Tell The Truth!

APRIL 10

MATTHEW 5:33_Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.

To forswear is to lie under oath. If you are in a court room and lie on the witness stand, it is called perjury. You can go to jail for perjury. When you are in the witness chair, tell the truth. For that matter, always tell the truth!

If you swear to your parents that something you tell them is true, but it is really a lie, you’re accountable for that. You don’t have to be in court nor even have witnesses around to be held responsible for lying. 

To swear is to make a promise – a guarantee to what you say. One of the worst decisions in life is to make a promise to God, and not keep it. If you promise God something keep it. Be very careful what you promise – think before you open your mouth. Until you become an adult it is best to discuss with your parents any promise you intend to make . If you do not live with parents, find a Godly adult to help you make wise promises.

Life used to operate on a man’s word was his bond. That meant if you promised to do something you would do it, no matter what. No legal documents were necessary when your word was your bond. You gained a reputation for being an honest person.

Your reputation always goes before you and follows after you!

PRAYER

God of Truth, I want anyone who has dealings with me to find me to be a person of my word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ keeps His Word—I want to keep my word and His Word too!

The Perfect Plan

APRIL 9

MATTHEW 5:32_and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Is Jesus too harsh on divorce? He brings adultery into the picture after the divorce! Why?

In Mark 10:5-8, Jesus went back to the beginning – to creation itself – to the original marriage – to God’s perfect plan. The Garden of Eden was perfection and everlasting life. Adam and Eve blew the whole plan by their disobedience to God, all life reaped the consequence – sin. Life will continue to reap sin consequences until an end comes, and all things are made new.

God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man and one woman for life. Their union causes them to become one. Perhaps Jesus adds adultery to re-marriage because no piece of paper (divorce contract) can sever God’s design of the physical union. The divorce contract can sever the legality of the marriage, but it cannot sever the oneness of flesh. This is why sexual sins are so devastating.

Why is purity marriage insurance? Foremost, it is God’s plan. His plan builds love by denying the flesh and bonding spirits – two people for each other. It builds respect for each other. It builds loyalty for one and only one. Aren’t those things you want in marriage?

We discussed before how impurity spells betrayal like no other sin. It is definitely one of the hardest to forgive. The Great Hope can give power to forgive. He asks you to do no more for your betrayer than He has done for you.

This is not to simplify the devastation. It may require a time of separation., and the key word in this sentence is time. Running straight to the divorce court does not give The Great Surgeon time for the surgery – including the time for healing and recovery. The basis of any decision has to be what action you believe will please Jesus.

When the marriage is broken beyond repair (one spouse has re-married), The Great Hope has good news. An individual life is not beyond repair.

Jesus repairs broken lives.

Jesus wants to bring His love into all families. Let Jesus use you to shine His love in your family.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Some of Your teachings are very difficult and hard. I know they are all designed for the very best life. I want that! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ loves God’s original plan—I want to love it!

Strong Meat

APRIL 4

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

A hundred years ago it was more difficult to get a divorce than it is today. Today, the painful experiences in the court room are more about custody, and the dividing of properties (which are very painful experiences) – the divorce isn’t really contested. The judge used to require more cause before a marriage was ended. I believe that is what Jesus pursues in this teaching.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” is hard teaching. It is about seeking truth, for those who want the very best for their family. There is no room for quick and easy here. Jesus says marriage is something God brings together – He credits people if the marriage falls apart. 

God doesn’t want anything to break (unless it is the ties that hold you in bondage). He is the God of wholeness. God wants wholeness for His children, because that is how He created life in the beginning. This is strong meat which must be chewed and digested. It is not swallowing milk – even a baby can do that.

There is nothing easy about this teaching, but there is nothing easy about earthly life.. Don’t be offended. Trust everything Jesus teaches comes from His heart of love. Trust He knows the pains of earthly life – been there, done that. Trust He knows the weaknesses of the flesh.

But trust also, He knows the power of the spirit. Let Him teach you.

Stay with me! There’s much more!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to live my life like a baby. I want to digest Your strong meat teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.  

Christ does not want love to break—He can make it strong!

Take Jesus' Advice

 MARCH 26

MATTHEW 5:26_lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

It is always a good idea to listen to wise advice – particularly if the advice is from the Bible. If you’ve wronged someone in a criminal way, not just hurt their feelings, take Jesus’ advice. This is not to minimize hurting someone’s feelings – which hurts their heart. From what Jesus has taught, hurts to the heart are as serious as killing. Do your part to repair the wrong before it goes to the judicial system.

First, nothing you offer (your future) to God pleases Him until you’ve repaired wrongs. Second, if it does involve something criminal, your adversary will take you to court. If pride gets in the way of humbling yourself before your adversary – it is minor compared to the humiliation which can be placed on you in a courtroom.

If you were in the wrong, you will lose the case. You will have to pay your court fees, your adversary’s court fees, whatever you owe the adversary, plus anything the adversary may add for whatever reason, and possibly some jail time.

Just take Jesus’ advice – He knows the truth to set you free.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Please give me the courage to obey Your principles. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the truth—He can use it to set me free!

Liable

MARCH 16

MATTHEW 5:21_Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.

Jesus begins His transformation law list. First on the list is thou shalt not kill. What a great way to begin! Who’s going to question that? This statement should please the entire audience. No shouting of boo or hissing at this statement!

Jesus gains everyone’s approval by beginning with the sixth commandment. Not only would they approve, but they would be feeling good, relaxed, and maybe even a little proud. No guilt feelings over this one. No murderers were in this crowd, because murderers were dealt with promptly.

Jesus continues, whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. In order for Jesus to be the balance of judgment and mercy there has to be a place for judgment. The word judgment in this passage is translated as liable. That means you are held responsible for your actions. The Law makes it clear that to kill someone carries a judgment.

Jesus sees something beyond killing someone which can carry judgment. Jesus sees us liable for all our actions.

He is prepared to reveal this liability.

PRAYER

Righteous God, I want to be a part of Your multitude who listen for truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ understands judgment—He will teach me!