30 for 30
Today we are going to spend some time in worship. Find a worship track and put it on. Rest in God’s unending mercy and pour out your praise at His feet. May we recommend the new album ‘Returning’ from Vineyard Anaheim. It’s a beautiful picture of surrender and hunger. You can find it at these links on Youtube & Spotify.
Read Matthew 8. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. You may want to make notes, underline in your bible or journal all that God is saying.
Thought of the day
Matthew 8:19 - And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
This is one of those Bible passages we don’t tend to stick on our fridge and memorise. It’s challenging, it’s hard. Here we come face to face with the spiritual reality that paying lip service to God is pretty irrelevant in the Kingdom.
The scribe made a wild promise – to follow Jesus wherever – but didn’t fathom the cost of what that looks like.
Jesus gently opens his eyes to what it means to really follow.
Following Jesus means a complete surrender of every part of our lives. It means living with Jesus as Lord.
In following Jesus there are no guarantees of a comfortable easy life – in fact, following Jesus often means the opposite.
The New Testament describes Jesus in many ways, but two of the most common are ‘Saviour’ and ‘Lord’.
We love Jesus as ‘Saviour’ don’t we? Jesus takes away our sins, he rescues us from Hell, washes clean our past, covers us in forgiveness and brings us into the Kingdom. All we need to do is believe and receive. It’s the scandal of Grace.
‘Lord’ is a bit trickier. Lord means Jesus is on the throne. Lord is a daily decision to choose Jesus over everything else. Lord means that Jesus comes first. Lord means that every sphere of our live is lived submitted to His ways and His Lordship.
Lord means making choices which often go directly against the grain of how we feel.
Our possessions, our finances, our resources, our comfort is all submitted to His Lordship. Following Jesus will mean letting go of control of these things.
Our relationships, our words, our thoughts, our desires, our rights, our time, our priorities are all submitted to His Lordship. This means that following Jesus changes how we interact with these things.
It changes how we view family – ‘Let the dead bury the dead.’ This doesn’t mean never go to a funeral! It does mean that Jesus comes first – even over our closest earthly relationships.
This is a challenging teaching, but it is a beautiful one. Jesus invites us to lay down and surrender every area of our earthly experience – because He gives something better.
Take 10 minutes to pray to your heavenly Father.
Today let’s pray for our city in lockdown.
For those struggling with loneliness in lockdown. For those who have lost their jobs and are on furlough. For individuals and families that are experiencing financial pressure. For those experiencing anxiety, fear and worry. For those caught in addiction and for those living on the streets.
Pray for all in our city that are suffering and struggling in this time.
Take some time this morning to do a ‘soul check.’ How are you doing, really? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there are any things in your life that are not yet laid down in surrender? Be honest and make some notes and give them to the Lord again.