The Devil Hates Freedom

JULY 17

MATTHEW 6:20_where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.

No one can steal your spiritual gifts. The devil will do everything he can to do just that. He wants to discredit all of the fruits of the Spirit. When you are having a bad day, and the fruits don’t appear to be producing – the devil targets your soul. He whispers in your mind, will, and emotions that you have no love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance (self-control). He tries to convince you that you are too low on God’s list for Him to give you these gifts. You are not the only one he accuses of being unworthy of the kingdom. The devil targets all believers. 

The devil calls out all the demons in his deadly arsenal to attack you. He sends them to steal the virtues the Spirit bestows – lest you receive the fruit of freedom. The devil hates freedom. That’s why he hits you when you are down.

When your heart is broken, where is your joy?  When your future plans have fallen apart, where is your peace? When you feel God has deserted you, where is your faith? Times will come when you feel like this but …

The devil does not have the power to steal your treasures in heaven.    

PRAYER

Compassionate Jesus, I ask You to rebuke the devil when he taunts my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ rebukes the devil—He will do it for me!

Now and Later

JULY 15

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

Jesus approaches His climax to this principle. The place to hoard your treasures is in heaven. So, how are you going to deposit your paycheck into the Bank of Heaven? Very simple – understand what is truly valuable in this life.

Think of heavenly treasure as a candy – Now and Later. All eternal treasures do not require you to be living in heaven. You can enjoy their flavor now and after this life has ended – unlike earthly possessions. 

Rather than candy, the Bible calls these eternal possessions fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Notice the end of verse 23, “against such there is no law. When your heart is consumed with these fruits, you can live free – unlike lusts of the earth which create bondage. God says He has no laws against the Fruits of the Spirit.

All the wealth in this life cannot buy these fruits – not even one. They come freely as you feed, nurture, and cultivate your spirit through relationship, prayer, and Bible study.

Your spirit begins to produce fruit.

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, Help me possess heavenly treasures in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s treasure is in heaven—He wants mine to be!

A Jesus Relationship

MARCH 18

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy. 

We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.   

Galatians 6:1, 10 says “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.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).

PRAYER

Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!

Live Your Life for Good

JANUARY 16

MATTHEW 5:5_for they shall inherit the earth.

Let’s talk about power.

There is the power which slaps a face or throws a punch when it feels offended.

There is the power endued with the kind of creativity to design and carry out a perfect plan of revenge and pay back.

There is the power which stimulates sexual desires through dress or touch.

If all of this power was kept under the control of love it would neither slap, pay back, or stimulate. It would be meekness.

What’s the point of all this? Why would you even care? You wouldn’t, except for one reason – because a new heart causes you to love others more than yourself.

You would rather suffer than to cause suffering.

Jesus set the example with His compassion for people. He understood the only way to overpower sin was with the power of love. He endured suffering so you could live in freedom. 

The reward of meekness is to inherit the earth – that’s some kind of big inheritance! The earth is filled with people. The earth is in great need of meek people.

You have only one opportunity to live this life – live it for the good of all the people who are a part of your existence.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray You teach me meekness and compassion controlled by love. I trust You to give me opportunities to do good – and the courage to take the opportunities. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ owns the earth—He shares it with me to do good!             

Keep It Under Control!

JANUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…

What exactly is meekness? Think of it as a second cousin to humble. The Lord Jesus Christ was also the humblest person who ever walked the earth. What quality do I believe to be the first cousin of meekness? Self-control. 

Jesus is the Creator God who spoke the world into existence. John 1:3 (KJV), “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” I don’t think I could call that anything but power – awesome, incredible power! 

There is only one way the all-powerful God of Heaven and Earth would allow Himself to be subjected to insults, ridicules, beatings, and execution from mere humans. Meekness!

All of Jesus’ power was kept under control by a force even greater than meekness – love! 

My definition of meekness is power controlled by love. This is also an ideal description of Jesus. You may be a power-person on some sports team, or academic team, or arts team, but if you don’t learn how to keep that power under the control of love you can turn into a tyrant.

Be meek!

PRAYER

Creator Jesus, Thank You that You did not use Your power to destroy, but to love with compassion. Let me keep whatever power I have under the control of love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is full of power—He uses it to love me!