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!

Why Do You Come?

JANUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:2_And he taught them…

Whenever Jesus taught, multitudes came. Multitudes filled with variety. The desperate came to find freedom from demonic bondage. We think of demonic possession as something very graphic and frightening, but demons are at the core of hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, and stubborn rebellion, just to name a few.

Some came with hope of physical healing. Perhaps their diagnosis was “incurable.” Perhaps there was no money to pay for a doctor. Whatever the reason, they had heard of the miraculous power of The Great Physician. 

Some came out of curiosity. Who was this man that attracted multitudes whenever He spoke? Was He genuine? What kind of magic tricks might He perform today?  

Others in the multitude were Jesus’ enemies. Their hope was to find a loophole in His teaching and to expose Him before the crowd.

Jesus had not come on the scene in the usual method. He spoke differently. He taught differently. And what His enemies hated most, He attracted more followers than they.

When Jesus spoke people listened, were freed, and healed.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Please teach me to listen when You speak to me through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ speaks to me—I will learn to listen!

Plenty of Room

OCTOBER 24

MATTHEW 7:13_for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction…

Then there is the second gate. Jesus describes it as wide and broad. You won’t need any help finding that gate. It is wide—how could you miss it? When you reach an accountable age, your eyes are opened to two gates; you’ll see the widest one first. The size makes it visible, and … more tempting. 

Because of its size, you see something else—how easy it is to enter. The wideness allows you to bring all kinds of baggage. 

Not only is the gate wide, but once inside the way is broad. If in the baggage you brought along some pride, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes arrogance. If you brought just a little bit of a grudge, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes hate and bitterness.

In Jesus’ words it’s plain – this broad way leads to destruction. Count on it! Psalm 27:11 (KJV), “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”

Make the choice in your youth to enter the strait gate. It will save you numerous regrets in your adult life.          

PRAYER

God Who Saves, Please save me from entering the destructive path of life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ saves me from the wide gate—I will follow Him!

Take It to the Bank!

OCTOBER 11

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

Earthly parents can stray from God’s path the same way you can. Don’t be too quick to sentence judgment upon them. Remember another lesson you learned is the judgment with which you judge comes back to you. That’s a principle taught by Jesus—you can take it to the bank!

If you are pouting, or have an ungrateful attitude, because your parents’ discipline you—don’t. That never ends well. Perhaps you are stuck in the comparing thing.  Your friends’ parents don’t keep an eye on them and they get by with anything. Remember, getting by with something will not keep you from repeating it. A small straying-from-the-path decision, when repeated, grows into a larger decision. 

The lack of discipline in the life of youth can lead to a destructive and bitter life as an adult. Proverbs 6:20-22 (KJV), “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

If you have parents who teach you to stay on God’s path—you are blessed!

PRAYER

God of All, Help me be grateful for people who teach and correct me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants me to be grateful for discipline—I will!

Free Souls

SEPTEMBER 4

MATTHEW 7:1_Judge not…

The kind of freedom Jesus teaches is not about keeping out of prison (although Jesus’ type of freedom could save you from that). Jesus wants to free souls.

A free soul gains wisdom.

Therefore a free soul has the ability to make wise decisions.

Wise decisions save from many forms of harm.

Wisdom is able to forgive and not carry the baggage of bitterness – which so often leads to physical sickness. 

The wisest man who ever lived, the phenomenal King Solomon, teaches this principle in Proverbs 2:10-13 (KJV), “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

Notice where wisdom enters – your heart. There is more to learn – Proverbs 4:7-9 (KJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

PRAYER

God of Wisdom, Help me be free from judgment and make wise decisions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ is wisdom—He wants me to learn to be wise!