Balance in Life

NOVEMBER 18

MATTHEW 7:19_that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down…

Do you agree that trees which are not producing good fruit should be cut down? Every living thing has a purpose. It needs to perform that purpose to keep balance in life. Does that mean if your fig tree is having a bad year you need to cut it down? No. Jesus’ heart of compassion gives everything and everyone ample opportunity for life—including eternal life. 

Jesus tells us a parable in Luke 13:6-9 (KJV), “He spake also this parable; ‘A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?’ And he answering said unto him [owner], ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [fertilize] it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.’”

This tree was taking up space and nutrients, yet not producing. The owner was correct that it was serving no purpose. The vine dresser, who spent his time in the garden, saw a slight hope that if this tree were carefully nurtured it might begin to produce. 

Jesus sees that potential in all of us.   

PRAYER

True God, You give me what I need to produce good fruit. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.    

Christ gives everyone an opportunity for eternal life!

We All Have Baggage

OCTOBER 29

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

If we had to be baggage-free to enter the strait gate, there would be no need to enter. After all, we’re already living free so what’s there to gain?

We all have baggage. Bags filled with broken pieces of our hearts, hopes, and dreams. Some baggage we choose of our own free will. Other baggage was inflicted upon us by the circumstances of life. They came with the life package—a life we live in a dark and sinful world every moment of every day.   

The difference in the sizes of our baggage depends upon how we deal with them. The wide gate allows for a lot of baggage. That is why it is wide. The path is broad so we don’t have to drop off any bags. It is the designed path for those who have been subdued by the world—to accept its darkness as if there were no other choice. It is for those who don’t want to check their bags at the gate because the bags contain their pain relievers. Some may be for physical pain, but the majority are for pains of the soul. The spirits of darkness work to keep us depressed and discouraged. Life doesn’t have to be that way—there is hope!  

Colossians 1:27 (KJV), “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

PRAYER

Lord Who Reigns, Only You can truly relieve the pains of my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the pain reliever—I will make Him mine!

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!