Time and Mercy

JANUARY 21

MATTHEW 5:7_Blessed are the merciful…

What will you look like if you become merciful? Suppose someone has ridiculed and scorned you because you made a choice for moral purity. When that person falls into immorality there is depression, possibly despair. Will you come with mercy? Will you offer a kind word? Words of hope? Will you lay aside the pain done to you? 

There is no bondage quite like immorality. Immorality afflicts the heart and soul. The damage can cause deep destruction. The damage inside the heart and soul spell b-e-t-r-a-y-a-l. This is more than betrayal to someone else’s heart but includes betrayal to your own heart. Most of all God’s purity plan has been betrayed. People in moral bondage need mercy. Immorality comes with guilt. Guilt causes that heart and soul destruction.

True mercy, like that of Jesus, brings with it freedom. To offer mercy without freedom is to place a Band-Aid on a deep wound which requires stitches. A Band-Aid will not stop you from bleeding to death. 

Mercy involves giving lots of something we tend to hoard for ourselves – time.

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me be merciful and give my time. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is true mercy—Mercy requires my time!

The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

Do You Know Your Heart?

JANUARY 9

MATTHEW 5:3_Blessed are the poor in spirit…

The poor in spirit really do have a monopoly on humility. It is impossible to be proud or arrogant and be poor in spirit. The poor in spirit measure themselves to Jesus’ standards – they find themselves lacking. They do not measure themselves to the standards of the world. Neither are they anxiously concerned if they do not measure up to what their peers consider to be cool or acceptable in order to be in the click. 

The poor in spirit are grieved as they discover within themselves the truth of Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The poor in spirit come humbly and contritely to the only One who can change them – the only One who can give them a new heart.

The poor in spirit believe there is hope for change because they believe they need change. They are not satisfied with the world’s standards – they seek Jesus’ standards.  

Because they are poor in spirit they open themselves up for a metamorphosis – a complete metamorphosis from which they emerge as something beautiful.

They do not return to the cocoon. 

PRAYER

Powerful True God, Show me my heart, change it, and make it new. Only You can make its hardness soft, and its wickedness kindness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ can transform my heart—and make it like His!

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!

While I Wait

DECEMBER 29

MATTHEW 7:29_ For he taught them as one having authority…

Freedom is the underlying principle of this entire sermon. You can add this to your freedom count as to how many times I’ve said this in the past year.

Jesus taught this sermon as The Great Healer. He gave lessons to ease worry and anxiety, and heal the soul. The healing of the soul is an important part of healing the body.   

Jesus taught as The Great Hope. Apart from Him I can do nothing good or righteous. With Him—nothing shall be impossible. Something else to add to your how many times this has been said the past year is, God controls the time table. Only He knows when my impossibilities will become possible – but I have hope! Hope keeps me on the straight and narrow while I wait.

Jesus taught as The Great Deliverer. He has shown me that He can deliver me from darkness to light! Not only that, He can use me to be light!! He can use me to be salt! I can cause others to thirst for truth only Jesus can give.

Jesus taught as The Master Stonemason. One step at the time He taught me to build my life. Truth is the setting and freedom is the foundation. The architectural design for a home is reflected in a beautiful setting.

Jesus taught me how to achieve that.

 PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I want to build my life in Your setting of truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ gives me all I need to live like Him—Hallelujah!