The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Maddie Bowe. Maddie is a singer/songwriter.

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Judging Others
 7 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6 "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Reflection

There are several points we could pull out of this passage, but I feel the spirit pulling me into the sentiments expressed in the latter half. We should hold in mind first the former half, that not judging others is the preliminary sentiment expressed for a reason. Narrow is the way that leads to life. Might be a reach to think about, but if the way is narrow.. we're going to be pretty cosy with one another aren't we? I'll leave that one there, a mere thought.

From verse 7 a picture is painted of what a good Father looks like, a good God, a good friend. Imagine a small cute child, if you can.. imagine them approaching you, tugging sweetly on your trousers to get your attention. You smile back at them, and return your adult gaze to things at your own eye line. The child persists in tugging, no harder, no softer. Just persistently tugging, longing for you to bring your gaze to their eye line. To see what they see, to share in something, to help or provide.

I feel so powerfully that this is how God sees every child of His in prayer. You would help the child wouldn't you? Even if you were a person who can't stand children you would help the child find their parent at least wouldn't you? So if even we, oh sluggards, would do something for the sweet child that's interrupted our adult life.. HOW MUCH MORE WILL GOD DO FOR THE PERSISTENT PRAYER OF HIS CHILD!?

This year has been ______ .. and I don't know about you, but I have often found myself questioning how to pray, what to pray, and feeling lost. Knowing God's there but not knowing how to reach Him. Like a small child I stand at His side but feel I escape His gaze somehow. We MUST believe that He is the good God He says He is. Gently, persistently, keep seeking His attention. Seek His affection, provision, comfort, and His love. He wants to give you all of this, you need only ask and keep asking.

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