Matthew 7

Do Not Judge Others

   “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others.[a] The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.[b] 3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c] when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend,[d] ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Jesus, help me to not judge.  I look at my past and I see a proud fool who was so blind it is unbelievable.  I was harsh.  I expected people to change, even though I myself was drowning in sin.  I truly was advising people with specks, while I had a log in my eye.

Lord, take the log out of my eye, but never let me forget it was there.  If I can help another to be free of sin, use me, but help me to always do so with love, and sympathy, and with Your grace for Your glory.  Because in the end, we all have logs in our eyes.  Only You Jesus, can truly help us.

Thank-you Jesus for my weakness.  Thank-you for using my sins and my falling to humble me.  Somehow You turn even weakness and sin into a blessing.  But please, I have had enough of that blessing!  Keep me free Jesus.  Change me Lord.  Change me.

Day 55

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.[e] Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Effective Prayer

 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Jesus, I often think my prayers aren’t answered…but You say “keep praying”.  I am weak and give up.  But You are a good parent.  Sometimes I ask for what is not good, so You answer, but not exactly as I had in mind.

And keep my prayers from being a list of my wants and desires.  Help my prayer time to be a time of seeking and knocking.  You know what I need and want.  Help me to spend my time seeking You.  Help me to knock on the door of the Kingdom.

I know in my mind Lord that good prayer time is not about telling You what I want, but seeking You so that I learn to want what You want.  Change me Lord, so I ask for what You want to give me, seek to find You in all those around me, and to live my days forever in Your house.

Day 56

The Golden Rule

 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Jesus, this seems natural at first blush, but it isn’t.  At first I think, be kind, giving, forgiving, loving…and all these are true.  But how do I REALLY want to be treated?  I want others to treat me the way You treat me Jesus.  This means all those things, but adds honestly showing me my faults and sins, holding me accountable for my choices, leading me to not take the “easy way”.

Do I really want others to treat me like that?  But I can’t control how others treat me, so the real question is:  Do I really want to treat others the way You treat me?

Jesus, first help me to love others and You love me.  Make me kind and giving and forgiving.  Then Lord, help me to lead others as You lead me, which means, help me to follow You.  Jesus, You walked a road of love all the way to a cross of suffering so You could show me how to love and forgive.  Help me Lord to follow You down that road to my cross so I can love others as You have loved me.  

Day 57

The Narrow Gate

 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[f] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Jesus, I have been on the “highway to hell” far too long.  You pulled me off, why I do not know.  I so often start to walk back toward that highway, and You keep pulling me back to this narrow road.  Why Lord, why do You love me so much?

Life is such a maze of different paths.  The ones that are open and easy here on earth, don’t lead me closer to You, but further away.  It is so easy to get lost.  Jesus, only You can keep me.  Help me to not look for the easy road, but for Your road.  Help me Lord, to walk the narrow path You walked.  Lead me and guide.  For if I am on a difficult road because it is Your road, You will give me the strength to endure the difficulty and come into Your Kingdom. 

Keep me Lord.  Guide me Lord.  Change me Lord.

Day 58

The Tree and Its Fruit

 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

Jesus, it is so much easier to talk the talk, than it is to walk the walk.  I know I have been the false person You are talking about in this verse.  But in Your love, You didn’t throw me away forever, but let me fall hard so I would call to You for help from a more humble and broken state.

I am so sorry for all the people I have turned away from You through my self-righteous and judgmental attitudes.  And I was so false!  Living in darkness and sin, deepest sin, and acting like I was walking with You.

Lord, I can still be such a jerk.  You, perfect and righteous, walk with sinners in complete love and kindness.  Lord, show me all they ways I am still bearing thorns instead of grapes.  Change me Lord.  Help me bear good fruit.  No more false fruit Lord.  I am sorry.

Day 59

True Disciples

 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Jesus, I could almost pray yesterday’s prayer again!  How long was I a false disciple?  Even now, how often do I say all the right things, but live an unchanged life?

Jesus, I don’t want to “play” religion any more.  I want to know You better than I know anyone else in my life.  I want change.  I don’t care about recognition.  I don’t care about fitting in.  I’m tired of just going through the motions.  Please Jesus, come into every part of my life and know me completely so I can know You.  Change me Lord.  Change every part of me and every minute of my life.  Be one with me, forever!

Day 60

Building on a Solid Foundation

 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29

for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Jesus, You are amazing!  This passage applies so perfectly to my life this morning.  Lord, I read and studied Your word for years.  I listened to You, but did not really build on You.  Not that Your word had no effect, it did, but after all these years, this time through, it all seems new!

I once read chapters a day, and was changed so little.  Now I can’t go more than a few verses without having my heart stirred up. 

But Lord, please don’t let me read Your word, and see Your wisdom, and feel Your presence, but not change how I live.  Please Lord, help me to build my life upon Your word.  Help me to make You the foundation of everything else that is around me.  Please Lord, no more idleness or falsity.  Make me, my home, my family, all built on You.  Change us!

Footnotes:

 

  1. Matthew 7:2 Or For God will judge you as you judge others.
  2. Matthew 7:2 Or The measure you give will be the measure you get back.
  3. Matthew 7:3 Greek your brother’s eye; also in 7:5.
  4. Matthew 7:4 Greek your brother.
  5. Matthew 7:6 Greek Don’t give the sacred to dogs.
  6. Matthew 7:13 Greek

The road that leads to destruction.