Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

Miracles

Today's Scripture

 

Matthew 16:1-4 (NIV) 
 

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 
2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 
3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 
4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.

 

Today's Message

 

miracles

 

These Jewish leaders said they wanted to see a miracle so that they could believe. But Jesus knew that miracles never convince the skeptical. Jesus had been healing, raising people from the dead, and feeding thousands, and still people wanted him to prove himself. Do you doubt Christ because you haven't seen a miracle? Do you expect God to prove himself to you personally before you believe? Jesus says, "Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway" (John 20:29). We have all the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testaments, two thousand years of church history, and the witness of thousands of believers. With all this evidence, those who won't believe are either too proud or too stubborn. If you simply step forward in faith and believe, then you will begin to see the miracles that God can do with your life!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Reaching Outsiders

Today's Scripture

 

Matthew 15:29-39 (NIV) 
 

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 
30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 
31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 
32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." 
33 His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" 
34 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." 
35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 
36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 
37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 
38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 
39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. 

 

Today's Message

 

reaching outsiders

 

The feeding of the 4,000 is strikingly similar to the feeding of the 5,000 earlier in Matthew's gospel. Is this just a redundancy? Why share the same story?

The key is the geography of the miracle. The first miracle was done in a predominantly Jewish area near Nazareth. But this miracle is done in a predominantly non-Jewish area.

Though Jesus began with his own people, his compassion extended to embrace all peoples. Great crowds came, and he responded in the same manner to all of them: with healing, compassion, and power.

And then Jesus miraculously feeds the masses again. And the not-to-be-missed point is that Jesus desires to do for "outsiders" what he has already done for "insiders."

It's a good reminder that Jesus wants us to reach beyond the borders of our own comfort-zones. He calls us to show compassion to all, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity, and more.

Ask God today for an opportunity to show love to an outsider.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, November 12, 2018

What's Inside is What Counts

Today's Scripture

 

Matthew 15:1-21 (NIV) 
 

1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 
2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" 
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 
4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' 
5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is 'devoted to God,' 
6 they are not to 'honor their father or mother' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 
8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'" 
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 
11 What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them." 
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" 
13 He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 
14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." 
15 Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." 
16 "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 
17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 
18 But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 
20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them." 
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

 

Today's Message

 

What's inside is what counts

 

The Pharisees were consumed with external behaviors. They elevated their traditions (including ritual hand-washing) to the level of God-ordained commands. Jesus calls them out.

For one thing, they found clever ways to get around the spirit of God's word by elaborate formulas. And Jesus points out that the words they spoke suggested deep devotion to God, but their hearts were actually estranged from the Living One.

The disciples were a bit concerned about how Jesus called them out. But Jesus said that eventually, they would be done away with by the Father.

Finally, Jesus explains to his disciples that what really matters is the heart. It's not the hands that need washing. It's the heart!

Ask Jesus to search your own heart today. And call on him to give you a clean heart to serve him with authentic devotion.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Touch That Heals

Today's Scripture

 

Matthew 14:34-36 (NIV) 
 

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 
35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 
36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. 

 

Today's Message

 

the touch that heals

 

If you've ever been in a hospital, one item that you'll see everywhere is rubber gloves. All the medical personnel wear them whenever they are in contact with a patient. The reason is simple: it's to avoid contamination, the spread of germs and disease. By wearing the gloves, the doctor avoids spreading their germs to the patient and vice versa. Germs, viruses, sickness, and disease spread through touch.

But health isn't like that. You don't spread health through touch. If I'm sick, I can't touch somebody healthy and get well. It just doesn't work that way.

It doesn't work that way...unless it involves Jesus. He is the staggering exception to this universal rule. He is so powerful, so pure, so holy, and so great, that just touching him brought instant healing. In fact, just touching his clothing brought healing!

When you read that in the gospels, you know you are dealing with a man without equal. There simply is no one else like him in all the universe or in all of history.

The lesson of this story is simple. Sickness and disease are common in the human race. We even spread it to one another through touch. But Jesus is different. By coming into contact with him, there is healing and hope.

This magnificent truth goes far beyond the physical realm. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts, troubled souls, and sin-ravaged consciences. He is the life-healer. He is the Great Physician.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Saturday, November 10, 2018

Get Out of the Boat

Today's Scripture

 

Matthew 14:25-33 (NIV) 
 

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 
29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 
33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." 

 

Today's Message

 

get out of the boat

 

A past Christian best-selling book is entitled: If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat. Great title. And so true.

I am amazed at Jesus' words to Peter when he begins to sink and cries out for help: "Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'"

I'm amazed because he says that Peter had "little faith." It seems to me that Peter had a lot of faith by just getting out of the boat in the first place! Don't you agree?

But Jesus doesn't agree. He says that Peter has little faith. Why does he say that?

I suppose it's because if he really and truly understood the power of Jesus Christ, we wouldn't hesitate at all to trust him in ANY circumstance...even if he called us to walk out on the water! Peter wasn't supposed to have faith in his own ability to walk on water, but on Christ's ability to sustain him once he called him to do something.

Jesus doesn't want us out there, performing dangerous stunts as an exhibition of faith in Jesus. That's not the point. The point is this: If he calls you to do something, he will uphold you and enable you to do it.

In Peter's case, Jesus called him to walk on water. My guess is he probably won't call you to do that today. But what is he calling you to do? Is there something you know he wants you to do, but you're hesitating, holding back?

Don't be afraid. If he calls you, he will uphold you. Venture out in obedience. Get out of the boat.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Friday, November 9, 2018