MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
You already know good fruit is salt and light. Salt that preserves the truth once it’s found. Salt that whets the appetite so you thirst for more truth. A thirst that can only be quenched by a relationship with Jesus. If you are being led to quench your thirst by anything other than Jesus—you will not produce good fruit.
In Matthew 13 (KJV), Jesus tells a parable about planting seeds in different types of soil and how the seed responds to where it is planted: “19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground [heart] is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Only Wise God, Please plant in my heart the words of Your kingdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ plants His kingdom in my heart—I receive it!
MATTHEW 5:44_and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…
Don’t you hate it when someone uses you? Whether they’ve used you for their political gain, or personal pleasure, you’ve been violated. Someone you trusted took advantage of your trust and used it to better themselves. Now they despise you. That’s because they suffer from guilt, and blame you. So, whenever they have the opportunity they persecute you.
Pray for them. Try not to be hurt by them, but hurt for them. They are suffering. Guilt overwhems their emotions. You can’t despise and persecute someone without it causing you more turmoil than it does them. Count on that!
Pray for God to help and heal them. Pray for them to respond to Jesus’ unconditional love, and accept it. Pray for them to allow The Great Transformer to set them free.
Set your heart in the forgiveness mode. Hurt for them. When you pray God reads your heart far more than hears your words. A hurting heart attracts and keeps God’s attention. When a heart hurts more for others than for itself, it may attract God even more.
Father of Compassion, I don’t want to hold grudges. I want You to help the ones who persecute me and set them free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ reads my heart—He will give it compassion!
MATTHEW 5:17_or the prophets…
Many prophets of the Old Testament knew persecution – first hand (go back to verse 12). The prophets were men and women God used to speak His words to His people.
To tell a true prophet from a false was simple enough. The true prophet’s prophesies always came true – exactly as God had given. If the prophesy was some type of judgment for disobedience, the result was persecution for the prophet. The power-people of the day resented someone telling them the truth of God’s Word. They were able to discern for themselves what was best – or they had people to do that. Their people were far more gifted and trained than people who called themselves prophets of God … or so they thought!
If the prophesy took decades, centuries, or millenniums to be fulfilled, the recognition of the true prophet could be discounted by the power-people.
Jesus taught from the writings of the prophets. He even taught about Himself – to those who had the heart and wisdom to understand.
Jesus is the balance between the prophesies of the Old Testament and the truths of the New Testament.
Great Balancer, Help me balance judgment and mercy in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the Great Balancer—He will balance me!
MATTHEW 5:14_Ye are the light of the world.
Did you notice what kind of light Jesus said you should be? He said of the world. Your light is not exclusive to yourself, your family, or your circle of friends. It is for all of those and that is where your light should shine its brightest. Those are your light’s foundation – where your light gains momentum to spread – where your light gains illumination.
There are cases when a family resists and may even resent a light in the midst. This is one of those opportunities to suffer for Jesus’ sake. It’s a hard place to be, but remember that kind of persecution brings with it blessings and rewards.
Truth always prevails. Jesus said you are the light of the world. If discipleship is your heart’s desire, your light will shine. Don’t be discouraged if you experience times of what appears to be failure. The extent to which your light shines is in God’s hands. You do not possess His ability to see inside hearts. Your light reaches far wider than you can see.
The time table as to when you may see results is also in God’s hands. He is always working on behalf of His disciples. He will keep working. You just keep shining.
God of Light, I want my light to shine anywhere and everywhere You place me. I know You will help me shine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the Light of the World—He will help me shine!
MATTHEW 5:12 _for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Do you ever feel like you’re the only one? Everything that has to do with suffering, trials, and persecutions always comes to you. Everybody else has it made. Even if they do suffer for their Christian values, it’s short lived. You’re the only one for whom it goes on and on. Whenever something bad or hard comes around, it always falls on you. If someone gets the blame (for something they didn’t do), it’s always you. And, you’re the one who was doing right. The ones spouting the blame are the ones in the wrong.
According to Jesus, not only are you not the only one – but it has been going on since long before you were born. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament prophets and points out they, too, were persecuted for standing up for God’s truths. It is not something new. It is something that has been and always will be a part of a disciple’s life.
Go ahead and rejoice – you’re in good company!
God of comfort, I’m sorry for the times I whine, when I should praise. Help me thank You when I am persecuted for Your sake. Help me know the difference when I am persecuted for my own sake, and help me change my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows who is persecuted—I’m not the only one!