To Look Like Jesus

FEBRUARY 2

MATTHEW 5:11_and persecute you…

Christian persecution is certainly nothing new, and as long as there are disciples. persecution will continue. All lives, whether Christian or not, suffer hardships, heartbreak, emotional and physical pain. The difference in the Christian life is blessings.

The Christian has the promise of eternity in heaven.

The Christian has Jesus’ promise to be blessed when persecuted for His sake.

The Christian has overcoming power to withstand persecution … that makes rather than breaks. Psalm 46:1 (KJV), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It is the Christian who experiences this promise.

None of those promises mean the Christian is not suffering during the persecution. If that were the case – they would not be experiencing persecution.

The heart of the Christian learns to love unconditionally. This kind of heart does not boast of persecution in order to gain martyr status. The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit inside a human heart is incredible. The reason it is incredible is because when the Spirit entered this heart – it was desperately wicked!

A new heart is willing to forgive and learn to love its persecutor. A new heart begins to look like Jesus.

You can’t top that!

 PRAYER

Loving God, Please give me a heart like Jesus. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ loved His persecutors—May I gain that heart!

For the Sake of Righteousness

JANUARY 29

MATTHEW 5:10_Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

No one wants to be persecuted, for any reason – even righteousness. But if we are, let’s hope we respond as the Apostles after they were beaten for teaching the words of Jesus. Acts 5:41 (KJV), “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Jesus says we’re blessed if we are persecuted. He says the reward is the same as for those who are poor in spirit – the kingdom of heaven. I still see this reference to the kingdom of heaven as something we attain in this life. There is a difference. We do not experience the kind of perfection in the earthly kingdom as we will in the eternal heavenly kingdom. But we can experience the power of walking free in our spirit and overpowering fear, in this kingdom of heaven. 

I hope I appreciate persecution when it causes me to become a part of the kingdom of heaven. I know I will suffer persecution as a part of God’s kingdom in this life.

I must take heed to the reason Jesus says I will be persecuted – for the sake of righteousness.

 PRAYER

Dear Savior, I ask You to help me be alert to righteousness in this sinful world. Help me stand for it and live it out in my life daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is the kingdom of heaven—I want to live in Him!

Wisdom – Understanding – Knowledge

JANUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

Oh, to be pure in heart! Isn’t that something else you want? What is involved in becoming pure in your heart? You know how to find out, use the key. The Bible opens your spirit to wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of truth. When you begin the journey into what pureness in heart looks like, you will discover you must first find out what it is not.

We have mentioned Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You have to gain the understanding of there is nothing pure about your heart – on its own.

Next, you discover Proverbs 19:21 (KJV), “There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” Praise God! Now you gain knowledge that although you cannot trust your heart (because it is deceitful), the counsel (wisdom, understanding, knowledge) you gain from the Bible can override the deceitfulness in your heart. Bible truths dispel all the devil’s lies.

So, the first step to become pure in heart is to put no trust in the flesh. Place all your trust in the power of Jesus. Your spirit will be instructed through the power of the Holy Spirit.   

PRAYER

Holy Father, I want my heart to be pure. I want it cleansed from all deceit and wickedness. Teach me from the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is pure in heart—He purifies my deceitful heart!

Keep It Under Control!

JANUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…

What exactly is meekness? Think of it as a second cousin to humble. The Lord Jesus Christ was also the humblest person who ever walked the earth. What quality do I believe to be the first cousin of meekness? Self-control. 

Jesus is the Creator God who spoke the world into existence. John 1:3 (KJV), “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” I don’t think I could call that anything but power – awesome, incredible power! 

There is only one way the all-powerful God of Heaven and Earth would allow Himself to be subjected to insults, ridicules, beatings, and execution from mere humans. Meekness!

All of Jesus’ power was kept under control by a force even greater than meekness – love! 

My definition of meekness is power controlled by love. This is also an ideal description of Jesus. You may be a power-person on some sports team, or academic team, or arts team, but if you don’t learn how to keep that power under the control of love you can turn into a tyrant.

Be meek!

PRAYER

Creator Jesus, Thank You that You did not use Your power to destroy, but to love with compassion. Let me keep whatever power I have under the control of love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is full of power—He uses it to love me!

Jesus Feels our Pain

JANUARY 11

MATTHEW 5:4_Blessed are they that mourn…

Join me in saying, “Thank You, Jesus!” Jesus not only knows, hears, and understands my mourning, He blesses me for it!  How awesome is that? 

How beautiful to know there is One who cares when my heart breaks. One who saves all my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 KJV). Jesus comes to me in the midst of my pain. He takes the very thing which causes me deep sorrow and with time uses it to bless me! 

That seems impossible – especially when I am in the midst of my pain.

But He is the God of the Impossible.

Always has been.

Always is.

Always will be.

That in itself eases some of the pain.

If I have no sorrow, I live in Heaven – the eternal Heaven. That time has not come for me, or you.  Presently, I live in a fallen world where the devil and his powers of darkness are continually at work. And I mourn.   

It is up to me to allow Jesus to minister to me in my mourning, or to shut Him out.

There are sunny days in life for me to grasp. Holding Jesus’ hand helps me grasp them.

PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You for feeling my pain, for feeling my hurts, for understanding my mourning. Praise You that I am never alone in my sorrow for You are always with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ hears my cries—He saves all my tears!