New Testament In a Year: February 12 – Matthew 26:26-50

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Matthew 26:26-50
(26-29) Institution of the Lord’s Supper
The broken bread is Jesus’ broken body. The poured out cup is Jesus’ shed blood.

(30-35) Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial
All of the disciples (sans Judas) promised to never deny or leave Jesus the Christ, but none of them (sans John) kept their word. As soon as Jesus was seized, they fled. And later on during His mock trial, Peter denied Christ three times – just as He predicted he would. When times are calm, it is one thing to say ‘I will follow’ Christ; but in times of chaos, it is quite another thing to actually do so. Better for us to be humble and follow through, then presumptuous and fall apart.

(36-46) Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
In Mark 11:24, Jesus the Christ tells us that whatever we ask in prayer, if we believe that we have received it, it will be ours. In this scene, however, Christ prays to His Father for the cup of suffering and death to pass, and as we all know, God DOES NOT answer the prayer of His only begotten Son. The only perfect man to ever live did not receive what He asked for in prayer.

When God does not answer our prayers or is slow in answering our prayers, we must not think it is because He does not hear us or because He hates us. God’s will encompasses all of humanity, while our will often only encircles ourselves. If the cup had been removed, only Christ would have been saved and God’s divine mission to bring salvation to the entire world would have failed. We are redeemed people with a future and a hope because Christ was more concerned about the will of His Father being done.

Favorite verse: (31) Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

New Testament In a Year: February 11 – Matthew 26:1-25

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Matthew 26:1-25
(1-5) The Plot to Kill Jesus
Once again, Jesus the Christ forewarns His disciples of His coming crucifixion.

(6-13) Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Perhaps this woman had also heard that people were out to kill Jesus. She was aware of His coming crucifixion and by pouring the ointment on His head, she prepared Him for burial. Without any regard to the criticism of others, she lavishly gave to the One Who was about to die for her sins. Because Christ has done the greatest work for us, we should do good work for Him.

(14-16) Judas to Betray Jesus
When Jesus the Christ called Judas Iscariot to be one of His disciples, He knew that Judas would betray Him. Christ did not make Judas betray Him for thirty pieces of silver. Judas made that decision on his own. However, all the decisions and choices of humanity – whether good or bad – are taken and bended by God for His plan and purpose to be accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven.

Favorite verse: (10) But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.

New Testament In a Year: February 10 – Matthew 25:31-46

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Matthew 25:31-46
(31-46) The Final Judgment
When we love others through our actions we show our love for God. Each person who we have an opportunity to help is Jesus in disguise. Every good deed, no matter how small, is noticed by God.

Favorite verse: (36) I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Women of the Word: Queen Mother of Belshazzar

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Belshazzar was the son (some scholars say the grandson) of the great Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar’s story of how he came to recognize God as the one true God is one of my favorites, but, unfortunately, Belshazzar died without ever coming to the same truth as his father. From the brief appearance that Belshazzar’s mother makes in Daniel 5:10-12, it appears that she also recognized the power and the people of God. Continue reading

New Testament In a Year: February 9 – Matthew 25:1-30

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Matthew 25:1-30
(1-13) The Parable of the Ten Virgins
I thought of The Lion King‘s Scar when I read this passage:

be-prepared

Since we don’t know when Jesus the Christ is coming back, we must always be prepared. Always be ready. Always be watching.

(14-30) The Parable of the Talents
For several years now, the following words from Erma Bombeck have been my life quote:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say, ‘I used everything that you gave me.'”

God has given each of us talent (some have only one talent, others have a few talents, and still others are men and women of many talents). However many talents one may have, God wants us to use our talents to the max. He doesn’t want us to bury them, hide them, or let them lay dormant. Ultimately, the talent God gives us belongs to Him. At the end of our life, He wants to receive back what is His own, but with interest.

Favorite verse: (21) His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

New Testament In a Year: February 8 – Matthew 24:29-51

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Matthew 24:29-51
(29-31) The Coming of the Son of Man
Everyone will know about the second coming of Jesus the Christ. The sun, moon, stars, and all cosmic matter will announce it. Why will some people mourn at His sudden return? For those who are unbelievers, they will mourn because their rejection of Him will bring judgment.

(32-35) The Lesson of the Fig Tree
As we read in the following passage, no one knows the exact day or hour of Jesus’ return. The angels do not know. Even Jesus does not know. Only God knows. However, Christ Himself has given us signs so we will know when that great day is near. We can take God at His Word because it will never pass away.

(36-51) No One Knows That Day and Hour
The second coming is seen by many as a big joke. Because there has been so much hype and so many false predictions regarding it, some no longer believe it is something that is really going to happen. But Christ urges us to always be ready, because He will come suddenly when the world least expects Him.

Favorite verse: (35) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

New Testament In a Year: February 7 – Matthew 24:1-28

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Matthew 24:1-28
(1-2) Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
The temple buildings were beautiful to look at, but Jesus wanted His disciples to know that Christianity was about more than buildings.

(3-14) Signs of the End of the Age
As we near the last days, many unfortunate events will begin to happen all around us. Since Christ has duly warned us, we know what to expect and we should not be shaken or fearful. Instead, we should continue to love God and others. We should faithfully endure in sharing the Gospel because we know that our salvation is eternal and we will be saved.

(15-28) The Abomination of Desolation
We should not be deceived by those who claim to be the Christ in the last days. Jesus’ second coming will not come quietly in the night. All the world will know when He returns.

Favorite verse: (13) But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

New Testament In a Year: February 6 – Matthew 23:23-39

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Matthew 23:23-39
(23-36) Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees
Jesus the Christ continues to rebuke the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees, and in so doing we are urged not to follow their ways. We should be faithful in tithing money to God, but we should not neglect to show mercy to people. We must be inwardly righteous and not just outwardly righteous. We must make sure our physically alive bodies are not covering spiritually dead hearts.

(37-39) Lament over Jerusalem
Even though Jerusalem is guilty of rejecting God and murdering His prophets, Jesus remains compassionate toward them. He desires to gather the children of Jerusalem together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but they refuse to let Him do so.

Favorite verse: (27) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.