Matthew 8:18: Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. 19: And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20: And Jesus saith unto him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
21: And another of his disciples said unto him, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” 22: But Jesus said unto him, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
Excuse Me: Our human tendency is for excuses. The opportunities of the moment are quickly passed by for the excuses of a lifetime. One wanted comforts and a secure destination. Another wanted to seal the family fortune and let the past generation find finality. Jesus wanted them that day. Jesus wants those who will go where there is no promise of a comfortable destination. Jesus wants those who will go and let the prior generation either come along or resolve life on their own. Jesus is unrelentingly in motion toward heaven.
Garbage Man: At breakfast one morning a friend looked into the eyes of another friend. Piercingly, he declared, “You are the garbage man!” They had been discussing activities in the community. The one was talking about going into hard places and developing and disciplining people in this gospel lifestyle. His friend saw a thread. The thread was finding struggling situations and bringing those to fruitful fields with tenacity and insight and time and effort. The thread was taking what others reject and bringing it to full fruit.
No Throw Aways: Taking what others would throw away and applying strong action is something many avoid. Jesus embraced it. It is His daily bread and unrelenting task. It meant not having a home at times as most would not follow Him into the hard spots or welcome Him when he came out smelling like a portion of mankind with which they were unfamiliar. What is not ours and is not familiar looks and smells like garbage. I remember working in nurseries as a young parent. Changing my child’s diaper was easy. Changing the diaper of a friend’s child was horrid. The smell was unfamiliar. At times, I would lean over a trash can in case I could not handle it and my stomach might revolt.
Minister to Minister: This month, be a special blessing to some minister. For the most part they are “garbage men”. They take our hurts and pains and help us through to new light and life. They could use a lift this clergy appreciation month.
ACT! Release an excuse that has been keeping you from full commitment to Jesus call on your life. Think about how you would live if you had no financial attachments or no expectations of tomorrow’s fortune.
PRAY! Father, I am so weak. My strength is small in the challenge of adversity. Jesus came with no guantees of comfort or family or home. He thought it not something to be grasped to be resident with You as King of the Universe in heaven. He left throne and comfort to live among men. Help me have His way in me.
Matthew 8:16: When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Unstoppable: The unstoppable, unswayable nature of Jesus challenges my thoughts. His persistence in the face of challenge is incredible. Think about this situation. He had just had a hard day, found Peter’s mother-in-law sick, settled down for a meal and relaxing with friends, and then the someone raps on the door. “Jesus, come out quickly there is a mob of sick, demonized, bleeding, open-wounded, moaning people out here who want to see you.”
How would you respond?
He healed all that were sick. He cast out the spirits with His word.
ACT! The next calendar challenge that comes to you, stop and take care of the interruption for the other person immediately. See what happens.
PRAY! Father, I want to be able to have the presence of mind of Jesus. How incredible that He could stop at anytime and concentrate totally on the one pressing need in front of Him. Teach me, Father. Teach me to be ever able and ever present for people in need.
Matthew 8:14: And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15: And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
Family: For all of us there are those special people we call family. They may or may not be blood family. They are special. They are family. For Jesus, Peter and anyone special to Peter became family. This was Peter’s mother-in-law that moved the compassionate hand of God. There is no hesitation in these verses. It appears that Jesus went right to Peter’s mother-in-law. Immediately, He healed family.
Family Followup: A new person came across the pastor’s path that week. She was new to town and visiting church with her boyfriend. On a follow up phone call, he found she had been sick for two days. While getting acquainted a little more, he gently led into prayer. The presence of God was sweet. She needed that family touch.
ACT! Got family? Maybe someone in your extended family or friend’s family is ailing in heart or mind or body. Reach out a hand of friendship to them in prayer. Let them know.
PRAY! Father of health and life. I bring my family of friends before Your throne. Take them into Your protection and love. Take them into Your healing presence. Bring them great joy today in You in Jesus.
Dear friend, you are on my heart this morning as I pray through Psalm 73. In this psalm, Asaph struggles to understand how those that ignore God prosper while some who diligently pursue Him struggle. In verse 21 there is an angst recorded. Maybe you’ve been here. I’ll write it out in my style.
My heart grieves. My mind is distraught and confused. So disturbing is this moment, I thrash and yell like a caged animal looking for a way out. I pace and banter within my own mind. I just don’t get it. But I never quit looking to You. Somehow, I know You will get me through this moment. I’ll get it. I just have to stay with You. I’ll get it. You will get me there. You will get me where I need to go.
Really, where else would I go. Who do I have in heaven except You? Is there anyone on this planet to whom I could turn besides You? You are my strength, redeemer, friend, confidant, power, enablement, and friend. You get me when no one else gets me. You get it. You will get me there. You will get me where I need to go.
When I fail and question and just sit back and think about it, where could I go? And right now, I am tired. My mind and will and emotions are spent. You are my strength, my peace, my portion, my life, and the end of every search. You get it. You get me. You will get me there. You will get me where I need to go.
In the end of it all, I will find myself next to You and You next to me and that is really all I need.
So I pray this morning, friend, that you get it. If there is an angst you don’t understand, I pray you thrash it out with an understanding God. He’ll get you there. He gets you.