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.
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!
Just in case there are any who feel they may be exempt from His teachings, Jesus begins this verse with the all-inclusive, whosoever.
The idea if you do not believe in God, Jesus, or the Bible, then the rules do not apply to you, is a deception. The existence of the all-powerful, all-knowing, always-present God is not dependent upon your belief.
The same applies to the prophesies God gave to the prophets of the Old Testament which have come true and will continue to come true until all are fulfilled.
The principles God created when He created the Garden of Eden and all life, do not fail because you don’t believe. Neither will they fail when you decide you have come up with a better way to run the universe.
Everyone who has life is included in the whosoever. Everyone is subject to God’s creation principles. The very things you long for most in this life – love, joy, and peace – are interwoven into those principles.
Mighty God, Give me the wisdom to understand and the knowledge to know Your creation principles, which have never failed and never will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ created principles of life—I need to live by them!
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 7:22_have we not prophesied in Thy name…
Jesus refers to people who profess to be Christian. These people believe they have the right to call upon the Lord when He sits on the judgment throne. Do they believe they are clever enough to persuade Jesus to accept them on their terms, not His?
II Thessalonians 2:10-11 (KJV), “And for this cause God shall send them [the unrighteous] strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Good grief! This is more of that stuff I’d just as soon the Bible would leave out! Because the unrighteous will not believe the truth, then it is only natural that they enjoy being unrighteous. God does not stand in the way of them believing lies. Perhaps one of the lies they believe is their good works will allow them to enter the kingdom of heaven.
These people did not get into this kind of shape because God did not care enough to pursue them: II Peter 3:9 (KJV), “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Unfortunately, not everyone will repent.
Some of the unrepentant may go around prophesying in God’s name.
Everlasting Father, I do not want to find joy in unrighteousness, but in You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows all the hearts that repent—He sees mine!
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.
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!