A Changed Man

SEPTEMBER 13

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?

Had the wicked servant dwelt on the unbelievable mercy rendered to him by the king, he would have bestowed mercy on his fellow-servant. However, non-believers can’t be expected to respond to life as believers. That’s why there is such a need for salty-lit-up disciples. Lifestyles that shine in such a way to draw captives to freedom, like a lighthouse to a ship lost in a raging storm. Light sends a ray of hope. Once the ship makes it to the safety of the harbor, it is time to preserve it with the salt of mercy – mercy that flows from unconditional love.

In the case of the apostle Paul the light shone on him, blinded him. When he was healed and his sight restored three days later, he was a changed man. The light blinded him to the hate that his hard heart had toward Jesus’ followers. It also blinded him to the lies (that Jesus was demonic and his followers would be the destruction of the Jewish religion) with which the devil deceived him.

The light set Paul free to become the Jesus follower who wrote the majority of the New Testament. 

He was salty and lit-up!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want Your kind of light—that blinds, but heals. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s light can blind me—It can also heal me!

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!

Comes with the Territory

JUNE 26

MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.

To understand forgiveness, understand your salvation.

Salvation is free. Yet it certainly was not free for Jesus. He paid an agonizing, heavy price for your sin freedom. This comes from love without boundaries. John 15:13 (KJV), “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Add another trait to God’s I AM name – HE IS love. 

When you accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him as Lord, life changes. That is what salvation’s transformation does – changes lives – forever. You will never be the same. You have stepped from the path of death to life, from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, and from hate to love. You do not want to stray from this path. 

Salvation comes with love. Not just love for you, but love within you. A freedom and ability to love like you never knew was possible. This is how it works:

Love is a natural byproduct of salvation’s transformation.

Forgiveness is a natural byproduct of love.

You don’t have to work for natural byproducts.

They come with the territory.            

PRAYER

Mighty Jesus, Thank You for the undeniable path of salvation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ gives His love to me—I will give it to others!

Pattern Your Life After His

MAY 4

MATTHEW 5:48_Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Jesus solves the whole right-and-wrong, love-and-hate, good-and-evil, thing by saying, “Be perfect! Yeah, right! Let me know how that works out for you!

Let’s translate the word perfect. In this verse it means full grown; to reach the character of virtue and integrity. You may make mistakes, but perfection comes when you make a goal to work toward integrity. And more than that, a goal to become a radical, salty-lit-up disciple of Jesus. This kind of perfection is to become full grown in your love for Jesus, to pattern your life after His.

How can you get there? Jesus just spoke forty-six verses of a step by step plan that maps it out. If you choose this path, you won’t walk alone. You will enjoy the company of other radical disciples. You also have the treasure chest key, aka the Bible. You also have the Holy Spirit. 

The Spirit within you opens the door to wisdom and teaches you how to apply that wisdom to your life. Perfection, achieving integrity and virtue, is a natural byproduct of wisdom.

There’s one more point before this chapter ends. Don’t miss it!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Teach me how to find the path to perfection. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

 Christ is perfect in every way—He will teach me a way!