Thursday, April 29, 2021

Matthew 8 Devotional Thoughts by Stephen Taylor

Matthew 8:2,3

A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.


Matthew 17:6,7 - When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”


In both of these cases, Jesus touched them before He spoke to them, so one of the things this tells me is that sometimes we need to feel Him before we can hear Him. Sometimes we can build walls out of fear, doubt, sin, shame, or worry, and before we can hear His voice, we have to feel His intimate, compassionate, all-powerful touch upon our lives.


We have built these walls so high and so tough that no one can climb them or knock them down but God! With one touch, Jesus can tear down a lifetime of bad decisions. With one touch, He can heal the most broken of hearts. With one touch, He can redeem the most lost of us, and with one touch, He can make the walls come crumbling down and His love come flooding in! I know this because I have lived this. Thank You, Jesus! I was broken, I was lost, and I was dead until He touched me and set me free in Him!


Our God wants us to know that He isn’t afraid to reach out and touch us, that our fear doesn’t count us out from His grace. That no matter how unclean we are, He can clean us up in a second! This is the power of the Gospel!


We can live a life of reverent fellowship with the Lord. We can have a closeness with the Creator of all things! A life we don’t deserve and couldn’t earn, a life that cost Jesus everything, yet He paid it willingly! This life is fleeting, but our God, His Son, and His Spirit are everlasting!


Psalm 103:17,18 - But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.


John 1:12,13 - Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.


God bless! I love you all, but He loves you more! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!


Matthew 8:5-7

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord” he said, “ my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”


As I was reading this passage this morning, I was like, “Why would Jesus, a Jew, be so willing to help a Gentile Roman officer? The officer has not amazed Jesus or made his great statement of faith yet. In fact, by this recording, he has spoken only 9 words to Jesus. But in those 9 words, you can see the soldier’s heart.


A centurion was a man who commanded at least 100 soldiers and was well-respected. So, I assume he would have many slaves, maybe even Hebrew slaves, and could certainly buy more if he needed them. But this soldier had a heart full of compassion and mercy, so he stopped what he was doing and sought out Jesus to save and heal his slave! I think that spoke right to Jesus’ heart, and that’s why He was instantly like, “Let’s go. You ready?” LOLl!


Jesus looks at the heart, and a heart that goes out of its way to love and help others is a heart Jesus can use to further His kingdom!! I imagine most centurions would have either just killed the slave or not even thought about it twice, but this man shows us that no matter who you are or what you have done, if you approach Jesus with a right heart, then anything is possible!!


I love you all, God bless, and Glory to God!!



Matthew 8:5,6

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly."

Most of us know the story of the centurion's faith, but I believe it was his humility and compassion that first grabbed our God's attention. In this culture, a Roman centurion would never ask any Jewish person for help, let alone a nomad rabbi. This would have been highly out of character for most Romans but not this one. He knows something that many had missed and comes humbly into the presence of the King, requesting not money or power but healing for one of his servants.

A centurion commanded 100 men, so I would believe him to have many servants at home, yet he comes seeking healing for one. People were often viewed as property in that day, and this man could have easily replaced this one with another. But he shows great compassion and love by searching out the only one who could save him.

In essence, this centurion had a Christ-like heart posture: humble, compassionate, and full of love for someone else over himself. He didn't give up on the one who was ailing or replace him with someone new, but just like Christ; he left them all to come and save the one! Thank You, Jesus!

Luke 15:4-6- "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'"

God bless! I love you all, but His love seeks and saves the lost! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd and King, and the Holy Spirit!


Matthew 8:23-25

Then he got into the boat, and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"


This morning, as I was praying, the Holy Spirit brought this story to mind and revealed to me a way that it applies to us all! The boat is our hearts, and once we accept Jesus into our hearts, we follow Him. Too often, we think that once we accept Jesus into our lives, the storms will stop and life will be easy. But that’s not the case. The storms will still come. We simply won't have to face them alone.


The disciples in the boat (our hearts) represent our fears, doubts, guilts, shame, feelings of pride, and ego! They are crying out that Jesus doesn’t care or that He saved others, but He isn’t going to save us. They cry out to distract us from the truth that Jesus is the calm in the storm! They cry out to get us to lose focus on what our Lord is doing, and that is resting in our hearts in the middle of the storm, and He is inviting us to follow His lead!


To me, this story is a picture of hurt, pain, death, rejection, loss, sin, and shame all swirling around in the storm around our hearts! See, Jesus is teaching us here to be calm in the storm because He is more than the storm! He is showing us that though we think He is absent or distant, He is resting in us and teaching us about Who He is! He isn’t far off in these storms but right where we asked Him to be, in our hearts! And remember, if Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, then He is in you, and you are in Him, and the only thing you're going to drown in is His mercy, grace, and love!


Psalm 61:2-4 - From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.


God bless! I love you all! Glory, Honor, and Praise forever to God Almighty, Jesus Christ the Risen King, and The Holy Spirit! 



Matthew 8:28,29

When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

These verses teach us that there is a difference between knowing who He is and knowing Him. The demons know who He is. He is the Son of God, but they do not serve or acknowledge Him as their God. But that doesn’t change the fact of who He is or what He is about. In Mark’s account of this story, it even says the demon-possessed man ran up and fell on his knees before Christ.

So we see this demon acknowledge Christ and who He is, kneel before Him, and yet he is no more a redeemed child of God than a rock or a tree would be. This teaches us that it takes the heart behind the actions to prove whose we are. This demon knows and yet does not serve the King of Glory; do we? Do we truly know Him and serve Him from our heart, or do we just acknowledge Him with our lips when we must?

Does He know us? He says that He knows His own and His own follow Him, do we? Do we have a personal relationship with Christ, or are we simply going through the motions? One of the most sobering truths in Scripture is that it’s possible to claim Christ but Christ not claim you. There will be a day when all is laid bare before Him, and we will stand in His glorious Presence to receive what He has for us. We will either be welcomed into His eternal arms or separated from them forever.

Let’s not let the most important decision of our lives be left up to chance but rather serve Christ today from your heart. There are no hoops to jump through nor dues to pay but rather a loving, reverent, and obedient lifestyle to live for the glory of God! Are we like the demon-possessed man, looking the part, saying the right things, and yet dead and lost inside? If so, repent and turn back to Him so that times of refreshing may come!

Matthew 7:22,23- “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Acts 3:19,20- “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.”

God bless! I love you all, but His love will never spoil, fade or waver! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!






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