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!

Why Make It Harder?

SEPTEMBER 1

MATTHEW 6:34_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Focus on who God is and who you are in Him! Receive extra power for the hard days. Worry only makes the hard days harder. In this verse Jesus says something to the effect of, “Life in this world is hard enough—why make it harder? Jesus lets you know He’s with you all the way.

Jesus can provide.

That doesn’t mean you may not go through lean times. If you have no needs you will never experience how God can meet them. He’ll hold and guide you on the path of discipleship and add “all these things unto you.”

Proverbs 4:18 (KJV), “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Once you’ve committed to becoming salty-lit-up disciples for Jesus—that light just keeps on shining!  I Thessalonians 5:5 (KJV), “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”

All days are not hard, or bad, or evil. The devil would have you believe otherwise. He tempts you to worry about the future. Live free by focusing more on who God is, His grace and mercy, and His phenomenal power to transform any circumstance!

PRAYER

God Who Transforms, Thank You for the bright days I’ve had, and the ones on the way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                         

Christ is full of light—He fills me with His light!

In the Son

AUGUST 8

MATTHEW 6:29_the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

Now that you know how to consider, note accurately the growing process of lilies. 

A field full of flowers of any kind is beautiful – that includes wildflowers. A field is an area of open land. A piece of land which is open to the sun. Free from the presence of anything which might hinder the sun’s rays. From my experience of growing lilies in my yard, they like and need sun. Sun makes them happy. When they are happy, their colors are vibrant and especially lovely. True lilies, Oriental or Asiatic, are also very fragrant. 

What have you learned as a disciple by considering the growing process of lilies? You grow spiritually stronger (and wiser) when exposed to the Son – free from hindrances which block His rays. In the Son, you vibrate with His presence. In the Son, you are filled with the fragrance of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

This kind of life brings freedom from toiling and working to try to make yourself good. Staying in the Son allots time to God and His Word.

Any work of transformation to be done, God will do.   

PRAYER

King of All Kings, Teach me and help me to stay in the Son. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to grow in Him—I want to!

Not a Piece of Cake

 JULY 7

MATTHEW 6:17_and wash thy face.

Maybe Jesus added this instruction just in case you did pour that bucket of oil on your head! More likely, He added it as a way of saying, “Get up and prepare for the day just as you would any day.”

Food is the source of the body’s energy. When that source is denied energy begins to deplete. When you feel tired and lack energy, the sad, disfigured face could come naturally. Whether it is natural or not, Jesus does not want you to draw attention to your fast. He wants you up and at it. Jesus wants you to receive the blessing He has in store during this time of self-denial. 

Self-denial is not easy for whatever reason you are denying yourself, and certainly denying the body of its food source is no piece of cake. Hmm, that probably is not the best wording when discussing fasting. If the purpose of your fast is to be spiritually strengthened, trust that will happen. Once the fast is over, you may glean from your spiritual benefits for months to come.

Transformation is progressive. Some parts are instantaneous (like your love for Jesus), some come short term, and some transformations are a long term process. Only the One who loves and wants your very best will re-create you – so your spirit, not physical, controls your actions.

PRAYER

Loving Jesus, Please give me the strength when I need to deny myself. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ denied Himself—He did it to love me!

They Grow

JUNE 27

MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…

What goes up must come down. If God’s forgiveness relates to your forgiveness, God’s unforgiveness relates to your unforgiveness. 

A transformed life is a product of salvation and the ability to forgive. Salvation is an instantaneous, eternal experience. Transformation is a process. Love is a process. They grow. As you grow in relationship with Jesus, you grow in your ability to give true, straight-from-the-heart love. It is the way natural byproducts work.

The ability to forgive has to be a byproduct of the love you gain from heart transformation. Hard hearts cannot produce forgiveness. The natural byproduct of hard hearts is unforgiveness.

A relationship with Jesus is not just I need to be sure I’m not going to hell. It is about:

I hear the knock of Jesus on my heart’s door.

I feel the love He brings.

I feel His forgiveness.

I want to love like He loves me.

I want to forgive like He forgives me.

I want to live as His disciple.

I want to be His salt and light.             

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the natural byproducts of transformation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                 

Christ is salvation—He is my salvation