Do It!

 MARCH 23

MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Be reconciled! Even if you never perpetrated a wound but feel the devil may have caused someone to misunderstand. Explain in detail, perhaps even in writing, if that will diminish the devil’s power.  

This is not about political correctness. It is not about agreeing with something that compromises your faith and convictions in order to please another person. This is about genuine repentance and grief. This is about expressing shame for your anger, or attitude, or theft, or for whatever you are guilty.

If you stole something – repay it. Depending upon how serious you are, repay more than you stole. You are not obligated to do that by the letter of the Law, but perhaps by the spirit. If the one you wronged has deep unforgiveness toward you, that might light their way to forgiveness. If needed, work out a payment plan – but whatever you have to do, do it!

If earthly possessions are in any way holding you back from being reconciled with someone – you are in bondage. Give your gift to God and live free. You can never out give God. Whatever you give to, or sacrifice for Him – will return with interest.

PRAYER

True God, Give me a willing heart and teach me how to use it for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me reconciled—I will do my part!

… And Saltier

FEBRUARY 8

MATTHEW 5:13_Ye are the salt of the earth but…

Another purpose for which God designed salt is flavor. Seriously, could you really enjoy popcorn without salt? What about your fries? Salt just enhances flavor – taking something already good and making it better.

Would you like to be someone who enhances your friends’ faith? Maybe you could help them over some type of difficulty? Or perhaps give added strength for a struggle that’s a little too heavy to bear alone? And, for that matter, would you want a salty friend to enhance you?

Salt also gives an appealing and unique flavor to something that’s sweet – some salt with chocolate or caramel adds a flavorful touch. Do you want a friend who always tells you what you want to hear, or tells you what you need to hear? It takes someone who truly loves you to tell you the truth when they know it may hurt.

Everyone wants to hear good and praiseworthy things, but if you’re blindly heading toward a cliff, someone needs to stop you before it’s too late. This is not criticizing. This is when your friend sees you have made a decision which threatens to lead to bondage.

Be sweet and kind to all your friends but love them enough to know when just a little salt can enhance the sweet.

PRAYER

Loving God, I know the Bible gives me enough salt to keep me on the right path. Please help me receive it through Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ’s love enhances my spirit – I want to love others!

The Prime Example

FEBRUARY 1

MATTHEW 5:11_Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you  

Jesus is consistent to connect blessings with eight characteristics. Christians call these characteristics beatitudes. If you’re going to have an attitude, have a beatitude!

The result of each characteristic is to be blessed, translated as happy, or fortunate

These are not earthly blessings given by earthly people (who could also take them away). These are spiritual, supernatural blessings. Nothing in this life can take away the love, joy, peace, or faith which comes from being blessed by God.

What does it mean to be reviled? It is to be harshly criticized. To be spoken to in great anger. It is a painful experience stinging long after the verbal abuse. 

As in the previous teachings, Jesus does not say we will be blessed if we are reviled for dishonest, immoral, or deceitful behavior. The blessings of Jesus’ promises are for the pain experienced for doing what is right and being reviled for it. 

There are examples of people in the Bible who experienced just that. The prime example is the Lord Jesus Christ.

 PRAYER

Holy Christ, Thank You for teaching me the truth through the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ was reviled for the truth—May I be as strong!

What Jesus Says

JANUARY 7

MATTHEW 5:2_saying,

Jesus has reached the mark, set, and opened His mouth. Here we go! Now is the time to be blessed as only truth, love, and freedom can bless.

What Jesus says gives liberty. What Jesus says gives self-acceptance with worth.

What Jesus says gives power to forgive. What Jesus says gives God’s wisdom.

What Jesus says gives peace to pass human understanding.

What Jesus says gives courage in the midst of, and in the face of, raging storms.

What Jesus says gives love. This is not the temporal self-absorbing love, but the true, everlasting, never failing love.

What Jesus says gives faith—incredible, phenomenal, mountain moving!

There is nothing namby-pamby about Jesus or His teachings. He brings real answers for real people with real problems.

Jesus brings strong truth for weak people who need real help.

He brings tough love that doesn’t coddle or pamper, but compassionately stays until the hurt is soothed and healing has come.

Throughout this year consider these sayings, hand-picked for you.

PRAYER

Almighty God, I have real problems and I need real answers. Help me draw closer to You through Your teachings. I can trust You to guide me in faith. I want incredible, phenomenal, mountain moving faith! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my hurts and pains—and He cares!

The Great Liberator! The Great Metamorphosis!

DECEMBER 31

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

You may think we’ve covered everything Jesus can be, but—He is The Great Liberator!

II Corinthians 3:17 (KJV), “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I don’t believe any of us can completely grasp all Jesus has taught us in the past year. It will take meditating on His teachings, reading and studying, and prayer to instill this radical lifestyle into our being. We will need faith and trust that only the Holy Spirit can build inside us.

We all experience life like a worm looking for a better existence. We want more than to inch and crawl our way through life. Oh! That’s something else Jesus is – The Great Metamorphosis! He takes our wormy existence and builds Himself around and within us. Jesus works from the inside, gradually changing hearts—this requires taking the broken pieces and gently making them whole again. With time, we emerge into something beautiful—no longer crawling, but flying!

Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV), “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness [of our hearts], and rivers in the desert [of our lives].”     

 PRAYER

Holy and Resplendent God, I know there is no bondage in life from which You cannot free me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ liberates and metamorphoses me—I can live free!