Plenty of Room

OCTOBER 24

MATTHEW 7:13_for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction…

Then there is the second gate. Jesus describes it as wide and broad. You won’t need any help finding that gate. It is wide—how could you miss it? When you reach an accountable age, your eyes are opened to two gates; you’ll see the widest one first. The size makes it visible, and … more tempting. 

Because of its size, you see something else—how easy it is to enter. The wideness allows you to bring all kinds of baggage. 

Not only is the gate wide, but once inside the way is broad. If in the baggage you brought along some pride, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes arrogance. If you brought just a little bit of a grudge, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes hate and bitterness.

In Jesus’ words it’s plain – this broad way leads to destruction. Count on it! Psalm 27:11 (KJV), “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”

Make the choice in your youth to enter the strait gate. It will save you numerous regrets in your adult life.          

PRAYER

God Who Saves, Please save me from entering the destructive path of life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ saves me from the wide gate—I will follow Him!

Restore – Not Destroy

OCTOBER 21

MATTHEW 7:12_for this is the law and the prophets.

Put this principle in simple terminology. Think about how you want to be treated, then treat everyone else that way. Think about how you want to be talked to, and talk that way to everyone else.

As a salty-lit-up disciple you want to restore broken people and relationships—not destroy them. You want to shed light in a dark place—not make it darker.

The apostle Paul says it very well in Galatians 6:1 (KJV), “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.”

We can be too indulging and too enabling with people, but we can’t be too kind or too gentle.

Matthew 7:12 has long been known as The Golden Rule. Jesus says this rule is the fulfillment of the Law. Paul also says it in Galatians 5:14 (KJV),“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Jesus taught the radical 180 degree turn when it came to the Law. However, He also taught that His radical way was not intended to destroy the Law or the prophets. The very basis of the Law is love—which is why Jesus fulfills it. 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Let me treat others with compassion and gentleness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the Law is based on love—He fulfills it!

A Destructive Weapon

OCTOBER 18

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Jesus leaves no room to pick and choose when it comes to how you should treat people. It’s just like Him to say all things. You can wiggle and squirm, but you can’t get past all things. This principle is like the judgment boomerang—only dish out what you would want dished to you.

Here’s an example. This is something most people do without thinking, and would never call it by its name. Yet, it is one of the most destructive weapons in any relationship, at any age, or stage of life. Gossip!

Stop and ask yourself, would you want someone to gossip about you? Then ask yourself if you gossip about others. Take physical features for example. Do you talk about, criticize, or make fun of the physical features of others behind their back? Perhaps the one you are (let’s go ahead and say it) gossiping about has some kind of defect. For whatever reason, you just feel like it is your duty to spread the news around. But then of course, maybe you were born beautiful. Somehow, you feel that justifies your gossip.

Perhaps you have a defect, though it is not physical, it is just as easily seen—time for a heart exam.   

PRAYER

God of Heaven and Earth, Help me treat others as I want to be treated. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ treats me with compassion—He teaches me how!

Take It to the Bank!

OCTOBER 11

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

Earthly parents can stray from God’s path the same way you can. Don’t be too quick to sentence judgment upon them. Remember another lesson you learned is the judgment with which you judge comes back to you. That’s a principle taught by Jesus—you can take it to the bank!

If you are pouting, or have an ungrateful attitude, because your parents’ discipline you—don’t. That never ends well. Perhaps you are stuck in the comparing thing.  Your friends’ parents don’t keep an eye on them and they get by with anything. Remember, getting by with something will not keep you from repeating it. A small straying-from-the-path decision, when repeated, grows into a larger decision. 

The lack of discipline in the life of youth can lead to a destructive and bitter life as an adult. Proverbs 6:20-22 (KJV), “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

If you have parents who teach you to stay on God’s path—you are blessed!

PRAYER

God of All, Help me be grateful for people who teach and correct me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants me to be grateful for discipline—I will!

It Just Can’t Be Done

JULY 16

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, And kept back part of the price, … 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. 

PRAYER

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!