, sickness, and even death. Even though these can all be scary things to think about, they are all very real parts of life. And thinking about death can be a good and healthy spiritual discipline. In these thoughts, we reflect on what we value most in life. We learn who is important to us and how we want to live our days on earth.

There is a parable in Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells a story about a man giving bags of gold out to his workers. Two of the servants go out, use the gold, and make more. One servant simply buries the gold and produces no more. The master is furious at this servant for his lack of effort, but to his other workers he says: “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

This scripture is used often at funerals because it touches on an important truth: we were created to do, to live, to journey, to create, and to care. God, our creator and teacher, gave us skills and days and friends and learning so that we could do something with our lives.

Thinking about death can be scary, but it can also lead us to be more proactive and live life to its fullest. Just because you are at home, does not mean your life is over. God has placed you in this time of history for a reason and God expects us to do something with the days we have been given. So go and do something, and earn your response of “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Action: Do something valuable today.

Matthew Chapter 24 Devotion

Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:1-51

Song of the Day: Fighting for Me by Riley Clemmons, this is my absolute favorite Christian song and helps me get through the hardest of times so I highly recommend it in this uncertain time

Focus Verse: Matthew 24:35

Devotion: Through this verse we can see that God’s word is with us forever but the material things that we desire on earth aren’t. It is important not be consumed in the earthly things that we possess because in the end, God and His word are the only things that matter. In this time of uncertainty and fear we should look to God’s word and focus on his teachings rather than dwell on all of the material things that we are missing out on. While it is extremely sad, God has a greater plan for us and it is important for us to understand and believe in that. Matthew 24 helps to show us that we should not put our faith in earthly things but in God Himself, because he is our Savior and reigns in heaven above. So, stay the course and trust in God because He will get us through this and has a greater plan in mind. 

Prayer: Dear God, I pray that we are all able to get through this difficult and trying time with You by our side. Help us to all to look to you for guidance and cherish the things we often take for granted. Guide us through these next couple of weeks and find ways to show Your love through it. Thank you for all that you have given us and for keeping us safe thus far. Amen. 

Action: Help someone who you know is in need (talk to them, give them something, facetime them, etc.) and pray for them and their family.

Matthew Chapter 23 Devotion

Scripture Reading: Matthew 23

Song of the Day: TESTIFY by NEEDTOBREATHE

Focus Verse: Matthew 23:12

In a nutshell, Matthew 23 is all about Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which your behavior does not match. Basically, you don’t practice what you preach. In Matthew 23, Jesus talks to the crowd and tells them that the teachers and Pharisees are hypocrites. He says that the crowd should follow what the Pharisees say but not what they do since they are hypocrites. Then Jesus goes on and reprimands the teachers and Pharisees for their dishonesty. He tells them all the things they’re doing wrong and talks about they’re mistakes affected all the people who follow them. Take time today to reflect whether you are leading by example or if you are like the Pharisees?

Prayer: Dear God, Please help me live a life full of humility and to live humbly and kind. If I do this, I will show your ways to others and lead them to you. amen.

Action: Pray for your teachers that still have to work and plan during this crisis. 

Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6OcP4wpDOYO62ueRfrm2Ai?si=-I2mKSqQSr6LY4inNaO5zA 

Matthew Chapter 22 Devotion

Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:1-45
Song of the Day: I can only imagine
Focus Verse: Matthew 22:14
Matthew chapter 22 is filled with many parables and lessons taught by Jesus. It has parables about Heaven, and Jesus responding to the Pharisees’ traps about scripture. In this chapter we see the famous lines such as “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s”, as well as “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” However, the first parable in the chapter is very important itself. Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven like a wedding banquet a king makes for his son. He sends his servants out to invite guests. The servants in this case are the prophets that God sent in the past to tell his people of the coming of Christ and the kingdom of heaven. Jesus then says how the invited people all said no, and how some just walked away, while some mistreated and killed the servants. This is a call back to the prophets that have been persecuted in the time before Jesus. Then the servants were instructed to invite anyone on the street, the good and the bad. This is just like God who invites all to be with him in heaven. At the banquet, however, a man was not dressed in wedding clothes and was kicked out. Jesus then says “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” This is important because all of us have received an invitation into heaven. Christ a servant has come and shown us an invitation to his banquet with God in heaven. However in order to be chosen, we must accept Jesus into our hearts and form a relationship with God.
God, help us to recognize that we all have an invitation to join you in heaven. Help us to realize that all we have to do to be chosen to be with you is accept you as Lord and savior and build our relationship with you. Help us to remember the call you have upon our lives so that we may live lives pleasing to you. Amen.
Action: Spend time today thinking about the call God has on our lives, and ways that we can accept our invitation to be with Him.