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In Matthew today we read about The Escape to Egypt. Two things stood out to me in Joseph's behavior in today's readings. In verse 13 an angel tells Joseph to "get up and flee to Egypt" - and Joseph responds by leaving THAT NIGHT with the family, as we see in verse 14. That's beautiful obedience. Then, in verse 21 we see Joseph respond similarly when he is told by an angel to return to Israel - he leaves with the family "immediately." I like this - Joseph is acting obediently to God's will in his life - and he is acting pronto! He's not sitting around worrying or fretting or thinking that he'll get to it tomorrow. He goes that night! He returns immediately! Can we learn from Joseph's amazing obedience in these readings? Is God calling you to do something in your life that you are hemming and hawing about? Is God calling you to forgive someone? To love someone? To serve someone? To encourage someone? Will you be like Joseph and obey God's call for your life immediately? Since we've turned the new year, I hope you don't mind if I post up my favorite image demonstrating obedience below... :) Do you have obedience like this when it comes to God's will for your life?
Today in Matthew chapter 3 we are introduced to John the Baptist! I don't know exactly what it is about John the Baptist - but I love reading about him and his life. He is just on fire for God and Jesus and he is encouraging others to get on fire too! I guess I like that in a person. :-) Another thing about John is that he is so focused on his mission to call others to repentance and to baptize them, that he really does not care about worldly things - like how he looks or what he wears or what he eats. None of that really matters to him. It is the message of the coming of Jesus that matters to him. Maybe it is verse 4 that really stands out to me about John: "John's clothes were woven from camel hair, and he wore a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey." I think this is really saying that John lived a simple life. He did not "major in minor things" - he "majored in the major thing" - Jesus! Is there something we can learn from John the Baptist in our lives today? Are you perhaps focusing too much on things of this world and not enough on God and Jesus? Are you truly loving God and loving people like John did? Or are you spending your life "majoring in minor things"? Will you instead "major on the major thing" that John is calling you to even today - complete passion and love for God: the Father, Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit; and other people?
Bible.org's commentary on our readings today in Matthew titled "The Slaughter of the Infants and Innocent Suffering" is at this link and "John the Baptist and Jesus" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings in Matthew reminded me of the terrific song “In Christ Alone” sung here live by Shane and Shane:
Is Christ Alone enough for you? Click here to be alone with Christ!
Comments from You:: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this New Testament in a Year ministry today. Thanks!
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