He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Matthew 16:15-16 WEB
One of the most important questions in history was asked on an ordinary day in an ordinary place. “But who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples (Matthew 16:15, emphasis added). Only one disciple answered. Peter spoke boldly and with leading from God the Father, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16 WEB).
Our answer to this question, “But who do you say that I am?” will define the course of our moments, our days, our lives, and the course of our eternity.
As I was preparing this month’s reading calendar I prayed that God would give me the verse He wanted to share for your hearts. I didn’t pray for mine. How prideful! But as I slowed down and worked through outlining a verse that has been a defining question of my life I was convicted that this isn’t a question I can rush through. “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples. “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks me today. He asks you, too.
My answer has varied over time. Some moments my answer is “You are God.” Sometimes my answer is “You are my Rescuer.” “Jesus, You are… “my Friend.” “…my Comforter,” and other answers of faith. Sometimes my answer is given through my actions, responses to others, or mood. Sometimes I tell the God of the Universe, “You are inconsequential…” I don't use words. In my mind I would wouldn't verbalize that to Him out loud, but through my responses to situations and feelings I tell Him I can handle things on my own. Sometimes I tell my Savior, “You are a genie at my beck and call…” Like when I otherwise forget Him in my day until a personal crisis hits and I need His strength and power, greater than my own. Sometimes I respond to Him even worse than that. I wonder if you can relate?
Unfortunately, my confession of faith and lack-thereof are often combined within the same day! How can this be?!? Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” hangs in the air around us. We cannot respond, “You are the Christ,” like Simon Peter did and go and live out a life at enmity with God, disobeying His Word or disgracing those created in His image (other people). We cannot declare Jesus as our Lord and Savior and go and treat others as less. We cannot lie. We cannot lust after people or things, cannot murder (or wish it), cannot dishonor our parents (or do so in our hearts), etc. If we live a life that confesses Jesus is not the Lord of our life then it doesn’t matter what our mouths say.
No, we are not saved by our works. But a faith without the good works of God in action is no faith at all. So today the Holy Spirit convicts my heart. I cannot rush through this life and worship God in part, for He is THE Living God, the ONLY God. I cannot answer, “You are the Christ” with my mouth and worship other things like status, other’s approval, money, etc. When I find myself saying anything other than, “Jesus, You are Lord and Savior,” I must confess my sin to Him and repent (change my thoughts, words, and deeds back towards God). When I do confess and repent God takes me back into relationship every time. I know He will because of the cross. He lets me try again and gives me the freedom to always come back, because I know Jesus loves me.
So this month as we read through Matthew and the Psalms I encourage you to slow down and examine your life and your heart as I will, also. Who do we say Jesus is? Will we take this life or death question to heart? Will we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior? Will we follow Him and bring the others Home to Jesus, our God and Savior?
To God be the glory,
Copyright October 2018, Be Blessed Prayer, All rights reserved.
Click on the calendar to go to the download link
September Memory Verse: Matthew 4:19 WEB
He said to them, "Come after me and I will make you fishers for men."
Keep reading your Bible! I delayed in posting for much of September. There were a few days when I didn't read my Bible and I got behind.
As God has given me the opportunity to have some Christ-centered conversations recently I'm going to start reading the Bible (Matthew which was our next scheduled book) with some other friends to keep me accountable (and hopefully encourage them, too). So my calendar starts in the middle of the month and I've changed it a little. You'll notice the Psalms are being added. If we read the New Testament Monday-Friday beginning-to-end it takes just under a year. However, I prefer not to get out of the habit of being in God's Word so reading the Psalms helps me stay in His Word and pray through the weekend. I don't have assigned reading for Sundays. I encourage you to go to church: be in community and meditate on God's Word through the sermon for the week.
Note: I know when this prints the letters are light gray. I tried something new this month-- please offer (kindly written) constructive feedback. I've noticed coloring books with gray-scale and did the calendar this month in that idea. Maybe it will be easier to add color on top. If the style is distracting I can go back to former month's style. Thanks!
To God be the glory,
Click on the calendar to go to download link
New Testament Reading Plan
This idea sprang from an initiative at my home church. I thought it would be cool to encourage others to be in God's Word every day through coloring and a plan (different from church's). It's also helped keep me on track with my reading. Praying it brings you closer to the Living God!