By Virtue of Being God

AUGUST 24

MATTHEW 6:32_for your heavenly Father knoweth ye  have need of these things.

If you have a pet, you are responsible for its care. You feed it. You water it. You wash and groom it. When necessary, you clean up after it. You train it in right and wrong. In the training process you have a way of discipline, and a way of rewarding – to complement the discipline.

What is the connecting thread for caring for your pet? Needs. Your pet comes with needs. It depends upon you to meet those needs. It is a pretty sorry owner who neglects the needs of a pet! The owner knows all these needs simply by virtue of being an owner.

Jesus taught us the depth of this concept when He referred to Himself as a shepherd and His followers as sheep. John 10:27-28 (KJV), “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The sheep become acquainted with the voice of the shepherd because of his constant care for them. The Good Shepherd knows our spiritual need, 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Our Heavenly Father knows all our needs simply by virtue of being God.

PRAYER

Good Shepherd, Help me be aware of Your care for me, and know Your voice. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to know His voice—I will listen!

Who Knows?

JUNE 29

MATTHEW 6:15_Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…

Why do you hold on to unforgiveness? Does it have something to do with forgiveness causing you to appear weak? God is not only willing, but wants to forgive you. Do you think He is weak?

Hanging on to unforgiveness because it makes you feel tough is straying. Hanging on to unforgiveness for any reason is straying. You are interfering with God’s desire to forgive you. If you are in relationship with Jesus you will forgive, because if you don’t the Holy Spirit will convict your heart. You will lose peace. Salty-lit-up disciples repent and come back to God’s path.

When someone’s straying trespasses into your life, you have to deal with the invasion – one way or another. You can react with anger and possibly physical confrontation, or seek the path of forgiveness. As we’ve said before, forgiveness does not necessarily mean the invaders should not be held responsible for their actions. Discernment must be applied.

Your life can be trespassed upon in many ways. Betrayal is probably the largest of the litter. It may certainly be the hardest to forgive. God does not measure trespasses by their size. God is more concerned about how far away from His path His disciples stray. It is His major concern because … He loves His disciples.

Your willingness to forgive the trespassers may be how God intends to bring them back on track.

Who knows? That may be why your life is the one He allowed them to invade.                  

PRAYER

God of Love, You are more than able to deliver from any trespass. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows all trespasses—He conquered them all!

Just Keep Your Word

APRIL 14

MATTHEW 5:37_But let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Jesus’ conclusion to this lesson is awesome. Just say yes or no! James 5:12 (KJV), “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

It may be a little difficult for us to understand all this swearing by something, but it was very big in the culture of Jesus’ and James’ (Jesus’ half-brother) day.

Why wouldn’t we just say yes or no? It seems we think we can’t be trusted to mean what we say on its own. We have to add some kind of emphasis.

The only thing to help us be honest and responsible in what we say is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus and James both teach anything more than just yes or no can lead to trouble. Jesus calls it evil. James calls it condemnation. It’s bad either way. Either way can draw you more into the world’s ways. Be a person who keeps promises.

Don’t say one thing and do another.

Keep promises, even if it costs more than planned.

Be honest in everything – words and actions.

Be a person of integrity. 

Jesus teaches just keep your word and don’t swear at all.

PRAYER

Father God, Thank You for helping me to become an honest person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ is always honest—He wants me to be honest!

Tell The Truth!

APRIL 10

MATTHEW 5:33_Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.

To forswear is to lie under oath. If you are in a court room and lie on the witness stand, it is called perjury. You can go to jail for perjury. When you are in the witness chair, tell the truth. For that matter, always tell the truth!

If you swear to your parents that something you tell them is true, but it is really a lie, you’re accountable for that. You don’t have to be in court nor even have witnesses around to be held responsible for lying. 

To swear is to make a promise – a guarantee to what you say. One of the worst decisions in life is to make a promise to God, and not keep it. If you promise God something keep it. Be very careful what you promise – think before you open your mouth. Until you become an adult it is best to discuss with your parents any promise you intend to make . If you do not live with parents, find a Godly adult to help you make wise promises.

Life used to operate on a man’s word was his bond. That meant if you promised to do something you would do it, no matter what. No legal documents were necessary when your word was your bond. You gained a reputation for being an honest person.

Your reputation always goes before you and follows after you!

PRAYER

God of Truth, I want anyone who has dealings with me to find me to be a person of my word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ keeps His Word—I want to keep my word and His Word too!

Give God a Chance

FEBRUARY 29

MATTHEW 5:19_shall break one…

Another way to break the law is ignorance. It may not be that you disagreed, but simply didn’t know it was a law. Again, you can ask any type of law enforcement officer and I’m afraid you’ll be told ignorance is not an excuse. It is your responsibility to be aware of the laws which govern.

The same consequences apply to the spiritual laws of life. It is your responsibility to know God’s laws and commandments and to abide by them. If you don’t have a Bible – get one. If you have no funds to purchase one, I assure you there are churches galore that would be overjoyed to give you one. Ask.  

Psalm 19:1-4 (KJV), “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world …”

These verses say no one has an excuse for not knowing there is a glorious, creating God. The world of nature speaks His existence. If you know there is a God and your heart seeks to love Him, He will make a way.

God’s compassion and forgiveness are great. The more you come to know the truth, the more you understand you are accountable for your actions. And the more power you receive to live in accordance with the commands of Christ.

Give God a chance, even if you live somewhere in the world that does not worship the Creator God.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to know Your laws and commandments, and live my life in accordance with them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ makes a way—He will bring me to it!