Matthew: Chapters 1-8

Matt and I have set out to read one chapter of the Bible together each evening. A time of reflection and meditation. A constant reminder of the love, grace and mercy we have been given. A time of overwhelming wonderment in the presence our Lord. Here are my favorite verses from our reading lately:

Matthew flowers copy

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:11

We are often reminded at how far we have come away from the common sense of realizing precious things to be precious. And not only precious, but useful. We use frankincense and myrrh daily as a part of Matt’s healing regimen. Gifts of honor to the young Savior. Gifts of healing to us today.

 “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the
kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.”
Matthew 4:23-24

He healed every disease, every affliction, for He loved them so. He loves us so.

 “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’;anything more than this comes from evil.”
Matthew 5:37

To never speak more than what is necessary. Let my yes, be yes, and my no, simply no.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:3-4

THIS VERSE. It has always been a favorite of mine. What a temptation to tell the world the good we have done in the giving of our time, money or talents. And yet it taints the gift if we do that. Matt and I have found ourselves to be on the receiving end of quite a few gifts in the past year, humbling our hearts in full. While we are so grateful for the hearts and obedience each giver has shown, there is something so special, so sacred about the anonymous gift. It says so much for the giver. They are not in need of recognition. Not in need of gratitude. Not even from us, the ones who received the gift. They are merely acting in obedience. And what freedom we have in those gifts. No feelings of guilt, debt or embarrassment. Just a burden lifted by God the Father. How would our world look if we all gave this way? With no way to be repaid, or recognized for our generosity? To quietly give anonymously to those in need. To never tell a soul, knowing that your reward awaits in heaven. “But it is just so complicated to do it that way,” you say. And maybe it is, but complicated, as we have learned, often comes with a far greater reward.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:25-33

Anxiety is never a reasonable response to a circumstance. Our Father has control. He is not surprised. In fact, this situation you are facing went across His desk and He “okay-ed” it (which is hard for me to accept on some days). But he has also gone before us. He is with us. He loves us. He is for us. He is never against us. And that is reason enough to let. it. go.

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Matthew 7:7-10

We’ve prayed these verses, what seems like hundreds of times. When we ask for a fish, our Father does not give us a snake. When we asked for healing, our loving Father, does not give us illness instead.

“When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I want to; be clean.”And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Matthew 8:1-3

We have been struck with how often we are told, ” We are praying for Matt to be healed, ‘If it is God’s will.’ Which can sound like the right and Godly thing to say. However, we find that those words are most often said, when faith in God’s healing power is lacking. Jesus says it so plainly in this verse. He wants to.

Father, I pray whoever reads these verses, will be inspired to read Your Word for themselves. Finding Your truth to be the only fulfillment they need. Amen. 

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