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!

They Grow

JUNE 27

MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…

What goes up must come down. If God’s forgiveness relates to your forgiveness, God’s unforgiveness relates to your unforgiveness. 

A transformed life is a product of salvation and the ability to forgive. Salvation is an instantaneous, eternal experience. Transformation is a process. Love is a process. They grow. As you grow in relationship with Jesus, you grow in your ability to give true, straight-from-the-heart love. It is the way natural byproducts work.

The ability to forgive has to be a byproduct of the love you gain from heart transformation. Hard hearts cannot produce forgiveness. The natural byproduct of hard hearts is unforgiveness.

A relationship with Jesus is not just I need to be sure I’m not going to hell. It is about:

I hear the knock of Jesus on my heart’s door.

I feel the love He brings.

I feel His forgiveness.

I want to love like He loves me.

I want to forgive like He forgives me.

I want to live as His disciple.

I want to be His salt and light.             

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the natural byproducts of transformation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                 

Christ is salvation—He is my salvation

Each Day Is New

JUNE 10

MATTHEW 6:11_this day…

Psalm 118:24 (KJV), “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is new. Stop and think about that. It is brand new. It is not yesterday. Neither is it tomorrow. It is today! Every day has new needs and every day your Father has an abundant supply. It is His joy to bless you each day. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV), “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Here is another part of God’s daily giving. God’s mercy protects from being consumed – daily.  

If you think to be consumed is to be eaten you are not entirely wrong. The things that hold you in bondage eat away at life. You can be consumed by lust, greed, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, and depression.

These are not come-and-go bondages. They consume daily – eating away love, joy, and peace. Because God is faithful and full of compassion, His mercy saves from being consumed by bondage. Just like each day is new – so are God’s mercies of compassion and faithfulness.

Freedom can be a process. But compassion is not. Just don’t cave in to doubt. God delivers. It’s a part of who He is. This may be the day for you!!!

I can understand why Jesus teaches, Give us this day!

 PRAYER

Merciful God, Praise You that Your compassion saves me daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s mercy is new every day—He gives it to me!