MATTHEW 6:7_But when ye pray…
Jesus really does not make prayer an option. He says when you pray, not if you pray. Jesus expects prayer to be a basic part of your life.
Everything Jesus taught is a part of who He is. If you have a goal to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching, you need a relationship. A relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost requires a prayer life. A prayer life requires time.
Set a time of day that works best for you and commit yourself to prayer. Also, set a place that is best for your closet and talk out loud. This does not have to be a literal closet – but there’s nothing wrong with that.
When you are serious about discipleship, you will be serious about prayer. Every time you pray, God is pleased. Along with regular committed prayer time, pray throughout the day. Lift up prayers for your family, friends, church, government leaders, and country – don’t forget to pray for those who hate you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God of Peace, Please teach me when to pray. Give me a heart full of thanksgiving as I make my requests to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true peace—He will give it to me!
MATTHEW 5:25_lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
If you are prone to procrastination, the time to use it is not when you’ve done someone an injustice! Settle it quickly – the quicker, the better.
If you have stolen something, and need to make a payment plan, work out the details quickly. Jesus said, “whiles thou art in the way with him.” That means while you are in their presence making your peace. Don’t say I’m sorry for what I did and I’ll make it up to you some day. Stay away from some day. Work it out then and there.
In this case you are the one in the wrong. You are subject to your adversary’s viewpoint of justice. Perhaps you can bargain, and perhaps not. Either way, fix it the same day!
Going to court is expensive and traumatic. Depending upon the severity of your wrong or your unwillingness to reconcile with your adversary, there may even be jail time. If there is jail time, don’t let it be because you were not willing to right your wrong.
You are not responsible for anyone else’s wrong, but do whatever you need to make yours right.
Almighty God, I want to be reconciled with all people You place in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ repairs my wrongs—He will help me reconcile!
MATTHEW 5:24_Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way…
Leave your gift! Get off that altar and get to the one you’ve wounded or have some unsettled misunderstanding with, or stolen from, or lied to, or spread lies about, or wronged in some way. If years have separated you, get on social media and find them. If they are in hiding from you, contact a family member, and make a peace offering to get to talk with them.
Whatever you do, do it diligently, and take it seriously. You’ve got a gift and an altar, and you can’t get the two together in your present state.
If you’re serious about loving Jesus, then you must be serious about loving people. That’s what the Scribes and Pharisees didn’t get.
I believe I just saw some scales balance!
It is much easier to love Jesus than people. After all, Jesus has never done you any wrong. All He’s ever done is love you. But check out what Jesus says in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Sounds like Jesus says how you treat people is how you treat Him.
Holy Jesus, I trust You to help me repair any open wounds I have caused. I trust You to help me find my way to the right people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves all people—He will help me love them too!
MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees…
Scribes interpreted the Law and copied it into writings. If anyone knew the laws – from the greatest precept to the least – it was the Scribes. They were not politicians, but did possess great power and expected respect from their students in the synagogues. Because of their knowledge, they would most likely be the first to cringe if a jot or a tittle of the Law were violated.
The Pharisees, also learned in the Law, took more of a legal approach to the keeping of it. They were strong segregationists. They wanted no part of non-Jewish mixing.
These two sects were the primary religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Religious leaders are supposed to be the good guys, right? If you can’t depend upon them to lead in the right direction, who can you depend upon?
There were some among the Pharisees who listened to and developed a heart for Jesus. But oh my goodness, what a sad place to be if you went to most of them for love, joy, or peace. They followed the letter of the Law rather than the spirit.
Lord Jesus, I want to live in the spirit of Your Law. Please show me when I am living more in the letter than the spirit. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true righteousness—He will help me gain that!
MATTHEW 5:19_but whosoever shall do…
The all-inclusive whosoever takes a turn for the better. The universal laws of right and wrong ring true for everyone – i.e., the whosoevers.
Wrong ultimately ends in some type of punishment. It may be punishment by our earthly law system, or it may be punishment by life itself. Life is governed by God. It is subject to those principles He included in creation. Let’s look a little further.
There are wrong-doers who get by with their crime – they are never caught by the law enforcers. No one can run or hide from their conscience. God’s creativeness overrules anything the world creates.
We cannot escape ourselves. Punishment by life itself – living with the agony of guilt.
The turn for the better is that doing what is right ultimately ends up with rewards. They may not always be public rewards, but God rewards life in ways no plaque, medal, or money can.
Simply to find your way to love, joy, and peace is to own more than anything money can buy.
Lord of Lords, I want to do what is right. I want to live out the truths You teach me – so I can be a salty-lit-up disciple. Thank You that You teach me how to live life through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is love, joy, and peace—He gives those to me!