Matthew 21:33-46 – Wicked Tenants

Read Matthew 21:33-46

Today’s parable is also told in two of the other gospels: Mark 12:1-12 and Luke 20:9-19. You can read the other accounts and my reflections. Matthew’s version is the most complete, however there are other details in the other gospels that will help you understand the whole story. When we look at this story in Matthew’s context, we see that it is the second of two parables Jesus uses that day in the temple.

The religious leaders are already put out with Jesus and his non-compliance to their questions. In our reading from yesterday, Jesus has all but told them that while they claim to be believers and teachers of the law, they are acting disobediently. God can see their hearts. They are failing miserably. Now, Jesus talks of the wicked tenants to the vineyard.

Continue reading “Matthew 21:33-46 – Wicked Tenants”
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Exodus 1:1-22 – Enslaved

Read Exodus 1:1-22

Exodus continues where Genesis left off in terms of the Israelite nation narrative, approximately 400 years later. If you need a little refresher on Genesis, I have reflected on that entire book previously, and you can search on previous entries. The setting that opens Exodus is the land of Egypt. You will recall Joseph and his entire family had moved to this land when the severe famine attacked their homeland. Joseph had been there much longer and had a very prestigious position, having helped the Egyptian people in a big way. But unfortunately, it seems, his legacy did not live on in the memories of the new Pharaoh and officials.

The legacy did continue in terms of being fruitful. God promised Abraham he would be the father of a great nation. That multitude of descendants was now enslaved because of the Egyptian’s fear of losing power or control to such a mass of people.

Continue reading “Exodus 1:1-22 – Enslaved”
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Hebrews 11:32-12:2 – Persevere to a Bold Faith

Read Hebrews 11:32-12:2

Without God we are weak. In our weakness, God steps in and gives us strength. Do you have faith enough to believe that? We have read a summary of the accounts of how the heroes of faith stepped out, trusted, obeyed, and received the promises of God. Have these examples empowered you to be more faithful?  Are you ready to be bolder in your faith?

You have received the fulfillment of the promise they never saw experienced. These heroes of faith had long awaited something spectacular from God. God had promised something better. The promise of a Messiah. Jesus had not yet come when they left this earth, so their true promise had not yet been revealed to them. How much more privileged are we to know how God’s promise of a Savior came about for us all.

While they waited in anticipation, these heroes of faith took a beating for their faith yet persevered. Would you stand up for Jesus and your belief he is the truth, the way, and the life if you were cornered, back against the wall, with a weapon in your face? I know that is a brutal image to imagine, but it happens around the world still today. Especially today. Yet, we don’t always hear about those events. Persecution is alive and well, sad to say. The descriptions in today’s reading are not unheard of even today. Continue reading “Hebrews 11:32-12:2 – Persevere to a Bold Faith”

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Hebrews 11:17-30 – It Was By Faith

Read Hebrews 11:17-30

It was by faith that … [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] … was able to do mighty things that many thought impossible [INSERT YOUR STORY]. What mighty story can you tell about how God intervened in your life when you stayed faithful?

The stories we read today can really conjure up some intense feelings if you put yourself in the “hero’s” shoes. Did one of the stories make more of an impact upon you than the other? I certainly have many a Sunday School memory both of learning the stories and then teaching them to a new generation of children. For me, the thought of sacrificing my child, as Abraham was about to do, makes my heart race. To imagine your son looking into your eyes asking, “where is the sacrifice?” I often cry when I read this story and am so empowered to be faithful. Continue reading “Hebrews 11:17-30 – It Was By Faith”

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Hebrews 6:13-20 – God’s Promises

Read Hebrews 6:13-20

Did you know that Abraham waited 25 years from the time God promised to multiply his descendants until he had his first son? That was patience! That was obedience! That was God being true to his word. We can always be sure God will keep his promises.

There are many things in life we can not be sure of. You may have had a life experience when you were trusting in someone or something only to be hurt in some way. It’s not the same with God. I especially like the image of an anchor. “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.” We can have confidence in this hope for God will not disappoint. We can be grounded in the truth that God loves us and has our best interest in mind. Continue reading “Hebrews 6:13-20 – God’s Promises”

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