Taking Action for Jesus
Daily Bible Reading – Matthew 17-19
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 17:24-27
Our Bible reading today contains many great stories. Reading Matthew 17 through 19 we see the Transfiguration, the disciples arguing about who would be the greatest, Jesus warning against temptation, the parable of the unforgiving debtor, Jesus teaching about marriage and divorce, and Jesus speaking to the rich young man just to name a few. With all of these great stories to choose from, it may seem like an odd choice for me to write about Peter finding the coin in the fish’s mouth. The simple truth is that when I was reading Scripture today, the Holy Spirit kept bringing me back to this passage. The fact that a coin was found in a fish’s mouth was obviously a miraculous thing, and that alone warrants our attention. Even more than that, though, I think this passage really gives us valuable insight about doing our part for God’s kingdom.
God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the sovereign ruler over the entire universe. Everything imaginable is under the authority of God. Everything that we have comes from God. It all belongs to Him, and we are simply allowed to use it for a while we are here on this Earth. Since we know this is true, Jesus could have simply reached into his pocket, pulled out the coin for the taxes, and handed it to Peter. Just as Jesus multiplied bread and fish to feed thousands or turned water into wine, He could have also just created this coin and handed it over, but that was not His way in this story. The end was the same as Peter ended up with the coin, but Jesus went about it differently. To get the coin, Peter had to take action. It was not just given to him, he had to go and do something for Jesus to get it. To receive the coin for the taxes, Peter had to go out and do some fishing. Do not get me wrong, that alone is some action. He had to get some bait, get his fishing pole, go to the lake, cast, wait, etc. Even more important than the action of having to fish, however, is the faith that Peter had to have. If a friend of yours told you to go catch a fish and you would find a coin in its mouth, you would think your friend was insane. When Jesus told Peter to do this, though, he did not question it. He did not argue about the probability of success. He did not argue about the amount of work that was involved to catch a single fish. He did not beg Jesus for the coin. Peter went and did what Jesus told him to do, and that, my friends, is faith.
God wants us to have everything we need, and He will provide for us, but to receive his gifts, we sometimes have to take action. For some things like grace and salvation, God freely gives without expecting us to work for them. For other things, God wants us to follow His directions. He speaks to us daily about His will. He tells us what He wants us to do just as Jesus instructed Peter. He wants us to have the kind of faith in Him that Peter had. When God speaks, He wants us to act upon His words, even if they seem impossible or improbable. Listen to Him today. What does He want you to do? Where is He trying to lead you? What would happen if you decided to just have faith in Him and follow His directions? Whatever it might look like for you, take action today. When we follow His directions, there is no limit to what we might find.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.