The Proper Title

NOVEMBER 24

MATTHEW 7:21_that saith unto me Lord, Lord…

Jesus says these not everyones are calling Him Lord, which is His proper title—from birth. Luke 2:11(KJV), “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Using Jesus’ title of Lord is a form of praise. Praise comes from a heart overflowing with love and admiration. Love that flows from one heart to another in order to:

Give encouragement,

Convey respect,

Send a message you have been blessed by actions, words, or deeds,

Say, “I’m on your side.”

The ultimate flow of praise from one heart to another is to say, “I want to be like you.” 

Romans 10:9 (KJV) tells us the primary reason Jesus is Lord, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 

There is another way that Jesus’ title of Lord could be used—a form of flattery. Flattery comes from a heart overflowing with self-centeredness, which flows for only one reason—to get what it wants from the recipient. It has nothing to do with love, respect, or admiration.

It has to do with, “You possess what I want, I don’t have the means of obtaining it without you, so I’ll appeal to your ego.”

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I desire to praise You as the Lord who saves the lost. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                              

Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth—I believe, He saves!

Make the Effort

MAY 15

MATTHEW 6:3_let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.

Unfortunately, modern society encourages us to be offended by numerous things. Jesus doesn’t want us to be offended – He wants us to be overcomers. Romans 12:21 (KJV), “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Let’s just agree, left-handers will not be offended because Jesus implies the doing of alms is by the right hand. Personally, I believe Jesus was ambidextrous.

This is not a lesson on hand usage. This is a lesson on secret giving.

In this part of verse 3, Jesus uses graphics again. Picture in your mind to hide from your left hand something your right hand does. It would take some effort – either hiding the left hand behind your back, or in your pocket, or under something. Generally, both your hands are exposed to each other.

If your heart is dedicated to the Jesus lifestyle, you make the effort to live life Jesus’ way. 

Jesus knew the world operated on a right-handed system. The right hand thing emphasizes what comes natural to most of the world. It comes natural to want to make your gifts known – especially a large gift.

Turn 180 degrees, and keep it secret.

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I never want my ego to cause me to bask in the glory and praise of people, lest I think I don’t need You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ takes care of my needs—He wants me to believe!

An Inflated Ego

MAY 12

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Jesus uses His attention getting word in this verse – verily. Perk up, open your heart, receive some truth!

Charity giving as a public spectacle may cause it to be more of a showy extravaganza than a sincere act of the heart. The more public, the more praise you receive.

In this example, Jesus’ verily draws attention to the fact this reward has already been received. Sounds like Jesus says, “Don’t look for a reward from God – you sought man’s reward, and have received it.”

Earthly praise is very good – especially when parents praise their children for making wise choices and in general doing good. But to seek public praise, can be destructive. An inflated ego can cause you to believe you are invincible.

I recently heard a little saying I like very much: Your ego is not your amigo!

In John 8:54 (KJV) Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.” Wow! Even Jesus, who is glory, didn’t seek self-glory!

PRAYER

God of Glory, Help me know the only way I am invincible is in Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ did not seek His own glory—He sought God’s glory!

It Is They

MAY 10

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Hypocrites. If anyone makes the Bible and the Christian faith look bad, it is they. If anyone can make a good act look bad, it is they. If anyone can make what should be an act of love turn into ego, it is they. If anyone can tip the scales so judgment outweighs mercy, it is they. If anyone can take a lie and cleverly disguise it as the truth, it is they. 

Is it any wonder Jesus accepted the thieves, murderers, and morally impure over the religious hypocrites? The former came to Jesus broken, bleeding captives seeking forgiveness and love. They came with a repentant heart. Covered His feet with their tears. The latter came self-assured and confident of their lack of need for help. They came with an arrogant heart – saw themselves good.

Hypocrites love to sound the trumpet before their good deeds. They desire to bring glory to themselves. They make sure they receive praise. And the whole world needs to know!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Only You are worthy to receive glory, and honor, and blessing, forever and ever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ alone is worthy of the world’s glory—I praise Him!