Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Jesus Pages: Extreme Faith

Matthew 9:18-38

I don't know of any people who ask Jesus to raise their loved ones from the dead. But I understand why the "ruler" tried - it was his daughter. He figured if anyone could do it, that would be Jesus. And He did!

The woman with the bleeding problem? No one for 12 years could heal her. But she knew Jesus could do what the doctors couldn't. All she had to do was touch Jesus - now that's extreme!

Are you blind? Let Jesus touch you. Demon possessed? Only Jesus has the power to cast them out. An extreme physical infirmity requires extreme asking. Notice who they did not ask: the powerless religious leaders. They went to the Power Source. Faith was the switch they threw to access the limitless power.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Jesus Pages: Words Mean Things

Matthew 9:1-17

Our troubles drive us to Jesus. Our faith gets His attention. And then we wait for Him to speak to our need. "Please, Jesus, say something," we cry. That pleases Him because it shows we recognize His power and authority. So, He speaks to our need and takes away that part of it that paralyzes us. We are set free and the feeling is glorious.

Sometimes there are those close to us who mock and scoff: "Stupid you! Who is this Jesus? You're deluding yourself thinking He's going to help you." 

Watch out, because Jesus has words for them, too. The scoffers are deluded themselves, thinking their own words are all they need. They need to take their tired rules and regulations and bury the book and start fresh. Or they will be ruined. Jesus' words don't make sense unless you strip away your tired layers and ask Him to make you new, starting from scratch.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Jesus Pages: Too Much Jesus

Read Matthew 8:18-34

We naively put our hands out and ask Jesus to fill them. When things begin to spill over and we get more Jesus than we bargained for, we panic. "Oh! I only wanted a little bit!" we shriek.

But Jesus says, "If you want any part of me you have to take all of me. You want to follow me? Then get behind me and follow. Go where I go. Ride in the boat and take whatever ride I give you. Stay in the same hotels or tents or sleeping bags on the ground. And if I choose to do something radical and miraculous - like clean up your life and set you free from your choke chain - then don't back down and tell me it's too much. It's all or nothing."

We want the Sometimes Jesus or the Part-Time Jesus. But the All-or-Nothing Jesus? For some of us, that's Too Much Jesus.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Jesus Pages: The Currency of Sickness

Read Matthew 8:1-17

Even sickness has a purpose. The leper had nothing to lose because he had already lost it all: family, community, comfort. He had one last chance and it was Jesus. But what did he have to bargain with? He couldn't pay Jesus anything. Neither could the centurion. How dare they come to Jesus and ask for healing? Why should Jesus pay attention to them? 

Ah, but they did have something very valuable, currency Jesus loves to get: FAITH. In exchange for their faith in not only Jesus' power, but in His compassion and willingness to heal. How awesome is that? Can you imagine asking a doctor to heal you in exchange for your belief that he could do it? Sickness throws us on our knees before God and our faith is all He asks for in return.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Jesus Pages: On the Outside Looking In

Read Matthew 7

You've spent a lot of time, money and resources building your life and now it's time to step outside of yourself and see what you've done. Do the outside and the inside match in style, decor, personality? How much pretension is going on? Do you cultivate the outside and let trash pile up on the inside? Pick at others' exteriors while neglecting your own interior? Have you invited God to be your partner or are you content to do it on your own?

Did you realize that He is more than happy to help with the yard work, painting, clean up? He has a 24/7 service! How does your garden grow? Do you have plants that have to be pruned? Then stop watering them and start lopping off those parts that are worthless and aren't producing anything! And, are you taking care of those cracks in your foundation? You better hurry before the bad weather comes and your basement fills with water.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Jesus Pages: At the End of the Spending Spree

Read Matthew 6:19-34

How do I spend myself? How am I investing my personal resources? Oh, not so much the money, because the money only follows what my heart has settled on. Follow the money! It leaves an unmistakable trail that tells a tale of either waste or wisdom. All that I gather into my storehouse on earth will go back in the box at the end of my life. I can't take a single thing with me. It's better to divest myself of as much as I can before it's too late and someone else makes that decision for me. 

What lasts for eternity? Those things that I can take with me! People and deeds of goodness done for God's approval. Break open the checkbook. Sure, there are earthly things that I have to spend money on: food, shelter, clothes, car insurance. But do I go overboard on those things? Audrey told me she has 70 pairs of tights! I still can't get over that number unless you can beat it by Mildred's 100+ pairs of Ferragamo shoes! How many can you wear at one time? 

You cannot serve God and Money. We try, we try all the time and we deceive ourselves by thinking that our pursuit of things is harmless. Use your things to serve God. The "things" in my house, my garage, my closets represent that which I traded my time, my heart in exchange for. I get paid for my "work." In return I spend that payment on something. We deceive ourselves when we view that in terms of percentage instead of intensity. 

Poor people can be just as deceived as rich people. Jesus reminds us that God will take care of us. See how He manages the animal and plant kingdom? He values us more. Quit worrying about stuff. Stuff poisons us, blinds us, paralyzes us, buries us under and then smothers us. Store up treasures in heaven - it's OK to gather, just gather the right stuff. When you get up there you'll see what really matters, so why not see it NOW, change course, and then go on an eternal spending spree.

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Jesus Pages: How Not to Be a Hypocrite

Matthew 6:1-18

Why are you doing what you do? Who is your audience? Jesus says to be careful that our motives be to influence the right audience. To impress people, then that's your reward. To get God's attention, then God will reward you because your motivation is right. 

If you see needy people, you don't need to put on a show. If you really care about meeting their need, then do it without anyone knowing. Kind of hard, right? But isn't that what God does all the time? He sees a need, a million needs, fills them and doesn't sit up in heaven wringing his hands hoping that people will notice. He gives without thought of return. That is how we are to live. That is diametrically opposed to how a hypocrite lives. 

Jesus is our example. There was more witness in how He lived than in the deeds and empty words of a hypocrite. God doesn't fall asleep; He sees everything we do. And he will be the one to reward us, not the fickle bystanders we think we want to impress. Get over it. Impress the right person!

The Jesus Pages is my journey through the New Testament in one year. I invite you to come along, read the Bible passage and leave comments. (If it's nasty or unrelated, I reserve the right to delete it.)


©2021 Debby Kratovil (kratovil@his.com)