From Handbook to Scripture, Day 211
READING: MATTHEW 13
The Sermon on the Mount is followed by a collection of miracles that reveal Jesus’ authority over nature, disease, demons, and death. Thus, His words are authenticated by His works (8–10). As the people hear Jesus’ words and see His works, the religious leaders begin to oppose Him, and this theme of mounting rejection is developed until it culminates in the crucifixion. In response to this opposition, Jesus begins to speak in parables and spends more time with His disciples to prepare them in light of His coming death and resurrection (11–20).
In Matthew 13, Jesus uses parables to conceal the truth from those who would reject it, and to reveal the truth to those to whom it was granted to receive the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer: Lord, Your kingdom is like a treasure hidden in the field and like a pearl of great value. May I give everything I have in exchange for Your kingdom and righteousness.
Meditation passage: verses 11–12, 44–46
From Transforming Prayers, vol. 1
My Times Are in Your Hands
God, I recognize that I did not determine the circumstances of my birth, my abilities, my opportunities, my pathway. It is You who have called and chosen me for Your inscrutable purposes. My times are in Your hands, and during this season of my temporal sojourn as a pilgrim, a wayfarer, and a stranger, I know that You are working all things together for my greatest good. You see what I cannot see—the outcome—and You have called me to be faithful to the process and look to You for where it leads. I acknowledge my own powerlessness and my foolish attempts to do things in my own way, timing and reasons. I thank You that I can learn from the intensely realistic characters of the Bible, because human nature does not change. As I read their stories, I realize that they illustrate the stories of Your people today.
From Handbook to Renewal
My Relationship to God––God’s Salvation and Forgiveness
Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul will be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, sweep us away. But now, O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay; You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:6, 8)
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)
Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:39–40)
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” So rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, and He relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:12–13)
From Memory Verse Guide
Level 2 > Loving Others Compassionately > Husband and Wife
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)