Daily Reflections

Evening reflection from Matthew 8:18-22

Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Often it comes at great cost and sacrifice, with no earthly rewards or security. Jesus did not have a place to call home. You might find that following him costs you popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits. But while the cost of following Jesus is high, the value of being his disciple is even higher. Discipleship is an investment that lasts for eternity and yields incredible rewards.

The disciple in the text may not have been asking for permission to go to his fathers funeral but rather to put of following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the firstborn son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance. Maybe he didn’t want to face his fathers wrath if he left the family business to follow an itinerant preacher. Whether his concern was financial security, family approval or something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet. Jesus however, would not accept his excuse.

Jesus was always direct with those who wanted to follow him. He made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions they might have for following him. As God’s son, Jesus did not hesitate to demand complete loyalty. Even family loyalty was not to take priority over the demands of obedience to him. His direct challenge forces us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for out attention. Nothing should be placed above commitment to living for him.

Daily Reflections

Evening Reflection on Psalm 139

Sometimes we don’t let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us that they won’t like. But God already knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our head, and still he accepts us and loves us. His total awareness of us, therefore, should comfort us because he stays with us through every situation and in every trial, protecting, loving, and guiding us, and knowing and loving us completely.

God’s character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even being to hate yourself, remember that God’s Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. Because of Jesus Christ we are new persons, so we should have as much respect and regard for ourselves as our maker has for us.

God cares even about our anxious thoughts, both little cares and devastating obsessions. Anxiety robs us our joy. All of us, from teenagers to retirees, face crippling performance expectations, fear of the future, and the daily new of this dangerous present world. Our emotions lie to us, saying, “God doesn’t care” or “He isn’t involved”. Netflix, Tiktok and television lie to us, portraying the world as though all hope is lost. Bringing our anxieties to God cools our overheated minds and connects us to him, the great comforter.

Loving God,

please grant us peace of mind and calm our troubled hearts. Our souls is like a turbulent sea. We can’t seem to find our balance so we stumble and worry constantly. Give us the strength and clarity of mind to find our purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for us.