The Matthew Challenge

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This morning, I opened my personal Facebook page and was scrolling through my news feed as usual, when I found something intriguing. A bible study. A 28 day study. Not too much to handle, not too much to commit to. So here I am, starting day 1.

Here is the challenge:

Read the book of Matthew in February (28 days, 28 chapters).
If you want to join, we start today, or you can jump in at any time. February 1 is the official start date, but there truly is no right or wrong time to read and study the Bible :). Some have already started reading.
As we begin, take a moment today to pray for eyes to see and ears to hear what God would say to us through this challenge. Pray that all participating will be blessed and draw closer to God.
Matthew is the first book of the New Testament, likely because of its influence on the early church,as many scholars believe Mark was the first gospel written.
When reading Matthew it is good to consider that Matthew appears to be writing form the perspective to show how Jesus is truly the Son of David, the promised Messiah and as the Anointed King, He brings the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Common in Matthew will be quotes showing how Jesus fulfilled OT Prophecies and the usage of the phrase “kingdom of heaven.”
May God bless your reading.

Look for my reflections on Matthew this coming month. Let me know if you will be joining me in this journey! I’m excited to have a new challenge and to take part in one alongside other believers. The pastor who is leading this study is a senior pastor at two churches, a friend of mine, someone who has prayed deeply for the church that I belong to, and is one of my pastor’s closest friends- so I have great love and respect for him. I am always searching for structured studies, as a Type A. Excited to see what more lies in these pages.

Day 1: Matthew 1                                                                           Read the chapter here

Reading through lineage has always been difficult for me. But a couple years ago, Prince Charming showed me how beautiful it really is. I can’t say that I sit through and read every single unpronounceable name yet, but I am able to look at the list of names, the family line, their story- and see beauty. I see value in the way they tracked their history, the way that their names are recorded in history forever. I have always wished that my family cared enough about our history to have a record of it somewhere. Our history dies with my great grandparents. We know nothing before them. It’s really shameful.

Carrying on into the 18th verse,we stumble upon the story of how Mary became pregnant and to know that she is carrying the Savior of the world, Jesus. It’s hard to even type those words. I can’t fathom her emotions, I can’t imagine the weight that came with the encounter of the Holy Spirit.

Had she ever had an encounter with the Holy Spirit prior to this? If not, I can imagine her being overwhelmed and overcome by His presence- not even considering the message He brought along with Him.

I think about Joseph and his mind- “What do you mean this child is from “The Lord?” That’s not how this works. It doesn’t add up.” But he chose to keep his faith. He chose not to disgrace her, though he had the mindset that he would divorce her. Shortly after, an ANGEL OF THE LORD comes to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to have any fear, that she has conceived a child of the Holy Spirit. He will be the savior of people and their sins. 

WHAT.

And he doesn’t freak out. He doesn’t say no, I’m sleep deprived, I didn’t eat the right food before bed, that was a whack dream- HE DOES WHAT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD COMMANDS HIM TO DO. He takes Mary home as his wife. He doesn’t consummate their marriage until after the child is born, they name him Jesus.

What amazes me here (and throughout scripture) is when the people within these stories don’t hesitate. They just do what God tells them to do. They keep their faith. They trust Him. They’ve got nothing to lose, because their faith is in Him. It’s always a beautiful reminder that He will make it work, if we let Him.

What’d you think of this first day’s challenge? Did you learn anything new from today’s message?

 

 

 

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