For the Sake of Righteousness

JANUARY 29

MATTHEW 5:10_Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

No one wants to be persecuted, for any reason – even righteousness. But if we are, let’s hope we respond as the Apostles after they were beaten for teaching the words of Jesus. Acts 5:41 (KJV), “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Jesus says we’re blessed if we are persecuted. He says the reward is the same as for those who are poor in spirit – the kingdom of heaven. I still see this reference to the kingdom of heaven as something we attain in this life. There is a difference. We do not experience the kind of perfection in the earthly kingdom as we will in the eternal heavenly kingdom. But we can experience the power of walking free in our spirit and overpowering fear, in this kingdom of heaven. 

I hope I appreciate persecution when it causes me to become a part of the kingdom of heaven. I know I will suffer persecution as a part of God’s kingdom in this life.

I must take heed to the reason Jesus says I will be persecuted – for the sake of righteousness.

 PRAYER

Dear Savior, I ask You to help me be alert to righteousness in this sinful world. Help me stand for it and live it out in my life daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is the kingdom of heaven—I want to live in Him!

The Amazing Heart

JANUARY 24

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

The amazing heart seldom receives its full due. If you think in scientific terms you know it keeps blood pumping. Essential to life. Leviticus 17:11 (KJV), ‘”For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

When you think of the heart as the center of your emotions, you see love, joy, panic, and fear. The beating heart keeps hormones producing and functioning. Have you discovered something significant? There is a reason deep sorrow and sadness are called heartbreak.

The Bible teaches much more about the heart. The heart is the very center of decision making. When the heart is filled with bitterness, you become a bitter person. You may not even realize it, but the people who know you see it plainly. If your heart is full of hate, you become hateful. A heart filled with unbridled hate may even be moved to murder. The heart instructs the brain, not the other way around. Even though this is not popular science it is what the Bible teaches. 

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  What you dwell on in your heart is who you are.

Another thing to count on is what your heart dwells on will eventually come out of your mouth – guaranteed!

PRAYER

Father in Heaven, I know what rules my heart will rule my life. I want that to be goodness and purity. Please help me obtain it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ wants my heart clean—He will cleanse it!

Now That’s Some Meekness!

JANUARY 14

MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…

Meek. It’s just not a word used much these days. Perhaps that’s why it is so misinterpreted.  Merriam-Webster’s definition of meek is mild or humble. For whatever reason, we tend to think of mild and humble as weak and puny. We think of a meek person as one who lacks courage. A person who is timid or shy. A person who runs away from any kind of controversy. We think of a meek person as one who succumbs to fear.

Au contraire mes amis!! (Look up your French).

The Lord Jesus Christ was the meekest person who ever walked the earth, second was Moses (Numbers 12:3 KJV). He was neither timid nor shy. Jesus faced multitudes daily. They swarmed Him like the paparazzi! We can be sure He wanted some me-time, but Jesus was not about me. Jesus was about setting people free, regardless of the cost to personal life.

Mark 6:34 (KJV), “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Now that’s some meekness – at its best! 

PRAYER

Precious Jesus, I praise Your meekness. Please teach me meekness. I desire to love others more than myself. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is meekness—He will teach me to be!

An Ultimatum

DECEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

Jesus’ authority came from His Father in Heaven. We need earthly authority during our days in this world, but ultimate authority reigns in heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees craved…no…the better word is lusted, for power and authority and for admiration and respect. They wanted exactly what Jesus had.

Admiration and respect encourage and build up those in authority. When the authority desires to place fear in those they rule, respect becomes an ultimatum. It does not administer love.  Remember, sometimes love is administered with a firm hand. Since the people were astonished by Jesus’ kind of teaching, and saw it as totally different from the Scribes’ teaching—they obviously had not been administered love by their authorities. Their respect must have been more of an ultimatum. 

Jesus’ teachings led to truth and freedom. It gave the people answers to their struggles and created freedom in their souls.

This authority loves.

The Scribes’ teachings led to fear and bondage. The people feared the consequences if they rejected their teachings. It created bondage of the soul.

This authority oppresses.

 PRAYER

Good Shepherd, I respect and admire You because You give love to me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ has the ultimate authority—He uses it to love 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!