MATTHEW 7:24_and doeth them…
Jesus’ masonry skills move to the next step – doing. Doing requires action. Get up and do something! Do what? Obedience to Jesus’ teachings you have studied the past year!
You can heed every teaching of this sermon, but until you act upon those teachings—they are powerless. This requires dedication. Doing trusts God to help when you can’t help yourself. Doing requires time in prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking on how to live Jesus’ teachings—not just read them.
If you make rules but never enforce them, they cannot achieve their purpose. If you mix together all the ingredients for a cake but never bake it … okay, I confess I love batter … but it’s not a cake until it is baked.
Knowing and believing are only part of the process. You must act. You may believe there are rewards for attitudes of humility, meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking, but believing is not doing. You can believe anger is as deadly as murder, but until you curb the anger it still controls.
You can believe in sexual purity, inside and outside of marriage, but if you are not living purity, your belief is powerless.
Remember, to have power—connect to the Source!
God of Power, Please give me the power to live what I believe. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to act on His teaching—He helps me!
MATTHEW 7:19_that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down…
You’ve learned a lot of truth from Jesus this year. Now you’re in the home stretch. The devil does not want you to experience the freedom gained from this Creation Principle. He wants you to see it as judgmental and legalistic—don’t you believe it!
The devil can give you an easy and fun life—forget all this about hard times and struggles. But remember—his fun times are temporary. The fun turns into far greater pain than life’s struggles.
Hebrews 11:24-26 (KJV), “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
Moses knew there was pleasure in sin. He had lived as an Egyptian prince in a palace of false gods and idols. This is how he learned the pleasures of sin are only for a season. When the fun is gone all that’s left is bondage – trying to get the pleasure back.
If the tree doesn’t produce good fruit it will be cut down.
Corrupt trees do not produce good fruit.
Heavenly Father, Your rewards are far greater than the pleasures of sin. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows sinful pleasures are bondage—He frees me!
MATTHEW 7:13_and many there be which go in thereat.
There are reasons many enter at the wide gate. It is tempting, accessible, and allows for baggage. It’s easy—all you have to do is follow the crowd, which requires neither intelligence (no decisions to make), nor courage (won’t be standing alone).
It takes little strength to do what’s wrong. It requires no thought process—just follow your natural instincts. There is no submission, do what you want to do. Simply do what pleases you, and what pleases the people with you. There is no accountability for your actions. Personal responsibility will not be following you around. In short: No rules, No standards, No boundaries. Sounds exactly like the Land of Cocagne in the story of Pinocchio.
Pinocchio made the decision to become responsible and obedient. There was a reward for that—he would become a real boy. But when his friend, Candlewick, described the carefree land of excessive pleasures, the temptation was too strong (for a heart without Jesus). Rather than becoming a real boy, he became a real donkey—and all the hard labor that goes with it.
In The Merchant of Venice, 1600, Shakespeare said it like this, “All that glitters is not gold.”
Very seldom is the easy way the best way.
Merciful Jesus, Help me follow Your way—not the easy way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to be bold and courageous—I will be!
MATTHEW 7:9_Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask…
To become a parent rates very high in the blessing category. Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV), “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
According to this verse, children are one of those ways God rewards His people. Arrows in the hand of a mighty man are powerful. If hunting is the goal, then the bow is no good without the arrows. The arrows are everything to achieving the purpose of the hunt. Fathers should realize the reward God gives them in children. They should feel strength and might in fatherhood, and they should feel happy.
I wish these verses were true in the life of every child who is born. However, since they are not, I pray for Malachi 4:6 (KJV) to become a reality, “And he [Elijah the prophet] shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers …”
As much as is possible in my tiny space in the world, I want to contribute to this becoming reality.
Pray for the fathers in your circle of life.
Lord Jesus, Help me feel the specialness that is mine as Your child. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches children are a reward—I am one!
MATTHEW 6:33_and his righteousness…
Jesus gives you something specific to seek in the kingdom of God, righteousness. God’s righteousness is to obey His principles and live in them.
When you seek God’s kingdom you discover His righteousness. One more example of you can’t have one without the other. You are designed to seek that relationship. Jesus lures you to it.
This relationship has been compared to courtship. Jesus proposes – He hopes you will say yes. When you do, then just like finding gold at the end of the rainbow – you find His righteousness. Notice, the seeking turned from Jesus seeking you to you seeking Him … and His righteousness.
God’s principles are steadfast. They have been since the beginning of time. They do not weaken or fade with time. They are as solid in the book of Genesis as they are in the book of Revelation. They are foundation material – something on which to build your life.
Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV), “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms …”
Wow! The everlasting arms are the foundation material upon which to build your house!
Righteousness is something God rewards, II Samuel 22:21 (KJV) “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness ….”
You can’t be righteous on your own – seek God’s righteousness!
Righteous Father, I want Your righteousness for the foundation of my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is righteousness—He will teach me!