The Great Hope

APRIL 7

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

You wouldn’t want to have open heart surgery without some kind of anesthetic. Even with an anesthetic, the entire process will not be a piece of cake. Expect pain. It will come. Pain is an inevitable part of the heart transformation process. Even if you choose to opt-out of Jesus’ heart surgery – pain is a part of the life process. If you are expecting a pain free, drama free, heart-break free, struggle free, or easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-mac’n-cheesy (learned that from my niece, Mary) life – face reality!

If someone offers you something for nothing – beware! The good things don’t come easy. When you receive the results of your surgery, or the payment for your hard labor, or whatever you have suffered your way through to success, the pain is not something you dwell on. It was simply a means to an end. 

The Holy Spirit will help you focus on the facts. The fact you have a hard heart. The fact The Great Surgeon can transform your heart to love. The fact heart surgery transforms self-centeredness to self-sacrifice.   

All of life is all about decisions. The ultimate decision is to make the main thing (Jesus) the main thing. Make that decision first and you greatly lessen your chances of feeling compelled to put away your spouse.

Nobody enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. Sometimes things happen – don’t give up.

The Great Surgeon is also known as – The Great Hope!

PRAYER

God of Hope, Help me never lose hope that You can change any situation I bring to You for a cure.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ wants to give me hope—I will accept it!

The Great Surgeon

APRIL 6

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

You were chosen by The Great Balancer. He teaches hard hearts to balance judgment and mercy. He is also The Great Transformer. Just as transformer toys change from one thing to another, that’s what Jesus wants to do in you. Jesus begins His transformation from the inside and works out.

Another side of Holy Jesus is – The Great Surgeon. He not only has the power to heal diseases and various ailments (healing is subject to His will which is greater than ours), He is a soul/heart surgeon beyond equal. Jesus knows hearts. He performs open heart surgery. This surgery is not about whether you have clogged arteries. It is about removing self-centeredness and replacing it with unconditional love. 

The length of time for this surgery depends upon how hard the heart is. All hearts are hard. All need to be transformed. There is a reason we have trouble in marriages and other relationships.

Psalm 51:10 (KJV), “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Jesus wants to teach you how to repair relationships – not just end them.

PRAYER

Holy God, Change my heart. Give me a heart like Yours! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ changes my heart—I want His heart in me!

The Fine Line

JANUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

Perhaps there are people in the world who do not want peace. With all the violence we experience at such high levels, it certainly appears that way. What brings about conflict and violence?

By now you know what causes conflict between people – the heart. Either your heart is pure and set on righteousness or it is not. We have already discovered that you did not come into the world with a pure heart. To develop a pure heart requires decisions on your part. Decisions that involve the Bible, Jesus, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Without those three I don’t know a way to make good decisions.

Conflicts tend to come from self-centered, self-absorbed, my-way-or-no-way attitudes. If the conflicts are to be resolved, someone has to yield. Someone has to be willing to give consideration to the other’s point of view. Someone has to be willing to consider and perhaps try out the other’s suggestion. 

As with anything in life, there are lots of fine lines in peacemaking. When does peacemaking become caving in to political correctness or yielding to evil? When does peacemaking become caring more about what people think than what God thinks? 

Stay tuned!

PRAYER

Father of Peace, I know You want peace in the world. I know we live in a world that does not submit to You as ruler. Help me learn to be a peacemaker for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is a peacemaker—He will help me become one!

The Empty Spaces

 JANUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:6_for they shall be filled.

Because you have a free will you can choose not to be a righteous person. You can choose to be self-centered, egotistical, all-about-me. Everyone makes those choices from time to time. All choices have consequences. That’s because of God’s great love for you.

Let’s revisit the cause and effect sequence. Good choices equal good consequences and wrong choices equal hard, painful consequences. Do you realize what that means? You can make good choices. God created you with a free will. Hallelujah!

There is hope. If you want righteousness in your life so much you hunger and thirst for it – you will be filled! When you become weary of being spanked by life because of wrong choices, you will turn to God for a rescue. When you are filled with love for Jesus and fall before Him weeping over the pain you’ve caused Him – that’s hungering and thirsting! This kind of hunger and thirst opens up all the empty spaces in your heart that need to be filled.

The filling is a life-long process. The empty spaces become fewer and fewer.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Forgive me for any wrong choices I have made in my life. Help me love You and Your people. Help me show Your righteousness to all the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my empty spaces – He can fill them!

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!