Now and Later

JULY 15

MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures  in heaven…

Jesus approaches His climax to this principle. The place to hoard your treasures is in heaven. So, how are you going to deposit your paycheck into the Bank of Heaven? Very simple – understand what is truly valuable in this life.

Think of heavenly treasure as a candy – Now and Later. All eternal treasures do not require you to be living in heaven. You can enjoy their flavor now and after this life has ended – unlike earthly possessions. 

Rather than candy, the Bible calls these eternal possessions fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Notice the end of verse 23, “against such there is no law. When your heart is consumed with these fruits, you can live free – unlike lusts of the earth which create bondage. God says He has no laws against the Fruits of the Spirit.

All the wealth in this life cannot buy these fruits – not even one. They come freely as you feed, nurture, and cultivate your spirit through relationship, prayer, and Bible study.

Your spirit begins to produce fruit.

PRAYER

Magnificent Jesus, Help me possess heavenly treasures in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s treasure is in heaven—He wants mine to be!

All the Time!

 JUNE 14

MATTHEW 6:12_our debts…

Your sin debt is too great. You will never be able to pay it. It will remain in God’s ledger for eternity. To pay the debt according to the law keepers, you will have to keep every law, on your own – no indwelling Holy Spirit’s power. Humanly impossible!

To pay the debt according to Jesus, you will have to have a pure heart – likewise impossible! This looks like some kind of double jeopardy. You need a solution that can overcome the impossible! Where can you find that? Oh, wait! You have a key!

Use the key, unlock the treasure chest, and discover something incredible. The Messiah Savior has already solved the problem! He gave His life to cover all your debts. Only Jesus could do it because only He is the perfect Son of God. 

To make things even better, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart. The Spirit draws you further and further away from sin and causes you to hunger for holiness. Your taste for sin diminishes. When you do sin, the Spirit sends conviction. You humbly ask the Father for forgiveness. I John 1:9 (KJV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God is good all the time and, all the time God is good!       

PRAYER

Holy Savior, Thank You for paying my sin debt which I could never pay.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Savior—He saves me!

You Owe

JUNE 13

MATTHEW 6:12_our debts…

A debt is an amount of money you owe. It can also be some type of work you owe someone. Any way you look at it, it comes out the same way – you owe. 

You have acquired or promised something you have not completed, or paid for. Payment must be made. Until the payment is received, it remains in the ledger as a debt. That debt is attached to your name. It will remain attached until it is Paid In Full.

Unfortunately, debts are made, circumstances in life happen, and the debt becomes difficult to pay – sometimes it may appear to be impossible.

The word debt here can be translated as sin. If, as the Pharisees, you link forgiveness with law keeping, you may feel you have it in the bag. Knowledge of the laws covers it all. Acts 3:19 (KJV) sees it another way, Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

There is action here – repent. Repentance is to turn from a continual act of sin and let Jesus help you not to commit it again.

This verse adds to be converted. To be converted is to admit you can’t live or do right on your own. God does the work, the blotting out, and sends refreshing.   

PRAYER

Lord Jesus,  I confess I am a sinner and only You can renew my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ covers my debts—He will send me refreshing!

Any and All

JUNE 12

MATTHEW 6:12_And forgive us…

If Jesus taught no more than the first three words of this verse, He would have taught a vital part of prayer.         

The Scribes and Pharisees saw life as a set of laws. They had the laws down pat, snug in their hip pockets (if they had hip pockets). They knew the rules, and kept them, why would they need forgiveness? That is, if all that mattered was rule keeping.

Jesus taught life as more about loving God and each other. He taught to give more than receive. This kind of life causes me to see my weaknesses and failures. That leads me to my knees to ask God’s forgiveness. Psalm 51 (KJV), 1 Have mercy upon me [King David], O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”

King David asks forgiveness for his sin. He also acknowledges something very important—his sin was primarily against God.

Any and all sins are against God.    

PRAYER

Forgiving God, I know when I have wronged Your people I have wronged You. Forgive me and change me!  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ desires to forgive—He wants me to ask Him!

A Specific Commission

MAY 29

MATTHEW 6:7_as the heathen do…

Jesus goes from reproaching hypocrites to reproaching heathens. The word heathen in this verse can be translated as Gentile. Remember, Gentiles are not Jews. They were not under the covenant God made with Abraham. Nor were they under the laws God gave to Moses.

The Jews considered the prayers of Gentiles to be great babblings. Since Gentiles did not serve or have a relationship with the One True God, their prayers were not directed to Him. Therefore, to whatever god or idol they prayed, all they could offer was empty babbles.

After Jesus conquered death and was about to ascend back into heaven, He gave His disciples a commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Jesus gave Peter and Paul a specific commission – to share the gospel of the resurrected Jesus with the Gentiles. Praise God Peter and Paul obeyed the call!

We are no longer heathen just because we are Gentiles. Those of us who answer the call to become salty-lit-up disciples can enter our closet, shut the door, and commune with the Holy God of Heaven! Hallelujah!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Praise You for being the God of all mankind. Praise You for making a way for Gentiles to enter Your presence . In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves Gentiles—He made a way for me!