The Win-Win

MAY 17

MATTHEW 6:4_and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Proverbs 15:3 (KJV), “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

God is omnipresent. He never lets you out of His sight. Some people can be intimidated by this verse thinking God keeps check on everything they do. He does! But, that’s a very good thing!

God loves you enough to prod you when you’re headed astray, and to bless you when you’ve done a good deed. II Chronicles 16:9 (KJV), “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”

Jesus says your Father is everywhere, showing His strength. Let there be no doubt about it. There isn’t any place, or any way, you can hide from God. Why would you want to?

To hide from God would be like trying to outrun love.

A love that never fails.

A love that draws you close to your Creator.

A love that would die for you.

A love that did die for you.

A love that gave you eternal life.

God sees in secret and rewards in the open. Live out the creation principles Jesus teaches! Become a salty-lit-up disciple who gives God glory.

That’s a win-win!

PRAYER

Jesus God, Thank You that You are always with me—anytime, anywhere. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is omnipresent—He will never leave me!

What Jesus Wants

MAY 13

MATTHEW 6:3_But when thou doest thine alms…

Jesus wants you to receive heavenly rewards. Jesus wants you to be generous. Jesus wants you to do good deeds. Jesus wants your righteousness to shine in the darkness. Jesus wants your blessings on others to salt their faith as a preservative. 

The truth is, Jesus doesn’t need you to do any of these things. Jesus loves and desires you. Jesus allows His love to flow through you. Jesus chose to let His power be a part of who you are – not something He needed to do. He chose you to do alms (charitable works and giving) for Him. To do alms for Jesus is enough in itself. How incredible is it He wants to reward you for it?

The great evangelist John Wesley caught hold of this teaching. Check out his famous saying:

Do all the good you can                                                               

By all the means you can                     

 In all the ways you can                                                 

In all the places you can      

At all the times you can                                                                           

To all the people you can                                                                            

As long as ever you can

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to do good in the world. Please help me use my life in a way that brings glory to the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ does good to all people—He helps me do good!

A Salty Residue

MAY 2

MATTHEW 5:46_For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?

We like rewards, especially when we have worked hard to receive them. We like to see an accomplishment receive its due credit. 

In the kingdom of heaven, we don’t necessarily work to be rewarded – but God does use that system. Our work for God is to love His people by being salt and light in a dark and thirsting world. The fact that God rewards us for that is a blessing.

Just because we love those who love us does not win a blue ribbon. Jesus said even tax collectors (publicans) can do that. Let’s take a moment and clarify tax collectors. In case either or both of your parents work for the IRS, don’t think they are the chief of sinners. During Jesus’ earth time, Israel was occupied by the Romans. The Romans demanded taxes from the Israelites. Tax collectors were considered enemies. Hebrews who worked for the Roman government to collect taxes from their fellow neighbors were considered traitors. Rome allowed the Hebrew tax collectors to charge extra for themselves (under the table). Therefore, if Jesus wanted to leave a graphic image of the worst of sinners, tax collectors were a good choice. Jesus says even bad or weak people can love those who love them.

And for the record, Jesus taught to pay taxes – even if they went to Caesar. But He did not defend the Hebrew who stole extra tax money.

Returning good for evil leaves a salty residue.

PRAYER

God of Love, Please don’t let my love be weak, let it be powerful. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ loves those who don’t love Him—He helps me to!

Wait and Watch!

APRIL 27

MATTHEW 5:44_bless them that curse you…

Are blessings something you only receive? Is God the only giver of blessings? Does God ever use people to deliver His blessings? 

Think of some of the people God has placed in your life. Are there ways He has blessed you through them? Have you ever thought that God could bless someone through you? Have you ever asked God to bless someone? Have you ever prayed God’s blessing on someone? If you have, most likely it is not someone who just cursed you, right?

By now you have caught on to Jesus’ pattern. Your curser is exactly who He wants you to bless! Don’t you wonder how they would react if you said, “I asked God to bless you today,” and added, “be on the lookout!”

God will bless your enemy if you ask Him. Even more, He will bless you. He will bless you from the inside out. You trusted in and believed the teachings of Jesus.

Think of people in your life who you feel may curse you. Ask God to bless them. Ask Him often. Ask Him to bless them in ways that bring Him glory.

Wait and watch what God will do!                                                                                   

PRAYER

Father God,  Please bless the people who may curse me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ loves to bless people—I pray for His blessings!

Follow Jesus' Topsy-Turvy Teachings

APRIL 23

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Acts 20:35 (KJV), “I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Whatever we can do in life to bring God’s blessing is something to pursue. Nothing the world has to offer can even begin to compare to God’s blessing. Nothing. 

The world offers tempting glitter in life: impurity, drugs, alcohol. All of it leads to bondage. Jesus offers a strange, humble, giving, loving lifestyle. All of it leads to freedom. As you live the Jesus lifestyle you become salt and light to those who are bound to the glitter. Your salt and light can help free them from the devil’s deceptions.   

The good guy in Jesus’ play has gained a lot of freedom from the bully. He gained it by following Jesus’ topsy-turvy teachings. When he doesn’t hold a grudge he is free from unforgiveness. By freely giving more than is required he is blessed. The pain in his stomach disappears. Peaceful sleep returns.

Who would ever have thought it is more blessed to give than receive? Jesus!

Have you begun to notice something about the 180 degree turn? It is opposite of what comes naturally.     

PRAYER

Father God, I want to live my life free from the deceptions of the devil. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ never deceives—The devil always does!