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, probably 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.
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!
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.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the natural byproducts of transformation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is salvation—He is my salvation
MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
To understand forgiveness, understand your salvation.
Salvation is free. Yet it certainly was not free for Jesus. He paid an agonizing, heavy price for your sin freedom. This comes from love without boundaries. John 15:13 (KJV), “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Add another trait to God’s I AM name – HE IS love.
When you accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him as Lord, life changes. That is what salvation’s transformation does – changes lives – forever. You will never be the same. You have stepped from the path of death to life, from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, and from hate to love. You do not want to stray from this path.
Salvation comes with love. Not just love for you, but love within you. A freedom and ability to love like you never knew was possible. This is how it works:
Love is a natural byproduct of salvation’s transformation.
Forgiveness is a natural byproduct of love.
You don’t have to work for natural byproducts.
They come with the territory.
Mighty Jesus, Thank You for the undeniable path of salvation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives His love to me—I will give it to others!
MATTHEW 6:1_otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Back to rewards again. Jesus speaks a lot about rewards. He speaks of them as something to be desired, something to be honored, something to seek.
I have never found in the key to the treasure chest a time when Jesus speaks of rewards in a casual take-it-or-leave-it way.
Whether we know what the Father’s rewards are or not, we know Jesus places great value on them. Which sets an example for us.
When we study the Bible diligently with a seeking heart, we learn Jesus teaches specifically what causes not to receive the Father’s rewards. He does not speak favorably of any of these things.
Because Jesus loves us, and wants us to receive these rewards whether in this life or the next, Jesus warns. The rebellion in us does not respond well to warnings – someone telling us what to do.
When our hearts are transformed we realize there is love behind the warnings.
Just as specifically, Jesus teaches what causes us to receive the rewards.
Father God, Please change my rebellious heart to accept Your warnings. Teach me to see Your great love for me in each warning. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to receive rewards—I want to!
MATTHEW 6:1_to be seen of them…
Take heed (pay attention) to one simple word – seen. Your righteousness can be seen just like your light. Your light draws and guides to truth and freedom. There is another way to use light – to attract attention to you. This clarifies not doing your righteousness before men.
If your purpose for righteousness is to receive praise – you missed the mark. Showing acts of mercy, charitable giving, giving more than receiving, should all be done to bring glory to God. Any honor belongs to the One who taught you to live in righteousness.
The purpose of being light is not to shine on you, but on Jesus – the Light of the World!
You can’t save anyone – even yourself. You can’t bring anyone out of darkness. The light that shines from acts of righteousness reflects Jesus’ light. He saves. He brings out of darkness. He possesses the power to transform lives, break bondages, heal broken hearts, and when in His will, to heal diseased bodies.
If your light doesn’t reflect Jesus’ light – it’s the wrong light.
Loving Jesus, Please help me not to let my light shine on me, but on You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to shine for Him—I will!