Tag: Matthew 4
Scripture reading for January 6th: Matthew 4
Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:18-20
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
Jesus walked where people were at work! He, Himself, was a worker! He was a carpenter who helped His father to shape wood for various purposes. He was walking here among fishermen who were busy at their trade. He called out to Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew. When they heard Him, they immediately left their trade and daily work and followed Jesus. He called them to a new type of fishing–fishing for men!
When Jesus calls us to come after Him, we often make excuses. How will we make a living? Aren’t we supposed to be loyal to our family business? How will others and our families eat if we don’t have fish to eat and sell? The word of God is calling us to humbly trust Jesus and obey Him. The new calling to fish for men requires an apprenticeship with the Master Fisherman! Why not obey His call and let the great adventure begin? Trust Him to provide all you need.
Observation for overcomers: The call of Jesus goes deep into the heart and spirit of each person when they open their hearts to listen. When we want what He wants, we will joyfully follow Him and overcome all fears and arguments! “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!” (Psalm 37:4)
Scripture reading for January 6th: Matthew 4
Jesus had an awesome spiritual experience at His baptism! He was filled with the Holy Spirit and got to hear His Father tell Him He loved Him and was pleased! Immediately, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan for forty days. Jesus had to face spiritual warfare and suffered temptations like all humans but unlike everyone else, He remained faithful to God and His Word! Jesus defeated each temptation with a Scripture quote telling the Devil truth. (Matthew 4:4,7,10) Satan had to withdraw and Jesus returned in the Spirit’s power to begin ministry to the lost! (Luke 4:1)
Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee. He began to preach saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17) He also healed every disease and sickness as He went preaching the good news of the kingdom. (Matthew 4:23) The good news was that God loved all men and desired to see them turn from their selfish ways. Repentance is a change of mind about who has the right to run your life. It may also be described as a change of Kings and kingdoms! In the kingdom of God, truth is the language of God. Jesus was the Truth in human flesh and lived by that truth. (John 1:12, John 14:6) We are born the first time under the kingdom of darkness and Satan’s lies. Repentance means turning from that kingdom to the kingdom of heaven!
Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven near to each person. We have opportunity to respond to the good news as long as Christ has not returned! Today is the best day to turn to Him! Now is the only time we know we have! If you have not responded, please do it now!
Scripture reading for January 4th: Matthew 4, Psalms 3, Proverbs 1:20-21
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:1-4)
Jesus, Himself, was filled with the Holy Spirit at His baptism. (Matthew 3:16-17) The Holy Spirit came in the bodily form of a dove and rested on Him after His baptism by John. Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to identify with sinners that He came to save. Jesus was a human man and yet was God. He was empowered by the Holy Spirit to begin His life of ministry at the age of 30.
The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit living in us. God’s Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force or some creepy presence. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and immediately began to lead Him into God’s will and purpose for His life. It is interesting to note that the first place the Holy Spirit led Jesus was into the desert for testing. He led Jesus to a forty day time of fasting in that desert where He underwent a series of temptations from the devil. We have a record of three of these temptations, but the Scriptures imply that there were many more.
What is fasting all about? We all have flesh that likes to call the shots in our life. Fasting is a willful denial of the rule of our flesh and a purposeful recognition that we want to live by God’s will and word. We recognize that we need the rule of God’s Spirit to help us in life more than we need bread or sleep! We tell the flesh “no” and say “yes, Lord” to God. Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger. Jesus spoke Deuteronomy 8:2-3 to Satan, countering the temptation with God’s word! Satan was trying to get Jesus (and us today) to live for Himself and His appetite instead of God’s will! As we continue our journey through 2013, let’s ask the Lord for victory over our flesh and the devil’s temptations!