The Proper Title

NOVEMBER 24

MATTHEW 7:21_that saith unto me Lord, Lord…

Jesus says these not everyones are calling Him Lord, which is His proper title from birth. Luke 2:11(KJV), “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Using Jesus’ title of Lord is a form of praise. Praise comes from a heart overflowing with love and admiration. Love that flows from one heart to another in order to:

Give encouragement,

Convey respect,

Send a message you have been blessed by actions, words, or deeds,

Say, “I’m on your side.”

The ultimate flow of praise from one heart to another is to say, “I want to be like you.” 

Romans 10:9 (KJV) tells us the primary reason Jesus is Lord, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 

There is another way that Jesus’ title of Lord could be used—a form of flattery. Flattery comes from a heart overflowing with self-centeredness, which flows for only one reason—to get what it wants from the recipient. It has nothing to do with love, respect, or admiration.

It has to do with, “You possess what I want, I don’t have the means of obtaining it without you, so I’ll appeal to your ego.”

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I desire to praise You as the Lord who saves the lost. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                              

Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth—I believe, He saves!

Freely Let Go

JUNE 9

MATTHEW 6:11_Give us…

To give is to freely let go. There is no holding back when you give. If you have something that meets the need of someone else, will you give it? 

There is no charge involved in giving. Giving supplies needs, fills an empty place. Giving comes from one who has the supply. Would you ask for supply from someone you knew did not have it?

God worked many miracles in the process of freeing the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. Psalm 81:10 (KJV), “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” God says don’t be afraid to open your mouth and ask for your needs. He calls you to remember His miracles of the past.

Psalm 143 (KJV) is one of those Psalms to pray, especially when going through a time of trial. Verse 5 says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.”

God gives.

God wants to give.

God has a full supply – to give.

If he can, the devil will intimidate you into feeling it is selfish to ask God for your needs.

Go back to Psalm 81:10!

 PRAYER

Giving God, Thank You that You want me to ask for my needs. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                      

Christ teaches me to ask in prayer—I will!

Can Your Prayers Be Wrong?

MAY 30

MATTHEW 6:7_for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Can you pray wrong? Absolutely. James 4:3 (KJV), “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

You can pray and never receive when you ask for something which will be harmful to your character. You may think of lust as sexual, but you can lust for clothes, cars, homes, gadgets, and many kinds of things. It isn’t wrong to pray for needs or even for wants. It’s what we’ve learned over and over – the condition of the heart. The heart is the center of lust and of righteousness.

God, who reads the heart, knows which reigns. The one that reigns produces the prayers

In this verse, Jesus refers to praying to idols and false gods. Psalm 115:4-8 (KJV), “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

Idol worshipers must think if they babble enough they will be heard. The problem with that is idols “have ears but they hear not.”

One of the best stories on idols and those who worship them is found in I Kings 18. Read this powerful, and somewhat humorous, account of God’s prophet Elijah, wicked King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, the false god Baal, and Baal’s priests.

Learn what happens when the priests call on Baal, and Elijah calls on God.

PRAYER

True God, Please show me when I am praying selfish prayers. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows a destructive prayer—He does not answer!                                           

It’s Not the Easy Way

APRIL 24

MATTHEW 5:43_Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

How “it hath been said,” is your natural inclination. Love who you like, and hate who you don’t. That’s as natural as heat in summer. I won’t say it’s the easy way, because neither of these emotions is easy. Between the two, hate may be the easier. Easy because it is based on self-centered selfishness, which comes naturally. Hate requires no self-sacrifice. Hate thrives on grudge-holding. Just be plain hard-hearted. No open heart surgery necessary.

Hate is deadly. Spiritually, hate places a barrier between your spirit and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Emotionally, it keeps hormones out of sync, fluctuating between rage and depression. Physically, hate is a strong contributor to keep the body from healing itself.

Love is neither natural nor easy. Recovery from The Great Surgeon’s open-heart surgery results in true love. Once you succumb to more of Jesus and less of you, the door opens to The Great Transformer. He fills you with love. You cannot manufacture it on our own. You open the door, Jesus fills you up.

The effects of love in your life spiritually, emotionally, and physically are 180 degrees from the effects of hate.

PRAYER

Loving God, I don’t want to live the easy way. I want to live the loving way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ always loves—He will teach me!

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!