Absolutely Not!

NOVEMBER 26

MATTHEW 7:21_but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

To do God’s will is how to enter into heaven. I see you squirming … but hold on. Does this contradict what has already been settled—the only path to heaven is through the shed blood of Jesus? Absolutely not! Jesus is not teaching the way to heaven is through good works.

God’s will is that you accept Jesus as Savior, serve Him as Lord, and love His people. This is the will of your Father which is in heaven. Good works will be a natural byproduct. 

We will be judged by our works:    

Romans 2:5-6 (KJV), “… and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.”

II Corinthians 5:10 (KJV), “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”                                                                                                      

Revelation 20:12 (KJV), “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,  according to their works.”

If our good works are not a natural byproduct of a saving relationship with Jesus, then they are not good works.                  

PRAYER

Prince of Peace, If I ever do anything good—it comes from You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                    

Christ will judge works—Only He makes mine good!

Quench Your Thirst

NOVEMBER 20

MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You already know good fruit is salt and light. Salt that preserves the truth once it’s found. Salt that whets the appetite so you thirst for more truth. A thirst that can only be quenched by a relationship with Jesus. If you are being led to quench your thirst by anything other than Jesus—you will not produce good fruit. 

In Matthew 13 (KJV), Jesus tells a parable about planting seeds in different types of soil and how the seed responds to where it is planted: “19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground [heart] is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

PRAYER

Only Wise God, Please plant in my heart the words of Your kingdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.    

Christ plants His kingdom in my heart—I receive it!

Because

OCTOBER 26

MATTHEW 7:14_Because…

If you have never been to Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee, add it to your bucket list.  You’ll find it at the top of Lookout Mountain. The area known as Rock City is full of many unique rock formations.

There are different paths to take as you encounter fascinating natural wonders. I have taken youth groups there but have never had a group that completed the journey at the same time—even when they took the same path. Some rush through, some stop and explore.

Because Jesus’ gates lead to life paths, you have the freedom to choose the path to follow. You have the freedom to decide how to spend your time on each path. How it ends is your decision. The apostle John says in I John 2:12-13 (KJV), “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”    

There are a lot of becauses in these verses. Each one is directed to a different stage in life. They are each about receiving the truth because of choosing the path which leads into a relationship with Jesus.   

 PRAYER

Lord of Truth, I know the Bible is written to me because I choose the truth! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                           

Christ caused the Bible to be written to me—I will study!

Be Grateful!

OCTOBER 10

MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…

If you’ve been disobedient and disrespectful to your father, expect him to discipline you—and be grateful for it! If your earthly father has been disobedient and disrespectful to the Heavenly Father, he can expect the same … from the Father!

An earthly father’s discipline comes directly from the Heavenly Father. It is painfully designed to restore a lost relationship. This is a time for you to be patient and compassionate. This is not a time to gloat or have any pleasure in your father’s chastisement (or anyone else you see under God’s disciplinary rod). And there is never a time in life for you to have any kind any kind of superiority attitude toward your father. In the first place, you don’t know what God is up to, or His ultimate plan … which may involve you! 

Only those in authority should administer judgment. You are not in an authoritative position, your father is. Your father is under the authority of God and you are under the authority of them both. Trust God to do what is best for your father. Trust Him to teach your father to do what is best for you.

If you have a father who would give you a stone when you ask bread, find a Christian leader you can confide in to help you. 

PRAYER

Loving Father, Help me be respectful and obedient to my authorities. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ wants me respectful and obedient—He helps me!

Least

MARCH 4

MATTHEW 5:19_he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…

The importance of the word least continues, but changes from a description of the Law to a description of a person. 

When you take into consideration all the laws, the least one is indeed – least! Yet Jesus makes it important enough that to break the least law and teach others to follow your lead, causes you to be least in the kingdom of heaven.

Think of this in New Testament terms to see a better view: How heartbreaking it would be if you were part of what encompasses the Bride of Christ, and called least by the Groom. You don’t want the word least to refer in any kind of way to your relationship with Jesus!

Who could keep from breaking even a small law out of so many? No one. 

There’s hope! Don’t give up yet!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You for giving me hope. Thank You that if I follow You, I have no need to ever give up. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is my hope—I won’t give up!