… 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!

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!

What Jesus Says

JANUARY 7

MATTHEW 5:2_saying,

Jesus has reached the mark, set, and opened His mouth. Here we go! Now is the time to be blessed as only truth, love, and freedom can bless.

What Jesus says gives liberty. What Jesus says gives self-acceptance with worth.

What Jesus says gives power to forgive. What Jesus says gives God’s wisdom.

What Jesus says gives peace to pass human understanding.

What Jesus says gives courage in the midst of, and in the face of, raging storms.

What Jesus says gives love. This is not the temporal self-absorbing love, but the true, everlasting, never failing love.

What Jesus says gives faith—incredible, phenomenal, mountain moving!

There is nothing namby-pamby about Jesus or His teachings. He brings real answers for real people with real problems.

Jesus brings strong truth for weak people who need real help.

He brings tough love that doesn’t coddle or pamper, but compassionately stays until the hurt is soothed and healing has come.

Throughout this year consider these sayings, hand-picked for you.

PRAYER

Almighty God, I have real problems and I need real answers. Help me draw closer to You through Your teachings. I can trust You to guide me in faith. I want incredible, phenomenal, mountain moving faith! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ knows my hurts and pains—and He cares!

On Your Mark, Get Set,Go!

JANUARY 3

MATTHEW 5:1_he went up into a mountain: and when he was set…

Have you ever heard, “On your mark, get set, go?” In this verse Jesus reaches His mark, which is up on a mountain. You must reach your mark before you can begin the race, and you must have prepared yourself before you reach the mark. Once the mark is reached you get set—ready to begin the work.

Baptism was a part of Jesus’ preparation for His mark. Another was testing and endurance. Jesus endured a wilderness experience away from home, family, and friends. He suffered.

He suffered physically because He chose to fast during this time—to deny the body in order to strengthen the spirit.

He suffered temptation of the flesh to break the fast—in order to satisfy the physical over the spiritual.

He suffered a power struggle—to test God’s Word rather than believe it. He suffered the struggle of fame—to seek the praise of men over the praise of God.

You will face tests and sufferings throughout life. Suffering can break you or make you. The making or breaking is a decision, and the decision is yours.

PRAYER

Holy Great God, Help me endure my struggles in life. Let Your Word teach me wisdom that I may reach the mark and be set for Your go. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ suffered—He will help me be strong in suffering!

A Foundational Rock

DECEMBER 27

MATTHEW 7:28_the people were astonished at His doctrine.

I wonder if the listeners who were truth-seekers, were sorry to have this sermon come to an end? Are you? There is much more in the Bible than the Sermon on the Mount—but it is certainly a foundational rock. You can continue to seek the truth, and find it, as long as you are asking, seeking, and knocking in the right places and with the right people.

Jesus has taught dynamic principles of life. He has taught them systemically and precisely, with gentleness and compassion, with firmness, in a no-nonsense manner, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, humility, and a pure heart.

II Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your [that’s you and me] sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is what makes Jesus’ teachings astonishing. Not only did He endure the humility of leaving the throne of God to walk the earth with mere mortals—He died for them! None were worthy of His sacrifice.

But those who receive the free gift of His life, become worthy.  

Unheard of!

Unprecedented!

Astonishing!              

 PRAYER

Rock-That-Is-Higher-Than-I, I want Your humility, pure heart, and unprecedented love! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ came to free me from death—I praise Him!