I know many people have been participating in the 30-day challenge which began on January 1st 2013! It is exciting to read the Word of God as a church and devote time to meditate on the Word! It is already Day 5…how great is that? It will be interesting to read about how the Challenge is going for you!
If you have not been participating in the challenge, don’t fret! It is not too late to be a part of it! Below are the daily devotions for days 1 through 5 in descending order! From today, the devotion will be posted daily. Challenge yourself! You can do it!
Day 5: How to be Blessed
Read Matthew Chapter 5
In this Chapter, The Lord opens His sermon with the Beatitudes, as He teaches the kingdom principles.
The Beatitudes define the characteristics of Christians as expressed by Christ. When citing the Beatitudes Christ was laying down the principles of the Kingdom of God. They are a code of ethics and a standard of conduct for all professing Christians. They contrast Kingdom values with worldly values, contrast superficial faith with the faith by which Christ expects Christians to walk. The Beatitudes are not multiple choices. Christians cannot choose to regard some and disregard others – they must be conformed to as a whole for Christians to inherit the Kingdom of God. They set forth qualities and experiences that are combined in the ideal character of Christians. They show what Christians should be true followers of Christ. Each beatitude tells Christians how to be blessed.
As outlined below the issues touched by the Lord are − believers are salt and light; murder, adultery begins in the heart; marriage is sacred and binding; going the second mile and loving your enemies.
- The ethics of God’s kingdom (5-7)
- The Setting of Jesus’ Sermon (5:1-2)
- Kingdom Rewards for the Repentant (5:3-9)
- Encouragement for Those Persecuted for the Gospel (5:10-12)
- Worthless Disciples (5:13-16)
- Jesus Applies Principles in God’s Law (5:17-48)
- Christians Must Obey God’s Law (5:17-20)
- Angry Enough to Kill (5:21-26)
- Do Not Covet Others Sexually (5:27-30)
- Do Not Betray Your Spouse by Divorce (5:31-32)
- Oaths Are a Poor Substitute for Integrity (5:33-37)
- Avoid Retribution and Resistance (5:38-42)
- Love Your Enemies (5:43-48)
- Pray for a desire to mature in Christ, and to live for Him in all areas of your life.
- Pray for the grace and strength to shine as light wherever you are
- Pray for all parents for wisdom for parenting and pray that our children and the youth will outshine every form of darkness that they will encounter.
- Pray that the Lord will strengthen every marriage in the Church and for a renewed commitment.
- Pray for God to give you the strength not to be conformed to any ungodly lifestyle but to live the kingdom principles that brings blessings (Rom 12:2)
People must have righteous principles in the first, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions – Martin Luther
Day 4: The Humanity of Christ
Read Matthew Chapter 4
As you take this daily walk with Christ you’ll discover that although Jesus was human, he was also divine (meaning he was God). This is both difficult to figure out and exciting to comprehend.
The New Testament book of Hebrews is emphatic! Jesus Christ was tempted in every single way that we are, yet He didn’t give in. We have a lot to learn from Him. So let’s take a closer look at “The Temptation of Jesus” What can we take from that? Take it a step further: what are the opportune moments for you to be tempted? How did Jesus respond and what can we learn from His approach?
- God’s Son Passes the Test (4:1-11)
- Moving to a Bigger Town (4:12-16)
- Abandoning All for the Kingdom (4:17-22)
- Jesus Demonstrates God’s Reign with Power (4:23-25)
- Pray that we will be led continually by the Holy Spirit and that we will not go into things or territories that God would not permit us. (Ps 32:8)
- Pray that you will be delivered from all forms of temptation.
- Pray for the grace and discipline to always fill myself with the Word of God.
- Pray for all that you will begin will end well.
- Pray for good health for yourself, family and church member and pray against every form of calamity
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Day 3: A Fresh Start
Read Matthew Chapter 3
About thirty years has passed from the time you read yesterday (in chapter 2) to what you read today (in chapter 3).
Chapter three is therefore the presentation of Jesus, the Son of God. It defines His role. It indicates that a major part of Jesus’ task is to be the judge to come. The message about the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God, are but two phrases for the same thing. They mean, not barely a future happy state, in heaven, but a state to be enjoyed on earth: the characteristic or nature for the glory of heaven. The Kingdom of God is the progressive implementation of God’s rule “on earth, as it applies in heaven (Matthew 25:31-46, 26:26-30; Luke 17:21, 22:14-23).
Now, you read about John the Baptist, a prophet, a man chosen by God for a mission to set the stage and prepare people for Jesus. John the Baptist’s mission included a message – “repent.” Repent is a word which defines the condition to gain access or citizenship of the kingdom.
- O Lord, of preparation, prepare me for the unknown days ahead of me. Help me to navigate this year with your wisdom perfection and precision.
- O Lord help me to know, give me understanding and the wisdom for your plans and purposes this year and beyond.
- O Lord, as you prepared Israel, as a church, prepare us for the new things you are doing. Help us in all the seasons ahead of us. (Amos 3:7; cf: Is 41:21-29).
- Pray that you will not resist but will connect with those whom God will send your way this year.
- Pay that all that you do will be in conformity with the plans of God and that the Lord will confirm and be glorified through His deeds in your life.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
God is a God of preparation. He prepared for the coming of Christ.
Day 2: Seek Him
Read Matthew Chapter 2
There was a Breaking News, direct from heaven.
The Lord Jesus was born in the days of Herod the king (known as Herod the Great). This meant that “the scepter departing from Judah” (Gen 49:10). This signified that the messiah’s arrival was at hand. It is God’s desire to unseat every ‘king’ over the lives of His people because He is our true King
God was about to do just that not only for Israel but for the entire human race. Israel was going to be the launching pad- the stage through which God will do this. God wants all His children to be His launching pad through which His blessings will reach others.
The visit of the wise men – even non-Jews came from afar to acknowledge what God was doing. God avails His mercy and blessings to all people without partiality. God so loved the world that He gave His only son to all.
Heaven is always pregnant with good news for God’s people. Delivery will be at the right time, but the devil is always seeking for the opportunity to abort the blessing. Nevertheless the promises of God are sure.
Wise men sought Him. Seek Him this year and you will be wiser!
1. Pray that God will always send wise people into your life.
2. Pray against every conspiracy against you this year and that the wrath of the wicked will not come close to you.
3. Pray against every leakage of vital information that can work against you.
4. Pray for divine revelation and guidance throughout this year.
5. Pray that every promise and plan of God in your life this year will be fulfilled.
The Magi: The wise men (Magi) were scientists/scholars who study stars, yet saw no conflict between science and scripture while worshipping the Savior. Devout Christians can worship the Lord with their intellect (mind) and their hearts. Matt 22:37
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” – Albert Einstein.
Day 1: Divine Grace
Read Matthew Chapter 1
You may be thinking, “what a strange way to start the New Testament, with a bunch of long, too-many- names. You will probably say to yourself, If there’s 30 more days of this I will have to think again about reading the gospel of Matthew. But God does nothing without a reason.
Christ’s genealogy, his family tree, records the names of ancestors. Some were noble, some were ignoble, some were righteous, some were downright evil; The reality is that
we often overlook, skip, dismiss-you name it-these types of lists in the Bible, the genealogies. But this genealogy, in particular, is crucial to our understanding of the kind of world and the kind of family that God chose to host His Son Jesus.
Here are some of the more conspicuous characters.
1. Jacob (liar/swindler)
2. Tamar (incest) – Genesis 38
3. Rahab (prostitute)
4. Ruth (Moabite/pagan/outsider
5. David (adulterer/murderer)
6. Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba (adulteress) -2 Samuel 11:5-27
7.Manasseh (wicked king)
Here, God is trying to communicate to us that He does not only identify with us but we must know that God’s plans are bigger than our shortfalls and mistakes. Furthermore as a born again child of God you have also been grafted into Christ’s genealogy and His church is your family.
This is what Grace can do. This year, receive grace in spite of your limitations in Jesus’ Name!
- Thank God that He doesn’t necessarily need or want a perfect family history from us. He came to heal and restore.
- O Lord help me to understand your ways Ps 103:7
- Pray that God’s power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor 12:9)
· Would you consider this genealogy to be a perfect or imperfect choice for the birth of the King?
· Why do you think Matthew would include these in his genealogy?
All the best! We are all winners in the eyes of God!