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Quiet Time in Matthew 16


EXPAND TO READ: MATTHEW 16 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verses 7-12): Although my sin confession doesn’t directly relate to teachings as stated in these verses, it does relate heavily to the lesson being taught in these verses. The disciples didn’t bring any bread, so they were secretly trying to figure out how to feed everyone. Jesus proclaimed that they were of little faith because even after witnessing him feed thousands of people multiple times with just a few loaves of bread, they still had concerns. The reason this applies to me is with my control and trust issues on my job search as I get closer to my military retirement. I am getting a bit concerned that I have not secured a job, yet, even though I’m still a couple of months out from retirement. I know You will provide as You always have for my family. I know Your timing is far better than my own in all situations. I am still struggling with giving up control to You, however, as I keep dipping back into my fleshly defaults of worry and fear. Please forgive me for this, Father. Forgive me for not fully releasing these fleshly defaults of mine. Forgive me for not being obedient to Your will for my life. Forgive me for not relinquishing full control over to You. Forgive me, Father! I am lost in this military transition and I know I need to lean on You more throughout. Help me with this, Father.

 

PROMISE (verse 24-25): Your promise here is quite a bold statement that the disciples must have been a bit on edge to hear to be honest as I know I would have been. If I want to truly follow You, I must deny myself, take up my cross, and then follow You. I must no longer try to save my fleshly life so that I can live fully in my new, born-again identity through You. The promise here is that as long as I cling onto my old life, I can never truly embrace the new life You have promised to me. Help me to be better at releasing control, Father. Help me to be better at being a true follower of You, so that I may cling to this promise with all that I am.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 8): Thank You for speaking to me today about my faith, Father. Your own disciples had You telling them directly that they were of little faith in this moment. They were there with You in the flesh, directly witnessing all of these amazing miracles You were performing yet they still lacked in their faith at times. Help me with my faith, Father. Help me to know where I am weak in my faith, so that I may rely on You more. Help me to recognize when I am walking in my flesh versus walking in faith, so that I can quickly correct my fleshly walks. Help me to live in an attitude of full devotion and faithfulness to You, so that I may not be hindered by the weaknesses and turmoil my flesh often wants to bring me back to.

 

COMMAND (verse 23): Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, was distraught by the news that Jesus was telling them of what was getting ready to happen to Him with the pain, death, and resurrection He would be going through soon. Peter approached Jesus and expressed that this will never happen. Jesus immediately responded back with “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because You’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s!” How powerful is this command? It didn’t seem like a command initially until I read it a second time. Jesus isn’t necessarily calling Him Satan, but He is saying that He is following the path of man, which is what Satan wants. Peter is giving into his flesh in this moment instead of aligning himself with God’s plans. I may not always know the answers and I will likely give into my flesh every so often in the future, but I do know that You are commanding us to be as aligned as we can fathom with Your path and not man’s. That is the command here. If I align myself with Your path and Your will for my life, then I am pleasing to You. If I align myself with my own fleshly desires and man’s path for my life, then I may as well be Satan, because I am going against Your commands. Please help me to be better at following Your commands, Your will, and Your path for my life, Father.

 

EXAMPLE (verse 24-27): I love this little story that Jesus tells to His disciples. They are struggling a bit with the fact that Jesus just revealed to them the things He is about to go through. They are allowing their flesh to overcome them with emotions on the topic. Jesus tells them that if they cling onto their life, then they are dead, because this life is nothing when compared to the grand scheme of things. In this life, I am simply a temporary vessel for the purpose of helping others to come to Your kingdom. Nothing in this life will be forever other than my Spirit when I join You in Heaven. What Jesus is essentially telling them is that they must completely let go of their worldly life and everything that entails in order to become the new, born-again identity that comes if they truly follow Jesus. Help me to fully embrace this, Father, because I know I have not so far. I know I am committed to You in my faith, but have I really released all of my old life so that I can live in my new, born-again identity fully? Unfortunately, no. I feel like I have one foot on each side of the line and occasionally I’ll lean a little towards one direction or the other. Help me to be better for You, Father.

 

*DAILY NOTE: I am struggling a bit. I am broken and have a lot of baggage I still need to deal with. I am not perfect. I do tend to lean back to my old habits every so often knowing that I shouldn’t but finding it difficult not to in the moment. I also know that with You all things are possible. I also know that the more I am in Your presence, the more whole, complete, restored, and joyful I become. I also know that without You, I would likely be divorced, separated from my children, and living a life that is no where near faithful to You. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me, Father, even though I struggle with reciprocating this back to You at times. Thank You for all the endless grace and mercy Your shown to me throughout my life, even though I am undeserving of this. Thank You for always giving me great lessons that are relevant to me and my current situations, even though I struggle to truly embrace them into my life as well as learn from my mistakes at times. Just thank You for everything, Father!

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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