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Words Of Jesus Devotions 2011

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by jeremiah7, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 1

    But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. (Matthew 3:15) (NKJV)


    The first of the words of Jesus as is found in the Gospel of Matthew. Fulfilling all righteousness was the main agenda of the life of Jesus. Righteousness basically means doing the right thing and for Jesus, that meant doing the will of the Father in Heaven.

    Matthew writes,

    Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" (Matthew 3:13, 14)

    John knew that the One who asked to be baptized was greater than him, so he tried to stop him, but later he fufilled his duty when Jesus told him that it was fitting for them to fulfill all righteousness.

    What about us? Are we eager to do the will of the Father? Ponder please for a moment.

    The Bible says,

    For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
     
  2. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 2

    But He answered and said, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."' (Matthew 4:4) (NKJV)


    If Jesus depended on the written Word, how much more must we, especially when we face temptations.
    The tempter came to Him and said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." (Matthew 4:3)
    Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and nights and the tempter knew what area to tempt him in. But Jesus relied on the written Word to counter this attack of satan and was victorious.
    No doubt, he was the Son of God as satan said, but Jesus knew that his turning the stones to bread would not bring any real glory to the Father even if it did satisfy his temporal body needs.

    The Word of God, also called "Sword of the Spirit" is an effective weapon to war against satanic temptations. Sadly, believers hardly use it as Jesus did.

    The Bible says,
    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

    Use the written Word as Jesus did and overcome satanic temptations. Jesus has shown us the way and let us follow in his footsteps.
     
  3. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 3
    Jesus said to him, "It is written again, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."' (Matthew 4:7) (NKJV)


    After satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus by telling him to turn stones into bread, here he was again with a new ploy.
    Matthew writes,
    Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: "He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, "In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone."' (Matthew 4:5,6)
    How about just checking the Word, whether it was true after all? was the temptation brought here by the evil one, but Jesus didn't fall for it.
    No doubt, what satan said was true; in fact, he was quoting Psalm 91. But his purpose was to make Jesus cross check the Word which Jesus did not oblige him with; instead Jesus refuted his trick using the Word once again and said, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."
    Different situations, different ploys; satan still tricks and many fall. The only way to overcome his temptations is by living close to God, obeying his Word and letting the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit guide us each day. May each one of us find success in that.
     
  4. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 4

    Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."' (Matthew 4:10) (NKJV)


    A sharp rebuke was what satan deserved for him repeatedly tempting the Lord and that is what he got. Again Jesus used the written Word to gain an emphatic victory over satanic temptation.

    This time the temptation involved material things and the best of it. Matthew writes,
    Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." (Matthew 4:8, 9)
    satan demanded worship and Jesus emphatically told him who really was to be worshipped.

    Many believers want the best of worldly pleasures and at the same time they desire to serve the Lord so that they can be part of the heavenly kingdom.
    But the Word exhorts us saying,
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

    The exhorttation that the Apostle James gives to all believer's especially those facing satanic temptations is this:
    Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

    Resist......like Jesus did.....Use the Word.
     
  5. Words Of Jesus Devotionals -5

    From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (NKJV) (Matthew 4:17)


    Not a very popular theme to preach among the masses then and even now, but that's what must be the foremost among every preacher's preaching arsenal.
    John the Baptist preached,
    "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
    and here Jesus starts off with the same exhortation.

    The gospel writer Mark puts it this way,
    Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14,15)

    Repentance is so vital for everyone. In the book of Revelation, we read the following exhortations to some of the churches in Asia Minor at that time.
    Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)

    Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. (Revelation 3:3)

    As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

    The churches (believers) that did take up the Lord's exhortations survived, the others perished.

    May the Lord help you and me to stay true to him all our lives.
     
  6. Words Of Jesus Devotionals -6

    Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
    Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:2-12)(NKJV)


    The Beatitudes are a set of eight blessings contained in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus redefines "Blessedness" from Heaven's point of view.
    The poor in spirit, they who mourn, the meek, they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, they that are persecuted for righteousness sake and they that are reviled and persecuted for Jesus are the ones who are the "really blessed". The rewards for such blessedness are unique in each case.

    Blessedness from the human point of view is so drastically different. They that have wealth, fame and high positions in society are considered blessed. The eternal things are overlooked by the shortsighted worldly. But Jesus denounces all that in his sermon here, exhorting everyone then and even now, to look to eternal rewards rather than temporal ones and build one's spiritual life being firmly rooted in Christ and his Word.
    It's a challenge that many fail to take up, for that would mean humbling oneself as Christ did.

    An eternal kingdom with eternal joy, fulfillment & comfort awaits them who humble themselves and strive to live by the teachings of Jesus, not by their own might or power but by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
     
  7. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 7

    "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16) (NKJV)


    Salt and light! How very important for use in day to day life. And that's just what Jesus had in mind about those desirous to follow him. "YOU ARE..." Jesus said, and every believer in Jesus must fulfill that ardent desire of his.
    But as we see around us, the salt that Jesus desired his disciples to be has lost it's saltiness and many a lights are under the basket, being of no use to anyone.

    We should often check our lives to see whether we ourselves have lost the flavour and have become tasteless in our dealings and our witness for Christ.

    Jesus wants our light to shine and how? He says,
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. it's not a tall order if we put our hearts to the task.

    If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are the salt of the earth....you are the light of the world....
    Do maintain the flavour that Jesus desires from you in this dying world and shine brightly for the Lord.
     
  8. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 8

    "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-20) (NKJV)


    Jesus' righteousness is revealed in his aim to fulfill what the Heavenly Father decreed. And Jesus desired that those who followed him be obedient to the written Word. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law for us and now we are asked to obey the teachings in the New Testament.

    There are many who twist and turn the Word to meet their own goals and even teach others the same, but these folks are judged by these words of Jesus......they shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But Jesus also pronounces a blessing on those who, without guile, obey and teach the Word.......they shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy says,
    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. (2 Timothy 2:15, 16)

    Jesus wanted his disciples' righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day were hypocrites and Jesus did not want his disciples to be like them.
    That's why he said, "Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

    We have a high calling as disciples of Jesus Christ. The Word of God shows us the way to stand up to that high calling. May God grant us grace to obey and teach the Word as Jesus desired.
     
  9. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 9

    "You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, "Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, "You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:21-26) (NKJV)


    Some of the words that we use while dealing with others can be very hurting to them. But those same words may bring judgement upon us. Jesus, here emphazies that not only murder, but anger and careless words can prove equally detrimental.

    The Apostle Paul exhorts all regarding careless words and anger in his epistle to the Colossians:
    But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)
    Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:6)

    To the believers in Ephesus, he writes,
    Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31)

    Our worship can never be successful and a pleasing aroma to God if we are not reconciled to our brothers and sisters. The fault may or may not be on our side ......(your brother has something against you) (perhaps a misunderstanding), but Jesus says, "First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
    As Jesus says here, "It's best to patch up with others as soon as possible, because delay can often lead to dire consequences."

    Every prudent man acts with knowledge...... (Proverbs 13:16)
    .....The prudent considers well his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)
    The wise in heart will be called prudent.....(Proverbs 16:21)
     
  10. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 10

    "You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30) (NKJV)


    Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart........The same can be said of women who look at men to lust for them. Rather dicey situation this......And many believers would say that Jesus need not have been so strict....But then, there you are...That's the narrow path that he talked about.

    If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you....And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.....What's he saying here? Literally pluck out the eye or cut off the hand???? No! What he says here is "Let your attitude towards sin be like this. Root it out."

    The Apostle Paul writes in like manner to the believers at Colosse:
    Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

    To the Galatians, he writes,
    For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:17)

    And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)

    Brothers and Sisters, That's the only solution to gain victory over such sins......Crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.
     
  11. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 11

    Furthermore it has been said, "Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31, 32) (NKJV)


    In Matthew 19, Jesus again speaks on the same topic, but after pointing out God's original plan for husband and wife.....

    The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female,' and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." (Matthew 19:3-9)

    God's original plan..."what God has joined together, let not man separate..."
    Regarding divorce, Jesus said,....."from the beginning it was not so."
    Permitted because people wouldn't take "No" for an answer.

    Jesus' final authoritative statement regarding divorce....
    Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery....
    God hates divorce, as we read in Malachi 2:16,
    "For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce....."
    Jesus mentioned the exception, knowing the extreme pains that can affect the innocent partner.
     
  12. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 12

    "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.'But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your "Yes' be "Yes,' and your "No,' "No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:33-37) (NKJV)


    Nothing much seems to be in our hands, so why not keep it simple is what Jesus is saying. Swearing or taking oaths doesn't mean that the person in question will speak the truth. As we often see, even in court houses all over the world, people involved in different types of criminal cases are asked to swear by holy books, but that doesn't guarantee that they will speak the truth.

    Heaven, Earth, Jerusalem and even one's own head are not to be used while taking oaths. Some swear by their parents or children. And there are many other things that people swear by. But Jesus wanted his disciples to be pure in heart and speak the truth. A single "Yes" or "No" would be sufficient.

    Some people tend to think that if they swear by something great, their veiwpoint could be substantiated, but Jesus says that while doing that, they can be influenced by the evil one, the devil.

    Everything belongs to the Creator. So one must not swear by what is His.
    Let our "yes" be "yes" and our "no" be "no". Nothing more.
     
  13. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 13

    "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48) (NKJV)


    Enemies!.....how difficult it is to love them....especially when one knows that they are doing harm to us and our families. Yet Jesus here is teaching his disciples the greater things of the kingdom. He demonstrated that very clearly in his dealings with his enemies, but how far can we? It's all a matter of faith and obedience after all.

    ......love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.......
    Of course there's a limit to all that we can take and tolerate and it varies from believer to believer. But Jesus expects us to grow and mature in our spiritual lives.

    ......He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.....The great agape love of the Father is brought out well by this statement of Jesus. Not that he favors the wicked and unjust....far from it.

    ..........For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?......... There's a tendency for believers to be like what Jesus states here. Love believers who are like minded or of the same denomination or who follow the same doctrines.

    Change is what Jesus desired in his disciples and followers and they did change, though very slowly. We too are expected to.
    Jesus ended this part of his teaching by saying,
    "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
    Now that's asking for too much, isn't it? Yet, there's a point to learn there as well. In simple terms, Jesus says, "If you are planning to run the race, aim for the best prize."
     
  14. Words Of Jesus Devotionals -14

    "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:1-7) (NKJV)


    In this passage, Jesus points out 2 things, which when done in secret, leads to rewards from the Father. And how does the Father reward....openly. Works of charity and prayers are 2 things that are of paramount importance in the life of every believer. But should we do it to gain popularity and kudos from men? If that is our intention, then we will not receive any reward from the Father in Heaven, because according to Jesus, we have already "received our reward from men."

    "Heart Intent" is what Jesus is talking about here. Why are we doing the things that we do? is the question! Is it for our own sake or is it for the Lord? Are we expecting glory from people? Are we trying to become popular?

    The Apostle Paul writes,
    Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
    And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

    In short, "Do everything to bring glory to God."

    A secret prayer life is so very important. We may be known for our prayers in prayer circles or churches, but a secret prayer life is the key to rewards from the Father in Heaven. Those who have a strong secret prayer life have close fellowship with the Lord and as Jesus said, the Father rewards them openly.

    Ponder a moment of how strong or how weak your secret prayer life is! The keys to live a successful Christian life are found in the Words of Jesus. Lets cherish them. God Bless.
     
  15. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 15

    In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15) (NKJV)

    Prayer is all about asking and Jesus here teaches his disciples a prayer that is succinct and powerful.
    Father In Heaven, I pray that
    1. your name be hallowed,
    2. your kingdom may come,
    3. your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,
    4. you give me my daily food (needs),
    5. you forgive my sins as I forgive others,
    6. you may not let any temptation come to me,
    7. you deliver me from the evil one
    8. the kingdom, power and glory be yours forever.

    And then Jesus ends it all by asking his disciples to be right in their dealing with the trespasses of others. ....."For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses......"

    Speaking about faith, prayer and forgiveness, Jesus spoke on similar terms as we read in the Gospel of Mark.
    Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." (Mark 11:24-26)

    Forgiving others, then, is of paramount importance when we seek answers to our prayers. As we commence prayer,surely we must ask forgiveness for our sins, but at the same time, make it a point to forgive them against whom we have problems. That would be a fragrant offering in the Lord's presence.
     
  16. Words Of Jesus Devotionals -16

    Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)(NKJV)


    Busy investing? day in and day out? Well, here's a lesson or two from Jesus for all who crave for financial security. Invest in heaven, is the policy that he advices, whether you like it or not. And he gives a good reason. Laying up treasures on earth always has the minus point of it being temporary. How long can someone hold on to what he/she has amassed. When the Creator takes back the breath that he gave, earthly treasures are no longer an issue.

    Investing in heaven/laying up treasures in heaven doesn't mean tithing or investing in Christian Ministries, but seeking things that are of eternal value.

    The Apostle Paul writes,
    If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1,2)

    How about investing in a few "crowns"?
    Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

    Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

    The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. (1 Peter 5:1-4)

    The riches of heaven are for all who are part of the 1st resurrection and no one can stop them from enjoying that. No decay and no loss will come to these riches. Be that as it is, let us not forget the final sentence that Jesus said while ending this teaching of his. He said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."How very true.
     
  17. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 17

    The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22, 23) (NKJV)


    How's the lamp of your body, your eye? Is it good or is it bad? Talking about "the eye", we know how painful it is when we have problems with our eyes. A little speck of dust or a simple infection can cause such a lot of distress. And for a person who is blind, the situation is so very traumatic. But Jesus here is not speaking about physical problems of the eye. He's speaking of spiritual sickness which can be very damaging to a person, even to a believer in fact.

    What's going into our eyes is very important. The things that we see. Every moment, except when we sleep, our eyes are always seeing things. Good things and bad things, important things and unimportant ones. The question here is whether we can filter out the bad while we meditate on the good? At home, in the streets, at work and at every other place, the bad things are at very close proximity. What bad can be there at home? Just switch on the television or log onto the net and your lamp of the body can be bombarded with immense filth. And not many, even believers can win over the temptations that come through these media.

    Jesus said,
    "If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
    If we are constantly filling our insides with darkness that enters through the lamp of our body, the eye, very soon, the darkness will be great and our relationship with Jesus will be damaged.

    Ask yourself a question this day! Is my eye good and seeking for good and pure things or is my eye bad and seeking for bad? It's a choice that each of us has to make for our own good. And may the Counselor, the Holy Spirit help us all to choose the good, so that our lives are full of light.
     
  18. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 18

    "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
    Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? "Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)(NKJV)


    Worry! Who doesn't worry? Very few..........
    There are so many things in life that make us worry, feel depressed and sometimes even lead believers to a spiritual drought.
    Jesus here is teaching his disciples to get above such situations; by doing what? by keeping ones eyes on the Lord and seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

    We may know all this and may have read this time and again, still we worry. The disciples heard all the pep talk right from the mouth of the Savior, yet they worried.
    So whats to be done? Jesus says, all these things (meaning all our necessities) will be added to us if we keep seeking the kingdom and His righteousness.

    Do you believe that? Well, there's no other option for the believer, but believing. Take time to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. There's much to learn there. And the best thing that we read in the above teaching is Jesus saying,
    "Are you not of more value than they?"
    Definitely, the Father loves you greatly. Paul, the apostle exhorts the believers in Rome saying,
    "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
    So be strengthened this day. The Lord loves you much more than you can imagine.
     
  19. Words Of Jesus Devotionals -19

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me remove the speck from your eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)


    Perhaps we may not judge overtly, but how many times, in our hearts we judge our brothers and sisters;their dressing, their talking, their mannerisms, their work for the Lord and so many other things. Sometimes we may drop a hint and sometimes pass judgement publicly. But Jesus says it will come back to us in some way or the other.

    Are we seeing things clearly? is the question Jesus asks. That would need the planks to be removed from our eyes. During Jesus' days, the Pharisees walked with planks in their eyes and tried to remove the specks from others eyes including Jesus'.

    When the sign outside the Church read "Remove footwear before entering", the visiting preacher had dared to enter the Church with his shoes on. Not many that day listened to what the priest said for the first part of the service. Almost all were passing judgments on the preachers arrogance of ignoring their church sign. "How dare he do that, when the sign clearly says it" was the thought that had invaded many minds. There were many murmurs.

    The priest finally asked the visiting preacher to come forward to preach the sermon. He started by sharing his testimony of how as a soldier, he lived in sin and later went to war and lost his right leg to bullet wounds; he was wearing a prosthetic leg. When he said that, a few gasps were heard, from of course those who had been judging him all through. He said, he had seen the sign outside, but he had no other option but to walk in with his prosthetic limb and shoes on.

    Some believers may not be as strong as us spiritually, because there are several levels of growth in Christ; so rather than passing judgments on them, we should help them grow and attain maturity and become mature ourselves.
     
  20. Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 20

    Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Matthew 7:6) (NKJV)


    Take a look at these verses from the books of Philippians and Revelation.
    Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! (Philippians 3:2)
    But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15)

    Surely Paul and John wouldn't be speaking of dogs as the term literally means. Paul exhorts the believers at Philippi to "beware of dogs" and John writes "outside are dogs"(outside New Jerusalem). Whom were they hinting at then?
    They spoke about false teachers and hypocritical Pharisees, who, though familiar with the law, lived a life without any real relationship with God.

    There are others who have a "Let anything happen, I don't care attitude.....", swine like..........

    Jesus taught not to give what was holy to the dogs and not to cast pearls before swine.
    Believers should exercise discretion when speaking the truths of the Gospel to people. Some of the people we speak to may be like dogs and like swine, wilfully resisting the Gospel and harming the bearers of the Good News. They know the truths but have hardened themselves not to submit to it.
    They don't care about the truths and are ever ready to trample them under their feet and cause harm, as the history of Christian martyrs would attest to.

    Jesus advices caution while we do his work. Even when he sent out his disciples for the first time, he told them- Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues....... (Matthew 10:16, 17)

    The best for us would be to rely on the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, for he will guide us in the Lord's work each and every day.
     

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