Why Do You Come?

JANUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:2_And he taught them…

Whenever Jesus taught, multitudes came. Multitudes filled with variety. The desperate came to find freedom from demonic bondage. We think of demonic possession as something very graphic and frightening, but demons are at the core of hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, and stubborn rebellion, just to name a few.

Some came with hope of physical healing. Perhaps their diagnosis was “incurable.” Perhaps there was no money to pay for a doctor. Whatever the reason, they had heard of the miraculous power of The Great Physician. 

Some came out of curiosity. Who was this man that attracted multitudes whenever He spoke? Was He genuine? What kind of magic tricks might He perform today?  

Others in the multitude were Jesus’ enemies. Their hope was to find a loophole in His teaching and to expose Him before the crowd.

Jesus had not come on the scene in the usual method. He spoke differently. He taught differently. And what His enemies hated most, He attracted more followers than they.

When Jesus spoke people listened, were freed, and healed.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Please teach me to listen when You speak to me through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ speaks to me—I will learn to listen!

The Great Liberator! The Great Metamorphosis!

DECEMBER 31

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

You may think we’ve covered everything Jesus can be, but—He is The Great Liberator!

II Corinthians 3:17 (KJV), “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I don’t believe any of us can completely grasp all Jesus has taught us in the past year. It will take meditating on His teachings, reading and studying, and prayer to instill this radical lifestyle into our being. We will need faith and trust that only the Holy Spirit can build inside us.

We all experience life like a worm looking for a better existence. We want more than to inch and crawl our way through life. Oh! That’s something else Jesus is – The Great Metamorphosis! He takes our wormy existence and builds Himself around and within us. Jesus works from the inside, gradually changing hearts—this requires taking the broken pieces and gently making them whole again. With time, we emerge into something beautiful—no longer crawling, but flying!

Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV), “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness [of our hearts], and rivers in the desert [of our lives].”     

 PRAYER

Holy and Resplendent God, I know there is no bondage in life from which You cannot free me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ liberates and metamorphoses me—I can live free!

An Ultimatum

DECEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

Jesus’ authority came from His Father in Heaven. We need earthly authority during our days in this world, but ultimate authority reigns in heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees craved…no…the better word is lusted, for power and authority and for admiration and respect. They wanted exactly what Jesus had.

Admiration and respect encourage and build up those in authority. When the authority desires to place fear in those they rule, respect becomes an ultimatum. It does not administer love.  Remember, sometimes love is administered with a firm hand. Since the people were astonished by Jesus’ kind of teaching, and saw it as totally different from the Scribes’ teaching—they obviously had not been administered love by their authorities. Their respect must have been more of an ultimatum. 

Jesus’ teachings led to truth and freedom. It gave the people answers to their struggles and created freedom in their souls.

This authority loves.

The Scribes’ teachings led to fear and bondage. The people feared the consequences if they rejected their teachings. It created bondage of the soul.

This authority oppresses.

 PRAYER

Good Shepherd, I respect and admire You because You give love to me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ has the ultimate authority—He uses it to love me!

Truth and Love Never Fail

DECEMBER 25

MATTHEW 7:28_when Jesus had ended these sayings…

Truth and love never fail. This sermon ends, but its power never ends. It will continue throughout this life and into eternity. Its ability to free the heart and soul of man is unstoppable. There simply is no way freedom cannot prevail from this sermon. As always, there is a way to choose to escape truth.  

Everyone has something from which they need freedom – because everyone sins. Some sins have delicate holds, some firm holds, and some despairing holds of bondage. The words of Jesus are healing. Using the Bible as a key to open the spirit allows freedom to penetrate the soul. 

Time spent in prayer, baring the soul, is essential to freedom. The time will never come when quiet times are no longer needed. Time with Jesus in prayer and Bible is not something you out-grow. It will never come to pass that you have learned it all, and have ended your need for fellowship and worship of your Creator and Savior.

Hopefully, you will read through these devotionals again next year. Allow them to infiltrate deeper into your soul with more wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.    

 PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Praise You that love and truth never fail. I need them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ’s words are healing—they heal me!

Egg on Their Face

DECEMBER 23

MATTHEW 7:28_And it came to pass…

Something which came to pass as a part of Jesus’ ministry was—multitudes followed Him. We’ve mentioned the multitudes before, but let’s review these categories.

Definitely among the multitude were the spiritually hungry. Hopefully that is the category you fill. You have not spent a year studying Jesus’ teachings because you are spiritually full. These are people who want their lives to count for good before they leave the earth. 

There were the physically sick. These are people who believe Jesus can heal the incurable. They hope to experience His power.

There were the desperate, held in demonic bondage by the father of lies. They were searching for freedom. Had they found it? 

There were the curious who just wanted to see what all the hoop-la was about.

There were the jealous who sought to destroy the One who had stolen their thunder. And it came to pass that these left with egg on their face.

For those who don’t know what that means, it is to be made to look foolish or embarrassed.  

 PRAYER

Wonderful Counselor, I am spiritually hungry for Your truth. Please feed me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ can keep me spiritually full—He feeds me!