A Natural Byproduct

MARCH 3

MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…

Jesus knows to live outside of Biblical principles brings heartbreaking consequences. He wants to protect you, not punish you. The punishment comes on its own – a natural byproduct when you make your own decisions of right and wrong. 

Jesus knows the world is too hard, too difficult, too deceiving for you to take on by yourself – so He gives you commandments to live by. These commandments are taught in the Old Testament by God’s chosen leaders and in the New Testament by Jesus and His disciples. Jesus knows even the least commandment is for your good. 

Jesus sees every tear you shed, hears every sigh of your heart, and knows every pain disappointments bring. He tries to save you as much pain as possible.

Suffering comes with life – period.  God’s commandments are a true safety to keep you from experiencing suffering unnecessarily. 

It is enough to bear the pain of having broken God’s commandment, but far worse is the guilt of having led others astray with you. 

PRAYER

Holy Lord, I don’t want to make my own suffering by breaking even Your least commandment. Let Your Word teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows all my pain—He wants to help me!

Give God a Chance

FEBRUARY 29

MATTHEW 5:19_shall break one…

Another way to break the law is ignorance. It may not be that you disagreed, but simply didn’t know it was a law. Again, you can ask any type of law enforcement officer and I’m afraid you’ll be told ignorance is not an excuse. It is your responsibility to be aware of the laws which govern.

The same consequences apply to the spiritual laws of life. It is your responsibility to know God’s laws and commandments and to abide by them. If you don’t have a Bible – get one. If you have no funds to purchase one, I assure you there are churches galore that would be overjoyed to give you one. Ask.  

Psalm 19:1-4 (KJV), “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world …”

These verses say no one has an excuse for not knowing there is a glorious, creating God. The world of nature speaks His existence. If you know there is a God and your heart seeks to love Him, He will make a way.

God’s compassion and forgiveness are great. The more you come to know the truth, the more you understand you are accountable for your actions. And the more power you receive to live in accordance with the commands of Christ.

Give God a chance, even if you live somewhere in the world that does not worship the Creator God.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I want to know Your laws and commandments, and live my life in accordance with them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ makes a way—He will bring me to it!

Perk Up, Listen, Pay Attention!

FEBRUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:18_For verily I say unto you…

In this verse Jesus begins His verilies, i.e., verily I say unto you. 

The Greek translation for this is, I solemnly declare unto you. Merriam-Webster defines solemn as, sacred; done or made seriously and thoughtfully. Declare is defined as, to state emphatically – affirm.

Any way you look at it or define it, Jesus is about to make some kind of profound statement. He gives an introduction, a foreword to something. Perk up, listen, and be prepared to pay attention. What Jesus is about to say means a great deal to Him, which means it should to you as well. I believe the reason it means a great deal to Jesus is because He knows it is beneficial to His friends (us), who He loves unconditionally.

So, if you are thinking of leaving off with these devotions, stop for a minute. Think about Jesus’ introduction to His next set of teachings. He is about to declare something sacred, and to state it emphatically.

Jesus wants you to take this seriously and think about it. He wants these teachings affirmed in your heart.

  PRAYER

Almighty Jesus, Cause me to be alert to Your teachings. Even if they sound strange to me, help my heart listen. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ teaches serious truth—I will pay attention!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

A True Prophet

 FEBRUARY 21

MATTHEW 5:17_or the prophets…

Many prophets of the Old Testament knew persecution – first hand (go back to verse 12). The prophets were men and women God used to speak His words to His people.

To tell a true prophet from a false was simple enough. The true prophet’s prophesies always came true – exactly as God had given. If the prophesy was some type of judgment for disobedience, the result was persecution for the prophet. The power-people of the day resented someone telling them the truth of God’s Word. They were able to discern for themselves what was best – or they had people to do that. Their people were far more gifted and trained than people who called themselves prophets of God … or so they thought!

If the prophesy took decades, centuries, or millenniums to be fulfilled, the recognition of the true prophet could be discounted by the power-people.

Jesus taught from the writings of the prophets. He even taught about Himself – to those who had the heart and wisdom to understand. 

Jesus is the balance between the prophesies of the Old Testament and the truths of the New Testament.  

PRAYER

Great Balancer, Help me balance judgment and mercy in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Great Balancer—He will balance me!    

A Call in Your Heart

 FEBRUARY 15

MATTHEW 5:15_ but on a candlestick…

The proper place for the candle to do its job is on the candlestick. One more time – the purpose of light is to dispel and overcome darkness. 

The one who lit the candle did it because there was darkness – light was needed. The one who lit the candle sets it on a candlestick. It is Jesus who says, “Ye are the light of the world. It is Jesus who lights your candle. The Holy Spirit has placed a call in your heart. You either accept the call to be Jesus’ light, or run from it. You’re either shining or hiding. You have the freedom to choose. 

You may believe you light your own candle by  good works, or regular church attendance. Those should be the results of your shining light. If you concentrate more on being good than being in relationship with Jesus, you may shine the wrong light – for your glory.

Like light, you have a purpose. Your purpose is God’s amazing plan for your life. He created a plan for you before you were born. You were born to achieve that plan. Jesus gives you what you need to achieve your plan. Jesus calls you to fulfill it.

It is Jesus who lights your candle. It is Jesus who sets your candle on the candlestick. It is Jesus who brings the two together. 

PRAYER

Jesus Messiah, Praise You for giving me a purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is a candlestick—He wants my light on it!