Because

OCTOBER 26

MATTHEW 7:14_Because…

If you have never been to Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee, add it to your bucket list.  You’ll find it at the top of Lookout Mountain. The area known as Rock City is full of many unique rock formations.

There are different paths to take as you encounter fascinating natural wonders. I have taken youth groups there but have never had a group that completed the journey at the same time—even when they took the same path. Some rush through, some stop and explore.

Because Jesus’ gates lead to life paths, you have the freedom to choose the path to follow. You have the freedom to decide how to spend your time on each path. How it ends is your decision. The apostle John says in I John 2:12-13 (KJV), “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”    

There are a lot of becauses in these verses. Each one is directed to a different stage in life. They are each about receiving the truth because of choosing the path which leads into a relationship with Jesus.   

 PRAYER

Lord of Truth, I know the Bible is written to me because I choose the truth! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                           

Christ caused the Bible to be written to me—I will study!

Seek!

SEPTEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:7_seek and ye shall find…

To seek means to look for something. It may be something you’ve lost. Or it may be a need. Or it may be a want. It may be for yourself. Or it may be for a loved one. If you have everything you need or want – you won’t be seeking. 

There is something everyone has lost – by way Adam and Eve. When sin entered the world, many things were lost, first and foremost the intimate relationship God intended people to have with Him. Seek that with all your heart. The man after God’s heart, King David, understood this: I Chronicles 16:11 (KJV), “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”  There are two words in that verse which I particularly love – strength and continually.

Also lost by sin was wisdom. If you lose wisdom, you lose her two companions, understanding and knowledge. Spend your lifetime seeking these three.

The wisest man of all, King Solomon, covers this in Proverbs 2:4-6 (KJV), “If thou seekest her [wisdom] as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Seek!

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I seek Your strength and wisdom continually. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                              

Christ knows what I should seek—He will show me!!                                   

Jesus Gives Back Life

SEPTEMBER 24

MATTHEW 7:5_and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Only the Pharisees and Jesus knew why they did not bring the man to their stoning party. Perhaps the woman had been lured into a carefully planned trap? We don’t know. But regardless of the circumstances of the event, we know this—she left that day free. 

She was guilty. She stood before powerful figures who could lawfully execute her, but she walked away unharmed. Those powerful figures were unable to complete their scheme because their own hearts condemned them. The Pharisees’ guilt hit them squarely in the face and there was nothing they could do but walk away.

When Jesus sent the woman away He said to her “go, and sin no more.” Those who want to look at this as Jesus excusing adultery miss the mark. Jesus didn’t excuse anything—He freed a woman from bondage. He gave her back her life with instruction to live it differently in the future. From the day we receive Jesus into our hearts, He does the same thing for each of us.

He was also pointing out one more thing. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees was so great it overshadowed the sin of the woman. She walked away free, and they guilty.           

PRAYER

Lord of All,                                                                                                              

You have given me life and set me free—praise Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ gives back life to the lost—He says sin no more!

Pray for Them!

SEPTEMBER 20

MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…

Here’s the question: Did Jesus condone adultery by saving the woman? Did He let her get by (meaning no judgment or accountability) with adultery?

Getting by with something is not really what Jesus is about. Surely by now you know what Jesus is about – freedom! To get by with something will not free you from repeating it. 

If you are truly allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you on the path to freedom and you stumble, don’t be discouraged – you will be freed. Proverbs 24:16 (KJV), “‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief [Hebrew translation is: evil].”

The difference in the one who rises back up and the one who falls deeper into evil is that heart condition. The ability to see all sin is against God and the desire to be changed by His grace. There is a word for this condition – repent. To sincerely and deeply grieve over your path and strongly desire to change directions.   

The Bible teaches to pray for those in authority – all forms of authority. There is a need for authorities to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be receptive to the Spirit’s leading.

You want your authorities to have wise judgment concerning you.

Pray for them!     

I haven’t answered those first two questions yet – stay with me!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Fill all those in my authority with Your Holy Spirit. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ knows my heart condition—He will reveal it!

A Mote, Not a Beam

SEPTEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

If your heart dwells on the truth of God’s love and mercy, you will understand you were saved while you were a sinner. That can be a beam – if you do not understand you are as guilty a sinner as anyone on the face of the earth. The only reason you find any freedom is because Christ paid your debt – with His life. 

As you grow in faith, begin to dwell on who you are in Jesus. It truly is amazing!

John 8:32 (KJV) “And ye shall know the truth [Jesus], and the truth shall make you free.”

Romans 8:37 (KJV) “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him [Jesus] that loved us.”

Philippians 4:13 (KJV) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Mark 11:23 (KJV) “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

Matthew 19:26 (KJV) “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’”

To hold someone accountable does not mean you stand in judgment of them—it means you love them.

To judge someone as unworthy of mercy is to see a mote, not a beam.

PRAYER

God of the Impossible, I want Your kind of mercy—that loves and saves. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s love can save me—from anything!