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Quiet Time in Matthew 23


EXPAND TO READ: MATTHEW 23 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 28): This week has been a big test on my heart, which was culminated with a conviction last night on my Real Men 300 accountability call. My father has reentered the lives of my siblings the last couple of weeks in a “surprise” manner and has been trying to get information from them on where I live and such. Due to the military lifestyle, I have moved a lot, so he doesn’t know where I’m at now that I’m out of jail. I thought I had moved on from this and would be able to at least attempt to start a relationship with him after not speaking with him for over 25 years, but I have not. Am I a hypocrite as You have called the Pharisees here, Father? Why am I still harboring this unforgiveness in my heart towards my father, yet on the outside making things seem like they’re okay? Why am I still rebelling against and rejecting the restoration and healing only You can provide in the relationship with my earthly father? Please forgive me for this. Forgive me for trying to keep this buried in hopes that I will never have to truly deal with it, because obviously You want me to do something with this. I don’t know exactly what steps I need to take next nor do I know how long this process is going to take, but I do know that Your guidance will be shown to me as I’m ready to receive it. I do know that Your ways are far better than my own. Please help me in this matter, Father, so that the father wounds I have been harboring for so long can be healed. Help me to hear You through all of this, Father. Help me to know what You want me to do. Help me to truly recover, heal, and restore my identity in You so that if it’s in Your will I can also recover, heal, and restore my relationship with my earthly father on Your foundation instead of that of our extremely broken and painful past.

 

PROMISE (verse 39): Your promise here is about those who are considered blessed. I am not blessed based solely on my financial wealth in this life, although it can be a blessing from You. I am not blessed based solely on how successful I am at work in this life, although it can be a blessing from You. I am not blessed based solely on the “things” I am able to acquire or do in this life, although it can be a blessing from You. Your promise here is for where my focus should be in this life, because there is only He who is considered the truly blessed One, which I should fully bring into my heart through all things. You promise us that He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One. This is You assuring us that Jesus has come for us, for me, to help me with my eternal salvation, with my walk in this life, with everything, because He is the truly blessed One is Your eyes. Those who follow Him are blessed because He IS the blessed One whom You want us to follow; not the religious leaders of this life; not other Godly men whom I’ve surrounded myself with. Although they can be blessings to me, they are not the blessed One which You have appointed as my Lord and Savior for me to follow.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 12): I do lack humility quite often in my life, Father. In this verse, however, You say that those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. You put a big emphasis on us living with an attitude of humility, yet I have struggled with this quite a bit. I may do it, at times, in a joking manner, but I do still struggle with true humility as You have called me to do. Help me to be better at recognizing the moments where I am not living in an attitude of humility, Father. Help me to be better at truly embracing an attitude of humility in my life, so that as I walk this life I am glorifying You and not myself. Help me to be more like Jesus and less like my fleshly self, Father. Help me to live fully in my new, born-again identity through Jesus by fully embracing an attitude of humility as You want me to.

 

COMMAND (verse 3): There are many religious leaders and Godly men in this life and even in the past who speak great words, but their actions do not always back up what they are saying. You recognize this fact and command us that although their actions do not align with Your will, that their words do. If I can truly embrace and live in spiritual discernment, then I can recognize when the words being spoken to me are aligned with Your truth and Your will for my life. The command here is that I am to listen to and do whatever they tell me to do because the words they speak are still in alignment with Your truth. I am to disregard the things which they do, however, because their actions are not always in alignment with Your truth. The words You say here are that they do not “practice what they teach.” Help me to live in spiritual discernment, Father, so that I do not hold someone’s actions and lifestyle against Your truth which just happens to be spoken from their lips.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 3-7): I find this example amazing because what Jesus saw in people 2,000 years ago, I still see to this day. It’s amazing how Your word stays relevant no matter how many years have passed since it was originally written. Jesus says that the scribes and Pharisees of the day do not practice what they preach. Additionally, He essentially says that although they may look the part on the outside, they are corrupt on the inside because everything they reflect on the outside is only for a show and for attention to themselves. They have placed the receiving of attention and glory from others above You as their idol in this life. How often in my own life have I tried to make things appear great on the outside, yet inside I am broken, torn, wounded, or even thinking/doing things I should not be doing? How often have I lived like a Pharisee by wanting others to see and glorify me instead of always pointing back to You? I may not have done this to the extent that the Pharisees did this, but I am still guilty of living in this way at times, Father. Help me to be better at living a righteous life to glorify You through all things instead of myself.

 

*DAILY NOTE: I am struggling quite a bit with my father wounds and with unforgiveness. You have surrounded me with great, Godly men to help me get through this as well as Your wisdom and counsel in today’s quiet time. I am grateful for my relationship with You and the fact that I am finally truly hearing and understanding what You have to say to me. I am sorry for trying to keep my father wounds and unforgiveness towards my earthly father buried away from You, Father, in hopes that I could just let it pass by not dealing with it at all. I am sorry for thinking that I could do this in my own strength and in my own way, Father. You’ve blessed me with many Godly men in my life to help with this burden, this recovery, this restoration in Your way, so I must be better at leaning on them and You throughout all of this. Help me to hear You, Father, so that I know the next steps. Help me to embrace this path to recovery and forgiveness towards the relationship with my earthly father, which You have me on, so that I can truly receive the healing and restoration which only You can provide, Father. Although I know there may be some painful moments in the near future in this process, I know that the end of this journey will be worth the struggles, pain, hardships I am about to go through for the purpose of healing and restoration. Thank You, Father!

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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