Matthew 7:5 – You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
It is easy to look on another person and evaluate all that is wrong with them. It is very difficult to look inside one’s self and rightly evaluate our own condition. Hypocrisy is a powerful attitude in religious circles and I dare say some hypocrisy is demonic at its core. The religious hypocrites of Jesus’ day had as their father, not Abraham, but the devil (see John 8:44). Those religious leaders had a huge log in their eyes. In fact, Jesus called them blind (see Matthew 23:16-26). Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to remove the log from our eye. He does this by enabling us to be “crucified with Christ.” Only death can cure the self-centered hypocrisy that lives in all of us. “Nevertheless I live.” I live, because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me (see Romans 8:11). Now, that being said, “The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). It is only by Jesus’ faith that I can live free from judging others and His faith operates in me by the power of His Holy Spirit.
Paul said, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). He goes on to answer his own question by giving thanks. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). Yes, the Holy Spirit of God gives the life of Christ to us and enables us to do what was impossible in our own ability and strength. He helps us to remove the log in our own eye and graces us to help others remove the speck in their eye. That speck is really a log to God, but was a speck to us because of the log which blinded our eye. How wonderful it is to have one’s sight recovered and to look on another without judgment and condemnation, but to see through the eyes of Jesus a new person redeemed by Christ’s precious blood.
Today, let the Holy Spirit do surgery and remove all the obstacles that cause you to be hindered in your sight. Ask God to help you see others as Christ does.
* Quote: "If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its...
Matthew 6:34 – So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Stress has always been a great emotional and physical health problem. Worry is at the heart of stress and is the opposite of rest. Worry and stress come from trying to control our circumstances. They prevent us from finding a place of rest for our mind and our body. Jesus says, “So do not worry about tomorrow.” The emphasis is mine. After Jesus teaches on the cure for anxiety in Matthew 6, He concludes with this statement found in verse 34. The word so means; based on what I have taught you “don’t worry”! I can’t help but think of the old hymn, “I Surrender All.” It is in the act of surrender that we open the door for the Holy Spirit to enter our situations and give us God’s perspective. Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father and is seated, meaning He is at rest. He is not pacing heaven, trying to solve the troubles of today and of tomorrow.
A friend of mine would always say “one step in front of the other.” What a concept and what an attitude! Stability in physical walking comes through balance and coordination. It is also true in the spiritual realm. If your thoughts are all over the place, so will be your spiritual walk. The Holy Spirit wants to establish us in the promises of His Word. He wants to strengthen us to receive the Word and then to apply the Word of God in our daily life. This is harder than it sounds, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can apply the Word of God and enter into His rest. I will not worry about today’s problems, and for certain I will not worry about tomorrow’s. Some people practice mind over matter and positive thinking in this regard. That might help, but I am not speaking of my works, but His power through His Word and His Spirit.
Trust Him today by turning every worry you have over to Him. Speak it to Him and say, “Holy Spirit I give this worry over to you.” I receive from You the rest of Christ. Show me what to do, for You have said, “The steadfast of mind, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord we have an everlasting Rock” (Isaiah 26:3). I choose to trust fully in You my Lord.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all things will be added to you.
The focus of the New Testament is the kingdom of God and its accompanying righteousness. John the Baptist said, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). This also was the opening proclamation of Jesus’ ministry as recorded in Matthew 4:7. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He teaches of the coming Holy Spirit, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-40). In John chapters 14-16, the focus of Jesus’ conversation with His disciples was about the Holy Spirit and His coming work.
Paul declares that, “the kingdom of God is in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). He also emphasizes that “righteousness, peace, and joy,” is the product of the kingdom’s manifestation. Jesus tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Is the kingdom of God and His righteousness our first priority? In John 7 He says, “If any thirst.” Seeking God for His will and purpose is an evidence of thirst. Thirst is a physical symptom that manifests when one begins to feel dehydrated. The nation of Israel was “spiritually dehydrated” when Jesus arrived. The Gentiles had no place to drink, being separated from God and His Covenants of promise. Jesus brought to the earth “spiritual bread and spiritual drink.” He prophesied of the coming Holy Spirit in John 7:37, declaring that He would bring the river of “living water” which would flow out of the inner being of those who believe.
Do not look for the river to come from the outside, but understand that the Holy Spirit comes into the believer and will release a river from within. It will be a river of “righteousness, peace and joy” which will satisfy the thirsty soul. Drink deeply of the river today.
Matthew 6:25 – For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life.
The instructions of Jesus from verse 25 to 32 are to help focus the believers on their relationship with our heavenly Father. They help the believers to be assured that God cares more for them than all of His creation for which He provides. In verse 30, Jesus clarifies that our trust of God is a “faith issue.” All worry is associated with a lack of faith. The Holy Spirit was given to bring us into the “faith of Jesus.” If anyone had a right or opportunity to be worried, it was Paul. “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep” (2 Corinthians 11:25). Paul the apostle proclaims to the Galatians his own declaration of faith and rest in the work of Christ. In Galatians 2:20, Paul identified his resting place as being crucified with Christ. He further understood that the life he now lived was a life lived by “the faith of the Son of God.”
Paul knew what it meant to die to his self-life and to live unto Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul was not anxious about anything. He learned to be content in all things according to Philippians 4:11. Whatever his state, he learned contentment. Paul came to know Jesus as his Sabbath Rest. In other words, he knew Jesus as his resting place. Worry and anxiety bowed to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit baptized us into Christ and into His body. He buried us with Jesus in baptism. He raised us up and has seated us in heavenly places with Christ. Why worry? Why be anxious? Our Father knows what we need.
Today, make a fresh commitment to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
A two-headed creature is always a freak. Jesus is not saying that you cannot be rich and serve God. He is saying you cannot “serve” both God and wealth. It is one thing to have possessions and use them for God’s glory, and quite another to allow possessions to have you. Hold loosely to all you own. It is easy to become emotionally tied to one’s possessions, such as a house, a car, toys, etc. A worthwhile evaluation is to determine what it is that you serve. I serve my family, many in the family of God, and friends. But none are my masters, only God is that. I enjoy my hobby, my house, and the car I drive, but none of those things control me. I am not saying that it would be easy, but if required, they all must go in order to serve the Lord’s larger purpose.
In Luke 6:46 Jesus asked this question of His disciples, “Why call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not what I say?” An employer has the right to expect certain actions from an employee in order to accomplish the task. Our Lord and master Jesus Christ also has certain expectations of our lives. If we call Him Lord and sing about His Lordship, worship Him as the all-worthy one, He can expect us to do all that He has commanded. Serving another is a choice of our free will. Each day we are presented with the opportunity of choosing who and what we will serve.
Jesus was given the opportunity to choose also. In Matthew 4, we find the story recorded of Jesus being led into temptation. The evil one gave Him opportunity to choose what had been given into Satan’s control. Jesus knew by the Word of God, that all these things had been promised to Him in due time. He chose to resist the offer of the enemy for immediate gratification and rather chose to wait for His heavenly Father to give all things to Him.
Today, would you choose to surrender all things to the control of Jesus? Would you wait on God for His timing rather than taking things into your own hands? Let Him be the master by serving His timing and His provisions for His glory. Holy Spirit, I give to you the reigns of my life. Take perfect control!