3/31/15 Keep Knocking, Seeking, Asking

“The life to which you have been called is not an easy one.  You must always remember to treat others the way you would want them to treat you.  Your Heavenly Father will graciously give you everything you need and be with you with every step you take.  Many among you are parents.  If your children come to you hungry, would any of you give them something inedible or poisonous instead of a good meal?  Of course not!  Though you are all sinners at heart, you would never give harmful gifts to your children when they come to you for help.  So how much more will God, your Heavenly Father, who alone is Holy, give good gifts to all His children when they ask of Him?  If you need something, all you have to do is go to Him in prayer and ask.  Often He will require you to seek out the gifts He gives – it will not usually be bestowed instantly, as if by magic.  You may need to work hard to find what you need, but you will find the door that leads to your gift.  Knock, and He will open it.”

Matthew 7:7-12

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3/30/15 Look At The Heart

“Now, while keeping in mind all I have just told you about judging people, you must also be careful to guard your hearts.  Do not reveal what is precious to you to just anyone.  Study someone’s character before deciding to take him into your confidence.  Some people will be open to listening to you about the Kingdom of Heaven, and that will show in the way they act toward you and others.  These are people who are generally honest, kind, and open-minded.  But then there are those who are hot-tempered, impatient, and difficult to work with.  These people will be more likely to reject you and what you have to say to them.  Think of it this way:  you wouldn’t take a diamond necklace and give it to a wild boar, would you?  The boar would tear it to pieces and try to eat the diamonds, and then turn to devour you!  Or would you trust a wild dog with your children?  No, of course not!  It would not listen to anything you tell it, and would tear your children apart.  Just as you treasure your children in your heart and would do anything to protect them, just as you would guard a diamond necklace against harm or theft, this is how you must guard what you are learning about the Kingdom of Heaven and the things of God in your heart.  This is precious knowledge, given freely to anyone who would be open to it.  But be careful what you share with the people of this world whose character tends to remind you of a wild animal.  For they may use this knowledge to hurt you and others like you.”

Matthew 7:6

3/29/15 Clean Your House Before Helping To Clean Your Brother’s

“Often, people are most judgmental with those they are closest to – family, friends.  Because you know the person intimately, you believe that you know his or her heart and all the circumstances behind their actions.  But whether it is a spouse, a sibling, a parent, child, or friend, it is not you!  Your Heavenly Father is the only one who truly knows everything there is to know about a person, and so He is the only one qualified to judge anyone.  Before you jump to judging your brother, judge yourself first.  Don’t go to your brother and say, “Uh, Brother, you have a splinter in your eye,” because your brother may look at you and reply, “How can you see a splinter in my eye with that 2×4 in your eye?”  Your sins may be much greater than those of the person you are judging.  First, take the 2×4 out of your own eye – examine yourself and your own actions, and repent of your own sins.  Then you will be able to see more clearly, and can help your brother with his difficulties, thereby removing the splinter from his eye.”

Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 6:41-42

3/28/15 Respect & Love For All In Humility

“How can you show someone the right way to go if you yourself don’t know it?  It would be as if a blind person were trying to guide another blind person.  That would only lead both of them into trouble.  In the same way, you, My students, do not yet know the way you should go.  So you must be careful not to think that you know better, or are better, than those who do not yet know Me.  When you have learned all that I have come to teach you, you will start to become more like Me.  But you must always remember that students cannot be above their Teacher.  So when you are tempted to judge someone harshly, step back and consider what you have seen Me do when I am with someone who has sinned.  Instead of condemning the person, condemn only the sin.  Treat the person with respect and love, in humility, and you will be much more likely to win him over.”

Luke 6:39-40

3/27/15 Self-Evaluation Before Peer-Evaluation

“Do not be quick to find fault with anyone.  Look at yourself critically before you look at anyone else critically.  Remember how much God has forgiven you for, and keep that in mind when you look at the faults of others.  By your own actions, you will decide how you will ultimately be judged.  If you are merciful, looking at someone’s heart instead of his actions, and forgiving any wrongs done, then the same will be done for you.  If you are generous with praise, forgiveness, and material possessions, you will receive back just the way you give.  But if you are quick to draw negative conclusions about people, looking only at the actions you see and not at the motives or the whole person, this is how you will eventually be judged as well.”

Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 6:37-38

3/26/15 Trust In Him, Do His Will, & God Will Provide All You Need

“Have faith in your Heavenly Father!  Trust in Him to provide your daily food and clothing, and remember that life is more than just these basic necessities.  Do not be like the people of this world who do not belong to your Heavenly Father, who are anxious all the time, worrying about what they will be able to eat, drink, or wear.  Take one day at a time, and don’t worry about the things of tomorrow.  Today has enough troubles of its own without adding tomorrow’s to it.  But instead of worrying, set your mind on the things of God, on doing His will above all, on working towards becoming the person He made you to be, and He will see and reward your faith.  When you are concerned with Heavenly things, then your Heavenly Father will provide all your earthly needs.”

Matthew 6:31-34

3/25/15 Find Your Worth In God’s Love For You

“Trust in God for your every need.  Do not be anxious about anything, for God knows your every need and has promised to provide for you if you trust in Him.  Who of you can add a single hour to his life, or a single inch to his height, by worrying?  You are all anxious about having enough money for food, drink, and clothing.  Your Heavenly Father created you with body and soul.  He knows you need food and drink.  He knows you need clothing.  In fact, He knows what you need better than you do yourself!  If you trust in Him, you need never be anxious about these things.  Consider the birds – do they have cabinets full of stored food?  Do they go to the market and shop for their food?  Do they work every day to earn money for food?  No, your Heavenly Father provides all they need every day.  And aren’t you worth more than the birds?  Or look at the wild flowers.  Do they sew or buy their clothes?  Do they have closets full of outfits for every season, so they make sure they have what they need at the right time?  No!  And I tell you the truth, there has never been any king or queen who has been dressed as finely as they.  Now, if God provides so richly for the flowers, which have such short lives, how much more will He provide for you?”

Matthew 6:25-30

3/24/15 Choose Whom You Will Serve

“A servant’s most important job is to be completely devoted to his master.  If he is trying to serve 2 masters, this is impossible.  He will either hate his first master and love the second, or he will be completely devoted to the first to the detriment of the other.  In the same way, people cannot serve both money and God.  You must choose which way you will go – either devote yourself entirely to God, and use the money that he provides for you to do good works for Him, or set yourself against God and devote your life to building wealth for yourself.  But remember, worldly wealth is temporary, and cannot bring real happiness.  The things of God last forever and come with eternal joy.”

Matthew 6:24

3/23/15 The Blindness Of The Sinful Soul

“Your eyes are like lamps for your whole body.  If you are blind, or have any problems with your eyes so that you can’t see clearly, your whole body is going to have problems.  You may see double, and be unable to tell what is real.  You may be completely blind, and be in total darkness, not knowing what is around you or which way to go.  Or you may have blurry vision, never seeing things as they truly are.  Now, if your eyes can affect your whole body in this way, consider how a heart blinded by sin will hurt you – in mind, body, and soul.  Your heart, or your conscience, is your guide to help you know which way to go throughout life.  If it becomes corrupted through sin, it will no longer light the way for you to go, and you will be in danger of taking the paths of evil.  So as you are careful to guard your eyes from harm, guard your heart from sin, so that you will not fall off the path of good.”

Matthew 6:22-23

3/22/15 Building Wealth To Last Forever

“Do not treasure the things of this world, for they do not last forever.  There is nothing in this world that you can keep indefinitely.  Everything is susceptible to breaking, rusting, being eaten by insects, general decay, contamination, and theft.  And if you try to hold on to things, you hold them up as idols in your life, while neglecting those areas of life that are important – serving the Lord your God and loving the people He puts in your life.  And so instead of loving and desiring the things of this world, put your life to better use.  Strive to do good all your days and follow the will of your Heavenly Father.  In this way, you are building Heavenly treasure that will be waiting as a reward for you when you get to the Kingdom of Heaven and will last for eternity.  Wherever your treasure is, your heart will go with it.”

Matthew 6:19-21