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!

Blows Me Away!

JUNE 22

MATTHEW 6:13_and the glory…

What is glory anyway? Merriam Webster defines it as worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving; resplendence and magnificence. That’s the Lord God! 

God uses His authority and control for good – to give love and mercy to creation. We’ve already read I John 4:17 (KJV). It needs to be repeated along with verse 16. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”

God’s love can dwell in me! I can stand bold on Judgment Day. I stand bold because the power of God’s love worked within me in this life. I don’t have to wait for eternity to love like God – I can do it now. God gives me the ability to share in His glory.

God’s love shining through me gives light to my surroundings. Because it is God’s love, it shines from me with resplendence and magnificence! That blows me away!

The kingdom, and the power, and the glory belong to the Holy God of Heaven. He wants to place it inside my heart. How can I turn that down?!          

PRAYER

Resplendent God, I praise Your glory! I worship You and all Your glory. I truly stand amazed in Your presence! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is Glory—I want His glory in my life!

Good-Versus-Evil

JUNE 19

MATTHEW 6:13_but deliver us from evil…

Because the world is full of evil does not mean good does not exist. Nor does it mean good does not prevail. Good prevails more than evil – it is just harder to see. Ultimately, it will prevail once and for all. In the meantime, you live with evil.

Every day is a good-versus-evil battle. The times when evil wins are difficult. Just to see some of the world’s evil on the News can be disturbing. It causes an oppressive spirit to hang heavy in your soul. You ask God how such things can happen. You wonder how humans reach such a level of degradation.

When there is evil in your personal life – you need hope.  

When you pray not to be led into temptation, add as Jesus did to be delivered from evil. The devil intends evil daily. That’s his intention. It does not mean he wins. God intends mercy daily. God holds all the cards. One card God holds which the devil can never get his hands on is found in Romans 8:28 (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Get to know this verse and praise God for it. This is why good prevails more than evil. God can take the devil’s evil and cause good for His people. The times when evil wins a battle are not the end of the war. Your hope is in this verse.

Somewhere in the long run, God’s compassion and power will use pain to make you a better person!              

PRAYER

God of Hope, Please deliver me from evil. I know evil is in the world, but I know You are greater than the world. I praise Your power that helps me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ can make good from the devil’s evil – He does it for me!

Traps Set

  JUNE 17

MATTHEW 6:13_And lead us not…

The word lead in this verse is translated to bring in or into. Part of your prayer life should include to ask for direction, or guidance.

Psalm 5:8, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.”

That’s one to pray! It not only asks to be led, but to be led by righteousness. Tell God specifically why you need Him to lead you – because there are enemies out there (the devil and his demons). 

Another Psalm to pray is Psalm 143:10 (KJV), “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” This doesn’t need explaining. It’s all there (this verse showed up in the prayer on January 17).

Both of these Psalms express places you want to be. Places that cause you to feel closer to the Father and the Savior. Places of safety.

In Jesus’ model prayer He prays the reverse – lead us not. There are places out there that are not safe. The devil knows how to set traps. He wants to lead you to places you should not be.

These places are away from the Father and the Savior. The devil wants to lead you to places under his control.

Pray!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Lead me in Your righteousness. Make Your way straight before me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows where to lead me—I will follow!

All the Time!

 JUNE 14

MATTHEW 6:12_our debts…

Your sin debt is too great. You will never be able to pay it. It will remain in God’s ledger for eternity. To pay the debt according to the law keepers, you will have to keep every law, on your own – no indwelling Holy Spirit’s power. Humanly impossible!

To pay the debt according to Jesus, you will have to have a pure heart – likewise impossible! This looks like some kind of double jeopardy. You need a solution that can overcome the impossible! Where can you find that? Oh, wait! You have a key!

Use the key, unlock the treasure chest, and discover something incredible. The Messiah Savior has already solved the problem! He gave His life to cover all your debts. Only Jesus could do it because only He is the perfect Son of God. 

To make things even better, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart. The Spirit draws you further and further away from sin and causes you to hunger for holiness. Your taste for sin diminishes. When you do sin, the Spirit sends conviction. You humbly ask the Father for forgiveness. I John 1:9 (KJV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God is good all the time and, all the time God is good!       

PRAYER

Holy Savior, Thank You for paying my sin debt which I could never pay.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Savior—He saves me!