An Inflated Ego

MAY 12

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Jesus uses His attention getting word in this verse – verily. Perk up, open your heart, receive some truth!

Charity giving as a public spectacle may cause it to be more of a showy extravaganza than a sincere act of the heart. The more public, the more praise you receive.

In this example, Jesus’ verily draws attention to the fact this reward has already been received. Sounds like Jesus says, “Don’t look for a reward from God – you sought man’s reward, and have received it.”

Earthly praise is very good – especially when parents praise their children for making wise choices and in general doing good. But to seek public praise, can be destructive. An inflated ego can cause you to believe you are invincible.

I recently heard a little saying I like very much: Your ego is not your amigo!

In John 8:54 (KJV) Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.”

Wow! Even Jesus, who is glory, didn’t seek self-glory!

PRAYER

God of Glory, Help me know the only way I am invincible is in Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ did not seek His own glory—He sought God’s glory!

The Empty-Hearted

 APRIL 2

MATTHEW 5:30_for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It has a great deal to say about sexual sins. Jesus knew every word of Scripture. He understood sexual bondage.

Jesus understood sexual bondage truly is hell on earth. Proverbs 5:5 (KJV), “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” He understood Proverbs 6:26 (KJV), this bondage can take you from wealth to begging for bread. Jesus understood Proverbs 7:22-23 (KJV), “Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life” (read verses 7-27 to get the full warning).

This bondage is not for disciples who pay attention to the Bible’s wisdom. It is not for those who apply Bible truths to their lifestyle. 

Sexual bondage captures the empty-hearted who believe they are immune to the consequences of their decisions. Jesus understood that once passion is aroused to the point of no return, the course of destruction begins, and grows until its victim is consumed.

Only someone who loves you would give such graphics.

To stick in your brain.

To cause your heart to throw a red flag and cry Foul!

  PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Please save me from bondage—I want to live free! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to know wisdom—He will teach me!

The Great Transformer

MARCH 31

MATTHEW 5:29_for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Jesus’ use of graphics continues. The graphics are not only good for attention, but emphasize the importance of what Jesus teaches. Which is better, to live life with one eye, or live eternity in hell? The answer is a no-brainer. Good point, Jesus!

It is not the looking at porn which sends you to hell. However, the power of porn bondage can cause you to reject Jesus. It has power to convince you to forfeit Jesus’ free gift of eternal life, for the world’s temporary pleasures.

A life of bondage is life in a black hole of powerlessness. A life of freedom is to dwell in the light and love of Jesus.

Any time you turn to porn for pleasure, you turn away from Jesus to the devil. The devil wants you on his team for one reason – to destroy you. Jesus wants you on His team for many reasons, the first is eternal life. 

Jesus has your attention. He has shown you that to play on the devil’s team can be extremely dangerous.

Never pluck out your eye! It is not necessary. It wouldn’t deliver you from bondage anyway.

Along with being The Great Balancer, Jesus is also The Great Transformer!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You I never need to destroy my life or limbs in any way in order to become free from bondage. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Transformer—He wants to transform me!

A Jesus Relationship

MARCH 18

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy. 

We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.   

Galatians 6:1, 10 says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).

PRAYER

Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!

Ever Felt That Pain?

 MARCH 17

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Jesus’ explanation of His transformation of the Law begins with but I say unto you. The word but implies a change. The scales have balanced as far as killing and punishment, but if there is more to life than the physical, then there is another way in which to kill someone – anger. Ever felt that pain?

When Jesus refers to your brother, it is not biological, but a fellow human being. Perhaps it particularly means a Christian brother. Anger shown between Christians must be very painful to Jesus. After all, these are the people who claim to be His disciples. The people who are supposed to be salt. The people who are supposed to be light. Even if what they say is right, when it is said in hot tempered anger, it destroys any good which may be done. 

Anger wounds the spirit and is very destructive to the soul of the one it has inflicted. Anger is also destructive to the soul of the one doing the inflicting. This is not just losing your temper. This is malicious, mean anger. To destroy fellow humans with mean-tempered, explosive, anger, is in the category of those who kill.

Once again, life is serious business.

PRAYER

Merciful God, Help me not to be an angry person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ makes us brothers—He wants me to be patient!