Give the Creator Credit

APRIL 1

MATTHEW 5:30_And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee…

More graphics. The inevitable process is if the looking is not controlled, the act is very likely to occur. Jesus says before you get physically involved in sexual sin, it’s better to cut off your hand. Again, don’t go cutting off your hand!! Please stay with these devotions.

Let’s go back to Proverbs 6 concerning adultery, verses 24-29 (KJV), “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?  29 So he that goeth in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”

The Bible says whoever touches her shall not be innocent – looking leads to touching, and touching leads to disaster! If you play with fire, you will get burned. If you feel the Bible is too binding and you are free to make your own decisions, please give the Creator of sexuality credit for knowing how it works. But you do have a free will to make your own decisions, and your free will always bear the consequences.

As in every case, Jesus is trying to save you from misery and bondage.

You do not want to live a life of regret. 

 PRAYER

Almighty God, Thank You for warning me of disaster ahead. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ warns His disciples of disaster—I should listen!

A Call in Your Heart

 FEBRUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:15_ but on a candlestick…

The proper place for the candle to do its job is on the candlestick. One more time – the purpose of light is to dispel and overcome darkness. 

The one who lit the candle did it because there was darkness – light was needed. The one who lit the candle sets it on a candlestick. It is Jesus who says, “Ye are the light of the world. It is Jesus who lights your candle. The Holy Spirit has placed a call in your heart. You either accept the call to be Jesus’ light, or run from it. You’re either shining or hiding. You have the freedom to choose. 

You may believe you light your own candle by  good works, or regular church attendance. Those should be the results of your shining light. If you concentrate more on being good than being in relationship with Jesus, you may shine the wrong light – for your glory.

Like light, you have a purpose. Your purpose is God’s amazing plan for your life. He created a plan for you before you were born. You were born to achieve that plan. Jesus gives you what you need to achieve your plan. Jesus calls you to fulfill it.

It is Jesus who lights your candle. It is Jesus who sets your candle on the candlestick. It is Jesus who brings the two together. 

PRAYER

Jesus Messiah, Praise You for giving me a purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is a candlestick—He wants my light on it!

The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

True Love Cannot Be Forced

JANUARY 18

MATTHEW 5:6_Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…

If we were all created in the image of a righteous God, why is the world so wicked? The answer lies in creation itself. We were all created with a free will. We make our own choices. We are not puppets on a string that can only do their master’s bidding. 

It took a lot of love on God’s part to allow the thing He created to reject Him. But God understood without freedom there can never be love. True love cannot be forced. True love comes freely from the heart.

You can never truly love someone if you have no choice in the matter. By the same token, you can never be truly loved by one who is forced to love you. 

Although you were born with the desire to give and receive love, you were also born with the freedom to choose or reject it. That works with people as well as with God. You may not choose to love God, but from the day of your birth (and even before)He chose to love you. 

Does the same apply to righteousness? You were born in the image of a righteous God. Do you have the freedom to reject righteousness?   

Don’t miss tomorrow!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Thank You for giving me a free will. Help me use it to live in Your image, choosing Your righteousness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ chose to love me—He can help me love Him!

Not Everyone

NOVEMBER 23

MATTHEW 7:21_Not everyone…

Since Jesus begins this teaching by saying not everyone, there must be some exclusiveness. Can mercy be exclusive? If so, who decides who is excluded? Would it be Jesus? How does He decide it?

Mercy is a God-like attribute.

Mercy is a Jesus quality.

Mercy covers sins.

Mercy covers shortcomings.

Mercy covers failures.

Mercy rescues the undeserving. 

Mercy brings the lost to shelter and safety.

Mercy does this by its very nature of being merciful.

However, one of those hard realities of life we prefer to avoid, is mercy is not limitless.

That is hard truth! 

When mercy has offered itself over and again countless times and been refused, it reaches its limit.  Personally, I don’t think mercy had limits in the originality of the Garden of Eden. But free will caused it to pull in the reins, put on the brakes, and turn off the power.

That’s when a phrase like, not everyone, came into play. Mercy is for everyone, just as life without death was for Adam and Eve, but everyone has the freedom to reject it. 

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please help me never to reject Your mercy. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                       

Christ offers mercy to those who will receive it—I will receive!