Perk Up, Listen, Pay Attention!

FEBRUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:18_For verily I say unto you…

In this verse Jesus begins His verilies, i.e., verily I say unto you. 

The Greek translation for this is, I solemnly declare unto you. Merriam-Webster defines solemn as, sacred; done or made seriously and thoughtfully. Declare is defined as, to state emphatically – affirm.

Any way you look at it or define it, Jesus is about to make some kind of profound statement. He gives an introduction, a foreword to something. Perk up, listen, and be prepared to pay attention. What Jesus is about to say means a great deal to Him, which means it should to you as well. I believe the reason it means a great deal to Jesus is because He knows it is beneficial to His friends (us), who He loves unconditionally.

So, if you are thinking of leaving off with these devotions, stop for a minute. Think about Jesus’ introduction to His next set of teachings. He is about to declare something sacred, and to state it emphatically.

Jesus wants you to take this seriously and think about it. He wants these teachings affirmed in your heart.

  PRAYER

Almighty Jesus, Cause me to be alert to Your teachings. Even if they sound strange to me, help my heart listen. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ teaches serious truth—I will pay attention!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Wider Than You Can See

FEBRUARY 11

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

Did you notice what kind of light Jesus said you should be? He said of the world. Your light is not exclusive to yourself, your family, or your circle of friends. It is for all of those and that is where your light should shine its brightest. Those are your light’s foundation – where your light gains momentum to spread – where your light gains illumination.

There are cases when a family resists and may even resent a light in the midst. This is one of those opportunities to suffer for Jesus’ sake. It’s a hard place to be, but remember that kind of persecution brings with it blessings and rewards.

Truth always prevails. Jesus said you are the light of the world. If discipleship is your heart’s desire, your light will shine. Don’t be discouraged if you experience times of what appears to be failure. The extent to which your light shines is in God’s hands. You do not possess His ability to see inside hearts. Your light reaches far wider than you can see.

The time table as to when you may see results is also in God’s hands. He is always working on behalf of His disciples. He will keep working. You just keep shining.

  PRAYER

God of Light, I want my light to shine anywhere and everywhere You place me. I know You will help me shine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ is the Light of the World—He will help me shine!

… Satisfied!

FEBRUARY 9

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

Another feature of incredible salt is it causes thirst. Why is that a good thing? Water promotes good health. If you quench thirst with water it’s a very good thing! Milk and fruit juices are also healthy drinks, but when you are truly thirsty, nothing satisfies like water! 

This teaching about salt is a spiritual lesson. Jesus says He is Living Water. His water totally quenches thirst. Once inside you, Jesus’ water is like a well continually springing up into everlasting life (John 4:10,14 KJV). 

The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is living water. The Spirit teaches, guides, and directs your spirit to the truths of the Bible. Nothing satisfies a genuinely thirsty spirit like truth.

Perhaps you have friends who are thirsty – desperately thirsty. Maybe they have tried to quench their thirst with the world’s water. Perhaps that led them to make wrong choices, which only added more desperation to their thirst.

The world can never satisfy what only Jesus can supply.

As a salty friend you can keep your friends thirsty and help them find the satisfaction of Living Water.  

  PRAYER

God of Truth, I want to be salt to the people You bring into my life. I want to help them find Your Living Water. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ is Living Water—I want to lead others to Him!

… 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!

To Be a True Friend

JANUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him. 

I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth. 

Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the  Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve. 

Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!                                

 PRAYER

God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!