Matthew 5:4 Getting Comfort

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Jesus now tells you that anyone who mourns will be comforted. Why would a person mourn on a regular basis? Why would someone be so sad about something or anything?

The first thing most people think about when they see someone mourning is that person must have lost someone they loved. Was there a death in the family?

Most always when there is a death in the family or a close friend, there is a time of mourning. For each person how this looks can be different. One person may weep constantly while another becomes very silent and serene.

Even the world will see and accept this type of mourning. As a Christian there may be other reasons to mourn. Look around you. Do you see other people? How many of those people are following Jesus? How many of those people are worshipping some type of idol in their life?

When Jesus stood up on a high hill and looked out over Jerusalem, He started weeping. He saw a lost city that God loved. He saw people dying in their sins.

Does your heart-break for the lost? As you watch the news and see the trouble occurring do you mourn?

Along with seeing all the trouble and hurts in the world, what do you see in yourself? Does your life perfectly show Jesus? If not, which is everyone, you have room to grow. Knowing there is room to grow should make you mourn over the faults in your life.

The extreme crying out to God for the lost and for your own life is the mourning God will comfort. Just as you desire to bring comfort to someone who has lost a loved one and is mourning, God wants to comfort you in your mourning.

God understands the sadness that you feel in seeing the lost that are dying. He understands the sadness you feel at not being exactly like Jesus.

Cry out to God and weep for the lost, hurt, dying world and for yourself. God will reach down and bring you His peace and comfort. Do not look to things or other people for comfort. Those things and people are only temporary and know only in part. God knows all and is eternal. God will never fail you.

I pray today that God will move your heart for the lost; that your heart will break when you see the lost and dying; that God will wrap His arms of love around you and bring you His comfort; and that God’s Holy Spirit will be with you always.

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Matthew 5:3 Poor In Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Jesus is saying that anyone who is poor in spirit is blessed. What is this poor in spirit? How can one be poor in spirit?

The spirit is not physical so it cannot mean physically poor. The spirit has no need for anything physical. Being poor in spirit is an attitude of the heart.

Many people go around believing they are really somebody extremely important to everyone else. In workplaces there are some who feel that the workplace could not function without them in any way. This is not true. Every day around the country and the world there are very important people in companies that are laid off and lose their job.

In sports, there are men and women who are extremely good at what they do for a time, until someone better comes along and replaces them. People are replaced all the time.

A person who is poor in spirit realizes that in and of himself he is nothing. It is only in Christ Jesus does he have any value. Without the forgiveness of sins by the shedding of the blood of Jesus no person could ever get to God. Only through Jesus can you get to God.

Without Jesus, you would not even be able to breathe today. It is Jesus who created everything and it is Jesus who sustains everything. If Jesus stopped sustaining everything you would no longer be here.

The poor in spirit realize this and give God all the credit. In the end they will be the ones to have the kingdom of heaven. They will get the city paved with streets of gold and where there is not hunger, thirsting or pain forevermore.

Do not be proud and look at yourself as someone very important. You are important, but only to God and for God. Without God you have no value. Without Jesus you only deserve the worst punishment possible. Do not lift yourself up, only let God and others do that. Gain the kingdom of heaven.

I pray today that God will reveal the value you have in Him; that you would see you have no value without Jesus; that you will let only God lift you up; that God would use you to build His kingdom; and that you will be poor in spirit and rich to God.

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Matthew 4:19-20 Fish For People

“Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed Him” Matthew 4:19-20

Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen. They were out trying to catch some fish. There was nothing special about them, just regular workers at fishing.

Jesus comes up to them and tells them to follow Him and He will have them start fishing for people. The interesting thing is that they listened to Jesus and started following Him immediately.

Throughout the Gospels it is common for the people to be amazed when Jesus spoke because He spoke with authority. Chances are this is how He spoke to these fishermen. Why else would someone quit their livelihood and follow a stranger?

Even today, nearly 2,000 years later, Jesus still calls common people to do extraordinary things. If God calls a person that in himself can do the job, who is really going to get the credit for doing the job…that person, not God.

God wants to equip you for the work He has for you to do. God wants to get all the credit.

Some may want to complain about this, stating that God is a tyrant or a dictator. God does not work like that. He does what is best for you and for His kingdom.

Peter and Andrew could have stayed fishermen, but that is all they would have been. They never would have been recorded in history as a great person. They never would have had influence on the entire world.

Following Jesus, they ended up having an influence on the entire world. They become some of Jesus closest associates in a plan to change the world. They were brought into God’s eternal plan to save the world.

Today is no different. God is calling ordinary people to do a work for Him. He is calling you to do work for Him. There are still billions of people in this world who do not know Jesus. They do not know that God loves them and wants to be with them.

Are you willing to go out and find them? Go fish for them? Make a difference in this world for God. You cannot do it in your own abilities or power, it must be done with God’s guidance and power. You may be called to full-time, paid ministry or just to be a witness in your workplace, either way God can use you today.

I pray that you will hear God’s call for you; that you will listen and obey that call; that you will catch people for God; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide and direct you; and that God will use you to impact the world for Him.

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Matthew 4:10 Get Away

“Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Matthew 4:10

Satan now takes Jesus up to a high mountain and presents to Him all the kingdoms of the world. He offers Jesus all these kingdoms in exchange for just one thing: Jesus must boy down and worship him.

Jesus had come to the world to save the entire world. What better way could there be to get the entire world than to be handed it? This may sound good, but this is not the way God the Father had planned to gain the kingdoms of the world. If Jesus would have bowed down to Satan, His integrity and words would have been destroyed.

An interesting note in this is that Satan really does not own those kingdoms. Satan may have control over them because those kingdoms are following him, but it is really God who owns everything. God has the true control of everything.

In this third temptation, Jesus answers in a way to get rid of Satan completely. He quotes Deuteronomy 6:3 that everyone is to worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.

Many times the world will present to you a gift that looks or sounds very good. The problem is that the only way in order to receive that gift you must “worship” something.

A job may be offered to you with extremely great benefits, but will cost you time away from family and church. The car dealership offers you “easy” payments on a new car, but it will cost you paying your tithe and gifts to God. These things are what you would end up worshipping since it takes you away from what God wants.

You are to worship and serve God alone. If you serve God with a whole heart, you will serve others correctly. Do not worship any thing other than God.

Just like Jesus you must tell Satan to get away. Do not try to argue or debate Satan or the world, just tell them to go if they are not having you work in God’s plan. God has a plan for you…follow it, not the world’s plan to set you up. Worship and serve only God in everything you say and do. Tell Satan to go away and run the other direction.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to say no to all temptations; that you will worship God alone; that you will serve God with all your life; that God will open your eyes to temptations presented to you; and that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide your every step.

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Matthew 4:7 Do Not Test God

“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matthew 4:7

On the second temptation that the devil presented to Jesus he tried to get Jesus to jump off of a high temple and trust God to catch Him. The devil even used some scripture stating the God would have His angels take care of Him. Jesus answered with another Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13, that you are not supposed to put God to the test.

The devil was trying to get Jesus to test God in a negative way. He was trying to get Jesus to do something God did not tell Him to do. Jesus later states that He can only say and do things that He sees His Father in heaven doing. In a sense this severely limits what He can say or do.

God only gave one thing that you can do to test Him. That one thing is in giving of your tithes. With giving of tithes God says do it and try Him to see if He will not open the storehouses of heaven and bless you abundantly. Outside of that you are not supposed to test God.

Testing God in this way puts you as the one in control. If God had to bail you out of every situation you put yourself in, with no change of your heart, you would be able to sin on purpose and God would have to bail you out with no repentance.

You would be the one calling the shots. Remember God is the one in absolute control of everything, not you. As a believer, you must allow God to call every action and word you do and say. God has to be completely in control of you.

The devil was not trying to do this. He was trying to set Jesus up. Even today, the devil will try to get you to do things God has not called you to do.

Keep yourself immersed in the scriptures so that you will know what God desires of you. You will see the temptations the devil will bring your way. You can use the scriptures to combat the temptation. God’s Word is alive and active, use it today. Do not use just a part of the scripture as the devil did, but the whole of scripture.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to temptations set before you; that God will help you recall His Words to you; that you will read, study and know God’s Word in your heart; that you will use His Word daily as your guidance; and that God will give you victory over all temptation.

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Matthew 4:4 Full Nourishment

“Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

Jesus has been in the desert for 40 days with no food and He is very hungry. The devil comes and tries to get Him to make some stones into bread, since He is the Son of God.

Jesus comes back with a statement quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. That verse starts with a well-known and accepted statement that even the world accepts: you cannot live on bread alone.

There is nothing wrong in having bread in itself. In fact, Jesus broke bread at the last supper and provided bread for feeding the 5,000 and the 7,000. Bread is good for you, but it does not contain all that you need.

Along with bread you need some fruits, vegetables and the meat or protein. Eating just bread will cause you to get sick and your body will fail to function correctly. Even those who don’t believe in God will tell you that you need to eat a well-balanced meal.

In your spiritual walk this is the same. There are some people out there who will just read the gospels and nothing else. They will state if Jesus did not say it, it doesn’t apply.

Others will pull a single verse out of a passage and live by that verse alone. Time is not usually taken to see what the whole Bible says about a given subject, just a verse or two.

Here, Jesus states that you must live on every Word of God. You might ask then how does the Word of God fill you up physically? It does not fill you physically in any way, but it is in the idea of following all of God’s Word. If God has not told you to eat so that you may fast for a time, then you had best not eat. God will sustain you.

Often in life people feel they need more than what God has for them. This is not true. All you need is God’s Word and direction. If you follow God in all He says to say and do, you will have more than you need. Read the whole Word of God–the Bible and listen to the speaking of His Holy Spirit in your life. Eat a well nourished meal daily with God.

I pray today that God will open your eyes and hears to hear His Word for you; that you will live on every word God speaks; that you will not fall into sin trying to live on something God has not given you; that you will see the lies of the world; and that God will fill you with all that you need daily from His Word.

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Matthew 4:1 Being Led

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1

Although this verse is very short, it says a lot. This verse occurs right before Jesus ministry begins.

The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness. Most people have no problems with Him being led, but why would it be in the wilderness? You know Jesus was always led by God to do and say everything He did, but, again, why the wilderness?

The wilderness is a dangerous, lonely location. Jesus is supposed to be bringing great news. How can He bring great news if He is alone in the wilderness?

Before Jesus was to begin His ministry to the world, He had to get alone with God and learn the plan of action. Notice in the next verse He spent 40 days fasting. Jesus got alone with God with no distractions. He learned what God wanted Him to know.

Next trouble occurs when you realize why Jesus was sent into the wilderness: to be tempted by the devil. Jesus was God also and did not know sin or temptation. As a man He had to learn what temptation was and how to overcome it. He never failed at learning this. Jesus never gave into any temptation. Now He knows how to help you get through a temptation.

Some days you may feel like you are completely alone in a wilderness. It may seem like God and all your Christian friends have abandoned you. That is the time to focus in on God. Get alone with God. Use that time to draw closer to Him.

When you are alone in the wilderness it is very easy to give into temptation. No one will see or know what you did because you are alone. Yet, God knows. Get closer to Jesus. Do not allow yourself to fall into temptation.

In the wilderness is also the time to build your spiritual muscles. If everything is going smooth and easy for you it is difficult to know if you have grown stronger in God. Allow this time for a time of growing. Do not complain about God leaving you, He is building you up.

Today I pray for you to have the strength to stay close to God in the wilderness, that God will lead and guide you in and through the wilderness, that you will follow the leading of God, that you will keep your eyes on God, and that you will turn from all temptations.

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