Meet Jesus: Measured Back …GSJ9

measureRemember that the measuring of love out brings it back.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Measuring Spoon: Spoon size is everything in the kingdom of Jesus. Measure out, measured back. Judging others was not Jesus style. Acceptance, forgiveness, mercy, grace, life, light, and new opportunity were measured out by Him continually. Rarely, did He have to judge and then only to the hardhearted and calloused religious folk. Remember that the measuring of love out brings it back.

Relentful: Jake relented.  It was Sunday morning and he and his family were going to meet Sally and her family at church.  How did he agree to this?  He hated church services.  They were boring and had old organ music from a movie theatre of the 20’s.  This was going to be torture.

 Just as they walked up to the door, Jake’s mouth dropped open.  The man standing at the door shaking hands with people was his old drinking buddy from college.  Greg was just as surprised as Jake, but ecstatic.  He had not seen Jake in years.  Jake had been a wild partier.  Greg had made a committed turnaround to live for Christ in his senior year and separated from all his partying friends in order to stay sober.  This was like old home week and regret formed that he had not had the courage to go and tell old friends about his life found in Christ.  This was great.

This devotion is #9 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Get you mercy spoon out. Find someone today who needs an ear and an encouraging word. Give them both.

PRAY! Father, let me have Your mercy and grace and acceptance and forgiveness and graciousness in abundance today. Help me spoon it out to others. Let me dip down deep with a measuring quart cup and bless out to others.

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Meet Jesus: Discerning Kingdom Matthew 5:10again

Matthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he omeetjesussortpened his mouth, and taught them, saying, … 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Marks of Honor: Being a joint-heir with Jesus is a great honor.  With that honor comes challenge, persecution, problems, and pain.  Those four lead us to discern the kingdom of heaven.  As Jesus walked this earth, His life was full of all four of these semi-pessimistic issues.  Man tends to get trapped in the pain of the issues instead of seeing the possibilities.  Jesus never became trapped.  At the high point at which all four converged on the cross, He was still looking to the joy that was set before Him.  He was still pointing a man to paradise.  He was still persisting in taking care of family and friends.  He was still speaking of salvation available.  He was still talking to the Father.  He was still submitting to the will of God for His life and living.  He was discerning of the kingdom behind the scene.

Kingdom Sink Holes: The realization that kingdom living includes all of the items listed above must sink in to our souls.  It is a kingdom of challenge, persecution, problems, pain, possibility, joy, righteousness, peace, paradise, family, friends, care, salvation, encouragement, conversation, submission, service, and more.  This kingdom in which we are called to live today and tomorrow and beyond is not as super simple as we want it to be.  It is fulfilling.  It is live to the max.  It is a joy unspeakable in the middle of pain indescribable.

Robert’s Doubling Day Dilemma: The complex issues pushing against Robert’s heart stymied progress on his studies.  For two years he had been in this MBA program.  Now he was beginning to doubt he could finish.  His teenagers were struggling through issues that needed his time and counsel.  Betty, Robert’s wife, faced a rocky middle life every day that rattled her emotions and body.  She needed him.  Sales were down as he needed time to do the studies.  That meant less income as his eldest daughter completed her last year at the university.  Men from his study group at church were calling for time and a merciful ear.  This morning, Robert knew he was involved in all the right places.  Now he needed strength to go forward.  His prayer was soft and intense at once.  “God, I need help.”

ACT!  What the mix of your life in the kingdom?  Are you moving forward?  Have the normal problems pushed you out of the path you seek?  Take inventory of the mix.  What is going right?  What is going wrong?  What are you doing in the middle?  Make sure you are doing the right things not those that are most pressing.

 PRAY!   Father, this kingdom of heaven is a strange life.  Yes, Father, I submit that it is a life not a place.  The kingdom affects me every day. 

 Father, can You show me some light this morning.  Show me the peace that comes after persecution.  Show me the joy the will be revealed after the pain has passed.  Reveal to me the strength and endurance that will be built in me as the challenge is engaged and conquered.  Let me see Your face. 

 As Moses called out to see You, Father, so do I.  It is Your glory that will inspire me.  It is the blessing of the beauty of the kingdom that will give me strength to continue.  Keep me focused on living in righteousness concerning the right actions and thoughts not the comfortable items.

 

Meet Jesus: Inherit The Earth Matthew 5:5

What?  Inherit the earth?

“Meekness represents confident power self-controlled.  It does not put others down.  It considers the plight of all.”

Matthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, ….. 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 Inherit The Earth: What does it mean to inherit the earth?  The meek get to do it.  We can inherit money.  We can inherit a business.  We can inherit land.  What does it mean to inherit the earth?  Must we wait for someone to die?  What does it mean?

Meek Meek: Jesus was meek among meek.  Moses was declared the meekest man.  Both of these men were bold beyond measure.  Both were powerful with miracles and conflict surrounding them.  Both were directive and unashamed of their message.  Is that meek?  Yes.  Both allowed God to be their defender.  Both protected the dignity of the individual.  Both were full of kindness.  Meekness represents confident power self-controlled.  It does not put others down.  It considers the plight of all.  It demands correct response.  Meekness never puts the person above others in order to achieve a goal.  The meek rightly know who they are and act confidently and considerately to achieve Godly goals with compassion.

In This Life: These meek inherit the earth in this life.  There is no need for the death of anyone to inherit this earth.  When we meet Jesus, we receive great authority and power and call to task.  To move in meekness means to proceed to get our assignment done with all resources supplied.   The earth, the world system, submits to the meek.  The earth will comply for the meek.  Others move out of the way for a person of confidence on a mission.  Many will quickly give resources to them to steward, understanding a good return will be had.  They inherit the earth and all it has to give.

Head Scratcher: Blake scratched his head.  For the sixth time this week, someone called and offered him what he needed to arrange his meeting.  First a caterer called and asked if he had any needs.  They had a few dates open in April and would like to give him a discount to try them out.  The first date was the date of his meeting.  Second, he was at lunch and overhead a person waiting to be seated talking about their business of supplying meeting rooms.  He arranged with them for the date for half of his budget.  Then his sales assistant informed him she was starting a part-time personal printing service from home.  She agreed to help him design all the invitations and handouts in exchange for using the business name as a reference.  This was too easy.  He was confident from day one this was the right thing to do, but it seemed everyone was cheerfully willing to embrace the idea with him and help.

ACT!  Meek?  Do you know your own strength?  Do you know the strength of God that is with you? Are you submissively confident so that others can see?  The next time you approach someone about a decision you want them to make, believe in yourself and God’s ability to bring it to pass.  Then talk to them.  See what happens.

 PRAY!   Father, teach me the truth that it is not by my power or my might, but by Your Spirit that the task is accomplished.  Teach me that You own and the fruitfulness of the earth.  Teach me that You have equipped and accepted me to do what is ahead of me in the day.  Teach me that I don’t have to put myself forward, put others down, or force anything to happen.  Instill in me confident power exhibited with meekness.  Let me see this earth submit to Your will even as the angels in heaven respond to Your commands.  Thank You for being You.

Meet Jesus : Fisher of Men Matthew 4:18

meetjesusfisherman

Matthew 4: 18: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Peter and Andrew were never the same after meeting Jesus.   His nature as a gatherer of men for His Father’s family became their nature.    He took a part of them and changed it to work for the kingdom. They gathered fish.  He needed men gatherers.  Meeting Jesus will change you to gather men and women and children to Him and His Father’s family.  No matter what you gather now, He will add gathering men to His family.

My son and I were at the quick gas spot the other evening.  A furtive man jumped from behind the car.  Assuring us he only wanted to beg some money, he approached.  I signaled to him to stay at a distance.  This was not the time and place.

The next day, a half a block a way, we went to lunch with my wife.  The man slipped from behind a car.  I engaged him in conversation as my wife and son went into the restaurant.  On the streets over time, I have talked to many such men.  Some are harmless.  Some are dangerous.  Some are unpredictable.  This one seemed the latter.  He was desperate, either on drugs or suffering from having none, and persistent.  Eye to eye, we talked.  He began to give me a string of problems and diseases.  Mid course, I stopped him and asked him what he was doing with what he was given.  He told me he worked painting and then quit in the last seven days.  He had already spent the money.  It would have been enough for several days in his lifestyle.

He was quick witted.  He was strong.  He was trapped in somebody done me wrong songs.  It would be pitiful to give him a dollar and say the inevitable Jesus loves you stuff.   I gave him a few dollars, and I gave him straight advice.  Sure, Jesus is my motivation.  Do something with what you have.  Take your mind and body and put it to work.  Quit dwelling on the problems and get focused on the solution.  People are helping.  Use their help to get up and out.  Let Jesus pull you from the sea of problems through His fishermen.  Don’t just jump back in the water.

ACT!  Think of one person around you that needs to be gathered to Jesus’ family.

What do you need to do to invite them to be a part?

PRAY!  Father, help me to be a fisher of men.  Jesus has come to my life.  He’s met with me and called me to be a fisherman with Him.  Help me to see those around me that He wants in the family.  Help me to know how to draw them to Him and Your family.

Meet Jesus: Taken Matthew 4:5

meetjesustakenMatthew 4:Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

The fact that Jesus would allow himself to be taken anywhere by the devil astounds me.  What was going through His mind at those moments?  Here he was, led by His own Holy Spirit, to spend time with evil.   Here he was entering the beginning of His public ministry dealing with a defeatist devil.  Our present thinkers tell us to feel good and be happy and then minister.  Our present ideologies point to pleasure as the entry to ministry.  Jesus allowed himself to be taken into the presence of evil itself.  This was His entry point into public ministry.  He allowed testing.  He presented himself for inspection.  He was taken.

Pushed to the max, Jim was about to pop.  This was supposed to be his year to get the big promotion.  It began with pain.  Employees were livid with some decisions he had made.  Every emotion in him was twisted.  He had worked night and day and given himself totally on behalf of these.  They turned on him.  The year before, he had handled the torrents of accusations from a disturbed man.  The threats had been against these very employees that now turned on him.  For defending them, he now stood their accusations of being unfair and inequitable.  Was this how to start his big year?

He resigned himself to stand through the accusations.  He remembered that the name, Satan, really meant Accuser.  He remembered, Jesus had stood testing before His big year.  Surely, he could allow the Healer to live in and through him in this critical time.  “Father, forgive them”, he whispered, “They don’t know what they are doing.”

ACT! Testing is never fun.  When God has something big, He can allow life and, yes, even the devil a place to sort out our intentions and grace living.  Is there a place of testing in your life?  Is God preparing you, stabilizing you for the next big thing?  Submit to the test.  Let it prove you out.  Don’t fight.  Let God fight for you.  Take time to pray Psalm 35 and see what happens.

PRAY! Father, I am not my own defense.  When life and the enemy rise against me as a flood, You be the boat of my salvation.  Carry me away from that which is too strong for me.  Deliver me from the hand of my enemies.  Cause in me conviction to repent of those weaknesses in me that could have led to this situation.  Cause holiness to well up in me.  Cause me to crucify any flesh that needs changed.  Let these troubles be a directional that causes me to become closer to You in thought and word and deed.  Cause me to be more like You than ever before.  Then, in the next big thing, I will be able.  I will be founded.  I will be strengthened to do that to which You have called me.  I surrender myself to be taken.

Meet Jesus: Human Matthew 4:2

meetjesusokMatthew 4: 2: And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

 There is a fallacy in meeting Jesus that bears great correction.   At times we approach Him as if He had some special advantage while He lived in that body born of Mary.  Jesus was fully human.  He got really hungry.  He dealt with conflicting emotions.  He lived as a human equipped with the Spirit of God even as He asks us to live.

In being human, Jesus sanctified humanity.  He made it okay to be fully human.  He made it a good thing to be all the human we could be, to live up to our human potential – with God.  Remember, while being fully human, He was fully God.  Our task is to work on being fully human, with God.

Being fully human, for us means being full of mistakes.  Being fully human, means being able to correct those mistakes.  Today I had a great opportunity to change my mistakes.  A co-worker was upset with me about my actions.  I had presumed what I did was okay with him instead of asking.  It was okay.  If I asked.  Not asking was presumptive.  It was inconsiderate.  By repenting and asking, my mistake was changed to okay.  He gave me that grace.  It was good.  Jesus helped me be human.

ACT!  Think of your most human moment this week.  Thank God for making you a human.

PRAY!  Father, thanks for making me a human like Jesus.  It must be really special to you, this human thing.  You sent Your own Son to be one, just to make it special.  Wow!  I really don’t deserve it, but I really appreciate it.  Thanks.

Meet Jesus: Humility Matthew 3:13

Matthew 3: 13: Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

 Here is the Son of God, God in the flesh, submitting Himself to the gift and calling of another.  In most of our world, this is almost unthinkable.  The Master goes to the servant to be enabled for ministry.  It is so backward to our ego mindset that it almost hurts.  When you meet with Jesus, you will be asked to find Him in others and lay down ego.

There is nothing like being misunderstood to humble us.  Reading through a memo written by another staffer, I started to get upset.  It was evident that he really did not understand the conversation the day before.  How could he so misunderstand me?  Before I did something stupid, I opened the memo that had been sent by me after the conversation.  Taking a slow and deliberate look, it was easy to see how he was interpreting as my meaning.  He was simply walking out his understanding.  Humbled, I deleted my first response and crafted one more suitable and understanding to correct the confusion.

ACT! Think of a friend who has a gift you need.  Get with them and let them pray for you.

 PRAY! Whoops!  Father sometimes I miss it and mess it.  Sometimes You have sent Jesus to me in a wrapper that I did not receive.  Sometimes the unlikely has had the incredible for my life.  Help me find the some-times and receive from the gift of others in Him.

If we can pray for you regarding anything in your life, please let us know.  Our greatest blessing is to bless others in prayer.   www.prayermetro.com   Phil