Discipleship Journal Reading Plan: Day 36

Mt 12:22-37; Acts 17:16-34; Ps 28; Ex 13-15

People’s hearts are widely put on display today: from the Pharisees, to Pharaoh and his officials, to the Israelites as they complained in the wilderness. What do our hearts say? Would our hearts represent good fruit or bad (See Galatians 5:22-23)? What do we need to repent? What do we need  to give fully to God? How can we trust Him much more than we have been? The Israelites were being given a brand new life, but they were  reverting to their old ways through their complaining. Did they not see their need for change? Where was their humility? Their faith in God? Their trust that Moses was leading God’s way?

  • Matthew: The Pharisees show their hearts every single time they speak. They are filled with corruption, filth, lacking good fruit. Though they followed the religiosity of the law, they completely missed it. They didn’t know Christ. They  refused Him. While labeling him a blasphemer, they themselves blasphemed the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them that they were a tree of bad fruit–each of them. They were placing eternal judgment on themselves, as they purposely sought to turn the people against Jesus… Many are like the Pharisees today. 1. Full of bad fruit. 2. Try to prevent the Gospel from going forth. 3. Seeking to destroy God’s children. The thing is: Are we repentant? The Pharisees, for the most part, were probably like Cain in Genesis 4:6-7, and did not listen to the rebuke they were given. When others show us an area of sin we have in our lives, do we listen? Do we humbly seek God’s forgiveness? Seeking change–not in our own strength, but with the Lord’s help?
    Memorable Verses: Mt. 12:28, 31-32,34, 36-37
  • Commentary Notes from my ESV Study Bible:
  1. 12.29 Jesus was able to expel demons because he had bound Satan, the strong man…Jesus demonstrated  that Satan was powerless to prevent him from proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and demonstrating the reality of its presence through his work and words. Satan’s house represents the sinful world over which, until the coming of Christ, he has such power. Jesus has come to plunder the house and rescue people for the kingdom of God (See Col. 1:13).
  2. 12.30 Whoever is not with me is against me. Jesus does not allow anyone to remain neutral about him (See Mark 9:38-41)…
  3. 12.31-32 blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. The sin…. committed today only by unbelievers who deliberately and unchangably reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit in calling them to salvation.
  4. 12.33-35 abundance of the heart. The Pharisees’ attempt to label Jesus a blasphemer (v. 24) is itself blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Their wicked words reveal the evil within their own hearts; they were bad trees (v. 33) in need of radical conversion.
  • Acts: God provided an opportunity for Paul to witness to others in Athens. Paul talked with them about Jesus, His Crucifixion and Resurrection. Many joined him, and believed. Paul boldly shared his faith… God gave Paul the words to speak to share his faith with others, and as a result many came to Christ! When given an opportunity, do we share our faith? Do we share the truth of Jesus?
    Memorable Verses: Acts 17:30-31
  • Psalm: Wicked plan evil in their hearts, while putting on a mask of friendliness toward their neighbors. You cannot hide from the Lord God Almighty the condition of your heart. God hears our cries. He is our Rock, our strength, and Shield. King David says, “I will trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Is He your rock? Your place of refuge? Is He your shield? Is He your strength? Or, do you rely on your own strength? Are you praising Him despite your circumstances? Trusting Him with all your heart? Filled with thanksgiving? Where do you find yourself?
  • Character of God: “I pray to you, O Lord, my rock…I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary…The Lord is my strength and shield…The Lord gives His people strength. He is a safe fortress…Lead them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms forever.”
    Memorable Verses: Psalm 28:1a, 2
    Wickedness: Psalm 28:3 (Connect to Mt. 12:21-37)
    Praise the Lord: Psalm 28:6-9
  • Exodus: The Israelites went through a wave of emoti1ons: Fear to Awe. Even at one point preferring slavery to the road to freedom. The truth is: God was giving the Israelites a brand new life. Was it happening how they imagined? I don’t think anyone would of imagined the Egyptians and Pharaoh chasing them into the sea, while walls of waters are on each side. Still, the truth is God was giving them new life. They were needing to learn to trust Him, rather than relying on their old ways of doing things or even coping with their circumstances. They were needing to learn and relearn trusting God and remaining obedient to Him, as they rediscovered just how good the God of Israel is!
    New Life: Ex. 13:8, 14; Ex. 14:13-14
    Old Ways: Ex. 15:24
    His Truth: Ex. 15:26
    Miraculous Deliverance: Ex. 14:21-22, 26, 29-31
    God is…:Ex. 15:1-3, 11, 13, 18
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