Unwanted House Guests

MARCH 30

MATTHEW 5:29_And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee…

Because of the tremendous power of sexual sins, Jesus gives His antidote in very graphic examples. Pluck your eye out? Good grief!

What is His point? Where does the lust which leads to the sin begin? By looking.

There are many causes of bondage prevalent in our society: alcohol, street and prescription drugs, tobacco, and the love of money. Few of these rope, throw, and bind like pornography. It is an insatiable addictive which can destroy a life with deadly power. Addictions generally enjoy company. Once you’re in pretty good with one – the others come for a visit. And as with any unwanted house guest – they never leave. 

If you have a porn addiction, don’t go plucking out your eye! Jesus, who loves you so deeply that He died for you, wants you to live free. He wants you to be free to truly love. He wants you to be free to face each day feeling clean and free of guilt. He wants your heart to be free – so He can dwell in it and give you supernatural, overcoming power.

Keep reading these devotions, and discover a better way to live.     

PRAYER

Mighty Jesus, Praise Your name that You desire to set me free. Praise Your name that You possess the power to set me free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to live free—He gives the power!

It Came From God

MARCH 29

MATTHEW 5:28_hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

If David had turned away when he saw Bathsheba the story would have a different ending. But he looked long enough for his heart to develop lust. The second look sealed his fate. 

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he …” Everyone obeys their heart. You’ve learned you think with your heart, and what’s inside the heart is who you are. If a man with such a heart as David, could fall so deeply into sin – pay attention to what Jesus teaches.

Because of the power of his position, it was no problem for David to have Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous affair. That would have been bad enough; the consequences would have plagued him for life. But the adultery led to something deeper – murder. 

King David’s powerful position did not save him from severe punishment for his actions. His punishment did not come from man – it came from God.

David did not have enough political power to save himself from God’s judgment!  

Serious stuff!

PRAYER

Lord God, Teach me to be careful what I allow into my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                

Christ wants my heart to be pure—He can purify it!

An Ultimatum

DECEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

Jesus’ authority came from His Father in Heaven. We need earthly authority during our days in this world, but ultimate authority reigns in heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees craved…no…the better word is lusted, for power and authority and for admiration and respect. They wanted exactly what Jesus had.

Admiration and respect encourage and build up those in authority. When the authority desires to place fear in those they rule, respect becomes an ultimatum. It does not administer love.  Remember, sometimes love is administered with a firm hand. Since the people were astonished by Jesus’ kind of teaching, and saw it as totally different from the Scribes’ teaching—they obviously had not been administered love by their authorities. Their respect must have been more of an ultimatum. 

Jesus’ teachings led to truth and freedom. It gave the people answers to their struggles and created freedom in their souls.

This authority loves.

The Scribes’ teachings led to fear and bondage. The people feared the consequences if they rejected their teachings. It created bondage of the soul.

This authority oppresses.

 PRAYER

Good Shepherd, I respect and admire You because You give love to me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ has the ultimate authority—He uses it to love me!

Inward Character

NOVEMBER 5

MATTHEW 7:16_Ye shall know them by their fruits…

The word fruit here is not literal, as in something to eat. It is a metaphor of the outward character of a person produced by the inward character of their heart.

Beware of any teaching or persuasion that is not in-sync with what you have learned from the Bible! If someone is teaching the Bible and living completely contrary to its principles—beware! If someone tells you the Bible has errors because it was written by men—beware! If someone of the opposite gender says if you love me you will express it physically—beware! If someone uses the expression married in the eyes of God to get you to be sexually involved—beware!

Jesus left heaven, came to earth, and lived in the flesh. He knows how strong fleshly desires can be. His desire is to keep you from becoming snared into bondage. Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV), “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, You feel all the temptations of my flesh. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                      

Christ was tempted in the ways that I am—He helps me!

The Devil Himself!

OCTOBER 31

MATTHEW 7:15_Beware…

Beware! The Greek translation for beware is the same as our English—take heed, be on guard against. Time to listen to Jesus! 

Beware is a stronger word than the previous words or phrases Jesus has used to introduce a new subject. He has used introductions to tell you to pay attention, to perk up, and to wake up: (just in case you were napping during His sermon). This new topic He introduces calls for more than your attention. It calls for caution.

This new principle is easy to fall prey to if you are not on your guard. Actually this one is a perfect descriptive of the great deceiver—the devil himself! 

In John 8:44 (KJV), Jesus says to the Scribes and Pharisees, “Ye [Scribes and Pharisees] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

If you stay with Jesus for the next five verses He’ll give truth that will … once again … set you free!

PRAYER

Messiah, Help me to beware of Your teachings, and not be deceived. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                     

Christ wants us to beware of His teachings—I will!