Now and Later

JULY 15

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

Jesus approaches His climax to this principle. The place to hoard your treasures is in heaven. So, how are you going to deposit your paycheck into the Bank of Heaven? Very simple – understand what is truly valuable in this life.

Think of heavenly treasure as a candy – Now and Later. All eternal treasures do not require you to be living in heaven. You can enjoy their flavor now and after this life has ended – unlike earthly possessions. 

Rather than candy, the Bible calls these eternal possessions fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Notice the end of verse 23, “against such there is no law. When your heart is consumed with these fruits, you can live free – unlike lusts of the earth which create bondage. God says He has no laws against the Fruits of the Spirit.

All the wealth in this life cannot buy these fruits – not even one. They come freely as you feed, nurture, and cultivate your spirit through relationship, prayer, and Bible study.

Your spirit begins to produce fruit.

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, Help me possess heavenly treasures in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s treasure is in heaven—He wants mine to be!

Free Me!

JULY 12

MATTHEW 6:19_Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…

Aesop’s fable has some good advice. Jesus gives wise advice. Remember, Jesus teaches radical 180 degree principles of life. Look deeply into His teaching.

One way to study the Bible is to examine words. The key word to understand this verse is treasure. Merriam-Webster defines treasure as, wealth … stored up or hoarded. Jesus is not talking about preparation for future expenses. When you know your college tuition is due next month, don’t spend all your money this month. 

Another way to clarify the meaning is to examine I Timothy 6:9-10 (KJV), “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

The key words in verse 10 are, “For the love of…”

Great wealth, and the power which comes with it, has potential to consume the human soul.

Jesus wants you to live free, not in bondage to wealth.

PRAYER

God Who is my Treasure, I want You to be my treasure. I want to be consumed by You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me free from the love of money—Free me!

A Constant Guest in the Box

JUNE 30

MATTHEW 6:15_Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…

The unforgiveness box holds a variety of trespasses. The largest of the litter, betrayal, is an emotional trespass – a constant guest in the box. Emotional betrayal clings. It is very   difficult to shake off. Emotional trespass resists submission to peace. It does not want to forgive.

Emotions can be tender and gentle or wild and violent. Like a horse, they need a bit and bridle. James 3:3 (KJV), “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.” The more out of control our emotions, the harder they are to manage. 

The central point of control and power is the heart. Rehearsing a trespass over and again in the heart makes a strong hold on emotions. The heart is bound by the trespass and cannot forgive.

On the other hand, a heart fed with the truths of Scripture is freed.

Psalm 32:8-9 (KJV),“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.’“.

PRAYER

God of Power, Please keep my heart under the control of Bible truths. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                           

Christ can control emotions—I want Him to control mine!

Comes with the Territory

JUNE 26

MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.

To understand forgiveness, understand your salvation.

Salvation is free. Yet it certainly was not free for Jesus. He paid an agonizing, heavy price for your sin freedom. This comes from love without boundaries. John 15:13 (KJV), “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Add another trait to God’s I AM name – HE IS love. 

When you accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him as Lord, life changes. That is what salvation’s transformation does – changes lives – forever. You will never be the same. You have stepped from the path of death to life, from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, and from hate to love. You do not want to stray from this path. 

Salvation comes with love. Not just love for you, but love within you. A freedom and ability to love like you never knew was possible. This is how it works:

Love is a natural byproduct of salvation’s transformation.

Forgiveness is a natural byproduct of love.

You don’t have to work for natural byproducts.

They come with the territory.            

PRAYER

Mighty Jesus, Thank You for the undeniable path of salvation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ gives His love to me—I will give it to others!

Each Day Is New

JUNE 10

MATTHEW 6:11_this day…

Psalm 118:24 (KJV), “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is new. Stop and think about that. It is brand new. It is not yesterday. Neither is it tomorrow. It is today! Every day has new needs and every day your Father has an abundant supply. It is His joy to bless you each day. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV), “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Here is another part of God’s daily giving. God’s mercy keeps you from being consumed – daily.  

If you think to be consumed is to be eaten you are not entirely wrong. The things that hold you in bondage eat away at life. You can be consumed by lust, greed, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, and depression.

These are not come-and-go bondages. They consume you daily – eating away love, joy, and peace. Because God is faithful and full of compassion, His mercy saves from being consumed by bondage. Just like each day is new – so are God’s mercies of compassion and faithfulness.

Freedom can be a process. But compassion is not. Just don’t cave in to doubt. God delivers. It’s a part of who He is. This may be the day for you!!!

I can understand why Jesus teaches, Give us this day!

 PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You that Your compassion saves me daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s mercy is new every day—He gives it to me!