Strong Meat

APRIL 4

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

A hundred years ago it was more difficult to get a divorce than it is today. Today, the painful experiences in the court room are more about custody, and the dividing of properties (which are very painful experiences) – the divorce isn’t really contested. The judge used to require more cause before a marriage was ended. I believe that is what Jesus pursues in this teaching.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” is hard teaching. It is about seeking truth, for those who want the very best for their family. There is no room for quick and easy here. Jesus says marriage is something God brings together – He credits people if the marriage falls apart. 

God doesn’t want anything to break (unless it is the ties that hold you in bondage). He is the God of wholeness. God wants wholeness for His children, because that is how He created life in the beginning. This is strong meat which must be chewed and digested. It is not swallowing milk – even a baby can do that.

There is nothing easy about this teaching, but there is nothing easy about earthly life.. Don’t be offended. Trust everything Jesus teaches comes from His heart of love. Trust He knows the pains of earthly life – been there, done that. Trust He knows the weaknesses of the flesh.

But trust also, He knows the power of the spirit. Let Him teach you.

Stay with me! There’s much more!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to live my life like a baby. I want to digest Your strong meat teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.  

Christ does not want love to break—He can make it strong!

No One Is Exempt

DECEMBER 28

MATTHEW 7:29_For he taught them as one having authority…

Every aspect of Jesus’ character is seen in this sermon. He taught as The Creator. His principles of life go back to creation. No one is exempt. Regardless of how we fight against them—creation principles always prevail.

Jesus taught as The Great Transformer. This sermon has shown me my heart is wicked and deceitful. Jesus’ principles are righteous. I have learned to ask, seek, and knock in order to have my wickedness transformed into righteousness.

Jesus taught as The Great Balancer. He is perfect balance by example, and He taught me how to balance. He taught me balance through topsy-turvy principles like: “…whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

To balance judgment and mercy is something I can only do by the power of Jesus in me!

 PRAYER

Great Transformer and Balancer, Help me apply what You’ve taught me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

 Christ has given me all I need – To transform and balance!

A Foundational Rock

DECEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:28_the people were astonished at His doctrine.

I wonder if the listeners who were truth-seekers, were sorry to have this sermon come to an end? Are you? There is much more in the Bible than the Sermon on the Mount—but it is certainly a foundational rock. You can continue to seek the truth, and find it, as long as you are asking, seeking, and knocking in the right places and with the right people.

Jesus has taught dynamic principles of life. He has taught them systemically and precisely, with gentleness and compassion, with firmness, in a no-nonsense manner, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, humility, and a pure heart.

II Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your [that’s you and me] sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is what makes Jesus’ teachings astonishing. Not only did He endure the humility of leaving the throne of God to walk the earth with mere mortals—He died for them! None were worthy of His sacrifice.

But those who receive the free gift of His life, become worthy.  

Unheard of!

Unprecedented!

Astonishing!              

 PRAYER

Rock-That-Is-Higher-Than-I, I want Your humility, pure heart, and unprecedented love! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ came to free me from death—I praise Him!

You Must Act

DECEMBER 7

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!  

PRAYER

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!

The Source of Power

NOVEMBER 10

MATTHEW 7:17_but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

The word corrupt in this verse means subject to decay. To decay is to rot. Dead to the life and abilities once possessed. A tree that is in the process of decay may still bring forth fruit, but it is not good for consumption.

The condition of the fruit is the same as the the condition of the tree which produces it. The strength of the tree determines the strength of the fruit.

In the same way, the weakness of the tree determines the weakness of the fruit. It’s all about the tree—the vine—the source of power. If you go anywhere other than the Bible for the source of connecting with the Holy God of Heaven—you’ve gone to a weak source.

Psalm 60:11-12 (KJV), “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Now that’s a powerful source! 

It’s not that you should not go to people when you need help—everyone needs a little help from their friends. The problem comes when people are your primary source. When you place all your trust in what people can do, and never seek God’s help.

It’s all about the source!        

PRAYER

Holy Master, I want You to be the primary source of all I am and need. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is The Source—He wants to be mine!