Plug the Loopholes

APRIL 11

MATTHEW 5:34_But I say unto you swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne.

Psalm 15 lists several creation principles everyone should live by – especially salty-lit-up disciples. The last part of verse 4 (KJV) says, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” If you make a promise and in the long run it turns out to be something bigger than you thought, or cost more money that you expected – keep your promise. Psalm 15 says even if it hurts, keep your word.

In His New Covenant teaching Jesus transforms the old law about swearing – don’t swear at all! A practice in the Hebrew culture in that day was to swear by something. The more important the something was, the more emphasis on the oath. Jesus targets that system.

Perhaps the thought was you could get by without keeping your word if you didn’t swear by God’s name. If you swore by God you had to keep your word. As usual, Jesus looks beyond man’s plans on how to get by without keeping His creation principles. Jesus sees a loophole. He plans to plug it!

If you made a promise by heaven but did not mention God’s name Jesus says, heaven is God’s throne. The two are inseparable.

This sounds a lot like the murder and the anger, and the looking and the lust. 

PRAYER

True God, I don’t want to look for loopholes in Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ plugs loopholes—I need Him to plug mine!

The Original Plan

APRIL 3

MATTHEW 5:31_It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.

More law transformation.

Divorce has always been a heart-wrenching, painful, experience – especially when children are involved. Jesus wants to save His disciples from this kind of pain. When someone you love hurts, you hurt as well, and Jesus loves His followers.

Mark 10:5-9 (KJV), “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept [divorce]. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Jesus teaches the original plan – if two become one that is how they should remain.

When the only two people on the planet chose disobedience, and sin entered their hearts, their hearts hardened. A hard heart is difficult to live with. When two are put together it’s doubly hard.

The only hope is The Great Transformer.

PRAYER

Lord of All, Please give me wisdom concerning the very difficult situations in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                           

Christ created marriage to be forever—He will teach me!                                      

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!

Give the Creator Credit

APRIL 1

MATTHEW 5:30_And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee…

More graphics. The inevitable process is if the looking is not controlled, the act is very likely to occur. Jesus says before you get physically involved in sexual sin, it’s better to cut off your hand. Again, don’t go cutting off your hand!! Please stay with these devotions.

Let’s go back to Proverbs 6 concerning adultery, verses 24-29 (KJV), “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?  29 So he that goeth in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”

The Bible says whoever touches her shall not be innocent – looking leads to touching, and touching leads to disaster! If you play with fire, you will get burned. If you feel the Bible is too binding and you are free to make your own decisions, please give the Creator of sexuality credit for knowing how it works. But you do have a free will to make your own decisions, and your free will always bear the consequences.

As in every case, Jesus is trying to save you from misery and bondage.

You do not want to live a life of regret. 

 PRAYER

Almighty God, Thank You for warning me of disaster ahead. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ warns His disciples of disaster—I should listen!

Can’t Sweep It Under the Rug

 MARCH 20

MATTHEW 5:23_Therefore, if thy bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberst that thy brother has ought against thee;

The word altar is translated as God’s Table. This is the sacred table where sacrifices were offered to God. The sacrifices were to be the best you had. God knew if what you offered as a gift was your best, or something you really didn’t want anyway.

Your gift will never be an animal sacrifice. It will be some type of self-sacrifice, because that is always the best you can give. If you come to give your all, dedicating your life as a Jesus follower, you need to be sure there is nothing blocking your dedication. 

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift . When Jesus ascended back to His heavenly home, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. If you come to Jesus to give your life, but hold on to an old grudge or unsettled argument, you can count on the Holy Spirit to bring it to your remembrance. He won’t allow you to sweep it under the rug. If you do, then you bring damaged goods, not your best. Give God all you have to give – He’ll give you much more in return. 

This is not about you being good enough. Don’t leave me yet. 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to know how to give You all of myself, teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the altar—He wants all of me!