Time and Mercy

JANUARY 21

MATTHEW 5:7_Blessed are the merciful…

What will you look like if you become merciful? Suppose someone has ridiculed and scorned you because you made a choice for moral purity. When that person falls into immorality there is depression, possibly despair. Will you come with mercy? Will you offer a kind word? Words of hope? Will you lay aside the pain done to you? 

There is no bondage quite like immorality. Immorality afflicts the heart and soul. The damage can cause deep destruction. The damage inside the heart and soul spell b-e-t-r-a-y-a-l. This is more than betrayal to someone else’s heart but includes betrayal to your own heart. Most of all God’s purity plan has been betrayed. People in moral bondage need mercy. Immorality comes with guilt. Guilt causes that heart and soul destruction.

True mercy, like that of Jesus, brings with it freedom. To offer mercy without freedom is to place a Band-Aid on a deep wound which requires stitches. A Band-Aid will not stop you from bleeding to death. 

Mercy involves giving lots of something we tend to hoard for ourselves – time.

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me be merciful and give my time. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is true mercy—Mercy requires my time!

Live Your Life for Good

JANUARY 16

MATTHEW 5:5_for they shall inherit the earth.

Let’s talk about power.

There is the power which slaps a face or throws a punch when it feels offended.

There is the power endued with the kind of creativity to design and carry out a perfect plan of revenge and pay back.

There is the power which stimulates sexual desires through dress or touch.

If all of this power was kept under the control of love it would neither slap, pay back, or stimulate. It would be meekness.

What’s the point of all this? Why would you even care? You wouldn’t, except for one reason – because a new heart causes you to love others more than yourself.

You would rather suffer than to cause suffering.

Jesus set the example with His compassion for people. He understood the only way to overpower sin was with the power of love. He endured suffering so you could live in freedom. 

The reward of meekness is to inherit the earth – that’s some kind of big inheritance! The earth is filled with people. The earth is in great need of meek people.

You have only one opportunity to live this life – live it for the good of all the people who are a part of your existence.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray You teach me meekness and compassion controlled by love. I trust You to give me opportunities to do good – and the courage to take the opportunities. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ owns the earth—He shares it with me to do good!             

A New Heart

JANUARY 13

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

The Bible is such an incredible book. It is the Book of Life. Life is tough. There’s nothing easy about living in a fallen world – even when you’re a fallen person. What? Seems like it would be easier to fit in if you were a Jesus rejecter and a satan follower. Ya think?

Satan is the alpha and omega of deception. Read his introduction into the Scriptures in Genesis 3:1, ‘Now the serpent was more subtil [deceitful] than any beast of the field.’ Satan and his spirits of darkness are not your friends. His ultimate plan for your life is destruction. 

When you are developing a new heart from Jesus you will mourn. A new heart living in a fallen world mourns over satan’s destructive work to convince people to believe his lies.

Your new heart mourns as it sees people become captive to: Alcohol. Pills. Pornographic Images. Anger. Hate. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Sexual Abuse. Unkind, Cruel Words which cannot be stopped because hearts are hard.

Blessed are you for mourning over those things. Jesus can deliver from all of these deceptions and give a life of freedom.

PRAYER

Jesus Deliverer, You are my deliverer. There is nothing satan can hold me captive to which You cannot free me from. Blessed be Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ breaks all my bonds—and gives me freedom!

Heavy Bondage

SEPTEMBER 22

MATTHEW 7:5_first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…

The Scribes and Pharisees could not see or perceive as Jesus did. What Jesus saw in the heart of the adulteress woman was a mote in comparison to the judgmental beam in the hearts of the religious leaders. It was Jesus they were judging, far more than the woman.

Jesus did not set a precedent for a Get Out of Jail Free card for adultery. Remember, Jesus is about finding freedom! Adultery is heavy bondage. 

The Scribes and Pharisees were correct about their guilty verdict – adultery did carry a death sentence. However, there is a major flaw in their sanctimonious condemnation. AKA hypocrisy. Where was the man?

The law the Scribes and Pharisees were so anxious to have Jesus  enforce is found in Leviticus 20:10 (KJV), “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The only way she could be an adulteress was if she were married. If she was not, the man could consider her as a prostitute, or use her any way he wished. If this were all about law enforcement, seems that something is missing. 

Instead of answering their accusations, Jesus began to play around in the sand.     

We’re not through yet – keep following!

PRAYER

True God, Help me know You never want me in bondage—Free me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ does not make bondage easy – He frees!  

The Bottom Line

SEPTEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…

Jesus knew two things in the incident of the woman taken in adultery. He knew the condition of her heart now, and in her past. He knew the circumstances which led to this incident at this time. We can’t expect our earthly authorities to know all of this, but the Holy Spirit can reveal truth. Besides the fact that He knew her heart, Jesus had the ability to read her heart in her facial expressions and body language. 

There was something else Jesus knew – the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees who brought her before Him. He knew more about them than they knew about each other, or even about themselves. Remember John 8:5-6 (KJV), “ ‘Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such [adulterers] should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him …”

Jesus understood the real purpose for the Scribes and Pharisees bringing the woman. It had nothing to do with justice of the Law. It had nothing to do with adultery.  The bottom line was to bring Jesus down. At the time this occurred, Jesus was in the temple teaching. The Pharisees’ goal was to cause Jesus to look ignorant before the multitude of followers who sat at His feet.

If Jesus were a true God-fearing Jew, He would uphold the Law. If He didn’t enforce the Law, then everyone in the temple that day would know Jesus was a heretic.

We’re not finished with this subject yet!

PRAYER

Father God, Help me become discerning of the hearts of others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ knows true hearts from false—He helps mine!