Love and Acceptance

SEPTEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:2_ye shall be judged…

In whatever form of discipline is considered best, children, and plenty of adults, need correction. Ever heard of a jail called a correctional facility? Wise judgment is discipline with love and acceptance.

“Because you were disciplined does not mean you are a bad person, you are a beautiful person. God loves you. I love you.”

A case of poor judgment is if boundaries are never verbally set, or written, yet they are enforced. The violator is judged guilty without ever having had an opportunity to obey by understanding the rules.

Another case of poor judgment is after someone has apologized, or made right, or been disciplined – the violation is not erased. A situation arises for someone to perform some kind of task – the previous violator is never given a chance: “The last time I trusted you with …”

The one who violated, trespassed, or knocked over the boundaries, is bound to their past. No opportunity is given for renewed trust and worth. Judgment has been passed before an opportunity to show trustworthiness is given. This is not the kind of judgment you want to return to you.

Give everyone the kind of trust you want given you.  

PRAYER

God Who Hears, It is so easy to judge. Your wisdom and grace will change me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ does not want poor judgment—He will help me!

Wise Judgment

SEPTEMBER 6

MATTHEW 7:2_For with what judgment ye judge…

Ephesians 6:1-4 (KJV), “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” There is night and day difference in the discipline of a child by spanking, and child abuse. To abuse a child verbally and physically and call it discipline shows a lack of judgment. Discipline administered with hot tempered anger causes more damage than it ever will cause good. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”   

Some Christians believe in spanking young children, and others do not. The core is to help children grow up to be responsible and discerning. Placing boundaries, and enforcing them (otherwise they are futile), is the best way to guide little ones. When boundaries are crossed there has to be some type of discipline.   

Today’s verse focuses on using wise judgment, because how you judge is how you will be judged. Wise judgment will always be founded upon love.  Firmness laced with some calmness administers discipline in a positive way.

Anger and name calling destroy obedience and respect – not wise judgment.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Help me know my judgment will come back to me.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

 Christ teaches wise judgment—He teaches me to obey!

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 kinds 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!