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!

But the Power of Jesus

NOVEMBER 29

MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…

Can these people actually cast out demons? Or do they think they can just convince Jesus they can? I don’t claim to know a lot about demonic possession, but I don’t believe there is any power to exhort them but the power of Jesus. 

Because life is spiritual as well as physical, we need to have knowledge of both. We primarily focus on the physical until we have had an encounter with Jesus and answer that knock. John 15:16 (KJV), “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

You didn’t become a Christian because it was your idea. You answered the call, the knock, the pursuing of Jesus. You responded, and now you are doing the asking, seeking, knocking, pursuing. You enter a strait gate and a narrow way to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge … of truth. And why do you want truth? By now you’ve got this—to live free!

We must face the reality that the spiritual world consists of darkness as well as light. Jesus calls us to be light and light must be free.

Any encumbrances to light keep it from overcoming darkness.                   

PRAYER

God of Heaven, Please keep my light free to serve You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s light is free from encumbrances—He frees mine!

Not Everyone

NOVEMBER 23

MATTHEW 7:21_Not everyone…

Since Jesus begins this teaching by saying not everyone, there must be some exclusiveness. Can mercy be exclusive? If so, who decides who is excluded? Would it be Jesus? How does He decide it?

Mercy is a God-like attribute.

Mercy is a Jesus quality.

Mercy covers sins.

Mercy covers shortcomings.

Mercy covers failures.

Mercy rescues the undeserving. 

Mercy brings the lost to shelter and safety.

Mercy does this by its very nature of being merciful.

However, one of those hard realities of life we prefer to avoid, is mercy is not limitless.

That is hard truth! 

Mercy has no limit for askers, seekers, and knockers. But arrogant pretenders, aka hypocrites, will experience that hard truth.

Personally, I don’t think mercy had limits in the Garden of Eden. But free will caused it to pull in the reins, put on the brakes, and turn off the power.

That’s when a phrase like, not everyone, came into play. Mercy is for everyone, just as life without death was for Adam and Eve, but everyone has the freedom to reject it. 

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please help me never to reject Your mercy. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                       

Christ offers mercy to those who will receive it—I will receive!                                              

Every Time!

 NOVEMBER 8

MATTHEW 7:17_Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit…

Now the perfect combination! Grapes and thorns don’t combine, neither do figs and thistles. But good trees and good fruit combine every time! Here’s God’s creation design—good produces good. Be a good gardener, plant this principle in your heart.

Ask yourself a question. Do your eyes allow in good only? What your eyes allow in stays in … the heart … the mind. With time it takes root and grows. Depending upon how much you tend and nurture, what your eyes have taken in begins to bear fruit.

If you’ve taken in evil the fruit resembles thorns. Thorns can pierce the people in your life. Some people may even begin to avoid being too close to you for fear of the pain. The fruit that resembles thistles can appear attractive, but the briars on the stems pierce those who try to be close to you. This leads to a hot mess! You cannot find genuine relationships. Your life is grown up with thorns and weeds. This also applies to what you allow your ears to hear, your hands to touch, and where your feet go.

In your quest to become perfect, you can ask, seek, and knock for righteousness. Let the Holy Spirit guide in these areas, and let good produce good.        

PRAYER

Only God, I want to produce good fruit for Your kingdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                  

Christ is the good tree—In Him I produce good fruit!

He Teaches With Questions

OCTOBER 13

MATTHEW 7:10_a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Why all this talk about discipline? What does it have to do with Jesus’ teaching on asking between a father and children? In order for a child to feel free to ask anything of a father, the relationship has to be right.  In order for the relationship to be right, it must be founded on love. 

Jesus teaches this child-father relationship as He wants the relationship to be. He teaches with questions. A statement can be passed over, but questions require answers. Answers require think time.

Would a father give his child a serpent if the child asked for fish? You can’t just ignore a question—you are expected to give an answer. Notice, Jesus asks in a way to cause you to answer the obvious—of course not! No father would deprive his child of basic needs; nevertheless give his child something harmful!

I Timothy 5:8 (KJV), “But if any [father] provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 

II Corinthians 12:14 (KJV), “Behold, the third time I [Paul] am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.”

PRAYER

Great I AM, Please bless my parents, or my authorities, with Your love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ loves families – He helps me love mine!