To Know Jesus

JANUARY 1

MATTHEW 5:1_And seeing the multitudes…

Jesus sees multitudes. That’s an awful lot of people! Bigger than a crowd!

Several instances in Jesus’ life have prepared Him for the multitudes. It is obvious He has been born. To know Jesus you must take a look at His birth. Talk about unconventional! Talk about amazing! Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin?

To know Jesus you must also get to know the God of the Impossible.

Jesus’ birth was questioned, ridiculed, and scorned. He grew up with that – a part of daily life. Being honored and acknowledged as the Son of God was not a part of His daily life. 

So, if you were not born in accordance with the status quo, don’t let it depress you – it is not something you caused or can change. Besides, you share very good company. Jesus is an overcomer. He can help you become one as well.

Throughout this year you will learn a lot about how God planned life and His views on things like marriage. God’s plan is perfect. It can save you unnecessary hurts in life.

There is power in living according to God’s plan. 

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to be sensitive to the pain of others and to be careful about decisions I make.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves me—Unconditionally!

My Debtors

JUNE 16

MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.

My debtors caused this prayer to turn around. It was fine for God to forgive my debts. Psalm 136 (KJV) says twenty-six times, “for his mercy endureth for ever.”

I feel comfortable with the fact that God forgives me. That helps me overcome lies the devil uses to deceive me – that I can never be forgiven. This vertical forgiveness is from a God of true love. Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV), “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee [you and me] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”  Wow!

My debtors are those who have never paid things like:

A financial debt – money owed to me.

A verbal debt – a broken promise.

An emotional debt – harsh angry words which ripped apart every feeling of tenderness I ever possessed.

A trust debt – betrayal. 

Whatever the debt, it is still in my ledger. Before, my prayer life was only concerned with God’s ledger book – now He is meddling into mine.

The Holy Spirit says things to me like, “I’m ready to erase your debts recorded in My Vertical Ledger because you are not able to pay. But, I see all kinds of unerased debts in your Horizontal Ledger. Let Me teach you a solution.”  

PRAYER

Holy God, I want to have Your mercy that endures forever.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ erased my sins—He teaches me how to erase!

All the Time!

 JUNE 14

MATTHEW 6:12_our debts…

Your sin debt is too great. You will never be able to pay it. It will remain in God’s ledger for eternity. To pay the debt according to the law keepers, you will have to keep every law, on your own – no indwelling Holy Spirit’s power. Humanly impossible!

To pay the debt according to Jesus, you will have to have a pure heart – likewise impossible! This looks like some kind of double jeopardy. You need a solution that can overcome the impossible! Where can you find that? Oh, wait! You have a key!

Use the key, unlock the treasure chest, and discover something incredible. The Messiah Savior has already solved the problem! He gave His life to cover all your debts. Only Jesus could do it because only He is the perfect Son of God. 

To make things even better, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart. The Spirit draws you further and further away from sin and causes you to hunger for holiness. Your taste for sin diminishes. When you do sin, the Spirit sends conviction. You humbly ask the Father for forgiveness. I John 1:9 (KJV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God is good all the time and, all the time God is good!       

PRAYER

Holy Savior, Thank You for paying my sin debt which I could never pay.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Savior—He saves me!

Amazing and Miraculous

JUNE 4

MATTHEW 6:9_Our Father which art in Heaven…

Jesus begins by recognizing who God is. Remember how Elijah began his prayer in I King 18 (KJV), “36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel.”Recognizing God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be important to the Jewish community. Jesus’ recognition of God as Our Father which art in Heaven, opens up a prayer path for Gentiles. This says God is the Father of all mankind—not just the Jews. All people are made in His image. 

God’s creation is amazing and miraculous. God’s DNA can connect you to your biological parents, whom you may have never met. You may blame God if you’ve never known your parents, or if you know them but have a poor relationship. Don’t blame God for the mistakes of people. Rather, praise God that He can help you overcome – anything. 

Without the Savior people are sinful. They cause pain – lots of pain. Your Father, which is in Heaven, wants to love you through the pain.

Include Him in your sorrow – don’t blame Him for it.  

PRAYER

Father God, I worship You as the One True God, Creator of all of Heaven and Earth. I praise You there is nothing I face in life that You cannot give me the ability to overcome. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to know God is my Father—I do!

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!