Make the Effort

MAY 15

MATTHEW 6:3_let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.

Unfortunately, modern society encourages us to be offended by numerous things. Jesus doesn’t want us to be offended – He wants us to be overcomers. Romans 12:21 (KJV), “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Let’s just agree, left-handers will not be offended because Jesus implies the doing of alms is by the right hand. Personally, I believe Jesus was ambidextrous.

This is not a lesson on hand usage. This is a lesson on secret giving.

In this part of verse 3, Jesus uses graphics again. Picture in your mind to hide from your left hand something your right hand does. It would take some effort – either hiding the left hand behind your back, or in your pocket, or under something. Generally, both your hands are exposed to each other.

If your heart is dedicated to the Jesus lifestyle, you make the effort to live life Jesus’ way. 

Jesus knew the world operated on a right-handed system. The right hand thing emphasizes what comes natural to most of the world. It comes natural to want to make your gifts known – especially a large gift.

Turn 180 degrees, and keep it secret.

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I never want my ego to cause me to bask in the glory and praise of people, lest I think I don’t need You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ takes care of my needs—He wants me to believe!

Here We Go Again!

APRIL 25

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

Jesus continually points out love as an action.

Love requires dedication.

Love requires courage.

Love requires grit to accept rejection, but not be defeated.

Love requires faith in Jesus’ radical teachings to work.

If love requires all this of me, I want my love to go to the one of my choosing. The object of my affection. Here we go again! Jesus messes with my heart and mind when He says love my enemies. I don’t want to love my enemies! They are my enemies! I don’t like them! They cause me pain and suffering. They cause people I love pain and suffering. If God won’t let me seek revenge on them – at least let me hate them!

Besides, there is another problem – I don’t know how to love them. It doesn’t come naturally to me to love people who hurt me or people I love. Jesus asks too much.

In all my moaning and groaning, I use the key (the Bible). It unlocks my spirit, then I can trust in Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I don’t know how to love my enemies, help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ strengthens me—I can achieve anything with Him!

Can’t Sweep It Under the Rug

 MARCH 20

MATTHEW 5:23_Therefore, if thy bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberst that thy brother has ought against thee;

The word altar is translated as God’s Table. This is the sacred table where sacrifices were offered to God. The sacrifices were to be the best you had. God knew if what you offered as a gift was your best, or something you really didn’t want anyway.

Your gift will never be an animal sacrifice. It will be some type of self-sacrifice, because that is always the best you can give. If you come to give your all, dedicating your life as a Jesus follower, you need to be sure there is nothing blocking your dedication. 

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift . When Jesus ascended back to His heavenly home, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. If you come to Jesus to give your life, but hold on to an old grudge or unsettled argument, you can count on the Holy Spirit to bring it to your remembrance. He won’t allow you to sweep it under the rug. If you do, then you bring damaged goods, not your best. Give God all you have to give – He’ll give you much more in return. 

This is not about you being good enough. Don’t leave me yet. 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to know how to give You all of myself, teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the altar—He wants all of 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!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…

Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something!  Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!

You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them. 

If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.

Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.

You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.

Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!  

PRAYER

God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!