Ever Felt That Pain?

 MARCH 17

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Jesus’ explanation of His transformation of the Law begins with but I say unto you. The word but implies a change. The scales have balanced as far as killing and punishment, but if there is more to life than the physical, then there is another way in which to kill someone – anger. Ever felt that pain?

When Jesus refers to your brother, it is not biological, but a fellow human being. Perhaps it particularly means a Christian brother. Anger shown between Christians must be very painful to Jesus. After all, these are the people who claim to be His disciples. The people who are supposed to be salt. The people who are supposed to be light. Even if what they say is right, when it is said in hot tempered anger, it destroys any good which may be done. 

Anger wounds the spirit and is very destructive to the soul of the one it has inflicted. Anger is also destructive to the soul of the one doing the inflicting. This is not just losing your temper. This is malicious, mean anger. To destroy fellow humans with mean-tempered, explosive, anger, is in the category of those who kill.

Once again, life is serious business.

PRAYER

Merciful God, Help me not to be an angry person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ makes us brothers—He wants me to be patient!

If They Only Knew

MARCH 15

MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…

I don’t believe there is happenstance in anything Jesus says including the order in which He teaches. Let’s take a look at Jesus’ style of order.

The sermon began with the attitudes and life styles that cause you to be blessed. It transferred to the purpose of the blessed – to be salt and light in the world. Next, Jesus made clear He was not about the destruction of the Law, but its fulfillment.

Some in the multitude were only there to make Jesus out to be a heretic. Those particular ones may not have liked Jesus teaching He was not there to destroy the Law. Being for the Law might make it appear Jesus was on their side. They did not want that!

Jesus proceeded on in His sermon and discredited the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. Oh, my! To be sure some fits were thrown! They aren’t about to stand for that!

The Scribes and Pharisees begin to become a bit antsy. They have no way to know what Jesus will teach. To be in control of religious teaching was everything to the Scribes and Pharisees. And Jesus was not in their clique.

If they only knew. Jesus is about to transform the Law!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Help me listen to Your teachings with my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                             

  Christ’s teachings are perfect—I need to learn them!

The No-Goods

FEBRUARY 19

MATTHEW 5:16_glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

The fact that we are not good is the reason we need a savior. Eternal life cannot be purchased in any way, shape, or fashion. It is a free gift to no-good people – amazing, huh?

The final piece of Jesus’ teaching on light is the foundation not only of the light principle, but of the very purpose of life – to glorify God. That is the good work!

Every time no-good people feed the hungry (physically and spiritually), visit the sick (physically and spiritually), minister to the captive (physically and spiritually), and welcome the stranger, they do good works.

Every time no-good people do something good, God is glorified. Why? Because those works show God is The God of the Impossible. They show God’s purpose for no-good lives is to transform and use them – for good.

A power-packed light is shining – God’s amazing love. He gives love to the no-goods. This astounds people who are around us and involved in our lives. After all, they remember we were no-good! When they not only see us do good works, but may themselves be the recipients, they are amazed. They are overwhelmed with wonder, not of who we are but of who God is. And of what He can do in the life of a no-good!

  PRAYER

Holy Lord, I know I am not good, but I praise You that You can transform me to do good! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s love is for no-good people—His love is for me!

You Are Not God

FEBRUARY 18

MATTHEW 5:16_that they may see your good works and…

Never feel your candle is too small. Just because you do not have some kind of world-wide ministry, does not lessen your ability to shine.

First off, you are not God (whew!). You do not know the beginning and the end. You do not know the fullness of God’s plan. He always works on your behalf. God’s love for you has no boundaries. He is using your light in ways you have no knowledge of, or ability to see. He is working when you are sleeping.

As long as you are not ashamed or afraid to shine,  you are doing a good work. That work is seen by people you know, and by some you may never know.

You may feel you have shed light for only a few, but upon who have those few shined – with the light they received from your candle? Are you getting the picture? You do not always have to hold on to your light. The light your candle gives off leaves you and settles on another.

Good works are living out Jesus’ teachings through the Holy Spirit’s power by loving people. In Mark 10:18, Jesus says, “… there is none good but one, that is, God.

I am not a good person, but my transformation allows me to do good by shining the love of God and serving others.

PRAYER

Precious Jesus, Help me trust You to shine through me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s light is seen in love—His love can shine in me!