PASS THE TEST: Think of how significant milestones in life are often preceded by a test. You had to pass a test to drive a car (legally, that is). There were lots of tests to pass in order to graduate from school, to get a professional license, or to move the next rung up the ladder. The first thing Jesus must do before His ministry can finally begin is pass a massively difficult test; so difficult, in fact, that nobody else has ever passed it. A month ago we looked at this passage on a Sunday evening, and saw that the methods Satan used to tempt Jesus were exactly the same as what he successfully used on Adam. Before Jesus could die to atone (pay) for your sin, He had to pass this test to prove He could supply on your behalf the perfect righteousness God requires from His children. Thank God Jesus passed this test.
KINGDOM WATCH: When we read through Mark's gospel, we kept a watch on how the crowd followed Jesus like a rock star at first, then began to turn on Him, and then ultimately abandoned Him. We will see those same crowd dynamics in Matthew's account, but this time we're going to focus on Jesus' primary mission: To testify to the truth (John 18:37), and that truth is expressed in the first public words Jesus preaches: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" (v17). The first thing we notice is that Matthew refers to it differently than does every other Biblical writer. Whereas it is most commonly called the Kingdom of God, Matthew refers to heaven. As you go through your day, meditate (think about/chew over) how calling it the kingdom of heaven rather than just the kingdom of God expands our understanding of the concept.
FOLLOW ME. NOW. Jesus makes a huge demand of the first disciples He called. He told them to drop what they're doing - earning a living with very expensive fishing nets - and follow Him. They don't even ask Him where; they just do it. Immediately. Imagine how Zebedee felt when his sons and business partners just walked away. What is Jesus calling you to do? What do you need to drop to follow Him - right now, not later?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Lord our God (v7, 10) who is King of Heaven (v17).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (v4).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
GOOD FRIDAY &
RESURRECTION DAY CELEBRATIONS
Friday: service will post at 6 PM, but since there are no interactive elements to it, you can watch it anytime Friday night.
Sunday Morning: Service will post at 9:30 AM. There are several interactive elements where we can share fellowship, so try to participate then, but the service will be available all day long.
Sunday Evening: We close our day of rest in the Psalms, with a time of prayer, and a short lesson about the importance of what's at stake in Genesis 1:1 with Dr. Ligon Duncan. After the service, we will facilitate a Zoom based Q&A time about difficulties we experience in interpreting what the Bible teaches about creation science. This service will begin at 6 PM.
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