One Must Reign, the Other Must Serve

JULY 27

MATTHEW 6:24_Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The word mammon in this verse is translated wealth or treasure. The double vision saga ends. Jesus and material wealth cannot reign in your heart. The heart can only give itself to one ruler. There is no balancing the two – one must reign, the other must serve. Allegiance!

Jealousy is a terrible emotion. When left unbridled, it consumes. Shakespeare named it the green-eyed monster (The Merchant of Venice, 1596 / Othello, 1604).

There is a time jealousy can be good – when God has it. God speaks strongly of His jealousy in His Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:5 (KJV), “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [idols], nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God …”Also in Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV), “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”

God’s jealousy is protecting. His jealousy is consumed with keeping you from straying from the path – into darkness.The apostle Paul understood this kind of jealousy. He wrote about it to the Christians in Corinth. II Corinthians 11:2 (KJV), “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Paul’s jealousy saves disciples from double vision.

PRAYER

Holy God, Thank You for being jealous over me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is jealous for us—He wants to save me for Jesus!

His Heart’s Cry

JUNE 2

MATTHEW 6:8_before ye ask him.

In I Kings 18, God knew Elijah wanted the fire lit.  It wasn’t necessary for Elijah to ask. But it was necessary for everyone listening to hear God proclaimed as the LORD, and Elijah as His prophet. His audible prayer may cause some Israelites to turn from idol worship to the One True God. Not all prayers should be private. There is a place for prayer groups and out-loud prayers.

Mark chapter 10 (KJV) gives an account of a blind man named Bartimaeus, 48 And many charged him [Bartimaeus] that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, ‘Thou son of David [Jesus], have mercy on me.’ 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, ‘Be of good comfort, rise; he [Jesus] calleth thee.’ 50 And he [Bartimaeus], casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?’ The blind man said unto him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight.’ 52 And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

Jesus knew Bartimaeus was blind. Jesus knew Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy was to receive sight. Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to tell Him – out loud. Bartimaeus did. And received his heart’s cry.

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I will make known to You in prayer, everything in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to voice my prayers to Him—I will!

The One True God

MAY 31

MATTHEW 6:8_Be ye not therefore like unto them…

Jesus doesn’t want His disciples to pray like the babbling heathen. For all their crying and cutting themselves, the priests in I Kings 18 could get nothing from Baal. Nothing. And there were 450 priests calling on him!

The contest between God and Baal was that the true god would set fire to the offered sacrifice, with no help from man. Before Elijah even begins to pray, he gives God an opportunity to show His power. As said, Baal had failed. Elijah pours four barrels of water on his wood, and he does it three times. Then Elijah prays. Elijah alone. No crowd shouting and cutting. Elijah prays to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Jacob). 

Carefully notice Elijah’s prayer. He never asks God to send fire. He asks three things. 1-That God make it known He is the God of Israel, not Baal. 2-That God make it known Elijah is the true servant of God, and whatever Elijah does comes from God. 3-That the Israelites return to worship the One True God.

This is real prayer, from a true believer, to the true God. The results were amazing.39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.”                                                                                  

PRAYER

Holy LORD, Let my prayers cause You to be known as the One True God. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves true prayers that honor God—I do too!

Can Your Prayers Be Wrong?

MAY 30

MATTHEW 6:7_for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Can you pray wrong? Absolutely. James 4:3 (KJV), “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” You can pray and never receive when you ask for something which will be harmful to your character. You may think of lust as sexual, but you can lust for clothes, cars, homes, gadgets, and many kinds of things. It isn’t wrong to pray for needs or even for wants. It’s what we’ve learned over and over – the condition of the heart. The heart is the center of lust and of righteousness. God, who reads the heart, knows which reigns. The one that reigns produces the prayers

In this verse, Jesus refers to praying to idols and false gods. Psalm 115:4-8 (KJV), “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

Idol worshipers must think if they babble enough they will be heard. The problem with that is idols “have ears but they hear not.”

One of the best stories on idols and those who worship them is found in I Kings 18. Read this powerful, and somewhat humorous, account of God’s prophet Elijah, wicked King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, the false god Baal, and Baal’s priests.

Learn what happens when the priests call on Baal, and Elijah calls on God.

PRAYER

True God, Please show me when I am praying selfish prayers. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows a destructive prayer—He does not answer!