You Desire to Change

JULY 2

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.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.

PRAYER

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!

Count on That!

 APRIL 29

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.

PRAYER

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!

Unwanted House Guests

MARCH 30

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.     

PRAYER

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!

Do It!

 MARCH 23

MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Be reconciled! Even if you never perpetrated a wound but feel the devil may have caused someone to misunderstand. Explain in detail, perhaps even in writing, if that will diminish the devil’s power.  

This is not about political correctness. It is not about agreeing with something that compromises your faith and convictions in order to please another person. This is about genuine repentance and grief. This is about expressing shame for your anger, or attitude, or theft, or for whatever you are guilty.

If you stole something – repay it. Depending upon how serious you are, repay more than you stole. You are not obligated to do that by the letter of the Law, but perhaps by the spirit. If the one you wronged has deep unforgiveness toward you, that might light their way to forgiveness. If needed, work out a payment plan – but whatever you have to do, do it!

If earthly possessions are in any way holding you back from being reconciled with someone – you are in bondage. Give your gift to God and live free. You can never out give God. Whatever you give to, or sacrifice for Him – will return with interest.

PRAYER

True God, Give me a willing heart and teach me how to use it for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me reconciled—I will do my part!

Liable

MARCH 16

MATTHEW 5:21_Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.

Jesus begins His transformation law list. First on the list is thou shalt not kill. What a great way to begin! Who’s going to question that? This statement should please the entire audience. No shouting of boo or hissing at this statement!

Jesus gains everyone’s approval by beginning with the sixth commandment. Not only would they approve, but they would be feeling good, relaxed, and maybe even a little proud. No guilt feelings over this one. No murderers were in this crowd, because murderers were dealt with promptly.

Jesus continues, whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. In order for Jesus to be the balance of judgment and mercy there has to be a place for judgment. The word judgment in this passage is translated as liable. That means you are held responsible for your actions. The Law makes it clear that to kill someone carries a judgment.

Jesus sees something beyond killing someone which can carry judgment. Jesus sees us liable for all our actions.

He is prepared to reveal this liability.

PRAYER

Righteous God, I want to be a part of Your multitude who listen for truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ understands judgment—He will teach me!