For the last few weeks, my travel through the Bible has taken me to Matthew 1-7. Matthew writes for the Hebrew Christians in the early church. He presents Jesus Christ as the Messiah long promised by God. The Christian faith is built on records that prove and link the Old and New Testaments; God’s purposes throughout the centuries.
Below are some links to other Christian Websites that were used as resources in my travel.
The reading plan is laid out below. On the first day of each block of reading, I used the question(s) to help in my study and thought. Then I prayed for inspiration; a sermon point, a picture that would help me apply the passage to my daily life at home or work, a quote that inspired me to action, or a video. I also prayed for my day ahead; for my family, church, and job. I asked God for a plan of action after reading and studying each day’s reading.
On day two of each block of reading, the passage from the day before was reread and checked by studying my own heart. I wrote out thoughts, ideas, remarks, praises, or lessons learned that might help me or those I know. Then some thought was put into what to pray for and any plans of action I might take.
What is the significance about Matthew’s record of Christ’s genealogy? What is your lineage? What is your place?
Leaders have attributes that cause people to follow. Christians follow Christ who enlightens the mind and teaches the whole will of God which is documented in the instruction manual called the Bible. We study and follow the path laid out by Christ to get a slam dunk in life.
The Christian faith is built on records that prove and link the Old and New Testaments and God’s purposes throughout the centuries. It is built on a foundation that is solid as a rock. The goodness of the Lord runs from generation to generation. Pray today with confidence because God knows each of us and we are all written in the book of life!
Consider the meaning of the name Emmanuel. To what extent is God with you?
Here is a link to a video based on “Emmanuel” by Amy Grant:
Emmanuel means God with us. God’s Spirit lives in the hearts of all Christians. Pray today for this intangible quality called faith to produce tangibles called good deeds. Pray that God’s indwelling Spirit will initiate actions that help those around you. It may be endeavors around the house with family members, at your work place, or in your community.
How do these Gentile astrologers find out about the birth of a Jew? What do the wise men do when they reach the end of their quest? How do you know you have found the true God?
The wise men found Jesus by following the direction of the bright star in the east. Today, we can follow bright stars that lead us to God. Today’s stars may be a mentor you look up to, a Sunday school teacher, a friend, a Bible verse, or a point in a sermon. Pray today that you see a star and when you do, tell others.
You can’t judge a book by its cover. The singer in this video may have a weird haircut but he’s a star that helps many to focus on Christ and his band got its start in Waco.
David Crowder realized that almost half of the students at Baylor University were not attending church and started University Baptist Church in 1995 while he was still a student. He organized a band that led worship there and the church grew. So did the bands lineup as they toured the country. They recently announced the start to recording a new album. Crowder has made Waco his home.
Characterize Joseph’s relationship with God. How serious does Herod regard the birth of a king of the Jews?
Herod regarded the birth of Jesus very seriously. In fact he would seek to find Jesus and kill him. But Joseph’s relationship with God was strong and the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream; telling him to escape to Egypt. There are times we have to make a decision and it is during these times that it is especially important that we seek direction from God.
Your dreams will help you know the way, go the way, and show the way. They will stamp in your mind a road map to where you need to go or a plan of what needs to be done. My Pastor, Steve Ramsdell at First United Methodist Church Waco once made a point in a sermon that God gives each of us dreams for a bright future. Every great cause first began as a dream; every house or skyscraper built, every business developed, and every championship won began with a dream.
In thinking about ways this passage can bring us to a deeper faith and help us apply today’s reading; the picture to the right was found. My prayer today is that the path to success is followed; the one laid out in the Bible.
Who is John the Baptist and what was his purpose? How do the people signify their acceptance of his message?
John the Baptist laid the path and shined the light. In prayer, we can be thankful for this introduction of Jesus. We can ask that our acceptance of this message builds faith in us and those around us. We can pray that it gives momentum and carries us to a new dimension of power. A power from God that is invisible, bold, and indescribable.
List any videos you are reminded of as you read this passage. Here is a link to one that has inspired me. May it inspire you as you spend this day with God!
What aspects of man does the devil attempt to exploit in his temptations? Why do you think the devil left Jesus?
In this passage, the devil tempted Jesus but He passed the test. By accepting God’s gift of abundant life through His son, we pass also; receiving rest and joy. With Christ, we have a chance for abundant life today that only gets better in the long term with daily transformation; growing in grace and a future beyond our wildest imagination.
Dr. Walt Larimore in the book Game Plan for Life wrote the following, “Though we’re not promised a perfectly healthy physical life, the Bible does promise abundant life to those who have a vital relationship with God. An abundant life is one that will be full and meaningful – infused with purpose, contentment, and joy”. Today my friend, talk to God in prayer about your desire to lay every burden down at the cross. Ask God how you can serve Him today.
To what extent does God’s word come to you in your daily occupation? Click on the link below and think about the extent of Jesus’ influence. What are some ideas that may help integrate your faith into your daily work?
Jesus was able to get His message out in a short time frame with tremendous influence in the region. Take a look at the link below:
While on earth, Jesus was very efficient in his work because He applied biblical principles. We can also learn Biblical principles through study and try to develop habits like Jesus to build our own character. Day by day we can build new attitudes and take actions with this new character.
One idea may be to integrate faith with your daily work by taking sermon points and Bible passages that will help in various tasks. Another idea is to pray before the start of each day for God’s presence, for discernment in doing the right tasks, and for the power to get them completed.
What qualities characterize the blessed? What places and situations around you need God’s light?
We can be happy in all circumstances and that happiness should becontagious so that it spreads to people around us. Think about placesthat need God’s light. Pray how you can be a light that shines so others will praise God.
God can take you higher than you’ve ever been before. Like a balloon that is lifted higher and higher, use the blessings that God provides to lift yourself and others with a warmhearted Spirit.
What is Jesus’ relation to the Law of Moses? What part does a right attitude toward Christian brothers play in your service and worship?
Jesus points out in the scripture today that what He is teaching is a way to fulfill the Law of Moses. His teachings go beyond the Law of the Prophets. Pray for the ability to understand how Christ lived. Pray for a daily method whereby growth occurs as time is spent in Bible study, prayer, and as you go through the experiences of life.
One day at a time we can understand God’s plan and the fullness He provides in our life. We can press on and give it all we have even if we get dispirited or burned out. To help keep us going, we should continue to be mindful of the permanent victory that has already been won because of Christ Jesus.
Receive inspiration from this video: One Day at a Time – Jeremy Camp.
How should you treat someone that has wronged you? To what extent does your attitude show that you are a son or daughter of our Father when someone does you wrong?
This passage made me think of the movie “Rudy”. After two years of being on the practice squad, it came down to the last home game but his name was not on the dress list. The ground crew chief talked Rudy into not quitting. Here is the scene: Rudy and the Ground Crew Manager. With some encouragement from other friends who had seen his determination over the years, he was finally rewarded by the head coach to be able to suit up.
Think about times when life has hit you in the face; discouragement, being let down by a friend or having to deal with some hardship. Now, go to God in prayer. Ask for wisdom in how best to handle those situations. If you know someone being mistreated, ask God to help their situation. If there are encouraging words you can offer, take action to offer them at the appropriate time.
People can do you wrong but God can make it right. He is faithful to rescue us if we are patient. The best plan is to keep doing our best and leave it up to God to make it fair.
Contrast the rewards of showiness and secrecy. What are the limits of each?
Take a look at the example within this passage of the prayer that Jesus gives in the Lord’s Prayer. In your prayer time, use this prayer as a model. Keep in your thoughts how blessed we all are because of God’s gift of His Son.
There is no need for others to know when you give or pray. God knows and His reward is internal peace. No matter how you are blessed, God’s gift and our “Yes” in Christ is enough.
What things have made you anxious this past week? What are the ultimate goals in your life? How do your daily activities relate to them?
List any videos you are reminded of as you read this passage. Here is a link to one for this reading. My hope is that you will be moved by this video and that it brings happiness as you spend this day with God.
What people see on the outside does not always represent the true measure of success. The ultimate goal is to store up treasure in Heaven. Think about ways to find and store up these treasures. Pray about them and ask that God reveals some treasure today. Share with others the peace, happiness and joy these treasures bring.
Find ways to brighten up your day by seekingthe truth of God’s Word,experiencing the joy Christ gives, and recognizing the wonder that God has created around you. These are the true treasures.
How would swine react to pearls when expecting food? Identify your pearls. How do you regard them? What two conditions are given for receiving good gifts?
My Pastor, Steve Ramsdell made a point in a sermon that over the course of life, most good things don’t happen magically or suddenly. They are the result of a predetermined desire, an ongoing commitment to build momentum for life.
Think about what your pearls are. Go to God in prayer and ask for the opportunities and the desire to give them out to others. Be thankful that God is all-wise and knows what we need and what those around us need.
To receive good gifts, root for good to happen to those around you and they will return the favor by hoping good things happen to you. Encourage those around you and they will give encouraging words to you.
When building a house, the foundation is very important and takes time; so too is building a life of faith which is developed on the underpinning of God’s principles.
Christ came to teach so we can understand and believe; giving instruction on what to do in regards to our relationship with God and each other. Spend time in prayer today. Pray that your faith is built on a wise foundation with these eternal principles; acceptance of Christ as Savior, asking for forgiveness of sin, being transformed daily to live a Godly life, and loving one another.