The Prime Example

FEBRUARY 1

MATTHEW 5:11_Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you  

Jesus is consistent to connect blessings with eight characteristics. Christians call these characteristics beatitudes. If you’re going to have an attitude, have a beatitude!

The result of each characteristic is to be blessed, translated as happy, or fortunate

These are not earthly blessings given by earthly people (who could also take them away). These are spiritual, supernatural blessings. Nothing in this life can take away the love, joy, peace, or faith which comes from being blessed by God.

What does it mean to be reviled? It is to be harshly criticized. To be spoken to in great anger. It is a painful experience stinging long after the verbal abuse. 

As in the previous teachings, Jesus does not say we will be blessed if we are reviled for dishonest, immoral, or deceitful behavior. The blessings of Jesus’ promises are for the pain experienced for doing what is right and being reviled for it. 

There are examples of people in the Bible who experienced just that. The prime example is the Lord Jesus Christ.

 PRAYER

Holy Christ, Thank You for teaching me the truth through the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ was reviled for the truth—May I be as strong!

Open Your Eyes

JANUARY 28

MATTHEW 5:9_for they shall be called the children of God.

How do you find peace within yourself? Peace comes from connecting the soul (mind, will, emotions) with the spirit. When the soul connects with the spirit which is connected to Christ, it experiences confidence and security – regardless of circumstances. 

When peace is dependent upon life’s circumstances being exactly as you want, seldom will you find inward peace. 

Open your eyes. See Jesus at work in your life. Hear Him calling. Focus on Jesus in the midst of your storms (physical, spiritual, or psychological). Believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is. Experience the peace that overcomes life’s circumstances.

John 16:33 (KJV), “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me [Jesus] ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” That verse says a lot. This life will not always go the way you want. Life comes with trouble. Jesus lets you know that He’s got this – no worries. That doesn’t mean you won’t hurt, moan, groan, and cry. If you didn’t do any of those you wouldn’t have trouble.

Agree with Jesus and let Him overcome your world – you will be a child of God!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I praise You for overcoming the world. I know You can overcome the storms which rage within my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ gives peace—To my soul!

To Be a True Friend

JANUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him. 

I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth. 

Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the  Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve. 

Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!                                

 PRAYER

God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!

The Fine Line

JANUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

Perhaps there are people in the world who do not want peace. With all the violence we experience at such high levels, it certainly appears that way. What brings about conflict and violence?

By now you know what causes conflict between people – the heart. Either your heart is pure and set on righteousness or it is not. We have already discovered that you did not come into the world with a pure heart. To develop a pure heart requires decisions on your part. Decisions that involve the Bible, Jesus, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Without those three I don’t know a way to make good decisions.

Conflicts tend to come from self-centered, self-absorbed, my-way-or-no-way attitudes. If the conflicts are to be resolved, someone has to yield. Someone has to be willing to give consideration to the other’s point of view. Someone has to be willing to consider and perhaps try out the other’s suggestion. 

As with anything in life, there are lots of fine lines in peacemaking. When does peacemaking become caving in to political correctness or yielding to evil? When does peacemaking become caring more about what people think than what God thinks? 

PRAYER

Father of Peace, I know You want peace in the world. I know we live in a world that does not submit to You as ruler. Help me learn to be a peacemaker for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is a peacemaker—He will help me become one!

A Path to Freedom

JANUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:7_for they shall obtain mercy.

What a lovely blessing the merciful receive – they obtain mercy. Meditate on that. After all the giving and pouring out of yourself and your time, there is mercy to receive! Everyone needs to be on the receiving end of mercy! Praise God there is a time when mercy is poured out on you! 

A day will come when you need mercy. You will experience what a beautiful thing mercy is. You will feel the warmth, comfort, and peace mercy gives. And since mercy is not a Band-Aid, you will receive freedom – from guilt. To give mercy to someone is to free them from the wrong done to you. 

Be glad you were a part of blessing another person. Be grateful that when you felt rejected or taken advantage of, you chose to respond with mercy – even though your offender was undeserving. Most of all, be grateful to the Holy God of Heaven because you are full of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way you can be merciful. You see, you don’t deserve mercy either.

Mercy not only frees your offender; it is a part of the path to your freedom – from unforgiveness.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Forgive me for any time I have not bestowed mercy. Help me focus on You and Your truth more than the world’s deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s mercy is the path to freedom—He will help me!