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!

Good-Versus-Evil

JUNE 19

MATTHEW 6:13_but deliver us from evil…

Because the world is full of evil does not mean good does not exist. Nor does it mean good does not prevail. Good prevails more than evil – it is just harder to see. Ultimately, it will prevail once and for all! In the meantime, you live with evil.

Every day is a good-versus-evil battle. The times when evil wins are difficult. Just to see some of the world’s evil on the News can be disturbing. It causes an oppressive spirit to hang heavy in your soul. You ask God how such things can happen. You wonder how humans reach such a level of degradation. When there is evil in your personal life – you need hope.  

When you pray not to be led into temptation, add as Jesus did to be delivered from evil. The devil intends evil daily. That’s his intention. It does not mean he wins. God intends mercy daily. God holds all the cards. One card God holds which the devil can never get his hands on is found in Romans 8:28 (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Get to know this verse and praise God for it. This is why good prevails more than evil. God can take the devil’s evil and cause good for His people. The times when evil wins a battle are not the end of the war. Your hope is in this verse.

Somewhere in the long run, God’s compassion and power will use pain to make you a better person!              

PRAYER

God of Hope, Please deliver me from evil. I know evil is in the world, but I know You are greater than the world. I praise Your power that helps me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ can make good from the devil’s evil – He does it for me!

In The Closet

MAY 24

MATTHEW_6:6 and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…

Prayer time in the closet is a two way street. In order to give more emphasis, Jesus says more than enter the closet. He adds shut the door. This is even more private, more intimate. A closed door keeps the outside in its place – out! It also keeps the inside in its place – behind a closed door!

This is a time to pour out your heart – all those innermost thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Outside the door are the things which distract – social media, games, sports, TV. Inside the closet are only you and the Heavenly Father. 

This is a time to learn more of the One who loves you so deeply. This is how it becomes a two way street. It’s not just you speaking with the Father. It is also the Father speaking with you. You have a heart full to say to Him, and the Father has a heart full to say to you.

To hear everything the Father has to say requires Bible time as well as prayer time. Adding the Bible into your prayer life (like those Psalms) is a great way to learn to pray.

PRAYER

God Who Hears, Praise You that You hear every word of my mouth, and every beat of my heart. I long to hear You as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ hears all my prayers—I will hear His words to me!

Your Loved One’s Heart

MAY 22

MATTHEW 6:6_But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet…

Closet in this verse is a private room, or secret chamber. That’s a long way from a street corner. 

When you fall in love, you long to be with the one you love. You want to talk – a lot! You want to make everything in your heart known, and you want to know everything in your loved one’s heart. You want to share hopes and dreams. The only way to know those dreams is to talk with your loved one. 

During times of intimate communication you want to be alone with the one you love. The deepest part of your soul is meant to be revealed to only one person – the one who has captured your heart. It is not for public view, unless you are only using the other person to help you love yourself.

If you use the other person to make you look good, it may be to your advantage to have those conversations in public. Who you are seen talking with might raise your social status. 

Using people to make you look good never equals love. Giving of your time serving, honoring, praising, and encouraging someone equals love.   

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, Thank You I can talk with You about my deepest needs, wants, and desires. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                       

Christ desires I talk with Him—I will express my heart!

The Perfect Plan

APRIL 9

MATTHEW 5:32_and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Is Jesus too harsh on divorce? He brings adultery into the picture after the divorce! Why?

In Mark 10:5-8, you recall Jesus went back to the beginning – to creation itself – to the original marriage – to God’s perfect plan. The Garden of Eden was perfection and everlasting life. Adam and Eve blew the whole plan by their disobedience to God, all life reaped the consequence – sin. Life will continue to reap sin consequences until an end comes, and all things are made new.

God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man and one woman for life. Their union causes them to become one. Perhaps Jesus adds adultery to re-marriage because no piece of paper (divorce contract) can sever God’s design of the physical union. The divorce contract can sever the legality of the marriage, but it cannot sever the oneness of flesh. This is why sexual sins are so devastating.

Why is purity marriage insurance? Foremost, it is God’s plan. His plan builds love by denying the flesh and bonding spirits – two people for each other. It builds respect for each other. It builds loyalty for one and only one. Aren’t those things you want in marriage?

We discussed before how impurity spells betrayal like no other sin. It is definitely one of the hardest to forgive. The Great Hope can give power to forgive. He asks you to do no more for your betrayer than He has done for you.

This is not to simplify the devastation. It may require a time of separation., and the key word in this sentence is time. Running straight to the divorce court does not give The Great Surgeon time for the surgery – including the time for healing and recovery. The basis of any decision has to be what action you believe will please Jesus.

When the marriage is broken beyond repair (one spouse has re-married), The Great Hope has good news. An individual life is not beyond repair. Jesus repairs broken lives.

Jesus wants to bring His love into all families. Let Jesus use you to shine His love in your family.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Some of Your teachings are very difficult and hard. I know they are all designed for the very best life. I want that! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ loves God’s original plan—I want to love it!