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Quiet Time in Matthew 22




SIN (verse 37): I am not proud to admit this, but I have failed horribly at following this most important command. I even fail a bit to this day, even though I have gotten far better than I once was since coming to faith. Jesus tells us that the most important command is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind. I must ask for forgiveness from You, Father, because I have failed to follow the most important command of Yours for so long and do still struggle at times with fully committing my heart. I use all the pain and hardships I’ve gone through which has wounded, scarred, and hardened my heart many times over throughout my life as an excuse or maybe even justification at times for my actions. This is not who You’ve called me to be. If I can at least get the most important command right, then that will lead me to greater faith and comfort from You than I could ever imagine. Help me to be better at letting go of all the woundedness in my heart, Father, so that I can truly embrace this command in my heart, mind, and soul.


PROMISE (verse 14): I really love this parable as a whole, but right at the end You give a powerful promise to all people. You tell us that although many are invited, few are chosen. You want everyone to have a deep, intimate relationship with You, so the invite is out for all. On the other side, however, not all truly follow You regardless of what their mouth may say. Essentially, not all are chosen to enter the kingdom of heaven, even though many are invited, because so many of those invited just give “lip service” to their faith but do not truly commit to You. Help me to embrace this promise in my life, Father, so that I can always be aligned with Your expectations of me and so that I may ensure that I am one of the chosen few instead of just the invited like I had been for so long since coming to faith.


ATTITUDE (verses 39): Love is an attitude I have not been that great at for pretty much my entire life. In this verse, You actually give two commands in one. The exact words are “love your neighbor as yourself.” For a long time I tried to love others, but I couldn’t truly do that when I lacked love for myself. I must be better at loving myself if I am to truly love others in this life as You expect me to. Have I gotten better recently? I believe I have. Do I still have healing and restoration in my path to get to the true, Godly love that You are teaching me about? I definitely do. Walk me through the healing and restoration process slowly, Father. I do not want to regress and I fear if I move too quickly through this process that I will become overwhelmed and delve back into my old ways. I do not want to close off my heart again as I had for so many years, Father. I do not want to have a default of anger again as I had for so many years, Father. I want to fully experience, embrace, and be filled with Your love to the point that I fully love myself and can properly express Your love to others through that.


COMMAND (verses 20-21): I find this topic funny because people are still talking about this exact same question to this day. If we are truly followers of Jesus, should we be paying taxes? Jesus put it quite simply as give back to Caesar what is his and give back to God what is His. What this essentially means to me is that as a follower I need to quit using my faith as an excuse not to do some things that are considered the right thing to do by my government and society as long as it does not contradict Your truth. If my government wants me to pay taxes, but I am rebelling against that using the excuse of my faith, then I feel I am putting money as my idol. That is not what You expect of me. Money should never hold a higher status to You and I should never use You as an excuse to not give my money out for requirements such as taxes as well as for spirit-driven things like donations and helping others. That was the lesson and the command Jesus was bringing to these people who were trying to catch Him for bad reasons.


EXAMPLE (verses 34-40): These verses always resonate in my soul due to the impact on my life they have had as I gain deeper understanding of the meaning behind them. As I truly begin to see real world examples of this great topic of love which You speak of here, I also begin to understand what it means for me. In these verses, Jesus is being challenged once again by the corrupt “spiritual” leaders of the time in hopes that they can catch Him speaking something of blasphemy or misaligned with Your truth. Jesus never falters and in this one I feel He responded in a challenging way that they likely didn’t even fully understand in the moment. The first and most important command is to love God fully, with all our heart, mind, and soul. The second (and third from my interpretation) is to love our neighbors as ourselves. What I picture here is three cups, with each larger than the other to where we have almost like a tiered cup setup. If I align them just right and start pouring into the larger cup, then it will eventually overflow into the medium cup, and then that one will eventually overflow into the smaller cup. I never have to directly pour into anything but the larger cup as it is the most important and it will fill the others if I align my life properly. The first cup is allowing myself to love You fully, with all of my heart, mind, and soul. As that begins to become filled and overflow, the next cup is the restoration and healing You provide to me so that I may learn to embrace Your love for myself in truly loving myself. As this one begins to become filled and overflow, then comes the cup of my neighbors, those around me, and the love I show to them. If I align all things in my life properly, then this flow happens automatically and I am truly following the example and commands Jesus speaks of here. Help me to be a prime example of these verses, Father, so that as Your love for me flows, I truly embrace it and reciprocate my love back to You fully. As I am filled with Your love, obedient towards You, and loving towards You, allow the rest of these verses to flow naturally and flourish, Father. Help me to be better for Your kingdom by glorifying You and praising You through all things.


*DAILY NOTE: Love has always been a rough topic for me, Father, yet today You seem to want to hit my heart directly on the topic. I grew up in a household that had a lot of issues related to anger, fights, discomfort, troubles, and more. I grew up in a world that has never stopped talking about ongoing wars, racism, hatred, killing, and so many more negative things. It’s all over the place, so embracing love fully to me personally has been a very difficult task. You are not of this world nor are You even remotely similar to what this world often tries to condition me towards. You are perfect, blameless, loving, caring, and all the positives that this world has sprinkles of, but is heavily lacking. Help me to be better at embracing You in my heart, Father. Help me to be better at allowing You to heal and restore my heart to the way You intended it to be before my upbringing, experiences, Satan, and the world heavily corrupted it. Help me to be more like Jesus and less like me, Father by showing me a few things here-and-there that I need to work on. Help me to stay firm and steady on Your path, but if/when I do stray please guide me back to You quickly and remind me of the goodness You bring into my heart if I’d simply remain in Your will for my life.



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