Sunday 28 Nov 2021

November 28: Jeremiah 33:14-16

Key Verse: Jeremiah 33:14
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will fulfil the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

Devotion:
Jeremiah had many dire prophecies which the people had every reason to be afraid of; they were facing a dire period during which the armies of Nebuchadnezzar were descending on Jerusalem and many people were going to be captive to the Babylonians. But these few verses show the people some hope, not for the immediate future which is most certainly death for many, but for the future when a Saviour is going to come!

How sure was Jeremiah? He bought a plot of land right before the Babylonians were invading; not because he had hope it may be safe on his own land, but as a demonstration of the hope for the future of the Judeans. This was like a demonstration by him for the people to see how sure the hope in the future was!

Just as Isaiah had prophesied, this prophecy was to say someone would come who was of the lineage of David. People must have been distraught during the Babylonian Exile because they saw the end of the Davidic dynasty – they thought it was the end of the line of David. But God’s promises are built on the truth which would eventually come out at the end of the time of exile.

These words are often hard to hear for us at this time of year, not just because we have much shorter days and winter is fast approaching, but because of the many losses people do face at this time of the year. But the hope these words give us can still give us hope for today too. We too are called to share words of hope at this time more than normal – we too need to give people hope of a good future with God!

Points to Ponder:
What hope do you find in your bible?

Will you share that hope with someone?

Saturday 27 Nov 2021

November 27: Psalm 145:17-20

Key Verse: Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Devotion:
I love the Psalms because of the personal messages delivered through them; these are messages which come from the heart and are real! This Psalm continues to tell us of the goodness, righteousness and faithfulness of our Lord. No matter what is happening in life, no matter how far we go or how upset we get, God is always there and always looking out for us.

We may have to face some extraordinary things in our lives, not because God has caused them, but because human beings have chosen to make bad choices and we all end up paying for those bad choices. We may not know some of them are bad choices at the time, but still we end up in bad places or having a really bad day! Have you noticed how all the people around you also go through those same times – you have not been selected out of a crowd for things to go wrong – stuff just happens!

When we are honest with our feelings and honest toward God, then we will begin to see the honest and caring responses He gives us. When we are fooling ourselves or being selfish about things, we don’t get to see the real truth because we are too caught up in our issues to see the truth!

The Old Testament is full of stories about how God destroyed wicked people and that is the major picture we get from reading the scriptures – if we close our minds off to reality. You see, God has been trying to show people the right ways for many many years, but we get so caught up in the issues we only remember the bad parts or the things which make for exciting reading or hearing about! God tries to protect us through various means – if we listen, we know He is there guiding us. If we don’t know God, we get caught up in the tragedies and lose sight of the truth showing how He cares for us – all we remember is people being harmed or destroyed… we end up thinking God is destroying people...

Points to Ponder:
What do you remember from the latest news you listened to?

Have you tried to think how God was guiding people at that time?

Friday 26 Nov 2021

November 26: Luke 21:29-33

Key Verse: Luke 21:33
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Devotion:
Have you been watching the leave change colour around you lately? In my flat I have one tree out the front on which the leaves turned yellow and seem to all fall off in a couple of days, and yet one at the back which seems to be waiting for something else before it sheds it’s leaves! We can, in general, look at the trees and bushes and know roughly what season it is from the colour of leaves or how fast they are growing…

We can watch various things happening in our lives and and lives of people around us and, again in general, make educated guesses as to what generation those people are or even what part of the world they come from… These are all things we learn by constant observation year after year, or we are taught about them in school and grow to remember those facts.

How many facts do you remember from God’s Word? I used to think I was pretty useless at remembering facts because I would always do badly in exams. I started to think there was something different about my mind! But when I started reading through God’s Word and studying it, I started to remember all sorts of things. I have gained a lot of confidence in my life because I was able to remember things and apply them into my life and even tell others about them too!

Jesus wanted people to know many truths which they had corrupted over time and so He would teach people in various ways so they would remember the truth. We now have so much of what He taught written down in many different languages in our bibles. We can study what He taught and pass on that information to others. Some words tell us of the good things which happened, some tell us of the bad things, whilst others tell us of things which are yet to happen. Take head of those words because they remain unchanged!

Points to Ponder:
How much do you read your bible?

Will you make a plan to read through the bible next year?

Thursday 25 Nov 2021

November 25: Matthew 10:34-42

Key Verse: Matthew 10:38
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Devotion:
When you read through these verses you may well be worried about the words used here; especially when it talks about being rejected for loving our families more than we love God! Let’s take a bit of time to think about what is being said and not jump to conclusions… When we talk about our faith, our belief in God, how far are we willing to go to say we do love God?

As long as we don’t come from a very broken family, we may well say we love our families more than anything and also say we are willing to do anything for our families. When push comes to shove we actually do go far to ensure our families are safe and protected. How far are we willing to go to ensure God’s Word is trusted, or God’s name is not abused?

This is what is being said here… If we say we love God and believe in Him, then we should be willing to put our faith to the test. We should be willing to uphold God’s word when others mock or ridicule it. We should be willing to stand up for God and show others we are proud to be called Christians. These are all the things we probably take for granted in our families. God invited us into His family and calls us His children. We should be willing to say He is our Father!

When Jesus said He was not bringing peace, but a sword, it was a statement meant to shake up the people around Him. It was His way of saying we need to stand up for the gospel, the word He was proclaiming, and we need to defend it just as we defend our families. If we are willing to do this, then He is willing to make sure we are never rejected and never left alone. He is willing to support us!

Points to Ponder:
Do you uphold God’s Word?

Will you demonstrate your love for God without fear?