The Fine Line

JANUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

Perhaps there are people in the world who do not want peace. With all the violence we experience at such high levels, it certainly appears that way. What brings about conflict and violence?

By now you know what causes conflict between people – the heart. Either your heart is pure and set on righteousness or it is not. We have already discovered that you did not come into the world with a pure heart. To develop a pure heart requires decisions on your part. Decisions that involve the Bible, Jesus, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Without those three I don’t know a way to make good decisions.

Conflicts tend to come from self-centered, self-absorbed, my-way-or-no-way attitudes. If the conflicts are to be resolved, someone has to yield. Someone has to be willing to give consideration to the other’s point of view. Someone has to be willing to consider and perhaps try out the other’s suggestion. 

As with anything in life, there are lots of fine lines in peacemaking. When does peacemaking become caving in to political correctness or yielding to evil? When does peacemaking become caring more about what people think than what God thinks? 

PRAYER

Father of Peace, I know You want peace in the world. I know we live in a world that does not submit to You as ruler. Help me learn to be a peacemaker for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is a peacemaker—He will help me become one!

Can You See God?

JANUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:8_for they shall see God.

Just like the negative things we dwell on are in embedded in the heart, Jesus’ teachings cleanse the heart. When your heart is purified; you will see God.

You see God when you fill your heart with the truths of His principles found in His Word. You see God when you make sacrifices in your life in order to help someone weaker or needier than you. You see God when you stand for truth even in the face of ridicule, scorn, and lies. You see God when you make choices for righteousness and purity over self-satisfying indulgence.

You see God because your heart has been purified by agreeing with His truths over the world’s lies. You have made decisions in your heart to walk that road, follow that path, take up that cross, and become a disciple of Jesus.

You will never purify your heart by agreeing with the world’s standards. This means looking at images of impurity, speaking words of impurity, engaging in acts of impurity, reading novels filled with impurity, watching entertainment full of impurity, or listening to music about impurity. You are not going to see God on any of those roads.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times I have chosen impurity over purity and the times I have agreed with lies because I didn’t want to walk the road of truth. Help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s truths are the road to purity—He will lead me!

The Amazing Heart

JANUARY 24

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

The amazing heart seldom receives its full due. If you think in scientific terms you know it keeps blood pumping. Essential to life. Leviticus 17:11 (KJV), ‘”For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

When you think of the heart as the center of your emotions, you see love, joy, panic, and fear. The beating heart keeps hormones producing and functioning. Have you discovered something significant? There is a reason deep sorrow and sadness are called heartbreak.

The Bible teaches much more about the heart. The heart is the very center of decision making. When the heart is filled with bitterness, you become a bitter person. You may not even realize it, but the people who know you see it plainly. If your heart is full of hate, you become hateful. A heart filled with unbridled hate may even be moved to murder. The heart instructs the brain, not the other way around. Even though this is not popular science it is what the Bible teaches. 

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  What you dwell on in your heart is who you are. Another thing to count on is what your heart dwells on will eventually come out of your mouth – guaranteed!

PRAYER

Father in Heaven, I know what rules my heart will rule my life. I want that to be goodness and purity. Please help me obtain it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ wants my heart clean—He will cleanse it!

Wisdom – Understanding – Knowledge

JANUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

Oh, to be pure in heart! Isn’t that something else you want? What is involved in becoming pure in your heart? You know how to find out, use the key. The Bible opens your spirit to wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of truth. When you begin the journey into what pureness in heart looks like, you will discover you must first find out what it is not.

We have mentioned Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You have to gain the understanding of there is nothing pure about your heart – on its own.

Next, you discover Proverbs 19:21 (KJV), “There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” Praise God! Now you gain knowledge that although you cannot trust your heart (because it is deceitful), the counsel (wisdom, understanding, knowledge) you gain from the Bible can override the deceitfulness in your heart. Bible truths dispel all the devil’s lies.

So, the first step to become pure in heart is to put no trust in the flesh. Place all your trust in the power of Jesus. Your spirit will be instructed through the power of the Holy Spirit.   

PRAYER

Holy Father, I want my heart to be pure. I want it cleansed from all deceit and wickedness. Teach me from the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is pure in heart—He purifies my deceitful heart!

A Path to Freedom

JANUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:7_for they shall obtain mercy.

What a lovely blessing the merciful receive – they obtain mercy. Meditate on that. After all the giving and pouring out of yourself and your time, there is mercy to receive! Everyone needs to be on the receiving end of mercy! Praise God there is a time when mercy is poured out on you! 

A day will come when you need mercy. You will experience what a beautiful thing mercy is. You will feel the warmth, comfort, and peace mercy gives. And since mercy is not a Band-Aid, you will receive freedom – from guilt. To give mercy to someone is to free them from the wrong done to you. 

Be glad you were a part of blessing another person. Be grateful that when you felt rejected or taken advantage of, you chose to respond with mercy – even though your offender was undeserving. Most of all, be grateful to the Holy God of Heaven because you are full of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way you can be merciful. You see, you don’t deserve mercy either.

Mercy not only frees your offender; it is a part of the path to your freedom – from unforgiveness.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Forgive me for any time I have not bestowed mercy. Help me focus on You and Your truth more than the world’s deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s mercy is the path to freedom—He will help me!