A Fly in the Ointment

  JUNE 15

MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.

When God pays your sin debt, the kicks you used to experience in sin begin to disappear. If they don’t, then in the words of the great Miss Clavel, “Something is not right!” (Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans). You sin because it supplies some kind of satisfaction. It may be physical, emotional, or financial. When it no longer produces satisfaction (which is the nature of sin), you sink deeper and deeper into sin. The deeper, the harder to come out.  

When redeemed by the Savior, sin begins to lose its hold. There is no joy in sin for the saved. Just when things look good for the debtor, Jesus adds another piece to the pattern.

He lets a fly in the ointment!

Jesus’ prayer causes vertical forgiveness (from God to you) to be based on horizontal forgiveness (from you to your offenders). That means to ask God to forgive you in the way you forgive those who wrong you.

I declare! Jesus just won’t let you get by with anything. It takes a lot of love to hold people you love to accountability.

If you confess, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness, why should that have anything to do with those who wronged you? They need to do their own confessing.

This is more of those natural instincts of your hard heart.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is your offenders and their confession is between them and God. You forgiving them is between you and God.

A clear sign you have been redeemed is you want to forgive. Old sins lose their grip and hard hearts soften!       

PRAYER

Great Redeemer, Thank You for not only saving me, but changing me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                               

Christ redeems me—He changes me!

Each Day Is New

JUNE 10

MATTHEW 6:11_this day…

Psalm 118:24 (KJV), “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is new. Stop and think about that. It is brand new. It is not yesterday. Neither is it tomorrow. It is today! Every day has new needs and every day your Father has an abundant supply. It is His joy to bless you each day. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV), “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Here is another part of God’s daily giving. God’s mercy protects from being consumed – daily.  

If you think to be consumed is to be eaten you are not entirely wrong. The things that hold you in bondage eat away at life. You can be consumed by lust, greed, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, and depression.

These are not come-and-go bondages. They consume daily – eating away love, joy, and peace. Because God is faithful and full of compassion, His mercy saves from being consumed by bondage. Just like each day is new – so are God’s mercies of compassion and faithfulness.

Freedom can be a process. But compassion is not. Just don’t cave in to doubt. God delivers. It’s a part of who He is. This may be the day for you!!!

I can understand why Jesus teaches, Give us this day!

 PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You that Your compassion saves me daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s mercy is new every day—He gives it to me!

Lots of Hallelujah Shouting!

JUNE 8

MATTHEW 6:10_in earth, as it is in heaven.

If you think it is easy to pray, “not my will but Thine be done” – you’ve never really prayed it. In this same account of Gethsemane, we find in Luke 22:44 (KJV),“And being in an agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Praying for God’s will to be done caused the Holy Son of God to sweat blood! 

During my time on earth I want the strength and faith to seek God’s will above my own. God’s will is always greater, and it is always full of love and mercy – although I may not see that until His will has been done.  God’s will is always goodness and kindness toward people, and is founded on love.

In heaven, God’s will shall be done. I won’t have to be anxious about caving in to my own will. No wonder there will be lots of praising in heaven! Lots of hallelujah shouting! Lots of adoration worship! God’s will is done daily, hourly, and moment by moment. That’s reason to rejoice!

I couldn’t make it in this life without prayer. I need to talk with the Father. I need to pour out my heart before Him. I need to feel His comfort and reassurance in my uncertainty.

God’s will causes my light to shine.         

 PRAYER

Omnipotent God, Praise You that Your will is always better than mine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.  

Christ knows God’s will—His will make me shine!

Don’t Try to Live Without It!

  MAY 19

MATTHEW 6:5_And when thou prayest…

Prayer is a necessity in the Christian life. Don’t try to live even one day without it. I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV), “Pray  without ceasing.”

No one wants to go a full day without speaking to someone they love. If you don’t love Jesus, talk to Him anyway – you may soon find Him to be your friend. It takes time to truly love. There is such a thing as love at first sight, but if that’s all there ever is and love goes no further than sight – that won’t get it done. You have to know the person who has caused your heart to skip beats. Time must be spent in communication. 

Prayer is communication. There is nothing in your heart you cannot tell Jesus. The fact that He already knows what’s there does not stop Him from wanting to hear your voice. Jesus desires your deep, intimate, communication – just as any two people who are in love.

Get to know the book of Psalms. They may be written for songs, but they make for some kind of awesome prayers! No matter your situation, there is a Psalm to express your heart. Pray a Psalm in first person.

If it is a prayer of brokenness, it’s okay to weep. If it is a prayer of joy, then sing praise. 

Simply let your heart express itself.  

PRAYER

Lord of All, Thank You that You hear my heart, and my feeble words. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ prayed—He will teach me!

Action!

APRIL 22

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

When Jesus sent out the disciples with no luggage, only trust, the result was a major boost of faith. Transformation took place in the disciples’ hearts. Strong faith does not develop just by reading or listening to Jesus’ teachings.

Action!

Luke 22:35 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], When I sent you without purse, and script, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”

The disciples returned stunned! They gained great faith. They were filled with joy. 

Action is a process. As the disciples saw their needs met, their faith increased. The greater faith allowed them to teach and heal. This action required something totally radical of them. To completely trust in what Jesus taught. Even when what He taught them was topsy-turvy. It worked. Not only did it work for the disciples, it worked to bring truth and healing to the recipients.

Turning the other cheek, giving more than is required, going the second mile, giving to those in need, all require to put others before yourself. And to obey Jesus.

This is more than feeding the hungry, or healing the sick. This is loving the unlovely, and forgiving the undeserving.

PRAYER

Blessed Savior, I want to live my life in a way which shows faith by action. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ lived a selfless life—I want to learn how!