Everyone Has It!

MARCH 2

MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…

Jesus teaches something worse than to break even the least commandment – teach others to do the same. You can directly teach someone, or you can teach by influence. The power of influence is tremendous – and everyone has it!

You can’t keep commandments and make wise decisions in your own strength. When it comes to sin there is a one-size-fits-all consequence – eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23 (KJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 (KJV) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God’s compassion and forgiveness make a way to fix that. You need Jesus!

A hypocrite is a professing Christian who lives contrary (including influence) to the principles and teachings of the Bible. In other words, to be a Christian who is void of salt and light. The hypocrite will not cause anyone to thirst for truth – salt contaminated by the lures of the world and lost savor. No weary traveler will find the path to freedom through the darkness of a hypocrite.

You may not believe you are accountable for your influence. If someone makes a poor decision because of your influence, it is no different from your direct teaching. Everyone is responsible for their decisions – they can’t blame anyone else. But you are accountable for your contributing influence. And this is Jesus who says there will be a consequence.

Your call to be salt and light includes your influence. Contribute a salty-lit-up influence!

To really know Jesus is to know He is not about judgment and punishment. Jesus is the very embodiment of love, mercy, and grace. But it is also Jesus who warns there are consequences in life. This is why He draws attention to the importance of living in accordance with the commandments.

Just as the laws of the land, God’s laws are for your safety and protection. 

PRAYER

Precious Jesus, I want my life to be salt and light to those thirsty and in darkness. I want this to be true in whatever You call me to do in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is mercy and grace—I want to live like that!

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!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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!

Darkness Comes

  FEBRUARY 13

MATTHEW 5:14_A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Why is it that a city set on a hill cannot be hid? The answer is light. No matter how high the hill, or how thick its botanical surroundings, the lights of a whole city on a hilltop will shine through the darkness. 

Unless the city is without power, or kerosene, or fire, the lights will shine. Unless every business and every family operates from dawn to dusk, the lights will shine. The lights shine for one reason – because darkness comes. Every day, darkness comes. 

The primary purpose of any light is to dispel and overcome darkness. What a beautiful calling! Jesus calls His disciples to be light … to the world … to shine from a hilltop … and that light cannot be hid. 

Think of your light as hope for the hopeless.

Think of your light as a guide to the lost.

Think of your light as healing for the sick of soul.

Think of your light as freedom for the captive.

The primary purpose of any light is to dispel and overcome darkness.

Surely if there is anything you need to become, it is light in this dark world. Spiritual darkness comes to the world when lights are ousted. Someone needs to turn on the lights!

If you consider yourself to be a Jesus-disciple then you are called to turn on your light!  

  PRAYER

God of Glory, Thank You for changing my life from darkness to light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ’s light dispels darkness—He will do that for me!

Dangerous Ground

FEBRUARY 12

MATTHEW 5:14_Ye are the light of the world.

Would you ever want to be referred to as the light of the world? That might not sound too bad. May be more appealing than being called salt. Just be sure you don’t confuse this light with the limelight.

The light Jesus wants you to be is not the limelight. That does not mean He never wants you to experience success. Jesus not only wants you to experience success, He wants to give it to you! But success from Jesus must be in His time and in His way.

Jesus wants your light to shine for His glory, not your own. God knows the tremendous danger involved with living in the limelight. He doesn’t want you to go through that kind of heartbreak. Jesus keeps you safe when your light shines for Him. When it shines for you, you’re on dangerous ground.

Think of this light as a flashlight. It shines on a path to protect walkers from stumbling blocks. It shines inside or under dark places to help a seeker find something they’ve lost. It flashes on and off to signal someone from a distance who is trying to find their way to safety.

This is the light Jesus has called you to be. One which lights a path to Him. One which helps prodigals find their way home.

  PRAYER

Savior, Please keep my light shining for You, and not myself. Your light will lead me to help others find their way to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ’s light leads to truth—Truth leads to freedom!