Can You See God?

JANUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:8_for they shall see God.

Just like the negative things we dwell on are embedded in the heart, Jesus’ teachings cleanse the heart. When your heart is purified; you will see God.

You see God when you fill your heart with the truths of His principles found in His Word.

You see God when you make sacrifices in your life in order to help someone weaker or needier than you.

You see God when you stand for truth even in the face of ridicule, scorn, and lies.

You see God when you make choices for righteousness and purity over self-satisfying indulgence.

You see God because your heart has been purified by agreeing with His truths over the world’s lies. You have made decisions in your heart to walk that road, follow that path, take up that cross, and become a disciple of Jesus.

You will never purify your heart by agreeing with the world’s standards. This means looking at images of impurity, speaking words of impurity, engaging in acts of impurity, reading novels filled with impurity, watching entertainment full of impurity, or listening to music about impurity.

You are not going to see God on any of those roads.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times I have chosen impurity over purity and the times I have agreed with lies because I didn’t want to walk the road of truth. Help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s truths are the road to purity—He will lead me!

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

Now That’s Some Meekness!

JANUARY 14

MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…

Meek. It’s just not a word used much these days. Perhaps that’s why it is so misinterpreted.  Merriam-Webster’s definition of meek is mild or humble. For whatever reason, we tend to think of mild and humble as weak and puny. We think of a meek person as one who lacks courage. A person who is timid or shy. A person who runs away from any kind of controversy. We think of a meek person as one who succumbs to fear.

Au contraire mes amis!! (Look up your French).

The Lord Jesus Christ was the meekest person who ever walked the earth, second was Moses (Numbers 12:3 KJV). He was neither timid nor shy. Jesus faced multitudes daily. They swarmed Him like the paparazzi! We can be sure He wanted some me-time, but Jesus was not about me. Jesus was about setting people free, regardless of the cost to personal life.

Mark 6:34 (KJV), “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Now that’s some meekness – at its best! 

PRAYER

Precious Jesus, I praise Your meekness. Please teach me meekness. I desire to love others more than myself. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is meekness—He will teach me to be!

Fulfill Life Before Death

AUGUST 14

MATTHEW 6:30_which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven…

The grass Jesus refers to is a pasture. The grass in the pasture has a purpose – more than one. It gives life by feeding the livestock that graze – for as long as its growing season. 

If you have a pasture and are growing grasses such as alfalfa, clover, ryegrass, fescue, or wheatgrass, then you have something beyond the growing season – hay. When the grass is tall enough, pull it to find the seed head. You know it’s ready to cut. You don’t want the seed to reach the top. When the grass is cut and baled, it is ready to put up for winter feeding. Hay provides nourishment for livestock during the months the grass is not growing.

If you grow wheat in your pasture, the left over stalks can be cut for straw. Straw furnishes good bedding material for livestock in barns. Straw can also be bundled and used to start fires. 

Have you noticed a common theme in the purposes of the grass? Grass gives up itself to nurture life for something else. When Jesus says, “which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,” the grass doesn’t sound too useful. But, the grass has a purpose in life and death.

Did it fulfill life before death?    

PRAYER

Holy God, I want to fulfill my purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to fulfill my life purpose—He helps me!

The Only Creation Made in His Image

AUGUST 2

MATTHEW 6:26_Are ye not much better than they?

Do you agree with Jesus’ question? Are you better than the birds? Better in what kind of way? Better looking? Hmm, when’s the last time you’ve seen a Roseate Spoonbill? A Franklin’s Gull? A Red-breasted Merganser? A Wood Duck? An American Goldfinch? A Cardinal? An Eastern Bluebird, or a Mountain Bluebird?  And it would be hard for me to decide who is more handsome – the Indigo Bunting, the Painted Bunting, or the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak? If you are not familiar with these, look them up. Talk about good looks?!

Perhaps, you think you are far more useful to the world, than a bird. Well, farmers and gardeners sure welcome the handsome Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. One of the Grosbeak’s favorite meals is potato beetles – they like the larvae as well. Talk about intelligent design!!

On the other hand, when I see Godly people performing self-sacrificing deeds, making wise decisions, and spreading love in the world, I don’t think there is any greater part of creation. 

Yes, I think God considers us much better than animals. He gives us the opportunity to bear the name of Christ when we become Christians.

I believe God thinks very highly of the only creation made in His image. 

PRAYER

God of Intelligent Design, Praise You for the opportunities You give me to be like You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ values me over all creation—I praise Him!