Wrong!

OCTOBER 19

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

What’s in your heart is seen in your actions and heard in your words. If you find any kind of pleasure in hurting people, your heart is showing. If you receive some kind of power surge in causing someone to cry, your heart is showing.

Let’s use the adulteress woman we previously studied as an example. Is it your duty to spread the news around as to what she had done—caught in the act no less? After all, everyone needs to know. And it’s true, so that means it’s not gossip, right? Wrong! If it’s true may keep it from being slander, but does not keep it from being gossip.

Gossip is spreading news which may be factual and true with someone who is not involved in the issue. Gossip spreads harmful information with the objective of exposing someone else’s failures, or traits. 

If there is a situation that needs to be discussed, all involved should be present for the discussion. Behind the back discussions are never good. Regardless of truth or facts, motives and intentions are something the accused should be allowed to speak for themselves. 

As gossip spreads, generally the more it is exaggerated.  

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me know when to keep my mouth shut! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the true facts – I don’t need to tell others!

Pray For The Fathers

OCTOBER 7

MATTHEW 7:9_Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask…

To become a parent rates very high in the blessing category. Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV), “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” 

According to this verse, children are one of those ways God rewards His people. Arrows in the hand of a mighty man are powerful. If hunting is the goal, then the bow is no good without the arrows. The arrows are everything to achieving the purpose of the hunt. Fathers should realize the reward God gives them in children. They should feel strength and might in fatherhood, and they should feel happy. 

I wish these verses were true in the life of every child who is born. However, since they are not, I pray for Malachi 4:6 (KJV) to become a reality, “And he [Elijah the prophet] shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers …”

As much as is possible in my tiny space in the world, I want to contribute to this becoming reality.

Pray for the fathers in your circle of life.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Help me feel the specialness that is mine as Your child. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ teaches children are a reward—I am one!

The Right Place

OCTOBER 4

MATTHEW 7:8_and he that seeketh, findeth…

Proverbs 20:27 says my spirit is God’s candle. We’ve talked a lot about candles in these devotionals. We’ve talked about the purpose of light—to dispel and overcome darkness. We’ve talked about candles set on candlesticks. We’ve talked about replacing the smaller candle and candlestick with larger ones as life moves on, and more light is needed. In this verse, a candle is used to in a different way – to gain insight into who I really am.

Now, the candle (my spirit) is used by God not to share light with others but—to search inside of me. God uses my spirit to shed light into my heart, and all that I am. He uses it to see what my heart seeks. Does it seek to know Him and make Him known, or does it seek to make me known?

Jesus told me to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Is that where He finds my spirit shedding light—on God’s righteousness? If God finds me seeking how to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give to those who ask, and do good to those who hurt and use me, then He’s found me in the right place.

According to Jesus, if I’m seeking to live that kind of life—I’ll find it.

PRAYER

Almighty Father, I’m seeking the truth of Your kingdom. I’m seeking Your righteousness – to dwell in me. Thank You that I’ll find it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                   

Christ knows if I seek righteousness—If so, I’ll find it!

Priceless and Unsurpassed

SEPTEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:6_lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

This is not a lesson against pigs or dogs. It is a lesson on the priceless and unsurpassed value of your faith and trust in Jesus. The pathway of life He has been teaching in these three chapters.

To have the teachings of Jesus poured into you only to cast them aside for temporal pleasures, is a waste. Jesus compares His teachings to that which is holy. He also compares them to pearls—of the very highest quality. To throw His words out to dogs and pigs, like table scraps is deplorable.

Once you’ve learned the truth and rejected it, or worse cheapened it by trying to live spiritually and worldly at the same time, you’ve strayed from the path. There is something you can count on—life itself will in some form or another come back and rend you under foot. You can live life like this the rest of your days, or you can cry out to God to save you. 

Luke 15:20 (KJV), “And he [prodigal son] arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

God’s compassion is stronger than an earthly father’s.

PRAYER

Father of Compassion,  I praise You that You call me back if I go astray! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                    

Christ’s pathway has unsurpassed value—He guides me!

The Bottom Line

SEPTEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…

Jesus knew two things in the incident of the woman taken in adultery. He knew the condition of her heart now, and in her past. He knew the circumstances which led to this incident at this time. We can’t expect our earthly authorities to know all of this, but the Holy Spirit can reveal truth. Besides the fact that He knew her heart, Jesus had the ability to read her heart in her facial expressions and body language. 

There was something else Jesus knew – the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees who brought her before Him. He knew more about them than they knew about each other, or even about themselves. Remember John 8:5-6 (KJV), “ ‘Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such [adulterers] should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him …”

Jesus understood the real purpose for the Scribes and Pharisees bringing the woman. It had nothing to do with justice of the Law. It had nothing to do with adultery.  The bottom line was to bring Jesus down. At the time this occurred, Jesus was in the temple teaching. The Pharisees’ goal was to cause Jesus to look ignorant before the multitude of followers who sat at His feet.

If Jesus were a true God-fearing Jew, He would uphold the Law. If He didn’t enforce the Law, then everyone in the temple that day would know Jesus was a heretic.

We’re not finished with this subject yet!

PRAYER

Father God, Help me become discerning of the hearts of others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ knows true hearts from false—He helps mine!