… 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!

You Cannot Escape Creation

JANUARY 17

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

I love this one! Look at what it says. Don’t you want to be righteous in the depths of your heart? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to bed every night and know you’d been righteous that day? Don’t you long for that? Would you even say you hunger and thirst for it? 

If you could choose between playing your favorite game or helping a desperate friend, which would you choose? I trust you would choose the latter. Why? Because no matter how sophisticated, or prominent, or brilliant you may become, you cannot escape creation. 

You were created to know and be in a relationship with your creator – the God in whose image you are made. He is a part of who you are, and He is righteous. Because He is a part of you, the Holy Spirit places in your heart a desire to serve, care for, and have compassion on the people in your life.

I know what you are thinking – there are way too many people who have no desire for righteousness or to be like their creator. Agreed.

Stay with these devotions. All the bases will be covered.

PRAYER

Almighty God, If I have no hunger or thirst for righteousness, please place it in my heart. “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (Psalm 143:10 KJV). In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ is righteousness—He can give it to me!

Rulers in the Darkness

NOVEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV), “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

This verse says there are rulers in the darkness and they have powers. It is good to have a healthy fear of these powers. It helps you live in the reality that the devil is powerful and you are no match for him.

That’s as far as your fear needs to go. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Savior—you defeated the devil. He knows he no longer has power over your eternity. Beware that he will come after you in this life with his deception and lies about your unworthiness. 

Colossians 1:12-14 (KJV), “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [worthy] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

That’s why the devil is defeated.

Be knowledgeable about the spirits of darkness, but do not pursue experiencing first hand any kind of occult practices. Don’t go there, even if you think you are learning something for the good of helping a friend.

Grow strong in Jesus and know your Bible—that’s how you help friends!

PRAYER

Jesus Savior, Praise You for defeating the devil for me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ has defeated the devil and his demons—For me!

A Form of Worship

JUNE 1

MATTHEW 6:8_for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of…

God knows our needs. That is not a reason to bail out on prayer. We decided prayer was primarily about building relationships. Getting to know each other.

If we’ve learned anything the past 150 plus days it’s that Jesus’ teachings are right, holy, and true. Jesus’ teachings lead us to be salt and light.

We can learn a lot about prayer from the prophet Nehemiah. He prayed well and often. Nehemiah 1:11 (KJV), “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him [Nehemiah] mercy in the sight of this man [King Artaxerxes].”

Nehemiah had a large request to ask King Artaxerxes. He wanted some time off. Not just a few days – years! Nehemiah wanted to leave Persia, return to his home town, Jerusalem, build a wall, and renew Israel’s faith in the LORD. He prayed before he asked the king. Nehemiah just prayed a lot. Notice he asked God to be attentive to the prayer of His servant. I learned that from him. I ask God to let His ears be attentive to the prayers of His servant (me).

Prayer is not about coming to God because you feel obligated. Neither is it only about asking God to do something for you, or give something to you.

Prayer is a form of worship.

PRAYER

Jesus Friend, Thank You that I am Your friend. I want to be a loving friend who enjoys communicating with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is my friend—I am His friend!