Minuteness Gives Emphasis

FEBRUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:18_one jot or one tittle shall in no wise…

Okay, so we have a couple of odd words in this verse. What in the world is a jot, or a tittle? 

A jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. A very tiny symbol. It looks rather similar to our comma.

A tittle is just a stroke used in the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish between the letters. In the Greek, it may have been considered as something like an accent mark.

The minuteness of these symbols is Jesus’ way of placing emphasis on the importance of the Law. Think about His emphasis. Even the tiniest strokes of a pen made in the writing of the laws will stand as long as the heaven and the earth.

The laws were written for instruction.

The coming of Jesus to the earth did not destroy the importance, or the power, of the Law. His earthly presence gave purpose to the Law as it gave purpose to all life as we know it. We have previously mentioned there are portions of the Law which Jesus’ earthly presence caused to become irrelevant.

Best of all, Jesus’ earthly presence gave purpose for a life yet to come, a new heaven and a new earth.  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, I don’t want to miss one jot or one tittle of Your teachings. I want to gain all the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge You offer me in this life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows what endures for eternity—My life!

Jesus’ Destructive Agenda

FEBRUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:17_I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

There was hardly anything destructive about Jesus’ earthly life. He came to heal the sick, give hope to the destitute, set demonic captives free, raise the dead, and above all else, freely give eternal life. His earthly purpose from beginning to end was mercy and love.

However, He did have one destructive agenda – hypocrisy. This would be hypocrisy among the God followers, salt that’s been contaminated with arrogance and lust, and lost its savor. Lights that shine only to bring self-glory. Those were things for which Jesus showed zero tolerance. 

He did not hesitate to call the guilty appropriate names, and in one instance physically remove their presence from the temple.

To destroy the law or prophets was far from Jesus’ purpose. He made it clear He was their fulfillment. The balance Jesus brought between the judgment of the Old Testament and the mercy of the New Testament was something Jesus alone could achieve.

To have too much of one and not enough of the other is destructive. Salt and light require the perfect balance of each.

PRAYER

Righteous Jesus, Help me to never fall into hypocrisy. Make me aware if I’m heading in that direction and re-direct my steps. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ balances judgment and mercy—Praise Him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

The No-Goods

FEBRUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:16_glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

The fact that we are not good is the reason we need a savior. Eternal life cannot be purchased in any way, shape, or fashion. It is a free gift to no-good people – amazing, huh?

The final piece of Jesus’ teaching on light is the foundation not only of the light principle, but of the very purpose of life – to glorify God. That is the good work!

Every time no-good people feed the hungry (physically and spiritually), visit the sick (physically and spiritually), minister to the captive (physically and spiritually), and welcome the stranger, they do good works.

Every time no-good people do something good, God is glorified. Why? Because those works show God is The God of the Impossible. They show God’s purpose for no-good lives is to transform and use them – for good.

A power-packed light is shining – God’s amazing love. He gives love to the no-goods. This astounds people who are around us and involved in our lives. After all, they remember we were no-good! When they not only see us do good works, but may themselves be the recipients, they are amazed. They are overwhelmed with wonder, not of who we are but of who God is. And of what He can do in the life of a no-good!

  PRAYER

Holy Lord, I know I am not good, but I praise You that You can transform me to do good! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s love is for no-good people—His love is for me!

A Two Way Street

FEBRUARY 17

MATTHEW 5:16_Let your light shine before men…

The saltier a disciple, the greater your love.

The greater your love, the more darkness you see.

The more darkness you see, the greater your desire to overcome it.

The greater your desire to overcome darkness, the more you want to shine your light.

The more your light shines, the more you desire a larger candle.

Waiting on God is never easy. He alone knows the beginning and the end. His timing is perfect. Sometimes God’s calling may seem impossible. But that’s exactly who He is – The God of the Impossible. You will never know the impossibilities God can conquer if you’ve never faced any.

As you wait, focus on the job at hand – let your light so shine before men. Your job is to shine for the people God has placed around you … at home, school, work, church, organizations, and community.

Shining your light is a two way street. All those people mentioned need your light and you need theirs. There is no happenstance as to who the people are in your life – God put you together for a purpose.

When God lights your candle – let it shine!

   PRAYER

Dear God, Thank you for all the people You designed for my life. Help me grow from the light they give and help me give them light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ lights me from others—He lights them from me!

The Larger Candle

FEBRUARY 16

MATTHEW 5:15_and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Jesus’ teaching on light is a high point of God’s plan. Your light is not lit just to dispel your own darkness, but possesses the power to give light to all that are in the house! God determines how far reaching the house (where you will serve God) is. Your light is set on the candlestick to achieve a God-designed purpose.

Life is like candles. A small candle works well in a small room. When you move to a larger room you need to place a larger candle on a larger candlestick. With your small candle in hand you enter the larger room, the flame of the small candle lights the wick of the larger candle. This procession continues throughout life.

The more your light is used to give love to the loveless, hope to the hopeless, and burn the cords of bondage, the larger a candle you will need. Just as you grow physically from an infant to an adult, so you grow spiritually.

It can never be overemphasized that the time tables of life belong to God. He determines when to light the larger candle.

  PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me the house You want me to light. Help me find it and light it for Your glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                              

Christ sees my flame—He will light a larger candle!