MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…
Can these people actually cast out demons? Or do they think they can just convince Jesus they can? I don’t claim to know a lot about demonic possession, but I don’t believe there is any power to exhort them but the power of Jesus.
Because life is spiritual as well as physical, we need to have knowledge of both. We primarily focus on the physical until we have had an encounter with Jesus and answer that knock. John 15:16 (KJV), “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
You didn’t become a Christian because it was your idea. You answered the call, the knock, the pursuing of Jesus. You responded, and now you are doing the asking, seeking, knocking, pursuing. You enter a strait gate and a narrow way to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge … of truth. And why do you want truth? By now you’ve got this—to live free!
We must face the reality that the spiritual world consists of darkness as well as light. Jesus calls us to be light and light must be free.
Any encumbrances to light keep it from overcoming darkness.
God of Heaven, Please keep my light free to serve You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s light is free from encumbrances—He frees mine!
MATTHEW 7:6_neither cast ye your pearls before swine…
In Biblical language, worse than a dog would be – a pig.
Matthew chapter 8 (KJV) tells of Jesus’ encounter with two demonic men. Jesus converses with the demons, “29 And, behold, they [demons] cried out, saying, ‘What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?’ 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.31 So the devils besought him, saying, ‘If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.’ 32 And he said unto them, ‘Go.’ And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.”
In Luke chapter 15 (KJV) Jesus tells of a son who asked his father for his inheritance early in life: “14And when he [prodigal son] had spent all [the inheritance], there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.“
For a Jew, feeding or caring in any way for pigs was the bottom of the totem pole. The slime in the pit. The bottom rung of a ladder – the one that is stepped on the most.
Now let’s find out what all this dog and pig stuff is about. Don’t miss tomorrow!
Great God, I am listening to You and Your Word—teach me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches true principles of life—He teaches me!
MATTHEW 6:13_And lead us not…
The word lead in this verse is translated to bring in or into. Part of your prayer life should include to ask for direction, or guidance.
Psalm 5:8, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.”
That’s one to pray! It not only asks to be led, but to be led by righteousness. Tell God specifically why you need Him to lead you – because there are enemies out there (the devil and his demons).
Another Psalm to pray is Psalm 143:10 (KJV), “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” This doesn’t need explaining. It’s all there (this verse showed up in the prayer on January 17).
Both of these Psalms express places you want to be. Places that cause you to feel closer to the Father and the Savior. Places of safety.
In Jesus’ model prayer He prays the reverse – lead us not. There are places out there that are not safe. The devil knows how to set traps. He wants to lead you to places you should not be.
These places are away from the Father and the Savior. The devil wants to lead you to places under his control.
Righteous God, Lead me in Your righteousness. Make Your way straight before me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows where to lead me—I will follow!
MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
The Greek translation for the word righteousness used here is, whatever is right and just within itself; whatever conforms to the revealed will of God.
If the Scribes and Pharisees couldn’t recognize Jesus as an extension of God then according to the above translation, their righteousness failed coming out of the gate!
Jesus was certainly just and conformed to God’s will – He was the very revelation of it. No one can recognize Jesus without recognizing His heart of love. The person who comes to Jesus with a willing and repentant heart, or the one who comes to Him kicking and screaming with a rebellious heart, end up the same way – drenched in love.
The love of Jesus is overpowering. It is life changing. It is heart healing. No force in this life is stronger. Any righteousness we have comes from the love of Jesus. When the Scribes and Pharisees’ saw Jesus’ miracles, they not only didn’t recognize Him, they said He was demonically possessed!
No wonder Jesus says our righteousness should exceed that!
Jesus Savior, I want to conform to Your will. I want Your will in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is God’s will covered in flesh—I want His will in my life!
MATTHEW 7:28_And it came to pass…
Something which came to pass as a part of Jesus’ ministry was—multitudes followed Him. We’ve mentioned the multitudes before, but let’s review these categories.
Definitely among the multitude were the spiritually hungry. Hopefully that is the category you fill. You have not spent a year studying Jesus’ teachings because you are spiritually full. These are people who want their lives to count for good before they leave the earth.
There were the physically sick. These are people who believe Jesus can heal the incurable. They hope to experience His power.
There were the desperate, held in demonic bondage by the father of lies. They were searching for freedom. Had they found it?
There were the curious who just wanted to see what all the hoop-la was about.
There were the jealous who sought to destroy the One who had stolen their thunder. And it came to pass that these left with egg on their face.
For those who don’t know what that means, it is to be made to look foolish or embarrassed.
Wonderful Counselor, I am spiritually hungry for Your truth. Please feed me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ can keep me spiritually full—He feeds me!