Tuesday 16 Nov 2021

November 16: Psalm 11:1-6
 
Key Verse: Psalm 11:2
For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
 
Devotion:
O how the world doubts! If we allow the doubts of the world to invade our faith, we will begin to have doubts too. The psalmist here starts off by reminding us the Lord is our refuge and our point of strength. If we continue to draw close to Him and depend on Him for comfort and protection where the world only sees doubts, then we will recognise the strength of the Lord as we work with Him in our lives.
 
We hear the world say we cannot possibly have strength and protection from an unseen God because He cannot be seen. We hear the world tell us how disasters and man’s ways will break us and our world... In reality, man can break anything he puts his mind to and also everything he ignores or puts aside to work on it another day!
 
We see climate change taking hold because mankind has turned his back on the things which we know cause trouble. We see the Coronavirus taking hold because man thinks he can side-step it, but the natural ways of the virus continue to take hold. We hear man say God is not real because it is taking hold; in reality it is because man has ignored the threat!
 
God sees everything from Heaven; there is nothing which He cannot see and nothing which He cannot do. But He has promised to give us free choice to do what we will and we have to live with the consequences of choosing the wrong things at the wrong time; He can only watch over us and try to steer us from danger...
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you rely on God?
 
Will you stay in His place of refuge?

Monday 15 Nov 2021

November 15: Psalm 1:1-3
 
Key Verse: Psalm 1:3
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers.
 
Devotion:
As we have just had a week of various Remembrance services around the UK, and around the world, I thought it apt to have a reminder of choosing to follow Christ in amongst all of this terror going on in the world. The people who choose to follow Christ and try to separate themselves from the evil in this world will ultimately have a very different life to those who choose otherwise.
 
If we choose to follow the evil and do what evil people do, then we should fully expect our lives to be filled with evil and whatever form we are following. God has warned us enough time about evil and has warned us enough time to turn away from evil; we have been faithfully warned enough times! We cannot plead ignorance in sight of all the warnings we have received – it is our active choice!
 
When we follow Christ and His teachings, we will turn toward the good and righteous ways of Him instead of the evil ways of mankind. When we do turn toward Christ we will receive blessings in many ways which we may not be able to quantify without experiencing them first hand. The psalmist describes those blessings as being like the goodness and nutrients a tree receives from the earth when it is planted close to a stream – and endless supply of nutrients!
 
Let us continue to cling together as communities working against evil and asking God constantly for His protection as we do. God wants us to be at peace and full of joy – something we can only get from being close to Him; like being a tree planted close to a running stream. Allow God to supply you with rich blessings – stay close to Him so He can bless you!
 
Points to Ponder:
How close do you try to stay to God?
 
Are you working at staying close to Him?

Sunday 14 Nov 2021

November 14: Hebrews 10:11-14
 
Key Verse: Hebrews 10:11
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
 
Devotion:
Have you ever had to work out a punishment you were dealt with? I’m not talking about getting shouted at or grounded or others things our parent may have done, but something like hard labour or some other hard repetitive task! At boarding school we often used to get punished by having to do something horrible like cleaning out the showers – and no matter how long you had to do it or how many times you had to do it, nothing changed!
 
Once again, after the punishment had been served, we were back in our own little worlds where we were tempted to do something wrong... and get caught again... and so on! This is the futile environment God was trying to open our eyes to. When we break the rules and sin against Him, we have to face the consequences. Back in the days of the Old Testament, people had to offer sacrifices to cover their sins.
 
These sacrifices were not easy “I’m sorry, please forgive me” but having to find a suitable animal for the sins to be covered and then making sure it was taken to the temple at the right time and offered as a sacrifice in the right way. This would have cost a fair wage back then and would not be something you would want to do every week!
 
But Christ offered Himself to be the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins – to be offered once and on our behalf. We did not have to try and find the ultimate sacrifice because He found us. We did not have to pay for anything. We simply have to accept the truth He is our perfect sacrifice and ask Him to forgive us once and for all!
 
Points to Ponder:
How often did you repeat offend after being punished?
 
Have you accepted that Christ has paid fully for your sins?

Saturday 13 Nov 2021

November 13: Psalm 33:10-11
 
Key Verse: Psalm 33:11
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
 
Devotion:
As Christians we often talk about how the word of God endures, or how it remains the same – but how often do we link that fact with the promises God has made to us? He has given us many promises and they remain promises – still the same as they were many years ago and will remain the same! This is the immutable Word of God!
 
When people plot against God, there will always be someone He calls upon to make a difference so His Word can continue to be upheld and His ways remain in people’s minds. This does not mean He is going to stop all wars or remove all illness – many of these things are because of what man continues to do and how he continues to not just break rules, but try to uphold them in the face of the truth!
 
God wants the truth to be upheld and for people to get to know His Word so they too will recognise the promises He has made to us – those promises which we can rely on and know will come true. We often get things mixed up and say they are not true because we have twisted the truth to our own wants and desires, or we have taken what God has said and used it against Him instead of trying to find out exactly what He has said!
 
No matter how much planning we get into, no matter how much effort we put into things – if we leave God out of it, then we should not expect to succeed! God has a way of turning things against us when we leave Him out of it. God wants us to keep Him close at all times and also to rely on Him to help us. This means asking Him and including Him in everything!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you include God in your life?
 
Will you bring Him closer so you know what He wants in your life?