Matthew 16-18 Reflections

December 11, 2007 — Leave a comment

Matthew 16

“Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them” :1

  • How many times did you have to prove yourself to people?  The proof was in the pudding.  All the miracles and healings and it was never good enough.  I’m glad to know we don’t have to prove ourselves to people but only you.  Let our actions be the proof.

“Haven’t you realized that bread isn’t the problem?” :11

  • The Pharisees teaching was the issue.  Help me lord when you tell me something or direct me somewhere I’ll get it.  I pray it won’t take hundred times to get through to me, but that my antenna would be up. 

“Who do you say I am; and now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are.  this is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” :15; 17-18

  • The essence of our self-identity.  I feel like I am just now figuring out who I really am and I’m almost thirty.  Perhaps the reason is because I focused on what people thought about me more than finding out who I was through you. 

  • Father I do pray that the church is the answer.  For awhile I had my doubts.  That wasn’t because of you but because of man.  The government, politics, education, and anything else our world relies on doesn’t compare to the power of the local church.  Give us energy and passion to reach our communities that not even hell itself can come in our way!

“But jesus didn’t swerve.  anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.  you’re not in the driver’s seat I am.  Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.  Self sacrifice is the way, the way to finding yourself.” :23-25

  • You were so confident – I guess it helped because you were God.  If were made in your image did you ever lack self-esteem when making this world?  Like perhaps there was a better way?  I don’t understand everything and that’s OK.  I trust you….. I trust you…  I tried to drive my own vehicle of life for a long time.  I tried to gain success and position and climb the ministry ladder and when I got there I thought, “if this is it I don’t want it!” 

  • Help me to embrace suffering.  Are we going to experience anything in our generation like the early church or in other countries?  Some times I believe that I will.  How can we get off so easy?  I just think my faith will be tested far greater than what I’ve experienced so far.

 Matthew 17

“What a generation! no focus to your lives! how many times do i have to go over these things?  how much longer do i have to put up with this?  you’re not taking God seriously.” :17; 20

  • Father surely the disciples saw and learned how you approached people and dealt with problems, but yet they lacked the faith and belief in themselves.  Help to have a God-confidence, not a cocky-confidence.  Help me to believe you’ve empowered me by your Holy Spirit to take on the challenges and deal with them accordingly.

Matthew 18

“Start love like children.  whoever becomes simple and elemental again.” :4

  • I’m so tired Father of structures, guidelines, this is how you are supposed to do it.  I’m tired of denominational walls and barriers.  I just want to become innocent again.  I want to soak up everything you have for me and not allow someone to tell me what can or can’t be done.  Help me to believe that anything can happen, no matter how many people have tried it and failed.  If you direct me let me tackle it like David and Goliath or Benoniah and the lion. 

“If a fellow believer hurts go and work it out” :15

  • Thank you Jesus for putting it in my heart and tugging me a month or so ago to approach several people who live in my community that there was some unfinished forgiveness on my part.  I feel so free and that the chains came off.  Is there anyone else I need to do this with – reveal it to me. 

“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.  and when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” :19-20

  • Ultimate small group.  I pray that I would live this out with so much confidence and not take it for granted.  Help me to not think there has to be this large group with tons of people and this superstar pastor to say a prayer for something to happen.  If Amy and I simply agree it is just as powerful and meaningful. 

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