Week Thirteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew l– Matthew 22: 20, 21

Sunday, March 26

Matthew 22: 20, 21 and he asked the, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription? “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Prayer: Lord God, to you all honor, praise, and glory is due.

Thought for the day: The presidents on paper money really are dead presidents.

Monday, March 27

Matthew 17:27 [Jesus said to Peter,] “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin.  Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us how to live in the world and under God.

Thought for the day: A debt of gratitude owed to God is an infinite debt.

Tuesday, March 28

Romans 13:6, 7 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants who give their full-time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Prayer:  Lord God, we pray for all public leaders that they would promote peace and good will.

Thought for the day: First century Christians learned how to keep their faith in spite of the dictator Nero.

Wednesday, March 29

Malachi 1:8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong?  When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?  Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you? “says the Lord Almighty.

Prayer: Lord God, forgive us when we have given you less than our best.

Thought for the day: The expiration date on some perishable items is more than a warning.

Thursday, March 30

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.

Prayer:  Lord God, this day and each day that follows we choose to serve you.

Thought for the day: Children can safely have more than one valentine.

Friday, March 31

Psalm 139: 23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thought.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Prayer:  Lord God, as the sunflower inclines toward the sun may our hearts incline to you.

Thought for the day:  Prayer can reveal more about our soul than any x-ray.

Saturday, April 1

Matthew 22:37, 38 Jesus replied, “’ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we would love you first and foremost.

Thought for the day: The one who says “I love God” can say “I am blessed.”

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photo: “The Messiah gives the New Law” by Fr Lawrence Lew O.P. on http://www.flickr.com


Week Twelve — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 21: 22, 23

Sunday, March 19

Matthew 21: 21, 22 Jesus, replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Prayer: Lord God, forgive us for our unbelief.

Thought for the day: The dog that believes in an electric fence stays in the yard whether the electricity is on or off.

Monday, March 20

John 14:13, 44 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, let us so understand your loving and will that it orders our thoughts and prayers.

Thought for the day: The woman who never claimed her winning lottery ticket never expected to win.

Tuesday, March 21

James 4:2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Prayer: Lord God, we praise your generosity knowing that you often have not given us what we deserve.

Thought for the day: Progress in marital counseling requires better listening.

Wednesday, March 22

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Prayer:  Lord God, may you find in us the faith that brings you pleasure.

Thought for the day:   God never calls off the search for a runaway child.

Thursday, March 23

I Peter 2: 6 For in Scripture it says: “See I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the secure trust that never shall fail.

Thought for the day: In the past year those who bought bonds with a negative yield believed that some economic loss was a sure thing.

Friday, March 24

Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we become your messengers so that someone else may know you.

Thought for the day: The quality of some products is so recognizable that no additional company logo is needed to identify the brand.

Saturday, March 25

I Thessalonians 4:14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we believe there is hope for a better life in you.

Thought for the day: Joyful anticipation trumps unhappy surprise any day.

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photo: “The fig tree cursed” by Waiting for the Word on http://www.flickr.com

Week Eleven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 20:16

Sunday, March 12

Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

Prayer:  Lord God, in your divine wisdom order our lives that we may draw close to you.

Thought for the day:  Jesus asked, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

Monday, March 13

Luke 13:29, 30 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.  Indeed there are those who are last will be first, and first who will be last.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we who are children by grace do humbly look forward to our introduction into your kingdom.

Thought for the day: The price of your admission ticket to the greatest banquet in all the universe has been paid in advance. 

Tuesday, March 14

Proverbs 16:18, 19 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

Prayer: Lord God, save us from the pride what would destroy our relationship with you. 

Thought for the day: Pride places one on the last rung of a ladder that exits into empty space.

Wednesday, March 15

Romans 8:31, 32 What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all —- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, though the world may count us out you always count us in your fold.

Thought for the day:  Someone said the world drew a circle to keep me out but God drew a circle to take me in. 

Thursday, March 16

Genesis 48:12, 13 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”  But his father refused and said, “I know my son, I know.  He too will become a people, and he too will become great.  Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.

Prayer:  God, our Heavenly Father, may we find and follow your order in life.

Thought for the day:  Sometimes up is down and down is up.

Friday, March 17

John 13:15,16 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for your.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, forgive us when we like Peter resist your loving attention.

Thought for the day:  No advanced degree is required to perform foot washing.

Saturday, March 18

Matthew 20:27, 28 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Prayer:  Lord, we confess we have too often forgotten that one who would live Christ-like must serve.

Thought for the day:  If service is menial, how is it possible that the waiters can determine the level of your dining satisfaction?

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photo: “Jesus washes St Peter’s Feed” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Communion Meditation — The Disinfectant Power of Jesus’ Blood

Lauren carried Lysol in her purse to use in the computer lab at school.  During cold and flu season she would liberally spray the computer keyboard to disinfect it.


Knowing Lauren believed in the power of her disinfectant I would inquire if she came to school armed with her defense.  She would answer Yes.  Playfully I would ask if we should order a case of the disinfectant to have on hand at school.  “Whatever it takes,” she would reply.  She was not deterred.  She depended on the power of her disinfectant to defend her health.


The writer of Hebrews believed in the potency of a spiritual disinfectant.  Listen to the words of Hebrews 9:12 – 14: 

[Jesus] did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.


Yes, the writer of Hebrews believed Jesus’ blood was the most potent disinfectant available against the pollution of sin.  How about you.  Do you defend your spiritual health with the power of the blood of Christ?


Today we are invited to the Lord’s table to participate in the sacrifice of Jesus’s body and blood.  Come, and receive what Jesus has offered for us.   



The New Adam//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “The New Adam” by Fr Lawrence Lew O.P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Ten — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 18: 3, 4

Sunday, March 5

Matthew 18:3, 4 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer: God, our Heavenly Father, we humbly confess we are children before you.

Thought for the day: Children can imagine a bright future.

Monday, March 6

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Prayer: Praise God, we rejoice that we are children of your choosing.

Thought for the day: No earthly judge shall rescind adoption into God’s family.

Tuesday, March 7

Romans 8: 25, 26 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one.” And, “it will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

Prayer: Lord God, it’s not what they say but what you say about us that we count a blessing.

Thought for the day: All God’s family must play by God’s rules in God’s house.

Wednesday, March 8

Galatians 3:26, 27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized in to Christ have been clothed with Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for making us at home in your family.

Thought for the day: Not all credit cards are received worldwide.

Thursday, March 9

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Prayer: Lord God, you are our Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Thought for the day: Kinsfolk of a kindred spirit know how to share gracefully.

Friday, March 10

Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Prayer: Lord, may we your children be ready to come to the aid of brothers and sisters in need.

Thought for the day: In their second childhood some wish they had better served the little ones who came after them.

Saturday, March 11

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Prayer: Lord God, may others find in us your spirit of peace.

Thought for the day: To make peace with others we must be at peace within.
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photo: “Bless the Children” by Thomas Hawk on http://www.flickr.com