Absolutely Not!

NOVEMBER 26

MATTHEW 7:21_but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

To do God’s will is how to enter into heaven. I see you squirming … but hold on. Does this contradict what has already been settled—the only path to heaven is through the shed blood of Jesus? Absolutely not! Jesus is not teaching the way to heaven is through good works.

God’s will is that you accept Jesus as Savior, serve Him as Lord, and love His people. This is the will of your Father which is in heaven. Good works will be a natural byproduct. 

We will be judged by our works:    

Romans 2:5-6 (KJV), “… and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.”

II Corinthians 5:10 (KJV), “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”                                                                                                      

Revelation 20:12 (KJV), “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,  according to their works.”

If our good works are not a natural byproduct of a saving relationship with Jesus, then they are not good works.                  

PRAYER

Prince of Peace, If I ever do anything good—it comes from You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                    

Christ will judge works—Only He makes mine good!

There Was An Almost

OCTOBER 15

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

God loves everyone, the entire world. So much so that He let His own Son suffer and die for the world. 

God wants righteousness and goodness to reign supreme—as it did for a brief time in the Garden of Eden—pure perfection not only in people, but in all nature. But there was an almost in that perfection. When the almost won the battle over free will, everything changed—but God didn’t. He’s still just, He still has all power, and He’s still God of the Impossible.

I believe Jesus in His infinite power and unsurpassed love, works every day to restore as much of the Garden experience as possible in our fallen world. Every time He transforms a heart and gives it the ability to become salt and light, He’s made some restoration. It will take a new heaven and a new earth to bring full restoration.

When God uses evil people in ways that result in good for His children, He is exercising His fatherly powers. God wants fathers to do good to and for their children. Unfortunately, there are those whose fathers genuinely neglect, abuse, and abandon them.

God has a plan for those children as well, Psalm 27:10 (KJV), “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

PRAYER

Jesus Lord, Only You can transform—we all need it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                          

Christ’s love is perfection—I want to love like that!

He Does It All!

OCTOBER 6

MATTHEW 7:9_Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask…

One of the great mysteries of the spiritual life is the Trinity. The Triune God who functions as three-in-one. 

The Bible teaches God can function as the Eternal Father, the Jehovah-Jireh provider, and as the I AM. The Bible teaches this same God can function as the Son, the Creator of all that exists, and as the Christ, the Messiah who saves for eternity all who believe. The Bible also teaches this same God can function as the indwelling Holy Spirit, who comforts, who teaches, and who guides. No wonder He is all-powerful—He does it all! 

Jesus calls God, Father. So do I. Jesus taught to pray to God as My Father, which art in Heaven. As a Jesus follower, you are a child of God. II Corinthians 1:3 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” Be comfortable in God because He loved you before you loved Him. 

God wanted King David to know how to call upon Him. Psalm 89:27 (KJV), “He [King David … and me] shall cry unto me [God], Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”

God is all those things to me.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I stand in awe of You and worship You as my Father. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ teaches me God is my Father—I am His child!

Wow!

AUGUST 7

MATTHEW 6:28_Consider…

The Greek translation for the word consider in this verse is, to learn thoroughly, or to note accurately. Jesus wants you to learn something. Every word Jesus spoke was either to create, or heal, or comfort, or teach, or express love. He didn’t leave the beauty of heaven to sit around and share idle chatter. That is not to say He didn’t talk casually with people, it’s just He spoke with purpose – not idly.

Purpose is Jesus’ main objective. He thoroughly investigates our heart, and accurately notes what holds prominence in them. 

When Jesus began a ministry, He proclaimed His purpose in the temple. Luke 4:18 (KJV), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

Jesus was reading from Isaiah 61. He let it be known that the fulfillment of that verse was standing before them. Now it was time for all people to thoroughly investigate and accurately note, who He was.

The word bruised in the Luke 4 verse translates, broken by calamity – wow!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Help my heart to consider who You are. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows my complete person—I want to know His!

Intelligent Design

 AUGUST 1

MATTHEW 6:26_yet your heavenly Father feedeth them…

Birds are well fed. Not only do they have people like me who feed them, but the Creator feeds them. As we have already said, God created the birds’ food before He created the birds.    

God’s creation glorifies Him. He designed it that way. To become a student of nature is to become a student of God’s workmanship. Remember Psalm 19:1-2 (KJV)? “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Intelligent Design. I like that. What goes on in the world of nature every day and every night is a testimony of intelligence far beyond anything man can fathom.

You may decide to become some kind of hermit because you just don’t like people. They keep hurting you and trespassing into your life. Whatever rock you hide under or cave you hide inside – you cannot escape the world of nature. The rock and cave themselves are designs of God’s incredible intelligence, along with any and everything that dwells in them. They speak God’s name constantly.

God feeds His birds. God creates. God takes care of His creation.    

By the way, God’s intelligent design is for you to allow Him to teach you how to respond to the hurts and trespasses with good works. Hermits are not a part of His design.

PRAYER

God of Creation, Open my eyes to see Your greatness all around me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s intelligence is in all of nature—I see it!