The Point Is …

SEPTEMBER 17

MATTHEW 7:4_and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Let’s begin to dig to the core of this whole judgment thing.

In the apostle Paul’s view, he was doing God’s work when he persecuted and condemned Christians. He considered Jesus and His teachings to be far too radical for the Jewish religion. After all, they had the laws God gave Moses. To turn some of the laws upside down as Jesus did had to be from the devil.

Jesus proclaiming He and the Father as one was blasphemy – to Paul. Merriam-Webster defines blasphemy as, the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God. Paul, a Pharisee, believed Jesus-followers should be annihilated.

The point is – Paul, especially as a Pharisee, should have recognized who Jesus was. It is understandable that Paul could have seen Jesus’ radical teachings as destructive to the Law – thus the mote. But it was Paul’s own beam which blinded him to belief in the physical presence of the Messiah. 

Paul was a fixer. Taking out Jesus-followers was his way to fix. Paul was also a disciplinarian, and his form of discipline on Jesus-followers was both brutal and deadly.

But God saw something in Paul which people did not see …    

PRAYER

Messiah, Please don’t let my beams blind me to truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ wants me to have 20/20 vision—In the truth!

A Changed Man

SEPTEMBER 13

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Had the wicked servant dwelt on the unbelievable mercy rendered to him by the king, he would have bestowed mercy on his fellow-servant. However, non-believers can’t be expected to respond to life as believers. That’s why there is such a need for salty-lit-up disciples. Lifestyles that shine in such a way to draw captives to freedom, like a lighthouse to a ship lost in a raging storm. Light sends a ray of hope. Once the ship makes it to the safety of the harbor, it is time to preserve it with the salt of mercy – mercy that flows from unconditional love.

In the case of the apostle Paul the light shone on him, blinded him. When he was healed and his sight restored three days later, he was a changed man. The light blinded him to the hate that his hard heart had toward Jesus’ followers. It also blinded him to the lies (that Jesus was demonic and his followers would be the destruction of the Jewish religion) with which the devil deceived him.

The light set Paul free to become the Jesus follower who wrote a large portion of the New Testament. 

He was salty and lit-up!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want Your kind of light—that blinds, but heals. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s light can blind me—It can also heal me!

Poor Judgment

SEPTEMBER 8

MATTHEW 7:2_and with what measure ye mete…

Poor judgment makes no allowance for mistakes of others. When punishment has been received for mistakes, and grief expressed, yet all doors are closed to the offenders, watch out for poor judgment.     

This type of judgment causes great damage to offenders. They are bound to the bondage of worthlessness and lack of self-esteem, because that is exactly how they are judged. Bondages are always from the devil. Freedom is always from God.

The devil carefully works his plan making sure both the offenders and the ones who permanently judge, are in bondage. The offenders are constantly bombarded with the devil’s whispers, “You can’t do anything right. You’ll never be any good. You’re just a bad person. No one will ever give you an opportunity because everyone knows all about you. There is no need to try. Even if you do something right, they’ll say it is wrong—just because you did it!”

The ones passing judgment are also bombarded with the devil’s accusations against the offenders, “Just because they’ve been punished doesn’t mean they should have another chance. They messed things up before and will again. It’s best to keep them at a distance. They have lost the privilege of being trusted.” 

PRAYER

God of Mercy,  You have forgiven and helped me, let me do the same for others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows how to love everyone—He will help me!

Why Make It Harder?

SEPTEMBER 1

MATTHEW 6:34_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Focus on who God is and who you are in Him! Receive extra power for the hard days. Worry only makes the hard days harder. In this verse Jesus says something to the effect of, “Life in this world is hard enough—why make it harder? Jesus lets you know He’s with you all the way.

Jesus can provide.

That doesn’t mean you may not go through lean times. If you have no needs you will never experience how God can meet them. He’ll hold and guide you on the path of discipleship and add “all these things unto you.”

Proverbs 4:18 (KJV), “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Once you’ve committed to becoming salty-lit-up disciples for Jesus—that light just keeps on shining!  I Thessalonians 5:5 (KJV), “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”

All days are not hard, or bad, or evil. The devil would have you believe otherwise. He tempts you to worry about the future. Live free by focusing more on who God is, His grace and mercy, and His phenomenal power to transform any circumstance!

PRAYER

God Who Transforms, Thank You for the bright days I’ve had, and the ones on the way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                         

Christ is full of light—He fills me with His light!

Learn to Praise

AUGUST 20

MATTHEW 6:31_saying, what shall ye eat or, what shall ye drink, or wherewithal shall ye be clothed?

If you plan to overcome worry with Scripture, go to those wonderful Psalms. When the devil tempts you to worry it is because he knows worry weakens. Weakness makes an easy target.

Rather than worrying, learn to praise. Psalm 63 is a great way to praise. Read verses 1-8 (KJV), “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”

Notice when to seek God—early.

Notice what thirsts—the soul.

Notice how the soul follows after God—hard 

PRAYER

Lord Who Satisfies, I want my soul satisfied by You—to follow hard after You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s lovingkindness is better than life – I praise Him!