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!

A Protective Wall

NOVEMBER 12

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

I do not believe it is any kind of happenstance that Jesus was raised by a carpenter, or that He became one. When Jesus went to His home town to preach, the people there said, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us …” Mark 6:3 (KJV).

I have heard that the correct translation for the word carpenter here is actually a stonemason. Jesus was a Master Stonemason. I know He was a master because what is the passion of a person’s heart will reflect in their work. Always. This means His carpentry work radiated with love and compassion. 

Jesus had the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge required to create the universe. He had more than enough skill to be a Master Stonemason. 

I don’t know if Jesus did any carpenter work after He began His ministry. But, He definitely incorporated His masonry skills into His teachings, which radiate with love and compassion. And absolutely no one can build a protective wall around you better than He!

When The Master Stonemason has a principle to teach, He never does it half-way.

Jesus makes His point—and makes it solid! 

PRAYER

Holy Master Stonemason, I am learning to see love and compassion in Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.         

Christ is The Master Stonemason—His teachings are solid!

Something You Give Away

OCTOBER 30

MATTHEW 7:14_and few there be that find it.

You enter the strait gate when you answer the knock of Jesus on your heart’s door. Some baggage automatically drops off at that time. I have known people with strong addictions who were instantly set free through the power of Jesus in their heart.

The baggage that Jesus does not relieve instantly goes with you through the gate. The narrow path, like the Needle’s Eye, can become narrower as you travel. When you reach these narrow passages, which are tight places, they force you to make some changes. You may need to turn sideways to pass through. In some places you’ll have to bend down, because to go through also requires going under a large rock formation.

The changes you make as you pass through the tight places require two things—repentance and humility. When you repent you’ve changed your position. You no longer see value in earthly pain relievers. You are filled with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. You walk free through the narrow path and exchange all your baggage for true love.

True love is not baggage. It is something you give away—to keep it to yourself would not be true love.

Holy Spirit power reproduces love daily and daily you give it away.

PRAYER

King of Kings, Help me to repent and worship You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                   

Christ calls us to repent and be humble—He helps me!

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!