The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

True Love Cannot Be Forced

JANUARY 18

MATTHEW 5:6_Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…

If we were all created in the image of a righteous God, why is the world so wicked? The answer lies in creation itself. We were all created with a free will. We make our own choices. We are not puppets on a string that can only do their master’s bidding. 

It took a lot of love on God’s part to allow the thing He created to reject Him. But God understood without freedom there can never be love. True love cannot be forced. True love comes freely from the heart.

You can never truly love someone if you have no choice in the matter. By the same token, you can never be truly loved by one who is forced to love you. 

Although you were born with the desire to give and receive love, you were also born with the freedom to choose or reject it. That works with people as well as with God. You may not choose to love God, but from the day of your birth (and even before)He chose to love you. 

Does the same apply to righteousness? You were born in the image of a righteous God. Do you have the freedom to reject righteousness?   

Don’t miss tomorrow!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Thank You for giving me a free will. Help me use it to live in Your image, choosing Your righteousness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ chose to love me—He can help me love Him!

The Comfort of Jesus

 JANUARY 12

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

Don’t you love the blessing Jesus has for the mournful? Comfort. If you go through a time of mourning wouldn’t you rather have comfort than anything else?

I see God’s created life with a cause and effect sequence. This sequence shows up in the laws God gave to Moses. It also shows up in the teachings of Jesus. Could the blessing of comfort depend upon why you are mourning? 

What is breaking your young tender heart? Cruelty? There certainly is plenty of reason to mourn there. Jesus experienced great cruelty, both verbally and physically. He understands your pain and desires to give you His comfort. Experiencing Jesus’ comfort is not something you can make happen. His comfort comes naturally as you grow in His love.    

On the other hand, are you mourning because you’re the only one in the class who doesn’t have the latest electronic gadget? That may not be the kind of mourning referred to here. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt. It hurts. To receive comfort, change thought patterns. What is important to you, having what people have or having what Jesus has?

Be comforted in knowing Jesus can give you a new heart. Let love rule your heart, not possessions.

PRAYER

Mighty God, You can give me a new life. Let me take comfort in Your love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ sees my heart—He can change it!

Jesus Feels our Pain

JANUARY 11

MATTHEW 5:4_Blessed are they that mourn…

Join me in saying, “Thank You, Jesus!” Jesus not only knows, hears, and understands my mourning, He blesses me for it!  How awesome is that? 

How beautiful to know there is One who cares when my heart breaks. One who saves all my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 KJV). Jesus comes to me in the midst of my pain. He takes the very thing which causes me deep sorrow and with time uses it to bless me! 

That seems impossible – especially when I am in the midst of my pain.

But He is the God of the Impossible.

Always has been.

Always is.

Always will be.

That in itself eases some of the pain.

If I have no sorrow, I live in Heaven – the eternal Heaven. That time has not come for me, or you.  Presently, I live in a fallen world where the devil and his powers of darkness are continually at work. And I mourn.   

It is up to me to allow Jesus to minister to me in my mourning, or to shut Him out.

There are sunny days in life for me to grasp. Holding Jesus’ hand helps me grasp them.

PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You for feeling my pain, for feeling my hurts, for understanding my mourning. Praise You that I am never alone in my sorrow for You are always with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ hears my cries—He saves all my tears!                                              

Has Your Spirit Been Opened?

JANUARY 8

MATTHEW 5:3_Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Now that’s an odd statement! Why would Jesus want to bless anyone who was poor in their spirit? I used to think more like, blessed are the mighty in spirit! But that was before I learned what Jesus says gives me love and freedom.

Let’s look at poor in spirit in a different view. Could it be the poor in spirit are actually spiritual giants? Could it be the poor in spirit are those more in touch with Jesus? Could it be the poor in spirit know how to love—truly love? Could it be the poor in spirit have a monopoly on humility? 

Maybe we do not understand poor in spirit; perhaps it’s more of a less of me and more of Jesus kind of spirit. Along with that, perhaps it’s a thinking of others before myself kind of spirit. If so, surely the poor in spirit are to be blessed!

To know more about poor in spirit we can use the only key that will open that treasure box filled with answers. Remember, the Bible is the key. Now we’ll learn what the treasure box is. It is my spirit. When my spirit is opened, it receives answers from God. And when my spirit is opened, I discover purpose in life. 

PRAYER

Almighty God, Teach me what it means to be poor in spirit. Open my spirit with Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ uses the Bible to open my spirit—He teaches me!