• Persecutors of the Prophets Devotional

    Matthew 23:29–36

    Matthew Henry says it is easy for us to assume that we would be unlike the scribes and Pharisees and follow Jesus willingly. Yet even centuries later, he writes, “Christ in his Spirit, in his word, in his ministers, is still no better treated.” Are we quick to follow the Lord as He presents Himself today through the preaching of the Word? We have no right to think ourselves better than Pharisees if we are not quick to obey His Word this day. View Resource

  • Dead Men Walking Devotional

    Matthew 23:27–28

    Truth be told, there is a bit of hypocrisy in all of us. We often try hard to impress other people with our piety, trying to get the pastor and other people to notice our willingness to pray and serve. But are we just as willing to lend a hand to those in need when no one is around to see us? Do we do good even if no one but ourselves and the Lord will know about it? Let us be able to answer both of these questions in the affirmative. View Resource

  • Inward Cleanliness Devotional

    Matthew 23:25–26

    According to Matthew Henry: “those sins must be conscientiously abstained from, which the eye of God only is a witness to, who searches the heart.” We can easily think we are being obedient if we do many good deeds, however, doing such things while harboring hatred, jealousy, and other such inward sins is to act as a hypocrite. We are hypocrites if we fail to mortify those things only God can see. What inner thoughts and feelings must you put to death? View Resource

  • Weightier Matters of the Law Devotional

    Matthew 23:23–24

    John Calvin writes, “The Law is kept only when men are just, and kind, and true, towards each other; for thus they testify that they love and fear God, and give proper and sufficient evidence of sincere piety.” Commitment to justice, mercy, and faithfulness demonstrates commitment to Christ (James 2:14–26). Thus, our care for the poor and oppressed must be as evident as our concern for doctrine. What sacrifices are you making to help the poor and marginalized? View Resource

  • The Sanctity of Vows Devotional

    Matthew 23:16–22

    John MacArthur comments that “swearing by those things [temple, altar, and so on] is tantamount to swearing by God Himself” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1,169). Any godly commitment we make must be honored, for the Lord prizes truth and fidelity. If you tend not to follow through on your promises, consider whether you are making more of them than you can keep. Pledge to do only those things you know you have time to fulfill. View Resource

  • Increasing Another’s Guilt Devotional

    Matthew 23:13–15

    As we preach the Gospel to our friends and neighbors we must always stress grace, otherwise we can convert people to a Christianized form of moralism that implies it is possible for us to get right with God through our own works. The Gospel does demand a change of life, but this change of life is empowered by grace and occurs subsequent to conversion. If we are not stressing the priority of grace, we are no better than the first-century Pharisees. View Resource

  • Pharisaic Hypocrisy Devotional

    Matthew 23:1–4

    As we have seen, many Pharisees had an inflated view of their own goodness and were unaware of their own need for mercy (Luke 18:9–14). Yet the truly pious, “being conscious of their own weakness…kindly forgive the weak,” as John Calvin comments. One way our Christian profession is validated is in our willingness to help others find forgiveness and salvation in the Gospel. Can fallen people count on you to help them follow Jesus completely? View Resource

  • Marriage at the Resurrection Devotional

    Matthew 22:23–30

    Christ’s reply to the Sadducees tells us that resurrected life will not be exactly the same as life today. We do not know all of the differences, but Matthew 22:30 tells us that marriage will not be a part of the life to come. One scholar notes that the absence of marriage and its privileges does not mean that love will cease. Love will be perfected in the resurrection, and we will all love and be loved perfectly (Rev. 21:1–4). Imagine how wonderful that will be. View Resource

  • Pollution’s True Source Devotional

    Matthew 15:1–20

    The concern with outward acts and not the intent of God’s law manifested these particular Pharisees’ blindness to the ultimate source of impurity. Jesus therefore reminded them that the heart is the true source of corruption, not the hands, a truth to which the Torah points (Matt. 15:10–20). We manifest a legalistic heart every time we are critical of others for not observing that which we love even though they are indifferent matters as far as the Bible is concerned. View Resource

  • The Aim of the Sabbath Devotional

    Matthew 12:9–14

    John Calvin comments, “Nothing could be more unreasonable than to pronounce a man, who imitated God, to be a transgressor of the Sabbath.” The Father gives His law for our benefit, and we must never forget this lest we improperly apply it to our lives here and now. Take some time today to read through the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1–17) and think on how each one carries with it a specific benefit for mankind. View Resource

  • Greater than the Temple Devotional

    Matthew 12:1–8

    John Chrysostom wrote: “Did Christ then attempt to repeal a law so beneficial as the sabbath law? Far from it. Rather, he greatly magnified the sabbath. For with Christ came the time for everyone to be trained by a higher requirement” (Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, 39.3). In Christ we know that mercy and justice, biblically defined, must guide how we apply the letter of the Law. We are as bad as the Pharisees if we ignore these principles. View Resource

  • With Spirit and Fire Devotional

    Matthew 3:11–12

    The purifying work of the Holy Spirit commences in the believer when he first turns to Christ. Sometimes the Spirit works on us in the fire of adversity, through which the Lord promises to take us for His good purposes (Isa. 43:1–7). When we face trials in our lives we have an opportunity to prove our faith and reliance on God. If you face trouble this day, consider how the Lord may be using it to purify your soul. View Resource