The Larger Candle

FEBRUARY 16

MATTHEW 5:15_and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Jesus’ teaching on light is a high point of God’s plan. Your light is not lit just to dispel your own darkness, but possesses the power to give light to all that are in the house! God determines how far reaching the house (where you will serve God) is. Your light is set on the candlestick to achieve a God-designed purpose.

Life is like candles. A small candle works well in a small room. When you move to a larger room you need to place a larger candle on a larger candlestick. With your small candle in hand you enter the larger room, the flame of the small candle lights the wick of the larger candle. This procession continues throughout life.

The more your light is used to give love to the loveless, hope to the hopeless, and burn the cords of bondage, the larger a candle you will need. Just as you grow physically from an infant to an adult, so you grow spiritually.

It can never be overemphasized that the time tables of life belong to God. He determines when to light the larger candle.

  PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me the house You want me to light. Help me find it and light it for Your glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                              

Christ sees my flame—He will light a larger candle!

… And Saltier

FEBRUARY 8

MATTHEW 5:13_Ye are the salt of the earth but…

Another purpose for which God designed salt is flavor. Seriously, could you really enjoy popcorn without salt? What about your fries? Salt just enhances flavor – taking something already good and making it better.

Would you like to be someone who enhances your friends’ faith? Maybe you could help them over some type of difficulty? Or perhaps give added strength for a struggle that’s a little too heavy to bear alone? And, for that matter, would you want a salty friend to enhance you?

Salt also gives an appealing and unique flavor to something that’s sweet – some salt with chocolate or caramel adds a flavorful touch. Do you want a friend who always tells you what you want to hear, or tells you what you need to hear? It takes someone who truly loves you to tell you the truth when they know it may hurt. Everyone wants to hear good and praiseworthy things, but if you’re blindly heading toward a cliff, someone needs to stop you before it’s too late. This is not criticizing. This is when your friend has made a decision which threatens to lead to a worldly bondage.

Be sweet and kind to all your friends but love them enough to know when just a little salt can enhance the sweet.

PRAYER

Loving God, I know the Bible gives me enough salt to keep me on the right path. Please help me receive it through Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ’s love enhances my spirit – I want to love others!

To Look Like Jesus

FEBRUARY 2

MATTHEW 5:11_and persecute you…

Christian persecution is certainly nothing new, and as long as there are disciples. persecution will continue. All lives, whether Christian or not, suffer hardships, heartbreak, emotional and physical pain. The difference in the Christian life is blessings.

The Christian has the promise of eternity in heaven.

The Christian has Jesus’ promise to be blessed when persecuted for His sake.

The Christian has overcoming power to withstand persecution … that makes rather than breaks. Psalm 46:1 (KJV), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It is the Christian who experiences this promise.

The heart of the Christian learns to love unconditionally. This kind of heart does not boast of persecution in order to gain martyr status. The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit inside a human heart is incredible. The reason it is incredible is because when the Spirit entered this heart – it was desperately wicked!

A new heart is willing to forgive and learn to love its persecutor. A new heart begins to look like Jesus.

You can’t top that!

 PRAYER

Loving God, Please give me a heart like Jesus. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ loved His persecutors—May I gain that heart!

The Prime Example

FEBRUARY 1

MATTHEW 5:11_Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you  

Jesus is consistent to connect blessings with eight characteristics. Christians call these characteristics beatitudes. If you’re going to have an attitude, have a beatitude!

The result of each characteristic is to be blessed, translated as happy, or fortunate

These are not earthly blessings given by earthly people (who could also take them away). These are spiritual, supernatural blessings. Nothing in this life can take away the love, joy, peace, or faith which comes from being blessed by God.

What does it mean to be reviled? It is to be harshly criticized. To be spoken to in great anger. It is a painful experience stinging long after the verbal abuse. 

As in the previous teachings, Jesus does not say we will be blessed if we are reviled for dishonest, immoral, or deceitful behavior. The blessings of Jesus’ promises are for the pain experienced for doing what is right and being reviled for it. 

There are examples of people in the Bible who experienced just that. The prime example is the Lord Jesus Christ.

 PRAYER

Holy Christ, Thank You for teaching me the truth through the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ was reviled for the truth—May I be as strong!

That Same Kingdom

JANUARY 31

MATTHEW 5:10_for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

If the kingdom of heaven is something a little more earthly, than heavenly, we can experience it before death. 

When Jesus walked on earth, the kingdom of heaven was all around Him. After His ascension to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. The Spirit leads us into that same kingdom. At His return, He will bring a new Kingdom with Him.

We should be excited about living in the kingdom of heaven. Never forget, it is a reward for the poor in spirit and the persecuted. Only Christians will find the path. They won’t find it by trying to be and do good. They will find it by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them how to love – God first then each other.

Jesus told us in John 15:20 (KJV), “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” This kind of righteousness comes with a high price. It also comes with a high reward – walking in the kingdom of heaven, in a fallen and sinful world. The apostle John said in I John 4:17 (KJV),because as he is, so are we in this world.”

 If Jesus did it, so can we!

 PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I believe I can be like You. Help me find the way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is still alive—As He is so will I be!