No One Is Exempt

DECEMBER 28

MATTHEW 7:29_For he taught them as one having authority…

Every aspect of Jesus’ character is seen in this sermon. He taught as The Creator. His principles of life go back to creation. No one is exempt. Regardless of how we fight against them—creation principles always prevail.

Jesus taught as The Great Transformer. This sermon has shown me my heart is wicked and deceitful. Jesus’ principles are righteous. I have learned to ask, seek, and knock in order to have my wickedness transformed into righteousness.

Jesus taught as The Great Balancer. He is perfect balance by example, and He taught me how to balance. He taught me balance through topsy-turvy principles like: “…whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

To balance judgment and mercy is something I can only do by the power of Jesus in me!

 PRAYER

Great Transformer and Balancer, Help me apply what You’ve taught me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

 Christ has given me all I need – To transform and balance!

A Foundational Rock

DECEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:28_the people were astonished at His doctrine.

I wonder if the listeners who were truth-seekers, were sorry to have this sermon come to an end? Are you? There is much more in the Bible than the Sermon on the Mount—but it is certainly a foundational rock. You can continue to seek the truth, and find it, as long as you are asking, seeking, and knocking in the right places and with the right people.

Jesus has taught dynamic principles of life. He has taught them systemically and precisely, with gentleness and compassion, with firmness, in a no-nonsense manner, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, humility, and a pure heart.

II Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your [that’s you and me] sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is what makes Jesus’ teachings astonishing. Not only did He endure the humility of leaving the throne of God to walk the earth with mere mortals—He died for them! None were worthy of His sacrifice.

But those who receive the free gift of His life, become worthy.  

Unheard of!

Unprecedented!

Astonishing!              

 PRAYER

Rock-That-Is-Higher-Than-I, I want Your humility, pure heart, and unprecedented love! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ came to free me from death—I praise Him!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…

Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something!  Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!

You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them. 

If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.

Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.

You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.

Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!  

PRAYER

God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!

But the Power of Jesus

NOVEMBER 29

MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…

Can these people actually cast out demons? Or do they think they can just convince Jesus they can? I don’t claim to know a lot about demonic possession, but I don’t believe there is any power to exhort them but the power of Jesus. 

Because life is spiritual as well as physical, we need to have knowledge of both. We primarily focus on the physical until we have had an encounter with Jesus and answer that knock. John 15:16 (KJV), “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

You didn’t become a Christian because it was your idea. You answered the call, the knock, the pursuing of Jesus. You responded, and now you are doing the asking, seeking, knocking, pursuing. You enter a strait gate and a narrow way to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge … of truth. And why do you want truth? By now you’ve got this—to live free!

We must face the reality that the spiritual world consists of darkness as well as light. Jesus calls us to be light and light must be free.

Any encumbrances to light keep it from overcoming darkness.                   

PRAYER

God of Heaven, Please keep my light free to serve You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s light is free from encumbrances—He frees mine!

The Flatterers

NOVEMBER 25

MATTHEW 7:21_shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…

There are, and will continue to be, those who are excluded from the kingdom of heaven—both the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the eternal one. 

Those who publicly reject Christ are excluded. These are those who have sought the world for their fulfillment. Don’t misunderstand this—they had the same knock on their heart’s door. They are not excluded instantaneously. Jesus pursued them with the same passion He pursued you. Unfortunately, these are people who just flat refuse to feel the need or desire for a savior. These people do not pretend to be sheep—they wear their wolves clothing for all to see.

In this principle, Jesus refers to the ones in the sheep’s clothing. These are the flatterers. They use Christianity to work for them—not to glorify Jesus. Their charisma comes from a different power. 

II Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) explains this, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

The devil uses his power in ways that appear to be good. According to Jesus’ teaching, the devil can even use the people who call Jesus … Lord! 

PRAYER

God of All, Help me to not be deceived by the devil’s light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ is true light—The devil’s light becomes darkness!