MATTHEW 7:5_and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Only the Pharisees and Jesus knew why they did not bring the man to their stoning party. Perhaps the woman had been lured into a carefully planned trap? We don’t know. But regardless of the circumstances of the event, we know this—she left that day free.
She was guilty. She stood before powerful figures who could lawfully execute her, but she walked away unharmed. Those powerful figures were unable to complete their scheme because their own hearts condemned them. The Pharisees’ guilt hit them squarely in the face and there was nothing they could do but walk away.
When Jesus sent the woman away He said to her “go, and sin no more.” Those who want to look at this as Jesus excusing adultery miss the mark. Jesus didn’t excuse anything—He freed a woman from bondage. He gave her back her life with instruction to live it differently in the future. From the day we receive Jesus into our hearts, He does the same thing for each of us.
He was also pointing out one more thing. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees was so great it overshadowed the sin of the woman. She walked away free, and they guilty.
Lord of All,
You have given me life and set me free—praise Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives back life to the lost—He says sin no more!
MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
The kind of judgment found in the wicked servant’s heart is to believe a debt, or any wrong, is never worthy of mercy. To the judgmental, guilt should only result in punishment – never mercy.
Once again, there are situations when the best thing to do for guilty people is to turn them over to the law. There are times when people are so deeply in bondage that it requires a rude awakening to save them.
This happened to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus: Acts 9 (KJV), “4 And he [Paul] fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ 5 And he said, ‘Who art thou, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’ 6 And he [Paul] trembling and astonished said, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.’ 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
This is not an easy way to be set free, but it is better than bondage.
Lord of Lords, Praise You that You are able to free me from bondages. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives mercy—He helps me discern when to give it!
MATTHEW 6:16_Moreover when ye fast…
Another Biblical principle for times of fasting is remorse – a deep, heartfelt, sorrow for something wrong in your life. The Holy Spirit convicts your heart with guilt. When you have enough sorrow, you desire to change.
Another time for fasting is for a memorial or preparation for certain religious days or seasons. This kind of fasting is a time of serious mindedness – turning your mind away from the world to the spiritual realm of life.
Seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision or direction is another call to fast. Acts 13:2-3 (KJV) records this incident in the early Christian church, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate [to] me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
When Queen Esther faced a life and death situation not only concerning the Jewish nation, but her personal life as well, she called for a fast. Esther 4:16 (KJV), “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.“
Lord God, You call me to worship and follow You, fasting or not. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ calls me to worship and follow—I will!
MATTHEW 5:44_and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…
Don’t you hate it when someone uses you? Whether they’ve used you for their political gain, or personal pleasure, you’ve been violated. Someone you trusted took advantage of your trust and used it to better themselves. Now they despise you. That’s because they suffer from guilt, and blame you. So, whenever they have the opportunity they persecute you.
Pray for them. Try not to be hurt by them, but hurt for them. They are suffering. Guilt overwhems their emotions. You can’t despise and persecute someone without it causing you more turmoil than it does them. Count on that!
Pray for God to help and heal them. Pray for them to respond to Jesus’ unconditional love, and accept it. Pray for them to allow The Great Transformer to set them free.
Set your heart in the forgiveness mode. Hurt for them. When you pray God reads your heart, far more than hears your words. A hurting heart attracts and keeps God’s attention. When a heart hurts more for others than for itself, it may attract God even more.
Father of Compassion, I don’t want to hold grudges. I want You to help the ones who persecute me and set them free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ reads my heart—He will give it compassion!
MATTHEW 5:29_And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee…
Because of the tremendous power of sexual sins, Jesus gives His antidote in very graphic examples. Pluck your eye out? Good grief!
What is His point? Where does the lust which leads to the sin begin? By looking.
There are many causes of bondage prevalent in our society: alcohol, street and prescription drugs, tobacco, and the love of money. Few of these rope, throw, and bind like pornography. It is an insatiable addictive which can destroy a life with deadly power. Addictions generally enjoy company. Once you’re in pretty good with one – the others come for a visit. And as with any unwanted house guest – they never leave.
If you have a porn addiction, don’t go plucking out your eye! Jesus, who loves you so deeply that He died for you, wants you to live free. He wants you to be free to truly love. He wants you to be free to face each day feeling clean and free of guilt. He wants your heart to be free – so He can dwell in it and give you supernatural, overcoming power.
Keep reading these devotions, and discover a better way to live.
Mighty Jesus, Praise Your name that You desire to set me free. Praise Your name that You possess the power to set me free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to live free—He gives the power!