… And Saltier

FEBRUARY 8

MATTHEW 5:13_Ye are the salt of the earth but…

Another purpose for which God designed salt is flavor. Seriously, could you really enjoy popcorn without salt? What about your fries? Salt just enhances flavor – taking something already good and making it better.

Would you like to be someone who enhances your friends’ faith? Maybe you could help them over some type of difficulty? Or perhaps give added strength for a struggle that’s a little too heavy to bear alone? And, for that matter, would you want a salty friend to enhance you?

Salt also gives an appealing and unique flavor to something that’s sweet – some salt with chocolate or caramel adds a flavorful touch. Do you want a friend who always tells you what you want to hear, or tells you what you need to hear? It takes someone who truly loves you to tell you the truth when they know it may hurt.

Everyone wants to hear good and praiseworthy things, but if you’re blindly heading toward a cliff, someone needs to stop you before it’s too late. This is not criticizing. This is when your friend sees you have made a decision which threatens to lead to bondage.

Be sweet and kind to all your friends but love them enough to know when just a little salt can enhance the sweet.

PRAYER

Loving God, I know the Bible gives me enough salt to keep me on the right path. Please help me receive it through Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.               

Christ’s love enhances my spirit – I want to love others!

You’re Not the Only One

FEBRUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:12 _for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one? Everything that has to do with suffering, trials, and persecutions always comes to you. Everybody else has it made. Even if they do suffer for their Christian values, it’s short lived. You’re the only one for whom it goes on and on. Whenever something bad or hard comes around, it always falls on you. If someone gets the blame (for something they didn’t do), it’s always you. And, you’re the one who was doing right. The ones spouting the blame are the ones in the wrong.

According to Jesus, not only are you not the only one – but it has been going on since long before you were born. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament prophets and points out they, too, were persecuted for standing up for God’s truths. It is not something new. It is something that has been and always will be a part of a disciple’s life. 

Go ahead and rejoice – you’re in good company!

 PRAYER

God of comfort, I’m sorry for the times I whine, when I should praise. Help me thank You when I am persecuted for Your sake. Help me know the difference when I am persecuted for my own sake, and help me change my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ knows who is persecuted—I’m not the only one!

To Be a True Friend

JANUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him. 

I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth. 

Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the  Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve. 

Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!                                

 PRAYER

God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!

Can You See God?

JANUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:8_for they shall see God.

Just like the negative things we dwell on are embedded in the heart, Jesus’ teachings cleanse the heart. When your heart is purified; you will see God.

You see God when you fill your heart with the truths of His principles found in His Word.

You see God when you make sacrifices in your life in order to help someone weaker or needier than you.

You see God when you stand for truth even in the face of ridicule, scorn, and lies.

You see God when you make choices for righteousness and purity over self-satisfying indulgence.

You see God because your heart has been purified by agreeing with His truths over the world’s lies. You have made decisions in your heart to walk that road, follow that path, take up that cross, and become a disciple of Jesus.

You will never purify your heart by agreeing with the world’s standards. This means looking at images of impurity, speaking words of impurity, engaging in acts of impurity, reading novels filled with impurity, watching entertainment full of impurity, or listening to music about impurity.

You are not going to see God on any of those roads.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times I have chosen impurity over purity and the times I have agreed with lies because I didn’t want to walk the road of truth. Help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s truths are the road to purity—He will lead me!

Wisdom – Understanding – Knowledge

JANUARY 23

MATTHEW 5:8_Blessed are the pure in heart…

Oh, to be pure in heart! Isn’t that something else you want? What is involved in becoming pure in your heart? You know how to find out, use the key. The Bible opens your spirit to wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of truth. When you begin the journey into what pureness in heart looks like, you will discover you must first find out what it is not.

We have mentioned Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You have to gain the understanding of there is nothing pure about your heart – on its own.

Next, you discover Proverbs 19:21 (KJV), “There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” Praise God! Now you gain knowledge that although you cannot trust your heart (because it is deceitful), the counsel (wisdom, understanding, knowledge) you gain from the Bible can override the deceitfulness in your heart. Bible truths dispel all the devil’s lies.

So, the first step to become pure in heart is to put no trust in the flesh. Place all your trust in the power of Jesus. Your spirit will be instructed through the power of the Holy Spirit.   

PRAYER

Holy Father, I want my heart to be pure. I want it cleansed from all deceit and wickedness. Teach me from the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is pure in heart—He purifies my deceitful heart!