I’m back. It’s been a while since I had time to be at the computer and so BRF was skipped last week. It was almost cancelled all together, but all both of you were disappointed to see it die, so we’ll keep it going. :)
If you don’t know about Book Review Friday please check out my sidebar and join in. You won’t regret it. :) If you do know about it and are already in on it, we’ll be reading Mark this week, but not all at once. Check out the last paragraph for the details.
My review for the last part of Matthew will be short. I must get to bed at a decent hour and be ready to love my family properly tomorrow. Sleep helps with that. Big time.
Remember those verses from 16:24-26 where it says that if you want to follow Christ you must take up your cross???? Those are the verses that came to mind when I read 19: 29,30. They read, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake, shall reveive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
After reading these verses I saw how those two sections (chapter 16 & 19) fit together. Forsaking all those things most precious and dear to me, not only my material things and comfortable way of life, but our loved ones that are closest to our hearts, to forsake them to reach for Christ and His will above all…. that is what it may cost me to ‘take up my cross’. That could be a terribly heavy cross. That is, it would be terribly heavy if I was the one to bear it. I would be totally crushed under the weight of such circumstances. But then I remember that part in Matthew 11:28,29 where it says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
That yoke is the key point. The yoke that is used for the oxen was a learners yoke. The strong ox that knew what to do and could handle the weight and the heavy work was the one that carried the yoke. The younger ox that needed to learn how to handle it was placed beside him and didn’t carry the weight, but just walked beside the older one learning what to do. I find that a comforting thought, don’t you? It is Christ who carries my burdens, all those things that would weigh me down. It is Him who carries my cross for me, I’m too weak to do it. It is a wonderful thing to learn how to take up your cross and allow the Lord to carry it for you. How could I ever think that I can do it? I want to hook myself into that learners yoke and learn how to walk close to the ultimate burden bearer with grace and wisdom.
I saw so many things in the book of Matthew and didn’t understand most. Since I had so many questions I decided to take some time to continue reading through the gospels. If you are in on it with me grab your notebook and pen and be ready. This week I am going to read through Mark. It has 16 chapters, so if we read 2-3 chapters per day we’ll be done Mark by next Friday. Much of what is written is repeated from Matthew but includes different information on some of the passages. I want to get to know all those ‘stories’ really well and I figure reading them all and making notes on what I notice will help me do that.