A Changed Man

SEPTEMBER 13

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Had the wicked servant dwelt on the unbelievable mercy rendered to him by the king, he would have bestowed mercy on his fellow-servant. However, non-believers can’t be expected to respond to life as believers. That’s why there is such a need for salty-lit-up disciples. Lifestyles that shine in such a way to draw captives to freedom, like a lighthouse to a ship lost in a raging storm. Light sends a ray of hope. Once the ship makes it to the safety of the harbor, it is time to preserve it with the salt of mercy – mercy that flows from unconditional love.

In the case of the apostle Paul the light shone on him, blinded him. When he was healed and his sight restored three days later, he was a changed man. The light blinded him to the hate that his hard heart had toward Jesus’ followers. It also blinded him to the lies (that Jesus was demonic and his followers would be the destruction of the Jewish religion) with which the devil deceived him.

The light set Paul free to become the Jesus follower who wrote a large portion of the New Testament. 

He was salty and lit-up!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want Your kind of light—that blinds, but heals. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s light can blind me—It can also heal me!

Not Easy, But Better Than Bondage

SEPTEMBER 12

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The kind of judgment found in the wicked servant’s heart is to believe a debt, or any wrong, is never worthy of mercy. To the judgmental, guilt should only result in punishment – never mercy.

Once again, there are situations when the best thing to do for guilty people is to turn them over to the law. There are times when people are so deeply in bondage that it requires a rude awakening to save them.

This happened to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus: Acts 9 (KJV), “And he [Paul] fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ And he said, ‘Who art thou, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’ And he [Paul] trembling and astonished said, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.’And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”

This is not an easy way to be set free, but it is better than bondage.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, Praise You that You are able to free me from bondages. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

 Christ gives mercy—He helps me discern when to give it!

Trust Comes with Accountability

SEPTEMBER 11

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

In Jesus’ Matthew chapter 18 (KJV) parable, the wicked servant was more consumed with the penny owed him than the billion plus he owed.

There is more here than money, there’s mercy.  Oh, that we were consumed with mercy!

A debtor is expected to pay a legal debt. Trust comes with accountability. God who searches and knows all hearts, has the privilege to have mercy – even to the legitimately guilty.

Read again verses “26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.”    

The wicked servant could only see the wrong which was done to him. He could not see the mercy he had freely received. “29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.”

He could not see mercy because … where his treasure was there was his heart also.

PRAYER

King of All Kings, Let me see my beam more than my brother’s mote. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ sees my beams—He will help me see them!

What Consumes Your Thought Life?

SEPTEMBER 10

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The same Matthew 18 parable applies to this verse as well.

You would be safe to make the comparison of a mote as the tiniest speck of wood that could blow into your eye. Then compare the beam to the Hyperion tree in the Redwood National Park. Another comparison could be between a grain of sand and Mount Everest.

In the Parable of the Wicked Servant, it would be like a penny compared to $1,153,000.00!

Notice in this verse Jesus uses the word behold, meaning take heed. Take heed means what you observe the most in a situation – what is foremost on your mind. You have already learned it would be what is foremost in your heart (the where your treasure is principle). It is what consumes your thought life. The most important thing to you.

God has miraculous things in store, and the Holy Spirit is searching deep within to see what consumes your heart.

I Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV), “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

PRAYER

Magnificent God, Let me behold the truths You teach—plant them in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ sees the deep places in my heart—He gives truth!   

Boomeranged!

SEPTEMBER 9

MATTHEW 7:2_it shall be measured to you again.

Jesus teaches the measurement of judgment we pass out is the measure by which we’ll be judged.

Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18 (KJV), “23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me that thou owest.’ 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.”

In the end the king calls back the wicked servant and turns him over to the tormentors.

The wicked servant’s hard heart boomeranged!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Help me know my judgmental attitude will come back to me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ’s wise judgment—How I judge, I will be judged!