Saturday 20 Feb 2021

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Friday 19 Feb 2021

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?”
 
Devotion:
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?

Thursday 18 Feb 2021

February 18: Psalm 1:1-6
 
Key Verse: Psalm 1:6
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
 
Devotion:
I love the closeness of the Psalmist with God – being able to talk about God as being someone who is constantly looking out for him and loving and supporting him in everything he does with God. Note, though, it is talking about someone who is sticking close to God by listening to Him, obeying Him and giving Him all the glory and not someone who just thinks of God when things go wrong or when they are feeling a bit down!
 
God wants us to be a constant companion, always praying and always thinking about what God would want us to do in our lives. It is not a ‘once a year friendship’ when it gets close to Easter or Christmas, but a lifelong and everyday relationship as if God was your constant companion. God treats us like a lifelong companion and expects a similar input from our end. That is what true friends do!
 
The more we look for God, the more we find of Him. The more we live with God, the more He is able to feed us and to protect us. This is a relationship which has to be treated with love and care. If we are going to ignore God, then should we expect Him to continue caring for us? If we are going to walk away from Him, should we expect Him to come running after us?
 
The thing is, like an awesome friend, God does come running after us when we run away. He tries to bring us back on track and lift us up – because He loves us so much. But for those who go off and do their own thing constantly without thinking of God and without acknowledging Him at all – well, they don’t get the same care and attention... they get the same love, but not the attention because they are rejecting it.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you try to do your best all the time?
 
Are you trying to do your best for God?

Wednesday 17 Feb 2021

February 17: Matthew 6:1-8
 
Key Verse: Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
 
Devotion:
Devotional... check. Bible reading... check. Pancakes... check. Ready to give up something for lent... mmm... What are you a Christian for? Why do you do the things you do? What is your life all about? These are the important parts and not the outward things you think other people would like to see!
 
God did not call us to be great actors who can make it all look good and feel great! God called us to make a difference – and if that difference starts by you lifting up your prayers to God, then start there. But don’t invite everyone round to see you do it. Don’t make a video of it and post it online to see how many likes you get. Just do your work for God and allow God to bless those who need to know.
 
It is not some big popularity contest we are in – this is real life and we have to make sure we are behaving as if this could be the last of our life. We need to make sure we are doing our best for God and not to try and will the accolades of the people around us! We can see those around us who need love and support. We can see those who are doing what it takes. We can see those who are making a big fuss about things for their own promotion and not for God’s glory!
 
So why should we try to do those things instead of doing what God wants us to do? God is going to give you the reward you deserve whether all your fans get to hear about it or not. God is going to make the difference and not the crowd of onlookers who may pay you some attention! Allow them to get the attention of Christ and to seek Him out and not ourselves. This is God’s race, not ours!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you make others see what you are doing all the time?
 
Why not do something secretly for God today?

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