A Big Stick

SEPTEMBER 18

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

According to Zechariah 2:8 (KJV), God considers Israel as the apple of His eye, “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me [an angel] unto the nations which spoiled you [Israel]: for he that toucheth you [Israel] toucheth the apple of his [God’s] eye.”

Paul saw Israel and the Jews as the apple of God’s eye. He saw Christians as a blot in God’s eye. He could not see the true blot – his own sect, the Pharisees.

God saw the fervor with which Paul attacked Christians. And because God sees the heart, it was clear Paul’s fervor came from love and devotion to God. It was that love and devotion which caused God to choose Paul (not the other way around) to become a two-fold fixer for His beloved Israel.

God used Paul’s great zeal to publically proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. This cleared away the beam from the eyes of any Pharisees with a true heart for God. God also used Paul’s zeal to bring salvation to the Gentiles – the Messiah died for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

Because Paul was so far off the path, God used a big stick (discipline) to straighten him out.

Then God used Paul in an amazing way.    

PRAYER

Holy God, Please use my zeal to share Your truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ chooses to use me in the world—I will let Him!

The Key

JANUARY 5

MATTHEW 5:2_And he opened his mouth…

These devotionals are based on the Holy Bible, specifically Matthew chapters five through seven. Devotion can be based on many things—you just may not call it devotion. Setting aside time to read requires some devotion. What you choose to read during that time is a part of your heart’s devotion.

This blog is devoted to the Bible as the true source of spiritual power. Yes, power! To live a defeated life is to live without power. In this sermon Jesus teaches how to receive power from the truths of the Bible.

Jesus is ready for His go. He opens His mouth. Not to take a deep breath, or to eat, but to teach. All the words in this sermon are the result of one act—Jesus opened His mouth.

He could have made a decision not to open His mouth. There are more relaxing ways to spend a day than teaching a multitude of people. Jesus taught because the strongest force known to man overflowed within Him—love. Infused in the love was freedom.

There were too many unmet needs in the multitude for Jesus to keep His mouth closed. He possessed their cures. 

The Bible is the key to open a treasure box of love and freedom in your spirit. The wealth in the box is unattainable without the key.

PRAYER

Loving Jesus, Please teach me how to be devoted to You and Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is devoted to me—I want to be devoted to Him!

Rock-Solid

DECEMBER 9

MATTHEW 7:24_which built his house upon a rock.

Previously we discussed the importance of a solid foundation. Any builder will agree the foundation makes or breaks the house. Being a stonemason, Jesus understands the strength of rock. Rock-solid, refers to something completely secure, built to last, totally dependable. Jesus says to hear, act, and become wise, gives life a rock-solid foundation. 

Perhaps we shouldn’t have favorites among the disciples, but mine have always been Peter and John. I’ve heard so many Bible teachers joke about Peter always blurting out and talking over all the other disciples. I see all his blurts as zealous passion for Jesus. I see devoted love—something he just couldn’t keep inside.

Peter’s name was Simon. Jesus changed it to Peter, which means rock. I believe Jesus saw the solidness in Peter’s love for Him long before anyone else saw it.

Matthew 16:18 (KJV) says, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Peter’s life] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  

Be like Peter and build your life on solid rock!

PRAYER

Rock of My Salvation, When I build my life on Your teachings I’m rock-solid. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ’s principles are rock-solid—I want them!