Matthew – God’s Purposes
In any competition, there are two opposing sides. One wins and the other loses. In debates, the one with the most reliable sources cited and arguments proven wins. In family squabbles, the one who is the loudest most times wins. On the playground there is always someone who leads the pack and decides what the group will play. There are also leaders who lead others into trouble. “Let’s see if this works” and “Let’s see what happens if” was always the signal for me as a teacher to check out what was about to occur on the playground or in the classroom!
While playing our games, we want to be on the side that wins, right? We follow the one who will lead us to the win. We do our best as a team to win. We love winning! The most important task is to choose who will win and follow Him.
Matthew 12, NLT
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. 23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
Who is “winning” control over your life?
Who do you exclusively follow?
There are only two choices on this journey called life here.
“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”
What does my behavior show to others about whose side I am on? Does my behavior truly reflect who I believe and follow?
Am I working against Jesus and His Holy Spirit’s work in me and in the lives of others?
Am I bearing the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit? How do I know? Check out Galatians 5…Paul explains the difference very clearly;
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Ah…now we get it, right?
Who do you choose to spend eternity with? Choose wisely. It’s a matter of LIFE or death.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m Yours. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for being gentle with me in Your transformation of all of me. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who guides, comforts, convicts, challenges and bears fruit in our lives when we follow You exclusively. Thank you for life eternal with You.
In Jesus Name, Amen