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. 2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 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. “4 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 become 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.
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
The Holy Spirit says things to me 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.”
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!
MATTHEW 6:6_and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…
Jesus says the Father is in the closet with you. When He says the Father seeth in secret He means more than vision. God reads your soul. He sees everything in your mind and thoughts. God sees deeply – into the very depths of your heart. He knows if there is room for Him in that depth, or if it is consumed with you.
God also knows if your desire is to replace self with the Savior. He can help you with that.
God’s desire is for you to bring all your emotions of pain, heartbreak, fear, anger, and unforgiveness to Him in prayer. If you can trust God is with you in the closet, you will begin to trust He is with you anywhere. The more you trust in God’s presence, the more confident you will grow in your relationship with Him.
Listening is every bit as important to prayer time as talking. Remember that falling in love sequence? If you do all the talking, and never any listening, then you will not know your loved one at all. It’s difficult to truly love someone you don’t know.
The more you hear God, the more you become salt and light.
God Who Speaks, Please speak to my heart, and help me trust You are always with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is with me—I want to be with Him!
MATTHEW 5:43_Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
How “it hath been said,” is your natural inclination. Love who you like, and hate who you don’t. That’s as natural as heat in summer. I won’t say it’s the easy way, because neither of these emotions is easy. Between the two, hate may be the easier. Easy because it is based on self-centered selfishness, which comes naturally. Hate requires no self-sacrifice. Hate thrives on grudge-holding. Just be plain hard-hearted. No open heart surgery necessary.
Hate is deadly. Spiritually, hate places a barrier between your spirit and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Emotionally, it keeps hormones out of sync, fluctuating between rage and depression. Physically, hate is a strong contributor to keep the body from healing itself.
Love is neither natural nor easy. Recovery from The Great Surgeon’s open-heart surgery results in true love. Once you succumb to more of Jesus and less of you, the door opens to The Great Transformer. He fills you with love. You cannot manufacture it on our own. You open the door, Jesus fills you up.
The effects of love in your life spiritually, emotionally, and physically are 180 degrees from the effects of hate.
Loving God, I don’t want to live the easy way. I want to live the loving way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ always loves—He will teach me!