Matthew

Real faith


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Was Jesus recommending a passive and unthinking approach to life and the future?  Absolutely not.  He used dramatic rhetoric to highlight the inconsistency of claiming faith in God while remaining anxious about daily needs.  Jesus’ advice to sell one’s possession and give to the poor in Luke 12:33 fits into this context.  It is not an absolute command but an illustration of the kind of faith that trusts God more than worldly security.

Commentary from the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible, pg. 1539.

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Overcoming Obstacles

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Nothing is impossible for the heavenly Father.  No obstacle confuses God or poses any kind of challenge for Him.  Though we know He is sovereign over every situation, we have trouble maintaining this perspective, just like the disciples in today’s passage-Matthew 17:14-21.  Too often when difficulties arise we…

EXPERIENCE A SHIFT IN FOCUS.  During trials, we tend to take our eyes off the Lord and instead see only our problems.  The longer we look at our circumstance, the larger it seems.  As we dwell on it in thought and conversation, our mind-set can become very negative.  Though God still has a direction for us to take, we are no longer concentrating on His purposes.

DEVELOP AN INCORRECT ASSESSMENT OF RESOURCES.  In our troubles, we start taking inventory of our own strength and abilities.  When they prove insufficient, we become discouraged.  The truth is that we don’t have what is needed for life’s trials – Jesus Himself told us that.  (See John 15:5.)  But God’s capabilities are unlimited, His power is never-ending, and His wisdom is complete.  We need to take stock of His resources, not our own.

VIEW OBSTACLES AS BARRIERS.  For the obedient believer, impediments represent opportunities, not problems.  The Lord can demonstrate His awesome power through our difficulties.  (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.)  At such times, we grow in our faith and learn more about our Father.  If we view hardships simply as troubles, then we can miss demonstrations of God’s love, power, and wisdom.  

Start each day committed to a Christ-centered focus, a dependence on His resources, and an “opportunity” mindset.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, August 14, 2017.

Don’t Worry, There is a Bridge

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Think of all the different kinds of “daily bread” that can be here today and gone tomorrow: money, house, cars, possessions, jobs, health, and more.  In fact, every tangible thing in our life is something we have no ultimate control over.  And those are the things Jesus said we should never spend time and energy worrying about-which makes perfect sense.  Why worry about those things over which we have no control?

The one thing that cannot be taken away is the only thing we need going forward into the future: our faith and the intangible values (perseverance, hope, and the like) that arise from our faith.  The apostle Paul confirmed the necessity of faith:  “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  We are stewards (slaves) of the God who has bought us for Himself.  Our provision is His “worry”, not ours.  He has promised to meet the needs of those who love Him.

Don’t worry about tomorrow, Jesus said.  Trust your heavenly Father with the faith you can never lose. 

“Worry over poverty is as fatal to spiritual fruitfulness as is gloating over wealth.”  A. W. Pink

Commentary from Turning Points devotional by David Jeremiah, May 12, 2017.

This song has a country/blues/gospel sound and may not be your taste, and is not necessarily my own, but I appreciate the words, which relate to this post, are meaningful, and I hope helpful 🙂

God On The Mountain, Gaither VEVO, featuring Lynda Randle.