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!

How Do the Godly Fall So Low?

MARCH 28

MATTHEW 5:28_But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her…

Just like Jesus’ lesson on the heart connection between murder and uncontrolled anger, now He will teach a heart connection between sexual sins and your ability to live free from bondage.

King David was more than just a God-fearing man. He is consistently referred to as a man after God’s heart. We’ve already discussed the importance of the heart being the center of your spirit. To call David a man after God’s heart is a compliment from God to David.

For all the godliness of David’s life, how he led the Israelites to love and obey God, what is the first thing most people think when they hear his name? Bathsheba, right? A few people may think of Goliath first, but the next thought is, Bathsheba.

Go back to Proverbs 6 (KJV), “33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.” It will forever be connected to his name. This is not to be interpreted that God did not forgive. He did forgive, and even promised to always have a descendant of David upon the throne.

How did such a godly man fall so low? He looked … too long. Job 31:1 (KJV), “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

PRAYER

Saving God, Help me make a covenant with my eyes. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ can help me avoid shame—Praise Him!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…

Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something!  Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!

You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them. 

If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.

Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.

You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.

Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!  

PRAYER

God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!

All the Hard Labor That Goes With It

OCTOBER 25

MATTHEW 7:13_and many there be which go in thereat.

There are reasons many enter at the wide gate. It is tempting, accessible, and allows for baggage. It’s easy—all you have to do is follow the crowd, which requires neither intelligence (no decisions to make), nor courage (won’t be standing alone). 

It takes little strength to do what’s wrong. It requires no thought process—just follow your natural instincts. There is no submission to rules or regulations, do what you want to do. Simply do what pleases you, and what pleases the people with you. There is no accountability for your actions. Personal responsibility will not be following you around. In short: No rules, No standards, No boundaries. Sounds exactly like the Land of Cocagne in the story of Pinocchio. 

Pinocchio made the decision to become responsible and obedient. There was a reward for that—he would become a real boy. But when his friend, Candlewick, described the carefree land of excessive pleasures, the temptation was too strong (for a heart without Jesus). Rather than becoming a real boy, he became a real donkey—and all the hard labor that goes with it.

In The Merchant of Venice, 1600, Shakespeare said it like this, “All that glitters is not gold.”

Very seldom is the easy way the best way.

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me follow Your way—not the easy way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ wants me to be bold and courageous—I will be!