Matthew 14 – PRAYER, FAITH & ACTION

Matthew - a journey through Matthew

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 14 here.

That was because John had told him, “It is not right for you to live with her.”

Matthew 14:4

This isn’t really a favourite verse of mine in the good sense, and it always fill me with discouragement.  John was killed because he boldly spoke the truth.  It’s really kind of scary, for we also are called to speak the truth.  Sometimes.  This particular truth – “It is not right for you to live with her” – seems to be particularly hard for people to hear.  They’ve already convinced themselves that there is nothing wrong with it.  But if this is you, you really do need to change your lifestyle at some point to be able to hear and accept God’s truth.

When Jesus heard this, He withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by himself.

Matthew 14:13

I read the book Poustinia by Catherine Doherty recently.  In there, she talks about taking yourself to a secluded place (your poustinia) to pray.  She shows that the prayers offered there are for the community and if the community needs you, you leave the poustinia to serve. Afterwards, you return to prayer and the poustinia.  So the service is a prayer and the silence is a prayer.

Even though both is a prayer, my challenge today is to find some quiet prayer at adoration –  to spend a good hour just adoring before my “busy” prayer of rosary and scripture reading and journal writing.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 14 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 13 – STORIES TO CURE SLUGGISH HEARTS

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 13 online here.

Sluggish indeed is this people’s heart; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back to me, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:15

First we become as little children (Matthew 11:25) then we change our hearts (Matthew 12), then we can become true disciples of Jesus.  We will see, hear, understand, turn back and be healed.

A sluggish heart is the last thing that we want when we’re following Jesus.  We want our heart to flutter when we hear His name spoken.  We want our pulse to quicken when we know we’ll be seeing Him.  We want our time with Jesus to be special.

What if…Jesus was the love of our life?  How different would our life look?

Then our whole world would revolve around Jesus.  We would talk about Him in that voice reserved for those in love.  We would get lost in thought, in the middle of a busy day, just thinking of our love.  He would be our first thought upon waking in the morning and our last thought before falling asleep at night.  We would re-arrange our schedule just so we could spend time together.

Now THAT is what we want.  To fall so deeply in love with Jesus that our hearts change, not because we are told to, but because we WANT to.

Now THAT is what we want - 2

“Why do you speak to them in parables?”  He answered:  “To you has been given a knowledge of the mysteries of the reign of God, but it has no been given to the others.

Matthew 13:10-11

Jesus spoke in stories so that people could understand what He was speaking of.  The disciples understood more, but the stories helped to clarify things for them too.

I will take time this week to think back to when God revealed certain truths to me and share that story.  My kids LOVE to hear stories of my past.  This week I will focus on stories about learning from Jesus – the what and the how.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 13 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 12 – CHANGE MY HEART O GOD

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

Find Matthew 12 online here.

It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice.

Matthew 12:7

Sometimes we are burdened by the laws of the Church and even by the busy-ness of doing things for God.  We need to remember WHY we are doing these things and WHY the Church asks certain things of us.  The fruit of sacrifice should be mercy, and if it is not it is a good indication that WE are doing something wrong.  ALWAYS we need to pray to have the heart of Jesus.  When we are changed inside, our actions will reflect that change – MERCY.

The mouth speaks whatever fills the mind.  A good man produces good from his store of goodness, and evil man produces evil from his evil store.

Matthew 12:34-35

Have you ever met someone who recently fell in love?  The person they love is all they talk about, because that is what is filling their mind.  Same thing with someone with a passion.  And if your passion is Jesus Christ, He will fill your mind and you will speak of Him.

I had recently allowed bitterness to fill my heart, and I realized just how much it had when my words, and facial expressions, were very negative and filled with anger.  It surprised me just how much it had consumed me, and I decided it was time to make a change.

My challenge is to pray all 20 mysteries of the rosary as often as possible to change my thoughts, and as a result, my words.  This is something I was doing several times a week, but I find I haven’t been doing it as often lately, and I’m noticing the difference in me.  Prayer, meditation and contemplation is a sure path to healing and happiness.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 12 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 11 – PRAISE AND TRUST

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 11 online here.

Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.

Matthew 11:25

I recently read how as we grown up we lose the wonder we had as children.  The learned and the clever, or us as adults, are able to explain away any wonder that is presented to us by God, yet what we are called to do is to look on in wonder and offer God praise.  We can praise Him for the small everyday wonders as well as the big wonders.  When we do, we will regain that awe that we had as children.  My husband has this awe, and when I see it in him it is a reminder to me.

Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.

Matthew 11:28

Life isn’t meant to be lived without God.  He created us and He calls us to Himself.  We are called to praise Him, but also to trust Him.  It is only when I try to do things on my own that life becomes weary and burdensome.  When there is no one else to lean on, God is always there to turn to.  Trust.  And allow God in.  That’s my challenge.  To let God in so He can take over.  I need to step back so that God can once again by center of my life.  It’s amazing how often I let him slip from the center…

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 11 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 10 – MISSION

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 10 online here.

What I am doing is sending you out like sheep among wolves.

Matthew 10:16

Even though we are WOLF – Women of Laughter and Faith – God is calling us to be like sheep. Sheep gather together for protection, they listen to the voice of their shepherd, they trust their shepherd, they follow their shepherd, they are gentle towards others, their wool keeps them warm or cool and protects them from rain and injury, and they are just so soft and cuddly looking!  If we are called to go out like sheep among wolves, then Jesus is calling us to witness to others by our very lives and to stand true to the truths that we learn from Jesus.  He will protect us.

Go instead after the lost sheep of Israel.  As you go make this announcement:  “The reign of God is at hand!”

Matthew 10:6-7

Our mission is to find other sheep among those wolves.  Yes, we need to witness with our life and stand firm with God, but we also need to witness to others with our words.  We need to announce that the reign of God is at hand.  So many people want God in their lives and don’t know how to do it!  And sometimes they don’t realize even what it is that they are searching for.

My challenge is to look at my life and see what I am doing to witness.  Writing it down will help me to see what I am doing, and how God wants me to grow or change those areas.  I’m being called to do less, but do it more effectively.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 10 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 9 – STEPPING FORTH IN COURAGE

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 9 online here.

When Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic,  “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:2

 

But of course Jesus does much more than heal our hurts, He forgives our sins.  Jesus is God, one part of the Holy Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is so much more than a teacher and a preacher and a healer:  He is God.  And He speaks of courage again, the courage to face life and whatever trials come our way, knowing that Jesus is not only with us, but that He has forgiven our sins and make us worthy to approach God the Father.

The harvest is good but labourers are scarce.  Beg the harvest master to send out labourers to gather His harvest.

Matthew 9:37

God is calling us to labour for Him.  It is us who needs to respond to His call.

I started jotting down all the ways that God has helped me to grow – through people, through situations, through books, through opportunities, through scripture, through prayer… – and just the act of thinking about this journey with God has filled me with so much gratitude.  My heart actually feels like it has swelled in my chest.  Who am I, that my Lord has come to me?  Or my Saviour, that He is mindful of me?  I am nobody.  Yet God has touched me and wishes to use me.

The summer is always a great time to look back on what the Lord has done, and also to plan for the next year.  I look to see what ministries I can serve in, what books I can read and study, how to arrange my personal schedule for bible study and prayer.  So that’s my challenge again this year – to take time to pray and take time to plan.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 9 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 8 – GRATEFULNESS AND COURAGE

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 8 online here.

Where is your courage?…complete calm ensued.

Matthew 8:26

Courage – when faced with illness or storms or attacks by evil spirits – brings calm.  And not just any courage, but the courage to trust that Jesus will act.  And not just any calm, but complete calm.

Jesus took her by the hand and the fever left her.  She got up at once and began to wait on Him.

Matthew 8:15

“Jesus took her by the hand.”  That’s how close Jesus is to us when we’re suffering.  We are not going through it alone.  And when the time comes that we are healed – of physical, emotional or spiritual pain – we shouldn’t waste any time acting.  It’s Jesus who healed us, people!  We are HEALED!  Now is the time to show Jesus how grateful we are. By how we treat others.

Building on my challenge from yesterday, I will make small acts towards those who’ve hurt me – keeping the truth behind my actions a secret.  Just because Jesus has healed me of my hurt (and I trust that He has!), doesn’t mean that the relationship still doesn’t need healing.  For my part I can begin this process of healing the relationship with kindness and serving.  This too takes courage, because there’s always the danger that I’ll be treated the same way again, but without the past hurt still there, I can now react differently and take the new situation to prayer.  And really, if someone does hurt me, it should be their problem and not mine.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 8 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 7 – WISDOM AND FREEDOM

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 7 online here.

Anyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the wise (woman) who built (her) house on rock.

Matthew 7:24

The challenges we take after reading or hearing Jesus’ words in the gospels is what Jesus is talking about here.  Wisdom is recognizing Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and becoming His disciple:  allowing Him to teach us and mold us.  Then it doesn’t matter what storms will come, because our wisdom comes from God and will keep us strong.

Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on to you.

Matthew 7:1

This verse, as well as verse 15 of chapter 6:  “If you do not forgive others neither will your Father forgive you,” really speak to me.  Keeping our thoughts pure is just as important as keeping our actions pure.  Even if nobody knows what we’re thinking, God does.  But eventually our negative thoughts come out in our words or actions.  There are a few people I need to forgive more wholeheartedly.  So what if they hurt me?  I can walk away from the hurt, and if they continue to hurt me, I can walk away from them.  I need to pray for their hidden hurts, the ones very few people know about, because there is a reason why they hurt me.  They probably have no idea that I’m still hurting, or even the extent of the hurt they caused, which I also have hidden.  Releasing that hurt, and the resulting anger and resentment, will bring freedom!

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 7 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 6 – DON’T WORRY. BE HAPPY!

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

Find Matthew 6 online here.

Matthew 6 34

Your heavenly Father knows all that you need.  Seek first His Kingship over you, the way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides.  Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow.  Let tomorrow take care of itself.  Today has troubles enough of its own.

Matthew 6:32-34

These verses remind me of my favourite verse – Proverbs 31:25 – “And she laughs at the days to come.”  We need to focus first and foremost on the kingdom of God, and on “becoming the best version of ourselves” (Matthew Kelly) and He WILL take care of us. We don’t need to worry.  We will no longer be focused on the riches of this world and we will be satisfied with what we have, and with what we have been given.  And really, there is enough to worry about today.

Matthew 6 10

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Matthew 6:10

Straightforward and easy during the good times, but this verse, this part of the Lord’s Prayer – the Our Father – can be difficult and challenging during difficult and challenging times.  But the more we practice it, the easier it becomes.

This is an interesting verse, because what it is essentially asking us to do is NOTHING.  Nothing except trust that God will act, that He will take care of us.

Of course, we shouldn’t sit back and do nothing all of the time, but we KNOW when we are in a situation when we should let God act.  That’s the time we should do nothing.  And even though it will seem like we are doing nothing,  the very act of doing nothing is an act of will and can be the most difficult thing of all.

If we can manage to do nothing, we will see God do amazing things!  And we will know it is Him, because we sat back and did nothing, and allowed God’s will to be done.

I recently went to a funeral for a young friend.  The pastor reminded us very gently of the words we pray so often – THY WILL BE DONE.  We don’t need to second guess God, but to trust God.

My challenge is to step back and do nothing when I know that God needs to work.  And always to let His will be done.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 6 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 5 – BLEST ARE YOU

Matthew - a journey through Matthew

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

 

Follow along with your Bible, or you can read this online version.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets.  I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:17

How did Jesus come to fulfill the law and the prophets?  In one word:  LOVE.  This whole chapter is about love.

Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:16

Our light comes from inside and its source is Jesus Christ.  HE is the Light of the World. He is also LOVE.

When we love, goodness is seen in our acts.  Then we are praising God by these very acts.  When it comes to the laws, we need to look beyond the words.  If we are just looking at the words, we can manipulate them to justify any action (just as the Pharisees and Sadducees did), but when we look beyond the words of the laws, we see the purpose of the laws – which is LOVE.

When we love GOD and love others, we need to do more than the words say.  When we do, we will meet God face to face, in the very ones we are loving.

So my challenge today is to LOVE.  This week I ate way more sugar than usual, and it made me very short tempered.  So the first thing I’m doing is eliminating sugar from my diet.  I usually don’t eat it because of what it does to me.  This will help me to love my husband and my kids as I want to.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 5 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.