The Great Transformer

MARCH 31

MATTHEW 5:29_for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Jesus’ use of graphics continues. The graphics are not only good for attention, but emphasize the importance of what Jesus teaches. Which is better, to live life with one eye, or live eternity in hell? The answer is a no-brainer. Good point, Jesus!

It is not the looking at porn which sends you to hell. However, the power of porn bondage can cause you to reject Jesus. It has power to convince you to forfeit Jesus’ free gift of eternal life, for the world’s temporary pleasures.

A life of bondage is life in a black hole of powerlessness. A life of freedom is to dwell in the light and love of Jesus.

Any time you turn to porn for pleasure, you turn away from Jesus to the devil. The devil wants you on his team for one reason – to destroy you. Jesus wants you on His team for many reasons, the first is eternal life. 

Jesus has your attention. He has shown you that to play on the devil’s team can be extremely dangerous.

Never pluck out your eye! It is not necessary. It wouldn’t deliver you from bondage anyway.

Along with being The Great Balancer, Jesus is also The Great Transformer!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You I never need to destroy my life or limbs in any way in order to become free from bondage. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Transformer—He wants to transform me!

Who Reigns on Your Throne?

MARCH 13

MATTHEW 5:20_you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If the kingdom of heaven is within you, it is in your heart. What is in your heart calls you to discipleship. You become disciples to whomever or whatever reigns on the heart’s throne. If Christ does not reign on the throne, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, and this time that works whether the kingdom is part of this earthly life, or it is eternal life.

The hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees were full of religion. They would have had to make room for Jesus to reign there. If Jesus reigned in their hearts, they would have known who He was. 

The Scribes and Pharisees’ righteousness was self-righteousness, thriving on self-glory and power. The righteousness in the kingdom of heaven thrives on doing good by serving others, which glorifies God. The heart, being the center of your thoughts, makes the decision as to who you want your life to glorify – self or God.

You have only one chance to live this life. If your goal is to use your life to make a difference in the world for good – then you’ve got Jesus’ righteousness.

The world will recognize Jesus when it sees your righteousness.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank You that You can be seen in me. Thank You that through Your power I can do Your works. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ reigns in hearts—I want Him in mine!

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!

An End

FEBRUARY 24

MATTHEW 5:18_Till heaven and earth pass…

Do you believe there will be an end to the world? Does that mean an end of time? If the world ends, will time continue? If time does not continue, can there be an eternity?

The apostle John brings an end to the present heaven and earth in his book, The Revelation, the final book in the Bible.  In it he refers to a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:1 (KJV), “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

When there is no more earth, the sea shall also have passed away. It may seem easier to understand the destruction of the earth than the heaven, but this is not the heaven of heavens (I Kings 8:27 KJV).

Jesus made His statement in this verse long before John wrote The Revelation. Jesus knew the current world as we know it would have an end.

The laws God gave to Moses belong to this life. Jesus has already declared He will not destroy the laws, but be their fulfillment. What Jesus says next makes it clear that the Law is not going anywhere as long as we are living in this life.  

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You that You will bring a new heaven and a new earth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ knows this life will cease—He offers me new life!

Jesus’ Destructive Agenda

FEBRUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:17_I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

There was hardly anything destructive about Jesus’ earthly life. He came to heal the sick, give hope to the destitute, set demonic captives free, raise the dead, and above all else, freely give eternal life. His earthly purpose from beginning to end was mercy and love.

However, He did have one destructive agenda – hypocrisy. This would be hypocrisy among the God followers, salt that’s been contaminated with arrogance and lust, and lost its savor. Lights that shine only to bring self-glory. Those were things for which Jesus showed zero tolerance. 

He did not hesitate to call the guilty appropriate names, and in one instance physically remove their presence from the temple.

To destroy the law or prophets was far from Jesus’ purpose. He made it clear He was their fulfillment. The balance Jesus brought between the judgment of the Old Testament and the mercy of the New Testament was something Jesus alone could achieve.

To have too much of one and not enough of the other is destructive. Salt and light require the perfect balance of each.

PRAYER

Righteous Jesus, Help me to never fall into hypocrisy. Make me aware if I’m heading in that direction and re-direct my steps. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ balances judgment and mercy—Praise Him!