You Desire to Change

JULY 2

MATTHEW 6:16_Moreover when ye fast…

Another Biblical principle for times of fasting is remorse – a deep, heartfelt, sorrow for something wrong in your life. The Holy Spirit convicts your heart with guilt. When you have enough sorrow, you desire to change. 

Another time for fasting is for a memorial or preparation for certain religious days or seasons. This kind of fasting is a time of serious mindedness – turning your mind away from the world to the spiritual realm of life.

Seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision or direction is another call to fast. Acts 13:2-3 (KJV) records this incident in the early Christian church, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate [to] me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”

When Queen Esther faced a life and death situation not only concerning the Jewish nation, but her personal life as well, she called for a fast. Esther 4:16 (KJV), “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

PRAYER

Lord God, You call me to worship and follow You, fasting or not. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ calls me to worship and follow—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!

Why Else Do It?

MAY 6

MATTHEW 6:1_Take heed that ye do not your alms before men…

Take heed is translated as pay attention! Jesus begins with a firm exclamation! Just as with the verilies, He’s about to reveal an important part of the salty-lit-up disciple life. You’ve sat at the feet of Jesus long enough by now to know this will be something different from the status quo.

The word alms here is translated as righteous. Does Jesus say pay attention so you don’t do righteousness before men? Jesus messes with your mind right from the get-go. Shouldn’t the whole purpose of righteousness be to do it before men? Why else do it?

Those committed to be disciples accepted the calling to be light. Shouldn’t your light shine before men? Isn’t its purpose to draw seekers into the presence of The Savior, The Great Balancer, The Great Hope, The Great Transformer, The Great Surgeon, The Great Healer? Your righteousness must be before men.

I hope you are hanging on for more clarification from Jesus as He teaches—I am! 

PRAYER

Jesus Teacher, I want to learn whatever You have to teach me. I want the truth to guide my life, and help me make right decisions. I want to heed the Holy Spirit’s insight. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                          

Christ wants me to pay attention to His teaching—I will!

Tell The Truth!

APRIL 10

MATTHEW 5:33_Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.

To forswear is to lie under oath. If you are in a court room and lie on the witness stand, it is called perjury. You can go to jail for perjury. When you are in the witness chair, tell the truth. For that matter, always tell the truth!

If you swear to your parents that something you tell them is true, but it is really a lie, you’re accountable for that. You don’t have to be in court nor even have witnesses around to be held responsible for lying. 

To swear is to make a promise – a guarantee to what you say. One of the worst decisions in life is to make a promise to God, and not keep it. If you promise God something keep it. Be very careful what you promise – think before you open your mouth. Until you become an adult it is best to discuss with your parents any promise you intend to make . If you do not live with parents, find a Godly adult to help you make wise promises.

Life used to operate on a man’s word was his bond. That meant if you promised to do something you would do it, no matter what. No legal documents were necessary when your word was your bond. You gained a reputation for being an honest person.

Your reputation always goes before you and follows after you!

PRAYER

God of Truth, I want anyone who has dealings with me to find me to be a person of my word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ keeps His Word—I want to keep my word and His Word too!

The Perfect Plan

APRIL 9

MATTHEW 5:32_and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Is Jesus too harsh on divorce? He brings adultery into the picture after the divorce! Why?

In Mark 10:5-8, you recall Jesus went back to the beginning – to creation itself – to the original marriage – to God’s perfect plan. The Garden of Eden was perfection and everlasting life. Adam and Eve blew the whole plan by their disobedience to God, all life reaped the consequence – sin. Life will continue to reap sin consequences until an end comes, and all things are made new.

God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man and one woman for life. Their union causes them to become one. Perhaps Jesus adds adultery to re-marriage because no piece of paper (divorce contract) can sever God’s design of the physical union. The divorce contract can sever the legality of the marriage, but it cannot sever the oneness of flesh. This is why sexual sins are so devastating.

Why is purity marriage insurance? Foremost, it is God’s plan. His plan builds love by denying the flesh and bonding spirits – two people for each other. It builds respect for each other. It builds loyalty for one and only one. Aren’t those things you want in marriage?

We discussed before how impurity spells betrayal like no other sin. It is definitely one of the hardest to forgive. The Great Hope can give power to forgive. He asks you to do no more for your betrayer than He has done for you.

This is not to simplify the devastation. It may require a time of separation., and the key word in this sentence is time. Running straight to the divorce court does not give The Great Surgeon time for the surgery – including the time for healing and recovery. The basis of any decision has to be what action you believe will please Jesus.

When the marriage is broken beyond repair (one spouse has re-married), The Great Hope has good news. An individual life is not beyond repair. Jesus repairs broken lives.

Jesus wants to bring His love into all families. Let Jesus use you to shine His love in your family.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Some of Your teachings are very difficult and hard. I know they are all designed for the very best life. I want that! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ loves God’s original plan—I want to love it!