Matthew in 28 Days
Congratulations to all of you who made it through the 28 chapters of Matthew in the 28 days of February … even if you had to do more than one day at a time to catch up if you fell behind. I was actually told of a few of you who read through the whole book in only 3 or 4 days and then did the daily readings again. Way to go! (By the way, if you missed out on any chapters—or want to do them again at some point—the daily devos are posted under the "Blog" button at the top of this homepage.) Let me just do a quick wrap up today.
Many of you may have had the experience that happens to me sometimes in reading the Bible— “Hey, was that in here the last time I read this?” Or, “How have I missed what that means in all the times I have read this scripture?” Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is living and active” and one of the things that means is that we can get new perspectives and applications every time we read the Bible because it will continually work on us and in us. God’s word doesn’t change (Psalm 119:89) but our lives do and we can find fresh direction and insight daily.
My big “Aha moment” in this “read-through” came in reading both Matthew 10:38 and 16:24 where Jesus said that if anyone is going to be one his followers he must “take up his cross and follow me.” I pointed out that, at this point, Jesus had never said how he was going to die; in fact, in Matthew 10 he hadn’t even talked about dying at all. (He talked about being “in the heart of the earth” for 3 days in chapter 12 when he talked about “the sign of Jonah” but they didn’t understand that.) So to tell his disciples they must “take up the cross”—that must have been shocking. And yet they continued to follow him! I know that I sometimes critique their actions (or lack thereof) and the dumb things they say and ask, but for them to be told that a “cross” was a requirement for following Jesus … well that is just amazing. We sometimes talk about “the cross we have to bear” and apply it to some aggravation or tough time—it was more than that; it was death. They knew that it was how the Romans executed criminals. And yet they followed. And so must we.
So, I hope that you have gained some new insights and made some new commitments in the past month of reading God’s word. Yes, I have been asked if we can keep going and read more. Well, yes you can! And we may work through another book a chapter a day … but first I need to catch up on my sleep, thank you.
God bless you as you seek to feed on God’s word and live in the strength it supplies. Happy March!