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!

The Believer Has the Bread of Life

AUGUST 22

MATTHEW 6:32_For after all these things do the Gentiles seek…

It is easy to say don’t worry, but it is not easy to do. Jesus leads to a place where it becomes easier, according to His design. Faith and trust. Faith and trust come from being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches truth. Truth leads to freedom! Even freedom from worry.  John 8:32 (KJV) is worth repeating several times, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free .” 

Remember, Gentiles are considered non-believers. Ones who do not put faith and trust in the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without faith and trust, opportunities for truth and freedom are reduced. John 8:36 (KJV), “If the son [Jesus] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  

Worry fits into the design of a non-believer. When unbelievers fall upon hard times, they are without a source of overcoming power. Suppose a financial depression hits the country. Any money that may have gone toward comforts is now applied to the essential of food. It is a difficult time for believers as well as non-believers. The believer hurts during this time just as the non-believer.

But, the believer has the Bread of Life – in which to find hope.

PRAYER

Living God, Help me find hope by trusting in You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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

Love Conquers All!

JULY 24

MATTHEW 6:23_therefore if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Darkness can be dangerous. To the body. To the soul. To the spirit.

Darkness of soul causes deep depression, an absence of hope. Hope gives light.

Without hope there is an absence of security. Security overrides fear. 

Without security there is an absence of power. Power defies weakness.

Without power there is an absence of peace. Peace prevails over despair.

Without peace there is an absence of confidence. Confidence resists doubt. 

Without confidence there is an absence of love. Love conquers all!  

Darkness of the spirit is to be void of Jesus.

Without Jesus,

Giants cannot be slain.

Mountains cannot be moved.

Waters cannot be parted.

If you allow your light to become darkness – it will be dark indeed!

PRAYER

Jesus Who Conquers, Praise You there is no darkness You cannot conquer. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ has already conquered darkness—I must believe!

Don’t Give Him the Satisfaction!

JULY 20

MATTHEW 6:22_if therefore thine eye be single…

When Jesus refers to the eye being single He does not mean a person with just one eye. Neither does He mean a person who has sight in only one eye. Jesus is teaching a principle here, not a lesson in physical science.

If you are a person who only has sight in one eye or if you’re totally blind – don’t you dare think you are in some way inferior. Thoughts of inferiority come from the devil – never from Jesus. As the Creator, Jesus understands the body, soul, and spirit. He understands the principles by which they operate. He created them to function together, with the spirit being the mainspring.

The devil has no understanding, or even knowledge of how Jesus’ principles of life work. He is the deceiver.  It doesn’t really matter to him how Jesus’ creation works, because he plans to deceive you into believing his lies and not the truth. He knows how to discourage. He knows how to intimidate. He knows how to tempt.

The devil wants to deceive you out of your hope. He knows if he can get your focus off of Jesus, and into a defeated, giving up, I-don’t-stand-a-chance attitude, he’s won a major battle in your life. Don’t give him the satisfaction!

Remember, light expels darkness.

PRAYER

Holy God of Heaven, Help me not to be discouraged by the devil’s lies. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the devil’s lies—He helps me overcome!

Be Prepared

  JULY 11

MATTHEW 6:19_Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…

The three hundred and seventy-third of Aesop’s fables is The Grasshopper and the Ant. If you’re not familiar with it, here is a brief synopsis. The grasshopper plays around all summer long and the ant works. When winter comes, the grasshopper finds himself without shelter or food.

Jesus tells something similar in Matthew 25:1-10 (KJV), “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came …

The purpose behind Jesus’ use of this parable is to be prepared for the end times.

Do you find it interesting Jesus says not to lay up for yourself?  Don’t miss tomorrow! 

PRAYER

God of Hope, You will teach me the truth of Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to understand His truth—I will learn!