A New Heart

JANUARY 13

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

The Bible is such an incredible book. It is the Book of Life. Life is tough. There’s nothing easy about living in a fallen world – even when you’re a fallen person. What? Seems like it would be easier to fit in if you were a Jesus rejecter and a satan follower. Ya think?

Satan is the alpha and omega of deception. Read his introduction into the Scriptures in Genesis 3:1, ‘Now the serpent was more subtil [deceitful] than any beast of the field.’ Satan and his spirits of darkness are not your friends. His ultimate plan for your life is destruction. 

When you are developing a new heart from Jesus you will mourn. A new heart living in a fallen world mourns over satan’s destructive work to convince people to believe his lies.

Your new heart mourns as it sees people become captive to: Alcohol. Pills. Pornographic Images. Anger. Hate. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Sexual Abuse. Unkind, Cruel Words which cannot be stopped because hearts are hard.

Blessed are you for mourning over those things. Jesus can deliver from all of these deceptions and give a life of freedom.

PRAYER

Jesus Deliverer, You are my deliverer. There is nothing satan can hold me captive to which You cannot free me from. Blessed be Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ breaks all my bonds—and gives me freedom!

Why Do You Come?

JANUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:2_And he taught them…

Whenever Jesus taught, multitudes came. Multitudes filled with variety. The desperate came to find freedom from demonic bondage. We think of demonic possession as something very graphic and frightening, but demons are at the core of hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, and stubborn rebellion, just to name a few.

Some came with hope of physical healing. Perhaps their diagnosis was “incurable.” Perhaps there was no money to pay for a doctor. Whatever the reason, they had heard of the miraculous power of The Great Physician. 

Some came out of curiosity. Who was this man that attracted multitudes whenever He spoke? Was He genuine? What kind of magic tricks might He perform today?  

Others in the multitude were Jesus’ enemies. Their hope was to find a loophole in His teaching and to expose Him before the crowd.

Jesus had not come on the scene in the usual method. He spoke differently. He taught differently. And what His enemies hated most, He attracted more followers than they.

When Jesus spoke people listened, were freed, and healed.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Please teach me to listen when You speak to me through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ speaks to me—I will learn to listen!

Plenty of Room

OCTOBER 24

MATTHEW 7:13_for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction…

Then there is the second gate. Jesus describes it as wide and broad. You won’t need any help finding that gate. It is wide—how could you miss it? When you reach an accountable age, your eyes are opened to two gates; you’ll see the widest one first. The size makes it visible, and … more tempting. 

Because of its size, you see something else—how easy it is to enter. The wideness allows you to bring all kinds of baggage. 

Not only is the gate wide, but once inside the way is broad. If in the baggage you brought along some pride, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes arrogance. If you brought just a little bit of a grudge, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes hate and bitterness.

In Jesus’ words it’s plain – this broad way leads to destruction. Count on it! Psalm 27:11 (KJV), “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”

Make the choice in your youth to enter the strait gate. It will save you numerous regrets in your adult life.          

PRAYER

God Who Saves, Please save me from entering the destructive path of life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ saves me from the wide gate—I will follow Him!

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!