"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting to Know Jesus

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MY PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help us to better understand You. Give us clear and concise insight into Who You are. Help us to see the Man You were while on earth, while also grasping the Savior You are and will always be for eternity. Give us eyes to see You this week in a whole new way. Give us hands to touch You, and ears to hear Your voice. Let us walk closely with You throughout Your travels, and give us a front row seat everywhere You teach. Let us join You backstage as You prepare for Your destiny, and give us a pure heart to accept You for Who You really are.

REMINDER FROM GOD: “Follow Me...” {Matthew 3:18}

I moved from my hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village of Capernaum (4:12) and started preaching (4:17).

As I was walking along the beach of Lake Galilee I met Simon (Peter) and Andrew (4:18).

I climbed the hillside, sat down and taught my companions (5:1-2).

I was taken aback by a Roman captain’s faith (8:7-10). I had never seen that kind of simple trust in Israel.

I relieved the inwardly tormented. I cured the bodily ill, and fulfilled Isaiah’s sermon (8:16-17). And I was curt with a religious scholar (8:18-22).

As I got into a boat one night, I was tired and fell fast asleep. When My disciples roused Me in fear, I reprimanded them. I stood up and told the wind to be silent and the sea to quiet down (8:23-27).

I was impressed with the paraplegic’s bold belief and forgave his sins (9:3). I also knew what the religious scholars were thinking about Me(9:4).

Passing along a tax collector’s booth, I said, “Follow Me” (9:10).

I ate supper at Matthew’s house, and upon overhearing the scolding of the Pharisees, I shot back, “I’m here to invite the outsiders, not coddle the insiders.”

When the hemorrhaging woman touched my robe, I turned, caught her, and then reassured her (9:20-22).

I was abrupt at the home of the town official. I got rid of the gossipy crowd, went in, took the girl’s hand, and pulled her to her feet—alive (9:23-26).

I made a circuit of all the towns and villages. When I looked out over the crowds…My heart broke (9:35-37).

I called My twelve followers and sent them into the ripe fields. I gave them power to kick out evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives (10:1-4).

I abruptly broke into prayer (11:25) and then resumed talking to the people tenderly (11:27).

One Sabbath, I was strolling with My disciples through a field of ripe grain, and we were hungry. So they pulled off the heads of grain and  munched on them (12:1-2).

I knew the Pharisees were out to get Me, so I moved on. Those that I healed, I cautioned to keep quiet (12:15). And I confronted the slander against Me (12:25).

While I sat on the beach, a crowd gathered. I got onto a boat and addressed them by telling stories (13:1-3). And after I dismissed the congregation, I went into the house and explained the stories to My disciples (13:36-37).

When I received the news of John’s death, I slipped away by boat, but soon a lot of people found Me by the lake. When I saw them, I was overcome with pity (14:13-14). I took five loaves and two fish, lifted My face to heaven and prayed, blessed, broke, and gave the food to the disciples to feed the crowd (14:16-21).

I then climbed the mountain so I could be by Myself to pray. I stayed there alone, late into the night (14:23). At 4 AM, I came towards the boat in the storm, walking on water. The disciples were scared out of their wits. I quickly comforted them, “Courage! It’s Me.” When Peter began to sink in the water, he cried out for Me to save him and I didn’t hesitate. I reached down and grabbed his hand and we both climbed back into the boat (14:24-33).

When I was told how angry the Pharisees were with Me, I shrugged it off (15:13) and then took a trip to Tyre and Sidon (15:21).

When I returned, I walked along Lake Galilee, climbed a mountain and took My place, ready to receive visitors. I healed them (15:39-31).  I hurt for those people. So I directed them to sit and gave thanks and fed them (15:32-39).

I pressed My disciples to tell Me who they thought I was. I swore them to secrecy and made them promise not to tell anyone that I was the Messiah (16:13-20). I then made it clear that it was necessary for Me to go to Jerusalem and submit to an ordeal of suffering. When Peter protested, I didn’t swerve (16:21-23).

I led Peter, James and John up a high mountain. There, My appearance changed from the inside out right before their eyes. Afterwards, I went over to them and touched them, “Don’t be afraid” (17:1-8).

I intervened for the children and laid hands on them (19:13-15).

I got my disciples together to settle things down after a disagreement (20:25), and intervened when I realized they were angry with one another (26:10).

I sent two disciples with instructions to get a donkey. I mounted it and made My entrance into Jerusalem (21:1-10). I then went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop. I kicked over the tables and quoted scripture (21:12-14). Fed up, I turned on My heel and left the city for Bethany, where I spent the night (21:17).

Early the next morning, I returned to the city. I was hungry and approached a fig tree anticipating a breakfast of figs, but there weren’t any. I was very matter-of-fact in explaining why I cursed the tree (21:18-21).

After sunset, on the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, we were sitting around the table. I took the bread, broke it, and gave it to them. I took the cup and thanked God, and gave it to them, too. I explained that after I am raised up, I would go ahead of them, leading the way (26:17-32).

I then went with them to Gethsemane. I plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Going on ahead, I fell on My face, praying. Three times I checked on my disciples and they were sleeping. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open, so the last time I let them sleep and went back to pray, going over the same ground one last time (26:36-44).

When the Chief Priest addressed Me after My arrest, I kept silent. And when I finally answered, I was curt (26:63, 64, 27:12-14).

Hanging on the cross, I groaned out of the depths, crying loudly. As those watching mocked and joked, I cried out loud again and then breathed My last breath (27:25, 50).

[After I rose from the dead], I met the women, stopping them dead in their tracks (28:9). I was undeterred and went ahead and gave My disciples My charge (28:18).

NOTE TO SELF: Notice the things Jesus did and HOW He did them. Although this was a long blog, I thought it was important to grab all the “critical” moments of Christ so we could truly be with Him as He moved, taught, and comforted.

{After reading the paraphrased verses of Matthew, could you “see” Jesus in action? Could you hear His voice? Could you feel His love and compassion?}


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