Less of You?

MARCH 24

MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Nothing in this life is worth the bondage caused by the spirits of darkness. Spiritual bondage is void of light – a place of deep darkness. It thrives on anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. Spiritual bondage weakens the soul and brings it into despair. Again, nothing in life is worth allowing your spirit, heart, and soul to be in bondage.

Be reconciled. Come in freedom, and offer your gift. God receives your gift with joy and blesses you. As you grow physically and spiritually, your gift will grow, shining in your countenance and in your life. It will cause you to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Your light will bless all who cross your path – “all that are in the house.”

God possesses the greatest treasure – love. He bestows love upon you – which flows to other people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find you have the ability to love people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find self-sacrifice becomes a byproduct of your life – because you learn to love others more than yourself.

Do you want your life to be more of Jesus, and less of you?

PRAYER

God of Love, I want who You are to shine in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves me—He wants me to love His people!

If They Only Knew

MARCH 15

MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…

I don’t believe there is happenstance in anything Jesus says including the order in which He teaches. Let’s take a look at Jesus’ style of order.

The sermon began with the attitudes and life styles that cause you to be blessed. It transferred to the purpose of the blessed – to be salt and light in the world. Next, Jesus made clear He was not about the destruction of the Law, but its fulfillment.

Some in the multitude listening to this sermon were only there to make Jesus out to be a heretic. Those particular ones may not have liked Jesus teaching He was not there to destroy the Law. Being for the Law might make it appear Jesus was on their side. They did not want that!

Jesus proceeded on in His sermon and discredited the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. Oh, my! To be sure some fits were thrown! They aren’t about to stand for that!

The Scribes and Pharisees begin to become a bit antsy. They have no way to know what Jesus will teach. To be in control of religious teaching was everything to the Scribes and Pharisees. And Jesus was not in their clique.

If they only knew. Jesus is about to transform the Law!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Help me listen to Your teachings with my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                             

  Christ’s teachings are perfect—I need to learn them!

Wider Than You Can See

FEBRUARY 11

MATTHEW 5:14_Ye are the light of the world.

Did you notice what kind of light Jesus said you should be? He said of the world. Your light is not exclusive to yourself, your family, or your circle of friends. It is for all of those and that is where your light should shine its brightest. Those are your light’s foundation – where your light gains momentum to spread – where your light gains illumination.

There are cases when a family resists and may even resent a light in the midst. This is one of those opportunities to suffer for Jesus’ sake. It’s a hard place to be, but remember that kind of persecution brings with it blessings and rewards.

Truth always prevails. Jesus said you are the light of the world. If discipleship is your heart’s desire, your light will shine. Don’t be discouraged if you experience times of what appears to be failure. The extent to which your light shines is in God’s hands. You do not possess His ability to see inside hearts. Your light reaches far wider than you can see.

The time table as to when you may see results is also in God’s hands. He is always working on behalf of His disciples. He will keep working. You just keep shining.

  PRAYER

God of Light, I want my light to shine anywhere and everywhere You place me. I know You will help me shine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ is the Light of the World—He will help me shine!

Exceeding

FEBRUARY 4

MATTHEW 5:12_Rejoice and be exceeding glad…  

Maybe Jesus is a little confused. Rejoicing because someone speaks evil lies against you? That’s just not normal! If Jesus is anything (which He is … everything) He is not normal. Don’t be offended by that. Jesus is not normal because normal in this life is sin. Jesus came to turn the world upside down – He did!

Jesus takes His teaching to the next level, repeatedly showing how various types of hardships or suffering (all experienced because of choosing to be a Jesus follower) result in being blessed. Jesus says to rejoice and be glad. He’s even taking glad to the next level – exceeding glad! Exceeding is above and beyond what is expected, or required, or should even be considered. 

Jesus knows what is in store. He knows if you line up with His sufferings you will be blessed. He knows what kind of blessing that will be.

The biggest part of following Jesus is to trust Him. You have to believe He knows more than you. That’s why Jesus can say something like rejoice and be exceeding glad.

 PRAYER

One True God, I know all lives come with suffering, but I know not all lives come with blessings. Help me make the choices in life which line me up with Your blessings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ knows my trials—He helps me follow His path!

When Actually…

FEBRUARY 3

MATTHEW 5:11_and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

A new light is shed on persecution. This is not persecution because you think you’re right and your persecutor is wrong. This is persecution because you believe Jesus is right! This is about being falsely persecuted. This is about having all kinds of evil lies spread about you because your enemies hate Jesus and His teachings … and His disciples.

Who was lied about more than Jesus? From the time of His conception to His ascension into heaven He was maliciously verbally attacked.

Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath, when actually He was the Sabbath.

Jesus was accused of blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God, when actually He was God in the flesh.

Jesus was accused of being out of His mind, when actually He possessed the very mind of God.

Jesus was accused of demonic possession, when actually He freed captives and put demons to flight.

Jesus was accused of inciting riots to overthrow the Romans, when actually He taught His disciples to pay taxes to Caesar and obey their authorities.

The One who promises the blessing is the One who understands everything about persecution.

 PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I praise You for all You suffered in order to teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ was falsely accused—He bore it all for my sake!