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 who do wear 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!

Quench Your Thirst

NOVEMBER 20

MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You already know good fruit is salt and light. Salt that preserves the truth once it’s found. Salt that whets the appetite so you thirst for more truth. A thirst that can only be quenched by a relationship with Jesus. If you are being led to quench your thirst by anything other than Jesus—you will not produce good fruit. 

In Matthew 13 (KJV), Jesus tells a parable about planting seeds in different types of soil and how the seed responds to where it is planted: “19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground [heart] is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

PRAYER

Only Wise God, Please plant in my heart the words of Your kingdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.    

Christ plants His kingdom in my heart—I receive it!

The Nail That Holds Together

NOVEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:18_A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit…

This verse is the nail that holds together the principle which build this house. 

We are going a little deeper into the principle of a good tree brings forth good fruit. Jesus puts a bit of a spin on that— a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Get this into your heart and meditate on it. It isn’t just that good produces good. It’s that the good cannot produce evil.

Let’s think of it in terms of a good teacher. This is a teacher whose teachings line up with the truths of the Bible. A teacher whose love and concern for you is unconditional—although you may not see that in the beginning. It takes time and some maturity to understand all the aspects of unconditional love. For instance, this is the teacher who taught you the truth even when you rejected and rebelled against it. This is the teacher who, when you finally had enough of your own bondage, welcomed you back to the fold and led you to freedom. This is the teacher who stands by you when times are tough.

This teacher is Jesus. The source you can count on not to produce evil in your life.

You don’t have to worry about this One being a ravening wolf. A good tree is salt and light!            

PRAYER

Lamb of God, I need people in my life who are salt and light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

 Christ cannot produce evil fruit—I can trust in Him!

Narrow Passages

OCTOBER 27

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

My favorite path in Rock City is the Needle’s Eye. As many times as I have been there, it remains my favorite. Two large rock formations are close together but not touching—just barely not touching. As you enter the trail between the rocks, depending upon your size, you may be able to walk normally, moving forward. But as you continue, you come to places where the rocks are closer together. This is when some people have to turn side ways to continue. There are some very narrow passages.

The strait gate, which Jesus says leads to life, is also narrow. The Needle’s Eye leaves very little room for baggage. As you continue to travel the path some of the passages are so narrow if you brought along baggage, you will have to return to the gate and leave it.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave him this advice, concerning all the Hebrews he was leading to the promised land, Exodus 18:20 (KJV), “And thou [Moses] shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.”

As a salty-lit-up disciple do the same thing. Give light to the narrow path so seekers can follow it.     

PRAYER

One True God, Help me be light to the strait gate and narrow way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ casts off my baggage—I’ll follow the narrow way!

Restore – Not Destroy

OCTOBER 21

MATTHEW 7:12_for this is the law and the prophets.

Put this principle in simple terminology. Think about how you want to be treated, then treat everyone else that way. Think about how you want to be talked to, and talk that way to everyone else.

As a salty-lit-up disciple you want to restore broken people and relationships—not destroy them. You want to shed light in a dark place—not make it darker.

The apostle Paul says it very well in Galatians 6:1 (KJV), “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.”

We can be too indulging and too enabling with people, but we can’t be too kind or too gentle.

Matthew 7:12 has long been known as The Golden Rule. Jesus says this rule is the fulfillment of the Law. Paul also says it in Galatians 5:14 (KJV),“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Jesus taught the radical 180 degree turn when it came to the Law. However, He also taught that His radical way was not intended to destroy the Law or the prophets. The very basis of the Law is love—which is why Jesus fulfills it. 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Let me treat others with compassion and gentleness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the Law is based on love—He fulfills it!