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!

An Innumerable Amount of People

MARCH 6

MATTHEW 5:19_and teach them…

Again, Jesus’ emphasis to keep the commandments includes and teach them. Jon Donne’s phrase “no man is an island” is true. There is nothing you can do in life which only involves you. Any decision you make will directly, or indirectly, affect the people God places in your life.

Sometimes those decisions will affect people you don’t even know. If you make the decision to drink and drive, and have no passengers, you may feel that decision only involves you. But if you are involved in an accident with one or more vehicles, suddenly other people are involved in your decision.

Any time you decide to do what is right or wrong, you affect the welfare and safety of an innumerable amount of people. If you make decisions in your heart not to steal, not to kill, not to commit immoral acts – your decisions make the world a safer and better place.

You teach others to do right either directly by words, or indirectly by influence.

The same is true about wrong. Genesis 3:17 (KJV), “And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it….” Not only were Eve, Adam, and the Serpent punished, but everyone who has lived since that day reaps the consequences of their disobedience.

PRAYER

King of Kings, I want my example in life to be for good. I want to make right choices for myself and help others make them as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                          

Christ is my example for good—He wants me to follow!

A Call in Your Heart

 FEBRUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:15_ but on a candlestick…

The proper place for the candle to do its job is on the candlestick. One more time – the purpose of light is to dispel and overcome darkness. 

The one who lit the candle did it because there was darkness – light was needed. The one who lit the candle sets it on a candlestick. It is Jesus who says, “Ye are the light of the world. It is Jesus who lights your candle. The Holy Spirit has placed a call in your heart. You either accept the call to be Jesus’ light, or run from it. You’re either shining or hiding. You have the freedom to choose. 

You may believe you light your own candle by  good works, or regular church attendance. Those should be the results of your shining light. If you concentrate more on being good than being in relationship with Jesus, you may shine the wrong light – for your glory.

Like light, you have a purpose. Your purpose is God’s amazing plan for your life. He created a plan for you before you were born. You were born to achieve that plan. Jesus gives you what you need to achieve your plan. Jesus calls you to fulfill it.

It is Jesus who lights your candle. It is Jesus who sets your candle on the candlestick. It is Jesus who brings the two together. 

PRAYER

Jesus Messiah, Praise You for giving me a purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is a candlestick—He wants my light on it!

… Satisfied!

FEBRUARY 9

MATTHEW 5:13_Ye are the salt of the earth but…

Another feature of incredible salt is it causes thirst. Why is that a good thing? Water promotes good health. If you quench thirst with water it’s a very good thing! Milk and fruit juices are also healthy drinks, but when you are truly thirsty, nothing satisfies like water! 

This teaching about salt is a spiritual lesson. Jesus says He is Living Water. His water totally quenches thirst. Once inside you, Jesus’ water is like a well continually springing up into everlasting life (John 4:10,14 KJV). 

The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is living water. The Spirit teaches, guides, and directs your spirit to the truths of the Bible. Nothing satisfies a genuinely thirsty spirit like truth.

Perhaps you have friends who are thirsty – desperately thirsty. Maybe they have tried to quench their thirst with the world’s water. Perhaps that led them to make wrong choices, which only added more desperation to their thirst.

The world can never satisfy what only Jesus can supply.

As a salty friend you can keep your friends thirsty and help them find the satisfaction of Living Water.  

  PRAYER

God of Truth, I want to be salt to the people You bring into my life. I want to help them find Your Living Water. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ is Living Water—I want to lead others to Him!

Exceeding

FEBRUARY 4

MATTHEW 5:12_Rejoice and be exceeding glad…  

Maybe Jesus is a little confused. Rejoicing because someone speaks evil lies against you? That’s just not normal! If Jesus is anything (which He is … everything) He is not normal. Don’t be offended by that. Jesus is not normal because normal in this life is sin. Jesus came to turn the world upside down – He did!

Jesus takes His teaching to the next level, repeatedly showing how various types of hardships or suffering (all experienced because of choosing to be a Jesus follower) result in being blessed. Jesus says to rejoice and be glad. He’s even taking glad to the next level – exceeding glad! Exceeding is above and beyond what is expected, or required, or should even be considered. 

Jesus knows what is in store. He knows if you line up with His sufferings you will be blessed. He knows what kind of blessing that will be.

The biggest part of following Jesus is to trust Him. You have to believe He knows more than you. That’s why Jesus can say something like rejoice and be exceeding glad.

 PRAYER

One True God, I know all lives come with suffering, but I know not all lives come with blessings. Help me make the choices in life which line me up with Your blessings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ knows my trials—He helps me follow His path!