My memory verse this week:
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it and whoever loses their life for me will find it."-- Matthew 16:24-25
NTC Day 13
Matthew 27-28 and Romans 10-12
It's Sunday, always a busy day for me. It seems I am so busy getting things ready for KidsPraise and today, singing with the choir, and rushing off to my inlaws for lunch right after church...and some Sundays, I don't even hear the pastor's sermon because I am helping with KidsPraise. I LOVE all of those things, but there are some Sundays I don't feel I have taken time to thank God...to really worship and praise Him...to rest...
This morning, as I got ready for church, I LISTENED to the NTC readings. No, I don't think I studied them this morning, as I usually do, and perhaps I didn't get as much out of them as I should have, but they were a blessing to me just the same.
The last two chapters of Matthew tell of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Each Holy Week I read these verses and am amazed again at what Jesus went through for us and the magnitude of God's plan for our redemption. It is not just a story...not just the climax of a popular novel...No, it is the beginning of God's grace for his beloved people.
This week in our readings, we have touched on predestination...that God knows what each of us will do with our lives. Sometimes that thought is comforting, and sometimes it makes me wonder. He wants each of us, no matter our race or beliefs or lack thereof, to be with him in heaven above. But, he gives us that choice. He has plans for us...each one of us, but we have to accept Him and his plan.
Hearing of the pain and humiliation that Jesus went through makes me sad, but so overwhelmingly grateful. To those who don't believe, the whole story may seem outlandish and far fetched, but to me, God's plan for my salvation through Jesus' suffering and death is a plan of love.
I have said this week that Paul's words sometimes confuses me, and Romans 10 and 11 reinforces that statement. But Romans 12, I love. Paul speaks of how we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. And it goes on to give us good advice on how we are to find what we are good at and do that to the glory God. And, he restates what Jesus said about how we are to love others.
After 2 weeks of the New Testament Challenge, I am grateful for this chance to read and hear the word of our God and to get the messages that God is sending me through those words. If possible, I feel even more blessed that I was before!