Monday 8 Mar 2021

March 8: Luke 4:23-30
 
Key Verse: Luke 4:26
Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.
 
Devotion:
Can you remember when I said the other day how God does not always call you to go to the other side of the world to be a missionary, but to stay local and serve your own communities – well, sometimes that calling is to start with a single person who will become a pillar in the community themselves... a person of peace...
 
Elijah was sent to meet with a widow in Zarephath... Now we can relate to this directly because they had a big issue with leprosy at the time just as we have a big issue with Covid-19. We have to be very careful where and how we move around as well as who we meet with – yet Elijah was called to go directly to a person who no one else would mix with at the time!
 
God knows the right people you need to meet at the right time so the right work can be started in the right place for a growth of His work in your community! What we need to do is to listen more intently to Him just as Elijah was; and that can be difficult when we first start because we find out where the difficult places are very quickly!
 
When we start to step up and accept the work God has set before us, we are going to find quite a few people who will complain immediately. Not because they don’t want God’s work to be done, but because the just don’t want to change things – they like the way things are and it's much easier to just keep going rather than stepping up and doing the real work! Listen to God and be prepared for a whole lot of bother!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you think God’s Work is easy?
 
How much are you prepared to do out of your comfort zone?

Sunday 7 Mar 2021

March 7: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
 
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
 
Devotion:
As Christians we talk about what God and Christ has done for us and we accept it as the truth, a blessing and a free gift from God... But for those who are caught up in the world, the pride, greed and other traps we fall into, this talk may seem like silliness! This is how God works – those who accept the truth are granted an understanding.
 
God has said this from very early on in our lives and made sure Jesus reminded us of these facts when He came to be amongst us. The people who were caught up in rituals and habits could not accept the simple truth about Jesus being the Messiah who had come to save them from their own folly. They were too caught up in the world and everything around them to see the light Jesus was bringing.
 
We still have this choice in our lives – to either follow what Jesus has taught us, or to turn away from this truth and embrace the trappings of the world where we will never be able to find peace and comfort. Yes, the world can give us temporary reprieves from the hurt and pain, but when we try to seek the truth in those worldly ways, we get lost and find nothing more of comfort.
 
Jesus wants us to be able to continue in our faith finding the peace He gives us and being able to rely on it replenishing our souls every day – just as He has promised us. The wisdom we seek in the world is not true wisdom but knowledge alone. Following this knowledge and philosophers teachings will lead us to the end of that knowledge and not to the peace and understanding Christ wants us to have.
 
Points to Ponder:
What do you strive to learn in this world?
 
Will you try to accept Christ’s teaching fully?

Saturday 6 Mar 2021

March 6: Luke 15:11-16
 
Key Verse: Luke 15:13
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
 
Devotion:
If God loves us so much, why doesn’t He give us everything we want. This is a statement I hear a lot from people who have not yet accepted Christ into their lives and are seeking for answers; this seems to be the simplest one to start off from because we each have very different experiences in our lives but a common theme in life is the giving of gifts to those we care about.
 
Sometimes giving gifts can be counter-productive because it gives a false sense of worth. The parable of the lost son is one of those which highlights human behaviour and one which we can relate to. God does love us, and He does try to allow us to have everything we need; but there is a big difference between what we want and what we need.
 
A common human saying is to teach a person to fish instead of giving them all the fish they need (or farming etc.) God wants what is best for us. Just giving us the food we need without us having to work for it or pay for it does not help in the long run. If we learn to totally rely on hand-outs from God, then we lose the value of what we have and lose the urgency of what we need in our lives.
 
Just like this teaching, if we are given everything we could ever hope for, we may well squander it because it loses its value. But if we have to balance what we can get with hardships in our lives, we add more value to those things we need. It teaches us to be more aware of the things we need in life. God wants us to assign greater value to the things we need and less value to things such as money even though it can be used to supply our needs.
 
Points to Ponder:
How often do you ask God for things in your life?
 
How often do you do things for others?

Friday 5 Mar 2021

March 5: Mark 11:15-17
 
Key Verse: Mark 11:17
And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
 
Devotion:
What do you treat your local church building like? What does your local church group treat the building like? It is a loaded question because there are so many things we can do as a church group with the buildings we have and we should do as much as we can to support our communities through what we can do.
 
God wants us to do as much as we can, but He also wants us to listen to His instruction as to how we go about that work. We have a duty to uphold the name of Christ and part of the perception of Christ’s name comes from our local church buildings. This is not to say we should exclude anyone who does not follow Christ from our buildings – far from it.
 
God gives us so many things with which we should be encouraging people to know Christ, but some of those things can be used for our own purposes instead of Christ’s will. This is what the people in the temple courts were doing – they had turned over the area to those who were seeking their own profits and not anything to do with God. This is abusing what God gives us...
 
This goes much further than just church buildings and church grounds... God supplies us with the tools and the people we need to further the gospel message. We need to take care of everything He gives us and use them for the purposes He has charged us with. When we abuse this privilege and seek our own profit rather than Christ’s, we fall short of the charge God has given us and we then face His wrath or judgement alone!
 
Points to Ponder:
Have you thought about reaching out more with your church?
 
Will you support anything God asks of you?

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