Daily Devotional

October 24, 2014 – “Lay Up Treasures in Heaven” (Matt. 6:19-20)

While there are many temptations to keep us from serving the Lord wholeheartedly (Matt. 22:37-40), one of the most distracting temptations is the preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with little interest in or rejection of the spiritual values set forth by our Lord.  One can easily find biblical examples of those who loved material or physical concerns more than God.  The great king Solomon allowed the love of money, and women and other ...

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October 23, 2014 – “Fasting That Is Rewarded By God” (Matt. 6:16-18)

It is interesting to observe that Jesus deals with hypocrisy in the three relationships we have in life—God, others, and self (Cf. Matt. 22:36-40).  To begin with Jesus warns us about hypocrisy in relation to others when we give alms, or perform charitable acts (6:2-4).  Then He warns us about hypocrisy in our relationship with God when we pray (6:5-13).  And third, He warns us about hypocrisy regarding our own lives when we are attempting to serve God ...

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October 10, 2014 – “In This Manner, Therefore, Pray” (Matt. 6:9-13)

Father they asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1).  Therefore, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray properly, avoiding some of the pitfalls, and including an appropriate mix of praise and petition.  Could someone repeat this Model Prayer and be acceptable to God?  Certainly, one may repeat it word for word if the heart is open and one is sincerely praying to the Father.  However, Jesus is giving us a model to pattern ours prayers ...

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October 9, 2014 – “The Model Prayer” (Matt. 6:8-15)

Augustine said, “Prayer calms and purifies the heart and makes it more capacious for receiving the Divine gifts.  God is always ready to give us His light, but we are not always ready to receive it.  By prayer we open channels through which blessings, which are always ready, may flow.”    One of the most important lessons that a Christian must learn is how to pray.  We should not be surprised to learn that the disciples requested that Jesus ...

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October 8, 2014 – “When You Pray” (Matt. 6:5-7)

Among professed followers of Jesus Christ are three views regarding prayer:  1) There are those who believe prayer really isn’t necessary because God will do whatever He pleases whether we pray or not; 2) There are others who believe that everything is contingent upon prayer and that God will do very little unless we ask; 3) In between these two extremes is the view that God is in charge and is accomplishing His own purposes but who urges ...

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October 7, 2014 – “Charitable Deeds” (Matt. 6:1-4)

Different translations use different expressions for the subject under consideration in this passage. While the NKV uses “charitable deeds”, the NIV uses “acts of righteousness”, and the ESV uses the expression “practicing your righteousness.”  Most scholars agree that the best expression is “acts of righteousness” because verse one is about all kinds of acts of righteousness while the remaining verses are dealing with specific examples of that principle.  Jesus is clearly warning against hypocrisy—“Take heed that you do ...

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October 6, 2014 – “Love Your Enemies” (Matt. 5:43-48)

We cannot find the statement, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy” anywhere in the Old Testament.”   The quotation “You shall love your neighbor” comes from Leviticus 19:18.  There are passages in the Old Testament that taught the Jewish people to treat their enemies in the right way.  For example: “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again” (Ex. 23:4); “If your enemy is ...

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October 3, 2014 – “Go the Second Mile” (Matt. 5:38-42)

An interfaith dialogue was taking place between a Christian leader and a Muslim cleric concerning the differences between the Bible and the Koran.  The Muslim stated that the difference is simple: “Christianity teaches that when struck you should turn the other cheek, however, Islam teaches that when you are struck you strike him back—this is better for you and him.” (Story reported at Southwestern Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Dallas, Texas, March, 2002).  This is ...

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October 2, 2014 – “Jesus Commands Truth” (Matt. 5:33-37)

In every age “truth” has been desired by the best of people.  The Roman orator Cicero said, “Nothing is sweeter than the light of truth.”  Chaucer, the English poet, wrote, “Truth is the highest things that man may keep.”  Daniel Webster once said, “There is nothing so powerful as truth—and often nothing so strange.”  In our text of Matt. 5:33-37 Jesus speaks about the importance of telling the truth because it must be one of the characteristics of ...

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October 1, 2014 – “Marriage Is Sacred and Binding” (Matt. 5:31-32)

God created mankind as sexual beings and His plan is that men and women should unite in marriage to create families and thereby propagate the human race.  We read, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it….” (Gen. 1:27-28).  Jesus quoted from the first ...

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