Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 152/260: Read Matthew 27

“It’s not my fault!” Parents with young children (and sometimes not so young children) may hear this phrase quite a bit. Perhaps the child was caught misbehaving in school, and the teacher sends a note home, and the child defends himself with the irrefutable, “It’s not my fault!”

This is the same thing the chief priests and elders said to a remorseful Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. When the Lord was delivered to Pontius Pilate the governor, Judas attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver, but the Jewish leaders said, in effect, “It’s not my fault!” They refused to acknowledge their part in Judas’ sin, saying, “What is that to us? You see to it!”

Just a handful of verses later, Pontius Pilate the governor said the same thing to the multitude when they chose the release of “a notorious prisoner called Barabbas” over the innocent Jesus. In order to maintain peace and avoid a riot, “he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’”

How do we react when we are confronted with a personal indiscretion? When our sin stares us down, do we throw our hands up and say, “It’s not my fault! You see to it!”? Or do we accept our responsibility in the matter, repent of our wrongdoing, and beg for forgiveness from the Almighty?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Matthew 26:28. “For this is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Pray

Pray for forgiveness for your sin, and for strength in dealing with the temptation to refuse the responsibility for your actions.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 151/260: Read Matthew 26

How unshakeable is your faith? The apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

When Jesus walked the earth, He chose twelve men to be His closest allies. For three years, they followed Him day and night, listened to His teachings, and were privy to more in-depth doctrine than the common man.

Near the end of His earthly ministry, He told the twelve, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Matthew’s account of this devastating announcement is interesting. Matthew writes, “And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’”

Each was genuinely concerned that he would be the one to turn his back on the Master. Many times, we like to think our faith is invincible, but here were these men, the closest friends of Jesus, worried about their personal faith.

Much research has been done about apostasy. One 2017 poll of adults aged 23-30 showed that among teenagers who regularly attended church services, 34% stopped the habit between the ages of 18-22. Think of the young people where you attend now. Which 34% are you willing to lose?

Be an encouragement to those who are younger. Show them the benefits of faithfulness to the Savior. Teach them to be steadfast and unmovable in the Lord’s work.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Matthew 26:28. “For this is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Pray

Pray for young Christians who are still finding their faith.

Rejecting God

Rejecting God Luke 10

Luke 10:1-16

I. The opportunity and responsibility to spread the gospel (Luke 10:2)

    A. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
    B. The perpetual commission (1 Timothy 4:12,16; 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:3-4; 2:2; Titus 2:1,3-5)

II. Many will reject God

    A. Jesus predicted such (Matthew 7:21-23)
    B. Jesus’ instruction to the seventy (Luke 10:10-11)
    C. We must not waste time (Matthew 7:6), but do not doubt the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16)

III. Rejecting God puts one in an eternally dangerous position

    A. Sodom (Luke 10:12; Genesis 13:13; 18:32)
    B. Tyre and Sidon (Luke 10:13-15; Acts 21:3-4; 27:3)

IV. Rejection is hurtful and disappointing (Luke 10:16)

    A. Our success is measured in faithfulness
    B. Remember what God told Samuel (1 Samuel 8:4-7)

Worthy Art Thou

Worthy Art Thou Tillit S Teddlie

Revelation 5:11-12

An Examination of the Song by Tillit S. Teddlie

I. First verse

    A. “Worthy of praise is Christ our Redeemer” (Titus 2:11-14)
    B. “Worthy of praise…glory, honor, and power” (Hebrews 13:15)
    C. “Worthy of all our soul’s adoration” (Psalm 103:1-5)

II. Second verse

    A. “Lift up the voice in praise and devotion, saints of all earth before Him should bow (Colossians 3:16)
    B. “Angels in heaven worship Him saying, Worthy art Thou!” (Hebrews 1:6; 2:7; Joshua 5:13-15)

III. Third verse

    A. “Lord may we come before Thee with singing, filled with Thy Spirit, wisdom and power” (Ephesians 5:17-21; 2 Timothy 1:7; Acts 17:2,17; 18:4,19; 19:8-9; 24:24-25)
    B. “May we ascribe Thee glory and honor, worthy art Thou!” (Hebrews 11:6)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 150/260: Read Matthew 25

The principle of stewardship is found throughout God’s Word, but perhaps the point is best made by our Lord in the parable of the talents.

God has entrusted to us something of great value. What we do with it will directly impact our ultimate reward from Him. The men who received five and two talents when out and doubled their master’s wealth. The one who received one, however, hid it out of laziness and used fear as an excuse.

The master’s estimation of this man is telling. He calls him “wicked and lazy.” The servant had done nothing that was morally reprehensible by the standards we would usually use to measure wickedness, but because of his slothfulness he was called “wicked.”

The other two servants, however, were commended for their efforts. They were called “good and faithful” and each was made a “ruler over many things.” They were invited to “enter into the joy of your lord.” The Lord blesses those who are diligent in doing His will.

If the Master were to return today, how would He rate your service? Would you be called “good and faithful” because you have worked for Him? Or would you be called “wicked and lazy” because of apathy and indifference?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Matthew 22:14. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Pray

Pray for stronger faith to trust and obey the Lord and to be active about the work in His kingdom.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 149/260: Read Matthew 24

Everyone is looking for a sign of the Lord’s return. Natural disasters, shifting of world powers, pandemics…all of these are cited as evidence that His return is imminent. However, all of these have been happening ever since He ascended into heaven. They are not signs that He is coming soon. In fact, Jesus said there would be no sign of His return.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Did the people of Noah’s day have warning? Of course they did. If nothing else, they had the example of Noah, who is called “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).

Do the people of today have warning? Yes! The words of the New Testament and the teaching of faithful members of the Lord’s church serve as a warning to all who will hear.

When will the Lord return? No one knows! We must always be ready, always be working for the Lord, always be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Matthew 22:14. For many are _____________, but few are _____________.

Pray

Pray for those who are not prepared for the Lord’s return, and do everything in your power to prepare them.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 148/260: Read Matthew 23

The kingdom of heaven is unlike any other kingdom. In worldly governments, the focus is on securing power for one’s self. In order to gain power, a person must elevate himself above everyone else. There is a sense of proving why “I” am better than anyone else. God’s kingdom, however, is just the opposite.

Jesus says, “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In order to be great in Jesus’ kingdom, you have to be willing to do anything you can for another person. It’s all about service, about seeking the highest good of another person. Paul said, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10). It is not about what others can do for you, but what you can do for others.

Jesus Himself served all of humanity through the greatest sacrifice, His death on the cross. By shedding His blood, He gave all men access to the Father. No greater service could have been rendered. Yet, many continue to reject that sacrifice, trying to justify themselves through their own goodness, when what is needed is a trusting, obedient acceptance of the Lord’s grace.

The Lord warns, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Matthew 22:14. For __________ are called, but __________ are chosen.

Pray

Pray for the proper attitude toward God and man.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 147/260: Read Matthew 22

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

God wants to save you, my friend. He wants to save you and your family and your neighbors and everyone else that you know. He has invited you; what is your excuse for not accepting His invitation?

The Jewish elite rejected His Son. “They made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.” They were too busy with their own lives to see the benefit of accepting the great invitation. Some even went so far as to mistreat His messengers, even to the point of death.

Because of their actions, “those who were invited were not worthy.” So the invitation was opened up to more than just the elite.

Still, just because one receives an invitation, that does not mean he should not prepare himself to be in the presence of the King. What did He say to the one without a wedding garment? What did He do about it? The man had not prepared himself, and he was “cast…into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” We must prepare ourselves to appear before the King. Are you ready? Are you properly clothed? “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Matthew 22:14. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Pray

Pray for wisdom in answering the Lord’s invitation.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 146/260: Read Matthew 21

Many people think they will “get by” because of who they are, or with whom they are associated. The religious elite of the first century – the Pharisees and scribes – counted on their relationship as sons. They refused, however, to actually seek the will of the Father.

Jesus tells a parable of two sons, one who said he would not obey his father, but later did. The other son said he would obey, but did not do what he was told. One who actually did the work, and another who only said he would. Jesus asked the chief priests and elders of the temple, “Which of the two did the will of the father?” They correctly answered, “The first.”

Here is the point Jesus made: there are a lot of sinners in need of the Father’s grace and mercy. Those who realize that need and make the necessary changes in their life will receive it. Those who do the will of the Father will be saved.

Those who do not see any need to change, who rely on their relationship as sons without any regard to their activity, will find themselves in trouble when the Day of Judgment comes.

Apply this to yourself. Are you actively seeking the will of the Father, doing what He says? Or are you relying on your association with the church? Are you faithful in attendance on Sunday, but absent from the Lord’s work the rest of the week?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Matthew 22:14. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to serve the Lord today and tomorrow, not just on Sunday.

Yes, But… (Luke 9:57-62)

Yes But Luke 9

Luke 9:57-62

I. The zealous go-getter

    A. “I’m excited about what you’re doing! Can I call you Lord?” (Luke 9:57)
    B. Jesus said, “Yes, but…” (Luke 9:58; 9:51-53; 14:28-30; 8:13; John 15:18-20; 2 Timothy 3:10-12)

II. The procrastinator

    A. This man said, “Yes, I will follow, but…” (Luke 9:59)
    B. There are things more important than family (Luke 9:60; 14:26; 1 Corinthians 7:12-15; Romans 12:18)

III. The one who looked back

    A. This man said, “Yes, I will follow, but…” (Luke 9:61)
    B. Jesus said, “Don’t look back!” (Luke 9:62; Hebrews 10:24-25; John 6:66; James 3:1-2; Ephesians 4:15; Galatians 2:11-13)

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)