Restore – Not Destroy

OCTOBER 21

MATTHEW 7:12_for this is the law and the prophets.

Put this principle in simple terminology. Think about how you want to be treated, then treat everyone else that way. Think about how you want to be talked to, and talk that way to everyone else.

As a salty-lit-up disciple you want to restore broken people and relationships—not destroy them. You want to shed light in a dark place—not make it darker.

The apostle Paul says it very well in Galatians 6:1 (KJV), “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

We can be too indulging and too enabling with people, but we can’t be too kind or too gentle.

Matthew 7:12 has long been known as The Golden Rule. Jesus says this rule is the fulfillment of the Law. Paul also says it in Galatians 5:14 (KJV),“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Jesus taught the radical 180 degree turn when it came to the Law. However, He also taught that His radical way was not intended to destroy the Law or the prophets. The very basis of the Law is love—which is why Jesus fulfills it. 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Let me treat others with compassion and gentleness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the Law is based on love—He fulfills it!

The Key Word

OCTOBER 20

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Matthew 18:15 (KJV), “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” In this example a trespass has been committed—someone has trespassed into your life. What is the key word in this verse which can keep you from falling into the gossip pit? Did you say alone? You got it!  The verse does not say spread the news around the whole neighborhood, or church. Deal with it between the two of you. Tell how you’ve been offended.

If private conversation has not resolved the problem you may need to take a couple of people with you to serve as witnesses to the conversation. If that doesn’t work, Jesus says for the two of you to take the matter before your church leaders. Let them resolve the issue. In neither of these cases are you advised to spread the offense outside of Jesus’ set boundaries.

Hopefully, a private conversation can resolve a personal offense. Often offenses are unintentional. You don’t always know how others may perceive what you say. 

Talk about it.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Help me learn to speak carefully and not offend others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ set boundaries for offenses – I will not cross them!

Wrong!

OCTOBER 19

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

What’s in your heart is seen in your actions and heard in your words. If you find any kind of pleasure in hurting people, your heart is showing. If you receive some kind of power surge in causing someone to cry, your heart is showing.

Let’s use the adulteress woman we previously studied as an example. Is it your duty to spread the news around as to what she had done—caught in the act no less? After all, everyone needs to know. And it’s true, so it’s not gossip, right? Wrong! If it’s true keeps it from being slander, but does not keep it from being gossip.

Gossip spreads personal news, which may be factual and true, with someone who is not involved in the issue. Gossip spreads harmful information with the objective of exposing someone else’s failures.. 

If there is a situation which needs to be discussed, all involved should be present for the discussion. Behind the back discussions are never good. Regardless of truth or facts, motives and intentions are something the accused should be allowed to speak for themselves. 

As gossip spreads, generally the more it is exaggerated.  

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me know when to keep my mouth shut! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the true facts – I don’t need to tell others!

A Destructive Weapon

OCTOBER 18

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Jesus leaves no room to pick and choose when it comes to how you should treat people. It’s just like Him to say all things. You can wiggle and squirm, but you can’t get past all things. This principle is like the judgment boomerang—only dish out what you would want dished to you.

Here’s an example. This is something most people do without thinking, and would never call it by its name. Yet, it is one of the most destructive weapons in any relationship, at any age, or stage of life. Gossip!

Stop and ask yourself, would you want someone to gossip about you? Then ask yourself if you gossip about others. Take physical features for example. Do you talk about, criticize, or make fun of the physical features of others behind their back? Perhaps the one you are (let’s go ahead and say it) gossiping about has some kind of defect. For whatever reason, you just feel like it is your duty to spread the news around. But then of course, maybe you were born beautiful. Somehow, you feel that justifies your gossip.

Perhaps you have a defect, though it is not physical, it is just as easily seen—time for a heart exam.   

PRAYER

God of Heaven and Earth, Help me treat others as I want to be treated. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ treats me with compassion—He teaches me how!

You Are Precious in God’s Sight

OCTOBER 17

MATTHEW 7:11_how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

You are precious in God’s sight. Never let the devil tell you otherwise. 

What Jesus is teaching in this verse is a kind of comparison lesson between earthly fathers and the heavenly Father. If you are blessed with a responsible and loving father, never cease to praise God for him. If you have an adoptive or foster father, as many people in the Bible had, praise God for bringing you together as family. 

Pray for your father. He faces tremendous responsibilities that you are not old enough to fully understand. Do everything in your power to support, help, and encourage him. Make your gratefulness known to him—don’t just assume he knows it. And more than anything love and respect him.

If an earthly father will meet your needs, because he hears you when you ask—what are the capabilities of your heavenly Father? He is the owner of the universe. His love and compassion are as big as His kingdom—which knows no end. 

If your earthly father experience did not go well—you have the opportunity for an even closer relationship with your heavenly Father.  

PRAYER

Owner of the Universe, Help me see the vastness of Your power and love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ’s abilities are boundless—He uses them for me!