Week Fifteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 26: 52,53

Sunday, April 9

Matthew 26: 52, 53 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.  Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we thank you for the sacrifice you made.

Thought for the day: Saying yes to God simplifies much of life.

Monday, April 10

2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Prayer: Almighty God, may we have the prophet’s vision of your protection.

Thought for the day: God’s protective covering is only for those who want it.

Tuesday, April 11

Psalm 118: 8, 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Prayer:  Jesus, as we remember your last days we give thanks for your trust in God.

Thought for the day:  During the week of Jesus’ passion he walked boldly in the temple before those who opposed him.

Wednesday, April 12

Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel. Not by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.

Prayer:  Our Heavenly Father, send us your holy spirit that consoles and covers.

Thought for the day: Keys are better door openers than battering rams.

Thursday, April 13

Ephesians 6: 15, 16 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take you stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for choosing to do the will of the father.

Thought for the day: In the garden of Gethsemane the battle for salvation was waged and won, when Jesus said Yes.

Friday, April 14

Romans 8: 31, 32 What then shall we say in response to this.  If God is for us, why 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:  God, our Heavenly Father, for the sacrifice of your beloved son we give our thanks.

Thought for the day:  The trapeze artist trusts that she will find her partner’s outstretched hand.

Saturday, April 15

I John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the power of your spirit in our lives.

Thought for the day:  When the enemy’s gunpowder will not stay dry, surrender will soon follow.

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photo: “Can you drink Christ’s Chalice?” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P., on http://www.flickr.com

Week Fourteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 25: 40

Sunday, April 2

Matthew 25: 39, 40 When did we see you sick or I prison and go to visit you?  The king will reply, “I tell you the truth whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help us to catch the vision of serving you through serving others.

Thought for the day:  Today we shall meet someone who needs the love of Jesus.

Monday, April 3

Leviticus 19:9, 10 when you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen.  Leave them for the poor and the alien.  I am the Lord your God.

Prayer:  Lord God, we rejoice that in your plan there was provision for all.

Thought for the day:  If treasure for others was not discarded in dumpsters, there would be no need for dumpster diving.

Tuesday, April 4

Proverbs 22:22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in all our coming and going let us give thought to those in need.

Thought for the day: Why do some religions of the world sweep the walkway before they travel on it?

Wednesday, April 5

James 2: 15, 16 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, forgive us and keep us from hollow promises of help.

Thought for the day:  Your simple acts of kindness may make someone’s day.

Thursday, April 6

Mark 12: 43, 44 Calling his disciples to him Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we who are poor in spirit would be enriched by you.

Thought for the day:  Why can the poor afford to be generous?

Friday, April 7

Matthew 11:4, 5 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.

Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for your care for all who are poor, downtrodden, bereaved, and suffering.

Thought for the day: Your kindness could be cure for your neighbor’s unspoken prayer.

Saturday, April 8

I John 4: 19, 20 We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Prayer:  O God, may we follow your example to reach out in love.

Thought for the day:  When you find the spirit of God in others, you will find it easier to love them.
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photo: “Christ Healing the Blind Man” by Fr Lawrence Lew, O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

 

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