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Quiet Time in Matthew 20


EXPAND TO READ: MATTHEW 20 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 15): This example and verse in particular struck me kind of deep. I have worked hard with the expectation of great return, when in fact I have gotten in return exactly what I’ve agreed to. Just as the workers in the vineyard, the first batch that went out agreed to an exact payment, which is exactly what they received. At the end of the day, when others who worked less time received the exact same payment, they were upset. The vineyard owner called them jealous, which is exactly what I am guilty of, Father. I see many out there making large pay checks, living lavish lifestyles, buying just about anything they feel like buying at any given moment. I work extremely hard. I know I’ve been military for the last 20+ years, so my income is set by my government, but I do still get jealous at times. I am sorry for this, Father. I have put money over You many times throughout my life, which has just amounted to nothing but more debt to satisfy those urges. It’s not right, it’s not fair to You, and it’s not what You expect of me. Please forgive me for my jealousy towards the lifestyle of others, Father. I don’t see the whole picture, so I don’t truly know what’s going on in their lives and what they had to do to get to that status. All I know is what I see on the surface, which I know better than to think that what’s on the surface is reality. Forgive me for my disobedience to You and for my poor prioritization of what’s truly important to me in this life, Father.

 

PROMISE (verse 23): Jesus was asked to make a promise here about a woman’s two sons, but He was quick to make sure she knew that particular promise was not His to give. She asked for Him to promise that her two sons would be seated to His right and left in the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus knew His place in the kingdom of heaven, however. It’s the Father’s position to make that determination because it is the Father’s kingdom. Although Jesus is God in the flesh, there is still an obvious separation of duties, in a sense. God the Father is over top of everything but has imbued certain things to Jesus and certain things to the Holy Spirit. Jesus made it clear to the woman that even though they will drink from His cup, the places in heaven are already being prepared by the Father, so Jesus assured her that He will not make promises that are outside of His scope of responsibility and step on His Father’s toes in the process. Thank You for this clarity on Your promises. I know that when You make a promise, the Father has granted You authority to do so and that He is pleased with You through it all.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 34): Although I do feel like I walk in compassion most of the time, I do still struggle with this topic overall. I don’t always embrace an attitude of compassion through all experiences and events. I often just walk by some things or maybe think in my mind something negative about a situation someone else is in. I know this is the world’s influence on me speaking, Father. I know this is not my spiritual identity walking this life in these moments. Help me to be better at not only fully embracing an attitude of compassion as Jesus did, but also the spiritual discernment to know when I need to show more compassion in certain moments. Help me to know when I am failing and where I am succeeding, Father, so that I can recognize the difference.

 

COMMAND (verses 13-15): This is not a direct command, but wow does this story really bring to light exactly how You expect us to live in two different senses. The first is to never expect more than we agreed upon just because someone else who potentially did less gets the same or more. If I went into an agreement to be an enlisted Airman, as I have in the US Air Force for the last 20+ years, I cannot expect to get paid more than a fresh officer even though I put in far more time than them. I agreed to the pay of an enlisted person and they agreed to the pay of an officer. I should not be jealous of them because we agreed to completely different terms in our arrangements with the military. I must be a man of my word and live in contentment for the decisions I’ve made in this life. Additionally, You use the vineyard owner as an example of Your generosity. He ended up paying all of the workers the exact same amount out of generosity. Although this made those who worked all day a bit jealous, he went on with doing what he wanted to do based on the agreements he made and the generosity in his heart. This is a command because not only are You telling us to abide in our agreements; not only are You telling us not to be jealous of others; You are also telling us to live a life of generosity just as the vineyard owner did in this great example. Help me to embrace all of these qualities in my life, Father, so that I no longer live in jealousy and instead embrace the generosity You have shown to me so that I can share that fully with those around me.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 26-28): Jesus always gave the disciples great comparisons to prove a point and tell a story about what the kingdom of heaven expects of them. In this story, He speaks about a comparison between men driven by the power of men versus men driven by the power of God. We are not called to be servants of other men’s desires for our lives. We are called to be servants of You, Father. Jesus gave His all for You as a sacrifice for our eternal salvation. He didn’t do any of it because men influenced Him in doing so. He did it because it was pleasing to You and what You wanted Him to do. He lived a life of servitude for Your kingdom, not for men. Help me to live my life more in this way, Father, so that I may become more like Jesus in my daily walk instead of like what the world expects of me or like I was brought up to be, Father.

 

*DAILY NOTE: This world is broken and corrupt, yet You are perfect. The way You expect me to live may not be the easiest to do for me personally due to my own brokenness and bad habits that have been developed over my lifetime, but Your way is the best way to live. This in no way means that I will ever be perfect like Jesus was, but I at least need to try harder to get aligned with Your will for my life the best I can. I know I have a lot of struggles, healing, and learning that I need to get through, but I also know that with You all things are possible. If I lean on You through all things, then anything is possible in this life. Help me to be better at walking in alignment with Your expectations of me, Father. Help me to be a better Godly man for You, for my wife, for my children, and for those I encounter in my life. Help me to be a better representation of Your kingdom in my life so that I may glorify You at all times instead of myself. Thank You for today’s conversation, Father. I look forward to continuing in the book of Matthew tomorrow morning.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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