A Fly in the Ointment

  JUNE 15

MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.

When God pays your sin debt, the kicks you used to experience in sin begin to disappear. If they don’t, then in the words of the great Miss Clavel, “Something is not right!” (Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans). You sin because it supplies some kind of satisfaction. It may be physical, emotional, or financial. When it no longer produces satisfaction (which is the nature of sin), you sink deeper and deeper into sin. The deeper, the harder to come out.  

When redeemed by the Savior, sin begins to lose its hold. There is no joy in sin for the saved. Just when things look good for the debtor, Jesus adds another piece to the pattern.

He lets a fly in the ointment!

Jesus’ prayer causes vertical forgiveness (from God to you) to be based on horizontal forgiveness (from you to your offenders). That means to ask God to forgive you in the way you forgive those who wrong you.

I declare! Jesus just won’t let you get by with anything. It takes a lot of love to hold people you love to accountability.

If you confess, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness, why should that have anything to do with those who wronged you? They need to do their own confessing.

This is more of those natural instincts of your hard heart.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is your offenders and their confession is between them and God. You forgiving them is between you and God.

A clear sign you have been redeemed is you want to forgive. Old sins lose their grip and hard hearts soften!       

PRAYER

Great Redeemer, Thank You for not only saving me, but changing me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                               

Christ redeems me—He changes me!

Any and All

JUNE 12

MATTHEW 6:12_And forgive us…

If Jesus taught no more than the first three words of this verse, He would have taught a vital part of prayer.         

The Scribes and Pharisees saw life as a set of laws. They had the laws down pat, snug in their hip pockets (if they had hip pockets). They knew the rules, and kept them, why would they need forgiveness? That is, if all that mattered was rule keeping.

Jesus taught life as more about loving God and each other. He taught to give more than receive. This kind of life causes me to see my weaknesses and failures. That leads me to my knees to ask God’s forgiveness. Psalm 51 (KJV), 1 Have mercy upon me [King David], O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”

King David asks forgiveness for his sin. He also acknowledges something very important—his sin was primarily against God.

Any and all sins are against God.    

PRAYER

Forgiving God, I know when I have wronged Your people I have wronged You. Forgive me and change me!  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ desires to forgive—He wants me to ask Him!

Freely Let Go

JUNE 9

MATTHEW 6:11_Give us…

To give is to freely let go. There is no holding back when you give. If you have something that meets the need of someone else, will you give it? 

There is no charge involved in giving. Giving supplies needs, fills an empty place. Giving comes from one who has the supply. Would you ask for supply from someone you knew did not have it?

God worked many miracles in the process of freeing the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. Psalm 81:10 (KJV), “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” God says don’t be afraid to open your mouth and ask for your needs. He calls you to remember His miracles of the past.

Psalm 143 (KJV) is one of those Psalms to pray, especially when going through a time of trial. Verse 5 says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.”

God gives.

God wants to give.

God has a full supply – to give.

If he can, the devil will intimidate you into feeling it is selfish to ask God for your needs.

Go back to Psalm 81:10!

 PRAYER

Giving God, Thank You that You want me to ask for my needs. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                      

Christ teaches me to ask in prayer—I will!

No One Is Exempt

DECEMBER 28

MATTHEW 7:29_For he taught them as one having authority…

Every aspect of Jesus’ character is seen in this sermon. He taught as The Creator. His principles of life go back to creation. No one is exempt. Regardless of how we fight against them—creation principles always prevail.

Jesus taught as The Great Transformer. This sermon has shown me my heart is wicked and deceitful. Jesus’ principles are righteous. I have learned to ask, seek, and knock in order to have my wickedness transformed into righteousness.

Jesus taught as The Great Balancer. He is perfect balance by example, and He taught me how to balance. He taught me balance through topsy-turvy principles like: “…whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

To balance judgment and mercy is something I can only do by the power of Jesus in me!

 PRAYER

Great Transformer and Balancer, Help me apply what You’ve taught me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

 Christ has given me all I need – To transform and balance!

A Foundational Rock

DECEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:28_the people were astonished at His doctrine.

I wonder if the listeners who were truth-seekers, were sorry to have this sermon come to an end? Are you? There is much more in the Bible than the Sermon on the Mount—but it is certainly a foundational rock. You can continue to seek the truth, and find it, as long as you are asking, seeking, and knocking in the right places and with the right people.

Jesus has taught dynamic principles of life. He has taught them systemically and precisely, with gentleness and compassion, with firmness, in a no-nonsense manner, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, humility, and a pure heart.

II Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your [that’s you and me] sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is what makes Jesus’ teachings astonishing. Not only did He endure the humility of leaving the throne of God to walk the earth with mere mortals—He died for them! None were worthy of His sacrifice.

But those who receive the free gift of His life, become worthy.  

Unheard of!

Unprecedented!

Astonishing!              

 PRAYER

Rock-That-Is-Higher-Than-I, I want Your humility, pure heart, and unprecedented love! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ came to free me from death—I praise Him!