Matthew 7:13-14 The Correct Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

Very often Christians are accused of being narrow-minded; that they are closed off to different ways. This should be a statement describing every believer according to Jesus.

Jesus stated that the gate is very narrow. This gate is the gate to get into heaven. That very gate is Jesus. Since Jesus is the gate, that gate is extremely narrow. Think about how many billions of people there have been in the world and only one can get you into heaven.

The world likes to think that there are many ways to get to heaven. People like to follow the path of least resistance and follow everyone else.

If you were traveling from one major city to another how would you do it by car? Would you take the major interstate roads? Or would you take all the back county dirt roads?

Most people would take the interstate. It is broad and fast-moving and is the way most people travel. The county roads are extremely narrow, much slower and appear to be more dangerous.

The difference is in the county road you can see the beautiful trees and wildlife up close; you will not have lots of traffic; and you can enjoy life.

Often you hear that there are many ways to heaven. All but one are man-made ways that only lead to destruction. The one gate to heaven is Jesus and Him alone.

In following Jesus you will have life and life abundantly. Do not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that people in other religious beliefs are going to heaven in their thinking.

Yes the gate is narrow. Yes the path is narrow and tight. It may look like it is not a very good path, but this path will give true purpose in life. In Jesus you will find true joy, love, and friendship. Choose the right gate today. Do not be afraid to be narrow minded, it is the correct choice.

I pray that God will reveal the value of following Jesus more and more to you; that God will keep you from following down the wrong path of life; that God will use you to be His witness pointing to Jesus, the gate to heaven; and that God’s kingdom will be built greater with your living for Jesus.

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Matthew 7:6 Use Pearls Wisely

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6

Jesus now makes a short statement about not giving dogs something sacred and throwing pearls at pigs. Why was He talking about dogs? Why would anyone give a pearl to a pig?

In the days of Jesus, something that was sacred and pearls were considered highly valuable. In today’s society, things that are sacred and pearls hold very little value to most people. Today, diamonds would be the highly valuable stone, and the sacred should still be held at high value. Either way you should not throw them to dogs and pigs.

The sacred and pearls are representing the valuable, deep things of God. As a believer, you should be growing in a closer relationship with God. You should know deeper things about God than you did when you first believed.

Often believers will try to talk about visions God has given them to a non-believer; or talk about a deep learning experience with God. Many times the non-believer will mock those statements and try to destroy them.

The things a non-believer need to hear is the love God has for them; the direction they are heading; the destruction of sin in their lives; and what Jesus can do for them. They do not need to hear about the deep moving of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing you in a situation in your church or some other deep spiritual event in your life.

Think of it in the way of teaching a little child calculus before he has learned to add and subtract. What value is it to the child? All the child will do is trample on it and laugh. It will be a waste of your time.

When you speak to a non-believer show them the love of Jesus and the need for salvation. Leave the deeper works of God for believers. Do not waste those treasures and time on someone who will not recognize or accept them. As the dogs and pigs will just crush what is of high value, so will non-believers crush the deep, high value things of God.

I pray that God will give you wisdom in what to say to non-believers; that God will touch hearts through you; that you will know what is of high value and how to use it wisely; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

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Matthew 6:33 First Priority

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Many times Christians will like to quote the next verse after today’s verse: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

The previous verses also talk about God providing for all of your needs. Jesus used the examples of the birds and the flowers being provided for. He then points out how valuable you are and will be provided for.

One thing that is often overlooked is the requirement for all of this provision: seeking His kingdom and His righteousness.

How often as a human being do Christians seek things for their own good? Most people want a better home; better car; more money for themselves. These things would have nothing to do with building God’s kingdom.

In the church, believers may even ask God for a larger ministry. The problem is that the larger ministry is not so much for reaching more people, but to look better to others in the church.

Your focus should be on being more and more like Jesus everyday. You should be seeking for God to give you the righteousness of Jesus. You should be seeking God to be shown ways to build His kingdom more.

As you go through life, here on earth, it is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day living. Each day will bring about concerns about how to pay the bills, how to provide enough to keep the electricity on and how to keep the car running, along with the many other little things in life.

Each day you must retrain your focus on what really matters for eternity: your righteousness in Jesus and God’s kingdom. Are you seeking ways to build His eternal kingdom or your temporary kingdom? Are you seeking for your righteousness or the righteousness of Jesus? Where is your priority in this life?

As you put God first in your life, He will provide for every need you have. If you do not put God first, you have a reason to worry…you will fail in the end. Don’t worry, seek God.

I pray today that God will reveal to you His will for your life; that you will seek God all day everyday; that you will seek the righteousness of Jesus in your life; that you will ask God for ways to build His kingdom; and that you will not worry but trust God for all things.

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Matthew 6:21 What Do You Treasure

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Very few people don’t have something that they treasure in their lives. The things that people treasure can vary with a very large degree of difference.

Some people treasure a smaller treasure that others may not see as of any real value, such as: an old picture of a favored grandparent; or maybe a small decoration that has been handed down for several generations; or a gift that was given them when they were younger.

Others treasure their huge bank account; large amount of property; a special car; or a job.

In each of these things, people will place a lot of trust and care for them. If anything happens to any of these treasured items, they will be very depressed. They often put their heart into their treasured items.

How many times do you see a man buy a new car and every weekend he will spend several hours cleaning and waxing it? It is good to take care of it, but he spends excessive time working with it. This is his treasure.

Jesus just finished telling you to not store up treasures here on earth. Everything on this earth is only temporary. You can and eventually will lose it.

Store up treasures in heaven. How can you do this? By being the witness God has called you to be and doing the work God has called you to do. When you do a work for God, He keeps track of it. Some day He will give you a reward for all of your hard work.

If you have received your reward here on earth, God will not reward you again in heaven. Seek treasures in heaven. Those treasures will last forever and will be much better than anything here on this earth.

Think about what you treasure. Then notice where your heart is. Is your heart in heaven with God, or here on earth? What will get you excited? A new treasure here on earth? Or God’s will being done and a new soul coming to Jesus?

Remember that where your treasure is, is where your heart is also.

I pray today that you will have your heart set on God; that you will treasure only what God treasures; that God will guide you in doing His will; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; and God will break the hold of earthly treasures in your heart.

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Matthew 6:14-15 Forgive

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is something most people want to receive, but very few want to give. When someone has something done wrong to him he feels it is his right to demand justice.

Jesus puts a very strict rule in this area. He states that if you want to be forgiven by God the Father you must also forgive others.

To forgive someone is to release them from what was done or to permit what was done, to clear them of the wrong done. It is to no longer hold that person accountable for that action. It is to treat the action as though it never occurred.

Very often people will state that they forgive someone, but they will bring up that situation again and again as an example of how that person had done wrong. Often it comes out as stating you remember when you last did this type statement. This is not true forgiveness. Forgiveness is to release and forget the wrong.

Think about how much wrong you have done to God and against God. Most people, if they are honest with themselves, would not want to begin to count the number of ways they have done wrong to God just in this year alone. This even goes for the Christian believer, much less before they were a Christian.

God loved you while you were sinning against Him. Jesus died on the cross to forgive you of your sins while you were sinning against Him. If God can do this for you, why can you not forgive someone who has done something wrong to you?

When people do you wrong it is usually in cheating or a bad word stated, occasionally in physical wrong. Your sins against God put stripes on His back, a thorn on His head, and death on a cross. How much greater did you hurt Jesus, than that person hurt you?

Jesus stated that if you cannot forgive someone, then the Father will not forgive you. Notice that this is the choice God has made, it is not some fancy rule. He chooses not to forgive if you have not forgiven others. Not forgiving others is a sign your heart and life has not been fully given over to God. Give God your life and forgive others today.

I pray today that God will show you how much you have been forgiven; that you will love others enough to forgive them; that God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit to forgive; and that God will use you to build His kingdom through your forgiving others.

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Matthew 6:7 Babbling Prayer

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7

Jesus begins to teach the people how to pray. He can do this because He is perfect in prayer. Whenever Jesus prayed to the Father about something, He received it. Look through the gospels and see how long His prayers were. All of them were short.

One thing that often occurs with public prayers is the using big fancy words or the old King James words to pray. God is a great God and can speak the common everyday street language you speak. Notice: Jesus did not speak King James when He spoke, He actually spoke Greek and probably Aramaic.

As you pray in public do not try to use fancy language or words to pray. Pray what is needed. If you are living your life for God and are cleansed by the blood of Jesus you are righteous before God and He hears you.

Along with not using fancy words, do not keep on praying over and over in the same prayer for one thing. As Jesus said, do not babble like the pagans.

Think about when someone is talking to you about something. Some people just keep on going and going about the same thing for a long time. It seems like they will never finish and the whole time they are really saying nothing. The first 2-3 minutes they said something, then nothing after that. This type of talk is babble.

God does not need to hear babble. It will not change His mind one way or the other about hearing and answering your prayer.

You may also look at all the prayers of the prophets and leaders in the Bible. All of them are very short. None of them will take more than five minutes to read out loud with the exception of Psalm 119 if that is taken as a prayer.

Keep yourself in tune with the Holy Spirit and you will know what God’s will is for a situation. Then pray that will of God. He will hear and answer. It does not take long prayers.

This does not mean you cannot return to God at a later time to pray for a situation again. Go to God more than once. Just do not take forever at one time trying to convince God to answer your prayer.

Pray today God’s will and see what He will do for you.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will know the will of God in every situation you come across; that you will learn from God how to pray effectively; and that God will hear your prayers.

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Matthew 6:1 Doing to Be Seen

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

In this verse Jesus points out that you are supposed to work at being righteous. He tells you that your are to practice your righteousness.

No one is born perfect and no one really does what is right before God without God’s leading. A person who plays a sport must practice everyday in order to get good at it. Being able to play any sport well does not automatically happen, it takes lots of dedication and practice.

As a believer you must practice living right before God. You must work at doing what God wants you to do.

However, Jesus tells you to be careful in how your practice your righteousness. You must not do it around others just to be seen by them.

Very often people in the church will do something for God and then will brag about it to everyone. They want to be sure that everyone has seen their “righteous” act.

This is acting just like the world. People in the world are always pointing out what they have done to look good. Many will even say they are a good person and deserve to go to heaven because of their good deeds.

Jesus states that if you do these righteous acts to be seen, then you already have your reward. God the Father will no longer give you a reward for that righteous act when you get to heaven.

This does not mean that other people cannot give you honor for doing something. What is not to happen is for you to purposely do it for that honor from a person. God may use others to honor you, but you must not seek that honor yourself.

Everything you do must be done for God and Him alone to see. Earlier Jesus had stated that you must do things so that the world will see and give God praise, not to give you praise.

Do not give up the rewards that God has in store for you. He is perfect and can give the perfect everlasting gifts. The praise of the world is only temporary and conditional.

I pray today that God will guide you in living a righteous life; that you will do the right things for God; that your heart will be focused on God; that all you do will be for God; and that God will reward you richly for your actions.

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