Daily Devotion for September 20, 2021
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
A live performance by Kim Walker-Smith singing with Jesus Culture. “I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.”
He is jealous for me;
Love's like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy,
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions
eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how
great your affections are for me.
And oh how He loves us . . . .
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes.
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking,
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest.
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way
He loves us.
[Spoken] His presence. His love.
Is so thick and tangible in this room tonight.
And there are some of you here that have not
encountered the love of God.
And tonight God wants to encounter you.
And wants you to feel His love.
His amazing love.
Without it these are just songs.
These are just words.
These are just instruments.
Without the love of God, it's just like we're just
up here just making noise.
But the love of God changes us,
And we're never the same,
We're never the same
After we encounter the love of God
We're never the same after we encounter the love of God
And right now if you haven't encountered the love of God,
And you would know,
Because you wouldn't be the same.
You would never be the same again.
And if you, if you, want to encounter the love of God right now,
You better just brace yourself because He's
about to just blow in this place
And we're gonna encounter the love of God
So God I speak to all the hearts
And I ask God that every heart be open right now
Every heart be open.
Every spirit be opened up
To you God. To You.
And a love encounter
A love encounter from you tonight
A love encounter from you tonight God.
Music and Lyrics by John Mark McMillan
Prayer to the Holy Spirit to be with Me This Day
In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.
Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,
Heavenly Father, I have spent my life constantly wanting more. Let me be content. If I am having trouble paying my bills, let me look to those who live in cardboard shacks without clean water; if my vision is poor, let me help the blind; if my mobility is impaired, let me visit a prison filled with those who can walk and run; if I envy the young, let me pray for those who were killed by their mothers in the womb.
I too often look to those who have something I do not, or more of something I want; let me give thanks for the great bounty you have showered upon me, oh Lord, remembering in my envy and pain that all I have is a gift from you. In the name of Christ I pray,
Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
~ Psalm 146:2
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
The Year’s At The Spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven —
All’s right with the world!
~ Robert Browning
Matthew 4:23-25 (ESV)
Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds
nd he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.
And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Notes on the Scripture
The first 3 1/2 chapters of Matthew describe occurrences that are important, but introductory: His birth, early life, baptism, temptation, etc. At 4:23 we see a shift, as Matthew plunges us into the actual ministry of Jesus. This is the bulk of the book and will continue until it gradually shifts focus to His preparations for the crucifixion.
Matthew’s great strength lay in recording Jesus’ words. Without him, we would live in a different world, for a majority of Jesus’ teachings would be lost, especially his direct instructions on how we should live. But as a history of the life of Jesus, it lacks some of the details of the other gospels.
In today’s lesson, we are given no details at all. The passage must cover a goodly period of time and distance, for enough time passed that word of Christ spread at least as far south as Jerusalem, east into the Greek cities on the other side of the Jordan (the “Decapolis”), and north into Syria. (See Map.) This would have taken time in an era when both travel and communications were primitive.
(A. van Dyck, 1620)
Also, Matthew was called as a disciple fairly late, possibly last among the twelve apostles. Matthew describes his call in Ch. 9, but Luke and Mark seem to put it earlier. Harmonizing the chronology of the four gospels is beyond the scope of our study, but Mark and Luke seem more interested in putting the events of Jesus’ life in correct order; while Matthew arranges his gospel in teaching modules. (If this interests you, a good starting point is Luke 6.)
Three activities are named. First, Jesus taught in synagogues. These were numerous, for it took only ten Jewish men to form a synagogue. Sacrifices were made only at the Temple in Jerusalem, so synagogues were strictly educational in nature. They were almost like Quaker meeting-houses, for there was no designated preacher. At a meeting, a portion of the Torah would be read, prayers would be said, and educated members of the congregation would teach. Learned visitors were most welcome to speak, since they would bring new knowledge and fresh viewpoints.
As we will see in later chapters, Jesus might have had a fresher viewpoint than most synagogues had counted on; he would, in fact, cause a furor with his revolutionary and even heretical teachings.
Secondly, he “proclaimed the gospel.” That is, he told them the good news, that the Kingdom of God had arrived. Whether he lay claim to divinity during this period, we do not know. But he surely attacked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and laid the foundation for the new covenant: that salvation would require a change within, not simply compliance with the law of Moses.
Third, he healed. Generally, healing by Christ and his apostles would occur only in a person who had faith in him and his word. This was not some reward, not a method to manipulate people into outward protestations of faith. It was rather a sign that Christ could remit sin, and not just personal sin, but the sin of Adam which had engendered all human misery.