August 26, 2021 Our Daily Bread Devotional : Topic – Heeding the Warnings
Bible in a Year:
Whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
As with other lists of Jesus’ disciples in the Gospels (Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:14–16), in Matthew’s account (Matthew 10:1–4), Simon Peter appears first and Judas Iscariot (the betrayer) last. Among these special agents who became the foundation stones for the church (Ephesians 2:20) were Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 10:3) and Simon the Zealot (v. 4). Under normal circumstances, these two wouldn’t likely be part of the same group. The tax collectors were Israelites who were employed by the Roman government to collect taxes from their own countrymen. They had a reputation for extortion and because of their constant contact with gentiles were considered ceremonially unclean. On the other hand, before being called by Jesus, Simon the Zealot (as the term Zealot indicates), was in some way associated with a group of devoted Jewish patriots who were resistant to Roman rule and even resorted to violence. Both were on Jesus’ core team.
To learn more about Matthew’s gospel, visit ChristianUniversity.org/NT218.
Message : When a pickpocket tried to pilfer my property while I was on vacation in another country, it wasn’t a surprise. I’d read warnings about the danger of subway thieves, so I knew what to do to protect my wallet. But I never expected it to happen.
Fortunately, the young man who grabbed my wallet had slippery fingers, so it fell to the floor where I could retrieve it. But the incident reminded me that I should have heeded the warnings.
We don’t like to dwell on warnings because we think they’ll get in the way of enjoying life, but it’s imperative to pay attention to them. For instance, Jesus gave us a clear warning while sending out His disciples to proclaim God’s coming kingdom (Matthew 10:7). He said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (vv. 32–33).
We have a choice. In love, God provided a Savior and a plan for us to be in His presence for eternity. But if we turn away from God and choose to reject His message of salvation and the real life He offers for both now and forever, we lose out on the opportunity to be with Him.
May we trust in Jesus, the One who chose to save us from being eternally separated from the One who loves and made us.
Reflect & Pray
Why is rejecting Jesus such a serious thing? How have you chosen to respond to His call?
Heavenly Father, thank You for providing salvation through Jesus. And thank You for sending warnings to remind me of the importance of putting my faith in Him.