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I love Joseph’s obedience. We don’t hear much about him in the story of Jesus’ life, do we? Yet, when he “ did what the Lord commanded him”(v.24) , the world was radically changed! He could have done what he thought was right in his mind, and the law of that time justified it, but God’s plan was so much bigger than Joseph’s understanding. Rick Warren says; “Obedience unlocks understanding.”

It makes me ponder… how obedient am I when I don’t understand the circumstances?

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I am amazed at what lengths people will go to in order to get what they want! Herod wanted to get rid of his competition, so he did things in secret, lied about his motive, and pretended to be something he is not (a worshipper of Christ)! 

What kind of deception am I capable of using to get my way?

What a different concept it is to go out and confess our sins (v.5-6). Today we do it quietly and in our “prayer closet”, but I wonder how it would change my actions and behavior if I knew I had to confess my sins publicly! What do I need to confess today?

Satan’s attacks hit us where it hurts us most… Jesus’ temptations were real and hurtful for him, but ours may be different. He knows where you are the weakest, and he will tempt and hit you at that place. Satan often attacks me when someone questions my motives and does not assume that I have their best interest and God’s Will as my primary motivation.

What temptations seem to be the most difficult for you to overcome?

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There is so much great stuff to read in this chapter…but what stands out to me is that… WOW, we can see God!!! We are allowed in on that awesome secret!!! How do we get to? By having a pure heart… and a pure heart comes from washing in the WORD (Eph. 5:26)!!! Good thing we are reading our Bible daily to keep washing our hearts and making them pure!!! Get ready to see God!!!

Prayer is such an amazing concept! We get to talk to the Creator of the Universe! But I was confused when I first read verse 8. It says that God knows what we need before we ask Him, so… why does He want us to pray? Well, as we read in the next few verses, we see that as Jesus teaches us to pray, it is all about getting ourselves in a right place. When we recognized God as God and ourselves as His children that need forgiveness and help through temptation, we realize that He is able to do all things, so we can rest in him. Prayer is a conversation with someone who loves us unconditionally! Think about that as you talk to God! He knows what you need and He just wants you to realize that He’s got things under control!!!

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Did you learn the Golden Rule as a kid? What would I have others do unto me? I love to be encouraged, loved, thanked and even hugged. Well, if I like to receive all of those things, then the Golden Rule teaches me that I should first share those things with others. Conversely, there are things that I don’t want others to do unto me like gossip, ignore, or criticize unfairly. I should therefore not do any of these things to others. How are you living out the Golden Rule?

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This is a chapter of miracles! First Jesus shows his authority over sickness when he heals a leper, a servant, and a mother-in-law! Then he shows his authority over the weather by calming the storm. And finally, his authority is revealed over Satan by casting out demons in order to heal two men. Jesus is Lord over everything!

One interesting point to ponder is in verse 34: After hearing about the demons being cast out, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw that it really was true, they begged him to leave! Some people are so content in their same old sinful and messy lives that they are too scared to have Jesus change them. So they will refuse to allow Him into their lives! Compare this to the next chapter in Matthew 9:8, where the crowd saw another healing and they were all in awe and praised God! The truth is that some people will push Jesus away while others will praise Him!

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Matthew 10 is all about the need for the world to hear the Word of God. And that many, including our families, neighbors and governments will not believe it, and even hate us for it. Often that makes us afraid to say anything, yet the fear should be of v. 28 “ the one who is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell. “ Where do we find peace from this pressure and fear? In verse19 “Do not worry about how or when you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should say.”
Lord, grant me the courage to share your love with just one person today.

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That nagging doubt will never let us go! John the Baptist had just baptized Jesus. Before he did, he acknowledged that he was not worthy to even tie Jesus’ sandals, then saw a dove come over Him, and heard God’s voice claiming Jesus as His beloved Son! And yet… John in prison doubts...”Are you the one??? Or should we expect someone else?”

This makes me feel better about the doubts I sometime have. When there are circumstances that make me question God, those doubts can sneakin. But how did Jesus dispel John’s doubts? He told John to remember the past… All the amazing things he had done! And then he basically says in verse 6, “you will be blessed if you don’t trip and stumble over the things I do, that you don’t understand! Have faith and don’t doubt!”

Are you having doubts today? Look back in your life at all the times God has done great things and trust that He will continue to be Lord of your life!

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This reminds me that mercy is more important than sacrifice. The Pharisees kept trying to get Jesus in trouble because he wasn’t following the law prohibiting work on the Sabbath. While the Sabbath is a day to rest we are also assured that loving our fellow man with mercy and grace always takes precedence over regulations. Do I love people more than I love being right?

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- just a few birds v. 4
- just some rocks v. 20
- just a few thorns. v. 22
- just a few weeds. v. 26
-just a little mustard seed. v. 32
-just a little yeast v. 33
Just a few good words spoken or a few harsh words spoken. Just a few positive thoughts or just a few negative thoughts. “Just a few “ changes your day. Or even the path of those you encounter. Will I be a mustard seed or thorns to the one God puts in my path today?

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How many miracles and incredible encounters with Jesus does it take until we finally stop doubting? If we look at Peter’s life, the doubting never seems to stop! In verse 28 Peter wants Jesus to prove himself again! “Let me walk on water“. Jesus lovingly proves Himself again and allows Peter to walk to Him. But even in the midst of that miracle, Peter doubts; taking his eyes off Jesus he begins to sink. Yikes! How often will I allow myself to ask God to prove Himself to me? When will I stop doubting in the middle of a storm? Lord, help me to have BIG faith!