Secrets

MAY 16

MATTHEW 6:4_That thy alms may be in secret…

Just in case anyone was confused with the right/left hand illustration – Jesus says it plainly – let your alms be in secret. 

He’s already called the trumpet blowers hypocrites. He has specified their chief blowing places – synagogues and streets. He has said why they do it – to be seen by men. But lest you still have not caught on, now hear this: DO IT IN SECRET!! 

You don’t tell secrets. If you do, they are no longer secrets. You don’t post on social media your secrets. Also, you do not have a banquet in your honor – for a gift you gave in secret. 

This does not mean you should not be honored at some time for some great achievement. You may have plaques on your wall given to you by people who have benefited from your good works. But, this was their doing, the beneficiaries, not because you blew your own trumpet.

Luke 14:8,10 (KJV), 8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

PRAYER

True God, Please teach me the secret of how to be secret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                      

Christ knows when I need to receive honor—He will do it!

Get Salty! Light Up!

APRIL 26

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

As we have seen over and again, there is an order in which Jesus presents His teachings. If we can get our minds wrapped around the cheek turning, cloak giving, second mile going, and giving away – learning how to love our enemies will come much easier.

The first four guidelines lead us into the self-sacrificing mode. The giving more than receiving mode. The putting others before ourselves mode.

Now we are ready to see how powerful love really can be. After all, if we can love our enemies – we can love anybody!

Why do we even want to love our enemy? Because Jesus said to.

Why did He say to? Because Jesus desires all people to be loved.

We are called to be salt and light to everyone – especially the unloved. There is a reason Jesus called disciples in the first place – to teach them how to live free. They teach and make more disciples. Disciples share the truth with the world through the Bible. Jesus chooses to share His love through disciples.

Get salty! Light up!

PRAYER

Lord of All, I want to be Your disciple through whom You love people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ chooses disciples—I want to be one!

Follow Jesus' Topsy-Turvy Teachings

APRIL 23

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Acts 20:35 (KJV), “I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Whatever we can do in life to bring God’s blessing is something to pursue. Nothing the world has to offer can even begin to compare to God’s blessing. Nothing. 

The world offers tempting glitter in life: impurity, drugs, alcohol. All of it leads to bondage. Jesus offers a strange, humble, giving, loving lifestyle. All of it leads to freedom. As you live the Jesus lifestyle you become salt and light to those who are bound to the glitter. Your salt and light can help free them from the devil’s deceptions.   

The good guy in Jesus’ play has gained a lot of freedom from the bully. He gained it by following Jesus’ topsy-turvy teachings. When he doesn’t hold a grudge he is free from unforgiveness. By freely giving more than is required he is blessed. The pain in his stomach disappears. Peaceful sleep returns.

Who would ever have thought it is more blessed to give than receive? Jesus!

Have you begun to notice something about the 180 degree turn? It is opposite of what comes naturally.     

PRAYER

Father God, I want to live my life free from the deceptions of the devil. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ never deceives—The devil always does!

Take Jesus' Advice

 MARCH 26

MATTHEW 5:26_lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

It is always a good idea to listen to wise advice – particularly if the advice is from the Bible. If you’ve wronged someone in a criminal way, not just hurt their feelings, take Jesus’ advice. This is not to minimize hurting someone’s feelings – which hurts their heart. From what Jesus has taught, hurts to the heart are as serious as killing. Do your part to repair the wrong before it goes to the judicial system.

First, nothing you offer (your future) to God pleases Him until you’ve repaired wrongs. Second, if it does involve something criminal, your adversary will take you to court. If pride gets in the way of humbling yourself before your adversary – it is minor compared to the humiliation which can be placed on you in a courtroom.

If you were in the wrong, you will lose the case. You will have to pay your court fees, your adversary’s court fees, whatever you owe the adversary, plus anything the adversary may add for whatever reason, and possibly some jail time.

Just take Jesus’ advice – He knows the truth to set you free.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Please give me the courage to obey Your principles. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the truth—He can use it to set me free!

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!