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 8:23-25

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!





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