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!

They Grow

JUNE 27

MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…

What goes up must come down. If God’s forgiveness relates to your forgiveness, God’s unforgiveness relates to your unforgiveness. 

A transformed life is a product of salvation and the ability to forgive. Salvation is an instantaneous, eternal experience. Transformation is a process. Love is a process. They grow. As you grow in relationship with Jesus, you grow in your ability to give true, straight-from-the-heart love. It is the way natural byproducts work.

The ability to forgive has to be a byproduct of the love you gain from heart transformation. Hard hearts cannot produce forgiveness. The natural byproduct of hard hearts is unforgiveness.

A relationship with Jesus is not just I need to be sure I’m not going to hell. It is about:

I hear the knock of Jesus on my heart’s door.

I feel the love He brings.

I feel His forgiveness.

I want to love like He loves me.

I want to forgive like He forgives me.

I want to live as His disciple.

I want to be His salt and light.             

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the natural byproducts of transformation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                 

Christ is salvation—He is my salvation

Violating Comfort Zones

JUNE 24

MATTHEW 6:14_For if ye forgive men their trespasses…

When you see a No Trespassing sign what does it tell you? Don’t go there! Don’t cross this line! This is not free range! Turn around! Go another way! If you continue in this path you are violating the law! Stay away!

Use your key to gain some wisdom, understanding, and knowledge about trespassing. You will find a lot. Proverbs 4:27 (KJV), “Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

Sometimes you stray from the path. Just a small step right or left, may require a very large step to get back on track. For the salty-lit-up disciple, that should bring conviction. You are unsteady. You can’t make yourself do right. The Holy Spirit pulls in the direction to follow. Ask forgiveness for trespassing down the wrong road.

The Lord places people around you. The Bible calls them your neighbor, but that does not mean they necessarily live next door.

Sometimes people stray and trespass into your life – violating comfort zones and causing pain.

No salty-lit-up disciple would deny forgiveness to a trespasser. Disciples know they have received forgiveness from God for their trespasses.      

PRAYER

Guiding Father, Please guide my feet in Your path. Please block me so I do not turn in another direction. If I do, set me back on Your road. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Path—I want to stay with Him!

A Form of Worship

JUNE 1

MATTHEW 6:8_for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of…

God knows our needs. That is not a reason to bail out on prayer. We decided prayer was primarily about building relationships. Getting to know each other.

If we’ve learned anything the past 150 plus days it’s that Jesus’ teachings are right, holy, and true. Jesus’ teachings lead us to be salt and light.

We can learn a lot about prayer from the prophet Nehemiah. He prayed well and often. Nehemiah 1:11 (KJV), “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him [Nehemiah] mercy in the sight of this man [King Artaxerxes].”

Nehemiah had a large request to ask King Artaxerxes. He wanted some time off. Not just a few days – years! Nehemiah wanted to leave Persia, return to his home town, Jerusalem, build a wall, and renew Israel’s faith in the LORD. He prayed before he asked the king. Nehemiah just prayed a lot. Notice he asked God to be attentive to the prayer of His servant. I learned that from him. I ask God to let His ears be attentive to the prayers of His servant (me).

Prayer is not about coming to God because you feel obligated. Neither is it only about asking God to do something for you, or give something to you.

Prayer is a form of worship.

PRAYER

Jesus Friend, Thank You that I am Your friend. I want to be a loving friend who enjoys communicating with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is my friend—I am His friend!

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!