A Dead Giveaway

NOVEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Jesus applied this principle to the Scribes and the Pharisees. They used their power to hold worshipers in bondage to fear. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy numerous times. Hypocrisy is definitely a way of knowing false prophets by their fruit. Those who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk—a dead giveaway.

People in the public eye are generally there because of their political or financial power, or because of their celebrity status. In either of these cases, you know them by their deeds. If you happen to be a fan, be careful to not only watch their abilities, but listen to their views. If their views don’t line up with your Biblical convictions—don’t become an imitator (doesn’t mean you can’t still be a fan of their talent).

The greatest power figure of all time was Jesus.  Mark 10:42-45 (KJV), “42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, ‘Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”

Sounds like a servant’s heart is also a dead giveaway – to a true Jesus disciple.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Please give me a servant heart that bears fruit for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                   

Christ had great power – And a humble heart!

False Teaching

NOVEMBER 4

MATTHEW 7:16_Ye shall know them by their fruits…

Jesus is about to teach some clarity on how to recognize false prophets. If you think you don’t know any prophets, false or otherwise, change your perspective.

Look at something simple—like false advertising. You may covet some kind of product you see advertised.  You may save up all our money, or nag the life out of your parents, until you have it. In no time at all you discover it is not as advertised. 

Being taken by some false advertising is minor in comparison to being taken by some false teaching. False teaching can appeal so strongly to your flesh that your spirit is diminished.

False teaching appeals to your appetite for wealth and possessions, for glamour and fame, and for power and control.

In Jesus’ wilderness experience the devil tempted Him, Matthew 4:8-9 (KJV), “Again, the devil taketh Him [Jesus] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, ‘All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.’”  

Jesus knew the truth, He replied, 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’”

PRAYER

Good Shepherd, Help me strengthen my spirit in the truth of the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

 Christ knows the weakness of my flesh—He will save me!

A Waiting Period

NOVEMBER 2

MATTHEW 7:15_which come to you in sheep’s clothing…

As discussed, false prophets’ prophesies did not come true and not all prophesies were instantaneous. Those not instantaneous involved a waiting period—which involved faith—and patience—and wise discernment.

Had Eve recognized the serpent as a false prophet the life we know today would be completely different. I have no idea of the physical features of the serpent, but if they were monstrous or harsh—she would have fled in fear. I believe his appearance was alluring and attractive. More than that, he spoke to her without any threats and made an offer she could not refuse. In the same way, Eve made Adam an offer he could not refuse. God’s words were not as appealing to their fleshly appetite because God’s words offered consequences to eating from the tree.

The apostle Paul gives wise counsel in II Timothy 3:13-15 (KJV), “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

What is false will be revealed.

PRAYER

Dear God, Help me gain Your wisdom to know what is false. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                  

Christ wants me to know the truth—He saves!

Prophesy Came Alive

NOVEMBER 1

MATTHEW 7:15_of false prophets…

A prophet was God’s spokesperson to His people.  Acts 2:17-18 (KJV) on the day of Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

Peter was quoting from Joel 2:28-29. Israel had experienced a time of silence from God because of their disobedience. On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon God’s people prophesy came alive again. That’s what Peter said anyway—and he was there! Prophets were people chosen by God. 

The devil also has prophets. Because the devil does not possess God’s unlimited power, he can only operate within his limited boundaries. As the prince of the world he has great powers. Among them are: deception, lies, accusations, fear, temptations, interference, and theft. On our own we are no match for him.

Eve tried to match him on her own and fell into the seduction of his lies. She fell to the fear of missing out on the good things of life and disobeyed God.

You know the rest of the story.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Help me call upon You to defeat the devil and his deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                

Christ knows all of the devil’s deceptions—He will save me!

His Heart’s Cry

JUNE 2

MATTHEW 6:8_before ye ask him.

In I Kings 18, God knew Elijah wanted the fire lit.  It wasn’t necessary for Elijah to ask. But it was necessary for everyone listening to hear God proclaimed as the LORD, and Elijah as His prophet. His audible prayer may cause some Israelites to turn from idol worship to the One True God. Not all prayers should be private. There is a place for prayer groups and out-loud prayers.

Mark chapter 10 (KJV) gives an account of a blind man named Bartimaeus, 48 And many charged him [Bartimaeus] that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, ‘Thou son of David [Jesus], have mercy on me.’ 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, ‘Be of good comfort, rise; he [Jesus] calleth thee.’ 50 And he [Bartimaeus], casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?’ The blind man said unto him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight.’ 52 And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

Jesus knew Bartimaeus was blind. Jesus knew Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy was to receive sight. Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to tell Him – out loud. Bartimaeus did. And received his heart’s cry.

PRAYER

God of Heaven, I will make known to You in prayer, everything in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to voice my prayers to Him—I will!