Read Matthew 18:10-14. My mind wanders to a nursery rhyme: Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. If only sheep were so obedient. Jesus is still talking about the children here, reminding his disciples not to look down on them, because … More What if I lose a lamb?
Read Matthew 18:7-9. I thought he’d already covered this point. I wasn’t going to mention it again, but then I thought: “Why did Jesus use the same illustration twice? Could it be because there was more to learn?” He talked about gouging eyes and cutting off hands when he spoke to the crowd on the … More What if I think too much of myself?
Read Matthew 18:1-6. Pre-Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were having some major struggles with self and position. Thus the reason for the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” It was obvious they still had not grasped the kind of kingdom Jesus was establishing. So, he called a little child over as a visual. … More What if I cause another to sin?
Read Matthew 16:21-28. Peter had just made a great confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Wow, that’s powerful stuff, and truth at that. Jesus recognized it as something that Peter could only have declared by the power of God, and blessed him for it. At this point, Peter must have … More What if I can’t deny myself?
Read Matthew 15:1-20. “Are you still so dull?” Yep, that was Jesus speaking. Thankfully, he wasn’t talking to me, but to Peter. It was shocking, nonetheless, for him to give such a harsh rebuke. After all, Peter had just asked a simple question. It was the Pharisees’ fault. They had confused the disciples with their … More What if I let a blind man lead?
Read Matthew 12:9-14. Was there no limit to how low they would stoop? Those Pharisees would do anything to find a way to accuse Jesus of wrongdoing, even if it meant exploiting a poor, crippled man. They tried to bait him with this question: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (I guess they … More What if my sheep lands in a pit?
Read Matthew 12:1-8. I love it when Jesus gives it to the Pharisees! It’s easy to picture them, with their noses in the air and their clean robes, standing just outside the crowds that followed Jesus. Close enough to watch what he was doing, but separated enough to show their disdain and judgement. Those Pharisees … More What if I’m a Pharisee?
Read Matthew 7:7-12 and Luke 11:5-13. He told us to ask, seek and knock. If we do, we’ll be given what we ask, find what we seek, and have doors opened. The one who answers, gives and opens is God. Jesus makes it clear on the mountain that if a father on this earth gives … More What if I can’t be bothered?
Read Matthew 6:9-15. He was talking about prayer. They asked for it (if you look in Luke 11), so they should have expected it to stretch them. Everything else that Jesus told them surely did. Most of the short prayer seemed pretty cut and dry: Give praise to God. Ask for his will to be … More What if the debt is too great?
Read Matthew 6:1-4 I had not thought of this in 30 years, but I’m smiling as I remember it now. A person had given us a very generous financial gift. We were very touched when we received the check from the church secretary. The donor? Anonymous. Even more touching. I prepared to write a thank … More What if my left hand finds out?