MATTHEW 7:14_and few there be that find it.
You enter the strait gate when you answer the knock of Jesus on your heart’s door. Some baggage automatically drops off at that time. I have known people with strong addictions who were instantly set free through the power of Jesus in their heart.
The baggage that Jesus does not relieve instantly goes with you through the gate. The narrow path, like the Needle’s Eye, can become narrower as you travel. When you reach these narrow passages, which are tight places, they force you to make some changes. You may need to turn sideways to pass through. In some places you’ll have to bend down, because to go through also requires going under a large rock formation.
The changes you make as you pass through the tight places require two things—repentance and humility. When you repent you’ve changed your position. You no longer see value in earthly pain relievers. You are filled with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. You walk free through the narrow path and exchange all your baggage for true love.
True love is not baggage. It is something you give away—to keep it to yourself would not be true love.
Holy Spirit power reproduces love daily and daily you give it away.
King of Kings, Help me to repent and worship You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ calls us to repent and be humble—He helps me!
MATTHEW 7:10_Or if he ask…
Hebrews 12:7 (KJV), “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
When God disciplines you He considers you His child. He makes something else very plain—the child who is loved will be disciplined. When you’re old enough to be in authority and you love people, you will help them be accountable for their actions. Why? Because you are old enough to know the boomerang effect of lack of personal responsibility. You know it from your personal life, and you know it from other peoples’ mistakes. You also know by this time that life brings its own package of pain. There is no need in crowding your life with self-created pain.
The apostle John repeats this concept in the final book of the Bible, Revelation 3:19 (KJV), “As many as I [Jesus] love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
In God’s plan for life, parents and children are to be bound together in love. Discipline and love go together. Parents and children go together. The four of them together are God’s perfect plan.
Colossians 3:14 (KJV), “And above all these things put on charity [perfect love], which is the bond of perfectness.”
Lord of Love, Please bind my family together in love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants love to hold families together—I do too!
MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…
Here’s the question: Did Jesus condone adultery by saving the woman? Did He let her get by (meaning no judgment or accountability) with adultery?
Getting by with something is not really what Jesus is about. Surely by now you know what Jesus is about – freedom! To get by with something will not free you from repeating it.
If you are truly allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you on the path to freedom and you stumble, don’t be discouraged – you will be freed. Proverbs 24:16 (KJV), “‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief [Hebrew translation is: evil].”
The difference in the one who rises back up and the one who falls deeper into evil is that heart condition. The ability to see all sin is against God and the desire to be changed by His grace. There is a word for this condition – repent. To sincerely and deeply grieve over your path and strongly desire to change directions.
The Bible teaches to pray for those in authority – all forms of authority. There is a need for authorities to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be receptive to the Spirit’s leading.
You want your authorities to have wise judgment concerning you.
Pray for them!
I haven’t answered those first two questions yet – stay with me!
Heavenly Father, Fill all those in my authority with Your Holy Spirit. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows my heart condition—He will reveal it!
MATTHEW 6:29_that even Solomon…
Solomon is an interesting man. He was the son of King David and Bathsheba. He was not the son of their adulterous affair, as that son died shortly after birth. David repented of his departure from God’s path and God gave them other sons. God’s hand was on Solomon from birth. II Samuel 12:24 (KJV) records Solomon’s birth, “And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.” God loved Solomon from the day of his birth. This is specifically recorded in Scripture because of David’s deep repentance and God’s great mercy. Perhaps, it is a kind of peace offering between the two.
Because God loves you from the day you are born (and even before), He has a plan for your life. Your plan in life is unique to you. Otherwise the world would be a pretty odd place.
For life to function there must be leaders, and there must be followers. There must be teachers, and there must be students. There must be administrators, and there must be workers. There must be coaches, and there must be players. It’s how life works.
You have a natural response in your spirit to what God calls you to be. As always, you decide to follow or not.
Dear Savior, Thank You that You loved me before I was born. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ calls me to a plan—He will show it to me!
MATTHEW 6:16_for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast…
Any way you look at it, fasting shows up in the Bible. It appears in the Old and New Testaments as a part of the religious routine. Fasting was a normal part of worship.
There is something else which shows up. Jesus has a way of spotlighting it – hypocrisy. Hypocrites are always around. They show up in high governmental offices, on sports teams, on the stage, and unfortunately, they show up in churches.
You’ve already learned how the hypocrites’ giving alms and praying came from a heart of pride, not worship. Well, do declare, if that isn’t the same motive for their fasting!
Jesus points out they disfigure their faces when they fast. This is not for repentance or somberness of the occasion, but for exhibition. As always when He speaks of hypocrites, Jesus says not to be like them.
Religious hypocrites are great actors, and their stage is in the midst of the Christian community. They know how to manipulate the emotions of their audience. Their disfigured faces when fasting is more than feeling weak from hunger. It is to show to their audience they are making a great sacrifice for God.
Father God, I never want to be a hypocrite. I want You to be my audience. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ looks for hearts of worship—I will worship Him!