Steady Your Life With His Word

Reading from Matthew 10:24-39, Rev. Sam Hopkins gave the message Sunday.
Take a moment to read it for yourself. If you don’t have a Bible near, click the Scripture reference to read on

The passage he shared is hard.

…nothing is covered that will not be revealed,
or hidden that will not be known.
Matthew 10:26 ESV
And do not fear those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him
who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28 ESV
Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth.
I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Matthew 10:34 ESV
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, 
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37 ESV
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me
is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38 ESV
Jesus spoke these words. 
He says some hard things.
But Rev. Hopkins did not try to explain the passage. What he did was encourage us to attend to God’s ordinances:
Scripture reading
Worship with the body of Christ
And he told us about the lectionary, a resource that gives Bible readings for every day of the year based on the church calendar. Each day includes a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Epistles, and the Gospels. If read daily, an individual will read through the Bible in three years.
During the service we heard the entries from the lectionary for that Sunday with Scripture readings from Genesis 21:8-21 (the OT) and from Romans 6:1-11 (an epistle). Our Psalter for the day was Psalm 17 and then Rev. Hopkins read the gospel passage to us from Matthew. And he said, if we attend to the ordinances of God, methodically, as John Wesley modeled, we will be fully prepared for any storm or trial that comes our way. The Word, he said, does not need to be interpreted by a minister to be understood. 
And on the way home I was reminded of the clarity of Scripture. God’s Word may be hard at times, but it is all for our benefit. He desires to teach us, and through Christ we have access to the Holy Spirit who will teach us. 
The anointing you received from Him remains in you,
and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead,
His anointing teaches you about all things and
is true and not a lie; just as He has taught you,
remain in Him.
1 John 2:27 HCSB
We do not need to count on pastors or teachers, we only need to remain in Him, seeking Him daily, obeying what we hear Him speak to us as we attend His ordinances.
His Word warns us:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:8 NIV84
Teachings of others can be deceptive. Lead us astray. Especially when what Jesus says is hard, and not what we want to hear.
Perhaps it’s time we begin to let Him teach us. Embrace His ordinances. Attend to prayer, fasting, tithing, worship, and let’s begin with prayerful study of the Word… every day…
Father God, thank You for making the way for Your teaching,
open my heart to Your Word, teach me what You want me to know, 
bless me with the faith to receive what’s hard.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
Psalm 119:18 ESV
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