Here We Go Again!

APRIL 25

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

Jesus continually points out love as an action.

Love requires dedication.

Love requires courage.

Love requires grit to accept rejection, but not be defeated.

Love requires faith in Jesus’ radical teachings to work.

If love requires all this of me, I want my love to go to the one of my choosing. The object of my affection. Here we go again! Jesus messes with my heart and mind when He says love my enemies. I don’t want to love my enemies! They are my enemies! I don’t like them! They cause me pain and suffering. They cause people I love pain and suffering. If God won’t let me seek revenge on them – at least let me hate them!

Besides, there is another problem – I don’t know how to love them. It doesn’t come naturally to me to love people who hurt me or people I love. Jesus asks too much.

In all my moaning and groaning, I use the key (the Bible). It unlocks my spirit, then I can trust in Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I don’t know how to love my enemies, help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ strengthens me—I can achieve anything with Him!

Follow Jesus' Topsy-Turvy Teachings

APRIL 23

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

Acts 20:35 (KJV), “I [Paul] have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Whatever we can do in life to bring God’s blessing is something to pursue. Nothing the world has to offer can even begin to compare to God’s blessing. Nothing. 

The world offers tempting glitter in life: impurity, drugs, alcohol. All of it leads to bondage. Jesus offers a strange, humble, giving, loving lifestyle. All of it leads to freedom. As you live the Jesus lifestyle you become salt and light to those who are bound to the glitter. Your salt and light can help free them from the devil’s deceptions.   

The good guy in Jesus’ play has gained a lot of freedom from the bully. He gained it by following Jesus’ topsy-turvy teachings. When he doesn’t hold a grudge he is free from unforgiveness. By freely giving more than is required he is blessed. The pain in his stomach disappears. Peaceful sleep returns.

Who would ever have thought it is more blessed to give than receive? Jesus!

Have you begun to notice something about the 180 degree turn? It is opposite of what comes naturally.     

PRAYER

Father God, I want to live my life free from the deceptions of the devil. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ never deceives—The devil always does!

The Radical Cure

APRIL 19

MATTHEW 5:40_let him have thy cloak also.

Come on Lord Jesus, there’s radical and then there’s … crazy! I mean, look at the facts:

I lost the case and with it my life’s savings.

I hate it because I don’t feel I was wrong.

I hate it because it will destroy my current lifestyle.

I hate it because it causes a pain in the pit of my stomach.

I hate it because it takes away my peaceful sleep.

Jesus says the remedy for my ailments is to give my enemy more than I’m obligated? No way! That will make me sicker!

Write this out on a card and place it somewhere you’ll see it regularly: My being good does not impress Jesus. My doing good does. The Scribes and Pharisees were good. They knew and kept the laws. They failed to do good by loving their fellow man and leading them to freedom.

The Great Healer’s radical cure requires action. Action that comes from who’s in charge of your heart – you or Jesus?

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, I need Your help so I can do good and not just talk about being good. I need faith to believe in Your radical cures. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ does good—He will teach me!                                         

The Great Hope

APRIL 7

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

You wouldn’t want to have open heart surgery without some kind of anesthetic. Even with an anesthetic, the entire process will not be a piece of cake. Expect pain. It will come. Pain is an inevitable part of the heart transformation process. Even if you choose to opt-out of Jesus’ heart surgery – pain is a part of the life process. If you are expecting a pain free, drama free, heart-break free, struggle free, or easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-mac’n-cheesy (learned that from my niece, Mary) life – face reality!

If someone offers you something for nothing – beware! The good things don’t come easy. When you receive the results of your surgery, or the payment for your hard labor, or whatever you have suffered your way through to success, the pain is not something you dwell on. It was simply a means to an end. 

The Holy Spirit will help you focus on the facts. The fact you have a hard heart. The fact The Great Surgeon can transform your heart to love. The fact heart surgery transforms self-centeredness to self-sacrifice.   

All of life is all about decisions. The ultimate decision is to make the main thing (Jesus) the main thing. Make that decision first and you greatly lessen your chances of feeling compelled to put away your spouse.

Nobody enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. Sometimes things happen – don’t give up.

The Great Surgeon is also known as – The Great Hope!

PRAYER

God of Hope, Help me never lose hope that You can change any situation I bring to You for a cure.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ wants to give me hope—I will accept it!

A Natural Byproduct

MARCH 3

MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…

Jesus knows to live outside of Biblical principles brings heartbreaking consequences. He wants to protect you, not punish you. The punishment comes on its own – a natural byproduct when you make your own decisions of right and wrong. 

Jesus knows the world is too hard, too difficult, too deceiving for you to take on by yourself – so He gives you commandments to live by. These commandments are taught in the Old Testament by God’s chosen leaders and in the New Testament by Jesus and His disciples. Jesus knows even the least commandment is for your good. 

Jesus sees every tear you shed, hears every sigh of your heart, and knows every pain disappointments bring. He tries to save you as much pain as possible.

Suffering comes with life – period.  God’s commandments are a true safety to keep you from experiencing suffering unnecessarily. 

It is enough to bear the pain of having broken God’s commandment, but far worse is the guilt of having led others astray with you. 

PRAYER

Holy Lord, I don’t want to make my own suffering by breaking even Your least commandment. Let Your Word teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows all my pain—He wants to help me!