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, authority, admiration, and respect. They wanted exactly what Jesus had.

Admiration and respect encourage and build up those in authority. When the authority rules by fear 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!

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 wronged, 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

Each Day Is New

JUNE 10

MATTHEW 6:11_this day…

Psalm 118:24 (KJV), “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is new. Stop and think about that. It is brand new. It is not yesterday. Neither is it tomorrow. It is today! Every day has new needs and every day your Father has an abundant supply. It is His joy to bless you each day. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV), “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Here is another part of God’s daily giving. God’s mercy protects from being consumed – daily.  

If you think to be consumed is to be eaten you are not entirely wrong. The things that hold you in bondage eat away at life. You can be consumed by lust, greed, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, and depression.

These are not come-and-go bondages. They consume daily – eating away love, joy, and peace. Because God is faithful and full of compassion, His mercy saves from being consumed by bondage. Just like each day is new – so are God’s mercies of compassion and faithfulness.

Freedom can be a process. But compassion is not. Just don’t cave in to doubt. God delivers. It’s a part of who He is. This may be the day for you!!!

I can understand why Jesus teaches, Give us this day!

 PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You that Your compassion saves me daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s mercy is new every day—He gives it to me!