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!

Jesus’ Destructive Agenda

FEBRUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:17_I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

There was hardly anything destructive about Jesus’ earthly life. He came to heal the sick, give hope to the destitute, set demonic captives free, raise the dead, and above all else, freely give eternal life. His earthly purpose from beginning to end was mercy and love.

However, He did have one destructive agenda – hypocrisy. This would be hypocrisy among the God followers, salt that’s been contaminated with arrogance and lust, and lost its savor. Lights that shine only to bring self-glory. Those were things for which Jesus showed zero tolerance. 

He did not hesitate to call the guilty appropriate names, and in one instance physically remove their presence from the temple.

To destroy the law or prophets was far from Jesus’ purpose. He made it clear He was their fulfillment. The balance Jesus brought between the judgment of the Old Testament and the mercy of the New Testament was something Jesus alone could achieve.

To have too much of one and not enough of the other is destructive. Salt and light require the perfect balance of each.

PRAYER

Righteous Jesus, Help me to never fall into hypocrisy. Make me aware if I’m heading in that direction and re-direct my steps. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ balances judgment and mercy—Praise Him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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!

An Insatiable Desire

AUGUST 6

MATTHEW 6:28_And why take ye thought for raiment?

Jesus re-visits the clothes issue. There is something else Jesus re-visits. Do you see it? Do you see the word thought

The tenth commandment is Thou shalt not covet. Covet is akin to lust. Thought patterns are captured. A strong desire that doesn’t let go until it is satisfied. If the truth be told, covetousness can’t be satisfied.

Once lust, or covetousness, obtains its desire – it wants more. That’s the very nature of covetousness – an insatiable desire. Luke 12:15 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them, ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.’’’ There is a difference in coveting the latest brand name and just needing clothes.

Covet is also akin to envy. Envy dwells on what someone else possesses. The longer the dwell, the deeper envy works its way into the heart. Once there, envy causes conflict. Not because you’ve been done any wrong, but because the one you envy dresses like you want to – but can’t.

Galatians 5:26 (KJV), “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Don’t let worry thought patterns fill you with strife over clothes.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Help me trust You to provide for me what is best at this time. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ knows all my needs—He will provide