Jesus Gives Back Life

SEPTEMBER 24

MATTHEW 7:5_and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Only the Pharisees and Jesus knew why they did not bring the man to their stoning party. Perhaps the woman had been lured into a carefully planned trap? We don’t know. But regardless of the circumstances of the event, we know this—she left that day free. 

She was guilty. She stood before powerful figures who could lawfully execute her, but she walked away unharmed. Those powerful figures were unable to complete their scheme because their own hearts condemned them. The Pharisees’ guilt hit them squarely in the face and there was nothing they could do but walk away.

When Jesus sent the woman away He said to her “go, and sin no more.” Those who want to look at this as Jesus excusing adultery miss the mark. Jesus didn’t excuse anything—He freed a woman from bondage. He gave her back her life with instruction to live it differently in the future. From the day we receive Jesus into our hearts, He does the same thing for each of us.

He was also pointing out one more thing. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees was so great it overshadowed the sin of the woman. She walked away free, and they guilty.           

PRAYER

Lord of All,                                                                                                              

You have given me life and set me free—praise Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ gives back life to the lost—He says sin no more!

Heavy Bondage

SEPTEMBER 22

MATTHEW 7:5_first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…

The Scribes and Pharisees could not see or perceive as Jesus did. What Jesus saw in the heart of the adulteress woman was a mote in comparison to the judgmental beam in the hearts of the religious leaders. It was Jesus they were judging, far more than the woman.

Jesus did not set a precedent for a Get Out of Jail Free card for adultery. Remember, Jesus is about finding freedom! Adultery is heavy bondage. 

The Scribes and Pharisees were correct about their guilty verdict – adultery did carry a death sentence. However, there is a major flaw in their sanctimonious condemnation. AKA hypocrisy. Where was the man?

The law the Scribes and Pharisees were so anxious to have Jesus  enforce is found in Leviticus 20:10 (KJV), “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The only way she could be an adulteress was if she were married. If she was not, the man could consider her as a prostitute, or use her any way he wished. If this were all about law enforcement, seems that something is missing. 

Instead of answering their accusations, Jesus began to play around in the sand.     

We’re not through yet – keep following!

PRAYER

True God, Help me know You never want me in bondage—Free me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ does not make bondage easy – He frees!  

Not Easy, But Better Than Bondage

SEPTEMBER 12

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The kind of judgment found in the wicked servant’s heart is to believe a debt, or any wrong, is never worthy of mercy. To the judgmental, guilt should only result in punishment – never mercy.

Once again, there are situations when the best thing to do for guilty people is to turn them over to the law. There are times when people are so deeply in bondage that it requires a rude awakening to save them.

This happened to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus: Acts 9 (KJV), “And he [Paul] fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ And he said, ‘Who art thou, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’ And he [Paul] trembling and astonished said, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.’And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”

This is not an easy way to be set free, but it is better than bondage.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, Praise You that You are able to free me from bondages. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

 Christ gives mercy—He helps me discern when to give it!

Poor Judgment

SEPTEMBER 8

MATTHEW 7:2_and with what measure ye mete…

Poor judgment makes no allowance for mistakes of others. When punishment has been received for mistakes, and grief expressed, yet all doors are closed to the offenders, watch out for poor judgment.     

This type of judgment causes great damage to offenders. They are bound to the bondage of worthlessness and lack of self-esteem, because that is exactly how they are judged. Bondages are always from the devil. Freedom is always from God.

The devil carefully works his plan making sure both the offenders and the ones who permanently judge, are in bondage. The offenders are constantly bombarded with the devil’s whispers, “You can’t do anything right. You’ll never be any good. You’re just a bad person. No one will ever give you an opportunity because everyone knows all about you. There is no need to try. Even if you do something right, they’ll say it is wrong—just because you did it!”

The ones passing judgment are also bombarded with the devil’s accusations against the offenders, “Just because they’ve been punished doesn’t mean they should have another chance. They messed things up before and will again. It’s best to keep them at a distance. They have lost the privilege of being trusted.” 

PRAYER

God of Mercy,  You have forgiven and helped me, let me do the same for others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows how to love everyone—He will help me!

The Bottom Line

AUGUST 5

MATTHEW 6:27_can add one cubit unto his statue?

Does worry do any good at all? If so, what kind of good? Does it change anything? If you need money and worry about it night and day, will that bring you money?  If you’ve lost your job and worry so much you can’t sleep, will that get you a job?

Why do you worry? Does it make you feel better?  You may think so temporarily, but the truth is it makes you sick. Or maybe you feel obligated to worry. After all, you need to do something about the problem, but it is out of your hands – so you worry.

Worry requires a lot of energy. The bottom line according to Jesus is worry won’t change a single thing. It is not simple to turn off worry. Everyone struggles with worry. It is certainly something to learn to lay at the feet of Jesus.   

Use your energy to praise the mighty God of the Impossible! Don’t be timid to say out loud, “God will help me!” When you’re in that prayer closet talk out loud. Let God know you believe! Show some faith! Ask God to release you from fear of the unknown. Ask Him to give you faith in His power.

If you get to the place you replace worry with praise – you are free from one less bondage.

PRAYER

God of My Faith, Please replace my worry with Your praise. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants my praise—I will give it to Him!