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Quiet Time in Matthew 25


EXPAND TO READ: MATTHEW 25 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verses 40, 45): I find these particular verses to be quite convicting. I’m not sure if this is what these particular verses are exactly speaking to, but it’s what I am feeling on my heart about them. You say here that what we did not do for one of the least of them, we did not do for You either. How many times have I passed over an opportunity to help another where I’m capable of doing so? How often have I thought to myself things like “are they really homeless” or maybe something like “someone else will do something for them.” You’ve asked me to take care of others, not to expect others to do so or maybe “prejudge” them in my heart as a liar and not truly homeless or in need. Please forgive me for this, Father. Forgive me for my weakness in helping and caring for others. Forgive me for my weakness in giving into a somewhat “worldly” view of Your children in this world instead of using a spiritual lens, Father. Help me to be better at taking action on the things You are pushing me to do in the moment, Father, instead of passing the opportunity by.

 

PROMISE (verse 35-36): I actually find several promises in here in relation to how God cares for us. What I essentially see here is God making a promise that He will satisfy our needs, not necessarily our wants. He will ensure we are fed if we are hungry. He will ensure we have a drink if we are thirsty. He will ensure we have some type of shelter when needed. He will ensure we have clothing, so we are not naked. He will care for us when we are sick. Additionally, he will VISIT us if we are in prison. I find this last one rather interesting to be honest. All of the others mentioned here, He will provide a means to satisfy the need. In the last one, however, if I am in prison, it doesn’t say that You will get us out of prison. Rather, You specifically say VISIT in prison. If my circumstances, my sin, or even the brokenness of this world lands me in prison, we are not promised a “spiritual escape” from that prison. Instead, we are promised that You will always be there with us through our time in prison, no matter how long. Thank You for always being by my side, Father, even for the many years that I was in my own self-inflicted prison inside of my mind and heart. Thank You for never leaving or forsaking me no matter how stubborn, rebellious, or disobedient I was to You. I appreciate all of the grace You have shown to me, but also the fact that You allowed me to stay where I was for my own good teaching instead of forcibly removing me from the idiocy I was making myself abide in.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 40, 45): These two verses are so powerful. Essentially, You are telling us that ALL the children on this earth are God’s children or at least we are to treat them as such. If I do not show grace and kindness to “the least of them” then that is like me not showing kindness towards You. It’s definitely a painful way of thinking about it for sure, but I get why You say it like this. You never want any of Your followers to have a “great than thou” mentality, which I have unfortunately lived in at various times in my life. You expect Your followers to always be willing to take care of others in a kind and humble manner where they are capable, which I have failed at quite often in my life. Help me to be better at embracing attitudes of kindness and humility in my life, Father. Help me to be more confident in approaching those in needs; not confidence in myself, but confidence in that what I am doing in that moment is aligned with exactly what You want me to do.

 

COMMAND (verse 40-41): In these verses, as well as others, You are essentially giving us a command to treat others, no matter their status or situation, as we would treat You if it were You in the flesh in that same situation. You say that whatever we do for the least of those, we are also doing towards You. Imagine if ALL of Your followers walked in this way all the time, Father? We wouldn’t have so much hatred internal to denominations, we wouldn’t have so much hatred between denominations, and we wouldn’t have so much hatred towards those who have views which are not necessarily aligned with Yours. Just because we disagree with someone does not mean we have argue or yell at them. We can keep a kind and gentle manner about ourselves by keeping aligned with Your will and Your truth, regardless of their side of things. If ALL of Your followers, including myself, would treat all of those we encounter in our daily lives as if they were You, then this world would have less problems and far less hatred. It pains me to see all the anger in people’s faces with something as simple as driving on the roads, because I think to myself “that used to be me.” I used to be a really angry person on the road, always allowing the actions of others to upset me, rile me up, and even ruin my entire day as a result. I allowed something very minor from someone else to have a stronghold on me instead of simply praying for them. Who knows why someone cut me off. Maybe they are trying to hurry to the hospital because their spouse or child was in a bad accident or maybe their wife has gone into labor with their first child. I have no clue what their situation is, but what I do know is how You expect me to respond—with kindness. Help me to be better with this, Father.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 1-13): I always find it interesting when virgins are mentioned in the Bible because I often see people around the world taking some of these virgin-related topics extremely literal. You used these as a relatable example of the times of the writers of these verses so they could grasp the content You had them writing about. The example of the virgins here is actually talking about the end times, but it’s hard to tell if You didn’t first read Matthew 24. Half of the virgins came prepared for the potential suitor to get married to and half did not come “fully” prepared. They all brought lamps with them, but only half of them brought extra oil to ensure their lamp could stay lit the entire time. When the time came for the groom to arrive, half of them had to hurry out to finish getting prepared and half of them stuck behind because they were already prepared for what was to come. The last two verses are vital to my understanding of the end times. If I remain fully prepared at all times, then You will not tell me “I assure you, I do not know you!” How crippling would that be to hear this from You? I couldn’t even fathom the pains I would feel if You were to tell me that You do not know me. Additionally, in the last verse You give a point that ties back with Your discussion on the end times in the previous chapter. You tell us that we are to always remain alert, because we do not know the day nor the hour. The virgins had no clue when the groom would arrive, but what they did know was that it could be at any moment so they must be prepared. Half of them were wise in their preparations and half were foolish. Help me to always be more like the wise ones and less like the foolish in my life, Father.

 

*DAILY NOTE: You always give so many practical examples that just speak vividly to my imagination and way of thinking. I can truly picture You telling Your disciples these stories/parables and I am hopeful that they truly understood what You were trying to relay to them. I know I often live in a very stubborn and hard-headed manner, which I know the disciples were like this at times as well just from prior readings of Your scripture. Help me to be less stubborn and hard-headed, Father. Help me to truly understand what You are saying to me. Grant me proper and true spiritual discernment so that I may be able to fully grasp the lessons You are trying to teach me in the moment instead of often having things go over my head or in one ear and out the other. Also help me to understand when You are wanting me to actually do things for others versus not. I know that You are not charging me with saving the entire world as I do not feel that as my purpose, but You are charging me with helping those in need who enter my path in this life. Help me to be better at recognizing Your will in those moments, Father, be it offering a drink, food, money, clothing, etc. Thank You for today’s conversation, Father, and for the blessings Your word gives me on a daily basis now that I’m finally willing to listen.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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