Monday, August 2, 2021

Matthew 16 Devotional Thoughts by Stephen Taylor

Matthew 16:6

“Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."


The disciples were the closest human beings to Jesus when He walked this earth, and yet He cautions them against the Pharisees and Sadducees and who they stand for! They stand for themselves, for this world, and by doing that, they stand against the Lord!


Now, if the closest humans to Jesus have to be warned and told to be on guard, who are we to think we are any different? I think Jesus is warning them about what the Pharisees and Sadducees stand for as much as who they are! They stood for envy, greed, pride, arrogance. They used the Word of God to hold people down instead of building them up. They tried to bury people with the Law instead of free them with it, and instead of admitting they were wrong, they murdered the Savior!


I believe you can tell a lot about a person by who or what they stand for. You can tell what’s truly in a person's heart by what they are willing to fight for! How do we guard against these evils that haven’t changed since the time of Jesus? By filling up on Him and letting the Holy Spirit drive it out with His Presence! See, if you guard something implies that you know it’s valuable and that an attack is imminent! You don’t post a guard unless you expect trouble! So, don’t be surprised or caught off guard but rather know and expect the attacks are coming and be ready for them. Let your Father in Heaven guard you through your faith in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit!


One final thought: the Pharisees and Sadducees spent all their time and energy trying to prove themselves right and prove Jesus wrong. What if they would have surrendered and flipped that?


Matthew 23:13 - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”


God bless! I love you all! Glory, Honor, and Praise forever to Creator God, King Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit! 



Matthew 16:18

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 


I want to say thank you for all the prayers, encouraging words and support I have received from all of you!!! I can feel the love of Jesus from my family of believers, and that means the world to me!! You guys have encouraged me and loved on me when I couldn’t do it myself, and that, to me, is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus!! I pray that we keep this going and continue to show this broken world that it doesn’t have to stay broken! That the Church isn’t some private club but rather a bunch of sinners with 1 great Savior!! 


Throughout my journey, there have been countless people who have just loved and accepted me because that’s what Jesus did and what He told them to do!! That spoke more to me than anything!! So, thank you, and I challenge you to keep it up and continue to fight!!


The Bible tells us over and over again to stand firm and stand together because this world is hard, but with the love and strength of Jesus and His people, we will overcome!!! But it can’t be just a statement; it has to be a way of life!!!


Thank you, Jesus, for Your amazing love and all my brothers and sisters in Christ!!!! I love you all, God, bless, and Glory to God!!!!!!



Matthew 16:18

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 


I have been thinking the last couple days about what happens when evil meets our God, and it has been very encouraging!! In James, it says that even the demons know there is one God and shudder. In the Gospel of John, in the garden, when Jesus says “ I am He,” the evil men who were there to arrest Him drew back and fell down. And in the Gospel of Mark, Legion begs Jesus not to destroy them!!


When evil meets our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it shakes, falls down, and begs for its life!!!! If Jesus lives in you, then you have nothing to fear!! Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus fled from evil, but it does say that evil flees from Him!!!! Believe that, receive that, have faith that this is true!! We are broken, weak, and scared, but our Lord and Savior is not!!! The Spirit who lives in us does not shake, fall down, or beg in the face of evil. It stands firm, commands it, and with perfect love drives it out!!!


My friend Ethan Smith taught me something two weeks ago: gates are put in place to keep people out, not to hold people in. So, the gates of Hell were put there to try to keep Jesus out. The enemy knew He was coming one day and was dreading it!! Jesus kicked those gates in and took us back one at a time!!! Walk in that power today!!


Be encouraged and be encouraging!!! I love you all, God bless, and Glory to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!!!!!!!!






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