A Prerequisite

OCTOBER 23

MATTHEW 7:13_Enter ye in at the strait gate…

Jesus teaches there are two ways to enter this trip called life. Each entrance has a gate. He said to enter at the strait gate. A path designed to lead you to treasure—an abundance of treasures. Treasures only God can give—which make them far more valuable than anything the world offers. Things like: I Timothy 6:6 (KJV), “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Contentment is one grand treasure! Stop and think for a moment what life would be like if you were content. That means you would be satisfied—not constantly wanting, changing, or re-arranging. It does not mean you shouldn’t ask, seek, or knock for improvements. It simply means you know the peace that comes with being satisfied. 

Notice a requirement prerequisites this kind of contentment—godliness. When you enter at the strait gate, you will find godliness before you find contentment.

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

Psalm 31:3 (KJV), “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.”

Psalm 25:4 (KJV), “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.”

Ask God to help you enter at the strait gate.

PRAYER

Righteous Lord, I don’t know how to find the strait gate, but I can follow You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ leads to the strait gate—I will follow Him!

Don’t Give Him the Satisfaction!

JULY 20

MATTHEW 6:22_if therefore thine eye be single…

When Jesus refers to the eye being single He does not mean a person with just one eye. Neither does He mean a person who has sight in only one eye. Jesus is teaching a principle here, not a lesson in physical science.

If you are a person who only has sight in one eye or if you’re totally blind – don’t you dare think you are in some way inferior. Thoughts of inferiority come from the devil – never from Jesus. As the Creator, Jesus understands the body, soul, and spirit. He understands the principles by which they operate. He created them to function together, with the spirit being the mainspring.

The devil has no understanding, or even knowledge of how Jesus’ principles of life work. He is the deceiver.  It doesn’t really matter to him how Jesus’ creation works, because he plans to deceive you into believing his lies and not the truth. He knows how to discourage. He knows how to intimidate. He knows how to tempt.

The devil wants to deceive you out of your hope. He knows if he can get your focus off of Jesus, and into a defeated, giving up, I-don’t-stand-a-chance attitude, he’s won a major battle in your life. Don’t give him the satisfaction!

Remember, light expels darkness.

PRAYER

Holy God of Heaven, Help me not to be discouraged by the devil’s lies. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the devil’s lies—He helps me overcome!

It Just Can’t Be Done

JULY 16

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

When you are consumed with something it fills your life. It takes over all your space – no room for anything else.

The love of wealth is so consuming the fruits of the Spirit have no growing space. The sad thing is those fruits are what every human craves. Bondage to wealth deceives. You believe wealth can buy what will satisfy your cravings. It just can’t be done. The fruits which the Spirit produces in you cannot be bought with money.

The first three fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace are the most sought after virtues in existence. The wealthiest people on the planet would give their treasure to possess those virtues. These are virtues God uses to reward salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus. People who are not disciples have a thing going with their love of money – believing eventually it will satisfy. 

Acts 5:1-3 (KJV) tells a story of the bondage of wealth: “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, … But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?'”

Peter said Ananias could have kept all his money. But when Ananias lied to keep from giving all, his money bondage was his destruction. 

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, I want space for Your fruits to grow in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ cultivates fruit in me—I will give Him space!

A Fly in the Ointment

  JUNE 15

MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.

When God pays your sin debt, the kicks you used to experience in sin begin to disappear. If they don’t, then in the words of the great Miss Clavel, “Something is not right!” (Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans). You sin because it supplies some kind of satisfaction. It may be physical, emotional, or financial. When it no longer produces satisfaction (which is the nature of sin), you sink deeper and deeper into sin. The deeper, the harder to come out.  

When redeemed by the Savior, sin begins to lose its hold. There is no joy in sin for the saved. Just when things look good for the debtor, Jesus adds another piece to the pattern.

He lets a fly in the ointment!

Jesus’ prayer causes vertical forgiveness (from God to you) to be based on horizontal forgiveness (from you to your offenders). That means to ask God to forgive you in the way you forgive those who wrong you.

I declare! Jesus just won’t let you get by with anything. It takes a lot of love to hold people you love to accountability.

If you confess, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness, why should that have anything to do with those who wronged you? They need to do their own confessing.

This is more of those natural instincts of your hard heart.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is your offenders and their confession is between them and God. You forgiving them is between you and God.

A clear sign you have been redeemed is you want to forgive. Old sins lose their grip and hard hearts soften!       

PRAYER

Great Redeemer, Thank You for not only saving me, but changing me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                               

Christ redeems me—He changes me!

Mixed With Contaminates

 FEBRUARY 10

MATTHEW 5:13_if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

It is my understanding that on its own salt will never lose its flavor, even with a long amount of time. However, salt can lose its flavor if it is mixed with something that contaminates. 

James 1:8 (KJV), “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” What is a double minded man? A person who attempts to live the Jesus-disciple life while satisfying desires with the world’s ways. You’ve heard of someone living a double life? Some criminals have lived it for a long while before being caught. They usually live like this because they cannot be satisfied in either life. In the long run they fail in both.  

Contaminated salt is not good for anything. It is neither a preservative, a flavor enhancer, nor a thirst quencher. All its wonderful potential was lost by contamination. Jesus is a restorer. Jesus can restore all the original qualities to a contaminated soul who comes with a repentant heart. Jesus is all about forgiveness, new life, and peace. 

Now how do you feel about being called the salt of the earth?

  PRAYER

God of my Life, Thank You that You can restore me from any contaminates I have allowed in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ is a restorer – He can restore all my past!