An Ultimatum

DECEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:29_and not as the Scribes.

Jesus’ authority came from His Father in Heaven. We need earthly authority during our days in this world, but ultimate authority reigns in heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees craved…no…the better word is lusted, for power and authority and for admiration and respect. They wanted exactly what Jesus had.

Admiration and respect encourage and build up those in authority. When the authority desires to place fear in those they rule, respect becomes an ultimatum. It does not administer love.  Remember, sometimes love is administered with a firm hand. Since the people were astonished by Jesus’ kind of teaching, and saw it as totally different from the Scribes’ teaching—they obviously had not been administered love by their authorities. Their respect must have been more of an ultimatum. 

Jesus’ teachings led to truth and freedom. It gave the people answers to their struggles and created freedom in their souls.

This authority loves.

The Scribes’ teachings led to fear and bondage. The people feared the consequences if they rejected their teachings. It created bondage of the soul.

This authority oppresses.

 PRAYER

Good Shepherd, I respect and admire You because You give love to me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ has the ultimate authority—He uses it to love me!

The Proper Title

NOVEMBER 24

MATTHEW 7:21_that saith unto me Lord, Lord…

Jesus says these not everyones are calling Him Lord, which is His proper title—from birth. Luke 2:11(KJV), “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Using Jesus’ title of Lord is a form of praise. Praise comes from a heart overflowing with love and admiration. Love that flows from one heart to another in order to:

Give encouragement,

Convey respect,

Send a message you have been blessed by actions, words, or deeds,

Say, “I’m on your side.”

The ultimate flow of praise from one heart to another is to say, “I want to be like you.” 

Romans 10:9 (KJV) tells us the primary reason Jesus is Lord, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 

There is another way that Jesus’ title of Lord could be used—a form of flattery. Flattery comes from a heart overflowing with self-centeredness, which flows for only one reason—to get what it wants from the recipient. It has nothing to do with love, respect, or admiration.

It has to do with, “You possess what I want, I don’t have the means of obtaining it without you, so I’ll appeal to your ego.”

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I desire to praise You as the Lord who saves the lost. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                              

Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth—I believe, He saves!

You Are Precious in God’s Sight

OCTOBER 17

MATTHEW 7:11_how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

You are precious in God’s sight. Never let the devil tell you otherwise. 

What Jesus is teaching in this verse is a kind of comparison lesson between earthly fathers and the heavenly Father. If you are blessed with a responsible and loving father, never cease to praise God for him. If you have an adoptive or foster father, as many people in the Bible had, praise God for bringing you together as family. 

Pray for your father. He faces tremendous responsibilities that you are not old enough to fully understand. Do everything in your power to support, help, and encourage him. Make your gratefulness known to him—don’t just assume he knows it. And more than anything love and respect him.

If an earthly father will meet your needs, because he hears you when you ask—what are the capabilities of your heavenly Father? He is the owner of the universe. His love and compassion are as big as His kingdom—which knows no end. 

If your earthly father experience did not go well—you have the opportunity for an even closer relationship with your heavenly Father.  

PRAYER

Owner of the Universe, Help me see the vastness of Your power and love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ’s abilities are boundless—He uses them for me!

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!