All the Hard Labor That Goes With It

OCTOBER 25

MATTHEW 7:13_and many there be which go in thereat.

There are reasons many enter at the wide gate. It is tempting, accessible, and allows for baggage. It’s easy—all you have to do is follow the crowd, which requires neither intelligence (no decisions to make), nor courage (won’t be standing alone). 

It takes little strength to do what’s wrong. It requires no thought process—just follow your natural instincts. There is no submission to rules or regulations, do what you want to do. Simply do what pleases you, and what pleases the people with you. There is no accountability for your actions. Personal responsibility will not be following you around. In short: No rules, No standards, No boundaries. Sounds exactly like the Land of Cocagne in the story of Pinocchio. 

Pinocchio made the decision to become responsible and obedient. There was a reward for that—he would become a real boy. But when his friend, Candlewick, described the carefree land of excessive pleasures, the temptation was too strong (for a heart without Jesus). Rather than becoming a real boy, he became a real donkey—and all the hard labor that goes with it.

In The Merchant of Venice, 1600, Shakespeare said it like this, “All that glitters is not gold.”

Very seldom is the easy way the best way.

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me follow Your way—not the easy way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ wants me to be bold and courageous—I will be!

Freedom Breaks Bondage

JULY 21

MATTHEW 6:22_thy whole body shall be full of light.

Jesus gives courage and light to face every day.  Only the truth can give that. Lies give fear and darkness. God says to Joshua in chapter 1 (KJV):Be strong and of a good courage …,’ and in verse ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous …,’ and in verse ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

The single eye Jesus refers to here means focused on Him, only. Singleness of vision on Jesus keeps you on His path. Never forget, His path leads to freedom.

Freedom breaks bondage. Nothing in bondage is free, and nothing free is in bondage. With your spirit as the mainspring, shackles corrode away. The mainspring creates the function of whatever it is operating. For everything to function properly the mainspring has to be free from any encumbrance. An encumbrance is a false part that does not belong.

Jesus wants your focus on Him alone.

Your whole being (body, soul, spirit) will be full of light.     

PRAYER

God of Courage, Help me be strong and of a good courage every day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to keep my eyes on Him—I will!

No Trespassing

JUNE 28

MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…

God’s path for life is freedom – you will never find a No Trespassing sign on God’s path. Feel free to roam, explore, and enjoy His path.

But God definitely places some No Trespassing signs. You will find them on the paths which lure from His path.

God empowered Joshua to lead His people into the Promised Land. In Joshua 1:7 (KJV), God says, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.” There is an obvious plan here. You will need strength and courage to stay on God’s path. Do not stray – at all.

Moses was called to continue Abraham’s job. Joshua was called to continue Moses’ job. A new country for God’s people – designed by God, and for God. There were to be no other gods, no other laws, no other forms of worship – God’s only. To allow anything apart from God’s design was to stray.

When you set up a life designed by you and for you – you’ve strayed. You have decided straying a little to the right or left is not really a bad thing. 

What becomes of God’s wanting to bless you wherever life takes you?           

PRAYER

One True God, Thank You for Your path that causes me to be blessed. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the path I should take—He will guide me!

Lots of Hallelujah Shouting!

JUNE 8

MATTHEW 6:10_in earth, as it is in heaven.

If you think it is easy to pray, “not my will but Thine be done” – you’ve never really prayed it. In this same account of Gethsemane, we find in Luke 22:44 (KJV),“And being in an agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Praying for God’s will to be done caused the Holy Son of God to sweat blood! 

During my time on earth I want the strength and faith to seek God’s will above my own. God’s will is always greater, and it is always full of love and mercy – although I may not see that until His will has been done.  God’s will is always goodness and kindness toward people, and is founded on love.

In heaven, God’s will shall be done. I won’t have to be anxious about caving in to my own will. No wonder there will be lots of praising in heaven! Lots of hallelujah shouting! Lots of adoration worship! God’s will is done daily, hourly, and moment by moment. That’s reason to rejoice!

I couldn’t make it in this life without prayer. I need to talk with the Father. I need to pour out my heart before Him. I need to feel His comfort and reassurance in my uncertainty.

God’s will causes my light to shine.         

 PRAYER

Omnipotent God, Praise You that Your will is always better than mine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.  

Christ knows God’s will—His will make me shine!

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!