Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 4 - Who are you Listening to?

Read Matthew 2:13-23

So many parts of this passage seem significant.  Again, Joseph responds in obedience.  Herod reacts with awful violence and children die...children the ages of my own.  God protects Joseph and his little family.  They are saved and find a home town.

Three times in this passage, however, the prophets are mentioned.  I called my Son out of Egypt, Jeremiah's lament, and He will be called a Nazarene.  Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophets had something to say; and their words were important.

Whose words am I listening to?  What voices encourage me or affirm me?  Are there people (or media) that I should stop listening to?  Are there other voices that I should listen to instead?

Father, forgive me for filling up my soul with others words and not your own.  Show me how to filter wisely.  Help me hear the voices that are perhaps ignored by others but should be heeded.  Help me live the words that others need to "hear".  By your grace and love, amen.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day 3 - How Far Will You Journey to Give Your Gifts to God?

Read Matthew 2:1-12

I'm struck by a theme I've noticed so far since beginning the book of the Matthew. People are willing to be obedient to God in extravagant, amazing ways.

The wise men traveled who knows how far and how many months to meet Jesus to give him their gifts. I wonder how far I would you go to worship God. How far would you go? I don't mean how far will you drive to the church that has the best worship leader or how far will you travel to find a church that suits your needs. I'm asking how far are you willing to go give Jesus whatever he's inviting you to give to him?

Jesus, I get weary of trying to find you, sometimes.  I know you have given me gifts and talents to steward and give back to you.  But it feels like it takes forever to figure out what that means.  Help me to stay the course until I find you and can lay those treasures at your feet.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 2 - Compassionate Courage

Compassionate Courage

Read Matthew 1:18-25

When I read this part of Jesus' story, I feel like God is saying:
"Ok Joe. I know you're trying to do the noble thing here and protect Mary's reputation as much as you can, but I want you to do the crazy thing instead. Put your reputation on the line and go ahead and marry her. Adopt the baby. Name him. Yep, you heard me right. This little miracle is going to save everyone."

How would that strike you? How could you respond to such a crazy thing? Joseph doesn't seem to wrestle with the idea at all. He just does it. Courage, faith, compassion, obedience.

What do you see in God's character from this story of Joseph? What is important to Him?

Is there a crazy thing God is inviting you to do? Something that seems to go beyond common sense or even wisdom? What is God inviting you to take a step of compassionate courage toward?

Pray with me:

Jesus, I'm so thankful Joseph took care of you and Mary. Thank you for that example of selfless love. Show me today how to follow your call to live life with reckless love. How shall I love you well today? How shall I love others well today? My day, my time, my life belongs to you. I love you. Amen.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Just a few minutes with Jesus - Day 1

My friend, Tara, and I were commiserating this week about how difficult it can be as moms of very young children to make time to be with Jesus. And even if we do make time, our minds are often so scattered and tired that focus in near impossible. We read the same scripture over and over and nothing sticks or barely even registers.

So I thought I would try to write up some little reflections as I read through the Gospel according to Matthew. Tara, I hope these are helpful. If you have any ideas to make them better, or things you'd like to see included or changed, please comment!

Enjoy a little time with Jesus.


Lord, what in me is waiting for redemption?

Read Matthew 1:1-17

Look back over this genealogy. What women are mentioned? (If you don't know their stories, go ahead and look them up if you have time). Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife of Uriah, and Mary. Tamar was treated unjustly and consequently prostituted herself to her father in law. Rahab was a prostitute who risked her life to save Hebrew spies. Ruth wasn't even Hebrew at all. The wife of Uriah is unnamed, emphasizing the fact that she was someone else's wife. And Mary is lumped in with these....heroines of the faith? She is the wife of Joseph. Mary who birthed Jesus.

Of all the women Matthew could have included in Jesus' family tree, he picked these. Why? I don't know. I'm sure I could do some research to find out. But until then, this is what sticks out to me: God is not afraid or ashamed to make something remarkable, beautiful and redemptive from things that are unseemly or painful.

What darkness in your life, or your past, or your family is waiting...perhaps longing to be redeemed? Is there a way that part of your story could be brought to the light and used to show God's remarkable love and immeasurable grace?

Take a few moments to think about or write down what in your own story is waiting to be redeemed.

Pray with me:

Jesus, thank you for claiming Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary in your family. Thank you for also choosing me despite my history. Show me today how to be part of your work of redemption in my family, my community, and my world. For your glory, Amen.

Links to all Kim's sermons so far

Audio files of 3 sermons: Videos: