February 20: Psalm 86:1-5
Key Verse: Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
If you never put your trust in bridges, you would never be able to cross rivers or ravines. If you never put your trust in aeroplanes or ships, you may never be able to visit people on the other side of the world. We physically have to put our trust in some things in life in order to be able to get places in life. But that is as far as we can go if we only trust physical things.
If we want to be able to go places after we die or go places spiritually, then we have to put our trust in spiritual things. Now, because these spiritual things cannot normally be seen, we are in effect putting our trust in things we cannot see. God does not want to have us trust every spiritual thing, because there are some things which are not good for us; rather He wants us to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ because He has already shown us we can trust Him and He has declared His unending love for us too!
So how do we go about trusting things we cannot see? We have to ask for them and believe God will give them to us just as Christ has promised us. This is our prayers which we need to continually lift up to God, asking Him to fulfil the promises made and to continue to love and protect us as best he can. Whilst we do have issues in our lives and we do get things wrong, we begin to get worried we will not have our prayers answered because we don’t deserve it!
But Jesus has demonstrated how He is willing to love us even before we start to get things right. He is willing to forgive us because we are guilty and not because we think we deserve it for changing our lives in some way. This is God’s gift to us and not something we deserve for what we do...
Points to Ponder:
How often do you speak to God?
How much do you trust God?
February 19: Matthew 9:9-17
Key Verse: Matthew 9:14
Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
When I was at boarding school, the masters would try to condition us to behave in a certain way – because it would make their lives easier and give the school a good name because of the expected behaviour of the pupils. But this did not always depict the actual behaviour of the pupils; I despair at some of the things which went on behind the scenes!
What Jesus did was not the same as this ‘old way of doing things!’ He continued to reach out to everyone who needed to know God – so that included everyone! This did rub up the local Scribes, Pharisees and even the disciples of John the wrong way! Now we could say that the way of the Scribes and Pharisees was no in line with God’s ways, but what about the ways of John’s disciples.
John had probably been influenced greatly by the ways of the church at the time; what we may compare to now as the conservative side of the modern church. But what Jesus was doing stretched these ways and the people who upheld them. Jesus reached out to the people who He knew needed God in their lives much more than the people on the fringe of the church.
When we want to ‘act like disciples’ of Christ, we should not be limiting ourselves to the ways which are expected by the modern church, or by the established church or by any other groups. We should only be limiting ourselves by what God is asking of us! God wants us to reach out to the people who do not know what Jesus is like. He wants us to open the doors and allow new people to come in putting aside the safe ways we all know about. Jesus met with the people knows as crooks in society so He could allow God to start moving in their lives. He did not open Himself to their ways but mixed with them to show them what God was really like!
Points to Ponder:
Do you follow conservative church ways?
Will you open yourself up to doing something new with God?