There Was An Almost

OCTOBER 15

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

God loves everyone, the entire world. So much so that He let His own Son suffer and die for the world. 

God wants righteousness and goodness to reign supreme—as it did for a brief time in the Garden of Eden—pure perfection not only in people, but in all nature. But there was an almost in that perfection. When the almost won the battle over free will, everything changed—but God didn’t. He’s still just, He still has all power, and He’s still God of the Impossible.

I believe Jesus in His infinite power and unsurpassed love, works every day to restore as much of the Garden experience as possible in our fallen world. Every time He transforms a heart and gives it the ability to become salt and light, He’s made some restoration. It will take a new heaven and a new earth to bring full restoration.

When God uses evil people in ways that result in good for His children, He is exercising His fatherly powers. God wants fathers to do good to and for their children. Unfortunately, there are those whose fathers genuinely neglect, abuse, and abandon them.

God has a plan for those children as well, Psalm 27:10 (KJV), “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

PRAYER

Jesus Lord, Only You can transform—we all need it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                          

Christ’s love is perfection—I want to love like that!

Sounds Strange

OCTOBER 14

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

Does Jesus say even the evil know how to treat their children well? No way! Actually, it sounds like He’s calling all of us evil! 

Jesus agrees with what we’ve already learned – we’re all evil and have those hard hearts. That’s why we need The Savior. That’s why we need The Great Transformer. That’s why we need The Great Healer. And this is another reason to stay away from judging. How can one sinner judge another? 

Those of us who made a decision to become salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus are saved sinners. We are not any better than unsaved sinners, because the only righteousness we have comes from Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself. We didn’t get it by being good. We got it by accepting a free (to us) gift from The Savior (who paid the ultimate price to give it to us).

I realize I’m putting myself out there by saying this, but I believe sometimes evil people can treat their children well. I believe God can use evil people to do good works for Him. I know that sounds strange, but King Solomon knew it. 

Proverbs 21:1(KJV), “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.”

Even if it’s an evil king!

PRAYER

King of Kings, Thank You for the miraculous ways You take care of me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                               

Christ can use anyone for my good—I praise Him for that!

Awesome!

OCTOBER 5

MATTHEW 7:8_and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Why do you knock? The door is closed. You’re on the outside. You want to come in. Or at least you want the door opened.

There are many doors you will knock on in life. You knock on the door of love—to give and receive love from the people in your life. You knock on the door of joy—to give and receive joy from the people in your life. You knock on the door of peace—to give and receive peace from the people in your life. You knock on the door of success—you want to receive success and perhaps there may be a way you can give it.

Jesus teaches to knock on the door of service. That’s not something you’re naturally inclined to do. John 13:16 (KJV), “Verily, verily, I [Jesus] say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’

Jesus also says in Mark 10:43-45 (KJV), ” … but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Jesus says to knock on the door of serving others is to become like Him.

Awesome!

PRAYER

God Who Helps, Help me have a servant’s heart and become like You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ wants me to serve others—He will teach me!

The Right Place

OCTOBER 4

MATTHEW 7:8_and he that seeketh, findeth…

Proverbs 20:27 says my spirit is God’s candle. We’ve talked a lot about candles in these devotionals. We’ve talked about the purpose of light—to dispel and overcome darkness. We’ve talked about candles set on candlesticks. We’ve talked about replacing the smaller candle and candlestick with larger ones as life moves on, and more light is needed. In this verse, a candle is used in a different way – to gain insight into who I really am.

Now, the candle (my spirit) is used by God not to share light with others but—to search inside of me. God uses my spirit to shed light into my heart, and all that I am. He uses it to see what my heart seeks. Does it seek to know Him and make Him known, or does it seek to make me known?

Jesus told me to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Is that where He finds my spirit shedding light—on God’s righteousness? If God finds me seeking how to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give to those who ask, and do good to those who hurt and use me, then He’s found me in the right place.

According to Jesus, if I’m seeking to live that kind of life—I’ll find it.

PRAYER

Almighty Father, I’m seeking the truth of Your kingdom. I’m seeking Your righteousness – to dwell in me. Thank You that I’ll find it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                   

Christ knows if I seek righteousness—If so, I’ll find it!

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!!