Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Matthew 16 (Part 6)
Externally Focused Disciples
Jesus said, 'Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.'
Matthew 15:16-20 (NASB)
And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, 'I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.' The disciples said to Him, 'Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?'
Matthew 15:32-33 (NASB)
Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, 'Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.'
Matthew 16:5-6 (NKJV)
Throughout their three-year training period, the disciples of Jesus were challenged to realign their external focus to the deeper vision found in the heart. But affirming God's invisible truth while denying the appearance of truth is a test believers must learn to pass.
To see Bread not as bread, but Christ's Body,
To see Wine not as wine, but as His Blood,
To see Him not as a Man, but as God's Son,
To see sinners not as trash, but treasure,
To see idols not as treasure, but trash,
To see wealth not as their own, but the Lord's,
To see small kids not as foolish, but wise,
To see proud men not as wise, but foolish,
To see rules not as stones, but with mercy,
To see life as a true Call of Duty,
To see death as eternity's doorway,
To see hardship as a come-back story,
To see lack as a paring down process,
To see anguish as a birthing process,
To see waiting as a building process,
To see Satan as already conquered,
To see mountains as small bumps in the road,
To see evil as overcome by good,
To see darkness as overcome by light,
To see sadness as overcome by joy,
To see hatred as overcome by love,
To see thugs as transformed by forgiveness,
To see Hollywood as a mission field,
To see its stars rising to proclaim Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Godly vision begins in the heart. Remember, external things will pass. They're like signs on a super-highway, barely read as we speed beyond them. Many signs are false adverting. Others are detours we best not take. Some are rest stops or pleas for help. The best ones have a glow from within.
They only way to understand them is to use God's Word as your Compass and the Holy Spirit as your Guide. Because the things we see with our eyes can deceive, distract or delay us, unless God shows us the deeper meaning.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.