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Did Not or Could Not?

Daily Reading: Matthew 13

Scripture Focus: And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13.58)

Devotional Thought: Well, it's almost August, and as I mentioned a few days ago, college football starts soon! Some of you are really excited, and others are thinking, "So?" Lana and I are in the former group! With my mind on football, I thought of an analogy for today's scripture. Imagine a quarterback sending his wideout downfield for a deep pass. The receiver, however, doesn't run the route because he does not believe that the QB can make the throw. No matter how long and accurate the QB might be, he cannot make a completion without the receiver's faith and cooperation.

That's what happened to Jesus in Matthew 13. The people of his hometown did not believe that he could do mighty works, so they did not run their routes. Jesus "did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief." This same account in Mark, says that Jesus "could not." But, is there any difference? Jesus could not because they would not.

Wow! Did you realize that your faith, or lack thereof, is key to what Jesus does?

God has chosen to work through and with our faith, hasn't he? I thought of two examples of this. In 2 Kings, Naaman the Syrian went to the prophet of God for healing of his leprosy. At first, Naaman refused to believe and healing was withheld. But, when his faith took hold and he entered the muddy waters of the Jordan River, his leprosy was healed! Later in Matthew, Jesus said, "How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"

Are we willing to run our routes? What 'passes' are being left incomplete in our lives, because we are not?

Prayer: Father, forgive us for our unbelief. We know that you are able to do "immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine," but we are slow to act on that knowledge. We believe. Help our unbelief!

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 90.1-6

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

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