Saturday 18 Sep 2021

September 18: Isaiah 43:8
 
Key Verse: Isaiah 43:8
Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
 
Devotion:
No matter what we have done wrong, no matter how much we have got things wrong, God always wants us to come back to Him and to admit our sins. It is the world and the things around us which trap us and stop us from seeing the truth. If we were all able to shut out the noise of the world, we would be able to hear the sound of God calling us!
 
The first thing I noticed after I moved back to a village in the countryside after living in London for a few years was the quiet and dark nights! I could hear the animals in the forest. I could hear the bats flying round at night. I could hear things instead of them being drowned out by the continual rumble of traffic noise from the highway I lived a few yards from!
 
God wants us to be able to hear Him and to know we are loved in so many ways by Him. If someone did not first tell us of this great news, we may well have continued to listen to the traffic and think that was normal! If someone did not tell us of the light of Christ, we may well have continued to be blinded by the hustle and bustle of the city!
 
Yes, we all need to stop focusing on the world and spend a bit more time seeking God; but we also need to tell others about Him so they will know they have to seek Him out too. If we don't mention God in our lives, people will not know He exists because of the deafening and blinding ways of the world...
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you focus on the city lights and ways?
 
Will you try to share Christ's light with someone today?

Friday 17 Sep 2021

September 17: Psalm 14:1-3
 
Key Verse: Psalm 14:3
All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
 
Devotion:
You may be forgiven for not liking what you read in these verses, after all it sounds very much like the scriptures are against us... When God gave the commandments to Moses to give to the people, it was not Him setting up a trap through which He could reject everyone because none of us can keep all the laws... the commandments were given to us to show us we have no hope without God. King David must have gone through this in his heart quite a few times because he knew he had done many things wrong – but he also knew in his heart God was willing to forgive if we come to Him with humble hearts.
 
No matter how much we think we have done everything right, there has always been times in our lives where we have thought the wrong thing or said the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. God wanted us to know He sees and hears everything and so nothing will escape His judgement.
 
But He also wanted us to know there was going to be an ultimate sacrifice which would cover all of our wrong-doings, no matter how bad they were. When Jesus came to live amongst us, He made sure people understood this and He also made sure they understood we have a choice to make. If we choose to go against God, then we are actively choosing to say Jesus was not good enough to cover our sins...
 
I am thankful Jesus came to live amongst us in human form so He could take on the sins of the whole world being our perfect sacrifice – once and for all. I know I have done things wrong in my life, but I also know Jesus is willing to forgive me because He promised me He would when I come to Him and ask for forgiveness!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you still feel guilty?
 
Have you asked Jesus to forgive you?

Thursday 16 Sep 2021

September 16: Isaiah 40:6-8
 
Key Verse: Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures for ever.’
 
Devotion:
How many times have you been discouraged by someone who steadfastly refused to listen to you talking about Jesus? I know I have been discouraged on occasions when people seem to turn off their minds when you start to talk about Jesus, God, Christianity or anything close to it! After listening to the introduction of the Alpha course I am encouraged to continue talking about Jesus no matter what!
 
Hearing some of the honest answers from people as they admit to either not knowing Jesus or even thinking He did not exist makes me want to talk about Him more. When we get to know Jesus in person, we have our eyes and hearts opened up to many things – things which continue to be hidden from this world because people don't want to talk about Jesus!
 
The more we are able to say things, the more people are going to hear things. The more we are able to tell people about Jesus – the more their hearts and eyes will be opened to what He has done and continues to do in our lives. We just have to open the door so people can see Jesus for themselves...
 
If the doors remain firmly shut, how will they ever get a glimpse of Him or what He can do? But if we are able to open the door a little so they can see in, or even just a crack so their interest will be kindled and they will start to want to open the door to see what is behind it for themselves. God wants us to open the doors, even if it is just a little crack.
 
Points to Ponder:
How many people around you close off the door to Jesus?
 
Will you try open it just a crack so God can have a turn?

Wednesday 15 Sep 2021

September 15: John 12:30-36
 
Key Verse: John 12:32
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
 
Devotion:
If you are worried about how you explain Christ to others, think about how Jesus had to explain Himself to the people! Jesus knew what was going to happen, but did not want to totally discourage people by saying He was going to die outright, after all the scriptures talk about a Messiah who is going to come and be with the people of Israel forever...
 
The easiest way I find of talking about Jesus is to remind people He became a real human being in order to accomplish what had to be done. If He remained as God, He would not have been able to die. But, by lowering His status temporarily to human form, He was able to lay down His life so the scriptures could be fulfilled!
 
Thus, by physically laying down His life, He was able to be raise up Physically to show us He has authority over death so we do not have to worry about physical death. He also showed the physical death did not take away what "He is" because that lived on in His soul or spirit; so coming back to life He had total recall of everything which had happened beforehand.
 
So when you have to try and explain things again – think of yourself in parts just like God – after all, He made us in His image. We have a physical body which will die in the end, but we also have a soul and a spirit through which we continue to live on even after physical death. The most joyous thing is God will raise our physical bodies in the end just we Jesus was raised up. We don't have to understand the minutia of everything, just believe in what Christ has already achieved by example.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you get worried what will happen?
 
Take comfort in how Jesus lived, dies and was raised up again!