It Is They

MAY 10

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Hypocrites. If anyone makes the Bible and the Christian faith look bad, it is they. If anyone can make a good act look bad, it is they. If anyone can make what should be an act of love turn into ego, it is they. If anyone can tip the scales so judgment outweighs mercy, it is they. If anyone can take a lie and cleverly disguise it as the truth, it is they. 

Is it any wonder Jesus accepted the thieves, murderers, and morally impure over the religious hypocrites?

The former came to Jesus broken, bleeding captives seeking forgiveness and love. They came with a repentant heart. Covered His feet with their tears.

The latter came self-assured and confident of their lack of need for help. They came with an arrogant heart – saw themselves good.

Hypocrites love to sound the trumpet before their good deeds. They desire to bring glory to themselves.

They make sure they receive praise.

And the whole world needs to know!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Only You are worthy to receive glory, and honor, and blessing, forever and ever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ alone is worthy of the world’s glory—I praise Him!  

If a Trumpet Sounds

MAY 9

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

In this verse alms could be translated as charity.  Whether this is an act of charity, or a financial gift of charity, the meaning is the same.

The sound of the trumpet draws attention to your charity. Jesus says don’t do that. If you are about to perform a charitable act, don’t call the newspaper first. Don’t have the reporter ready at the scene with his camera. Don’t pull out your phone, capture a selfie, and immediately post it on social media.  

Any act or gift of charity should bring glory to God – not you.  Colossians 3:17 (KJV), “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” If you do anything publicly, give God thanks for giving you the ability to make the gift. Let it be known that it is only by God’s provision you can share charity, and do it in Jesus’ powerful name.

If a trumpet sounds, let it be to God’s praise!

PRAYER

Powerful Jesus, I can neither achieve nor acquire anything without You.  Let me always give You the glory! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                       

Christ gives me provision—I will give Him glory!

Who Reigns on Your Throne?

MARCH 13

MATTHEW 5:20_you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If the kingdom of heaven is within you, it is in your heart. What is in your heart calls you to discipleship. You become disciples to whomever or whatever reigns on the heart’s throne. If Christ does not reign on the throne, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, and this time that works whether the kingdom is part of this earthly life, or it is eternal life.

The hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees were full of religion. They would have had to make room for Jesus to reign there. If Jesus reigned in their hearts, they would have known who He was. 

The Scribes and Pharisees’ righteousness was self-righteousness, thriving on self-glory and power. The righteousness in the kingdom of heaven thrives on doing good by serving others, which glorifies God. The heart, being the center of your thoughts, makes the decision as to who you want your life to glorify – self or God.

You have only one chance to live this life. If your goal is to use your life to make a difference in the world for good – then you’ve got Jesus’ righteousness.

The world will recognize Jesus when it sees your righteousness.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank You that You can be seen in me. Thank You that through Your power I can do Your works. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ reigns in hearts—I want Him in mine!

Jesus’ Destructive Agenda

FEBRUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:17_I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

There was hardly anything destructive about Jesus’ earthly life. He came to heal the sick, give hope to the destitute, set demonic captives free, raise the dead, and above all else, freely give eternal life. His earthly purpose from beginning to end was mercy and love.

However, He did have one destructive agenda – hypocrisy. This would be hypocrisy among the God followers, salt that’s been contaminated with arrogance and lust, and lost its savor. Lights that shine only to bring self-glory. Those were things for which Jesus showed zero tolerance. 

He did not hesitate to call the guilty appropriate names, and in one instance physically remove their presence from the temple.

To destroy the law or prophets was far from Jesus’ purpose. He made it clear He was their fulfillment. The balance Jesus brought between the judgment of the Old Testament and the mercy of the New Testament was something Jesus alone could achieve.

To have too much of one and not enough of the other is destructive. Salt and light require the perfect balance of each.

PRAYER

Righteous Jesus, Help me to never fall into hypocrisy. Make me aware if I’m heading in that direction and re-direct my steps. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ balances judgment and mercy—Praise Him!