Keep It Under Control!

JANUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…

What exactly is meekness? Think of it as a second cousin to humble. The Lord Jesus Christ was also the humblest person who ever walked the earth. What quality do I believe to be the first cousin of meekness? Self-control. 

Jesus is the Creator God who spoke the world into existence. John 1:3 (KJV), “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” I don’t think I could call that anything but power – awesome, incredible power! 

There is only one way the all-powerful God of Heaven and Earth would allow Himself to be subjected to insults, ridicules, beatings, and execution from mere humans. Meekness!

All of Jesus’ power was kept under control by a force even greater than meekness – love! 

My definition of meekness is power controlled by love. This is also an ideal description of Jesus. You may be a power-person on some sports team, or academic team, or arts team, but if you don’t learn how to keep that power under the control of love you can turn into a tyrant.

Be meek!

PRAYER

Creator Jesus, Thank You that You did not use Your power to destroy, but to love with compassion. Let me keep whatever power I have under the control of love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is full of power—He uses it to love me!

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!

Has Your Spirit Been Opened?

JANUARY 8

MATTHEW 5:3_Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Now that’s an odd statement! Why would Jesus want to bless anyone who was poor in their spirit? I used to think more like, blessed are the mighty in spirit! But that was before I learned what Jesus says gives me love and freedom.

Let’s look at poor in spirit in a different view. Could it be the poor in spirit are actually spiritual giants? Could it be the poor in spirit are those more in touch with Jesus? Could it be the poor in spirit know how to love—truly love? Could it be the poor in spirit have a monopoly on humility? 

Maybe we do not understand poor in spirit; perhaps it’s more of a less of me and more of Jesus kind of spirit. Along with that, perhaps it’s a thinking of others before myself kind of spirit. If so, surely the poor in spirit are to be blessed!

To know more about poor in spirit we can use the only key that will open that treasure box filled with answers. Remember, the Bible is the key. Now we’ll learn what the treasure box is. It is my spirit. When my spirit is opened, it receives answers from God. And when my spirit is opened, I discover purpose in life. 

PRAYER

Almighty God, Teach me what it means to be poor in spirit. Open my spirit with Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ uses the Bible to open my spirit—He teaches me!                                   

A Foundational Rock

DECEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:28_the people were astonished at His doctrine.

I wonder if the listeners who were truth-seekers, were sorry to have this sermon come to an end? Are you? There is much more in the Bible than the Sermon on the Mount—but it is certainly a foundational rock. You can continue to seek the truth, and find it, as long as you are asking, seeking, and knocking in the right places and with the right people.

Jesus has taught dynamic principles of life. He has taught them systemically and precisely, with gentleness and compassion, with firmness, in a no-nonsense manner, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, humility, and a pure heart.

II Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your [that’s you and me] sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is what makes Jesus’ teachings astonishing. Not only did He endure the humility of leaving the throne of God to walk the earth with mere mortals—He died for them! None were worthy of His sacrifice.

But those who receive the free gift of His life, become worthy.  

Unheard of!

Unprecedented!

Astonishing!              

 PRAYER

Rock-That-Is-Higher-Than-I, I want Your humility, pure heart, and unprecedented love! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ came to free me from death—I praise Him!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…

Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something!  Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!

You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them. 

If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.

Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.

You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.

Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!  

PRAYER

God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!