Friday, June 3, 2011

Matthew 12:43-45

"'When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, "I will return to the person I came from." So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.'"
We may seek to get sin out of our lives and be successful—for a while. However, unless we let Jesus in to fill "the empty space" with what he has to give us, we may end up worse off than before. Jesus' reference to "this evil generation" was in the context of the religious leaders asking for a sign. Their hearts were "empty, swept, and in order." That's not enough. There needs to be something inside that will leave no room for the evil spirits. Only Jesus can fill the whole space with life.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Matthew 12:33-35

"'A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.'"
Our words matter. We will "eat" the fruit of our words—and so will others. Words are a barometer of our heart's condition. Want to know what's in your heart? Pay attention to your words. Are they critical? Perhaps there is unforgiveness or pride in your heart. Do you use foul language? There may be anger lurking inside. Notice what words you use! Confess any sin, and ask God to heal any heart issues your words reveal. Notice other people's words, too, as indications of what is in their hearts. You can pray for their heart issues, too.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Psalm 16:10-11

"For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever."
God has shown the way of life—Jesus, the one for whom verse 10 was true. God did not leave him to rot in the grave—he raised him from the dead! And Jesus is present with us every moment. His presence brings the quality of the eternal to our lives right now, and it is a foretaste of the pleasure of eternal life. These verses were fulfilled in Jesus, and they are true for our lives today. All we need to do is grab hold of their truth and live as if they're true.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Psalm 16:5-8

"LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
 You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
 What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless the LORD who guides me;
 even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the LORD is always with me.
 I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me."
When you make the Lord alone your inheritance, there is great security and blessing. He guards all that is yours. He fills you with good things. He guides you from the heart. He gives a sense of his constant presence. Let God be your true focus, and enjoy all these blessings!

Monday, May 30, 2011

He Knows What's in You

(Psalm 37:4, NIV)
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart"
heart:  In Biblical language the center of the human spirit, from which sring emontions thoughts, motivations, courage and action - 'the wellspring of life'
the wellspring of life:  If we store up good things in our hearts, our words and acions will begood.  "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks"
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34 NIV)

Matthew 12:14

"Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus."
The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus! And why? Because he refused to live by their rules. He lived by his own law, the law of love that healed people and broke the world's rules in order to meet human needs. The Pharisees could not bear it. Jesus was not afraid to buck the system. This was such a threat to the leaders of the status quo that they sought his death. This is the spirit that kills. If legalism has taken hold in your life in any way, let Jesus set you free. Legalism always binds and eventually kills.