Love and Freedom

JANUARY 4

MATTHEW 5:1_his disciples came unto him:

I really love once Jesus was ready, on His mark, and set, His disciples came to Him. 

In preparation to begin life’s work, there was one more thing Jesus had done—called disciples. Jesus had many followers. He called twelve specifically. These twelve were set apart from the large number of disciples who chose to follow Jesus. 

The Twelve were chosen to be Jesus’ close companions, to be deeply instructed in the truth. To reach the mark, they followed Jesus. To reach the set, Jesus taught them. At His ascension into heaven Jesus gave eleven their go: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. (KJV)

Jesus’ truths accomplish two things: how to love, and how to live free. Love and freedom are inseparable. As with yoked animals, one cannot function properly without the other. Love and freedom are the strength of this powerful sermon you will study for a year.

You may reach some high hurdles. They appear overwhelming. They are. Love and freedom give needed strength.

Don’t quit!

PRAYER

Holy Savior, I am a disciple You have called. I need Your truth. Please teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                   

Christ is love and freedom—He gives them to me!

A Dilapidated House

DECEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:27_and great was the fall of it.

The longer life is lived on sandy soil the harder that life falls apart. There are people in their senior years who lived a lifetime of poor choices. Suddenly the day of reckoning appears and they have to face the music. It is heartbreaking. These people will tell you not to build your life on sandy soil.

They can still call on the name of the Lord. He will come and save them. This does not restore the years lost to foolishness. But there can be some restoration. Mercy is a welcomed guest in a dilapidated house.

Psalm 41:11(KJV), “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” God does not want your adversary, the devil, to have control over your life. God wants you to live as salty-lit-up disciples. A rock-solid life!

What kind of power does the devil have in your life?

Does he attack you with fear? Yes.

Does he accuse you of unworthiness? Absolutely!

Does he throw road blocks as you travel the narrow path? Yes.

Do these road blocks cause frustrations and delays in your kingdom projects? Yes.

Can he triumph over your life and control your future, current and eternal? Not a chance!!!!

 PRAYER

Everlasting Father, Help me not to live a life I will regret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ does not want me to grow old and regret my lifeI don’t want to!

In a Tight Spot

DECEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:26_And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not…

In Mark chapter 8 (KJV) Jesus feeds over four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish.  “So they [the people] did eat, and were filled: and they [the disciples] took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.”

Later, when Jesus was wearied of the Pharisees’ nagging, He enters a boat with His disciples, “14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.” Jesus begins to teach the disciples about the character of the Pharisees. The disciples thought He was fussing at them for forgetting the bread. “17 And when Jesus knew it [that the disciples were nervous], he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”

We feel like criticizing the disciples. They not only had witnessed the miracle of feeding over four thousand, and previously witnessed Him feeding over five thousand, but —Jesus used them to pass out the bread!

Let’s not be too hasty to criticize. In a tight spot, we quickly tend to side with anxiety over the power of our Rock.

PRAYER

Righteous Lord, Help me remember Your greatness and power every day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants us to remember His power—I will!

The Foundation is Vital

DECEMBER 13

MATTHEW 7:25_and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

The only thing which saves the house from this type of beating is its foundation. Of course good construction is important, but the foundation is vital. As in the study of the branch and the vine when the vine was the source, now the foundation is the source.

 In either lesson Jesus is still the Source.

This life-house stands strong because of its rock-solid foundation. Psalm 11:3 (KJV), “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous [salty-lit-up disciples] do?”

 If you’re not building upon the Rock you contribute to the decline of the nation. Salty-lit-up disciples help a country stand against the evils that beat against it.

Psalm 92 (KJV) lets us see why we should be solid in the Rock, “13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” 

When you stand strong against the storms of life, you shed light on God’s righteousness—you preserve His ways.

PRAYER

God of All, Help me show the world Your goodness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ can use my life to show His righteousness—Oh yes!

Narrow Passages

OCTOBER 27

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

My favorite path in Rock City is the Needle’s Eye. As many times as I have been there, it remains my favorite. Two large rock formations are close together but not touching—just barely not touching. As you enter the trail between the rocks, depending upon your size, you may be able to walk normally, moving forward. But as you continue, you come to places where the rocks are closer together. This is when some people have to turn side ways to continue. There are some very narrow passages.

The strait gate, which Jesus says leads to life, is also narrow. The Needle’s Eye leaves very little room for baggage. As you continue to travel the path some of the passages are so narrow if you brought along baggage, you will have to return to the gate and leave it.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave him this advice, concerning all the Hebrews he was leading to the promised land, Exodus 18:20 (KJV), “And thou [Moses] shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.”

As a salty-lit-up disciple do the same thing. Give light to the narrow path so seekers can follow it.     

PRAYER

One True God, Help me be light to the strait gate and narrow way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ casts off my baggage—I’ll follow the narrow way!