Plug the Loopholes

APRIL 11

MATTHEW 5:34_But I say unto you swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne.

Psalm 15 lists several creation principles everyone should live by – especially salty-lit-up disciples. The last part of verse 4 (KJV) says, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” If you make a promise and in the long run it turns out to be something bigger than you thought, or cost more money that you expected – keep your promise. Psalm 15 says even if it hurts, keep your word.

In His New Covenant teaching Jesus transforms the old law about swearing – don’t swear at all! A practice in the Hebrew culture in that day was to swear by something. The more important the something was, the more emphasis on the oath. Jesus targets that system.

Perhaps the thought was you could get by without keeping your word if you didn’t swear by God’s name. If you swore by God you had to keep your word. As usual, Jesus looks beyond man’s plans on how to get by without keeping His creation principles. Jesus sees a loophole. He plans to plug it!

If you made a promise by heaven but did not mention God’s name Jesus says, heaven is God’s throne. The two are inseparable.

This sounds a lot like the murder and the anger, and the looking and the lust. 

PRAYER

True God, I don’t want to look for loopholes in Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ plugs loopholes—I need Him to plug mine!

The Whosoevers

MARCH 5

MATTHEW 5:19_but whosoever shall do…

The all-inclusive whosoever takes a turn for the better. The universal laws of right and wrong ring true for everyone – i.e., the whosoevers.

Wrong ultimately ends in some type of punishment. It may be punishment by our earthly law system, or it may be punishment by life itself. Life is governed by God. It is subject to those principles He included in creation. Let’s look a little further.

There are wrong-doers who get by with their crime – they are never caught by the law enforcers. No one can run or hide from their conscience. God’s creativeness overrules anything the world creates.

We cannot escape ourselves. Punishment by life itself – living with the agony of guilt.

The turn for the better is that doing what is right ultimately ends up with rewards. They may not always be public rewards, but God rewards life in ways no plaque, medal, or money can.

Simply to find your way to love, joy, and peace is to own more than anything money can buy.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I want to do what is right. I want to live out the truths You teach me – so I can be a salty-lit-up disciple. Thank You that You teach me how to live life through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is love, joy, and peace—He gives those to me!

Degree of Understanding

FEBRUARY 28

MATTHEW 5:19_shall break one…

Jesus takes another step. He makes it clear laws can be broken. Once again, it is not dependent upon your belief system as to whether laws can be broken or not. Neither are the laws which govern your physical existence dependent upon your belief.

Ask your local state patrol what will happen when you violate the traffic laws which you think shouldn’t be laws. They will be glad to tell you. They are glad to tell you because they want you to be safe. They don’t want to send out the body bags to pick up your pieces because you saw no value in the law and violated it. 

There’s the big difference – the degree of understanding. Law officers are both trained in the laws and experienced firsthand in their results – when laws are kept or when laws are violated. The law officers’ greater understanding of the law comes from their role in life. A life-role to which they are dedicated.

Officers enforce the law, not just as a job, but to protect you. Not only you, but everyone traveling the same road at the same time – as you.

****YOU WILL SHORTLY RECEIVE THE LEAP YEAR DEVOTIONAL TODAY****

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I know Your creation principles of life are for my good. Please give me a clear understanding of how to cooperate with them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s creation principles protect me—Thank You, Jesus!

All-Inclusive

FEBRUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:19_Whosoever…

Just in case there are any who feel they may be exempt from His teachings, Jesus begins this verse with the all-inclusive, whosoever

The idea if you do not believe in God, Jesus, or the Bible, then the rules do not apply to you, is a deception. The existence of the all-powerful, all-knowing, always-present God is not dependent upon your belief.

The same applies to the prophesies God gave to the prophets of the Old Testament which have come true and will continue to come true until all are fulfilled.

The principles God created when He created the Garden of Eden and all life, do not fail because you don’t believe. Neither will they fail when you decide you have come up with a better way to run the universe.

Everyone who has life is included in the whosoever. Everyone is subject to God’s creation principles. The very things you long for most in this life – love, joy, and peace – are interwoven into those principles. 

PRAYER

Mighty God, Give me the wisdom to understand and the knowledge to know Your creation principles, which have never failed and never will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ created principles of life—I need to live by 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!