Its Own Package of Pain

OCTOBER 12

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

Hebrews 12:7 (KJV), “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”

When God disciplines you He considers you His child. He makes something else very plain—the child who is loved will be disciplined. When you’re old enough to be in authority and you love people, you will help them be accountable for their actions. Why? Because you are old enough to know the boomerang effect of lack of personal responsibility. You know it from your personal life, and you know it from other peoples’ mistakes. You also know by this time that life brings its own package of pain. There is no need in crowding your life with self-created pain. 

The apostle John repeats this concept in the final book of the Bible, Revelation 3:19 (KJV), “As many as I [Jesus] love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” 

In God’s plan for life, parents and children are to be bound together in love. Discipline and love go together. Parents and children go together. The four of them together are God’s perfect plan.

Colossians 3:14 (KJV), “And above all these things put on charity [perfect love], which is the bond of perfectness.”

PRAYER

Lord of Love, Please bind my family together in love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants love to hold families together—I do too!

Covenants of Your Youth

MAY 23

MATTHEW 6:6_But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet…

There are times when it is appropriate to talk with your loved one publicly. Those conversations are not from the depth of the heart.

Private conversations build love. The more private the conversation, the stronger the love.  The more private the conversation, the better you get to know each other. The more trust builds. Falling in love with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit follows the same path. 

For true love to develop between people you need to be of the appropriate age. You also need to be in the appropriate circumstances in life. It requires a man and a woman – not a boy and a girl. 

For true love to develop with the Savior the younger you get to know Him, the better. I Timothy 4:12 (KJV), “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Make a covenant with God in your youth. Ezekiel 16:60 (KJV), “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”

God remembers the covenants of your youth.

PRAYER

King of Kings, I praise You that I am not too young to make a covenant of love with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves children and youth—He loves me!

What Jesus Wants

MAY 13

MATTHEW 6:3_But when thou doest thine alms…

Jesus wants you to receive heavenly rewards. Jesus wants you to be generous. Jesus wants you to do good deeds. Jesus wants your righteousness to shine in the darkness. Jesus wants your blessings on others to salt their faith as a preservative. 

The truth is, Jesus doesn’t need you to do any of these things. Jesus loves and desires you. Jesus allows His love to flow through you. Jesus chose to let His power be a part of who you are – not something He needed to do. He chose you to do alms (charitable works and giving) for Him. To do alms for Jesus is enough in itself. How incredible is it He wants to reward you for it?

The great evangelist John Wesley caught hold of this teaching. Check out his famous saying:

Do all the good you can                                                               

By all the means you can                     

 In all the ways you can                                                 

In all the places you can      

At all the times you can                                                                           

To all the people you can                                                                            

As long as ever you can

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to do good in the world. Please help me use my life in a way that brings glory to the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ does good to all people—He helps me do good!

An Inflated Ego

MAY 12

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Jesus uses His attention getting word in this verse – verily. Perk up, open your heart, receive some truth!

Charity giving as a public spectacle may cause it to be more of a showy extravaganza than a sincere act of the heart. The more public, the more praise you receive.

In this example, Jesus’ verily draws attention to the fact this reward has already been received. Sounds like Jesus says, “Don’t look for a reward from God – you sought man’s reward, and have received it.”

Earthly praise is very good – especially when parents praise their children for making wise choices and in general doing good. But to seek public praise, can be destructive. An inflated ego can cause you to believe you are invincible.

I recently heard a little saying I like very much: Your ego is not your amigo!

In John 8:54 (KJV) Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.”

Wow! Even Jesus, who is glory, didn’t seek self-glory!

PRAYER

God of Glory, Help me know the only way I am invincible is in Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ did not seek His own glory—He sought God’s glory!

Always a Snare

MAY 11

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

A synagogue is a gathering or assembling of people for Jewish religious practices. This particular verse refers to the building where the crowd gathers. 

Jesus says hypocrites make certain they sound their trumpets in the synagogues. If they give the largest financial contribution, they want it known! In some synagogues, the best seat in the house was reserved for the largest giver. It was known to the entire gathering why that particular person sat in that particular seat.

Jesus said synagogues weren’t enough for the  hypocrites – they also sound their trumpets in the streets. Streets are public places where anyone is allowed. Streets are not exclusive to Jews or Gentiles (although some may be preferences of a certain group). Streets are a much larger and broader way to be sure your charitable deeds are known.

Charitable deeds and contributions are good things. Whenever you can – be generous in deeds and money. 

Be careful of self-glory. It is always a snare.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, Please give me a generous heart and show me how to use it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is generous and kind—He will teach me to be!