A Specific Commission

MAY 29

MATTHEW 6:7_as the heathen do…

Jesus goes from reproaching hypocrites to reproaching heathens. The word heathen in this verse can be translated as Gentile. Remember, Gentiles are not Jews. They were not under the covenant God made with Abraham. Nor were they under the laws God gave to Moses.

The Jews considered the prayers of Gentiles to be great babblings. Since Gentiles did not serve or have a relationship with the One True God, their prayers were not directed to Him. Therefore, to whatever god or idol they prayed, all they could offer was empty babbles.

After Jesus conquered death and was about to ascend back into heaven, He gave His disciples a commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Jesus gave Peter and Paul a specific commission – to share the gospel of the resurrected Jesus with the Gentiles. Praise God Peter and Paul obeyed the call!

We are no longer heathen just because we are Gentiles. Those of us who answer the call to become salty-lit-up disciples can enter our closet, shut the door, and commune with the Holy God of Heaven! Hallelujah!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Praise You for being the God of all mankind. Praise You for making a way for Gentiles to enter Your presence . In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves Gentiles—He made a way for me!

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!

From the Letter to the Spirit

FEBRUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:18_pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Here is the point of Jesus’ principle, till all be fulfilled. Notice how Jesus took specific steps to emphasize His point. 

First, He began with the verily: [I solemnly declare, sacred, seriously and thoughtfully, emphatically, affirm]. He’s grabbing our attention right from the get-go.

Second, Jesus makes clear the time frame He is addressing, till heaven and earth pass away, as long as the world we live in lasts. 

Third, Jesus shows the inclusiveness of every part of the Law, jots and tittles [tiniest of strokes]. Even these will stand, last, and endure.

Had Jesus stopped with these three points we would all be living under the Law. The fulfillment takes us from the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. The Law, and the strictest keeping of it, can never equal the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. His death gave us new life. Jesus’ resurrection opened the door for eternity. 

If you are confused about fulfillment, and the judgment and mercy balance – stay tuned. In just a few more verses Jesus will take more specific steps to explain.

PRAYER

Saving Jesus, Please guide me with Your truth, step by step. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is the spirit of the Law—I should be too!