Not Everyone

NOVEMBER 23

MATTHEW 7:21_Not everyone…

Since Jesus begins this teaching by saying not everyone, there must be some exclusiveness. Can mercy be exclusive? If so, who decides who is excluded? Would it be Jesus? How does He decide it?

Mercy is a God-like attribute.

Mercy is a Jesus quality.

Mercy covers sins.

Mercy covers shortcomings.

Mercy covers failures.

Mercy rescues the undeserving. 

Mercy brings the lost to shelter and safety.

Mercy does this by its very nature of being merciful.

However, one of those hard realities of life we prefer to avoid, is mercy is not limitless.

That is hard truth! 

Mercy has no limit for askers, seekers, and knockers. But arrogant pretenders, aka hypocrites, will experience that hard truth.

Personally, I don’t think mercy had limits in the Garden of Eden. But free will caused it to pull in the reins, put on the brakes, and turn off the power.

That’s when a phrase like, not everyone, came into play. Mercy is for everyone, just as life without death was for Adam and Eve, but everyone has the freedom to reject it. 

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please help me never to reject Your mercy. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                       

Christ offers mercy to those who will receive it—I will receive!                                              

Sounds Strange

OCTOBER 14

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

Does Jesus say even the evil know how to treat their children well? No way! Actually, it sounds like He’s calling all of us evil! 

Jesus agrees with what we’ve already learned – we’re all evil and have those hard hearts. That’s why we need The Savior. That’s why we need The Great Transformer. That’s why we need The Great Healer. And this is another reason to stay away from judging. How can one sinner judge another? 

Those of us who made a decision to become salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus are saved sinners. We are not any better than unsaved sinners, because the only righteousness we have comes from Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself. We didn’t get it by being good. We got it by accepting a free (to us) gift from The Savior (who paid the ultimate price to give it to us).

I realize I’m putting myself out there by saying this, but I believe sometimes evil people can treat their children well. I believe God can use evil people to do good works for Him. I know that sounds strange, but King Solomon knew it. 

Proverbs 21:1(KJV), “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.”

Even if it’s an evil king!

PRAYER

King of Kings, Thank You for the miraculous ways You take care of me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                               

Christ can use anyone for my good—I praise Him for that!

A Changed Man

SEPTEMBER 13

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Had the wicked servant dwelt on the unbelievable mercy rendered to him by the king, he would have bestowed mercy on his fellow-servant. However, non-believers can’t be expected to respond to life as believers. That’s why there is such a need for salty-lit-up disciples. Lifestyles that shine in such a way to draw captives to freedom, like a lighthouse to a ship lost in a raging storm. Light sends a ray of hope. Once the ship makes it to the safety of the harbor, it is time to preserve it with the salt of mercy – mercy that flows from unconditional love.

In the case of the apostle Paul the light shone on him, blinded him. When he was healed and his sight restored three days later, he was a changed man. The light blinded him to the hate that his hard heart had toward Jesus’ followers. It also blinded him to the lies (that Jesus was demonic and his followers would be the destruction of the Jewish religion) with which the devil deceived him.

The light set Paul free to become the Jesus follower who wrote a large portion of the New Testament. 

He was salty and lit-up!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want Your kind of light—that blinds, but heals. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s light can blind me—It can also heal me!

Traps Set

  JUNE 17

MATTHEW 6:13_And lead us not…

The word lead in this verse is translated to bring in or into. Part of your prayer life should include to ask for direction, or guidance.

Psalm 5:8, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.”

That’s one to pray! It not only asks to be led, but to be led by righteousness. Tell God specifically why you need Him to lead you – because there are enemies out there (the devil and his demons). 

Another Psalm to pray is Psalm 143:10 (KJV), “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” This doesn’t need explaining. It’s all there (this verse showed up in the prayer on January 17).

Both of these Psalms express places you want to be. Places that cause you to feel closer to the Father and the Savior. Places of safety.

In Jesus’ model prayer He prays the reverse – lead us not. There are places out there that are not safe. The devil knows how to set traps. He wants to lead you to places you should not be.

These places are away from the Father and the Savior. The devil wants to lead you to places under his control.

Pray!

PRAYER

Righteous God, Lead me in Your righteousness. Make Your way straight before me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows where to lead me—I will follow!

An Innumerable Amount of People

MARCH 6

MATTHEW 5:19_and teach them…

Again, Jesus’ emphasis to keep the commandments includes and teach them. Jon Donne’s phrase “no man is an island” is true. There is nothing you can do in life which only involves you. Any decision you make will directly, or indirectly, affect the people God places in your life.

Sometimes those decisions will affect people you don’t even know. If you make the decision to drink and drive, and have no passengers, you may feel that decision only involves you. But if you are involved in an accident with one or more vehicles, suddenly other people are involved in your decision.

Any time you decide to do what is right or wrong, you affect the welfare and safety of an innumerable amount of people. If you make decisions in your heart not to steal, not to kill, not to commit immoral acts – your decisions make the world a safer and better place.

You teach others to do right either directly by words, or indirectly by influence.

The same is true about wrong. Genesis 3:17 (KJV), “And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it….” Not only were Eve, Adam, and the Serpent punished, but everyone who has lived since that day reaps the consequences of their disobedience.

PRAYER

King of Kings, I want my example in life to be for good. I want to make right choices for myself and help others make them as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                          

Christ is my example for good—He wants me to follow!