Know the Truth!

APRIL 30

MATTHEW 5:45_That you may be children of your Father which is in heaven…

If you listen to him, the devil will convince you the Christian life is too hard. No one can keep all these commandments. And there’s doom if you don’t!

The only way to keep from falling for the devil’s deceptions is to know the truth!

Christianity is not about keeping a bunch of laws. It is about a new life with Jesus. Get into God’s family. Be confident that you are a child of your Father in heaven. Ask Jesus into your heart. You’ll automatically receive the bonus of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. Any commandment/law keeping is the Spirit’s job.

How does that work?

Remember that open heart surgery? The Spirit changes your desires by creating in you a deeper love of Jesus and His teachings. Love is not about making yourself good. It is about the Spirit producing stronger desires for righteousness, and the desires for unrighteousness losing their grip. 

Psalm 23:3 (KJV), “… he [the Lord] restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” 

How do you get to the righteous paths? God leads you. Why? For His name’s sake! 

PRAYER

Father in Heaven, Praise You for leading me where I need to go! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ has the power to change me—He will do it!

Get Salty! Light Up!

APRIL 26

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

As we have seen over and again, there is an order in which Jesus presents His teachings. If we can get our minds wrapped around the cheek turning, cloak giving, second mile going, and giving away – learning how to love our enemies will come much easier.

The first four guidelines lead us into the self-sacrificing mode. The giving more than receiving mode. The putting others before ourselves mode.

Now we are ready to see how powerful love really can be. After all, if we can love our enemies – we can love anybody!

Why do we even want to love our enemy? Because Jesus said to.

Why did He say to? Because Jesus desires all people to be loved.

We are called to be salt and light to everyone – especially the unloved. There is a reason Jesus called disciples in the first place – to teach them how to live free. They teach and make more disciples. Disciples share the truth with the world through the Bible. Jesus chooses to share His love through disciples.

Get salty! Light up!

PRAYER

Lord of All, I want to be Your disciple through whom You love people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ chooses disciples—I want to be one!

The Great Healer

APRIL 18

MATTHEW 5:40_And if any man will sue thee at law, and take away thy coat…

If there will ever be any kind of goodwill toward man in this life, it will come from Jesus’ crazy teachings about not fighting back. The reason? God’s power is released into your life when you have faith. Faith in the strength of God’s love to fight your enemies for you. Jesus has taught you not to seek revenge and not to slap back. Now check this one out.   

Someone sues you. You are in the right. You tried, but were not able to settle out of court. The case goes against you – strongly against you. In other words, you lost all your savings! Now you have big money problems.

This is not easy to take, even if you were in the wrong. If you were in the right, it is heart wrenching. This can result in something worse than your money problems – the bondage of bitterness. 

Bitterness, unforgiveness, and grudge-holding bind. Bitterness bondage chokes your spirit, contaminates your salt, and puts out your light.   

The money problems place a painful curb on your life. The bitterness places a curb on your heart, and its ability to love.  

Jesus becomes The Great Healer. He offers a radical cure.

PRAYER

Great Healer, I need Your help so I am not bitter when I am treated wrongly. I need Your wisdom to know how to respond. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ’s love holds no grudges—He will teach me!

The Perfect Plan

APRIL 9

MATTHEW 5:32_and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Is Jesus too harsh on divorce? He brings adultery into the picture after the divorce! Why?

In Mark 10:5-8, you recall Jesus went back to the beginning – to creation itself – to the original marriage – to God’s perfect plan. The Garden of Eden was perfection and everlasting life. Adam and Eve blew the whole plan by their disobedience to God, all life reaped the consequence – sin. Life will continue to reap sin consequences until an end comes, and all things are made new.

God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man and one woman for life. Their union causes them to become one. Perhaps Jesus adds adultery to re-marriage because no piece of paper (divorce contract) can sever God’s design of the physical union. The divorce contract can sever the legality of the marriage, but it cannot sever the oneness of flesh. This is why sexual sins are so devastating.

Why is purity marriage insurance? Foremost, it is God’s plan. His plan builds love by denying the flesh and bonding spirits – two people for each other. It builds respect for each other. It builds loyalty for one and only one. Aren’t those things you want in marriage?

We discussed before how impurity spells betrayal like no other sin. It is definitely one of the hardest to forgive. The Great Hope can give power to forgive. He asks you to do no more for your betrayer than He has done for you.

This is not to simplify the devastation. It may require a time of separation., and the key word in this sentence is time. Running straight to the divorce court does not give The Great Surgeon time for the surgery – including the time for healing and recovery. The basis of any decision has to be what action you believe will please Jesus.

When the marriage is broken beyond repair (one spouse has re-married), The Great Hope has good news. An individual life is not beyond repair. Jesus repairs broken lives.

Jesus wants to bring His love into all families. Let Jesus use you to shine His love in your family.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Some of Your teachings are very difficult and hard. I know they are all designed for the very best life. I want that! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ loves God’s original plan—I want to love it!

The Great Transformer

MARCH 31

MATTHEW 5:29_for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Jesus’ use of graphics continues. The graphics are not only good for attention, but emphasize the importance of what Jesus teaches. Which is better, to live life with one eye, or live eternity in hell? The answer is a no-brainer. Good point, Jesus!

It is not the looking at porn which sends you to hell. However, the power of porn bondage can cause you to reject Jesus. It has power to convince you to forfeit Jesus’ free gift of eternal life, for the world’s temporary pleasures.

A life of bondage is life in a black hole of powerlessness. A life of freedom is to dwell in the light and love of Jesus.

Any time you turn to porn for pleasure, you turn away from Jesus to the devil. The devil wants you on his team for one reason – to destroy you. Jesus wants you on His team for many reasons, the first is eternal life. 

Jesus has your attention. He has shown you that to play on the devil’s team can be extremely dangerous.

Never pluck out your eye! It is not necessary, and it wouldn’t deliver you from bondage anyway. Along with being The Great Balancer, Jesus is also The Great Transformer!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You I never need to destroy my life or limbs in any way in order to become free from bondage. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Transformer—He wants to transform me!