A New Heart

JANUARY 13

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

The Bible is such an incredible book. It is the Book of Life. Life is tough. There’s nothing easy about living in a fallen world – even when you’re a fallen person. What? Seems like it would be easier to fit in if you were a Jesus rejecter and a satan follower. Ya think?

Satan is the alpha and omega of deception. Read his introduction into the Scriptures in Genesis 3:1, ‘Now the serpent was more subtil [deceitful] than any beast of the field.’ Satan and his spirits of darkness are not your friends. His ultimate plan for your life is destruction. 

When you are developing a new heart from Jesus you will mourn. A new heart living in a fallen world mourns over satan’s destructive work to convince people to believe his lies.

Your new heart mourns as it sees people become captive to: Alcohol. Pills. Pornographic Images. Anger. Hate. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Sexual Abuse. Unkind, Cruel Words which cannot be stopped because hearts are hard.

Blessed are you for mourning over those things. Jesus can deliver from all of these deceptions and give a life of freedom.

PRAYER

Jesus Deliverer, You are my deliverer. There is nothing satan can hold me captive to which You cannot free me from. Blessed be Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ breaks all my bonds—and gives me freedom!

Why Do You Come?

JANUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:2_And he taught them…

Whenever Jesus taught, multitudes came. Multitudes filled with variety. The desperate came to find freedom from demonic bondage. We think of demonic possession as something very graphic and frightening, but demons are at the core of hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, and stubborn rebellion, just to name a few.

Some came with hope of physical healing. Perhaps their diagnosis was “incurable.” Perhaps there was no money to pay for a doctor. Whatever the reason, they had heard of the miraculous power of The Great Physician. 

Some came out of curiosity. Who was this man that attracted multitudes whenever He spoke? Was He genuine? What kind of magic tricks might He perform today?  

Others in the multitude were Jesus’ enemies. Their hope was to find a loophole in His teaching and to expose Him before the crowd.

Jesus had not come on the scene in the usual method. He spoke differently. He taught differently. And what His enemies hated most, He attracted more followers than they.

When Jesus spoke people listened, were freed, and healed.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Please teach me to listen when You speak to me through Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ speaks to me—I will learn to listen!

Many

NOVEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:22_Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord…

Jesus begins this verse with the word many. I already feel bad that not everyone will go to heaven, but now I feel worse that the not everyones are many. 

This reminds me of the narrow path, when Jesus says few will find it. It also causes me to think about how He said many will go in at the broad gate.

From His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has taught me who comprises the many:

Those whose righteousness does not exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees (chapter 5:20),

Those who cause others to believe they are empty-headed idiots (chapter 5:22),

Those who profit from the bondage of human trafficking (chapter 5:29-30),

Those who do not forgive (chapter 6:15),

Those who choose the broad path to destruction (chapter 7:13),

Those who are ravening wolves and bring evil into the world (chapter 7:17).

None of these actions exclude anyone from heaven by the action alone. The exclusivity comes from the heart. The heart which excludes Jesus.

The actions can all be forgiven and erased when the heart opens to include Jesus.

The actions reveal the heart.                    

PRAYER

God of All, You have taught me to include You in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.             

Christ desires to be included in my life—I will let Him!

A Constant Guest in the Box

JUNE 30

MATTHEW 6:15_Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…

The unforgiveness box holds a variety of trespasses. The largest of the litter, betrayal, is an emotional trespass – a constant guest in the box. Emotional betrayal clings. It is very   difficult to shake off. Emotional trespass resists submission to peace. It does not want to forgive.

Emotions can be tender and gentle or wild and violent. Like a horse, they need a bit and bridle. James 3:3 (KJV), “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.” The more out of control our emotions, the harder they are to manage. 

The central point of control and power is the heart. Rehearsing a trespass over and again in the heart makes a strong hold on emotions. The heart is bound by the trespass and cannot forgive.

On the other hand, a heart fed with the truths of Scripture is freed.

Psalm 32:8-9 (KJV),“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.’“.

PRAYER

God of Power, Please keep my heart under the control of Bible truths. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                           

Christ can control emotions—I want Him to control mine!

Who Knows?

JUNE 29

MATTHEW 6:15_Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…

Why do you hold on to unforgiveness? Does it have something to do with forgiveness causing you to appear weak? God is not only willing, but wants to forgive you. Do you think He is weak?

Hanging on to unforgiveness because it makes you feel tough is straying. Hanging on to unforgiveness for any reason is straying. You are interfering with God’s desire to forgive you. If you are in relationship with Jesus you will forgive, because if you don’t the Holy Spirit will convict your heart. You will lose peace. Salty-lit-up disciples repent and come back to God’s path.

When someone’s straying trespasses into your life, you have to deal with the invasion – one way or another. You can react with anger and possibly physical confrontation, or seek the path of forgiveness. As we’ve said before, forgiveness does not necessarily mean the invaders should not be held responsible for their actions. Discernment must be applied.

Your life can be trespassed upon in many ways. Betrayal is probably the largest of the litter. It may certainly be the hardest to forgive. God does not measure trespasses by their size. God is more concerned about how far away from His path His disciples stray. It is His major concern because … He loves His disciples.

Your willingness to forgive the trespassers may be how God intends to bring them back on track.

Who knows? That may be why your life is the one He allowed them to invade.                  

PRAYER

God of Love, You are more than able to deliver from any trespass. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows all trespasses—He conquered them all!