the 28/14 challenge: day 1

Have you ever found it difficult to converse with someone you’re in conflict with?  Yeah, me too.

What’s interesting, however, is that God chooses to converse with us all the time.  And he chooses to do so in multiple ways. We simply have to provide a listening ear.

As I wrote about before, we’re beginning a new series this Sunday that focuses on The Scarlet Thread all throughout the scriptures.  And Genesis 3 paints a pretty stark picture.

Sin entered the world.

Sin carried down through every person.

Every person inherits conflict with God.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

But this ties in perfectly with the 28/14 challenge I presented yesterday as well.  It’s a great challenge, but while I know some of you may have agreed to the challenge, you’re unsure what answering these questions should look like?  Well, I’m certain it will look a little bit different for everybody.  But here’s a small sample of what I gleaned from day 1.

Reading: Matthew 1-2

Thoughts that entered my mind as I read:

  • Who in the world is Jahoiachin?  And does it really matter? (Matt. 1:11)
  • On a more serious note: There’s some text here about the Messiah. What exactly does that even mean?
  • I see several passages that say, “the prophet wrote…”.  Interesting.

And then I began to think through the three questions:

Who is God?

Jesus is called Immanuel, which means God with us.  So, God, the creator of everything decided to leave everything and be with us — the very people in conflict with him.  That’s pretty incredible.

I also note some things about how God has chosen to communicate with us who are in conflict with him.

  1. He gave us his word (the Bible) as one form of communication.
  2. He has spoken through the prophets (5 times in these two chapters, Matthew mentions something from a prophet being fulfilled in Jesus!)
  3. He even spoke to people through an angel!

Who am I?

Matthew 1-2 says nothing about me, personally.  Nothing at all.  But a couple of things still come to light.

  1. Despite being in conflict with him, he speaks to me (and with me).
  2. I’m guessing, just guessing God may be speaking in a variety of ways in order to show that he is trustworthy.

What is God inviting me to do?

Based on what I’ve read, he’s inviting me to trust him at his word.

Those are just a few of the thoughts I had from day 1.  I’m not planning to blog something all 14 days of this challenge, but I’m sure I’ll give some additional insights I’m learning sometime next week.  Until then:

You’ve now read Matthew 1-2.  What did you learn about God, yourself, and what God may be inviting you to do?  Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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This is part two in a series on the 28/14 Challenge.  I won’t post my thoughts each day of the challenge, but additional posts are provided at the links below.

The 28/14 Challenge: day 1 (Matthew 1-2)

The 28/14 Challenge: day 4 (Matthew 7-8)

The 28/14 Challenge: day 6 (Matthew 11-12)

The 28/14 Challenge: day 11 (Matthew 21-22)

 

7 Replies to “the 28/14 challenge: day 1”

  1. I guess my reading focused on Joseph and his response to all that was going on in his life. He thought that this marriage to Mary was the answer to his life…but finding out that she was with child…goodness what a deal breaker! But He knew God and decided he couldn’t deal with this in the manner of some men, so he was just going to do things quietly…but God showed up and let Joseph know that this was all part of the plan from Bethlehem, to Egypt, to Nazareth, Joseph followed God’s leading. So who am I to wonder about how my life has changed….would it be easy to just stop and do whatever “I” want to do….yeah, that is the easy button, but I can’t. I have to wait on God to lead me like He did Joseph. And so that is what God is inviting me to do….wait, show patience, which is hard to do for me at the moment, and listen for His leading. Thanks, Justin…a good start.

  2. Hey Justin,

    First off, I just want to say how cool this challange is and that I look forward to reading posts from you and others as we walk through Matthew together.

    My answers to the three questions are basically the same as yours, Justin. However, I do want to add a few things:

    “Who is God?”- These chapters show that God is our Guide and Protector. From the beginning He guided and protected Joseph and Mary. He guided Joseph by sending an angel to tell him to stay with Mary and not divorce her. Also, He guided Joseph away from Herod to protect them.

    “What is God inviting me to do?”- God is inviting me to continually trust Him at His word. If Joseph would’ve just listened to God when an angel told him not to divorce Mary but then didn’t listen when the angel told him to flee to Egypt, things would’nt have ended well. Trusting God isn’t just a one-time thing. He is inviting us to continually trust Him at His word because when we do that we experience real life, real relationships, and real purpose. Like Joseph, we too are invited to trust God. We are invited to trust in His provision. That might be scary at times. Can you imagine how scared Joseph would’ve been when the angel said Herod was seeking to “destroy” Jesus. Regardless of how scary it may be, God is with us. How comforting is that?!

  3. This isn’t actually concerning day 1 of the challenge but day 2. My biggest takeaway was from Matthew 4:11. “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.” I’ve probably read through Matthew dozens upon dozens of times and I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that little verse in there. So much theologically can be said about this verse, but to simplify it, if the Son of God can be beaten down, tempted, and need ministered to, then surely there will be times (a lot of them) in my life when I’ll need ministered to as well. Be humble, not proud.

  4. Day 2 of the challenge

    Wow, this section of Matthew is filled with things about God, me and invitation. Could have been two days, Justin…lol.
    But since I am presenting a characterization of the Armor of God, the event of Jesus’ and Satan’s battle in the wilderness is what got my focus. Satan is the father of lies, without a doubt, and this display of his distorting the truth of the Word of God and making it sound so enticing and easy, points out that the God I serve can come to my aid when I am in the midst of Satan’s tempting. There he was, challenging Jesus to show his divinity through some seemingly simple ways, change eat something, fall and let the angels minister, or bow down and get it all right now, things that each of us can relate to…but each is out of God’s will for our lives, when we don’t wait for Him. So I learned that God has given me the same ability that Jesus had to deal with Satan’s temptations…use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God and Satan will flee. Satan lied and Jesus brought back the Truth….three times, and Satan knew exactly where and how and with what to tempt Jesus during His time in the desert. That liar knows the same about me. So I need to take the Word of God…like Jesus did with specific scriptures to strike back at the lies being used and drive Satan away from me.
    So God is inviting me to know my weaknesses….and prepare to do battle with Satan with the Sword (the smallest, deadliest sword the Roman soldier used in hand to hand combat)….which is the Word of God, but knowing scripture to use so I can take the offense and defeat Satan. The Truth is always better than the lies.
    Thanks, Justin. This is something to keep us all on our toes. Can’t wait to read what others pull from this section.

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