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.
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!
MATTHEW 5:16_that they may see your good works and…
Never feel your candle is too small. Just because you do not have some kind of world-wide ministry does not lessen your ability to shine.
First off, you are not God (whew!). You do not know the beginning and the end. You do not know the fullness of God’s plan. He always works on your behalf. God’s love for you has no boundaries. He is using your light in ways you have no knowledge of, or ability to see.
He is working while you are sleeping.
As long as you are not ashamed or afraid to shine, you are doing a good work. That work is seen by people you know, and by some you may never know.
You may feel you have shed light for only a few, but upon who have those few shined with the light they received from your candle? Are you getting the picture? You do not always have to hold on to your light. The light your candle gives off leaves you and settles on another.
Good works are living out Jesus’ teachings through the Holy Spirit’s power by loving people. In Mark 10:18, Jesus says, “… there is none good but one, that is, God.“
I am not a good person, but my transformation allows me to do good by shining the love of God and serving others.
Precious Jesus, Help me trust You to shine through me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s light is seen in love—His love can shine in me!
MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…
I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him.
I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth.
Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve.
Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!
God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!
MATTHEW 5:6_Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…
I love this one! Look at what it says. Don’t you want to be righteous in the depths of your heart? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to bed every night and know you’d been righteous that day? Don’t you long for that? Would you even say you hunger and thirst for it?
If you could choose between playing your favorite game or helping a desperate friend, which would you choose? I trust you would choose the latter. Why? Because no matter how sophisticated, or prominent, or brilliant you may become, you cannot escape creation.
You were created to know and be in a relationship with your creator – the God in whose image you are made. He is a part of who you are, and He is righteous. Because He is a part of you, the Holy Spirit places in your heart a desire to serve, care for, and have compassion on the people in your life.
I know what you are thinking – there are way too many people who have no desire for righteousness or to be like their creator. Agreed.
Stay with these devotions. All the bases will be covered.
Almighty God, If I have no hunger or thirst for righteousness, please place it in my heart. “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (Psalm 143:10 KJV). In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is righteousness—He can give it to me!