To Be a True Friend

JANUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him. 

I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth. 

Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the  Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve. 

Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!                                

 PRAYER

God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!

The Amazing Heart

JANUARY 24

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

The amazing heart seldom receives its full due. If you think in scientific terms you know it keeps blood pumping. Essential to life. Leviticus 17:11 (KJV), ‘”For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

When you think of the heart as the center of your emotions, you see love, joy, panic, and fear. The beating heart keeps hormones producing and functioning. Have you discovered something significant? There is a reason deep sorrow and sadness are called heartbreak.

The Bible teaches much more about the heart. The heart is the very center of decision making. When the heart is filled with bitterness, you become a bitter person. You may not even realize it, but the people who know you see it plainly. If your heart is full of hate, you become hateful. A heart filled with unbridled hate may even be moved to murder. The heart instructs the brain, not the other way around. Even though this is not popular science it is what the Bible teaches. 

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  What you dwell on in your heart is who you are.

Another thing to count on is what your heart dwells on will eventually come out of your mouth – guaranteed!

PRAYER

Father in Heaven, I know what rules my heart will rule my life. I want that to be goodness and purity. Please help me obtain it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ wants my heart clean—He will cleanse it!

The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

True Love Cannot Be Forced

JANUARY 18

MATTHEW 5:6_Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…

If we were all created in the image of a righteous God, why is the world so wicked? The answer lies in creation itself. We were all created with a free will. We make our own choices. We are not puppets on a string that can only do their master’s bidding. 

It took a lot of love on God’s part to allow the thing He created to reject Him. But God understood without freedom there can never be love. True love cannot be forced. True love comes freely from the heart.

You can never truly love someone if you have no choice in the matter. By the same token, you can never be truly loved by one who is forced to love you. 

Although you were born with the desire to give and receive love, you were also born with the freedom to choose or reject it. That works with people as well as with God. You may not choose to love God, but from the day of your birth (and even before)He chose to love you. 

Does the same apply to righteousness? You were born in the image of a righteous God. Do you have the freedom to reject righteousness?   

Don’t miss tomorrow!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Thank You for giving me a free will. Help me use it to live in Your image, choosing Your righteousness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ chose to love me—He can help me love Him!

Live Your Life for Good

JANUARY 16

MATTHEW 5:5_for they shall inherit the earth.

Let’s talk about power.

There is the power which slaps a face or throws a punch when it feels offended.

There is the power endued with the kind of creativity to design and carry out a perfect plan of revenge and pay back.

There is the power which stimulates sexual desires through dress or touch.

If all of this power was kept under the control of love it would neither slap, pay back, or stimulate. It would be meekness.

What’s the point of all this? Why would you even care? You wouldn’t, except for one reason – because a new heart causes you to love others more than yourself.

You would rather suffer than to cause suffering.

Jesus set the example with His compassion for people. He understood the only way to overpower sin was with the power of love. He endured suffering so you could live in freedom. 

The reward of meekness is to inherit the earth – that’s some kind of big inheritance! The earth is filled with people. The earth is in great need of meek people.

You have only one opportunity to live this life – live it for the good of all the people who are a part of your existence.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray You teach me meekness and compassion controlled by love. I trust You to give me opportunities to do good – and the courage to take the opportunities. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ owns the earth—He shares it with me to do good!