Build On the Rock of Life

When Jesus Whispers

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

“I will show you what he is like who comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house. First he dug down deep, found bedrock, and laid the foundation on that which cannot be moved. Only then did he construct his home. Later, when a flood came and strong, swift currents slammed into his home, the house remained because its footings stood upon solid rock. All that he had remained.

“But the man who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on shifting sands without a foundation. The moment the storms of life struck that house and man, all was swept away — life, home, those he loved. The man and all he treasured was lost and his destruction was complete.

“Pay attention to what I say. Turn your ear to my words. Keep them within your heart. Mediate on them day and night, for my words are life to those who find them and healing to your whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for what you treasure in your heart is the wellspring of life. My words are life to those who believe in me. Do not simply hear my words, but put them into practice. — Jesus

Luke 6:46-49, Proverbs 4:20-23

Judge a Tree By Its Fruit

When Jesus Whispers

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love life will eat its fruit.

“People do not pick figs from thorns, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. The words that come out of our mouths reflect the true thoughts and desires of our hearts. By our words our fruit is revealed.

“Watch out for those who claim to bring a message from my Father. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not testify about you in your name? In your name did we not drive out demons and perform miracles and draw others to you? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to the person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves, for anyone who sets aside one of the least of my Father’s commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven and every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” — Jesus

Luke 6:43-45, Proverbs 18:21, Matthew 7:15-23, Matthew 5:19-20

Love Your Enemies

When Jesus Whispers

Love Your Enemies
“To you who are listening I say: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. Lend to others without expecting to get anything back.

“If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Do not fight back against an evil person. Give to everyone who asks.

“If anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. If anyone wants to take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is how my Father treats you and everyone.
He is kind to the ungrateful. My Father is kind to the wicked. Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” — Jesus

Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:39-42

I Am the Lord of the Sabbath

When Jesus Whispers

“I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or do evil, to save life or to destroy life? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ then you would not condemn the innocent for doing good on the Sabbath.

“If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to take hold of a man, lift him up, and do good on the Sabbath. Truly I say to you: my Father made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath. Yes I tell you, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Luke 6: 5, 9, Matthew 12:6-8, 11-12, Mark 2:27

It is Not the Healthy Who Need a Doctor, but the Sick

When Jesus Whispers

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. For this reason I came eating and drinking with tax collectors and ‘sinners’ — those living in immorality and harboring envy, greed, lust, and hatred in their hearts. Yes, I tell you for these I came, for I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins and the wine will run out:  the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’

“Truly I tell you, some will refuse to the new wine — will refuse to change even when new wine is poured out in abundance. Yes, they will hold to their religious traditions and ceremonies, their rituals and rules and refuse to come to me. They nullify the word of God for the sake of their tradition. They honor me and my Father with their lips, but their hearts are far from us. They worship in vain for their teachings are merely human rules. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect and have the most important seats and the places of honor. They practice their righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. They announce their good works with trumpets and in the streets in order to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

“But you, come to me in humility with repentance. Confess your sins. Be baptized into my name and my Spirit. Flee from the coming wrath of my Father. Whoever believes in me has eternal life. Whoever rejects me will not see life, for my Father’s wrath remains on them. Therefore, produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Luke 5:31, Matthew 9:13, Matthew 15:7-9, Luke 20:46, Matthew 3:5-8, John 3:36

God Is Your Shield and Help

When Jesus Whispers

“Will not my Father bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that you get justice and quickly. If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall my Father give good things to those who ask him? When in trouble pray this prayer;

Save me, O Lord. For the sake of your name, save me. Judge between me and those who come against me. You are my strength. Hear my prayer, O Lord. Give ear to the words of my mouth. Or Lord, you are helper. You hear the desire of the afflicted. You encourage me with your words, the very words you spoke to Moses, the Prophets and the Psalmist. You listen to my cry. You defend the orphans, the oppressed, the widows and single-moms. You are my shield. Come quickly, O Lord, and rescue me.

“My Father, hear this prayer from this one who puts their hope in you. I ask that you act on their behalf. Give them favor. Amen, and amen.” — Jesus— Jesus (Luke 18:7, Matthew 7:11, Psalms 54:1-7, Psalms 10:15-18)

Keep Sowing Your Good Seed!

When Jesus Whispers

“Consider the words of my servant Paul and keep sowing your good seed. In time you will reap a harvest. Remember what I told you: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. Whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give and sow with great expectation, not reluctantly or under compulsion. My Father loves a cheerful giver, hard worker, and faithful farmer. Your efforts and hard work are a testimony to your faith in my Father who acts on your behalf. My Father is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Consider what was written long ago: Those who fear the Lord freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:9

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply your store of seed, increase your territory and enlarge your harvest. Sow to serve your neighbor and watch my Father work.” — Jesus (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)