MATTHEW 6:22_if therefore thine eye be single…
When Jesus refers to the eye being single He does not mean a person with just one eye. Neither does He mean a person who has sight in only one eye. Jesus is teaching a principle here, not a lesson in physical science.
If you are a person who only has sight in one eye or if you’re totally blind – don’t you dare think you are in some way inferior. Thoughts of inferiority come from the devil – never from Jesus. As the Creator, Jesus understands the body, soul, and spirit. He understands the principles by which they operate. He created them to function together, with the spirit being the mainspring.
The devil has no understanding, or even knowledge of how Jesus’ principles of life work. He is the deceiver. It doesn’t really matter to him how Jesus’ creation works, because he plans to deceive you into believing his lies and not the truth. He knows how to discourage. He knows how to intimidate. He knows how to tempt.
The devil wants to deceive you out of your hope. He knows if he can get your focus off of Jesus, and into a defeated, giving up, I-don’t-stand-a-chance attitude, he’s won a major battle in your life. Don’t give him the satisfaction!
Remember, light expels darkness.
Holy God of Heaven, Help me not to be discouraged by the devil’s lies. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows the devil’s lies—He helps me overcome!
MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…
When you are consumed with something it fills your life. It takes over all your space – no room for anything else.
The love of wealth is so consuming the fruits of the Spirit have no growing space. The sad thing is those fruits are what every human craves. Bondage to wealth deceives. You believe wealth can buy what will satisfy your cravings. It just can’t be done. The fruits which the Spirit produces in you cannot be bought with money.
The first three fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace are the most sought after virtues in existence. The wealthiest people on the planet would give their treasure to possess those virtues. These are virtues God uses to reward salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus. People who are not disciples have a thing going with their love of money – believing eventually it will satisfy.
Acts 5:1-3 (KJV) tells a story of the bondage of wealth: “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, … 3 But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?'”
Peter said Ananias could have kept all his money. But when Ananias lied to keep from giving all, his money bondage was his destruction.
Magnificent Jesus, I want space for Your fruits to grow in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ cultivates fruit in me—I will give Him space!
MATTHEW 6:16_Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
Hypocrisy develops in stages. The more you succumb to it, the firmer its stronghold. Hypocrisy strongholds are motivated by life is more about my looking good than God receiving glory. Truth destroys strongholds – any stronghold. When truth fills your heart— there is no room for deception.
The disfigured face of the fasting hypocrite is designed to draw personal attention. As in a theatrical production, make-up and costumes are an essential part. The more authentic the make-up the more believable the character. If the character wants to evoke compassion for great self-sacrifice, the make-up and costume are as important as acting ability. Jesus’ disfigured face descript is about understanding this is not a time for drawing attention.
More than for strengthening the spirit, fasting to the hypocrite is a time for moving up the spiritual ladder – to the top of the totem pole. Any time God is not at the top of your totem pole – “something is rotten in the state of Denmark!” (check your Shakespeare—Hamlet).
When being the head of your Christian group is more important to you than serving God in the lives of His people, be careful – you already have your reward.
Magnificent God, I don’t want my life to be about me, I want it to be about You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ should be the head—He is head of my life!
MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.
My debtors caused this prayer to turn around. It was fine for God to forgive my debts. Psalm 136 (KJV) says twenty-six times, “for his mercy endureth for ever.”
I feel comfortable with the fact that God forgives me. That helps me overcome lies the devil uses to deceive me – that I can never be forgiven. This vertical forgiveness is from a God of true love. Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV), “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee [you and me] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Wow!
My debtors are those who have never paid things like:
A financial debt – money owed to me.
A verbal debt – a broken promise.
An emotional debt – harsh angry words which ripped apart every feeling of tenderness I ever possessed.
A trust debt – betrayal.
Whatever the debt, it is still in my ledger. Before, my prayer life was only concerned with God’s ledger book – now He is meddling into mine.
The Holy Spirit says things to me like, “I’m ready to erase your debts recorded in My Vertical Ledger because you are not able to pay. But, I see all kinds of unerased debts in your Horizontal Ledger. Let Me teach you a solution.”
Holy God, I want to have Your mercy that endures forever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ erased my sins—He teaches me how to erase!
MATTHEW 5:45_for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendest rain on the just and on the unjust.
I can’t say this too many times: God understands the kind of struggles we face in our earthly life. He knows our enemy, the devil, is subtle. God knows the devil’s power to deceive and to persuade. We face the devil daily. Without the Holy Spirit we don’t stand a chance.
Courage and power are available for us. Power comes through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants this for everyone, but some turn away.
According to what Jesus teaches, God loves the evil and the unjust. He gives them a new chance every day the sun rises. God sends rain on the crops of the evil, the same as on the crops of the just. He gives the unjust the same chance He gives the just. That’s the kind of heart God has, but it’s not the kind of heart we have – unless we allow The Great Surgeon to operate.
If God rejected those who hurt Him as easily as we reject those who hurt us – no one would be saved.
As our heart begins to transform, we become shining lights to those searching for Jesus. Our saltiness will cause someone to thirst for truth – real truth.
Dear God, Teach me how to love the unjust. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s heart cares for the unjust—He helps me to care!