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!

None of Us Will Be the Judge

SEPTEMBER 5

MATTHEW 7:1_that ye be not judged.

Let’s ask God to give us wisdom, understanding, and knowledge about this judgment thing.

To be like Jesus means to live according to the principles He taught. Jesus gives us a good reason not to judge – so we won’t be judged. Judging breeds judging.

To take a step toward freedom from judging consider the other person – put yourself in their place. There is an excellent chapter in the Bible dedicated to this practice, Romans 14 (KJV), “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.”

Different Christians believe in different dietary standards. Some are vegetarians. Some follow the dietary laws of the Old Testament.

“6 … He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

Christians should give each other freedom in how they worship and serve God.

“10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

A judgment day will come – but none of us will be the judge.

PRAYER

One True God, Help me do to others as I would have them do to me.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ has a judgment seat—I will stand before it!

Free Souls

SEPTEMBER 4

MATTHEW 7:1_Judge not…

The kind of freedom Jesus teaches is not about keeping out of prison (although Jesus’ type of freedom could save you from that). Jesus wants to free souls.

A free soul gains wisdom.

Therefore a free soul has the ability to make wise decisions.

Wise decisions save from many forms of harm.

Wisdom is able to forgive and not carry the baggage of bitterness – which so often leads to physical sickness. 

The wisest man who ever lived, the phenomenal King Solomon, teaches this principle in Proverbs 2:10-13 (KJV), “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

Notice where wisdom enters – your heart. There is more to learn – Proverbs 4:7-9 (KJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

PRAYER

God of Wisdom, Help me be free from judgment and make wise decisions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ is wisdom—He wants me to learn to be wise!