An Innumerable Amount of People

MARCH 6

MATTHEW 5:19_and teach them…

Again, Jesus’ emphasis to keep the commandments includes and teach them. Jon Donne’s phrase “no man is an island” is true. There is nothing you can do in life which only involves you. Any decision you make will directly, or indirectly, affect the people God places in your life.

Sometimes those decisions will affect people you don’t even know. If you make the decision to drink and drive, and have no passengers, you may feel that decision only involves you. But if you are involved in an accident with one or more vehicles, suddenly other people are involved in your decision.

Any time you decide to do what is right or wrong, you affect the welfare and safety of an innumerable amount of people. If you make decisions in your heart not to steal, not to kill, not to commit immoral acts – your decisions make the world a safer and better place.

You teach others to do right either directly by words, or indirectly by influence.

The same is true about wrong. Genesis 3:17 (KJV), “And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it….” Not only were Eve, Adam, and the Serpent punished, but everyone who has lived since that day reaps the consequences of their disobedience.

PRAYER

King of Kings, I want my example in life to be for good. I want to make right choices for myself and help others make them as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                          

Christ is my example for good—He wants me to follow!

From the Letter to the Spirit

FEBRUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:18_pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Here is the point of Jesus’ principle, till all be fulfilled. Notice how Jesus took specific steps to emphasize His point. 

First, He began with the verily: [I solemnly declare, sacred, seriously and thoughtfully, emphatically, affirm]. He’s grabbing our attention right from the get-go.

Second, Jesus makes clear the time frame He is addressing, till heaven and earth pass away, as long as the world we live in lasts. 

Third, Jesus shows the inclusiveness of every part of the Law, jots and tittles [tiniest of strokes]. Even these will stand, last, and endure.

Had Jesus stopped with these three points we would all be living under the Law. The fulfillment takes us from the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. The Law, and the strictest keeping of it, can never equal the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. His death gave us new life. Jesus’ resurrection opened the door for eternity. 

If you are confused about fulfillment, and the judgment and mercy balance – stay tuned. In just a few more verses Jesus will take more specific steps to explain.

PRAYER

Saving Jesus, Please guide me with Your truth, step by step. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is the spirit of the Law—I should be too!

Perk Up, Listen, Pay Attention!

FEBRUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:18_For verily I say unto you…

In this verse Jesus begins His verilies, i.e., verily I say unto you. 

The Greek translation for this is, I solemnly declare unto you. Merriam-Webster defines solemn as, sacred; done or made seriously and thoughtfully. Declare is defined as, to state emphatically – affirm.

Any way you look at it or define it, Jesus is about to make some kind of profound statement. He gives an introduction, a foreword to something. Perk up, listen, and be prepared to pay attention. What Jesus is about to say means a great deal to Him, which means it should to you as well. I believe the reason it means a great deal to Jesus is because He knows it is beneficial to His friends (us), who He loves unconditionally.

So, if you are thinking of leaving off with these devotions, stop for a minute. Think about Jesus’ introduction to His next set of teachings. He is about to declare something sacred, and to state it emphatically.

Jesus wants you to take this seriously and think about it. He wants these teachings affirmed in your heart.

  PRAYER

Almighty Jesus, Cause me to be alert to Your teachings. Even if they sound strange to me, help my heart listen. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ teaches serious truth—I will pay attention!