Follow Jesus' Topsy-Turvy Teachings

APRIL 23

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Acts 20:35 (KJV), “I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Whatever we can do in life to bring God’s blessing is something to pursue. Nothing the world has to offer can even begin to compare to God’s blessing. Nothing. 

The world offers tempting glitter in life: impurity, drugs, alcohol. All of it leads to bondage. Jesus offers a strange, humble, giving, loving lifestyle. All of it leads to freedom. As you live the Jesus lifestyle you become salt and light to those who are bound to the glitter. Your salt and light can help free them from the devil’s deceptions.   

The good guy in Jesus’ play has gained a lot of freedom from the bully. He gained it by following Jesus’ topsy-turvy teachings. When he doesn’t hold a grudge he is free from unforgiveness. By freely giving more than is required he is blessed. The pain in his stomach disappears. Peaceful sleep returns.

Who would ever have thought it is more blessed to give than receive? Jesus!

Have you begun to notice something about the 180 degree turn? It is opposite of what comes naturally.     

PRAYER

Father God, I want to live my life free from the deceptions of the devil. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ never deceives—The devil always does!

Action!

APRIL 22

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

When Jesus sent out the disciples with no luggage, only trust, the result was a major boost of faith. Transformation took place in the disciples’ hearts. Strong faith does not develop just by reading or listening to Jesus’ teachings.

Action!

Luke 22:35 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], When I sent you without purse, and script, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.” The disciples returned stunned! They gained great faith. They were filled with joy. 

Action is a process. As the disciples saw their needs met, their faith increased. The greater faith allowed them to teach and heal. This action required something totally radical of them. To completely trust in what Jesus taught. Even when what He taught them was topsy-turvy. It worked. Not only did it work for the disciples, it worked to bring truth and healing to the recipients.

Turning the other cheek, giving more than is required, going the second mile, giving to those in need, all require to put others before yourself. And to obey Jesus.

This is more than feeding the hungry, or healing the sick. This is loving the unlovely, and forgiving the undeserving.

PRAYER

Blessed Savior, I want to live my life in a way which shows faith by action. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ lived a selfless life—I want to learn how!

Trust Required

APRIL 21

MATTHEW 5:42_Give to him that asketh thee…

Give all you can. Keep one thing in mind – you can’t give what you don’t have. Don’t steal or go into debt to give your loved ones what they want.

If your friend has a need, and you have the means to meet it, feel free to do so. The key word in that sentence is free. A transformed heart is a free heart. You should feel good about giving – not depressed.   

You may be saving your money for a rainy day,. Your friend’s rainy day has come. Your friend asks you for help. Part of the depth of this teaching is trust. Can you trust that if Jesus taught love as an action – then it is? Giving is action – not talk.

Youth should always discuss this kind of action with parents or guardians. God can teach you through their advice. Listen and learn. They have lived much longer than you and know more about giving.

One time Jesus sent His disciples out to teach and heal the sick. They would be gone for several days. He specifically told them in Luke 9:3 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor script, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.” Jesus said the people who received the disciples into their homes would provide for their needs. Trust was a requirement.

It turned into a beautiful blessing for both parties.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to trust Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ’s teachings require trust—They will bless me!

Do Good vs Be Good

APRIL 20

MATTHEW 5:41_And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

The word compel here is translated as to dispatch. To send out a courier. A courier carries messages. If you were hired to carry a message to someone a mile away, but when you got there you discovered they had moved on – what would you do? Would you bring the message back to the one who hired you, or would you keep looking for the recipient?

You were only hired for the mile, and that is all you were paid for. You may never be paid for the extra miles, if you decide to keep looking. All of this takes place in a time before cells, texts, etc. You have to physically hunt down this person.

If you gave your best effort to do the job, it is not your fault the recipient could not be found. This is a case of you being good. If you took extra effort and completed the job – requiring more of your time, and possibly never getting paid, you were doing good. 

There is something to see over and over in these teachings – selflessness.

Don’t forget the play. The good guy is going through all these hardships. No one has come to his aide.

PRAYER

Jesus Lord, I want to hear You when You dispatch me on a mission. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ compels me to good works—He will teach me!

The Radical Cure

APRIL 19

MATTHEW 5:40_let him have thy cloak also.

Come on Lord Jesus, there’s radical and then there’s … crazy! I mean, look at the facts:

I lost the case and with it my life’s savings.

I hate it because I don’t feel I was wrong.

I hate it because it will destroy my current lifestyle.

I hate it because it causes a pain in the pit of my stomach.

I hate it because it takes away my peaceful sleep.

Jesus says the remedy for my ailments is to give my enemy more than I’m obligated? No way! That will make me sicker!

Write this out on a card and place it somewhere you’ll see it regularly: My being good does not impress Jesus. My doing good does. The Scribes and Pharisees were good. They knew and kept the laws. They failed to do good by loving their fellow man and leading them to freedom.

The Great Healer’s radical cure requires action. Action that comes from who’s in charge of your heart – you or Jesus?

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, I need Your help so I can do good and not just talk about being good. I need faith to believe in Your radical cures. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ does good—He will teach me!