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 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!
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.’”
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!