Tag Archives: the book of Matthew

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”  (Matthew 7:21, NLT)

When valued against actions, talk is cheap.

Jesus says that it is not just our confession, but it is through our obedience to God’s law that we realize the rule of God.  Furthermore, as we see in the two verses that follow (verses 23 and 24), it is not our successes that impress our heavenly Father; it is our faithfulness.

How different is that from what we see daily: Where good words are often divorced from good deeds?  Give God the lead today — and faithfully follow!  – Luther

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Today’s note is a bit longer than usual; and it is from the works of Oswald Chambers (1874-1917). However, I hope that you will find its encouragement to press-on after missed or ignored opportunities of great help.  – Luther 

“Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”  (Matthew 26:46, NIV)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair.

The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore.” If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken.

It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, “Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change that. But get up, and let’s go on to the next thing.” In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.

There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them.

The disciples, in this instance, had done a downright unthinkable thing — they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. But our Lord came to them taking the spiritual initiative against their despair and said, in effect, “Get up, and do the next thing.”

If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.

Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.

Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”

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“Then he said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’  So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!”  (Matthew 12:13, NLT)

Oswald Chambers reminds us: “God does not give us overcoming life — He gives us life as we overcome.”

The first task in our partnership with God is obedience.  Too often, we say to God, “Show me, and I will go,” when God is saying to us, “Go, and I will show you.”  To do the latter is to live by faith in God.  To do the former is to live by common sight and human insight alone.

Today’s scripture illustrates for us the way in which our heavenly Father works — which is the same as it was centuries before in the call of the “father of the faithful” — Abraham (who was previously named Abram): “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.'” (Genesis 12:1)

It each case — including our own in our day — the great work of God begins with our personal commitment through obedience.  Stretch out your hand.  The overcoming power of God has never been nearer!  – Luther

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