The Flatterers

NOVEMBER 25

MATTHEW 7:21_shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…

There are, and will continue to be, those who are excluded from the kingdom of heaven—both the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the eternal one. 

Those who publicly reject Christ are excluded. These are those who have sought the world for their fulfillment. Don’t misunderstand this—they had the same knock on their heart’s door. They are not excluded instantaneously. Jesus pursued them with the same passion He pursued you. Unfortunately, these are people who just flat refuse to feel the need or desire for a savior. These people do not pretend to be sheep—they wear their wolves clothing for all to see.

In this principle, Jesus refers to the ones who do wear the sheep’s clothing. These are the flatterers. They use Christianity to work for them—not to glorify Jesus. Their charisma comes from a different power. 

II Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) explains this, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

The devil uses his power in ways that appear to be good. According to Jesus’ teaching, the devil can even use the people who call Jesus … Lord! 

PRAYER

God of All, Help me to not be deceived by the devil’s light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ is true light—The devil’s light becomes darkness!

Not Everyone

NOVEMBER 23

MATTHEW 7:21_Not everyone…

Since Jesus begins this teaching by saying not everyone, there must be some exclusiveness. Can mercy be exclusive? If so, who decides who is excluded? Would it be Jesus? How does He decide it?

Mercy is a God-like attribute.

Mercy is a Jesus quality.

Mercy covers sins.

Mercy covers shortcomings.

Mercy covers failures.

Mercy rescues the undeserving. 

Mercy brings the lost to shelter and safety.

Mercy does this by its very nature of being merciful.

However, one of those hard realities of life we prefer to avoid, is mercy is not limitless.

That is hard truth! 

Mercy has no limit for askers, seekers, and knockers. But arrogant pretenders, aka hypocrites, will experience that hard truth.

Personally, I don’t think mercy had limits in the Garden of Eden. But free will caused it to pull in the reins, put on the brakes, and turn off the power.

That’s when a phrase like, not everyone, came into play. Mercy is for everyone, just as life without death was for Adam and Eve, but everyone has the freedom to reject it. 

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please help me never to reject Your mercy. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                       

Christ offers mercy to those who will receive it—I will receive!                                              

The Nail That Holds Together

NOVEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:18_A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit…

This verse is the nail that holds together the principle which build this house. 

We are going a little deeper into the principle of a good tree brings forth good fruit. Jesus puts a bit of a spin on that— a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Get this into your heart and meditate on it. It isn’t just that good produces good. It’s that the good cannot produce evil.

Let’s think of it in terms of a good teacher. This is a teacher whose teachings line up with the truths of the Bible. A teacher whose love and concern for you is unconditional—although you may not see that in the beginning. It takes time and some maturity to understand all the aspects of unconditional love. For instance, this is the teacher who taught you the truth even when you rejected and rebelled against it. This is the teacher who, when you finally had enough of your own bondage, welcomed you back to the fold and led you to freedom. This is the teacher who stands by you when times are tough.

This teacher is Jesus. The source you can count on not to produce evil in your life.

You don’t have to worry about this One being a ravening wolf. A good tree is salt and light!            

PRAYER

Lamb of God, I need people in my life who are salt and light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

 Christ cannot produce evil fruit—I can trust in Him!

The Choice

JUNE 7

MATTHEW 6:10_Thy will be done…

You can learn from Jesus’ prayer life. Matthew chapter 26 (KJV), 38Then saith he unto them [Peter, James, John], ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.'”Jesus shares a prayer request.

Jesus knew He was facing rejection, ridicule, abuse, and death. Does He cry out for mercy? How specific is He?  39And he went a little further [to be alone], and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’” Jesus asks to be released from what He is about to experience. “42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.’ 44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Jesus prayed the same request three times, but each time He asked God’s will over His own.  When Jesus knew it was not God’s will to deliver Him, He made the choice to fulfill His purpose. 

Jesus entered His prayer closet, prayed the same request repeatedly, and added two more aspects in how to pray – ask for prayer support, and God’s will to be done.

If Jesus had not placed the Father’s will above His own, no one could be saved.         

 PRAYER

God Who Hears, Give me the wisdom and courage to pray for Your will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ chose God’s will—I ask for that courage!

Some Turn Away

MAY 1

MATTHEW 5:45_for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendest rain on the just and on the unjust.

I can’t say this too many times: God understands the kind of struggles we face in our earthly life. He knows our enemy, the devil, is subtle. God knows the devil’s power to deceive and to persuade. We face the devil daily. Without the Holy Spirit we don’t stand a chance. 

Courage and power are available for us. Power comes through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants this for everyone, but some turn away. 

According to what Jesus teaches, God loves the evil and the unjust. He gives them a new chance every day the sun rises. God sends rain on the crops of the evil, the same as on the crops of the just. He gives the unjust the same chance He gives the just. That’s the kind of heart God has, but it’s not the kind of heart we have – unless we allow The Great Surgeon to operate.

If God rejected those who hurt Him as easily as we reject those who hurt us – no one would be saved.

As our heart begins to transform, we become shining lights to those searching for Jesus. Our saltiness will cause someone to thirst for truth – real truth.

PRAYER

Dear God, Teach me how to love the unjust. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ’s heart cares for the unjust—He helps me to care!