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Quiet Time in Matthew 19


EXPAND TO READ: MATTHEW 19 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 8): Although I have admitted to thinking of divorce in my marriage and I am previously divorced from my first wife, I must confess that this verse has convicted me. Both of these situations were for the reason You speak of here—the hardness of my heart. I experienced a very abusive marriage, both emotionally and physically, growing up between my mom and dad. Although they got divorced when I was really young, I still have many memories in my mind and pains in my heart as a result of that upbringing. As a result, I carried that all with me into my own relationships, expecting the perfect marriage at all times without recognizing the fact that I myself am not perfect so how can I expect my wife to be? I went into the relationships thinking that all the pain from my past is buried deep inside of me, so it will not be a concern in my own relationships. These were all lies that the enemy was whispering to me, that I was whispering to me, and that the world was whispering to me. Please forgive me for living so long with such a hardened heart, Father. Forgive me for not coming to You sooner for healing and restoration of my heart, so that I could be the Godly man You expect of me and my wife deserves. Help me to be better in this life for Your kingdom and for my marriage, Father.

 

PROMISE (verse 14): Your promise here is about children, but not necessarily their age but their innocence and faith. You tell Your disciples to let them come to You, even though they did not think the children should approach You. You told them to leave them alone and not to try to keep them from You, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like them. Your promise is that the faith of a child is what the kingdom of heaven wants from us. The innocent devotion and obedience of a child is what You expect of Your followers. You promise us that those with child-like faith are what the kingdom of heaven is made up of. Help me to be a child-like follower in my faith, Father. Help me to be more like what You expect of me and less like what the world expects of me, Father.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 26): This verse is my life verse for many reasons, but I have failed to truly live by it at times. You say that with man these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. You are telling Your disciples that the rich man cannot enter the kingdom of heaven through his own strength or actions, because he has made his wealth his idol over God. Essentially, he is living out his faith the way that he wants to live it out instead of the way You want him to. He is attempting to enter heaven by his own actions and by dictating his own way instead of following Your way for his life. I too have struggled with this in my own life, Father. I have tried to live out this life on my own strength, my own understanding, and my own path. I have failed horribly at all of these things because I am not strong enough to do this on my own, my understanding is corrupted by the world, and my own path has not always been aligned with Yours. Help me to fully live in and embrace an attitude of humility, Father, so that I may humble myself more often to recognize these truths in my life. Remind me constantly, but especially in my moments of struggle, that by myself this is impossible, but with You all things are possible.

 

COMMAND (verse 6): Your command here is quite a strong one towards marriage. Quite simply, You tell us that in marriage we are now one flesh, which God has joined together, therefore man must not separate it. I did divorce out of my first marriage, which I am not proud of. I have contemplated divorce a couple of times in my current marriage, which I am also not proud of. Your command is that I must not break this bond You have made between my wife and I. Help me to be more devoted in my relationship to You, so that I may become more devoted in my marriage than I have been, Father. Help me to live out my marriage in the ways You want me to and not the ways my flesh or the world tries to have me live it. Help me to follow this command fully and faithfully, Father.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 22-26): The example of the rich man asking about what else he can do to ensure his eternal salvation is amazing. The rich man claims to have done all of the commands which Jesus says are the commandments he must keep to enter the kingdom of heaven. The rich man then says that he’s done all of those things (I know, I know, he’s full of it I’m sure). You follow it up with telling him to sell off everything, spread his wealth to the poor, then to follow You. He doesn’t even respond to this and instead simply walks away grieving and complaining likely the entire way home. The disciples were concerned over this conversation, wondering that if he couldn’t get into heaven after following all of those commandments, then how could they possibly do so? How could anyone enter the kingdom of heaven? Jesus’ response was simple yet so powerful. I like to think He chuckled a bit inside because they obviously still were not getting it. After walking alongside Him for so long and after being a direct witness to so much, they still were contemplating their own salvation. He simply responded with assuring them that they were absolutely correct because of the misguided assumptions. He said that with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. You see, they were absolutely correct in thinking that nobody could enter the kingdom of heaven of their own volition. It takes God to get us into heaven and thanks to the eternal and ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made, we now have a Lord and Savior who gave everything so that we could be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. Mankind failed horribly time-and-time again, yet God gave us the path to take to enter the kingdom of heaven, so once again Jesus was absolutely correct—with man these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. Mankind made it impossible to truly get into heaven with our hardened hearts, our attempts to do it alone, and even our own rules which were not God-given. God simply said, quit following the world’s way of salvation and instead follow Jesus and He will open the door for me! Thank You, Father!

 

*DAILY NOTE: This chapter really spoke to me deeply. It spoke of my relationship troubles and my hardened heart that I’d been living with for the vast majority of my life. It spoke of a child’s faith being one with the kingdom of heaven. It spoke of a rich man who attempted to “work” his way into heaven without full reliance and obedience in God. It spoke of the one true way of getting into heaven and eternal salvation. Thank You for speaking to my heart today, Father. Thank You for always knowing what to say to me and at just the right time. Thank You for the great convictions, revelations, and wisdom You brought to our conversation this morning. I am please that my relationship with You is continuously growing and I am pleased that my heart is continuously healing from all the hurt and pain I’ve experienced throughout my life. Thank You for walking alongside me throughout my life, Father, even though I have struggled with seeing You always, even since coming to faith. Looking back I can see You were always there for more, but in some of those moments I opted to close my eyes and turn away instead of turning towards You. Help me to be better and always remind me of where I came from so I can continue to learn from it instead of being controlled and enslaved by the mistakes, pain, and hurt of my past, Father.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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