That Changes Everything

MAY 21

MATTHEW 6:5_Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.

Jesus says if you live life the world’s way, you will have the world’s rewards.

The prayers of the hypocrites do not go unrewarded. Perhaps they get the best seats in the synagogues. Perhaps they receive high positions of administration. Whatever their rewards, a very sad fact remains – the prayers of a self-glorifying hypocrite can never help the seeker find the Savior. 

The hypocrite loses God’s reward. Nothing in life is worth that—no praise—no financial gain—no high position—no fame. The praise, money, position, fame, could be a way God chooses to reward you openly. They also could be how the world rewards you.

Jesus makes clear what the problem is with the hypocrites’ public prayers – to be seen of men. That changes everything. These are not prayers of communication between the potter and the clay. These are prayers of self-glory. They communicate, “What a good and pious person I am, everyone should be like me.”

Read this one more time – the world rewards with bondage, God rewards with freedom.   

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Teach me how to pray in private and in public. Teach me to know the difference. Place in my heart the desire to receive Your rewards, not the world’s. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s rewards give freedom—I want that!

Mercy, Yes!

JANUARY 20

MATTHEW 5:7_Blessed are the merciful…

When you read or hear the word mercy, what comes to mind? Probably something like pity? Or perhaps, compassion? Both can be closely related to mercy. Do you feel anything a little deeper? Associate the word sacrifice with mercy. See mercy as a righteous, innocent, loving God dying for an unrighteous, guilty, unloving sinner. Amazing!

Let’s put it in closer perspective. Think about bad things you do, or say, or even just think toward another person. Now think of yourself inside of a burning, crumbling house. You have passed out from smoke inhalation and are not able to save yourself. This same person you have treated so badly is walking by and sees the fire, but can’t find you. That person rushes inside risking life to save you. That’s mercy!

Do you want mercy? Mercy, yes! We all want pity at some time, and compassion all the time. What turns those into mercy is you don’t deserve to receive either of them. Guess who was the most merciful person to ever walk the earth? You got it – Jesus!

Jesus did more than risk life for you – He died so you can live forever!

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Thank You for bestowing mercy on me when I don’t deserve it. Help me have mercy on the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ has mercy on me—He can help me be merciful

The Kingdom of Heaven

JANUARY 10

MATTHEW 5:3_for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

There is a reward for the poor in spirit. The kingdom of heaven. I believe in heavenly rewards. I believe because I used the key which opened my spirit to learn of heavenly rewards. Using that same key my spirit also received the truth of earthly rewards. I do not claim to fully understand this kingdom of heaven Jesus is referring to, but I will share what I do perceive. 

This is an earthly kingdom we live with Jesus (Luke 17:20-21). This verse does not say to be poor in spirit saves us from hell and takes us to heaven. Only our trust in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has such power.

Matthew 13:45-46 (KJV), “… the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls … when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” We enter the kingdom of heaven once our hearts perceive the truth, understand our great need of truth, and receive the Savior. To be poor in spirit is a predecessor to the kingdom of heaven.

When we set up residence in the kingdom of heaven our self-centeredness begins to fade.

PRAYER

LORD of all Lords, Thank You for the kingdom of heaven. In You I can be a part of the kingdom. I know to possess the kingdom of heaven is more valuable than any earthly treasure. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is the kingdom of heaven—He can give it to me!

Rulers in the Darkness

NOVEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV), “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

This verse says there are rulers in the darkness and they have powers. It is good to have a healthy fear of these powers. It helps you live in the reality that the devil is powerful and you are no match for him.

That’s as far as your fear needs to go. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Savior—you defeated the devil. He knows he no longer has power over your eternity. Beware that he will come after you in this life with his deception and lies about your unworthiness. 

Colossians 1:12-14 (KJV), “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [worthy] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

That’s why the devil is defeated.

Be knowledgeable about the spirits of darkness, but do not pursue experiencing first hand any kind of occult practices. Don’t go there, even if you think you are learning something for the good of helping a friend.

Grow strong in Jesus and know your Bible—that’s how you help friends!

PRAYER

Jesus Savior, Praise You for defeating the devil for me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ has defeated the devil and his demons—For me!

Absolutely Not!

NOVEMBER 26

MATTHEW 7:21_but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

To do God’s will is how to enter into heaven. I see you squirming … but hold on. Does this contradict what has already been settled—the only path to heaven is through the shed blood of Jesus? Absolutely not! Jesus is not teaching the way to heaven is through good works.

God’s will is that you accept Jesus as Savior, serve Him as Lord, and love His people. This is the will of your Father which is in heaven. Good works will be a natural byproduct. 

We will be judged by our works:    

Romans 2:5-6 (KJV), “… and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.”

II Corinthians 5:10 (KJV), “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”                                                                                                      

Revelation 20:12 (KJV), “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,  according to their works.”

If our good works are not a natural byproduct of a saving relationship with Jesus, then they are not good works.                  

PRAYER

Prince of Peace, If I ever do anything good—it comes from You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                    

Christ will judge works—Only He makes mine good!