MATTHEW 7:21_shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…
There are, and will continue to be, those who are excluded from the kingdom of heaven—both the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the eternal one.
Those who publicly reject Christ are excluded. These are those who have sought the world for their fulfillment. Don’t misunderstand this—they had the same knock on their heart’s door. They are not excluded instantaneously. Jesus pursued them with the same passion He pursued you. Unfortunately, these are people who just flat refuse to feel the need or desire for a savior. These people do not pretend to be sheep—they wear their wolves clothing for all to see.
In this principle, Jesus refers to the ones who do wear the sheep’s clothing. These are the flatterers. They use Christianity to work for them—not to glorify Jesus. Their charisma comes from a different power.
II Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) explains this, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
The devil uses his power in ways that appear to be good. According to Jesus’ teaching, the devil can even use the people who call Jesus … Lord!
God of All, Help me to not be deceived by the devil’s light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true light—The devil’s light becomes darkness!
MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…
If we had to be baggage-free to enter the strait gate, there would be no need to enter. After all, we’re already living free so what’s there to gain?
We all have baggage. Bags filled with broken pieces of our hearts, hopes, and dreams. Some baggage we choose of our own free will. Other baggage is inflicted upon us by the circumstances of life. They came with the life package—a life we live in a dark and sinful world every moment of every day.
The difference in the sizes of our baggage depends upon how we deal with them. The wide gate allows for a lot of baggage. That is why it is wide. The path is broad so we don’t have to drop off any bags. It is the designed path for those who have been subdued by the world—to accept its darkness as if there were no other choice. It is for those who don’t want to check their bags at the gate because the bags contain their pain relievers. Some may be for physical pain, but the majority are for pains of the soul. The spirits of darkness work to keep us depressed and discouraged. Life doesn’t have to be that way—there is hope!
Colossians 1:27 (KJV), “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Lord Who Reigns, Only You can truly relieve the pains of my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the pain reliever—I will make Him mine!
MATTHEW 7:8_and he that seeketh, findeth…
Proverbs 20:27 says my spirit is God’s candle. We’ve talked a lot about candles in these devotionals. We’ve talked about the purpose of light—to dispel and overcome darkness. We’ve talked about candles set on candlesticks. We’ve talked about replacing the smaller candle and candlestick with larger ones as life moves on, and more light is needed. In this verse, a candle is used in a different way – to gain insight into who I really am.
Now, the candle (my spirit) is used by God not to share light with others but—to search inside of me. God uses my spirit to shed light into my heart, and all that I am. He uses it to see what my heart seeks. Does it seek to know Him and make Him known, or does it seek to make me known?
Jesus told me to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Is that where He finds my spirit shedding light—on God’s righteousness? If God finds me seeking how to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give to those who ask, and do good to those who hurt and use me, then He’s found me in the right place.
According to Jesus, if I’m seeking to live that kind of life—I’ll find it.
Almighty Father, I’m seeking the truth of Your kingdom. I’m seeking Your righteousness – to dwell in me. Thank You that I’ll find it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows if I seek righteousness—If so, I’ll find it!
MATTHEW 7:1_Judge not…
The kind of freedom Jesus teaches is not about keeping out of prison (although Jesus’ type of freedom could save you from that). Jesus wants to free souls.
A free soul gains wisdom.
Therefore a free soul has the ability to make wise decisions.
Wise decisions save from many forms of harm.
Wisdom is able to forgive and not carry the baggage of bitterness – which so often leads to physical sickness.
The wisest man who ever lived, the phenomenal King Solomon, teaches this principle in Proverbs 2:10-13 (KJV), “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”
Notice where wisdom enters – your heart. There is more to learn – Proverbs 4:7-9 (KJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
God of Wisdom, Help me be free from judgment and make wise decisions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is wisdom—He wants me to learn to be wise!
MATTHEW 6:34_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Focus on who God is and who you are in Him! Receive extra power for the hard days. Worry only makes the hard days harder. In this verse Jesus says something to the effect of, “Life in this world is hard enough—why make it harder?“ Jesus lets you know He’s with you all the way.
Jesus can provide.
That doesn’t mean you may not go through lean times. If you have no needs you will never experience how God can meet them. He’ll hold and guide you on the path of discipleship and add “all these things unto you.”
Proverbs 4:18 (KJV), “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Once you’ve committed to becoming salty-lit-up disciples for Jesus—that light just keeps on shining! I Thessalonians 5:5 (KJV), “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
All days are not hard, or bad, or evil. The devil would have you believe otherwise. He tempts you to worry about the future. Live free by focusing more on who God is, His grace and mercy, and His phenomenal power to transform any circumstance!
God Who Transforms, Thank You for the bright days I’ve had, and the ones on the way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is full of light—He fills me with His light!