Get Salty! Light Up!

APRIL 26

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

As we have seen over and again, there is an order in which Jesus presents His teachings. If we can get our minds wrapped around the cheek turning, cloak giving, second mile going, and giving away – learning how to love our enemies will come much easier.

The first four guidelines lead us into the self-sacrificing mode. The giving more than receiving mode. The putting others before ourselves mode.

Now we are ready to see how powerful love really can be. After all, if we can love our enemies – we can love anybody!

Why do we even want to love our enemy? Because Jesus said to.

Why did He say to? Because Jesus desires all people to be loved.

We are called to be salt and light to everyone – especially the unloved. There is a reason Jesus called disciples in the first place – to teach them how to live free. They teach and make more disciples. Disciples share the truth with the world through the Bible. Jesus chooses to share His love through disciples.

Get salty! Light up!

PRAYER

Lord of All, I want to be Your disciple through whom You love people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ chooses disciples—I want to be one!

Follow Jesus' Topsy-Turvy Teachings

APRIL 23

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Acts 20:35 (KJV), “I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Whatever we can do in life to bring God’s blessing is something to pursue. Nothing the world has to offer can even begin to compare to God’s blessing. Nothing. 

The world offers tempting glitter in life: impurity, drugs, alcohol. All of it leads to bondage. Jesus offers a strange, humble, giving, loving lifestyle. All of it leads to freedom. As you live the Jesus lifestyle you become salt and light to those who are bound to the glitter. Your salt and light can help free them from the devil’s deceptions.   

The good guy in Jesus’ play has gained a lot of freedom from the bully. He gained it by following Jesus’ topsy-turvy teachings. When he doesn’t hold a grudge he is free from unforgiveness. By freely giving more than is required he is blessed. The pain in his stomach disappears. Peaceful sleep returns.

Who would ever have thought it is more blessed to give than receive? Jesus!

Have you begun to notice something about the 180 degree turn? It is opposite of what comes naturally.     

PRAYER

Father God, I want to live my life free from the deceptions of the devil. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ never deceives—The devil always does!

Action!

APRIL 22

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

When Jesus sent out the disciples with no luggage, only trust, the result was a major boost of faith. Transformation took place in the disciples’ hearts. Strong faith does not develop just by reading or listening to Jesus’ teachings.

Action!

Luke 22:35 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], When I sent you without purse, and script, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”

The disciples returned stunned! They gained great faith. They were filled with joy. 

Action is a process. As the disciples saw their needs met, their faith increased. The greater faith allowed them to teach and heal. This action required something totally radical of them. To completely trust in what Jesus taught. Even when what He taught them was topsy-turvy. It worked. Not only did it work for the disciples, it worked to bring truth and healing to the recipients.

Turning the other cheek, giving more than is required, going the second mile, giving to those in need, all require to put others before yourself. And to obey Jesus.

This is more than feeding the hungry, or healing the sick. This is loving the unlovely, and forgiving the undeserving.

PRAYER

Blessed Savior, I want to live my life in a way which shows faith by action. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ lived a selfless life—I want to learn how!

Trust Required

APRIL 21

MATTHEW 5:42_Give to him that asketh thee…

Give all you can. Keep one thing in mind – you can’t give what you don’t have. Don’t steal or go into debt to give your loved ones what they want.

If your friend has a need, and you have the means to meet it, feel free to do so. The key word in that sentence is free. A transformed heart is a free heart. You should feel good about giving – not depressed.   

You may be saving your money for a rainy day,. Your friend’s rainy day has come. Your friend asks you for help. Part of the depth of this teaching is trust. Can you trust that if Jesus taught love as an action – then it is? Giving is action – not talk.

Youth should always discuss this kind of action with parents or guardians. God can teach you through their advice. Listen and learn. They have lived much longer than you and know more about giving.

One time Jesus sent His disciples out to teach and heal the sick. They would be gone for several days. He specifically told them in Luke 9:3 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor script, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.”

Jesus said the people who received the disciples into their homes would provide for their needs. Trust was a requirement.

It turned into a beautiful blessing for both parties.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to trust Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ’s teachings require trust—They will bless me!

Secrets

MAY 16

MATTHEW 6:4_That thy alms may be in secret…

Just in case anyone was perplexed with the right/left hand illustration – Jesus says it – let your alms be in secret. 

He’s already called the trumpet blowers hypocrites. He has specified their chief blowing places – synagogues and streets. He has said why they do it – to be seen by men. But lest you still have not caught on, now hear this: DO IT IN SECRET!! 

You don’t tell secrets. If you do … they are no longer secrets. You don’t post on social media your secrets. Also, you do not have a banquet in your honor – for a gift you gave in secret. 

This does not mean you should not be honored at some time for some great achievement. You may have plaques on your wall given to you by people who have benefited from your good works. But, this was their doing, the beneficiaries, not because you blew your own trumpet.

Luke 14:8,10 (KJV), 8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

PRAYER

True God, Please teach me the secret of how to be secret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                      

Christ knows when I need to receive honor—He will do it!