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!
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!
MATTHEW 7:9_Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask…
To become a parent rates very high in the blessing category. Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV), “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
According to this verse, children are one of those ways God rewards His people. Arrows in the hand of a mighty man are powerful. If hunting is the goal, then the bow is no good without the arrows. The arrows are everything to achieving the purpose of the hunt. Fathers should realize the reward God gives them in children. They should feel strength and might in fatherhood, and they should feel happy.
I wish these verses were true in the life of every child who is born. However, since they are not, I pray for Malachi 4:6 (KJV) to become a reality, “And he [Elijah the prophet] shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers …”
As much as is possible in my tiny space in the world, I want to contribute to this becoming reality.
Pray for the fathers in your circle of life.
Lord Jesus, Help me feel the specialness that is mine as Your child. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches children are a reward—I am one!
MATTHEW 6:17_and wash thy face.
Maybe Jesus added this instruction just in case you did pour that bucket of oil on your head! More likely, He added it as a way of saying, “Get up and prepare for the day just as you would any day.”
Food is the source of the body’s energy. When that source is denied energy begins to deplete. When you feel tired and lack energy, the sad, disfigured face could come naturally. Whether it is natural or not, Jesus does not want you to draw attention to your fast. He wants you up and at it. Jesus wants you to receive the blessing He has in store during this time of self-denial.
Self-denial is not easy for whatever reason you are denying yourself, and certainly denying the body of its food source is no piece of cake. Hmm, that probably is not the best wording when discussing fasting. If the purpose of your fast is to be spiritually strengthened, trust that will happen. Once the fast is over, you may glean from your spiritual benefits for months to come.
Transformation is progressive. Some parts are instantaneous (like your love for Jesus), some come short term, and some transformations are a long term process. Only the One who loves and wants your very best will re-create you – so your spirit, not physical, controls your actions.
Loving Jesus, Please give me the strength when I need to deny myself. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ denied Himself—He did it to love me!
MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…
God’s path for life is freedom – you will never find a No Trespassing sign on God’s path. Feel free to roam, explore, and enjoy His path.
But God definitely places some No Trespassing signs. You will find them on the paths which lure from His path.
God empowered Joshua to lead His people into the Promised Land. In Joshua 1:7 (KJV), God says, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.” There is an obvious plan here. You will need strength and courage to stay on God’s path. Do not stray – at all.
Joshua was called to continue Abraham’s job. A new country for God’s people – designed by God, and for God. There were to be no other gods, no other laws, no other forms of worship – God’s only. To allow anything apart from God’s design was to stray.
When you set up a life designed by you and for you – you’ve strayed. You have decided straying a little to the right or left is not really a bad thing.
What becomes of God’s wanting to bless you wherever life takes you?
One True God, Thank You for Your path that causes me to be blessed. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows the path I should take—He will guide me!
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!
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!