Less of You?

MARCH 24

MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Nothing in this life is worth the bondage caused by the spirits of darkness. Spiritual bondage is void of light – a place of deep darkness. It thrives on anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. Spiritual bondage weakens the soul and brings it into despair. Again, nothing in life is worth allowing your spirit, heart, and soul to be in bondage.

Be reconciled. Come in freedom, and offer your gift. God receives your gift with joy and blesses you. As you grow physically and spiritually, your gift will grow, shining in your countenance and in your life. It will cause you to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Your light will bless all who cross your path – “all that are in the house.”

God possesses the greatest treasure – love. He bestows love upon you – which flows to other people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find you have the ability to love people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find self-sacrifice becomes a byproduct of your life – because you learn to love others more than yourself.

Do you want your life to be more of Jesus, and less of you?

PRAYER

God of Love, I want who You are to shine in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves me—He wants me to love His people!

The Good Guys, Right?

MARCH 8

MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees…

Scribes interpreted the Law and copied it into writings. If anyone knew the laws – from the greatest precept to the least – it was the Scribes. They were not politicians, but did possess great power and expected respect from their students in the synagogues. Because of their knowledge, they would most likely be the first to cringe if a jot or a tittle of the Law were violated.

The Pharisees, also learned in the Law, took more of a legal approach to the keeping of it. They were strong segregationists. They wanted no part of non-Jewish mixing.

These two sects were the primary religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Religious leaders are supposed to be the good guys, right?  If you can’t depend upon them to lead in the right direction, who can you depend upon?

There were some among the Pharisees who listened to and developed a heart for Jesus. But oh my goodness, what a sad place to be if you went to most of them for love, joy, or peace. They followed the letter of the Law rather than the spirit.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to live in the spirit of Your Law. Please show me when I am living more in the letter than the spirit.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is true righteousness—He will help me gain that!

The Whosoevers

MARCH 5

MATTHEW 5:19_but whosoever shall do…

The all-inclusive whosoever takes a turn for the better. The universal laws of right and wrong ring true for everyone – i.e., the whosoevers.

Wrong ultimately ends in some type of punishment. It may be punishment by our earthly law system, or it may be punishment by life itself. Life is governed by God. It is subject to those principles He included in creation. Let’s look a little further.

There are wrong-doers who get by with their crime – they are never caught by the law enforcers. No one can run or hide from their conscience. God’s creativeness overrules anything the world creates.

We cannot escape ourselves. Punishment by life itself – living with the agony of guilt.

The turn for the better is that doing what is right ultimately ends up with rewards. They may not always be public rewards, but God rewards life in ways no plaque, medal, or money can.

Simply to find your way to love, joy, and peace is to own more than anything money can buy.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I want to do what is right. I want to live out the truths You teach me – so I can be a salty-lit-up disciple. Thank You that You teach me how to live life through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is love, joy, and peace—He gives those to me!

All-Inclusive

FEBRUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:19_Whosoever…

Just in case there are any who feel they may be exempt from His teachings, Jesus begins this verse with the all-inclusive, whosoever

The idea if you do not believe in God, Jesus, or the Bible, then the rules do not apply to you, is a deception. The existence of the all-powerful, all-knowing, always-present God is not dependent upon your belief.

The same applies to the prophesies God gave to the prophets of the Old Testament which have come true and will continue to come true until all are fulfilled.

The principles God created when He created the Garden of Eden and all life, do not fail because you don’t believe. Neither will they fail when you decide you have come up with a better way to run the universe.

Everyone who has life is included in the whosoever. Everyone is subject to God’s creation principles. The very things you long for most in this life – love, joy, and peace – are interwoven into those principles. 

PRAYER

Mighty God, Give me the wisdom to understand and the knowledge to know Your creation principles, which have never failed and never will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ created principles of life—I need to live by them!

You’re Not the Only One

FEBRUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:12 _for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one? Everything that has to do with suffering, trials, and persecutions always comes to you. Everybody else has it made. Even if they do suffer for their Christian values, it’s short lived. You’re the only one for whom it goes on and on. Whenever something bad or hard comes around, it always falls on you. If someone gets the blame (for something they didn’t do), it’s always you. And, you’re the one who was doing right. The ones spouting the blame are the ones in the wrong.

According to Jesus, not only are you not the only one – but it has been going on since long before you were born. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament prophets and points out they, too, were persecuted for standing up for God’s truths. It is not something new. It is something that has been and always will be a part of a disciple’s life. 

Go ahead and rejoice – you’re in good company!

 PRAYER

God of comfort, I’m sorry for the times I whine, when I should praise. Help me thank You when I am persecuted for Your sake. Help me know the difference when I am persecuted for my own sake, and help me change my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ knows who is persecuted—I’m not the only one!