There Was An Almost

OCTOBER 15

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

God loves everyone, the entire world. So much so that He let His own Son suffer and die for the world. 

God wants righteousness and goodness to reign supreme—as it did for a brief time in the Garden of Eden—pure perfection not only in people, but in all nature. But there was an almost in that perfection. When the almost won the battle over free will, everything changed—but God didn’t. He’s still just, He still has all power, and He’s still God of the Impossible.

I believe Jesus in His infinite power and unsurpassed love, works every day to restore as much of the Garden experience as possible in our fallen world. Every time He transforms a heart and gives it the ability to become salt and light, He’s made some restoration. It will take a new heaven and a new earth to bring full restoration.

When God uses evil people in ways that result in good for His children, He is exercising His fatherly powers. God wants fathers to do good to and for their children. Unfortunately, there are those whose fathers genuinely neglect, abuse, and abandon them.

God has a plan for those children as well, Psalm 27:10 (KJV), “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

PRAYER

Jesus Lord, Only You can transform—we all need it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                          

Christ’s love is perfection—I want to love like that!

Its Own Package of Pain

OCTOBER 12

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

Hebrews 12:7 (KJV), “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”

When God disciplines you He considers you His child. He makes something else very plain—the child who is loved will be disciplined. When you’re old enough to be in authority and you love people, you will help them be accountable for their actions. Why? Because you are old enough to know the boomerang effect of lack of personal responsibility. You know it from your personal life, and you know it from other peoples’ mistakes. You also know by this time that life brings its own package of pain. There is no need in crowding your life with self-created pain. 

The apostle John repeats this concept in the final book of the Bible, Revelation 3:19 (KJV), “As many as I [Jesus] love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” 

In God’s plan for life, parents and children are to be bound together in love. Discipline and love go together. Parents and children go together. The four of them together are God’s perfect plan.

Colossians 3:14 (KJV), “And above all these things put on charity [perfect love], which is the bond of perfectness.”

PRAYER

Lord of Love, Please bind my family together in love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants love to hold families together—I do too!

Powerful!

SEPTEMBER 2

MATTHEW 7:1_Judge not…

Mercy sakes, if there is any phrase that is overplayed in our time it is, “Don’t judge me!”

Judging was not a part of Jesus’ agenda. John 12:47-48 (KJV), “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” Judgment was a part of the old covenant. When Jesus taught this sermon, He taught Law transformation. He transformed the Law with mercy. Jesus’ presence in the world is how mercy was added. This is how Jesus became the perfect balance of judgment and mercy.

Jesus did not take away judgment, He just added mercy. “48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

When Jesus went back to heaven He had dramatically changed the world. He did it in a radical salty-lit-up fashion. His disciples should keep that world-changing alive in the same way. So, if Jesus was more mercy than judgment, that’s the life for salty-lit-up disciples. 

In the short amount of time Jesus spent on the earth, He affected the world in a way no one else ever had.

John 12:19 (KJV), “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.”

Powerful!

PRAYER

Almighty God, I want to follow Your example of mercy, not judgment. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.      

Christ changed the world—He calls me to!                                                                     

I AM

JUNE 25

MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Take a moment right now and praise God for His willingness to forgive! Praise His heart filled with “mercy that endures forever.”  

God has a name – I AM. The perfect name for the only, true, living, and creating God. HE IS “the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever, amen!” And HE IS forgiving.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave up the perfection of heaven to live in a wicked world. There was no other way for you to receive forgiveness and salvation. If there is anything earth people need, it is forgiveness. 

This verse leads back to your Horizontal Ledger.  Jesus knew this principle was so against your natural instinct, He repeated it. When He teaches a principle a second or more times – take heed. This is not something to leave on the back burner.

If you forgive others for trespassing into your life, the Heavenly Father forgives you.

To be sure, you’ve done plenty of trespassing!          

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, When I step off the path of Your teaching, I begin to trespass into places I should not be. Praise You for forgiving me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ forgives my trespasses—He calls me to forgive!

That Blows Me Away!

JUNE 22

MATTHEW 6:13_and the glory…

What is glory anyway? Merriam Webster defines it as worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving; resplendence and magnificence. That’s the Lord God! 

God uses His authority and control for good – to give love and mercy to creation. We’ve already read I John 4:17 (KJV). It needs to be repeated along with verse 16. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”

God’s love can dwell in me! I can stand bold on Judgment Day. I stand bold because the power of God’s love worked within me in this life. I don’t have to wait for eternity to love like God – I can do it now! God gives me the ability to share in His glory.

God’s love shining through me gives light to my surroundings. Because it is God’s love, it shines from me with resplendence and magnificence! That blows me away!

The kingdom, and the power, and the glory belong to the Holy God of Heaven. He wants to place it inside my heart. How can I turn that down?!          

PRAYER

Resplendent God, I praise Your glory! I worship You and all Your glory. I truly stand amazed in Your presence! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is Glory—I want His glory in my life!