Monday 21 March 2022

Jesus had been busy teaching the people and then healing many when the pharisees came “to test him”. Their challenge to Jesus, after witnessing such amazing miracles, reveals their hardness of heart. They were not looking for a genuine answer to the question of divorce but were trying to catch him out.

Jesus shows that God’s good design was for a man and a woman to marry and remain committed for life. Divorce was only permitted by Moses “because of hard hearts”. It is an uncomfortable truth that hard-heartedness/sin of some sort is involved in every divorce. However, getting divorced is not an unforgiveable sin as some would have us believe. Sometimes (such as in domestic abuse) separation is the right answer.

In discussing hardness of heart, I suspect that Jesus sees right through the pharisees and is challenging them to recognize the state of their own hearts.

So, I am prompted to ask myself some questions:

  • Where is my heart hard?
  • How can I bless my husband in our marriage?
  • How can I best love and support those who have gone through the pain of divorce?

Father, please examine my heart and challenge me when I need to change. Please help me to have a soft heart. Help me to love and support others without judging.


Written by Megan Cornell

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Sunday 20 March 2022

V35…forgive your brother from your heart.

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of forgiveness. Wholehearted forgiveness. The “master” in this story Jesus is telling, forgives a massive debt “completely”. He responds with mercy and forgiveness for the entire, enormous, life-crippling debt. There is now no longer anything owing. He is free.

The absolutely mean spirited and greedy response of this free man to his servant, stands in stark contrast to the actions of his master.

I live in the Kingdom of God.  A Kingdom of extravagant forgiveness and freedom from debt.

It is my culture.

Lord God – you have mercifully and completely forgiven me.  Fill me afresh Holy Spirit – I need your help.  May Your kingdom come here on earth as in heaven – through me, as I forgive as you do.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Saturday 19 March 2022

Conflict is an expected part of living life with others; however, this doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to navigate. Verse 15 sharply caught my attention, in that when we see someone stumble, or find ourselves in disagreement with another Christian, we have a decision about how we act.

It’s quite easy to ‘discuss’ (or perhaps gossip in some situations) the person or error that has been made. This passage makes it clear to talk to the person involved, not just around them. When having a conversation, we might find ourselves trying to be the person who is right. However, is this really the motivation we should have? Instead, we should approach conversations in a way that wins them back to Christ. In the same way, if we are approached, we should be willing to listen. 

The ending verses 21-22 remind us that there will be times were people hurt us, but also in turn that we will hurt others and forgiveness is needed. We should be quick to put into practice the advice earlier in the passage; to approach one another and have conversations that lead back to Christ.

Lord, thank you that you forgive me when I do the wrong thing. When I have done the wrong thing, please help me to listen to Godly wisdom. When I see someone stumble, help me to reach out to them with words that lead them to you.

Written by Ps. Andrea Moltino

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Friday 18 March 2022

There is a lot of great wisdom in this passage, it’s almost hard to know where to begin. One of the many things I can observe here is the emphasis and importance Jesus is placing on humility. We all know about humility and we talk about it as something we desire. Humility does not tend to come naturally; I think for most of us it is a daily and active choice to choose to be humble.

As Jesus’ disciples begin to ask which is the greatest among them, Jesus is quick to answer, but perhaps not as they expected. He does not rank them, based on their skills or personality. Instead, He goes on to talk about how important the small, vulnerable and lost are to Him, using the illustration of children and sheep.

The great thing about this is that although most of us have probably dreamt of being lauded and applauded at some stage like the disciples in this passage, the reality is that all of us can relate to feeling small, vulnerable and lost in one way or another. While we may be humans sometimes full of pride and our own grandeur, we are also all like sheep who have gone astray, in need of a Good Shepherd who can seek after us and care for us, as Jesus does. I love that Jesus doesn’t try to suppress us or keep us small and insignificant, but rather conveys that we are so important to Him that He will continue to seek us – all of us – that we may know Him. It’s not about our greatness, it’s about His great desire to be in relationship with us.

Jesus, thank you that you are so interested in and want the best for us. You love to provide for us, not seeking to make us small, but longing for us to recognise our own need for you that cannot be filled any other way, no matter how great we are on our own. Help us to approach you with humble hearts, knowing you are always eager to hear from us. Amen.

Written by Madelaine Tarasenko

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Thursday 17 March 2022

What an example Jesus gives here of choosing his battles. I read in Jesus’s words a dissatisfaction with paying a temple tax when it is a Jewish temple and he and his fellows are Jews. But rather than cause offence, unnecessary offence, Jesus – rather miraculously – arranges for provision for the tax. 

So much to take away. I am called to wisdom – do I take care not to cause unnecessary offence? And do I know what my purpose is – is it to be right, or is it to point people to salvation in Jesus? 

I am called to faith – it was nothing for Jesus to arrange, through the mouth of a fish, for the temple taxes required. God’s provision is no issue for the purposes He is bringing about in our world. 

Lord, help me to be wise, and in my wise choices, trust you for where there is shortfall. If I wisely align with your good purposes, your provisions will follow! 

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Wednesday 16 March 2022

Have you ever had the role of being a Manager or Teacher? In these roles you would be required to instruct and educate employees and also you would be required to review their performance.

Even if you have not had one of these roles mentioned above, it is likely that you have been in a position where you have been taught by someone, like being a student at school. Can you remember being taught?  A particular school subject may come to mind or perhaps a teacher that was encouraging. Sometimes I wonder if I was a good student, did I listen to the details? Did I demonstrate what I was taught? Did my Teachers ever become frustrated with me?

Jesus, the ultimate Teacher, chose his disciples carefully. In this verse, it becomes very clear that Jesus is quite frustrated with the disciples, indicating in verse 17 “How long shall I put up with you?” and verse 20 “Because you have so little faith”. Jesus’ humanity is shown very clearly here, rebuking the disciples. Also the students’ (the disciples’) humanity is on show.

Everyone is behaving like human beings, making it feel more real. The disciples had clearly missed the lesson on understanding the authority that Jesus had bestowed on them in Matthew 10:1, “to drive out impure spirits and heal every sickness and disease”. But still the disciples were chosen on purpose by Jesus, there was no mistake. They were chosen because they were imperfect, because, yes, they would make mistakes along the way.

Dear God

Thank you for your disciples. Thank you for choosing men who were not perfect and needed plenty of guidance and instruction. Thank you that we in our contemporary society can relate to the imperfection and the struggle to apply your teachings at times. Thank you for your endless forgiveness and enduring love.


Written by Susannah Ware

2 replies
  1. Richard says:

    I have always found this an abrupt passage of Scripture. I mean here are the disciples, learners, who are still learning and Jesus says they have little faith, in fact saying that because of their little faith the deliverance of a person was not effected. Jesus clearly had an expectation that they had learned more than they had up until this point of their journey. All too often I live in a bubble in my faith, I see things through my eyes alone and into my situation alone. When was the last time I prayed for healing for a person that didn’t happen and then asked myself was the lack of healing because I had little faith. I like to reason it must be something about the situation, but rarely reflect on my part in a causal manner. God is not limited, faith as small as a mustard seed is all that is required. While not suggesting there are not other factors at work – it is important for me to ask what are uncomfortable questions of myself as well.

    Father give me the courage to ask questions that spur my faith on!

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Tuesday 15 March 2022

Observation:  Peter, James and John followed Jesus up a mountain where they witnessed his transfiguration and saw Moses and Elijah.  They also heard the voice of God affirming who Jesus was.  The disciples were awestruck by this experience and Jesus asked them not to mention it until he had risen from the dead.

Application:  What an encounter with Jesus and God the Father, not to mention Moses and Elijah the disciples had!  Saying it was truly unique is an understatement.  This was truly an amazing experience but what led to it?  I note that the disciples were firstly with Jesus who was then able to lead them up the mountain where they encountered God like never before.  It got me thinking, “Am I close enough to Jesus so he can lead me?”  Peter, James and John were well positioned to encounter God in a new way.  The other thing that can’t be overlooked is the voice of God affirming Jesus, his son and telling the disciples to “Listen to him.”  There can never be enough reminders to heed the voice of Jesus!

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help me to be close to Jesus so that he can lead me into the things you have purposed and help me hear his voice clearly. Amen

Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods

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Monday 14 March 2022

Earlier in this chapter Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock on which the church will be built – that Jesus has big plans for him. Now in this passage, Peter is trying to get Jesus to stop speaking about what needs to occur next because he cannot believe that is what will happen to the Messiah – for Him to be killed.

Often we get confused about Jesus and why He answers our prayers the way He does or why the world is full of bad situations where good people get hurt. Just like Peter, we think we know how God should organise things, how Jesus should save us from what we don’t like etc. But God knows way more about what is going on than we do and He has better ideas and plans. We may not like those ideas or those plans but He promises that we can trust they will work for good in all of us.

In the second half of this passage, Jesus asks us to trust Him, to believe that He knows best, that He loves us beyond our imagining, that He wants us to join Him in bringing His ideas to life even when they don’t make sense to us and, as a result, we will become who we were created to be.

Lord, thank you for the examples in the bible of people getting confused, misunderstanding your intentions or just plain missing the signs about what will happen. Thank you because that is what we do too. Help us to be reminded that you are God and that we are not, that you have ideas and plans that we may never be able to understand and that we can trust you 100%. Thank you for your love and that your desire is for each of our souls to be saved. Amen.

Written by Therese Manning

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Sunday 13 March 2022

Who do you say Jesus is? This is the most important question we will ever answer. Reading this passage Jesus is saying He is the Son of the Living God. What a claim! As CS Lewis puts it, this only leaves us with three possible answers – (a) Jesus is lying (b) Jesus is crazy (c) Jesus is the Son of God. And just as Jesus asks His disciples for an answer, so He asks us for an answer today. This is not a question to put off until tomorrow. 

Secondly, if we believe Jesus is truly the Son of God, then we must necessarily believe what He has to say about us. Jesus tells Peter who he is. He tells Peter the amazing things He will do through him.  I wonder if Peter doubted Jesus’ words about himself when he later made mistakes, when he denied Jesus and when he watched Jesus die. When I sin or when things don’t go to plan, it’s easy to doubt that I am loved, that God has good purposes for me, and that I have access to the power of heaven through Jesus. But if I believe what Jesus says about Himself, I must also believe what He says about me. 

Lord help me to put on the belt of truth each day- help me surround myself with your true thoughts of me, rather than listening to the lies that sometimes rattle around in my head. Thank you that I can trust you.

Written by Rhi Mellor

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Saturday 12 March 2022

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was tempted to give up on parables and metaphors! However, I think the reason the disciples and the crowds were hard of hearing is because they simply were not attuned to the spiritual frequency Jesus was communicating on.

The disciples seem to be worried here about immediate and physical concerns, like food in their belly. Jesus was concerned with the state of their heart and soul.

I can be just the same as the disciples, my mind occupied with things of the ‘flesh’, ignorant to more pressing spiritual concerns.

Jesus’ warning to the disciples is for me as well. I need to be careful of the teaching that I am ‘ingesting’. Teaching spreads and becomes pervasive. The Pharisees and Sadducees actually had completely different theologies, yet both groups had lost any sense of true humility and intimacy before God in Worship. Their teaching was devoid of the Spirit of God.

“Lord, help me right now to become aware of any teaching that is becoming pervasive in my life, but not of your Spirit – wherever it might be coming from: friends, TV, the internet, etc. 

[Pause to allow God to speak].

“Lord, may I be pervaded by your voice, and may the Scriptures be the source of life teaching for me and my family. Amen”

Written by Andrew Mellor

2 replies
  1. robWise says:

    Lord, help me to become aware…
    Lord, may i be pervaded by Your Voice; Your Word..!
    So true!!
    So many voices shouting out for our ears;
    or subtle pseudo-spiritual whisperings in our philosophy-saturated airwaves…
    Lord, help me to become aware of Your Voice in all this buzz. Help me to filter out the constant noise and hear your voice in the gentle breeze…

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