A New Heart

JANUARY 13

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

The Bible is such an incredible book. It is the Book of Life. Life is tough. There’s nothing easy about living in a fallen world – even when you’re a fallen person. What? Seems like it would be easier to fit in if you were a Jesus rejecter and a satan follower. Ya think?

Satan is the alpha and omega of deception. Read his introduction into the Scriptures in Genesis 3:1, ‘Now the serpent was more subtil [deceitful] than any beast of the field.’ Satan and his spirits of darkness are not your friends. His ultimate plan for your life is destruction. 

When you are developing a new heart from Jesus you will mourn. A new heart living in a fallen world mourns over satan’s destructive work to convince people to believe his lies.

Your new heart mourns as it sees people become captive to: Alcohol. Pills. Pornographic Images. Anger. Hate. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Sexual Abuse. Unkind, Cruel Words which cannot be stopped because hearts are hard.

Blessed are you for mourning over those things. Jesus can deliver from all of these deceptions and give a life of freedom.

PRAYER

Jesus Deliverer, You are my deliverer. There is nothing satan can hold me captive to which You cannot free me from. Blessed be Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ breaks all my bonds—and gives me freedom!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…

Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something!  Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!

You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them. 

If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.

Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.

You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.

Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!  

PRAYER

God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!

Wise Judgment

SEPTEMBER 6

MATTHEW 7:2_For with what judgment ye judge…

Ephesians 6:1-4 (KJV), “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” There is night and day difference in the discipline of a child by spanking, and child abuse. To abuse a child verbally and physically and call it discipline shows a lack of judgment. Discipline administered with hot tempered anger causes more damage than it ever will cause good. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”   

Some Christians believe in spanking young children, and others do not. The core is to help children grow up to be responsible and discerning. Placing boundaries, and enforcing them (otherwise they are futile), is the best way to guide little ones. When boundaries are crossed there has to be some type of discipline.   

Today’s verse focuses on using wise judgment, because how you judge is how you will be judged. Wise judgment will always be founded upon love.  Firmness laced with some calmness administers discipline in a positive way.

Anger and name calling destroy obedience and respect – not wise judgment.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Help me know my judgment will come back to me.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

 Christ teaches wise judgment—He teaches me to obey!

Who Knows?

JUNE 29

MATTHEW 6:15_Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…

Why do you hold on to unforgiveness? Does it have something to do with forgiveness causing you to appear weak? God is not only willing, but wants to forgive you. Do you think He is weak?

Hanging on to unforgiveness because it makes you feel tough is straying. Hanging on to unforgiveness for any reason is straying. You are interfering with God’s desire to forgive you. If you are in relationship with Jesus you will forgive, because if you don’t the Holy Spirit will convict your heart. You will lose peace. Salty-lit-up disciples repent and come back to God’s path.

When someone’s straying trespasses into your life, you have to deal with the invasion – one way or another. You can react with anger and possibly physical confrontation, or seek the path of forgiveness. As we’ve said before, forgiveness does not necessarily mean the invaders should not be held responsible for their actions. Discernment must be applied.

Your life can be trespassed upon in many ways. Betrayal is probably the largest of the litter. It may certainly be the hardest to forgive. God does not measure trespasses by their size. God is more concerned about how far away from His path His disciples stray. It is His major concern because … He loves His disciples.

Your willingness to forgive the trespassers may be how God intends to bring them back on track.

Who knows? That may be why your life is the one He allowed them to invade.                  

PRAYER

God of Love, You are more than able to deliver from any trespass. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows all trespasses—He conquered them all!

My Debtors

JUNE 16

MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.

My debtors caused this prayer to turn around. It was fine for God to forgive my debts. Psalm 136 (KJV) says twenty-six times, “for his mercy endureth for ever.”

I feel comfortable with the fact that God forgives me. That helps me overcome the lies the devil uses to deceive me that I can never be forgiven. This vertical forgiveness is from a God of true love. Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV), “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee [you and me] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”  Wow!

My debtors are those who have never paid things like:

A financial debt – money owed to me.

A verbal debt – a broken promise.

An emotional debt – harsh angry words which ripped apart every feeling of tenderness I ever possessed.

A trust debt – betrayal. 

Whatever the debt, it is still in my ledger. Before, my prayer life was only concerned with God’s ledger book – now He is meddling into mine.

God points out things like, “I’m ready to erase your debts recorded in My Vertical Ledger because you are not able to pay. But, I see all kinds of unerased debts in your Horizontal Ledger. Let Me teach you a solution.”  

PRAYER

Holy God, I want to have Your mercy that endures forever.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ erased my sins—He teaches me how to erase!