The Master of Graphics

JULY 14

MATTHEW 6:19_and where thieves break through and steal.

We are over half way through this year. You’ve learned Jesus never leaves a stone unturned. When He makes a point, He makes a point! Also by now you may have gained insight into why Jesus is like that. Perhaps I’ve already said it a ga-zillion times … if you love someone, you’ll do anything to help them live free. You want to be sure not to leave any stone unturned on their path to freedom.

The Great Teacher and Master of Graphics [Jesus] goes further than stuff breaks – it can be stolen. If you’ve ever had something you held close in your heart stolen, you understand Jesus’ illustration. Some things you can replace. Things unique to you or your family, having sentimental value, can never be replaced.

It is not wrong for you to love the possession. Even the thief, whom you may feel bitterness toward, is in your life for a reason. This thief is a part of God’s ultimate plan. God wants to teach you how to love the thief, more than the possession. That does not mean the thief should not answer to the law and receive punishment (depending upon the situation). It means your heart is free to let go of the possession, but not the thief.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Help me love all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves people more than stuff—He will help me!

Stuff Breaks

JULY 13

MATTHEW 6:19_where moth and rust doth corrupt…

Jesus doesn’t want you to be consumed by anything but His love. And He doesn’t want you to hoard that – He wants you to give it away!

The Creator understands body, soul (mind, will, emotions), and spirit. He understands how they work independently and together. Remember John Donne’s no man is an island phrase? Whatever God’s ultimate plan is for your life will involve people. Some may be family, some may be friends, some may only be acquaintances, and some you may never meet. But God wants to teach you how to love the people He brings your way. In order to love freely, your heart must be free. A heart bound by the love of wealth simply can’t give itself away in a 180 degree topsy-turvy fashion. 

Jesus gets a little graphic concerning possessions. They can rust. Moths can eat holes in them. Stuff breaks. It tears up. Earthly possessions are frail at best. Why would you let your heart get all wrapped up in stuff that breaks? 

Psalm 49:16-17 (KJV), “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.”

What is made in this life will remain in the earth.

PRAYER

God of All Truth, Free my heart to love You and Your people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants people in my life—He teaches me to love!

Free Me!

JULY 12

MATTHEW 6:19_Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…

Aesop’s fable has some good advice. Jesus gives wise advice. Remember, Jesus teaches radical 180 degree principles of life. Look deeply into His teaching.

One way to study the Bible is to examine words. The key word to understand this verse is treasure. Merriam-Webster defines treasure as, wealth … stored up or hoarded. Jesus is not talking about preparation for future expenses. When you know your college tuition is due next month, don’t spend all your money this month. 

Another way to clarify the meaning is to examine I Timothy 6:9-10 (KJV), “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

The key words in verse 10 are, “For the love of…”

Great wealth, and the power which comes with it, has potential to consume the human soul.

Jesus wants you to live free, not in bondage to wealth.

PRAYER

God Who is my Treasure, I want You to be my treasure. I want to be consumed by You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me free from the love of money—Free me!

Secrets

MAY 16

MATTHEW 6:4_That thy alms may be in secret…

Just in case anyone was perplexed with the right/left hand illustration – Jesus says it – let your alms be in secret. 

He’s already called the trumpet blowers hypocrites. He has specified their chief blowing places – synagogues and streets. He has said why they do it – to be seen by men. But lest you still have not caught on, now hear this: DO IT IN SECRET!! 

You don’t tell secrets. If you do … they are no longer secrets. You don’t post on social media your secrets. Also, you do not have a banquet in your honor – for a gift you gave in secret. 

This does not mean you should not be honored at some time for some great achievement. You may have plaques on your wall given to you by people who have benefited from your good works. But, this was their doing, the beneficiaries, not because you blew your own trumpet.

Luke 14:8,10 (KJV), 8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

PRAYER

True God, Please teach me the secret of how to be secret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                      

Christ knows when I need to receive honor—He will do it!

Make the Effort

MAY 15

MATTHEW 6:3_let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.

Unfortunately, modern society encourages us to be offended by numerous things. Jesus doesn’t want us to be offended – He wants us to be overcomers. Romans 12:21 (KJV), “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Let’s just agree, left-handers will not be offended because Jesus implies the doing of alms is by the right hand. Personally, I believe Jesus was ambidextrous.

This is not a lesson on hand usage. This is a lesson on secret giving.

In this part of verse 3, Jesus uses graphics again. Picture in your mind to hide from your left hand something your right hand does. It would take some effort – either hiding the left hand behind your back, or in your pocket, or under something. Generally, both your hands are exposed to each other.

If your heart is dedicated to the Jesus lifestyle, you make the effort to live life Jesus’ way. 

Jesus knew the world operated on a right-handed system. The right hand thing emphasizes what comes natural to most of the world. It comes natural to want to make your gifts known – especially a large gift.

Turn 180 degrees, and keep it secret.

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I never want my ego to cause me to bask in the glory and praise of people, lest I think I don’t need You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ takes care of my needs—He wants me to believe!