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!

Here We Go Again!

APRIL 25

MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…

Jesus continually points out love as an action.

Love requires dedication.

Love requires courage.

Love requires grit to accept rejection, but not be defeated.

Love requires faith in Jesus’ radical teachings to work.

If love requires all this of me, I want my love to go to the one of my choosing. The object of my affection. Here we go again! Jesus messes with my heart and mind when He says love my enemies. I don’t want to love my enemies! They are my enemies! I don’t like them! They cause me pain and suffering. They cause people I love pain and suffering. If God won’t let me seek revenge on them – at least let me hate them!

Besides, there is another problem – I don’t know how to love them. It doesn’t come naturally to me to love people who hurt me or people I love. Jesus asks too much.

In all my moaning and groaning, I use the key (the Bible). It unlocks my spirit, then I can trust in Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I don’t know how to love my enemies, help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ strengthens me—I can achieve anything with Him!

A Path to Freedom

JANUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:7_for they shall obtain mercy.

What a lovely blessing the merciful receive – they obtain mercy. Meditate on that. After all the giving and pouring out of yourself and your time, there is mercy to receive! Everyone needs to be on the receiving end of mercy! Praise God there is a time when mercy is poured out on you! 

A day will come when you need mercy. You will experience what a beautiful thing mercy is. You will feel the warmth, comfort, and peace mercy gives. And since mercy is not a Band-Aid, you will receive freedom – from guilt. To give mercy to someone is to free them from the wrong done to you. 

Be glad you were a part of blessing another person. Be grateful that when you felt rejected or taken advantage of, you chose to respond with mercy – even though your offender was undeserving. Most of all, be grateful to the Holy God of Heaven because you are full of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way you can be merciful. You see, you don’t deserve mercy either.

Mercy not only frees your offender; it is a part of the path to your freedom – from unforgiveness.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Forgive me for any time I have not bestowed mercy. Help me focus on You and Your truth more than the world’s deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s mercy is the path to freedom—He will help me!

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!