A Kinder Place

OCTOBER 16

MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…

If you are in the neglected, abused, abandoned category my heart breaks for you. I trust God to show Himself strong for you. I want to bring you to the place of understanding that God’s heart breaks for you. Even if you needed some type of corrective treatment, God would never design it through neglect, abuse, or abandonment. 

We are not in heaven. We live in a fallen, sinful world. Bad and evil things happen. God’s part is to pull you out of the pit. He wants to bring you to a kinder place (which will still have trials and troubles).

Praise God for Psalm 40:2 (KJV), “He [the LORD] brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

God promises to use all the circumstances of life for your good. Remember Romans 8:28 (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

God promises never to abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV), “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them [your enemies and God’s enemies]: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”  

You’ll be a stronger, wiser, and more compassionate person because of the pain you’ve known.

PRAYER

Great God, Only You can make my pain into something good. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                 

Christ knows all my pain—He is right there with me!

Nothing …

OCTOBER 8

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

You cannot control the circumstances of your birth. You cannot choose the family into which you are born. Neither can you choose your race. Nor your country or culture. Nor certain physical features. Nor can you choose your time in history.

You may, or may not, be born into a religion. When you reach an age of understanding—religion is something you can choose.

Because this entire devotional blog is based on the Sermon on the Mount, the direct words of Jesus, it is my hope you find the answers to life in Christianity.  Christianity embraces all people as God’s children.  Regardless of the circumstances of your birth, your family, your race, country or culture, or physical features, God wants you as His child.

Jesus says in John 10:29-30 (KJV), “My Father, which gave them [Christians] [to] me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” Well, there you go! Out of His own mouth Jesus makes it clear that none is greater than your Heavenly Father.

Nothing in life no matter how devastating it may seem to you, can take you from Jesus.

PRAYER

All Powerful God, Praise You that nothing can pluck me out of Your hand. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                             

Christ says nothing can take me from God—I choose Him!

Seek!

SEPTEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:7_seek and ye shall find…

To seek means to look for something. It may be something you’ve lost. Or it may be a need. Or it may be a want. It may be for yourself. Or it may be for a loved one. If you have everything you need or want – you won’t be seeking. 

There is something everyone has lost – by way Adam and Eve. When sin entered the world, many things were lost, first and foremost the intimate relationship God intended people to have with Him. Seek that with all your heart. The man after God’s heart, King David, understood this: I Chronicles 16:11 (KJV), “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”  There are two words in that verse which I particularly love – strength and continually.

Also lost by sin was wisdom. If you lose wisdom, you lose her two companions, understanding and knowledge. Spend your lifetime seeking these three.

The wisest man of all, King Solomon, covers this in Proverbs 2:4-6 (KJV), “If thou seekest her [wisdom] as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Seek!

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, I seek Your strength and wisdom continually. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                              

Christ knows what I should seek—He will show me!!                                   

Fido

SEPTEMBER 25

MATTHEW 7:6_Give not that which is holy unto dogs…

Generally, Bible references to dogs are not as we consider dogs today. They are not referred to as a companion, or man’s best friend, or a service animal. That is not to say they were not all those things, but that is not how they are referred to in the Bible. Their references are on the rougher side, like: a prostitute, or licking up blood, or returning to vomit.

Need some evidence? Deuteronomy 23:18 (KJV), “Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore [female prostitute], or the price of a dog [male prostitute], into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”  I Kings 21:19 (KJV), “… And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.’”  Proverbs 26:11 (KJV), “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” 

These are all rather graphic, but my point is to show that Jesus is not talking about Fido in this verse. Dogs here are something base, low-life, and well, disgusting.

Don’t go thinking Jesus doesn’t like dogs – after all, He created them. And don’t go chasing Fido out of your yard. He is not what is referred to here. 

Dogs aren’t the only animal used as a negative illustration. Don’t miss tomorrow!

PRAYER

Only Wise God, There is so much to understand about life—give me wisdom! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

 Christ understands principles of life—He teaches me!

Love and Acceptance

SEPTEMBER 7

MATTHEW 7:2_ye shall be judged…

In whatever form of discipline is considered best, children, and plenty of adults, need correction. Ever heard of a jail called a correctional facility? Wise judgment is discipline with love and acceptance.

“Because you were disciplined does not mean you are a bad person, you are a beautiful person. God loves you. I love you.”

A case of poor judgment is if boundaries are never verbally set, or written, yet they are enforced. The violator is judged guilty without ever having had an opportunity to obey by understanding the rules.

Another case of poor judgment is after someone has apologized, or made right, or been disciplined – the violation is not erased. A situation arises for someone to perform some kind of task – the previous violator is never given a chance: “The last time I trusted you with …”

The one who violated, trespassed, or knocked over the boundaries, is bound to their past. No opportunity is given for renewed trust and worth. Judgment has been passed before an opportunity to show trustworthiness is given. This is not the kind of judgment you want to return to you.

Give everyone the kind of trust you want given you.  

PRAYER

God Who Hears, It is so easy to judge. Your wisdom and grace will change me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ does not want poor judgment—He will help me!