Just Keep Your Word

APRIL 14

MATTHEW 5:37_But let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Jesus’ conclusion to this lesson is awesome. Just say yes or no! James 5:12 (KJV), “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

It may be a little difficult for us to understand all this swearing by something, but it was very big in the culture of Jesus’ and James’ (Jesus’ half-brother) day.

Why wouldn’t we just say yes or no? It seems we think we can’t be trusted to mean what we say on its own. We have to add some kind of emphasis.

The only thing to help us be honest and responsible in what we say is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus and James both teach anything more than just yes or no can lead to trouble. Jesus calls it evil. James calls it condemnation. It’s bad either way. Either way can draw you more into the world’s ways. Be a person who keeps promises.

Don’t say one thing and do another.

Keep promises, even if it costs more than planned.

Be honest in everything – words and actions.

Be a person of integrity. 

Jesus teaches just keep your word and don’t swear at all.

PRAYER

Father God, Thank You for helping me to become an honest person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ is always honest—He wants me to be honest!

The Great Hope

APRIL 7

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

You wouldn’t want to have open heart surgery without some kind of anesthetic. Even with an anesthetic, the entire process will not be a piece of cake. Expect pain. It will come. Pain is an inevitable part of the heart transformation process. Even if you choose to opt-out of Jesus’ heart surgery – pain is a part of the life process. If you are expecting a pain free, drama free, heart-break free, struggle free, or easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-mac’n-cheesy (learned that from my niece, Mary) life – face reality!

If someone offers you something for nothing – beware! The good things don’t come easy. When you receive the results of your surgery, or the payment for your hard labor, or whatever you have suffered your way through to success, the pain is not something you dwell on. It was simply a means to an end. 

The Holy Spirit will help you focus on the facts. The fact you have a hard heart. The fact The Great Surgeon can transform your heart to love. The fact heart surgery transforms self-centeredness to self-sacrifice.   

All of life is all about decisions. The ultimate decision is to make the main thing (Jesus) the main thing. Make that decision first and you greatly lessen your chances of feeling compelled to put away your spouse.

Nobody enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. Sometimes things happen – don’t give up.

The Great Surgeon is also known as – The Great Hope!

PRAYER

God of Hope, Help me never lose hope that You can change any situation I bring to You for a cure.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ wants to give me hope—I will accept it!

A Natural Process

 APRIL 5

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

God wants a husband and wife’s love for each other to be complete – no gaps. Jesus came to stand in the gap. Let Him! When Jesus is in the gap, the causes begin to minimize. Why? The hard heart begins to soften. Sin is still present, but with Jesus in the gap battles can be won, step by step, one at a time. And it takes time!

The Great Transformer is very good at what He does – perfect! Love Him and you will learn to love His words. That’s how loving your marriage partner becomes a natural process. By loving Jesus first. None of it happens overnight.

John 15:16 (KJV), “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you …” The Holy Spirit woos you with the unconditional love of Jesus. When you respond to that love, you begin to learn true love. A love that never quits or lets go. A love that chose you.

To have Jesus choose you is amazing! There is nothing you can do to deserve it. Neither prominence, beauty, talents, nor wealth have anything to do with Jesus’ choice. The fact that you are reading this blog tells you – you are  chosen!

I John 2:8 (KJV), “Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.”

Chosen people give light to the world – because they know love.

There are many who made decisions before they responded to Jesus’ love, or invited Him into their marriage. Can they chew the strong meat now?

Keep following!

PRAYER

Loving Lord, I can never thank You enough for choosing me, but I’ll try! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ chose me—I will respond with yes!

Can’t Sweep It Under the Rug

 MARCH 20

MATTHEW 5:23_Therefore, if thy bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberst that thy brother has ought against thee;

The word altar is translated as God’s Table. This is the sacred table where sacrifices were offered to God. The sacrifices were to be the best you had. God knew if what you offered as a gift was your best, or something you really didn’t want anyway.

Your gift will never be an animal sacrifice. It will be some type of self-sacrifice, because that is always the best you can give. If you come to give your all, dedicating your life as a Jesus follower, you need to be sure there is nothing blocking your dedication. 

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift . When Jesus ascended back to His heavenly home, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. If you come to Jesus to give your life, but hold on to an old grudge or unsettled argument, you can count on the Holy Spirit to bring it to your remembrance. He won’t allow you to sweep it under the rug. If you do, then you bring damaged goods, not your best. Give God all you have to give – He’ll give you much more in return. 

This is not about you being good enough. Don’t leave me yet. 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to know how to give You all of myself, teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the altar—He wants all of me!

A Call in Your Heart

 FEBRUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:15_ but on a candlestick…

The proper place for the candle to do its job is on the candlestick. One more time – the purpose of light is to dispel and overcome darkness. 

The one who lit the candle did it because there was darkness – light was needed. The one who lit the candle sets it on a candlestick. It is Jesus who says, “Ye are the light of the world. It is Jesus who lights your candle. The Holy Spirit has placed a call in your heart. You either accept the call to be Jesus’ light, or run from it. You’re either shining or hiding. You have the freedom to choose. 

You may believe you light your own candle by  good works, or regular church attendance. Those should be the results of your shining light. If you concentrate more on being good than being in relationship with Jesus, you may shine the wrong light – for your glory.

Like light, you have a purpose. Your purpose is God’s amazing plan for your life. He created a plan for you before you were born. You were born to achieve that plan. Jesus gives you what you need to achieve your plan. Jesus calls you to fulfill it.

It is Jesus who lights your candle. It is Jesus who sets your candle on the candlestick. It is Jesus who brings the two together. 

PRAYER

Jesus Messiah, Praise You for giving me a purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is a candlestick—He wants my light on it!