Wednesday 2, Dec 2020

December 2: Zechariah 9:9
 
Key Verse: Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
 
Devotion:
Can you imagine what we would do with someone who came and said they knew a new king was coming into town, one who would bring peace through his actions; and he was going to ride into town on a bicycle instead of in a great big limousine! I think we would ridicule this person for saying something too outrageous for us to believe...
 
But Zechariah was talking here about Jesus coming to Jerusalem, the capital city where everything important was always held. The fortress where people could feel safe if they were to be attacked. A place where God was proclaimed and where He was worshipped in the biggest and best temples...
 
We tend to focus too much on the power or the riches of our leaders. We follow the rich and famous. We want to see people who have great presence and can talk the talk. We think we are voting to people who should serve us, the community. We think we bring people into government who will listen to us and do what we want. What we get are people who crave power above all else. We get people who are corrupted by power and greed...
 
We are God’s children. We are the ones who need to shout about God and to rejoice in all He does in our lives. We are here to worship Him and share His Word with others. We don’t get to vote Him into power, but we do get to invite Him into our lives, to be the driving forces in our lives instead of the corruption of power and greed.
 
Points to Ponder:
Who do you invite into your life each day?
 
Will you stop and invite Jesus to take control of your life?

Tuesday 1 Dec 2020

December 1: James 1:16-18
 
Key Verse: James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
 
Devotion:
Sometimes we are tempted to go off the rails and do things which we know are not right – the more we do this, the more we think it is OK, if we don’t get caught doing it! But what we forget it God is always watching us and sees everything we do both physically and in our minds and hearts! We often make up excuses saying it is probably OK with God because He has not stopped us from doing it!
 
That is not how God works. God is not going to support us doing things wrong and sinning. God is not going to have any part of the evil we get up to. God wants the very best for us and He will try to support us in doing what is righteous. All the good and great things we gain in our lives can be said to come from God – He is the creator and author of everything... yet still gives us free choice to do what we please.
 
He is not going to stand by quietly when we do what we please instead of what He is asking – but too often we ignore all the warning signs because we don’t like them. We ignore all the instructions we find difficult to take because we don’t like them. This does not mean God is giving up on us; rather we are continuing to walk away from Him!
 
God will never change. He is our Lord. He is everything. He is love. He created everything for us. We now have the choice at to what we do with His creation. We have the choice to follow Him and His Word, or to follow our own wants and desires. Why not change your direction a little to be more in line with God’s direction and see what He gives you as you do!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you continue to ignore instruction just because you don’t like it?
 
Will you turn and face Jesus and ask for His instruction?

Monday 30 Nov 2020

November 30: Matthew 4:18-22
 
Key Verse: Matthew 4:19
‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’
 
Devotion:
What is your first reaction when a friend asks you to do something which will take you away from what you want to do? We all react differently to requests from friends and differently again to requests from family. When a friend asks you to do something with or for them, they do not know what is going on in your heart and mind at that moment – if they are very good friends, they could probably guess...
 
God knows what is going on in our minds and hearts and He is also aware of what we need to ensure our hearts and minds remain in a fit state; something we often struggle with when things go wrong. God is not going to step forward and ask you to walk off a cliff or to ask you to tell a loved one you do not want to see them again – that would not be right.
 
But sometimes God is going to ask you to do something you may not have thought of before, or something which will stretch your abilities or comfort zones. We, after all, feel most comfortable doing things which we are accustomed to doing – things which make us feel good or things we are used to doing. God may well ask you to step out of that comfort zone!
 
How we react is going to define our relationship with God. When He does ask something big of us, He will do so because He knows we can do it and we need to do it. When Jesus asked the disciples to follow Him and be fishers of men, He was asking them to leave the comfort of their everyday jobs and livelihoods to do something with sounded irrational to many people; but not to them because they knew God!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you really listen to God?
 
Are you doing what God is asking or doing what is comfortable for you?

Sunday 29 Nov 2020

November 29: Mark 13:24-31
 
Key Verse: Mark 13:28
Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

Devotion:
Our bibles tell us of a time when Jesus will return and take all remaining believers home to be with God in Heaven. The return is described in various ways according to who is describing the return; each of us see what we think are the important facts and we will tell of those facts, the same is true with the return of our Lord. Each disciple clung onto what they heard and retold what meant most to them – therefore we see variances in our bible between the gospel accounts.
 
The bible also tells us we need to be ready for the return of Jesus, because we do not know when it will be. But the bible does tell us of things we will notice before Christ’s return... just as we see the buds appearing in the trees before summer and the leaves changing colour before winter, we will see things happening before Jesus returns. And many of those things are happening now.
 
What God is showing us is we need to be ready all the time, not just getting ready for summer in spring, or getting ready for winter in autumn, but ready for Christ’s return always. This does mean we should be doing what God asks of us when He asks and not waiting until the last moment.
 
We are now in Autumn and going into winter in the UK. The leaves are turning colour and falling; we have work to do to clean up the leaves. Soon we will be in winter and we will look up at many bare trees which have lost their leaves. This season always reminds me of the poor and lonely because they often see the world as if it is permanently winter – where everything is bare all the time. Now, more than ever, we need to tell people of the hope which we have in Christ Jesus.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you like Autumn (or Fall)?
 
Who are you looking out for this winter?

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