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, 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.

Joshua was called to continue Abraham’s 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!

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!

He Should Be Revered!

JUNE 5

MATTHEW 6:9_Hallowed be thy name.

Hallowed can be defined as to hold someone or something in reverence. This is a recognition of God as—the holy, revered God of Heaven. This is who you pray to when you pray. Don’t take this too lightly. It is important to hallow God in your prayer life. 

Recognizing the holiness of God adds faith to prayer. You are not praying to someone who may or may not listen because He is too busy running the world. This is the Luke 1:37 (KJV) God, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” This is the God who created all of heaven and earth -He should be revered! This is the God who parted the waters of the Red Sea – He should be revered! This is the God who made the sun stand still – He should be revered!

The more you hallow God, the more you pray with courage. This is the God who gives you the ability to slay giants. Giants who taunt you with your weakness. This is the God who frees you from any shackles of bondage the devil has lured you into.

The Father in Heaven is pleased when you talk to Him about the cruelty the world has dealt you. He has already answered. Hebrews 13:5 (KJV), “… for he [God] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”    

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I do hallow Your name. You only do I serve and give my heart to. You are God Alone, God of the Impossible, God of Creation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to hallow the Father—I do!