A Big Stick

SEPTEMBER 18

MATTHEW 7:4_and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

According to Zechariah 2:8 (KJV), God considers Israel as the apple of His eye, “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me [an angel] unto the nations which spoiled you [Israel]: for he that toucheth you [Israel] toucheth the apple of his [God’s] eye.”

Paul saw Israel and the Jews as the apple of God’s eye. He saw Christians as a blot in God’s eye. He could not see the true blot – his own sect, the Pharisees.

God saw the fervor with which Paul attacked Christians. And because God sees the heart, it was clear Paul’s fervor came from love and devotion to God. It was that love and devotion which caused God to choose Paul (not the other way around) to become a two-fold fixer for His beloved Israel.

God used Paul’s great zeal to publically proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. This cleared away the beam from the eyes of any Pharisees with a true heart for God. God also used Paul’s zeal to bring salvation to the Gentiles – the Messiah died for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

Because Paul was so far off the path, God used a big stick (discipline) to straighten him out.

Then God used Paul in an amazing way.    

PRAYER

Holy God, Please use my zeal to share Your truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ chooses to use me in the world—I will let Him!

The Point Is …

SEPTEMBER 17

MATTHEW 7:4_and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Let’s begin to dig to the core of this whole judgment thing.

In the apostle Paul’s view, he was doing God’s work when he persecuted and condemned Christians. He considered Jesus and His teachings to be far too radical for the Jewish religion. After all, they had the laws God gave Moses. To turn some of the laws upside down as Jesus did had to be from the devil.

Jesus proclaiming He and the Father as one was blasphemy – to Paul. Merriam-Webster defines blasphemy as, the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God. Paul, a Pharisee, believed Jesus-followers should be annihilated.

The point is – Paul, especially as a Pharisee, should have recognized who Jesus was. It is understandable that Paul could have seen Jesus’ radical teachings as destructive to the Law – thus the mote. But it was Paul’s own beam which blinded him to belief in the physical presence of the Messiah. 

Paul was a fixer. Taking out Jesus-followers was his way to fix. Paul was also a disciplinarian, and his form of discipline on Jesus-followers was both brutal and deadly.

But God saw something in Paul which people did not see …    

PRAYER

Messiah, Please don’t let my beams blind me to truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ wants me to have 20/20 vision—In the truth!

A Mote, Not a Beam

SEPTEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

If your heart dwells on the truth of God’s love and mercy, you will understand you were saved while you were a sinner. That can be a beam – if you do not understand you are as guilty a sinner as anyone on the face of the earth. The only reason you find any freedom is because Christ paid your debt – with His life. 

As you grow in faith, begin to dwell on who you are in Jesus. It truly is amazing!

John 8:32 (KJV) “And ye shall know the truth [Jesus], and the truth shall make you free.”

Romans 8:37 (KJV) “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him [Jesus] that loved us.”

Philippians 4:13 (KJV) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Mark 11:23 (KJV) “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

Matthew 19:26 (KJV) “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’”

To hold someone accountable does not mean you stand in judgment of them—it means you love them.

To judge someone as unworthy of mercy is to see a mote, not a beam.

PRAYER

God of the Impossible, I want Your kind of mercy—that loves and saves. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ’s love can save me—from anything!

What Consumes Your Thought Life?

SEPTEMBER 10

MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The same Matthew 18 parable applies to this verse as well.

You would be safe to make the comparison of a mote as the tiniest speck of wood that could blow into your eye. Then compare the beam to the Hyperion tree in the Redwood National Park. Another comparison could be between a grain of sand and Mount Everest.

In the Parable of the Wicked Servant, it would be like a penny compared to $1,153,000.00!

Notice in this verse Jesus uses the word behold, meaning take heed. Take heed means what you observe the most in a situation – what is foremost on your mind. You have already learned it would be what is foremost in your heart (the where your treasure is principle). It is what consumes your thought life. The most important thing to you.

God has miraculous things in store, and the Holy Spirit is searching deep within to see what consumes your heart.

I Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV), “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

PRAYER

Magnificent God, Let me behold the truths You teach—plant them in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ sees the deep places in my heart—He gives truth!   

Your Ticket Out

AUGUST 26

MATTHEW 6:33_the kingdom of God…

If you seek God first, at a young age, you’ve made a wise decision. You are on the right path. If you are toward the end of your teen years, or mid-way through adulthood, or even in your senior years – it’s never too late. Jesus has been knocking on the door of your heart all these years. He is not one to walk out on those He seeks because they don’t welcome Him right away. Jesus patiently seeks you, wherever you are.  Whether that’s the pit, the gutter, or the dead-end street, Jesus seeks you. Don’t think you have to be out of those places for Jesus to want you. Jesus is your ticket out!

Know the most important thing in life and seek it.

Seek the first thing first.

Make the main thing the main thing.

Build a firm foundation on truth.

Proverbs 24:27 (KJV), “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”

Work is seeking, the field is the world, and the house is your life. Build your life in accordance to God’s plan, not your own.

Another way to seek God first is in the earliest part of your day. Begin each day with Jesus. Become more aware of His presence.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Help me seek You in the morning to be aware of You all day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ seeks me wherever I go—He finds me!