Gospels in 40 Days – March 16
Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter. The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!
Matthew was a tax collector before he knew Jesus, but once he got the call, he left it all to follow Jesus as one of the twelve apostles. Matthew was raised in the Jewish tradition and knew scripture well. His gospel is placed perfectly at the beginning of the New Testament to connect the Old to the New. He often references Old Testament scriptures that are fulfilled in Jesus, and his gospel’s purpose is to show that Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.
Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:
ALL OF IT: Matthew 19-20
MOST OF IT: Matthew 20:1-16
HIGHLIGHT REEL: none
Why do we have a tendency to want to earn our way to heaven with good works?
Impossible To Do’s | Becky Newman
Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The key to the story of the rich man asking Jesus how to get to heaven in Matthew 19 is how he asked — “…what good thing must I DO”? Even the disciples missed why Jesus responded the way he did. Jesus’ response to the man is all about things he can do to be perfect. And the man walked away sad because it was a long impossible list. Jesus knew that the man, or any man for that matter, could never reach perfection through good works; Jesus knew it was an impossible list, but he met the rich man where he was — without God. The One Thing that gets us to heaven is not something we do; it’s something God did for us. Our list of to do’s will follow as God transforms our hearts for His glory.
It’s easy for me to slip back into the to-do list mentality, but no amount of good works will get me to heaven. It’s not about me and how good I am; it’s all about You, the Great I AM.
I need these consistent reminders, especially when I’m busy. Thank You for reminding me again! Good works are for Your glory and not my own. The impossible things in my life that have become possible are because You are my Good Father, not because of what I’ve done. Everywhere You’ve put me to DO right now, may I remember it’s all because of and for You.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.