The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

True Love Cannot Be Forced

JANUARY 18

MATTHEW 5:6_Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…

If we were all created in the image of a righteous God, why is the world so wicked? The answer lies in creation itself. We were all created with a free will. We make our own choices. We are not puppets on a string that can only do their master’s bidding. 

It took a lot of love on God’s part to allow the thing He created to reject Him. But God understood without freedom there can never be love. True love cannot be forced. True love comes freely from the heart.

You can never truly love someone if you have no choice in the matter. By the same token, you can never be truly loved by one who is forced to love you. 

Although you were born with the desire to give and receive love, you were also born with the freedom to choose or reject it. That works with people as well as with God. You may not choose to love God, but from the day of your birth (and even before)He chose to love you. 

Does the same apply to righteousness? You were born in the image of a righteous God. Do you have the freedom to reject righteousness?   

Don’t miss tomorrow!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Thank You for giving me a free will. Help me use it to live in Your image, choosing Your righteousness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ chose to love me—He can help me love Him!

Physical Circumstances

DECEMBER 2

MATTHEW 7:23_And then…

The day Jesus refers to is the Judgment Day. A day we all face—regardless of whether we believe in it or not. Hebrews 9:27 (KJV), “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  

Everyone is accountable for their lives. Christians are accountable for their salt and light (or lack of it). Unbelievers are held accountable for rejecting Jesus and His sacrifice for them.

As we’ve often said—life is serious business. It is all about choices. Choices are the great equalizer. The great leveler. Everyone lands on the same playing field because everyone has the same basic choices in life. These are spiritual choices. They are not physical circumstances into which we were born—circumstances over which we had no control. When we make the right spiritual choices they supersede our physical circumstances. Spiritual empowerment is stronger than physical empowerment.

I Corinthians 1:27-28 (KJV), “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen …” 

PRAYER

Judge of All, Praise You that my weaknesses make me strong—for You! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ changes my weakness with His strength—Yes!

You Choose

OCTOBER 28

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

Roads, trails, paths, streets, highways, all take you somewhere. They all have a beginning and an end. Life is like that. 

There’s another thing about highways, streets, paths, trails, and roads—you choose the ones to take. You choose them based on your destination – the end you desire to reach. Out of all the available roads you choose the one which will reach your destination. If you’re going to church, you pick the road that leads to your church. If you’re going to school, you pick the road to your school. If you’re going to the grocery store, you choose that street. You know where you want to be, and you choose a path to get there.

You also choose spiritual roads. If self-indulgence with the addictions and vices that accompany it is your choice, enter the wide gate. You have room for the baggage you bring. Since this way is broad, you have room to add to the baggage as life goes along. And you will add to the baggage because that is just the nature of how it works.

When you choose the strait gate, you choose to begin to drop baggage. Some of it, Jesus relieves you of at the gate.       

PRAYER

Awesome God, I want to be with You—I choose that way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the way—I choose to follow Him!

The Choice

JUNE 7

MATTHEW 6:10_Thy will be done…

You can learn from Jesus’ prayer life. Matthew chapter 26 (KJV), 38Then saith he unto them [Peter, James, John], ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.'”Jesus shares a prayer request.

Jesus knew He was facing rejection, ridicule, abuse, and death. Does He cry out for mercy? How specific is He?  39And he went a little further [to be alone], and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’” Jesus asks to be released from what He is about to experience. “42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.’ 44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Jesus prayed the same request three times, but each time He asked God’s will over His own.  When Jesus knew it was not God’s will to deliver Him – He made the choice to fulfill His purpose. 

Jesus entered His prayer closet, prayed the same request repeatedly, and added two more aspects in how to pray – ask for prayer support, and God’s will to be done.

If Jesus had not placed the Father’s will above His own, no one could be saved.         

 PRAYER

God Who Hears, Give me the wisdom and courage to pray for Your will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ chose God’s will—I ask for that courage!