The Devil Hates Freedom

JULY 17

MATTHEW 6:20_where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.

No one can steal your spiritual gifts. The devil will do everything he can to do just that. He wants to discredit all of the fruits of the Spirit. When you are having a bad day, and the fruits don’t appear to be producing – the devil targets your soul. He whispers in your mind, will, and emotions that you have no love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance (self-control). He tries to convince you that you are too low on God’s list for Him to give you these gifts. You are not the only one he accuses of being unworthy of the kingdom. The devil targets all believers. 

The devil calls out all the demons in his deadly arsenal to attack you. He sends them to steal the virtues the Spirit bestows – lest you receive the fruit of freedom. The devil hates freedom. That’s why he hits you when you are down.

When your heart is broken, where is your joy?  When your future plans have fallen apart, where is your peace? When you feel God has deserted you, where is your faith? Times will come when you feel like this but …

The devil does not have the power to steal your treasures in heaven.    

PRAYER

Compassionate Jesus, I ask You to rebuke the devil when he taunts my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ rebukes the devil—He will do it for me!

Now and Later

JULY 15

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

Jesus approaches His climax to this principle. The place to hoard your treasures is in heaven. So, how are you going to deposit your paycheck into the Bank of Heaven? Very simple – understand what is truly valuable in this life.

Think of heavenly treasure as a candy – Now and Later. All eternal treasures do not require you to be living in heaven. You can enjoy their flavor now and after this life has ended – unlike earthly possessions. 

Rather than candy, the Bible calls these eternal possessions fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Notice the end of verse 23, “against such there is no law. When your heart is consumed with these fruits, you can live free – unlike lusts of the earth which create bondage. God says He has no laws against the Fruits of the Spirit.

All the wealth in this life cannot buy these fruits – not even one. They come freely as you feed, nurture, and cultivate your spirit through relationship, prayer, and Bible study.

Your spirit begins to produce fruit.

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, Help me possess heavenly treasures in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s treasure is in heaven—He wants mine to be!

He Knows Storms Are Coming

DECEMBER 16

MATTHEW 7:26_shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.

Psalm 127:1 (KJV) “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”  Vain is empty and useless—it is foolish. God will never instruct you to build your house on sandy soil. He knows the storms are coming.

Some storms come by God’s design. He designs them to help build your life on the security of the Rock. Everyone has weaknesses. God desires to turn them into strengths. Because He knows individual weaknesses, He knows what is required to strengthen them.

To strengthen the weak requires some type of pressure. Weakness does not have the ability to strengthen itself. An outside force is required. The pressure from a force generally brings pain. If you’ve ever done any kind of strength training you understand—not pleasant at the time, but necessary for a positive result.

You can design your own storms – usually when you try to escape the pain from the God-designed storms.

The combination of your storms with God’s storms causes far more pressure than your life needs.

PRAYER

Eternal God, Please strengthen my weaknesses. Help me be grateful for Your designed storms and keep me from designing my own. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ’s storms are good for me—I will learn patience!

A Waiting Period

NOVEMBER 2

MATTHEW 7:15_which come to you in sheep’s clothing…

As discussed, false prophets’ prophesies did not come true and not all prophesies were instantaneous. Those not instantaneous involved a waiting period—which involved faith—and patience—and wise discernment.

Had Eve recognized the serpent as a false prophet the life we know today would be completely different. I have no idea of the physical features of the serpent, but if they were monstrous or harsh—she would have fled in fear. I believe his appearance was alluring and attractive. More than that, he spoke to her without any threats and made an offer she could not refuse. In the same way, Eve made Adam an offer he could not refuse. God’s words were not as appealing to their fleshly appetite because God’s words offered consequences to eating from the tree.

The apostle Paul gives wise counsel in II Timothy 3:13-15 (KJV), “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

What is false will be revealed.

PRAYER

Dear God, Help me gain Your wisdom to know what is false. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                  

Christ wants me to know the truth—He saves!

Be Grateful!

OCTOBER 10

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

If you’ve been disobedient and disrespectful to your father, expect him to discipline you—and be grateful for it! If your earthly father has been disobedient and disrespectful to the Heavenly Father, he can expect the same … from the Father!

An earthly father’s discipline comes directly from the Heavenly Father. It is painfully designed to restore a lost relationship. This is a time for you to be patient and compassionate. This is not a time to gloat or have any pleasure in your father’s chastisement (or anyone else you see under God’s disciplinary rod). And there is never a time in life for you to have any kind any kind of superiority attitude toward your father. In the first place, you don’t know what God is up to, or His ultimate plan … which may involve you! 

Only those in authority should administer judgment. You are not in an authoritative position, your father is. Your father is under the authority of God and you are under the authority of them both. Trust God to do what is best for your father. Trust Him to teach your father to do what is best for you.

If you have a father who would give you a stone when you ask bread, find a Christian leader you can confide in to help you. 

PRAYER

Loving Father, Help me be respectful and obedient to my authorities. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants me respectful and obedient—He helps me!