Tuesday 27 Sep 2022

September 27: Mark 11:12-26

Key Verse: Mark 11:22
‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered.

This story about Jesus cursing the fig tree may seem a bit bizarre or even cruel, but we should be focusing on the outcome of the story and not the physical aspects most of us see. The physical aspect is Jesus cursed the fig tree and a while later when they came back and saw the fig tree, it had withered from the roots and was good for nothing now!

We should not be looking at this and saying we are like the fig tree and we are being punished and we have nothing to live for… What we need to focus on is what God can do for and with us and not what the world can do and does to us! If we focus on what the world can do we are going to be despondent and hurting because all we can see is failure or hurting…

If we can separate our thoughts from the obvious earthly events and try to see what God could be doing with us, we are going to see a whole new way of living! God does not want any of us to be like the fig tree and good for nothing. He wants us all to be fruitful and beacons of light for Him. Do not forget that we have the choice as to what we want to do in our lives. If we choose to follow Christ and allow Him to guide us in the best path forward, we are going to see all manner of opening for us to move forward with.

These are the openings God creates so we can be fruitful and how we can do His will in our lives. God reminds the disciples here that prayer is very powerful because God is behind the answering of prayers. If we do honestly and openly work with God through praying to Him and listening out for answers to those prayers, we will see extraordinary results we thought not possible before!

Points to Ponder:
How often do you pray honestly and openly to God?

How often and long do you wait for answers to those prayers?

Monday 26 Sep 2022

September 26: Job 1:6-22

Key Verse: Job 1:12
The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

How many times have you read through these verses and thought “how could God allow Satan to ruin Job’s life!” Well, let us look at the question you probably ask and split it into two parts: 1) God allows Satan free will 2) Satan chooses to ruin Job’s life!

This book is a book about how Satan has free choice to do what he wills. The same free choice each one of us has in our lives – the choice to do what we will. Most of us will choose to follow the law and will not do bad things, but there are a few who choose to do bad things. Satan chose to do bad things, but he did not just choose to go and steal something or tell lies, he chose to ruin Job’s life by killing his servants, his livestock and then his family! Most of us could not imagine the hatred in anyone's heart to be able to do that to another person!

God did not have one rule for the angels and one rule for mankind. Whilst the angels had power to do all manner of things, God still allowed them free choice to do things in their lives. This free choice does have consequences, just as the free choice in our lives has consequences. If we choose to go off and do bad things, then we should expect the consequences to be severe.

We brought nothing into this world apart from a built in knowledge of God. We have the choice as to whether we turn our backs on this knowledge and follow the ways of the world, or whether we turn toward this knowledge and invite God to be a bigger part of our lives just as Job did. If we choose to have God at the centre of our lives, we can still expect to have earthly things happen to us just as they do with the people around us; this is life. But we can also expect to have a fulfilled life with God after this earthly life – this is what we should aim for!

Points to Ponder:
Do you choose good or bad?

Are you ready to accept the consequences if you choose bad?

Sunday 25 Sep 2022

September 25: Luke 16:19-31

Key Verse: Luke 16:29
Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”

How many times have you heard someone say the Bible is too hard to understand or it is a book that is way out of date? I fear too many people are using excuses to put the Word of God aside so they will not have to be bound by it in any way; modern life has caught them up in a tale of their own, leaving God behind… There are some who will uphold the scriptures far more than their own societies or their own families, even when they have come up with their own ideas about what the scriptures should mean!

God has given us the Bible so we can understand what is required of us. He allowed Christ to come and live amongst us so we could see the old scriptures upheld by mankind has been warped and corrupted. The scriptures tell us of a God who does not want sacrifices of animals because mankind has used the sacrifices to cover up far too many misdemeanours.

What God requires of us is to open our hearts to His Word so we can get to know Him better. What He requires is not to cover up things by going through the motions of offering precious things in stead, but to offer up our own selves instead. He does not want to take our lives away from us; but when we show a willingness to offer up everything we have and turn away from our sins, then He is willing to show us forgiveness and mercy beyond our comprehension.

We have had the Bible for a very long time now, and if we choose to not follow it, we should not expect God to send us signs and wonders just to prove He is there or to prove the words to be true. We have a choice to believe the Bible and all of its contents – choose wisely!

Points to Ponder:
Do you believe the words of the Bible?

Will you place your trust in God’s Word?

Saturday 24 Sep 2022

September 24: Acts 16:1-5

Key Verse: Acts 16:4
As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.

I’m sure Paul had many revelations as he travelled around the Mediterranean countries. These verses retell what he encountered when he came to Lystra where Timothy lived. Timothy came from what was then seen as a mixed marriage where his father was Greek but his mother was a Jew. This was frowned upon at the time much like mixed marriages are frowned upon even in modern times. We think we are a bit more liberated and accept marriages between people from different countries, religions or other differences, but in reality there are still many people who hang on to the differences and refuse to accept them!

Paul could sense the tension around Timothy in the Jewish areas because people knew his father as being Greek. Paul tried to belay ill feelings by having Timothy circumcised to show he was following the ways taught by Jesus.

We know Jesus reached out to all people, but at the time the Jews saw Him as Jewish even if they did not all accept Him as their Jewish Messiah! People’s inward feelings and beliefs often go much further than we realise. The Jews around them at the time did not want to accept any half-breed, but once their eyes and hearts were open to the truth about Jesus, I’m sure their beliefs would be changed.

Sometimes we do not have the luxury of time to wait for everyone to accept change and we have to make a change in order for them to be able to see that change is possible. What we cannot do is make those changes by ourselves because we cannot fully trust our own emotions. Christ gives us the Holy Spirit so we can make more informed decisions. Our church will grow stronger in faith the more we rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and less on our own emotions.

Points to Ponder:
Do you allow you emotions to could your judgement?

Will you entrust judgment to the Holy Spirit instead?