MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy.
We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.
Galatians 6:1, 10 says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).
Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!
MATTHEW 5:1_he went up into a mountain: and when he was set…
Have you ever heard, “On your mark, get set, go?” In this verse Jesus reaches His mark, which is up on a mountain. You must reach your mark before you can begin the race, and you must have prepared yourself before you reach the mark. Once the mark is reached you get set—ready to begin the work.
Baptism was a part of Jesus’ preparation for His mark. Another was testing and endurance. Jesus endured a wilderness experience away from home, family, and friends. He suffered.
He suffered physically because He chose to fast during this time—to deny the body in order to strengthen the spirit.
He suffered temptation of the flesh to break the fast—in order to satisfy the physical over the spiritual.
He suffered a power struggle—to test God’s Word rather than believe it. He suffered the struggle of fame—to seek the praise of men over the praise of God.
You will face tests and sufferings throughout life. Suffering can break you or make you. The making or breaking is a decision, and the decision is yours.
Holy Great God, Help me endure my struggles in life. Let Your Word teach me wisdom that I may reach the mark and be set for Your go. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ suffered—He will help me be strong in suffering!
MATTHEW 7:16_Ye shall know them by their fruits…
The word fruit here is not literal, as in something to eat. It is a metaphor of the outward character of a person produced by the inward character of their heart.
Beware of any teaching or persuasion that is not in-sync with what you have learned from the Bible! If someone is teaching the Bible and living completely contrary to its principles—beware! If someone tells you the Bible has errors because it was written by men—beware! If someone of the opposite gender says if you love me you will express it physically—beware! If someone uses the expression married in the eyes of God to get you to be sexually involved—beware!
Jesus left heaven, came to earth, and lived in the flesh. He knows how strong fleshly desires can be. His desire is to keep you from becoming snared into bondage. Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV), “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Holy Jesus, You feel all the temptations of my flesh. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ was tempted in the ways that I am—He helps me!
MATTHEW 7:15_of false prophets…
A prophet was God’s spokesperson to His people. Acts 2:17-18 (KJV) on the day of Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
Peter was quoting from Joel 2:28-29. Israel had experienced a time of silence from God because of their disobedience. On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon God’s people prophesy came alive again. That’s what Peter said anyway—and he was there! Prophets were people chosen by God.
The devil also has prophets. Because the devil does not possess God’s unlimited power, he can only operate within his limited boundaries. As the prince of the world he has great powers. Among them are: deception, lies, accusations, fear, temptations, interference, and theft. On our own we are no match for him.
Eve tried to match him on her own and fell into the seduction of his lies. She fell to the fear of missing out on the good things of life and disobeyed God.
You know the rest of the story.
Heavenly Father, Help me call upon You to defeat the devil and his deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows all of the devil’s deceptions—He will save me!
MATTHEW 7:13_and many there be which go in thereat.
There are reasons many enter at the wide gate. It is tempting, accessible, and allows for baggage. It’s easy—all you have to do is follow the crowd, which requires neither intelligence (no decisions to make), nor courage (won’t be standing alone).
It takes little strength to do what’s wrong. It requires no thought process—just follow your natural instincts. There is no submission to rules or regulations, do what you want to do. Simply do what pleases you, and what pleases the people with you. There is no accountability for your actions. Personal responsibility will not be following you around. In short: No rules, No standards, No boundaries. Sounds exactly like the Land of Cocagne in the story of Pinocchio.
Pinocchio made the decision to become responsible and obedient. There was a reward for that—he would become a real boy. But when his friend, Candlewick, described the carefree land of excessive pleasures, the temptation was too strong (for a heart without Jesus). Rather than becoming a real boy, he became a real donkey—and all the hard labor that goes with it.
In The Merchant of Venice, 1600, Shakespeare said it like this, “All that glitters is not gold.”
Very seldom is the easy way the best way.
Merciful Jesus, Help me follow Your way—not the easy way. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to be bold and courageous—I will be!