Chaos Is Just Around the Corner

JULY 25

MATTHEW 6:24_No man can serve two masters…

Who do you listen to when you need to make a decision? Who has the final say? Who is ultimately in control? Whose lead will you follow when two voices call? Who is the master of your heart?

Without a final authority chaos is just around the corner.   

From childhood, to youth, to adulthood, to old age, you serve many masters. On a sports team there is generally more than one coach. In a theatrical production there is more than one instructor. But, ultimately there has to be one who is the head – one who demands total allegiance. One the team pledges their obedience and respect to.

Jesus teaches you cannot serve two masters. A decision must be made, in the heart.

The Bible offers some advice. Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV), “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” I Corinthians 10:21 (KJV),“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”

At the end of the day, it’s a decision you alone must make.

PRAYER

Only True God, Help me pledge my allegiance to You alone. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants my allegiance—I will give it to Him!

What’s Important Is …

JULY 5

MATTHEW 6:17_But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head…

Count on Jesus to teach the truth! He will not leave you dangling with a question mark. Once again, He has taught what is the wrong way, now He will teach the right way.

Anointing may sound a little unusual but it is all through the Bible. Anointing, performed with oil, was generally performed by priests. The purpose was to set-apart, or consecrate, or designate someone or something to/for God. 

I am going to stray from fasting and hypocrites just for today. This is a good place to discuss another viewpoint of anointing. I view baptism as a type of anointing. Baptism is all about set-apartness, designation, and consecration. It is a way to seal a contract of belonging to God. Baptism should be viewed as a serious act – as serious as your dedication to becoming a disciple of Jesus. 

Baptism can be another sad case of church bickering – how it is performed and at what age. Jesus was thirty years old before He was baptized. What’s important is baptism goes with belonging to God. Count on the Holy Spirit to direct you to be baptized, or to apply your new faith to an old baptism. Or if you feel so led – have a re-do.

Trust and obey – don’t bicker and argue.      

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want an anointing in my life as a way of belonging to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ was baptized—It is part of discipleship!

Strengthen the Spiritual

JULY 1

MATTHEW 6:16_Moreover when ye fast…

Fasting has recently gained popularity. More and more it is considered a health benefit. There are different types of fasts. Depending upon the kind of fast, some of the benefits are improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, weight management, and heart health. These are all health issues which need attention. They are some issues you might address in adulthood, and consulted a physician. 

The kind of fasting Jesus refers to in this teaching is more to benefit the spirit than the body. Health benefits for the body are still there, but that is not the purpose of the fast. Health benefits come as a byproduct of your obedience to a spiritual fast. A spiritual fast concentrates on denying the physical to strengthen the spiritual. To gain insight from the Bible, and hear the Holy Spirit’s instructions – plan to incorporate spiritual fasting into your adult life.

Unfortunately, Christians bicker over many Biblical principles, fasting is often one of them. Do not bicker or argue over the Bible – rather, love God and His people. When you are an adult, God may call you at times to fast – to deeper your relationship with Him. A deeper relationship with Jesus can only do one thing – draw you closer to living a life of freedom.

If the Holy Spirit calls you to a fast, you will know.  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, When I am of the age for fasting, I will know Your call. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ fasted—He may call me to as well!

Action!

APRIL 22

MATTHEW 5:42_and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

When Jesus sent out the disciples with no luggage, only trust, the result was a major boost of faith. Transformation took place in the disciples’ hearts. Strong faith does not develop just by reading or listening to Jesus’ teachings.

Action!

Luke 22:35 (KJV), “And he [Jesus] said unto them [disciples], When I sent you without purse, and script, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”

The disciples returned stunned! They gained great faith. They were filled with joy. 

Action is a process. As the disciples saw their needs met, their faith increased. The greater faith allowed them to teach and heal. This action required something totally radical of them. To completely trust in what Jesus taught. Even when what He taught them was topsy-turvy. It worked. Not only did it work for the disciples, it worked to bring truth and healing to the recipients.

Turning the other cheek, giving more than is required, going the second mile, giving to those in need, all require to put others before yourself. And to obey Jesus.

This is more than feeding the hungry, or healing the sick. This is loving the unlovely, and forgiving the undeserving.

PRAYER

Blessed Savior, I want to live my life in a way which shows faith by action. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ lived a selfless life—I want to learn how!

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!