MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
Hypocrites. If anyone makes the Bible and the Christian faith look bad, it is they. If anyone can make a good act look bad, it is they. If anyone can make what should be an act of love turn into ego, it is they. If anyone can tip the scales so judgment outweighs mercy, it is they. If anyone can take a lie and cleverly disguise it as the truth, it is they.
Is it any wonder Jesus accepted the thieves, murderers, and morally impure over the religious hypocrites?
The former came to Jesus broken, bleeding captives seeking forgiveness and love. They came with a repentant heart. Covered His feet with their tears.
The latter came self-assured and confident of their lack of need for help. They came with an arrogant heart – saw themselves good.
Hypocrites love to sound the trumpet before their good deeds. They desire to bring glory to themselves.
They make sure they receive praise.
And the whole world needs to know!
Dear Jesus, Only You are worthy to receive glory, and honor, and blessing, forever and ever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ alone is worthy of the world’s glory—I praise Him!
MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…
You were chosen by The Great Balancer. He teaches hard hearts to balance judgment and mercy. He is also The Great Transformer. Just as transformer toys change from one thing to another, that’s what Jesus wants to do in you. Jesus begins His transformation from the inside and works out.
Another side of Holy Jesus is – The Great Surgeon. He not only has the power to heal diseases and various ailments (healing is subject to His will which is greater than ours), He is a soul/heart surgeon beyond equal. Jesus knows hearts. He performs open heart surgery. This surgery is not about whether you have clogged arteries. It is about removing self-centeredness and replacing it with unconditional love.
The length of time for this surgery depends upon how hard the heart is. All hearts are hard. All need to be transformed. There is a reason we have trouble in marriages and other relationships.
Psalm 51:10 (KJV), “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Jesus wants to teach you how to repair relationships – not just end them.
Holy God, Change my heart. Give me a heart like Yours! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ changes my heart—I want His heart in me!
MATTHEW 5:28_hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
If David had turned away when he saw Bathsheba the story would have a different ending. But he looked long enough for his heart to develop lust. The second look sealed his fate.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he …” Everyone obeys their heart. You’ve learned you think with your heart, and what’s inside the heart is who you are. If a man with such a heart as David, could fall so deeply into sin – pay attention to what Jesus teaches.
Because of the power of his position, it was no problem for David to have Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous affair. That would have been bad enough; the consequences would have plagued him for life. But the adultery led to something deeper – murder.
King David’s powerful position did not save him from severe punishment for his actions. His punishment did not come from man – it came from God.
David did not have enough political power to save himself from God’s judgment!
Lord God, Teach me to be careful what I allow into my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants my heart to be pure—He can purify it!
MATTHEW 5:25_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.
If you are prone to procrastination, the time to use it is not when you’ve done someone an injustice! Settle it quickly – the quicker, the better.
If you have stolen something, and need to make a payment plan, work out the details quickly. Jesus said, “whiles thou art in the way with him.” That means while you are in their presence making your peace. Don’t say I’m sorry for what I did and I’ll make it up to you some day. Stay away from some day. Work it out then and there.
In this case you are the one in the wrong. You are subject to your adversary’s viewpoint of justice. Perhaps you can bargain, and perhaps not. Either way, fix it the same day!
Going to court is expensive and traumatic. Depending upon the severity of your wrong or your unwillingness to reconcile with your adversary, there may even be jail time. If there is jail time, don’t let it be because you were not willing to right your wrong.
You are not responsible for anyone else’s wrong, but do whatever you need to make yours right.
Almighty God, I want to be reconciled with all people You place in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ repairs my wrongs—He will help me reconcile!
MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy.
We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.
Galatians 6:1, 10 says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).
Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!