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!

A Destructive Weapon

OCTOBER 18

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Jesus leaves no room to pick and choose when it comes to how you should treat people. It’s just like Him to say all things. You can wiggle and squirm, but you can’t get past all things. This principle is like the judgment boomerang—only dish out what you would want dished to you.

Here’s an example. This is something most people do without thinking, and would never call it by its name. Yet, it is one of the most destructive weapons in any relationship, at any age, or stage of life. Gossip!

Stop and ask yourself, would you want someone to gossip about you? Then ask yourself if you gossip about others. Take physical features for example. Do you talk about, criticize, or make fun of the physical features of others behind their back? Perhaps the one you are (let’s go ahead and say it) gossiping about has some kind of defect. For whatever reason, you just feel like it is your duty to spread the news around. But then of course, maybe you were born beautiful. Somehow, you feel that justifies your gossip.

Perhaps you have a defect, though it is not physical, it is just as easily seen—time for a heart exam.   

PRAYER

God of Heaven and Earth, Help me treat others as I want to be treated. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ treats me with compassion—He teaches me how!

You Are Precious in God’s Sight

OCTOBER 17

MATTHEW 7:11_how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

You are precious in God’s sight. Never let the devil tell you otherwise. 

What Jesus is teaching in this verse is a kind of comparison lesson between earthly fathers and the heavenly Father. If you are blessed with a responsible and loving father, never cease to praise God for him. If you have an adoptive or foster father, as many people in the Bible had, praise God for bringing you together as family. 

Pray for your father. He faces tremendous responsibilities that you are not old enough to fully understand. Do everything in your power to support, help, and encourage him. Make your gratefulness known to him—don’t just assume he knows it. And more than anything love and respect him.

If an earthly father will meet your needs, because he hears you when you ask—what are the capabilities of your heavenly Father? He is the owner of the universe. His love and compassion are as big as His kingdom—which knows no end. 

If your earthly father experience did not go well—you have the opportunity for an even closer relationship with your heavenly Father.  

PRAYER

Owner of the Universe, Help me see the vastness of Your power and love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ’s abilities are boundless—He uses them for me!

There Was An Almost

OCTOBER 15

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

God loves everyone, the entire world. So much so that He let His own Son suffer and die for the world. 

God wants righteousness and goodness to reign supreme—as it did for a brief time in the Garden of Eden—pure perfection not only in people, but in all nature. But there was an almost in that perfection. When the almost won the battle over free will, everything changed—but God didn’t. He’s still just, He still has all power, and He’s still God of the Impossible.

I believe Jesus in His infinite power and unsurpassed love, works every day to restore as much of the Garden experience as possible in our fallen world. Every time He transforms a heart and gives it the ability to become salt and light, He’s made some restoration. It will take a new heaven and a new earth to bring full restoration.

When God uses evil people in ways that result in good for His children, He is exercising His fatherly powers. God wants fathers to do good to and for their children. Unfortunately, there are those whose fathers genuinely neglect, abuse, and abandon them.

God has a plan for those children as well, Psalm 27:10 (KJV), “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

PRAYER

Jesus Lord, Only You can transform—we all need it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                          

Christ’s love is perfection—I want to love like that!

He Teaches With Questions

OCTOBER 13

MATTHEW 7:10_a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Why all this talk about discipline? What does it have to do with Jesus’ teaching on asking between a father and children? In order for a child to feel free to ask anything of a father, the relationship has to be right.  In order for the relationship to be right, it must be founded on love. 

Jesus teaches this child-father relationship as He wants the relationship to be. He teaches with questions. A statement can be passed over, but questions require answers. Answers require think time.

Would a father give his child a serpent if the child asked for fish? You can’t just ignore a question—you are expected to give an answer. Notice, Jesus asks in a way to cause you to answer the obvious—of course not! No father would deprive his child of basic needs; nevertheless give his child something harmful!

I Timothy 5:8 (KJV), “But if any [father] provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 

II Corinthians 12:14 (KJV), “Behold, the third time I [Paul] am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.”

PRAYER

Great I AM, Please bless my parents, or my authorities, with Your love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ loves families – He helps me love mine!