Monday, October 31, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - In The Garden

Read: John 18:1-24; Mark 14:32-52; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-53
As I read about that night in the garden I can’t help but wonder how the disciples knew what Jesus prayed if they were asleep. I know that Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would remind them about things that he said and that happened. This has to be one of those revelations they got through the Spirit. Luke even saw an angel from heaven that appeared and strengthened Jesus. He said that Jesus sweat drops of blood. I think that if I saw an angel, I would have been aroused out of slumber so I have to conclude that the Holy Spirit showed them these things afterwards.
It always amuses me to read about the soldier, Malchus who had his ear cut off then miraculously put back on. How do you do your job after that? I bet he became a believer that day or soon after. He was picked out of all the soldiers to see and feel Jesus’ healing power flow through his body. Mark tells us that Malchus was the slave of the high priest! His master was the high priest and yet this man Jesus had more power than his master.
If that wasn’t enough, when they asked Jesus who he was he said he was I AM… the same I AM that spoke to Moses. At that announcement, the soldiers drew back and fell to the ground. Malchus gets another touch!
When the disciple cut off Malchus’ ear, Jesus told them to put the sword away saying that he could have called 10,000 angels to protect him if he asked. This reminds me of Satan’s temptation to Jesus to throw himself off the temple and let angels save him. Jesus had already fought and won that temptation so he was able to rest in God’s will. It is our instinct to want to fight for our life when God just wants us to lay it down.
Lord, help us to lay down my lives for you and accept your will. Give us discernment to know when to fight and when to yield.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Promise of Tomorrow

Read: John 15:18-17:26
Jesus was still in the middle of his intimate talk with his disciples right before he was going to be crucified. He spoke to them about the persecution he was about to face and the future persecution they would face because they are his disciples. He explained that the world hated him because his presence convicted them of their sin and the miracles he did convinced them of their guilt. The things Jesus did filled the people of the world with hatred where it filled others with awe and love for him. After he leaves he promised to send them an Advocate, or Encourager, or Counselor - the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth sent by God to testify about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and tell of God’s righteousness. He will proclaim God’s coming judgment.
Jesus told them that up till then he had spoken about his death and future in figures of speech but soon he would be able to talk plainly all about the Father. He told them that he was leaving earth to return to heaven to be with God, his Father.
Then Jesus prayed to his father so his disciples could hear. He asked God to glorify him so he could give that glory back to God. Next he prayed for his disciples that they would be protected and have the unity that Jesus and God have. Jesus had given they his joy and his word; he prayed that God would keep them safe from the devil. He prayed his prayer not just to them but to all the disciples that will come after him. The last thing Jesus prayed is for God’s love and Jesus to be in them.
Lord, thank you for giving us your name to use in prayer to access what we need. May your love and joy flow out of us today as we walk as Jesus today.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Jesus’ Intimate Words With His Disciples

Read: John 13:31-15:17; Mark 14:27-31; Matthew 26:31-35; Luke 22:31-38
I read today’s reading out loud to my granddaughter, Alanna. There is something powerful about reading the Word of God out loud. This was Jesus intimate last words with his disciples once Judas had left. Jesus told them that he was going back to the Father and that they would not be able to come now. It must have been hard for them for the truth to set in that he was not going to set up an earthly kingdom and save the day on earth. Little did they realize that they were going to demonstrate the kingdom here on earth after he left. This was a very scary time for them.
Instead of talking about logistics, he talked about loving one another and doing the things he had done and greater. He told them that they would deny him and scatter. They had become a close-knit family with him as their leader. Everything was about to change. He even told them to have a sword and be prepared physically to travel and have to flee.
He promised them an Advocate, the Holy Spirit that has been with them. Now it will be in them like he was in Jesus. Jesus told them that he loved them and would always be with them through the Holy Spirit just as the Father has always been in him. This holy Spirit would teach them everything they needed to know and remind them of everything Jesus told them. That is why we have the gospels that were probably written years after Jesus died and rose. Their job now would be to go and produce good fruit.
That is our commission: to do the things that Jesus did and greater because the Holy Spirit lives in us and to love one another and produce good fruit for the kingdom.
Lord help us to do all of these things.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Jesus’ Last Meal with his Disciples

Read: Mark 14:1-26; Matthew 26:1-30; Luke 22:1-30; John 13: 1-30
Everything about Jesus last supper with his disciples was preplanned in heaven. The angels had done the preplanning on earth so all Jesus had to do was walk in their plans. Jesus makes walking in the spirit look so easy. That is really how we can walk. God has planned everything in advance - we just have to walk in it.
Jews all over Jerusalem were eating the Passover meal with their friends and family. Jesus knew he was about to die and he knew that Judas was going to be the one who would do it. He must have been sitting very near Jesus because he was close enough to dip his bread in the same bowl as Jesus. When the disciples heard that Jesus was going to be betrayed by one of them they were shocked. Jesus told them exactly who it would be and showed them but because it was too obvious, they missed it. They never knew when he was talking in symbols or out right. Judas must not have been an obvious pick to them because they totally missed the big clue.
This would be the last time Jesus would be with his disciples before he died so he spoke to them once again about serving the people. The religious leaders had this so messed up and Jesus wanted them to get it right. Jesus came as an example of what true leadership and true religion was suppose to look like. He wanted them to be good leaders.
Lord, help us to die to self-promotion and pride. Help us to see that the way to the kingdom is through humility.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Sheep and the Goats

Read: Mark 13: 32-37; Matthew 25:1-46; Luke 21:34-38
Jesus gave them parables to tell them about the kingdom of heaven. He gave them the one about the 10 virgins and the talents. One has to do with the people themselves and the other has to do with gifts he gives to certain people. We are responsible for being full of the Holy Spirit which is the oil and for the gifts God has given them.
He explains the difference between the sheep and the goats. The sheep have the heart of God and care for his people. The goats don’t love because the love of the Father is not in them. Jesus said that a faithful servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. When we grow in the Lord, God puts people under our care that we are to feed spiritually and take care of. When we prove faithful in this, he puts others under our charge. We will be rewarded for our faithfulness. Love is the greatest thing we can give to others. It is the principle thing. Everything will pass away except faith, hope, and love…and the greatest of these is love.
Lord, help us to walk in love. Show us who are our sheep and help us to be faithful in caring and feeding them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Coming Kingdom

Read: Mark 13:1-31; Matthew 24:1-35; Luke 21:5-33
The disciples spoke about temporal things but Jesus spoke of spiritual things. They were talking about the actual stones of the temple but Jesus spoke about himself as being the temple. The disciples asked Jesus when this would happen and what would be the signs. Jesus refused to tell the time but he did tell them that the signs would dictate the time. So let’s look at the things he told us would happen. People would rise up and say they were the Messiah. There will be wars and rumors of wars. There will be famines and troubles, but these are just the birth pains. God’s people will be brought before the judges and beaten and the gospel will be given to all nations. Then he lovingly interjects for the people that are put on trial for the gospel sake. They don’t have to worry about what to say because the Holy Spirit will speak through them.
People will turn against those of their own household and betray them to the ruthless leaders.
The worse will come when a person or object is set up to be worshiped like Daniel 9, 11, and 12 talks about. Then it will be time to flee if you live in Judea. This will be a terrible time on the earth. There will be signs in the heavens. The sun will be darkened, the moon won’t shine and the stars will fall from the sky. The powers in the heavens will be shaken. This could be spiritual or physical. That will usher in Jesus’ Second Coming.
These scriptures have been studied and analyzed for centuries but if Jesus had wanted us to know all the detail he would have told us. He wants us to walk by faith and see his kingdom come. We have to learn to bring the kingdom from heaven to earth before we are going to leave this world. We have just begun the kingdom age so we have a long time before the end is here. We need to live for the kingdom and leave the end to God. He will not do anything he doesn’t first tell his prophets so it will not be a surprise to the people of God.
Lord, let us live in the age we are born in and be effective here on earth. Let your kingdom come in earth as it is in heaven.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Jesus Answers the Religious Leaders

Read: Mark 12:28-44; Matthew 22:41-23:39; Luke 20:41-21:4
The religious leaders were examining the lamb to see if they could find any blemish in him. They wanted to trap Jesus but he always ended up trapping them instead. When they asked Jesus which of the commandments was the most important, I wonder if they had an answer. Jesus gave the best answer and they couldn’t deny it. You can see the light coming on in the scribes heart.
Jesus asked them a question about whose son the Messiah would be. They said he would be the son of David. Jesus pointed out that David referred to the Messiah as his Lord. Son of the men had an answer to this.
Jesus came to make the way straight, to bring down every mountain and raise up every valley. This means that Jesus came to level the field. He came to bring the high and mighty religious leaders and exalt the humble harlots and sinners. He nailed the teacher of the law and the Pharisees calling them proud, arrogant and hypocrites. He went over the absurdity of their nit-picky laws and how they didn’t even make sense. Then he exalted the small gift of the poor widow who gave her two small coins. Her gift was everything she had which meant more in the kingdom than a great tithe from a wealthy hypocrite.
Lord, let our sacrifices and gifts be acceptable to you and given from a humble heart.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Inspecting the Lamb

Read: Matthew 21:28-22:33; Mark 12:1-27; Luke 20:9-40
Jesus began teaching them through parables about what it takes to be a disciple. First you must obey what the Father asks you to do. It was the son that obeyed that was commended. He told them the parable about the vineyard and the owner who leased his vineyard to the tenant farmers. They were evil and killed all the owner’s messengers and finally his son. He was referring to the religious leaders. God had given his law to them to lead the people in righteousness. Instead, they had been evil and killed all the prophets and were going to kill God’s son. God would take the way to enter the kingdom away from them and give it to the lowest of the earth who would treasure it and obey him.
In the tradition of the Passover, the people were to find a lamb that was spotless. They were to bring it into their house and observe it for 10 days to make sure there was no blemish on it. Jesus was the Lamb of God who was being observed to see if there was any fault in him. Today we read of the religious leaders testing him and trying to trap him into saying anything that they could use against him. Jesus astounded them with his wisdom and could not be trapped. He spoke of earthly things like taxes and heavenly things like resurrection from the dead. All the gospels say that the leaders were amazed by his answers and were silenced.
Lord, you say that when we are brought before the judges of this world that you will give us the right words to say. May our defense of your gospel amaze and silence our offenders.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Fruitless Israel

Read: John 12:37-50; Mark 11:12-33; Matthew 21:12-27; Luke 19:45-20:8
John explained that the reason the people couldn’t believe Jesus even though they couldn’t deny his miracles was because they didn’t want to be thrown out of the synagogue for they loved the praises of man more than the praises of God. How sad.
Jesus was days from the cross so he was becoming more bold in his preaching. He told them that if they had seen him, they had seen God. He had come to turn the light on in the dark world, but his light was blinding many of them.
On his way back to Jerusalem the next day he saw a fig tree full of leaves but no figs. It was too early for figs yet Jesus cursed it never to bear fruit again. The fig tree stands for Israel. Israel had the laws and had been chosen to be God’s standard on the earth. Israel should have been fruitful because of all God had blessed her with, but she wasn’t. She had dissimulated into the world so much that she had lost her future and her purpose. Jesus cursed her for not being ready for Him.
When they returned the next day and saw the fig tree withered and dead from the roots, Jesus taught them a principle about prayer. Before you declare a thing in faith, you must forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your father in heaven will forgive you.
Next, Jesus cleansed the temple. They had made a great fortune extorting the people with high prices for their sacrifices to God. They had turned the holy house of God into a den of thieves.
When they asked Jesus where he was getting his authority to say and do the things he did, he asked them whose authority John came in. Did he have the blessing of heaven or was he just doing it on his own? They knew better than answer that in the ear of the people so he refused to answer their question. What Jesus was saying was that if you can’t accept the messenger, then you won’t accept the message.
Lord, help us to stay spiritually awake and alive. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Anointed and Set for His Destiny

Read Mark 14:3-9, 11:1-11; Matthew 26:6-13, 21: 1-11; John 12:1- 36; Luke 19: 28-40, 12:12-36
I wonder if the lady with the spikenard knew the significance of what she was doing. Spikenard is also referred to as a “grain of wheat”. It was a thick perfume worth 300 pence which was a year’s wages. This act was openly criticized by Jesus’ disciples who were rebuked by Jesus. This woman realized who was in her midst more than they did and she would be forever remembered for anointing him for burial. It was John that gave us the details that it was Mary who did this and she wiped his feet with her hair. He said that the whole house was filled with the odor of the perfume. John leaves out the part about being anointed for burial.
Next we have Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He took the path of the temple lamb. First the temple lamb walked that rode and the people traditionally praised it with palm branches. Then Jesus came and they did the same for him. This was the fulfillment of prophecy that Jesus would come riding on a donkey. I believe that Jesus came on a donkey because a donkey is extremly stubborn and self-willed. Jesus was stubbornly set to come to Jerusalem to die. None of his disciples wanted him to do this. Jesus willingly laid down his life for us. No one could talk him out of it. When Jesus explained what he was doing he told them that it was time for him to enter into his glory. Then he said that a grain of wheat has to be planted into the ground and die in order to produce a harvest. He was that grain of wheat that come to walk the earth and die so that the harvest would come. When Jesus prayed in front of the crowd, God answered so all could hear him. God said, “I have already brought glory to my name and I will do so again.” The hard-hearted heard God’s voice as thunder but the open hearts heard the words. The people questioned his death saying that they understood the Messiah to live forever. Jesus answered that he was the light and they needed to receive him as the light so they could walk in light not darkness. Of course, they didn’t understand.
Jesus talked in riddles and hidden codes so that they would have to seek him to find him. Those that wanted him did just that. It is the same today. We have to seek him and learn to trust the unknown.
Lord, help us to trust the spirit of your Word and not get discouraged when you aren’t manifesting what we think you should.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Stewarding the Gifts God Has Given Us

Read: Matthew 20:1-34 ; Mark 10:32-52; Luke 18:31-19:27
Jesus give a parable then he always gives the object lesson. He tells a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven. The landowner hired some workers early in the morning and agreed to pay them a day’s wages. All during the day he hired more people even up till an hour before closing time. When he went to pay them he gave them all the same wages. The ones that had worked all day complained that they got the same wages as those that only worked an hour. The landowner reminded them that they agreed to work for that wage and it was his money and he could bless who ever he wanted with it. His goodness should not bring out their evilness.
Then Jesus told his twelve disciples exactly what was going to happen when they got to Jerusalem. He was going to be betrayed, crucified and rise on the third day. This went right over their heads because they couldn’t receive it. It was not how they thought things would go. To illustrate it better, James and John came to Jesus and asked if they could sit beside him on his throne. They were expecting him to take over the Roman government and rule the Jews. Jesus tried to explain to them that the way to be exalted was to humble themselves. As an example, the two blind men beside the road humbled themselves and cried out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus extended mercy to them and let them see. He not only opened their natural eyes, but their spiritual eyes were opened also. In Mark we learn that one of the blind man’s name was Bartimaeus. His name means “son of one unclean”. He was the one in the marketplace that no one would hire and at the last hour, Jesus had compassion on him and hired him to be a worker in his field. His wages will be eternal life, just like the disciples who had labored with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry. Zacchaeus also became one of the ones last hired.
Then Jesus gave them another parable about how to steward what they had been given because there will be an accounting in the end.
Lord, place in our heart the fear of God so that we will steward our time left on earth. We want to have a reward to give to you of our labor in the end.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Eternity in Mind

Read: Luke 18:9-30; Mark 10:1-31; Matthew 19:1-30
Jesus gave them a parable about being humble and not thinking themselves better than another, then he showed them what it looked like. He took the time to lay his hands and bless the children. He used them as an example of how we get into the kingdom of heaven. From the parable he had given about the publican and the Pharisee we can understand that he was saying that it is not our knowledge or our righteousness that is going to get us to the kingdom… it is our total reliance on God. A child is totally reliant on their parents and they have no cares about all the hard things in life. We have to know that our Father in heaven is totally taking care of us.
The Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to divorce your wife if she had done something of fault. Jesus explained that God’s plan was for God to unite a man and woman in marriage and they become one. This fulfills the picture of the Bride and Jesus. But because man’s hearts were hard and unforgiving, God wrote them a law of divorcement. It was not God’ original plan. The condition was adultery or fornication and it had to be accompanied with a written contract. During this time, they were just divorcing their wives and not giving them a letter of divorcement which did not break the contract. So, if one of them remarried they would be committing adultery because they were not legally divorced under God’s eyes.
A righteous man came to Jesus and asked how he could have eternal life. He obeyed all the commandments so his actions were righteous. But, when Jesus dealt with the mote in his heart, he was not so righteous. He was not willing to sell out for the Lord. Jesus stated that it was not easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He did not say it was impossible and there are many very wealthy people who are Christians and use their wealth for the kingdom. He was dealing with the hold money had on the heart. Those who do give up their wealth for the sake of the kingdom will receive an hundredfold and everlasting life. This life is so temporal but eternal life is forever!
Lord, help us to live our lives with eternity in mind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wed’s Devo - Jesus’ Last Days

Read: John 11:38-57; Luke 17:11-18:8
Jesus resurrects Lazareth as a precursor of his own resurrection. This was the straw that broke the Pharisees’ back. The High Priest realized that Jesus was getting so popular that he was afraid the Roman army would come and destroy both their Temple and their nation out of fear of a revolt. I think that the High Priest was in fear of an internal revolt even more. Caiaphas prophesied that it would be better if one man should die for the people and save the nation from being destroyed. Little did he know but he was proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ mission was to die for the whole world and unite the children of God that had been scattered. God hid Jesus in a city called Ephraim until his time had come. Jesus was to die on Passover to be our passover lamb.
On his way to Jerusalem for the feast, he met 10 lepers. They cried out for mercy so Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest. As they were going they were healed. The Samaritan came back and fell before Jesus thanking him for healing him. Jesus asked why the others didn’t return to give thanks to God then turned to the Samaritan and told him that his faith had made him whole. The nine Jews got a physical healing but the one Samaritan got a physical healing and spiritual salvation. The nine went to the priest and presented themselves. They were now able to enter services in the synagogue. The one Samaritan didn’t have a priest. He realized Jesus as his priest and can now enter the synagogue of heaven. This was to show the rejection of the Jews as a nation and the hunger of the Gentiles for salvation.
The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. Since they were looking at God’s kingdom (Jesus) and couldn’t see it, he told them of the one they would see which would be Jesus’ second coming. He warned them that they would be so busy living their lives then also and would miss that one too. Only, this time they would lose their eternal lives too.
Lord, open our eyes to see the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Love of God - The Plan of God

Read: Luke 14:25-17:10; John 11:37
Jesus teaches them how much you must love God to be his disciple - above the love of family and even yourself. Then he told them how much the Father loved them. He would leave 99 to find one sheep that had gone astray. He explained further in the parable of the prodigal son. God had chosen Israel to give his name to and call his family. They were his sons in the parable. Some of them were faithful like the son who stayed with his father and the others were rebellious like the son who left. The prodigal son finally came home but the faithful son had a problem with the lavish feast the father gave to celebrate his homecoming. He felt like the father was rewarding his disobedience but the father was really celebrating his rebirth. God is calling prodigals home and we need to rejoice with the father and not judge.
Next, Jesus gave them a lesson in business but I have to admit I don’t understand it. The man was deceitful and crude and yet Jesus commended him for being wise. It looked like manipulative and wrong to me. I do understand that if you are deceitful in the little things, you will be deceitful in the big ones and if you are faithful to your boss and his money, then God will know he can intrust to you his riches.
Lastly, I want to bring up the fact that John is the only one of the gospels that tells the story of Lazareth being raised from the dead. We know that John wrote to the Church so it is particularly important to us. Jesus was just a few miles from Jerusalem when he had been slowly approaching knowing well what was to await him there. I think it is interesting that one of the last miracles he did was to raise a man from death. Nazareth was a precursor of what Jesus was about to do. He would also be dead and placed in a grave, only to rise to new life. Nazareth was the picture.
Lord, help us to walk in your resurrection power.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Boldness of Jesus

Read: John 10; Luke 13:22-14:24
Jesus gave the people a parable about the spiritual realm. The people who sneak over the wall are people who get into the sheepfold or the spiritual realm another way other than coming through the door which is Jesus. We see these people popping up everywhere. They are the psychics and the shamans and the people who tell the future for money. They have found a way into the spiritual world but they do not come through Jesus. They are of the devil who is the thief and the robber. Stay away from anyone who wants to heal you or pray for you who doesn’t pray through Jesus and doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to salvation. If you know the Father’s voice, you won’t have to worry about being deceived.
When the people begged him to say that he was the Messiah, Jesus refused to tell them because they weren’t his sheep. If they had have been, they would have known who he was. When he said that the Father and him were one, they wanted to stone him. No wonder he didn’t want to come out and say he was the Messiah. They tried to arrest him but he walked away unharmed. It was not his time.
Jesus went back to where his ministry began at the river where John baptized him. The ones that had followed John knew that Jesus had fulfilled everything John said about him so they became Jesus’ followers. Others, Jesus explained would try to get into the Kingdom of God and not be able to because they never really knew him.
The Pharisees tried to scare Jesus from their towns saying Herod was looking for him so he could kill him. Jesus told them to tell Herod that he was going to keep casting out devils and doing miracles till his time was over.
Jesus was invited to another Pharisee’s house to eat and a man walked in with obvious health issues. Of course, it was the Sabbath. They were trying to trap Jesus but Jesus turned it on them and shut them down. He also gave them a lesson on humility and who were the most likely to get into the kingdom. I’m sure this did not go well with them.
Lord, help us to be bold about truth and humble in spirit.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Fire of God

Read: Luke 12:35-13:21; John 9
Jesus came to set the world on fire. He came to baptize us with fire. He came as the Word that divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow and the thoughts and intents of the heart. He came to divide families against one another because of Him. He came to wake us up; not to for death but for life! Because he came to set the world on fire, he did all kinds of acts that stirred the people up…especially the religious leaders. The miracles we read about today were all done on the Sabbath. Jesus did most of his healing on the Sabbath because that was when he was with people and it was a picture. The Sabbath has to do with the 7th day, the day of rest. In the seventh millennium it will be when Jesus reigns and all will be healed. He was pointing toward another day, but he did heal on other days. We are living in the other days and Jesus still heals today. He is looking for faithful people that can bring the Sabbath to earth. When Jesus healed the blind man it stirred things up so much it got the man thrown out of the synagogue. I love what Jesus said when the Pharisees asked him if he thought they were blind. He said, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty, But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
The blind man had been blind since birth. He was a picture of a person born into sin as we all are. It was not his parent’s fault, we are all born into sin. Sin makes us blind and only Jesus can take the veil from our eyes and wash them so that we can see spiritually. Jesus did that for this man. All he had to do was to believe and obey. He chose to do both and he was healed. Once he could see he could accept who Jesus was. The fact that he was thrown out of the synagogue was to show that the law no longer had power over him. He would never have to be subjected to the old covenant but had a new one - Jesus.
Lord, thank you for giving us eyes to see. Wash our eyes again so we can see clearer.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sat’s Devo - The Fire of God

Read: Luke 11:14-12:34
Jesus came to set the world on fire. He came to baptize us with fire. He came as the Word that divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow and the thoughts and intents of the heart. He came to divide families against one another because of Him. He came to wake us up; not to for death but for life! Because he came to set the world on fire, he did all kinds of acts that stirred the people up…especially the religious leaders. The miracles we read about today were all done on the Sabbath. Jesus did most of his healing on the Sabbath because that was when he was with people and it was a picture. The Sabbath has to do with the 7th day, the day of rest. In the seventh millennium it will be when Jesus reigns and all will be healed. He was pointing toward another day, but he did heal on other days. We are living in the other days and Jesus still heals today. He is looking for faithful people that can bring the Sabbath to earth. When Jesus healed the blind man it stirred things up so much it got the man thrown out of the synagogue. I love what Jesus said when the Pharisees asked him if he thought they were blind. He said, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty, But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
The blind man had been blind since birth. He was a picture of a person born into sin as we all are. It was not his parent’s fault, we are all born into sin. Sin makes us blind and only Jesus can take the veil from our eyes and wash them so that we can see spiritually. Jesus did that for this man. All he had to do was to believe and obey. He chose to do both and he was healed. Once he could see he could accept who Jesus was. The fact that he was thrown out of the synagogue was to show that the law no longer had power over him. He would never have to be subjected to the old covenant but had a new one - Jesus.
Lord, thank you for giving us eyes to see. Wash our eyes again so we can see clearer.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Sons of God

Read: John 8:21-59; Luke 10:1-11:13
I want to bring out one thing that Jesus said because I think this has been a wrong teaching in the Body of Christ. In John 8:29, Jesus says that God who sent him is with him and has not left him alone. Many teach that God forsook Jesus on the cross, but that is not what it means. God never left Jesus and God can look on sin. He does every day. I’ll explain it better when we get to that part.
Jesus talks about sin and how those who sin are slaves to sin. When we become Christians we are sons of God. The sons are set free from sin, so don’t let the devil deceive you into thinking you will always be a slave to your sin. Whom the Son sets free, they are forever free! Jesus gave them a litmus test. They thought they were God’s sons because they were Jews but Jesus was showing them that true sons are sons of the heart. If they were true sons then they would love God’s son, Jesus. We can use that nugget to judge if a doctrine is right. If they don’t love Jesus, they can’t love God. Only a doctrine that believes in Jesus as God’s son and our Savior is a true doctrine.
Jesus blew them away when he used a play on words. He told them that before Abraham was I AM. I AM was the name God gave to Abraham when he appeared to him. Jesus was saying that he was God. This made them want to stone him. God hid him and he escaped. I believe God just transported him to another place. He did this many times when the crowd was wanting to kill him. Either that, or he made him invisible to their natural eyes. Either way, it was a miracle!
Jesus by-passed the leaders of the synagogue and anointed 72 plain people and sent them out with authority over demonic spirits. They were to tell the people that the kingdom of God was near them now. They were to prepare the way for Jesus to come back to them and minister. They went and saw many people delivered of demons. So much that Jesus saw Satan fall from heaven. He is forever banned from heaven. Even greater than casting out demons is the fact that our names are written in the Book of Life!
Lord, may we use the power you have given us over the devil and his demons. Thank you for writing our names in your Book of Life.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Feast of Tabernacles

Read: John 7:1-8:20; Luke 9:51-56; Matthew 8:18-22
Finally, we hear from John. It was the feast of Tabernacles and Jesus observed each one of the feasts. The Jewish men were required by Moses’ law to go to Jerusalem three times a year for the festivals. Jesus waited until his family had gone and went alone to hide from the Jewish leaders who were seeking to kill him. He was the talk of the festival but he waited till the Oblation of the Pouring of the Water before he showed himself. It was the day that the priests would walk to the Pool of Siloam which was known as the pool of living water and bring pots of the water back to the festival and pour them on the altar at the temple simultaneously with wine. They would quote the verse in Isaiah 12:3 that says 'With joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation’. Jesus, this salvation they were demonstrating, stood up and taught. He told them that if they were thirsty they could come to him and he would give them living water. The religious leaders were outraged but some of them were in awe of Jesus’ teaching. They had never heard anyone teach like Jesus did.
The Pharisees and religious leaders were always trying to trap Jesus with the law which was exactly what Jesus was. He was the Law that became flesh - the very fulfillment of it. The Jews had gotten so tripped up over the letter of the law they had left the spirit behind. Jesus came with the spirit of the law. Those that had hearts to hear it were refreshed by him. Those that didn’t were repulsed.
There was another ceremony where they erected 4 candelabrum 75 feet high. Each candelabra had four golden bowls reached by 4 ladders. Each bowl held gallons of oil. The wicks were made of rags form used priestly garments. When these candelabras were lit they gave off such intense light that it lit the whole city of Jerusalem. It was during the lighting of these lights that Jesus stood up and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you will never walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
This made the Pharisees so mad. They asked him how he could make such claims about himself and Jesus told them it was because he knew where he came from and who he was. We should be that bold because we know where we came from and we know who we are. We are sent from God as was Jesus and He is in us.
Lord, help us to remember that we are your workmanship made to do great exploits on the earth because You live in us. FYI: the Feast of Tabernacles is the 17th of this month.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Principles of the Kingdom

Read: Mark 9:14-50; Matthew 17:14-18:35; Luke 9:37-50
When the disciples couldn’t cast the demon out of the young boy, they brought him to Jesus. Jesus cast it out of him never to return then told his disciples that this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting. Jesus spent his free time doing both of these things. He also told them that they needed to have more faith.
Jesus avoided the crowds so he could spend time teaching his disciples. They were going to be the ones he would leave his ministry to. He told them that he was going to be betrayed and killed by his enemies, but on the third day he would rise from the dead. This was very disturbing to them and they couldn’t grasp it in their minds. It was definitely different from what they were imagining. God’s ways usually are.
Jesus taught them about how to be great in the kingdom of God. He told them that just to get in they needed to turn from their sins and become like little children in their faith. He told them that the least among them would be the greatest. He also encouraged them with this: everyone will be tested with fire. If something is tempting you, you have to remove yourself from it.
He also talked about when a person does something sinful against you. You are to first go to the person who offended you and tell them your story. If they won’t listen, then you need to take one or two people with you. If they still won’t listen, then you tell the church leadership. If they won’t listen to them then you are to treat them like a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. Because, what ever we loose here on earth will be loosed in heaven and what ever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven. “Loose” means to loosen, dissolve or put off. “Bind” means to tie up in bonds. Jesus told them to bind first, then to loose. So we bind up the enemy and then we free ourselves from that sin. If we don’t replace it with good seed, it will come back.
The last teaching Jesus gave them was about forgiveness. It is one of the most important principles in the Bible. We must learn to forgive or we will not be forgiven. No matter how much mercy was given to the man, because he didn’t have forgiveness in his heart, he couldn’t forgive his debtor. His end is a picture of the bondage we are in when we don’t forgive. We might not be in a physical prison, but we are certainly in an emotional, spiritual prison until we repent and forgive. God will help us to do this if we just ask.
Lord, bring to our minds anyone we have not forgiven so that we can repent and forgive them. Thank you for forgiving us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Who Do You Say I Am?

Read: Mark 8:22-9:13; Matthew 16: 21-17:13; Luke 9:21-36
Jesus asked his disciples who the people thought he was, then he asked them who they thought he was. They agreed that he was the Messiah. Jesus told them that upon this rock of truth he would build his Church and nothing would be able to come against it. Then he told them not to tell anyone their revelation. They were free to disclose everything after Jesus died and rose.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain and showed them a flashback of when He revealed himself to Elijah and Moses up on their mountain. There God had revealed to these men his plan of the ages. He came down and revealed his plan to his disciples. He was going to be examined by the rulers of the land and the religious leaders, then he would be crucified and raised up on the third day. Peter pulled him aside and tried to talk him out of cursing himself. It was Peter who got cursed. He was called Satan because of the deception in his mind. Peter was seeing things from a worldly point of view, not God’s. This was God’s plan and it was to be glorious.
Lord, help us to see through heaven’s perspective and not our earthly one.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Jesus Looks For Faith

Read: Mark 7:24-8:21; Matthew 15:29-16:12
Jesus said things and did things to reveal men’s hearts. Jesus told the Gentile woman that he couldn’t heal her son because healing was the children’s bread. The children were the Jewish people. Her reply revealed her tenacious spirit. Jesus loved it and gave her what he had intended to give all the time. Sometimes he just wants to know how bad we want it, or better said, how much we believe him. Jesus came to bring salvation to the whole world but it was going to be done through his disciples. This woman pulled on Jesus and got hers early.
Jesus was always trying to escape a crowd. I wonder if he wasn’t hoping to gain disciples instead of large masses of takers. I will give it to the people: they stayed for three days without food to listen to Jesus teach and watch him do miracles. That did show some commitment. For their faithfulness, Jesus fed them spiritually and naturally. He will always feed the hungry.
After feeding them, he went to the other side of the lake. The Pharisees met him and badgered him for a sign from heaven as if healing the sick, casting out demons and multiplying food wasn’t a good enough sign. Jesus got so fed up with them he got right back in his boat and went back to the other side. On the way Jesus spoke to his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees. The disciples were on a natural level so they thought he was rebuking them for not bringing bread. Jesus was a little exasperated at the disciples. He had proved to them that he could meet their natural needs…he wasn’t talking about natural bread. He was referring to the wrong teachings of the Pharisees. It was like yeast that spread throughout the loaf causing the whole loaf to rise up. Jesus knew that if he had stayed on the side with the Pharisee, their wrong teachings and hate for him would have spread to the people and he would not have been able to do anything.
Lord, let us walk in a heart of belief and trust in You.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - It is a Matter of the Heart

Read: John 6:22-71; Mark 7:1-23; Matthew 15:1-20
The next morning, the crowd looked for Jesus and the disciples and didn’t know that they had crossed to the other side during the night. They finally did find them on the other side and questioned them about how they got to the other side since they would have known their was a storm that night. Jesus told them that they were looking for him because he fed them but they missed the message of his miracles. They were more than miracles, they were signs that He was the Messiah and there were purposes to everything Jesus did. Jesus’ miracles were to point to the true bread that Jesus offered. It was eternal life.
In the time of the Exodus, God send food down from heaven as a type of the true bread he was going to send down from heaven in the form of his Son.
The words that Jesus taught were hard for many of his disciples to understand because they were trying to understand with their minds. Only the spirit in a man can understand spiritual things because they offend our minds. Jesus offended many minds.
He offended the Pharisees because Jesus disciples didn’t do the ritual hand-washing that they required. Hand-washing is not one of God’s laws so Jesus asked them why they obeyed this law but didn’t honor their parents which was one of God’s laws. They were not taking care of their elderly parents using the excuse that they were giving that money to the synagogue.
Jesus turned to the crowd and taught them that saying the right thing is not right if your heart is not right. All sin stems from the heart. The heart is the thing that needs to be changed.
Lord, give us your heart to love and forgive. You have written your laws on our heart. May we obey them.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Walk on the Water

Read: Luke 9:7-14; Mark 6:14-52; John 6: 1-21; Matthew 14:22-36
Finally we have two miracles recorded by John. He only recorded 7 miracles so let’s take a look at these two. The first is the feeding of the 5,000. Since John wrote to the church he chose to write about things that the church would need to know. His first recorded miracle was turning the water to wine. The six clay pots stood for men. Men were created on the 6th day and we are earthen vessels. He poured water in them that turned to wine. Water is spirit that brought forth wine when he is the one pouring it in us. This wine gives joy and live.
One of the miracles John wrote about today was the feeding of the 5,000 from one boys lunch. God was using this to show us that no matter how insignificant we think we are, God can use whatever we bring to him and multiply it in epic proportions. That can apply to our tithes, our service, our ministry, whatever we give to God. He will multiply our seed.
The next miracle John talked about today was calming the storm. That almost needs no explanation. Satan was behind that storm and he did not want the disciples to make it to the other side. He saw them alone in the boat without Jesus and swept down to terrorize and kill them. Storms come in many forms: financial, relational, spiritual, natural, etc. I love how John writes it. Jesus walked out to them in the midst of their storm and told them not to be afraid because he was there. When he entered the boat, the storm calmed and they were immediately on the other side.
When Jesus enters our storms he can immediately take us to a place of safety and peace in our spirits. It will manifest on the earth in its time.
Matthew is the only one who talks about Peter walking on the water. We are invited to walk in the same peace that Jesus walked in.
One more thing I want to bring out is found in Matthew 14:34-38. Jesus went back to the place where he had cast out the legion of demons from that man who lived in the caves. Jesus now returns and this time the people were ready to receive him because of the demoniac’s testimony. They came for miles bringing their sick to be healed.
Lord, let us enter into your peace and rest. Thank you that you supply all of our needs and you call us to walk on our storms.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Sent Out

Read: Matthew 9:27-38; Mark 6:1-13; Matthew 13:53-58; 10:1-42
Jesus healed two blind men and a mute man. I can’t help thinking of the principle ‘first the natural, then the spiritual.’ Jesus healed their natural blindness and inability to speak first, but he would rather be healing their spiritual blindness and inability to speak right.
Jesus returned home to Nazareth which means “a branch”. That was what Jeremiah and Zechariah all called the coming Messiah. (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 6:12) The prophets had even named Nazareth as where the Messiah would come from and yet the people refused to accept him because they had seen him grow up and he seemed like any other boy. It was hard for them to believe his miracles so it was hard for Jesus to do many there. God acts on faith, not unbelief. That shows us that Mary had not told anyone about Jesus birth or her angelic visitation.
Jesus saw in the spirit that the fields were ready to be harvested but he needed help so he called all his disciples together and imparted to them his power over demons and power to do miracles. Then he sent them out and they did the things that he did. I imagine Jesus doing that same thing now. He is anointing us to do the same things that Jesus did and more.
Jesus warned his disciples of what would happen to them because they carry his name and his ministry. The key to their overcoming would be in their love for God. They had to love him above all else.
Lord, help us to go out in the power of your name and do the works that will bring people into the kingdom.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Spiritual Strongholds

Read: Mark 5:1-43; Matthew 8:28-9:26; Luke 8:26-56
When Jesus told them not to tell anyone after he had done a miracle, John took him seriously. He doesn’t write about either of these happenings.
Remember yesterday, Satan tried to destroy them in the storm and keep them from reaching the other side. That was because it was one of his strongholds. The demon that spoke to Jesus was the principality over legions in that man and the principality over that whole area. Once he was dealt with, the whole area would be loosed to hear and receive the gospel. They weren’t at first; at first they wanted Jesus to just leave. The man that had been delivered begged to leave with Jesus but Jesus told him to tay and tell his family and the people in his area what God had done for him. He did that. He visited the Ten Towns of that region and proclaimed what Jesus did for him. He was to prime the pump because Jesus would come back and be able to preach to the people and they would be ready to hear.
Jesus went back across the lake and healed a woman who had been sick 12 years and raised a 12 year old from the dead. Just like the woman, man was dying in their sin and had no cure. Just the touch of Jesus garment brought life and healing. Twelve means government. Jesus came to change the whole government structure of the church. The father of the girl was a leader of the local synagogue. He fell before Jesus and pleaded with him to to come to his house and raise his sick child. Before he could come, news came that she had died. The religious system was sick like that girl and needed to die so Jesus could raise it up and new living structure. That was what he came to do. Jesus came to die and raise up the kingdom of heaven in our hearts.
Lord, may we die to our old ways and allow you to resurrect your kingdom in our hearts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Parables and Storms

Read: Matthew 13:10-52; Luke 8:9-25; Mark 4:26-34; Matthew 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
Once again, John doesn’t tell about any of these miracles or teachings. Today, Matthew and Luke explain the parable about the seed and the sower. Jesus explained that the secrets of the kingdom are kept for the true followers of Jesus. But, they were responsible to steward what they heard and understood. Four of them wrote books and we are so glad they did. Jesus warned them to watch how they heard. If they intently listen with their heart open then what they hear will grow and multiply. That is one of the principles of the kingdom of heaven. It starts out small and always multiplies and produces more fruit. Jesus explained it as yeast put in the making of bread and small mustard seeds that produced great plants and wheat in the field. The devil has sown his bad wheat into God’s field called the world. Jesus told them not to be concerned about the tares in the field but to let them grow right along with the wheat. In the end the harvesting angels will come with their nets and fish out the good ones and throw the bad ones into the fiery furnace.
After Jesus finished teaching the crowds he took his disciples to the other side of the lake. The devil stirred up the waters to keep them from reaching the other side. How do we know the storm was from the enemy? Jesus rebuked it. He would never rebuke his Father. Satan did not want Jesus to get to his next assignment. Jesus was about to bring down the principality of that whole region. We will read about it tomorrow.
Lord, help us to have faith to do the greater works than you did because You are in us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Seed and the Sower

Read: Luke 8:1-8; Mark 3:20-4:20; Matthew 12:22-13:9
When Jesus traveled he took his twelve disciples and a few women with him. Interesting to note that one was the wife of Herod’s business manager. These women supported Jesus and his disciples monetarily.
Everything Jesus did upset the religious leaders. They were so jealous they couldn’t see or judge straight. Since they couldn’t do what Jesus did they sought to undermine his reputation. God sent Jesus a man demon-possessed who was blind and couldn’t speak. Jesus cast the demon out and healed the man.
Since the religious leaders couldn’t figure out how he could cast demons out of people, they decided he must have a demon himself. Jesus explained that a demon can’t cast out a demon. It takes someone more powerful than Satan to throw Satan out and He was that person.
Jesus went on to explain that if you didn’t work with him you were his enemy. He warned them that they could be forgiven of their sins against him but they would not be forgiven if they spoke evil against the Holy Spirit. He reminded them that they would be held responsible for every idle word they spoke. (May that be a reminder to me.)
Jesus gave them the parable of the seed and the sower and told them that if they didn’t understand this parable, they wouldn’t understand any of them. So, I want to expound on this parable.
If you see a house that is beautiful on the outside but you’ve seen what a mess it is inside, you realize that the outside is just a facade and not a true measure of the value of the real home. Anyone can build a beautiful building, but what goes on in that building is the real value of the building. In the parable about the seed and the sower, it was neither the seed or the sower that were bad. The sower was God and the seed was the Word of God. The problem was with the soil. The soil represents our hearts. If we don’t have room for the seed then it won’t take root and grow. If we make room for the seed then it will grow and spread in our hearts. Our hearts must be soft and tender.
The Pharasee’s tried to do the opposite. They tried to make their appearance perfect when their hearts were hard and a mess. God works from the inside out. We try to work from the outside in. When we get saved it is not our job to clean our outside up. The Holy Spirit will do that. It is our job to make room in our hearts for the seed to grow. Then it will spread to our actions and desires without us having to lift a finger. When our hearts are changed we change the root. The old branches from the dead root will eventually wither up and die too. The key is filling the soil of our hearts with plant food which is the Word of God and water which is the Holy Spirit. Then all the things like judging others, worry, conflict with others, etc. will all work out under the law of love.
Lord, may our hearts be fertile soil that receives the seed of your Word and produces a garden of love.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - John’s Question

Read: Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7; Matthew 11
It is interesting to me that Mark didn’t record the healing of the Roman officer since he wrote his book to the Romans, but he didn’t. Maybe he was trying to protect the man from persecution. Only Matthew and Luke recorded the miracles we read about today. Jesus was impressed with the Roman officer because he understood authority. This man didn’t need Jesus to come and lay hands on his son in person, he just needed a command and he knew it would be done. Jesus marveled at his faith.
Jesus rose the widow’s son from the dead at his own funeral. This got the attention of the crowd!
John had been thrown in prison and was wondering why Jesus hadn’t set him free since he was a prisoner and one of the promises prophesied about the Messiah was that he would set captives free. Surely Jesus had forgotten about him. When his disciples asked him if he was the Messiah, Jesus pointed to all the things he had done that was prophesied then he said, “Blessed are those who are not offended in me.” In other words, he was telling John to look at the things he had done instead of the things that he hadn’t done. Jesus only did what he saw his father doing and God was not setting John free. John’s mission was nearing an end and he was about to be promoted to heaven.
Jesus went on to honor John the Baptist to the crowd. He was giving John’s eulogy.
Then Jesus rebuked their generation. They refused to be satisfied. They criticized John’s fasted lifestyle, nor were they satisfied with Jesus’ joy. I pray that we are not like that. John told them to repent and get serious and Jesus told them to become like a little child. They were both right.
Lord, help us to gain a healthy balance of grace and holiness.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Kingdom of Heaven

Read: Matthew 6:5-7:23; Luke 6:37-49
Yesterday’s reading had to do with how we should relate rightly with man. Today’s reading has to do with how we relate rightly with God. When we talk to God we are not do it to impress other people. Prayer is an intimate conversation between us and God. Corporate prayer is totally different. That is when we meet together to petition God about a common request. This is powerful and affective. Corporate worship is also extremely powerful but should never become a show that honors a person. Jesus gave them a model to use in praying. It shows us a godly order. First, we give God honor and praise. We enter into the gates with praise on our lips. Then we recognize God’s heart for the kingdom to be established on earth and we agree with Him. Then we pray for our daily needs and for others. Lastly, we pray against the enemy.
Forgiveness is so important for us to understand. God is held from forgiving us through our own hard hearts. If we forgive people freely for anything they have done against us we free ourselves and open the channel in our lives for forgiveness to flow. It also releases that person to repent and be forgiven.
If we could see the kingdom of heaven, we would never worry about another thing here on earth. This is not our home. We are building a spiritual house by the way we live down here that will manifest when we get to heaven. We will get to do everything we love to do here in that kingdom. God will use us in the gifts we love to move in when we get to heaven. So, when the devil comes to discourage you by what you are lacking or having to do without down here, remind him of what is waiting for you in heaven. Earth is a short visit compared to eternity. God promised to meet every one of our needs here on earth and he wants to do it in such an abundant way that it will exemplify what is in heaven but we have to give him all of our heart. He wants his blessing to bless us, not curse us. An inheritance gotten too soon may not be a blessing in the end. (Proverbs 20:21) God wants to bless us as our soul prospers so that we can handle the blessing and use it wisely.
Lord, than you for making a way we can fellowship with you. May that be our hearts desire.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sat’s Devo - The Fire of God

Read: Luke 11:14-12:34
Jesus came to set the world on fire. He came to baptize us with fire. He came as the Word that divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow and the thoughts and intents of the heart. He came to divide families against one another because of Him. He came to wake us up; not to for death but for life! Because he came to set the world on fire, he did all kinds of acts that stirred the people up…especially the religious leaders. The miracles we read about today were all done on the Sabbath. Jesus did most of his healing on the Sabbath because that was when he was with people and it was a picture. The Sabbath has to do with the 7th day, the day of rest. In the seventh millennium it will be when Jesus reigns and all will be healed. He was pointing toward another day, but he did heal on other days. We are living in the other days and Jesus still heals today. He is looking for faithful people that can bring the Sabbath to earth. When Jesus healed the blind man it stirred things up so much it got the man thrown out of the synagogue. I love what Jesus said when the Pharisees asked him if he thought they were blind. He said, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty, But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
The blind man had been blind since birth. He was a picture of a person born into sin as we all are. It was not his parent’s fault, we are all born into sin. Sin makes us blind and only Jesus can take the veil from our eyes and wash them so that we can see spiritually. Jesus did that for this man. All he had to do was to believe and obey. He chose to do both and he was healed. Once he could see he could accept who Jesus was. The fact that he was thrown out of the synagogue was to show that the law no longer had power over him. He would never have to be subjected to the old covenant but had a new one - Jesus.
Lord, thank you for giving us eyes to see. Wash our eyes again so we can see clearer.

Sat.’s Devo - The Lens of Love

Read: Mark 3:7-12; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-26; Matthew 5-6:4
Proverbs 25:2 says that it is the glory of God to hide a matter and the glory of princes to seek out a matter. Jesus didn’t want it proclaimed that he was the Son of God. He wanted to do acts of kindness and power that made people come closer and discover it for themselves - in their hearts. That is the only way to salvation. It can make sense on paper, but to be born again takes a spiritual rebirth.
Jesus spent all night with his father listening to who he chose for Jesus disciples. In the morning he gathered the crowd and called out their names. I wonder if he was surprised when that person came forward. He had already chosen a few of them in his daily walk. After Jesus had his government of twelve in place he launched out in his teaching ministry. One of his greatest sermons was the Sermon on the Mount. Only Matthew and Luke record this event and only Matthew gives us the sermon in detail. In his sermon, Jesus takes some of the Commandments of the law and spiritualizes them and applies them to their daily lives. First, he addresses the ones this privilege is for: the humble, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers. In other words, it is for the softened hearts. He tells them that they are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Then he walked them through the 10 Commandments. He made them a heart issue instead of a capital offense. I doubt any of them had ever murdered… but all had called people names and judged their position. Jesus was trying to show them that God’s love was the heart of the commandment. Those stones that they threw in the Old Testament to condemn become words in the New Testament. And to God, they were the same. He even told them to love their enemies which had to have taken the wind out of their sail. They were being oppressed by the Roman government and we all think we can hate them. Jesus had a better way. Jesus took love to a whole new level.
Lord, help us to see everything through Your lens of love.