MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
Jesus is love – true, genuine, unconditional love from head to toe. He is the purest form of mercy. He is grace at its greatest. If Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, then the purpose of the Law must be love, mercy, and grace.
Make the Bible your best friend. The wisdom from it is far beyond awesome. If you don’t spend time with your best friends – they won’t be your best friends for very long. The more time you spend in the Bible, the more you gain understanding of wisdom.
The Scribes and Pharisees spent a lot of time studying the Law, but they failed to gain wisdom and understanding. Why? The heart. If your time in the Bible results in knowledge which lets you appear better than your friends, your righteousness will never exceed that of the Scribes or Pharisees.
If your Bible time results in your heart breaking from your own sin, and the cruelties of the world, and you want to do something to make the world a better place – you’re on the right track!
God of Mercy, Please help me learn the Bible with my heart, not my head. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the heart of the Law—He wants it in my heart!
MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…
Jesus teaches something worse than to break even the least commandment – teach others to do the same. You can directly teach someone, or you can teach by influence. The power of influence is tremendous – and everyone has it!
You can’t keep commandments and make wise decisions in your own strength. When it comes to sin there is a one-size-fits-all consequence – eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23 (KJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 (KJV) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God’s compassion and forgiveness make a way to fix that. You need Jesus!
A hypocrite is a professing Christian who lives contrary (including influence) to the principles and teachings of the Bible. In other words, to be a Christian who is void of salt and light. The hypocrite will not cause anyone to thirst for truth – salt contaminated by the lures of the world and lost savor. No weary traveler will find the path to freedom through the darkness of a hypocrite.
You may not believe you are accountable for your influence. If someone makes a poor decision because of your influence, it is no different from your direct teaching. Everyone is responsible for their decisions – they can’t blame anyone else. But you are accountable for your contributing influence. And this is Jesus who says there will be a consequence.
Your call to be salt and light includes your influence. Contribute a salty-lit-up influence!
To really know Jesus is to know He is not about judgment and punishment. Jesus is the very embodiment of love, mercy, and grace. But it is also Jesus who warns there are consequences in life. This is why He draws attention to the importance of living in accordance with the commandments.
Just as the laws of the land, God’s laws are for your safety and protection.
Precious Jesus, I want my life to be salt and light to those thirsty and in darkness. I want this to be true in whatever You call me to do in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is mercy and grace—I want to live like that!
MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…
Here’s the question: Did Jesus condone adultery by saving the woman? Did He let her get by (meaning no judgment or accountability) with adultery?
Getting by with something is not really what Jesus is about. Surely by now you know what Jesus is about – freedom! To get by with something will not free you from repeating it.
If you are truly allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you on the path to freedom and you stumble, don’t be discouraged – you will be freed. Proverbs 24:16 (KJV), “‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief [Hebrew translation is: evil].”
The difference in the one who rises back up and the one who falls deeper into evil is that heart condition. The ability to see all sin is against God and the desire to be changed by His grace. There is a word for this condition – repent. To sincerely and deeply grieve over your path and strongly desire to change directions.
The Bible teaches to pray for those in authority – all forms of authority. There is a need for authorities to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be receptive to the Spirit’s leading.
You want your authorities to have wise judgment concerning you.
Pray for them!
I haven’t answered those first two questions yet – stay with me!
Heavenly Father, Fill all those in my authority with Your Holy Spirit. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows my heart condition—He will reveal it!
MATTHEW 7:2_ye shall be judged…
In whatever form of discipline is considered best, children, and plenty of adults, need correction. Ever heard of a jail called a correctional facility? Wise judgment is discipline with love and acceptance.
“Because you were disciplined does not mean you are a bad person, you are a beautiful person. God loves you. I love you.”
A case of poor judgment is if boundaries are never verbally set, or written, yet they are enforced. The violator is judged guilty without ever having had an opportunity to obey by understanding the rules.
Another case of poor judgment is after someone has apologized, or made right, or been disciplined – the violation is not erased. A situation arises for someone to perform some kind of task – the previous violator is never given a chance: “The last time I trusted you with …”
The one who violated, trespassed, or knocked over the boundaries, is bound to their past. No opportunity is given for renewed trust and worth. Judgment has been passed before an opportunity to show trustworthiness is given. This is not the kind of judgment you want to return to you.
Give everyone the kind of trust you want given you.
God Who Hears, It is so easy to judge. Your wisdom and grace will change me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ does not want poor judgment—He will help me!
MATTHEW 7:1_Judge not…
The kind of freedom Jesus teaches is not about keeping out of prison (although Jesus’ type of freedom could save you from that). Jesus wants to free souls.
A free soul gains wisdom.
Therefore a free soul has the ability to make wise decisions.
Wise decisions save from many forms of harm.
Wisdom is able to forgive and not carry the baggage of bitterness – which so often leads to physical sickness.
The wisest man who ever lived, the phenomenal King Solomon, teaches this principle in Proverbs 2:10-13 (KJV), “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”
Notice where wisdom enters – your heart. There is more to learn – Proverbs 4:7-9 (KJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
God of Wisdom, Help me be free from judgment and make wise decisions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is wisdom—He wants me to learn to be wise!