March 19

Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV) 9Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Israel had seen so much since the days when Moses began to confront Pharaoh. If they could just remember all God had done and the lessons that He had taught them. If their children could only learn those stories by vivid story telling, so that they would cling to the lessons. What a difference it would make in their future and the choices they would make! It would save them from such heartache and sorrow.

They were warned to be careful and watch themselves closely so as not to forget, letting the lessons slip from their heart. We have the same warning in the New Testament. Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. And how much more it applies to us who know all that God did to provide us the Way of salvation in His only Son?

We need to teach our children the lessons of the Word as well as those from our own lives. We need to remember the testimonies of when God met us and share them with our children. We need to share the wonder of when the Word came alive to us and spoke to us personally. When we do that, we not only encourage their faith, but we set an example that will affect future generations. Never fear sharing your personal walk with God with your children. They need to hear about it. It also reminds you of the lessons you have learned and helps prevent them from slipping from your heart.

Consider setting aside a time to share with your children the things that the LORD has shown you.

March 19

Matthew 21:42-44 (NIV) 42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."

During the days leading up to the cross, Jesus told a parable that summed up that turning point in history. A man built a vineyard and lent it out. When it came time to collect the rent, the renters of the vineyard beat the servant that was sent to collect. They killed the next person that was sent and stoned the third. Finally the owner sent his son. He thought they would surely respect and honor him. The renters thought that if they killed the heir, they would inherit the vineyard, so they killed the son. Then Jesus asks what will be done to the renters. The crowd answers with words that will condemn them. "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."

Jesus responded with our passage for today. He knew He was about to be rejected by them in favor of a political activist, Barabbas. The vineyard is the world in which the Jews were the keepers of the Word of God. The tenants are the Jewish people. They killed the prophets and they were about to have the Son killed. He reminded them that this was prophesied long ago. The rejected Son would be the culmination of the work of God. From there the word was going directly to the Gentiles. Looking over history, we have not done much better than the Jews, but the Word has gone out into all the world. I believe that is the fruit that God is looking for.

The final warning is quite ominous. We have two choices. We can resist the stone, Jesus, and end up crushed by Him, or we can fall upon Him and be broken vessels for His use. There is no other choice. Here is another 'either or' statement of Christ. Let us be sure to choose to throw ourselves on Him for mercy and grace.

Consider: Am I a broken vessel that He can use?