Discipleship Journal Reading Plan: Day 38

Mt 13:1.23; Acts 18:18-28; Psalm 30; Exodus 19-20

A lot can be gleaned from the different passages. In Matthew, it brings me to the place of needing to realize where my heart is, staying humble, and staying focused on Him–not letting circumstances or cares to choke my focus (take my eyes off of Christ). Acts brings me to a place of remembering about vows. I need to be mindful what I do, and how it can bring me closer  to Him. Psalm is about praising God, while Exodus is about being set apart and recognizing His holiness. Each are important, and affect my walk with the Lord: humility, teachable, keeping vows, and staying set apart. Each can lead me into a deeper walk with the Lord.

  • Matthew:Each person’s heart is on a different level. Much like when planting a seed, it breeds different results. Our job is to do the job God has called us to do. The point is: for us to evaluate our own hearts, and to share the Gospel whenever we are given the opportunity to do so. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:6, each have been given a different task, but it is God who does the work. We need to be faithful in using the gifts God has given us, to minister to others however He may be leading us…
  • We need to ask questions, such as: Are our hearts hardened? Are we wrapped up in the cares of this world..or circumstances? Do we take root–in seeking to become a disciple when we come to Christ? (surrounding ourselves with disciples in Christ, attend a Bible teaching church, seek to be mentored by another who is further along in their walk with Christ, seek to emerge in His Word with others, have a disciplined prayer life and quiet time in His Word) Finally, do we accept the Gospel wholly? Are we bearing fruit to show our salvation? (See Matthew 3:8; John 15:5-11)
  • Matthew Commentary (ESV Study Bible)
  1. 13:3 Parables are Jesus’ means of communicating truth…
  2. 13:19 The seed in the parable (vv. 3-9) repents the word of the kingdom (i.e, “the gospel of the kingdom). All of Jesus’ “seeds” are good, so the emphasis is on the various types of soil. The evil one is Satan, the devil. sown along the path. Hearts that are hardened, like the scribes and Pharisees.
  3. 13.20-23 Sown on rocky ground depicts a heart that is immediately receptive, but hardened, so that the gospel never takes root and thuss fails to bear fruit. The seed sown among them like is unfruitful, choked out by a heart weighed down with the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches. The good soil depicts the heart that has been prepared  to receive the gospel, yielding an abundant harvest…
    Earnestly Seek Him (and Listen): Mt. 13.9, 12-13, 16-17
    OT Prophesy: Isaiah 6:9-10
  • Acts: Paul continued to minister in the synagogues, strengthening believers, and sharing the truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apollos was shared the truth about Jesus, the Gospel, and the way of God more accurately. He was there encouraged to follow the desire to go to Achaia to be encouraged and minister to others. Apollos was teachable, and the Gospel was boldly shared. Then, Apollos witnessed, ministered, and reasoned the truth of Jesus and His resurrection with the Jews in Achaia.
  • Questions: Are you teachable? Do you minister to another when given the opportunity? Devote yourself to God?
    1. In this passage (vs. 18), Paul shaved his head. My commentary offers this side-note: “The cutting of Paul’s hair probably indicates he had completed a vow (see Num. 6:1-21; Acts 21:20-24). Besides not cutting hair, such a vow mandated strict purity and refraining from strong drink. One would have undergone such a vow in seeking divine blessing for an undertaking or to express thanksgiving.”
    2. Additional Commentary (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown): “Paul had a vow—That it was the Nazarite vow (Nu 6:1-27) is not likely. It was probably one made in one of his seasons of difficulty or danger, in prosecution of which he cuts off his hair and hastens to Jerusalem to offer the requisite sacrifice within the prescribed thirty days [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2.15.1]. This explains the haste with which he leaves Ephesus (Ac 18:21), and the subsequent observance, on the recommendation of the brethren, of a similar vow (Ac 21:24). This one at Corinth was voluntary, and shows that even in heathen countries he systematically studied the prejudices of his Jewish brethren.”
  • Psalm: David is struggling, but he knows that God is good. David has cried out to God for help, and God has restored his health. God has protected him.Though we may struggle, God can turn our weeping into joy. God can radically change outcomes that would otherwise seem impossible. “With God, all things are possible (Mark 10:27)!” Praise Him in the night, through the storm and struggle, for He is good.
    Memorable Verses: Psalm 30:2, 4-5,  7, 11-12
    Song: Trading My Sorrows” and “Blessed Be Your Name
  • Exodus: For He is holy! Something incredibly beautiful about climbing a mountain (or anywhere scenic) to be alone with the Most High God! Moses would conscrate the people for worship (See Ex. 16:14). God is showing His holiness  and splendor to the Israelites. He is showing them that He is holy and worthy to be praised and honored.
  • Questions: Do you set yourself apart for God and Him alone? Choosing to stand out, not involving yourself in what many others are. Allowing yourself to be different, and for His Glory!
    You will be my Special Treasure: Ex. 19:4-6; 20:6
    God’s Presence and Holiness: Ex. 19:9, 17-18, 22; 20:24-25
    Commandments: (20:1-2) 20:3-17
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