Intelligent Design

 AUGUST 1

MATTHEW 6:26_yet your heavenly Father feedeth them…

Birds are well fed. Not only do they have people like me who feed them, but the Creator feeds them. As we have already said, God created the birds’ food before He created the birds.    

God’s creation glorifies Him. He designed it that way. To become a student of nature is to become a student of God’s workmanship. Remember Psalm 19:1-2 (KJV)? “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Intelligent Design. I like that. What goes on in the world of nature every day and every night is a testimony of intelligence far beyond anything man can fathom.

You may decide to become some kind of hermit because you just don’t like people. They keep hurting you and trespassing into your life. Whatever rock you hide under or cave you hide inside – you cannot escape the world of nature. The rock and cave themselves are designs of God’s incredible intelligence, along with any and everything that dwells in them. They speak God’s name constantly.

God feeds His birds. God creates. God takes care of His creation.    

By the way, God’s intelligent design is for you to allow Him to teach you how to respond to the hurts and trespasses with good works. Hermits are not a part of His design.

PRAYER

God of Creation, Open my eyes to see Your greatness all around me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s intelligence is in all of nature—I see it!

One Must Reign, the Other Must Serve

JULY 27

MATTHEW 6:24_Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The word mammon in this verse is translated wealth or treasure. The double vision saga ends. Jesus and material wealth cannot reign in your heart. The heart can only give itself to one ruler. There is no balancing the two – one must reign, the other must serve. Allegiance!

Jealousy is a terrible emotion. When left unbridled, it consumes. Shakespeare named it the green-eyed monster (The Merchant of Venice, 1596 / Othello, 1604).

There is a time jealousy can be good – when God has it. God speaks strongly of His jealousy in His Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:5 (KJV), “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [idols], nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God …”Also in Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV), “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”

God’s jealousy is protecting. His jealousy is consumed with keeping you from straying from the path – into darkness.The apostle Paul understood this kind of jealousy. He wrote about it to the Christians in Corinth. II Corinthians 11:2 (KJV), “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Paul’s jealousy saves disciples from double vision.

PRAYER

Holy God, Thank You for being jealous over me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is jealous for us—He wants to save me for Jesus!

It Was Not Created to Divide

JULY 26

MATTHEW 6:24_for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other…

What happens when you try to divide your allegiance between masters? Jesus says you love one and hate one. You may not believe this, but submit to the fact that the Creator knows more about the creation than the creation knows about itself. If the creation knew as much as the Creator, it could have created itself. And when it breaks, it could repair itself.

This teaching goes back to the wisdom of “where a man’s treasure is there will his heart be also.” You can’t divide the heart from the treasure. It is the heart that cannot serve two masters. The treasure must be one. Single vision. Focused on Jesus or focused on wealth.

When the heart is asked to divide itself, it stumbles. It does not have the ability to divide. It was not created to divide. Because it doesn’t know how to divide, it does what it can – turns love to hate, devotion to envy, allegiance to betrayal, and affection to jealousy. When you insist the heart equally share good and evil – evil will win. Because without Jesus, the heart is hard.

Jesus must abide in and be in control of, the heart. 

PRAYER

God of All That is Good, Help me keep my heart united for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ does not share with evil—He overpowers it!

The Devil Hates Freedom

JULY 17

MATTHEW 6:20_where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.

No one can steal your spiritual gifts. The devil will do everything he can to do just that. He wants to discredit all of the fruits of the Spirit. When you are having a bad day, and the fruits don’t appear to be producing – the devil targets your soul. He whispers in your mind, will, and emotions that you have no love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance (self-control). He tries to convince you that you are too low on God’s list for Him to give you these gifts. You are not the only one he accuses of being unworthy of the kingdom. The devil targets all believers. 

The devil calls out all the demons in his deadly arsenal to attack you. He sends them to steal the virtues the Spirit bestows – lest you receive the fruit of freedom. The devil hates freedom. That’s why he hits you when you are down.

When your heart is broken, where is your joy?  When your future plans have fallen apart, where is your peace? When you feel God has deserted you, where is your faith? Times will come when you feel like this but …

The devil does not have the power to steal your treasures in heaven.    

PRAYER

Compassionate Jesus, I ask You to rebuke the devil when he taunts my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ rebukes the devil—He will do it for me!

Now and Later

JULY 15

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

Jesus approaches His climax to this principle. The place to hoard your treasures is in heaven. So, how are you going to deposit your paycheck into the Bank of Heaven? Very simple – understand what is truly valuable in this life.

Think of heavenly treasure as a candy – Now and Later. All eternal treasures do not require you to be living in heaven. You can enjoy their flavor now and after this life has ended – unlike earthly possessions. 

Rather than candy, the Bible calls these eternal possessions fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Notice the end of verse 23, “against such there is no law. When your heart is consumed with these fruits, you can live free – unlike lusts of the earth which create bondage. God says He has no laws against the Fruits of the Spirit.

All the wealth in this life cannot buy these fruits – not even one. They come freely as you feed, nurture, and cultivate your spirit through relationship, prayer, and Bible study.

Your spirit begins to produce fruit.

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, Help me possess heavenly treasures in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s treasure is in heaven—He wants mine to be!