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!

The Master of Graphics

JULY 14

MATTHEW 6:19_and where thieves break through and steal.

We are over half way through this year. You’ve learned Jesus never leaves a stone unturned. When He makes a point, He makes a point! Also by now you may have gained insight into why Jesus is like that. Perhaps I’ve already said it a ga-zillion times … if you love someone, you’ll do anything to help them live free. You want to be sure not to leave any stone unturned on their path to freedom.

The Great Teacher and Master of Graphics [Jesus] goes further than stuff breaks – it can be stolen. If you’ve ever had something you held close in your heart stolen, you understand Jesus’ illustration. Some things you can replace. Things unique to you or your family, having sentimental value, can never be replaced.

It is not wrong for you to love the possession. Even the thief, whom you may feel bitterness toward, is in your life for a reason. This thief is a part of God’s ultimate plan. God wants to teach you how to love the thief, more than the possession. That does not mean the thief should not answer to the law and receive punishment (depending upon the situation). It means your heart is free to let go of the possession, but not the thief.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Help me love all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves people more than stuff—He will help me!

Each Day Is New

JUNE 10

MATTHEW 6:11_this day…

Psalm 118:24 (KJV), “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is new. Stop and think about that. It is brand new. It is not yesterday. Neither is it tomorrow. It is today! Every day has new needs and every day your Father has an abundant supply. It is His joy to bless you each day. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV), “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Here is another part of God’s daily giving. God’s mercy keeps you from being consumed – daily.  

If you think to be consumed is to be eaten you are not entirely wrong. The things that hold you in bondage eat away at life. You can be consumed by lust, greed, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, and depression.

These are not come-and-go bondages. They consume you daily – eating away love, joy, and peace. Because God is faithful and full of compassion, His mercy saves from being consumed by bondage. Just like each day is new – so are God’s mercies of compassion and faithfulness.

Freedom can be a process. But compassion is not. Just don’t cave in to doubt. God delivers. It’s a part of who He is. This may be the day for you!!!

I can understand why Jesus teaches, Give us this day!

 PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You that Your compassion saves me daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s mercy is new every day—He gives it to me!